Category: Relationships

Thankful Thursdays: My Brothers And Sisters In Christ

Last night Michael and I had dinner at friend’s house up in Kansas City. Before we moved to India, we had become really close (or as my friend would say: “supernaturally close”) to these guys in a short amount of time.

I don’t remember the exact story of how we met them, but I think Michael was at the mall praying for people’s legs to grow out and they just so happened to be walking by and overheard him: “Leg come out in Jesus’ name!” Not exactly something you overhear everyday at the mall, so they stopped to check out what was going on and eventually exchanged info and we’ve been in touch ever since.

It’s hard to describe how comforting and reassuring it is to be away from them for so long, but still being able to pick things back up right where we left them off. It’s like we never moved away.

As our conversation went on through the night, I somehow wound up talking about my various spiritual struggles since we’ve been in India. I didn’t have to think about it, it just came out naturally. And I think in the same way, they didn’t have to think about sharing in my sorrow, they just did out of the overflow of their heart.

I have a lot to think about from our conversation last night, but there was one statement that I’ve been mulling over all day: They both agreed that even though it may feel like we were just complaining, they actually felt life in our expressions of sorrow. What felt like death and a “dismantling” to Michael and I, brought them life and hope.

What reason could there be for that other than we both have the same Person living inside our hearts and communicating what words cannot express? It’s so evidence of how much God longs to be connected with our hearts through Holy Spirit and through those He has made our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I don’t know what picture God is painting overall, but when I stand back and look at how Holy Spirit transforms an ordinary friend into a brother or sister, I am stirred. And I am shaken by how tremendous and invasive Jesus is.

I’m reminded of a verse from a song called “Bread & Wine” by Josh Garrels:
“If I fall, I fall alone, but two can help to bear the load
A threefold chord is hard to break
All I have I give to you if you will share your sorrows too,
Then joy will be the crown upon our heads
My friend”

By the time we left our friend’s house last night, I felt lighter and reassured. I don’t know that anything in my situation has changed, and I still don’t feel hungry for God, but at the same time I feel a peace. Which is both confusing and all right at the same time.. It’s like I know that this is just for a season.

This morning I decided to listen to that song “Bread & Wine” and I connected with it in a way I hadn’t been able to before. I know it’s because the night before I had experienced the exchange of life and love the song talks about. I’d like to share a video of it with you with the lyrics posted below.

I’m slowly learning that we were never meant to live life apart from others. There is no shame in sharing a sorrow with a friend. Being vulnerable is how God “flexes His muscle”, as pastor and author Gregory Boyd might say, and it’s the place where we see Jesus fully expressed in His Body.

I was wrong, everybody needs someone, to hold on
Take my hand, I’ve been a lonesome man, took a while to understand

There’s some things we can’t live without,
A man’s so prone to doubt,
Faithful are the wounds from friends.
So give it just a little time,
Share some bread and wine
Weave your heart into mine,
My friend

Walls fall down, where there’s a peaceful sound, lonely souls hang around
Don’t be shy, there’s nothing left to hide, come on let’s talk a while

Of the places we left behind,
No longer yours and mine
But we could build a good thing here too
So give it just a little time,
Share bread and wine
Weave your heart into mine

If I fall, I fall alone, but two can help to bear the load
A threefold chord is hard to break
All I have I give to you if you will share your sorrows too,
Then joy will be the crown upon our heads
My friend

“Wasting” Time With Conversation

Fellowship I think one of my favorite things to do is to hang out, drink coffee and talk. I like getting to know someone and hearing what they have to share about their views on culture, life, and spiritual things.

When we were in San Diego at a friend’s wedding. We didn’t know anyone there except the groom and one of the other groomsmen, but it was refreshing to be around so many people our age who also had deep relationships with the Lord.

It was almost like being around family members we had never met before.

During the rehearsal dinner and reception, I had the time to share my heart with total strangers. And there were others there who, when they found out we lived in Delhi, seemed to genuinely sympathize with our struggle.

It brings tears to my eyes even now as I think about it.

These were people who were interested in more than just a superficial exchange of information. They wanted to spend the time connecting and getting to know one another better.

And it made me wonder: Why is it that I can strike up a conversation with a complete stranger and walk away feeling this strong connection with them?

I think it has something to do with how available we make ourselves to getting to know a person.

