God is always faithful! And, with a stirring of the Holy Spirit in my heart, he always manages to connect the dots. I admit, that as I type this, I am not sure which direction today's blog will take - I am simply praying that as I trust Him to connect the dots that it will reveal what it is I need to know and encourage others along the way.
Last Sunday, Pastor Jason, as part of the series BEHOLD, reminded us that what we take a hold of becomes what we BEHOLD. Our focus and in some way our worship is to the thing or the person that we hold most dear - that may be good or bad - either way it leaves us doubting our own worth. For instance, in today's culture, I often find myself checking my email, blog or facebook to see what others have to say about what I have shared - ultimately what are they saying about me!
While my nose is in my phone, I am missing out on numerous opportunities to connect with people face-to-face. While I am busily capturing moments to post later, I am missing out on precious moments with the people around me...Pastor Jason and the church gave us a "shelf" for us to put our phone on and challenged us to go from "selfie to service" this Christmas season and capture people's hearts. ( click on the following link for his message - https://vimeo.com/149577221 )
On Monday, as I was reading through an article on the most common productivity killers at work, I came across the following - 52% of interruptions are cell phone related. I chose to take Pastor Jason's challenge to another level and shelf my phone during working hours (as pictured above) so that I could be more productive and essentially serve those that crossed my path in the work place.
Then, in my prayer time, I reflected on the meaning of being salt and light in the world and how I could apply it in my day-to-day interactions. How do I portray less of me and more of Jesus?
Recently, as I was preparing to meet with a dear friend, God pressed on my heart the words "show genuine interest", don't ramble on about yourself as you do when excited to catch up with someone but rather "in humility consider others better than yourselves".
Wow it is amazing what can happen when I choose to be obedient. However, it was not easy. I figured I know this person quite well, how difficult can it be to focus my attention on her instead of me. Well, my spirit was tested and I was tempted to react in the flesh-to speak out of pride (look at me, this is how I have grown) or selfishness (engage me-show me you care about me and what's going on in my life) but through prayer and God's grace I was able to overcome. Despite her encouragement for me to share more about myself, I always went back to the 2 principles and engaged her into a deeper conversation-As a result, God is his infinite wisdom blessed her abundantly and reminded me of other principles and things I needed to hear.
Finally, another reminder came yesterday morning as I was reading my devotional from Proverbs 31 (www.first5.org - they have an app for your phone so you can devote your first 5 minutes of the day to God...I usually read it before I open my facebook, blog or email and before I get out of bed to start my day...very refreshing content and wonderful reminders). I sat up and paid close attention, afterall, this was the third time in as many days that God orchestrated opportunities for me to hear the same message. This one was specifically about stirring in me a desire to serve without being seen.
As I enter the Christmas season with praise and thanksgiving for God's provision not only through the birth of His son Jesus but in His provision for me day-to-day I am being challenged to shelf myself and meet the needs of others either through active listening, an encouraging word, a gift, a meal, a smile, a hug and an open heart! I pray that this discipline is extended into the new year and becomes a part of my day-to-day life. I pray that by God's grace, I lay down my pride, selfishness, self-doubt and need for attention and focus on the only One who can make me salt and light.