Making Our Lives Good News

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/christmas-joy-1251264

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/christmas-joy-1251264

Marissa and I tend to find ourselves in these situations where we begin honest conversations with complete strangers. I’m sure a number of you can relate.

Sometimes it’s gong out to dinner and beginning a conversation with our waiter, or chatting with somebody in line at Starbucks. Or, like what happened last weekend, we end up talking for thirty minutes with someone who came by our garage sale. He didn’t buy anything, but we talked about Jesus for a while, so it was cool.

These conversations begin naturally and simply and I’m often blown away by the tiny bits of grace and truth woven in. It’s like adding a little salt to the mix. It’s nothing big, but I’m convinced it makes a difference. I’m also convinced that the best way to share your faith is by simply letting your life be good news.

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Haight Ashbury

Hendrix's House

Hendrix’s House

 

There’s this neighborhood in San Fran where history and progression collide. It’s like that part at the end of the Great Gatsby, where Nick talks about the green light of the future simultaneously existing with the waves dragging the boats back into the past. It’s history, but also innovation. This section of town is called Haight Ashbury, named after two streets that intersect in the center of the neighborhood. In the Haight, you’ll find culture and life, love and acceptance. Jimmy Hendrix lived here. So did Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane. Because, you know, they built that city on Rock and Roll.

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Ecuadorian Hospitality

I like to coin my own phrases. My wife tells me this is very “Michael-Scott” of me (you know, the boss from the TV show The Office), but I do it anyway. One of my coined phrases is “There’s always room at my table.” I started saying that a few years ago. I guess it’s because there is something incredibly significant about sharing a meal with someone…and when people sit at my table, I just feel good about myself. Sometimes we serve food at church and I love seeing how many people we can fit around one table. When you  think about it, there is something special happening when we share food and drink and invite others to join us. We open up our lives and give of nourishment, but we also give of ourselves. The whole ordeal is quite intimate. It’s a beautiful picture of the Christian life–a life of reckless hospitality. A life focused on giving and receiving.

Last summer I spent a few weeks in Ecuador.  I quickly learned how giving and welcoming the Ecuadorian people are, and also how quickly you become family. During our stay, we took a couple of days to visit a small town on the beach. It was quaint, with unpaved roads, small buildings, and houses running throughout. Children played barefoot in the street. It only took a few minutes to walk through the entire town and the whole time you could hear the ocean crash upon the shore.

Carlos and Jeannette

We stayed the weekend with a couple named Carlos and Jeanette. Carlos was an Ecuadorian and his wife, Jeanette, was from Georgia. They had been married for many years and most of their lives were spent in the states. Now, Carlos and Jeanette were both retired and they decided to move to Ecuador for their golden years. They had an incredible house that sat right on the beach on the edge of town. It was a two-story house, with views of the ocean no matter where you stood. Carlos built the house a few years earlier and had made trips back and forth from Georgia to Ecuador to supervise the construction and progress. I soon learned Carlos had a lot to teach us.

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