We have lots of culturally acceptable places and times for conversation: at a bar, in a restaurant, at family gatherings for the holidays, etc.

But if we just decided to extend those times beyond designated intervals, and instead decided to live a lifestyle of being available to others, I wonder what would happen?

I guess it’s the same way with Jesus too. We don’t come to know Him in our states of busyness or activity, but in times of quiet and rest when we just sit and “waste” time visiting with Him.

I want to “waste” more time getting to know people. And I want to “waste” even more time getting to know Jesus.

Can you imagine that in heaven, we’ll have all eternity to “waste” time getting to do both!

Five Ways to Have Impact – Part V

(This is part three of a five-part series. Click here to read Part IPart II , Part III, and Part IV.)

I mentioned in an earlier post on having impact that as we go through our day, there are simple things we can do to be intentional in our relationships with others. I wanted to elaborate on that a little more by writing a five-part series dedicated to discussing some practical ways you can do this in your day-to-day life.

Being loyal does not mean you have to be a stalker.

Building a relationship takes time – something that most of us seriously lack.

Fortunately with a little more intentionality, you can build relationships with people practically anywhere you go. By practicing loyalty to a certain location or person, you allow for an increased opportunity for relationship.

I’m not saying break the bank by driving to the other side of town and ordering a mocha frape maximum grande every single day of the week. I’m saying as you go look for occasions to build a relationship with people you already come into contact with.

Michael and I like coffee. As in really like coffee. Hold the Starbucks, if you please – we want the good stuff.

We’ve invested in different specialty brewers, grinders and we occasionally even roast our own beans. So does it make sense for us to go out and spend $56 a week on coffee when we have everything we need to make an amazing cup at home? Of course not.

But once a week or so, on our date night, we make a visit to a local coffee shop. Why? Because $8 a week is worth a friendship or at least getting to know someone a little better.

Take for instance the story I shared about the owner of the coffee shop in Houston.

Michael and I have made it a point to visit this particular coffee shop at least once every time we’re in Houston. And because of that effort, it’s opened up a realm of influence into the owner’s life.

So much so that she’s cried on our shoulder and we’ve been able to pray with her. All that just from taking time to talk to her like a human being and not a coffee-making robot.

There are probably countless ways you can build relationship with people. Be creative and think of those you already have regular contact with that no one else does.

Is it the elderly lady that walks her dog when you run every night? Is it the Post Office clerk that works every Friday when you go to mail your bills? Is it the homeless man on that one intersection right before you turn onto the highway?

Is there someone who needs compliment or smile that I’m in a unique position to give? Is there someone worth remembering their name and who needs me to listen when no one else will?

Contrary to what some may still think, this kind of an effort doesn’t make you a stalker or creepy. It may make you an exception to the hundreds of other people that walk through a person’s life – but it does not make you creepy.

You just need to ask yourself: If you don’t care to be loyal and make an investment in that person’s life, who else will?
The place where everybody knows your name.

Just reading those words instantly bring the melody of the theme song from Cheers to mind.

We all want to believe there’s a place for us in the world. A place with genuine smiles, friends, laughter and warmth. A place where we can catch a break and let our guard down.

I think that’s the reason so many of us warm up to the song “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”.

I believe the Church should be that place for the world. (And by Church, I mean the living, breathing, moving Body of Christ – not necessarily the fixed structure made of four walls and a steeple.)

I believe as the walking, talking Body of Jesus we can be the place where people come to meet with a familiar friend, one who knows their name and listens when they had a bad day. Sinners and tax collectors wanted to be around Jesus.

They felt comfortable around him because he gave them the time of day. He didn’t treat them like a bunch of hopeless, unlawful scumbags.

He treated them like human beings who were desperately loved by an all good and all wonderful Father.

Can people say that they feel comfortable around you, just like Jesus? Can people say that they feel special when they’re around you, just like Jesus? Can people say they see Jesus when they see you?

As an ambassador in chains to the Gosepl (Jesus), the answer to all those questions should be yes, yes, yes! If not, maybe it’s time to reevaluate who we’re reflecting and adjust our mirrors to see Jesus!

“Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.

Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name,

and they’re always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see,

our troubles are all the same.  You wanna be where everybody knows

Your name. You wanna go where people know,

people are all the same. You wanna go where everybody knows

your name…”

Five Ways to Have Impact – Part IV

(This is part three of a five-part series. Click here to read Part IPart II and Part III.)

I mentioned in an earlier post on having impact that as we go through our day, there are simple things we can do to be intentional in our relationships with others. I wanted to elaborate on that a little more by writing a five-part series dedicated to discussing some practical ways you can do this in your day-to-day life.

Please just shut up and listen.
“The secret to friendship is being a good listener.” – Unkown

I read once that if you want to persuade someone you’re a good friend, then be quiet and listen.

Unfortunately, however, listening is not a strength for most of us.

Too often we’re more focused on getting to say what’s on our mind than paying attention to the other person talking. Often times, what a person doesn’t say communicates a lot more than what they do say.

But when we’re not fully invested in the person in front of us, we may end up missing those subtle details or hidden information. Listening involves taking the focus off of yourself and giving your full attention to the person speaking.

Christian philosopher, Greg Koukl, once taught that if you want people to think you’re interesting – ask questions!

Asking relevant questions actually helps you as much as it helps the person talking because it keeps you engaged in the conversation, and it communicates interest in the speaker.

Then, depending on the conversation or person, there may be an opportunity to give advice or feedback — but don’t be surprised if some people are just happy to have someone listen to them.

To give you an example, last year Michael and I spent the weekend together with some friends in Arkansas at a healing conference. In the evening we went out to a Wal-Mart to heal people in Jesus’ name.

We were able to minister to several people, but just before leaving, Michael and I saw a lady in a motorized cart. Since we were in “healing mode” we weren’t anticipating that maybe this woman just needed someone to listen when we initially approached her.

It turned out, she did have an illness and some pain, but she had recently moved to Arkansas with no family or friends, and the family she did have wouldn’t speak to her. So in this case taking the time to let this woman vent and cry meant more to her than not having to use her motorized cart.

Listening was the most loving thing we could have done.

Which leads me to another point: being a good listener means being flexible.

Listening is a full-time job, and you have to be ready in and out of season. I’m not saying let people “dump” on you all the time and use you to justify their unhealthy behaviors.

I’m saying be giving in your time and flexible in your actions.

Give people the time of day and not just canned responses. Can you give 100% of your time to every single person on the planet, obviously the answer is no. But with healthy boundaries, you can at least give some of your listening time to those you encounter day-to-day.

By giving your full attention, asking the right questions, and being sensitive to where that person is at you’ll become an effective listener, and through love, bring comfort to someone’s day.

Five Ways to Have Impact – Part III

(This is part three of a five-part series. Click here to read Part I and Part II.)

I mentioned in an earlier post on having impact that as we go through our day, there are simple things we can do to be intentional in our relationships with others. I wanted to elaborate on that a little more by writing a five-part series dedicated to discussing some practical ways you can do this in your day-to-day life.

If they matter, remembering their name matters.

Obviously, I believe that human beings are all created in the image of God and because of that, each and everyone of us is valuable independent of what we may think.

So by saying that everyone matters, am I’m saying that everyone deserves having their name remembered?

Yep.

Honestly, this really isn’t that difficult to do, especially considering most people you run across on a day-to-day basis will have a name tag, name plate or business card to identify them.

For everyone else, you’ll just have to do it the old fashion way by asking and remembering!

But chances are, when you’re out running errands, you probably see the same store clerks and sales associates over and over again. This makes it easy to learn people’s names and strike up a little friendly conversation.

Some people might call it lazy, but I just call it practical. Who has time to make special trips to stores you don’t really shop at just to “minister” to people. Forget about it.

Just connect with the people you’re already seeing on a day-to-day basis and you can start by asking for their name.

Remembering a person’s name can open up so many doors. Why? Because it implies that you don’t think that person is just another number. They’re somebody worth remembering.

Here is a story from Dale Carnegie’s book How To Win Friends and Influence People, that highlights the lasting effects remembering someone’s name can have:

Back in 1898, a tragic thing happened in Rockland County, New York. A child had died, and on this particular day the neighbors were preparing to go to the funeral. Jim Farley went out to the barn to hitch up his horse. The ground was covered with snow, the air was cold and snappy; the horse hadn’t been exercised for days; and as he was led out to the watering trough, he wheeled playfully, kicked both his heels high in the air, and killed Jim Farley. So the little village of Stony Point had two funerals that week instead of one.

Jim Farley left behind him a widow and three boys, and a few hundred dollars in insurance.

