Openness in Communication

THIS is why it is so important to have a Kaleidoscope Perspective! The closer we get to the coming of Christ, the more we are becoming ONE. The more we become ONE, the more prepared we are for His coming. We are of many, ONE.

PerSpectives 12 Ministries

Holding a perspective of openness positively affects cross-cultural communication in ministry because it creates an opportunity for Christian hospitality in a diverse environment. Simply stated, biblical openness reflects characteristics of accepting (e.g., Matt 20:16; John 4; Luke 5; Rom 15:7), not passing judgment (e.g., Matt 7:1-29) and understanding (e.g., Prov 2:2-5; 18:2; Col 4:6; 1 John 2:9-11) people from various cultures.

Jan Paron/August 26, 2013

Openness supports hospitality. When believers communicate with an open demeanor–accepting, not judging, and understanding–they impart an invitational tone to a conversation. Consequently, communication welcomes nonbelievers with Jesus’ light, as well as bids their Christian brethren to reconcile in unity. Jesus modeled openness that often broke cultural boundaries. His exchange with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well exemplified cultural border crossing. When Jesus spoke to her, He ignored centuries-old animosity between Jews and Samaritans due to strong racial and religious tensions. As a result of His encounter with the woman, she went into the city and told other Samaritans of the Christ (John 4:28). Jesus then stayed in their village for two days, exposing…

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A Clean Heart is Better…

Grace is a marvelous concept!

To be given an immeasurable number of chances to get ‘it’ right.  Simply by virtue of being able to rise in the wake of a new day, to be given another SET of opportunities to get start over…again!! What a gift!

Often, we take that gift for granted.  We squander our days like a child wastes quarters on the bubble gum machine at the laundromat. As if it were simply something to do. Oh, the arrogance of man! Being given one, taking with it the expectation of another.

To those of us who have been naturally considered to be expendable or a waste of space because what appears to be our lack of potential, this ought not be so.

So much about my life is a complicated mess.  I am not the best put-together person you would ever meet – on any level – not by a long shot.  I am clumsy and uncoordinated, almost completely lacking in sophistication. I would rather walk in a room barefoot than in any pair of shoes, designer or otherwise.  I laugh too loud, cry too hard, and fall UP the stairs.  And, I’ve never been accused of keeping a perfect house.

To the untrained eye, I appear to be an unholy mess.  I, most of all, would be loathe to disagree.

(Maybe it’s my hormones – which run in the extremes – but, even as I write this, I struggle to keep my tears at bay.)

But, I love my life! I love the God Who gave me this complicated, nearly disastrous life.  I love His word and I love His people…not perfectly, but completely.

My life may be a mess, but my hands and my heart are clean. To keep them that way,  I strive to stay in God’s presence, just as He intended for all us to be from the first, in the Garden.  I live before Him continually, naked and unashamed. I expose my life, my heart, my soul to God in the hopes that He never has to come looking for me like He went looking for Adam.

At times, I just sit quietly at His feet and listen.  I wait to hear His heart, for Him to tell me what’s on His mind. It keeps my life in perspective and reminds me that His plans for me are extraordinary! It also helps me to stay in love with myself and others, because I can feel and hear how much He loves us all.

I love the scriptures that talk about God taking the foolish things to confound the wise, or how little becomes much when God is in it.  They give me hope and keep me grateful, even when I feel like I will never get ‘it’ together.

If you can use anything, Lord, you can use me…

My whole life, I’ve been surrounded by people who were determined to keep up appearances.  If it isn’t right and can’t be right, we can make it look right, so no one will ever know.  Bright smiles for the camera!  We can put together an outfit that looks designer; no one needs to know that we’re not well off.  What happens here, stays in here! And, whatever you do, DON’T TELL!!!

My entire existence flew in the face of the appearances everyone fought to keep up. And for that, I was condemned.

There are times, even to this day, that I am judged by those who claim to know me best from “way back when.” They have this semblance of having ‘it’ together: love, respect, connections – the appearance of affluence at a premium price, paid by someone else.  A price I chose not to pay for all the things I’ve learned to live without.

But they think I am the one who is lost and without hope. They question my relationship with God. But, the meaning in the dawning of each new day goes virtually unnoticed, except to mark the passing of another thing off their agenda. All that’s left for each of us is to pity and pray for one another, that God would have mercy.

As another day comes to a close, knowing another day is not necessarily a guarantee, I take another moment to assess my situation.

My bills?  Whatever’s left after tithes, they can have.  My laundry? Maybe it’s washed. Maybe it’s folded.  Maybe not. Perhaps I have my shirt hanging in the closet.  But, maybe it’s on the floor by the bed.

The mistakes of the day are placed, next to the triumphs of the day, brought humbly and gratefully to the foot of the Cross for the Lord who has asked that of me.

Of all the things that I could have
Or wish to keep together,
Rather than a tidy life,
I think, a clean heart is better.

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