Salt & Light

I was recently listening to a sermon entitled “Salty and Shiny People,” which, if you couldn’t guess was on Matthew 5:13-14. In this passage, we are called both the salt and light of the earth. Now, the idea behind this passage is twofold. The first comes from being the salt. As God’s people are called to find places that aren’t flourishing, and then go to those places and bring flourishing. I know this doesn’t immediately seem like something salt would be used for, but in the past, salt was used as a fertilizer. In that way, we are to be like fertilizer, bringing growth and flourishing to our respective places in the world.

The second idea that comes from this passage relates to God’s people being called the “light” of the world. If you think about the song “This Little Light of Mine,” you’ve got the sentiment behind being a light. We are here to shine the light of the Gospel, to reflect it, and share it with others.

These two callings that God’s people are given in this passage seem simple enough, and pretty self-evident if you are one who follows the Lord. However, I’ve realized they are much harder to live out than one would think. Am I living like the “salty and shiny” person I was made to be, or have I left some of my saltiness, or some of my light behind?

Those are my questions for the week. Those are the qualities I am striving to hold as priorities this week.

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7.2.18

I like surprises. I have never thought of myself as one to like surprises, because I like being in control, and knowing exactly what is going to happen. But then I got surprised, for my birthday.  A handful of people who I was not expecting to see, including two who had to drive for hours to see me surprised me.

Seeing their faces was wonderful, and knowing that they came as a gift for me was even better. I don’t typically like for people to go out of their way for me, but for this, I was so grateful. And now I know. Surprises can be really, really good.

A Psalm

Psalm 33

The Steadfast Love of the Lord

33 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
    Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
    make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Sing to him a new song;
    play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

For the word of the Lord is upright,
    and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
    he puts the deeps in storehouses.

Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
For he spoke, and it came to be;
    he commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
    he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
    the plans of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
    he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out
    on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
    and observes all their deeds.
16 The king is not saved by his great army;
    a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
    and by its great might it cannot rescue.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
    on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
    and keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
    because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in you.

Here’s a Psalm for you to read and think on today. I read it this morning and have had it on my mind all day.

Pop-Up Prep

On Friday, the art team is hosting a pop-up gallery at a local cafe (10 Italian Cafe) on Friday, so I spent most of today getting some different things ready for that. It’s been quite interesting getting to see what goes into the preparation of one of these events.

I worked on all the labels and statements that are needed for the pop-up. I really enjoyed being able to take part in the prep work for this event, especially because I’ll be helping staff the pop-up on Friday.

even. more. baking.

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I’ve been baking a lot recently. Like a lot. Today, I’ve already baked some bread AND cookies. I’m very thankful that I know I’ll be sharing these baked goods with friends—otherwise I would have to stop if I didn’t want to end up like the Pillsbury Doughboy.

However, like I said, I am sharing these cookies and bread, and I am very thankful for that. As I was baking my bread this morning, while kneading it and letting it rise, I was beginning to wonder—is it really worth it to bake? While I enjoy the process, I do realize that it is far more labor intensive than simply purchasing these baked items from a store. Why do I bake, when I could just as easily go out and buy these things? What makes baking worthwhile?

There are a few answers to these questions, some of which I have already answered in previous posts. But, each time I think about these questions, my answer changes a little. For now, I think it being able to see others filled up by something I made that makes baking worth doing.

Lessons

Soup is almost always an enjoyable meal, even on a hot day. For lunch today, the Love Your City team served soup (and sandwiches) outside the Gallery, as is done every Monday. This was the first week I was able to be involved in the lunch.

While sharing lunch with members of the community, I was able to sit down and have conversations with some of them. While I know that the soup lunch provided was appreciated by everyone involved, for me, and for many others, I believe that the conversations held during lunch were the most cherished part of the meal.

One of the gentlemen who I had lunch with shared his journey of faith with me. He called himself a “prodigal son,” one who only recently had come back to the Father. While telling me his story, he continuously encouraged me to never walk away from our Father, to always trust in Him. As simple a truth as this is, it is always one that I need to hear. I’m very thankful to have heard this “lesson” again today.