Spreading Light.

“Edith Wharton has said that there are two ways of spreading the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. Sometimes we are candles. We shed light of love and hope. We shine encouragement into dark souls. Or we illuminate with insight. But sometimes we reflect the light. We are mirrors to enable others to see the light of their own goodness and beauty”

Be a people person.

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“In his book Be a People Person John Maxwell challenges us to translate Jesus’ example into practical, everyday, other-centered behavior.  He says we love it when other people encourage, appreciate, forgive, listen, and understand us.  To be a people person, we must give others what we like to receive ourselves: encouragement, appreciation, forgiveness, a listening ear, and understanding.

He offers a short course in human relations.
· The least important word: I (it gets the least amount done)
· The most important word: We (it gets the most done, relationships)
· The two most important words: Thank you. (appreciation)
· The three most important words: All is forgiven. (forgiveness)
· The four most important words: What is your opinion? (listening)
· The five most important words: You did a good job. (encouragement)
· The six most important words: I want to know you better. (understanding)”

An unexpected gift.

I absolutely love how the God of the universe is so intimate in the ways that He chooses to love us. Last night I was able to experience His nearness and kindness through an unexpected gift – one of those moments where you just find yourself smirking and just taking it all in.  The gift was so timely. It really ministered to me and where I was at. I had only met this particular person two or three times before so I was so touched that she would go out of her way to do this for me. This sister recently joined our community group for church and we had just exchanged a few conversations here and there. One of the conversations we had shared in the past was on the topic of being sick. I had briefly shared with her that one of the worst feelings is being really sick and living alone. I told her one of my comfort foods when I’m sick is miyuk gook (Korean seaweed soup) and that it would remind me of my mom because she would make that for me when I was sick. I didn’t think anything of it when I shared it. I wasn’t thinking she would remember. It was just a casual conversation with someone I had met for the second time.

I had been feeling incredibly homesick and missing my mom the past two weeks but I had not shared any of that with her. When she saw me Wednesday night for our weekly gathering she had shared with me that she felt this overwhelming sense that she couldn’t shake off to make this soup for me.  She had so many things to do that day and a huge knee surgery at St. Jude awaiting her that very next morning yet she felt this was something she needed to do. I was so floored that she would take the time to do all of this for someone she had only met a few times.

I’m so thankful for this sister’s obedience to God’s voice even when it didn’t make sense at the moment and for a God who’s love is unfailing, unchanging and ever so present and near…

Response:

Knowing who we are because of who God is.

I felt this author captures the nature of God’s grace expressed in the idea of adoption really well, right along the lines of what Steve shared during his message tonight. So good~

“Our acceptance by the Father is therefore the foundation of our Christian lives. Before we do anything for God, we know that we are beloved by God. By grace, we have brand new identities as sons and daughters, and we are brand new creatures. Being loved by the Father becomes the very core of our existence. This is both our legal and actual status before God.

From this time on, our sense of acceptance needs to be sustained in the right way or we will go back to the old life of striving to earn God’s acceptance through our achievements…

From now on, our sense of significance derives not from our performance but our position in Christ. Who we are, and indeed what we are, derives from the fact that we are adopted by grace. From this knowledge flows our sense of value. No longer are we preoccupied with the way others see us. We are wholly taken up with the way the Father sees us. No longer are we seeking the approval of others, we seek a deeper revelation of the Father’s exquisite perspective of us. When the devil tries to exasperate us with what was true about the old self, we respond by reasserting the truth about our new self:

I have been given the right to be [called] a child of God (John 1:12).
I am no longer a slave but a friend of Christ (John 15:15).
I have been bought for adoption through Christ’s blood (I Corinthians 6:20).
I was predestined for adoption (Ephesians 1:5).
I am a child of Abba by adoption (Romans 8:15).
I am God’s work of art (Ephesians 2:10).
I am no longer under any condemnation (Romans 8:1).
I cannot be separated from the Father’s love (Romans 8:35).
I am loved by the Father himself (John 16:27).
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Colossians 1:14).
I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20).
I have not been given a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1: 7).
I am no longer a slave but a son (Galatians 4:7).
I am seated with the Son in heaven (Ephesians 2:6).
I am of the same family as Jesus (Hebrews 2:11).
I am a brother of the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 2:11).
I can approach the Father with confidence (Hebrews 4:16).
I am a brand new person in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).

If our sense of significance derives from sonship not slavery, then we will be able to achieve God’s purpose for our lives. The reason for this is because we will be ministering for the Lord out of a sense of gratitude rather than a need for God’s approval.”

Response: