Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Other-Centered Out Loud


So, I'm in the process of reading a new book I recently acquired. It's entitled Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman. By the way, this post is not meant to be a book review; however, I have really enjoyed what I've read so far and wanted to share. Here's a little secret I'd like to share with you:  I'm not only reading it; I'm trying to live it out loud. The subtitle of this little nugget is Other Centered Living In a Self-Centered World. Wow! Isn't that a mouth full? 

There is a command in God's Word. Just for an extra punch, let me tell you that it's written in those red letters...you know, the ones that mean they're actually the words of Jesus. The command was this - "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matthew 22:39) I don't know about you, but that verse sounds any and everything EXCEPT self-centered. Wouldn't you agree? It also doesn't sound too much like the world in which we find ourselves living today.

I've found myself challenged though to reach out - more than ever before. To be mindful of those whose paths I cross each day. Whether it be a cashier in the checkout line, or some unknown person I pass in the paper product aisle, I'm trying to be more intentional. I'm making myself take time to look others in the eye, to say something kind, to forget about myself and what's on my to-do list and simply allow God the opportunity to bring about divine appointments during my busy day. 

I'm not trying to build myself up in any way, it's about doing stuff God's way. I'm so excited to share this with you though, because to tell you the truth, it's been simply amazing and invigorating to say the least. Possibly life-changing.

I met a sweet cashier the other day at our local Sams club. She was working hard and my husband commented on her work ethic. That began a conversation which is still going on today. I found out a bit about her while standing in her line, like the fact that she is the mother of four precious children...and I walked out the door with all of her contact information. 

I invited her and her family to be in service with me Sunday. It felt so exciting! The next day, I sent her a text telling her the gist of pastor's sermon. Today, she thanked me. Today, I also ask her if she'd meet with me on her break tomorrow so I could buy her a slice of pizza or a pretzel. So we could sit and chat for a few moments. Intentional. She text me back and said she'd love that! O, happy day!

I tell you all these details because this is about stepping out of my comfort zone, out of the box I call home. This is being intentional about doing things God's way. This is magnifying God. This is living surrendered. This is practicing Other-Centered-Living. This is me encouraging you to do the same. 

You can't begin to imagine the excitement I feel at the possibility of being the hands and feet of Jesus to this lady. This is someone I knew nothing about on Friday, but God has allowed me to step into her life and I pray, I'll be able to make a difference as I show the love of Jesus to this precious soul. 

I am filled with such exuberance and happiness while telling people about the divine appointments I've been partaking in. And...I'm looking forward, with anticipation, to the "next" encounter. So, this is what it's like to live life to the fullest! When we step out of ourselves and allow God to touch other lives through our weak, but yielded vessels. Are you up for the challenge, friend? Other-Centered. Out loud.

*I hope to update you on this later...please check back. And, if you take the challenge, let me know how it's working out for you. I pray you'll be as inspired and awed at God's
way as I have been myself.