His oldest boy, Jim, was ten, and he went to work in a brickyard, wheeling sand and pouring it into the molds and turning the brick on edge to be dried by the sun. This boy Jim never had a chance to get much education. But with his natural geniality, he had a flair for making people like him, so he went into politics, and as the years went by, he developed an uncanny ability for remembering people’s names.

He never saw the inside of a high school; but before he was forty-six years of age, four colleges had honored him with degrees and he had become chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Postmaster General of the United States.

I once interviewed Jim Farley and asked him the secret of his success. He said, “Hard work,” and I said, “Don’t be funny.”

He then asked me what I thought was the reason for his success. I replied: “I understand you can call ten thousand people by their first names.”

“No. You are wrong,” he said. “I can call fifty thousand people by their first names.”

Make no mistake about it. That ability helped Mr. Farley put Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House when he managed Roosevelt’s campaign in 1932.

During the years that Jim Farley traveled as a salesman for a gypsum concern, and during the years that he held office as town clerk in Stony Point, he built up a system for remembering names.

In the beginning, it was a very simple one. Whenever he met a new acquaintance, he found out his or her complete name and some facts about his or her family, business and political opinions. He fixed all these facts well in mind as part of the picture, and the next time he met that person, even if it was a year later, he was able to shake hands, inquire after the family, and ask about the hollyhocks in the backyard. No wonder he developed a following!

For months before Roosevelt’s campaign for President began, Jim Farley wrote hundreds of letters a day to people all over the western and northwestern states. Then he hopped onto a train and in nineteen days covered twenty states and twelve thousand miles, traveling by buggy, train, automobile and boat. He would drop into town, meet his people at lunch or breakfast, tea or dinner, and give them a “heart-to-heart talk.” Then he’d dash off again on another leg of his journey.

As soon as he arrived back East, he wrote to one person in each town he had visited, asking for a list of all the guests to whom he had talked. The final list contained thousands and thousands of names; yet each person on that list was paid the subtle flattery of getting a personal letter from James Farley. These letters began “Dear Bill” or “Dear Jane,” and they were always signed “Jim.”

Jim Farley discovered early in life that the average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on earth put together. Remember that name and call it easily, and you have paid a subtle and very effective compliment.

We all want to feel special, and whether we like our name or not, a bit of our identity is attached to it.

Remembering a person’s name is like saying, “I know there are 7 billion people on this planet, but you’re important to me and you matter!”

Five Ways to Have Impact – Part II

(This is part two of a five-part series. Read Part I here.)

I mentioned in an earlier post on having impact that as we go through our day, there are simple things we can do to be intentional in our relationships with others. I wanted to elaborate on that a little more by writing a five-part series dedicated to discussing some practical ways you can do this in your day-to-day life.

Smile like you mean it.

Have you ever noticed how we tend to gravitate towards people who smile more? What’s actually in a smile that we like so much?

In an article published by Disa A. Sauter and Stephen C. Levinson titled “What’s embodied in a smile?” they wrote:

“… displays of amusement and pride were signaled by smiles, but that amused smiles tended to be open-mouthed, whereas smiles of pride had compressed lips. In contrast, awe was typically expressed with raised eyebrows and a slightly open mouth, but not with smiles. This study highlights that there is likely more than one kind of smile and that different smile configurations may communicate different affective states.”[Disa A. Sauter and Stephen C. Levinson (2010). What’s embodied in a smile?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33 , pp 457-458 doi:10.1017/S0140525X10001597]

It seems our smiles can literally speak volumes about what we’re experiencing internally. Have you thought about what your smile (or lack thereof) is saying to those around you?

A strong, genuine smile makes you feel valuable and important. Conversely, a forced or fake smile can create tension or even hurt someone’s feelings.

A study from The University of Miami even learned that people who experience rejection might be able to better distinguish a fake smile from the real thing. They hypothesize this is because those who are aquatinted with rejection eventually learn cues that indicate insincerity, which helps them identify when to avoid wasting energies on potentially harmful relationships.[1]

This begs the question: how many times does someone have to experience rejection before they develop skills for telling the difference between a genuine smile and an insincere smile – all so they won’t be hurt?

But “fake smiling” doesn’t just affect those who have experienced rejection.It can have some pretty big impacts internally for you too.

