Monday, February 16, 2015

Embracing Obscurity- Chapter 9

(A few friends and I began reading this book together. After dropping it for over a year, I am endeavoring to finish it.  After reading a chapter, I am posting my comments, then giving my friends the opportunity to add their thoughts as well. If you would like to join us or simply find out more about the book, you can read about it here.)
Chapter 9: Embracing the Spotlight
Even as we truly embrace obscurity, there will be times when we have an amount of power or influence over others.  In this chapter, the author encourages us to not shy away from the spotlight of position, but to embrace it as well.  His suggestions for how to embrace obscurity while in the spotlight are very good.  For this chapter, I have mostly shared the outline of his most salient points as they are fairly self-explanatory.
- "Will we use the spotlight for God's glory or our own?" (Page 149)  It really isn't a question whether we will be in the spotlight or not, because we all will at some point, to some degree.
- "Life as somebody became more appealing to Saul than holiness." (Page 150)  May the Lord help me to appreciate holiness more than life in the spotlight!
- The author suggests the following three things to remember during our time in the spotlight:
  • Our roots- we came into this world with nothing, we will leave with nothing, and everything we have in between is a gift from God.
  • Our purpose- even our time in the spotlight is for God's glory
    • Our purpose is not to: (This is a great list!)
      • Praise myself
      • Make my name great
      • Get rich
      • Gain authority over others for my ego's sake
      • Leave brothers and sisters in the dust of my ambition
      • Make others feel small
      • Become self-sufficient
      • Earn a five-star rating from the masses
    • Our purpose is to:
      • Make God's name great
      • Advance God's kingdom on Earth
      • Serve others
  • Our limits- this can be hard because of other people's expectations.  To help us, we can remember the following statements:
    • I don't know everything
    • I have limited time and energy
    • I'm not morally invincible
    • I'm not irreplaceable
(The above is found in pages 151-159.)
- Near the end of the chapter he talked about humbling ourselves.  I was challenged by this thought.  The Scriptural foundation seems sound, but I feel that I don't know how this looks in everyday life.  I want to humble myself, but I'm not sure how to go about it.  In trying to humble myself, I don't want it to be obvious to others so then I struggle with pride.  I want to learn how to voluntarily humble myself and trust Christ alone to exalt me in His time.
I've had my say, what say you?

Discussion on Chapter 8
Discussion on Chapter 10

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hughes News #58

"Tie your shoes and pray for the Hughes"
Dear Friends,
In the last few weeks, the Lord has put our team in contact with a few more believers in Soroca.  Because of their ties to churches in other cities, the extent to which we will be ministering to them is unclear.  We need wisdom to know how we can best encourage them in their spiritual walk.
In January, we began a midweek Bible study and prayer time.  We are meeting at our apartment each Thursday.  David and I plan to trade off teaching responsibilities each month.
We have adapted and translated a religious survey and plan to begin using it this week.  When asked, many people here state that only God knows if they will go to heaven.  Our prayer is that the survey will open doors to show individuals from God’s Word that they also can know about salvation.
Lord-willing in two weeks Viola will begin teaching a ladies Bible study.  The lady who expressed interest in a study is not from Moldova, so Viola will be able to teach in English.  She is eager to begin looking at Ephesians with Stephanie and “J.”  Would you take a moment to pray for the study?
Hundreds of people pass through Soroca’s two open air markets every day.  We would like to rent a booth in each market for a week in order to contact people and share the Gospel.  However, the administration of one market told us that we must get permission from the mayor’s office.  We hope to get the rest of our materials together this month and submit our request.
In His service,
Jacob and Viola Hughes
For Prayer:
1. Survey to yield opportunities to share Gospel
2. Ladies Bible study that Viola will be teaching
3. Permission to set up a booth in or near the open air markets
For Praise:
1. Contact with more believers in Soroca
2. Start of midweek Bible study and prayer time
3. Good health through the winter months