Before walking into Guiding Light, I did not know it existed. Further, I had only vague notions about the Heartside Neighborhood, yet God would use those two locations, where suffering abounds, to change my life. In these locations, I found my purpose, my vocation, and my worldview. In short, I discovered who I was in Christ. The Holy Spirit gave me the ability to show love and compassion for those suffering. He showed me how to develop deep and lasting friendships, by being humble, listening well, and encouraging when fitting.
I learned the Holy Spirit works mysteriously, behind the scenes. Besides my conversion of sorts when I entered Guiding Light and began ministering in Heartside, my background made my conversion even more radical. I grew up privileged. I lived-in a middle to upper class neighborhood. Money was never a problem in my growing up years. My dad was a self-made man, quitting college after one month. Despite the odds, he built a business empire. He had power and prestige, known and respected for his business savvy.
I grew up in a Christian home. We went to church twice every Sunday. My dad gave generously to the church. I attended Christian schools. I will forever be thankful for my Christian upbringing. However, my family had a poor view of the marginalized. They thought the unemployed were too lazy to look for work. They would rather be freeloaders and consider government aid as a form of entitlement. My privileged friends had similar views. As one might expect, I too beli...
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...f them. For such undertakings, I have to find emotional and spiritual funding from the very God who assigns them, turning my face toward God’s light so that I may be drawn to it, warmed by it, bathed in it, revitalized by it. Then I have to find our role within God’s big project, the one that stretches across the border from this life into the next. I want to be faithful to my role in the building of shalom, the re-webbing of God, humanity, and all creation in justice, harmony, fulfillment, and delight. I want to be faithful in my role and then, funded by the grace of God, to fill this role and to delight in it. Of course, this is done within the Christian community and the community at large (Heavily paraphrased from Plantinga Jr., Cornelius (2010-05-13). Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin (p. 197). Eerdmans Publishing Co - A. Kindle Edition.
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