Another study published in the Academy of Management Journal, researchers Brent Scott and Christopher Barnes discovered that fake smiling can actually be worse for you than not smiling at all. In a practice labeled “surface acting”, they discovered that employees who were required to “put on a face” for their boss were prone to burn out and in some cases depression.[2]

Turns out “keepin’ it real” is actually healthy for you!

The bottom line is that smiling is one of those tiny actions that has huge impact. The next time you’re out shopping, meeting new people, ordering food or even talking over the phone, be aware that your smile is affecting those around you just as much as it’s affecting you.

So do yourself and others a favor and smile like you mean it!

——————————————–

1. Association for Psychological Science. “Phony Friends? Rejected People Better Able To Spot Fake Smiles.” ScienceDaily, 24 Oct. 2008. Web. 22 Nov. 2011.

2. Michigan State University. “For a better workday, smile like you mean it.” ScienceDaily, 22 Feb. 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.

Five Ways to Have Impact – Part I

I mentioned in an earlier post on having impact that as we go through our day, there are simple things we can do to be intentional in our relationships with others. I wanted to elaborate on that a little more by writing a five-part series dedicated to discussing some practical ways you can do this in your day-to-day life.

It doesn’t cost you anything to give a compliment.

The times when we’ve been praised for a job well done are easy to remember. They’re the moments we’re proud of and we feel good about. They give us confidence for the days when we don’t hear that “thank you” for our hard work.

Unfortunately, most of us probably don’t hear “thank you” very often.

In a case study done by COLLOQUY, a loyalty marketing research and consulting network, they found that we’re more likely to vocalize our negative experiences than our positive ones:

75% of the general population said that when they’ve had a bad experience with a product or service they advise friends and family. That surpasses the 42% who said they always recommend a product or service they really like; the 71% who said they’re always looking to experience something new; and the 67% who said they love telling people about something new they’ve learned.”[Hickman, Jill, and Wardah Malik. “Urban Legends: Word-of-Mouth Myths, Madvocates and Champions.” COLLOQUY TalkTalk. LoyaltyOne. Cincinnati, OH. March 2011. Reading.]

So, if this is true for corporations, how true is it for our friends, family, co-workers, and other acquaintances? How often do our loved ones get to hear that they’re appreciated? How often do cashier clerks and waitresses get to hear when they’ve done something right?

The next time you have a good experience, pay attention:

1. If it’s a family member or friend, sometimes the best compliment you can give is only a question away. Express interest in something they’re passionate about and encourage them in that passion.

2. If it’s someone waiting on you at a store or restaurant, make note of the the person’s name tag or ask for their name. Take quick mental notes and find a few attributes you really liked about the person helping you.

3. Highlight the things you appreciated about that person in a note or phone call to their boss. If you’re short on time, many restaurants and businesses have online feedback forms where you can submit your thoughts. It only takes 5 – 10 minutes at most to leave a quick note.

If you need more motivation for giving a compliment, some companies will even mail you coupons or gift cards to their store.

Michael and I once submitted positive feedback on Macaroni Grill’s website regarding our waitress. Within 2-3 weeks, we had a personal letter from customer relations and a $25 food gift certificate, thanking us for taking the time to share our experience. That’s was basically a free meal for 4 sentences and 5 minutes of our time.

Talk about a compliment that didn’t cost us anything!

Having Impact

Serving food to a community of migrant workers in Ciudad Juarez. (2008)

As of today, both our visas have been approved. We expect them to arrive by tomorrow which will allow us to fly out as early as this coming Monday. But lately as we’ve been saying our goodbyes, I’ve been noticing the impact we’ve had on those around us. Everyone from the kid at our favorite coffee shop to the cashier at our local pharmacy has been in some way impacted by us.

It really hit me this morning when Michael and I received a thank you from one of the gals in our old leasing office. Before we broke our lease the assistant manager was adamant that we should see her one last time to say our goodbyes, but when we turned in our keys she had already gone for the day. So I left a little note, sharing how much we enjoyed living there and what a pleasure it’s been to know her. I wrote some contact information and set it on her desk. After we got back to our hotel, I went to their corporate website and left some positive feedback sharing how amazing the staff had been and we felt they should be recognized for their stellar service.

So this morning, when I read the response from her I was totally touched by it. It was incredibly personal and sweet. She thanked us for the feedback we sent to their corporate office and made it a point to say: “It really made my day and believe me, the feeling is mutual.” I suddenly had this moment where I realized how easily our life can have impact on someone else when we’re intentional about loving as we go.

