Sunday, December 14, 2008

Disciple's Heart Graduation

Tonight was the graduation supper for the 40th School for Christian Workers.

I know I haven't posted much about the Disciple's Heart class while I was taking it... but it wasn't because there was nothing to say. Really, it was because so much was happening that it would have been tough to do justice to it in a blog.

It was also tough to write about because the class was really just one part of what God was doing in my life. Everything was so interconnected... I never knew where to start. Even tonight at the graduation when they asked us all to share a little bit of what God did in our lives through the class, I found myself stumbling over my words. So I'm gonna give it another shot here!

The Disciple's Heart class was a much-needed push in the right direction for me. I can never read the Bible the same way again. I've started to look at myself and others differently -- learning to forgive myself and be vulnerable with others. I will never look at God the same way again. I've learned how to climb up into His lap and let Him love me. I'm learning how to let Him be my defender. I'm longing to see others with His eyes.

In a nutshell... the person who graduated tonight was completely different from the one who started back in September.

The kewlest thing about this whole experience is how God used a number of different folks to teach and re-enforce the things I was learning... I have been blessed to have so many folks in my life who are discipling me on some level. The person who moved to Louisiana 7+ months ago was still fiercely independent and not very willing to learn from others. The person who graduated tonight is starting to understand that God is constantly working through our relationships with eachother to bring us all closer to Him.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The power of a compliment

I'm doing some temporary contract work right now at a military hospital. It's a big, busy place and try as we might to work around the schedules of the various staff members, it's pretty common for us to be working on their computers at a time when they'd like to be using them.

This morning, I was working my way down one particular hallway and everyone was just incredibly negative. They had nothing good to say about eachother, the government, or us as technicians. They were quite vocal about these upgrades being unncessary and just a waste of time and money. I continued to do my job, but it was hard to keep a smile on my face while I was doing it.

I emerged from that hallway and entered another office. Just as I was beginning to work, one of the occupants of that office came in. I explained what I was doing and apologized for any inconvenience. This particular person came back with a cheerful response. "Inconvenience? Oh no! We've been waiting for this. We're excited!"

It's amazing what a difference a compliment can make. I still ran into other "less than satisfied" folks, but that one compliment carried me all the way through the rest of this morning.

God has been doing a lot in me... and a big part of it has to do with how I relate to others. My natural tendency is to get negative and critical. Most of the time, I don't even think of it that way -- I'm just "calling it the way I see it." I think maybe God wanted to show me that words really do have a significant impact... not in a "name in and claim it" funky metaphysical way, but because words have an impact on people.

It was a good illustration and reminder for me to watch what I say!