Rivers, Dams, and Crash Diet Christianity

One unfortunate and natural consequence of the the church being institutionalized is that we compartmentalize our spiritual life from our “worldly” life. It’s kind of like crash dieting in that we set aside a fixed time period for intense, highly spiritualized ministry – but as soon as we’re done we go back to our normal routine and eventually put back on all those “pounds” (read: sin) we tried so hard to loose. But Jesus says in Luke that: “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Being a disciple of Jesus means we live in a perpetual state of freely receiving love from the Father and freely sharing that love with others.

In John 7:38 Jesus describes this free-flowing lifestyle as having “rivers of living water.” Any river that gets dammed up automatically means it is not flowing freely. In fact, damming up a powerful river at designated intervals can be disastrous for the land that follows it’s course. Jesus then says in Matthew 6:24 that: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” So it is not only unnecessary to categorize our lives into neat boxes of “secular” and “religious”, but Jesus says it’s actually impossible for us to do that!

In the same ways that crash dieting is too extreme to be sustainable long-term, and damming up a strong river brings extremes of deluge or drought; compartmentalizing our walk with Jesus brings reoccuring “spiritual” highs and lows that stunt growth and can eventually lead to burn out.

A Recovering To-Do Lister

Michael and I pay bills, get coffee, check our mail, go out to eat, and shop for last-minute gifts just like anyone else. The only thing we may do differently is that we make certain allowances in our time because we put building a relationship above task completion. We go into all situations assuming we can make a friend and we value a lasting friendship more than a forty-minute dinner at Cheesecake Factory.

And all this is coming from yours truly, who by nature, is an extremely task-oriented individual! It isn’t easy for me to allow wiggle room when I’m in “the zone”. I view most relationships as an assignment to accomplish rather than a gift to enjoy. It sounds so mechanical and cold, but that’s just how my brain works! Of course I enjoy good conversation. It just needs to be scheduled and on my to-do list. It’s truly not my natural inclination to just go with the flow and allow for that unexpected chit-chat at the gas pump when I’ve got places to go and things to do!

But over time I’ve learned how to be more intentional in that area and I’ve allowed Jesus to shift my priorities around. On Jesus’ way to raise Lazarus from the dead (which by the way, Lazarus was someone he dearly loved and cared for) he took the time to “minister” to a women who had been bleeding for twelve years. Jesus was never too task-focused for a relationship-building opportunity. Can you imagine if Jesus had said to that woman, “Sorry, Friday night is when I do outreach, if you want to be healed of your ailment, come to me then.” If Jesus is the exact representation of God, and he made himself so available as to heal a woman (who by the way was acting unlawfully by touching a rabbi while being ceremonially unclean due to her bleeding) while on his way to raise his friend from death; what then does that say about our Heavenly Father?

God commands in Leviticus 6:13 that Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out.” The temple was a shadow of God grandeur design, but the symbolism here is so rich. God’s love, forgiveness, salvation, mercy, grace, goodness… All of who He is is always available to us. Always. And there is nothing you or I or anyone else can do to remove our High Priest (who is Jesus) from His temple (which is us)! He is always near to us and He will never stop loving us: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rm 38-39)

The God Who Made His Dwelling Place With Man

Traveling musicians in the Old Market
district of Omaha, Nebraska.

God designed us for Him, to have impact for Him, and to love with His big strong love. Our favorite response when someone asks us how we’ve been is to say, “Busy!” We’re simply “too busy” to get to know these people that we run in to day after day after day. They shouldn’t be a stranger to us, but since we believe that there are special times for taking interest in other people’s lives, we never think outside the box and reach out. We miss out on these incredible opportunities to connect and share the love of God.

That one human being that we don’t notice is the same one that God is completely and totally fixed upon. He is watching their every move. He’s in love. His heart is captivated by them. And His love for them is inside of our hearts too, if He is in fact dwelling in us. Let’s not dam up the “rivers of living water” that flow from the heart of God and though our hearts. And let’s also not preform a hyper-drive crash diet love that really only comes from our own limited efforts and cannot be sustained. Instead let’s just allow Jesus to live through us and give Him freedom to take genuine interest in the clerk at the pharmacy or the high school student at the coffee shop.

Jesus is enough. Every day, He is enough. Because of Him and through Him and for Him, we can have impact.


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