Oh, my! What a treat we have here today! Both Betsy de Cruz AND Kristine Brown share powerful words. I pray a double blessing on every reader.
When was the last time you went to a prayer meeting in a public bathroom? Recently I found myself arm in arm with sisters I’d never met before in the women’s room at church. We prayed blessings over the life of a woman who desperately needed Jesus. It started when a slender, silver-haired woman walked up to me while I waited in line. She beamed a smile.
“Hi, my name’s Angie. Have you read this book yet?”
I was confused when she held up a copy of Rick Warren’s A Purpose-Driven Life. I said I’d already read it, so she smiled and moved on to the next person.
“How sweet,” I thought. “What a generous woman to give away a book she’s already read.”
Pretty soon, my new friend found a taker for her book. She started talking to a young Asian woman. Come to find out, this woman didn’t know Jesus. Ana was newly-divorced and still hurting.
After they talked a few minutes, Angie said, “Can I pray for you?” I was standing nearby, so I got pulled in too. A fourth woman joined us. As we interceded for Ana right there in the women’s room, tears welled up in her eyes. We hugged her, and one of the women gave Ana her phone number.
Then I followed Angie out the bathroom door to ask if she always gave books away like that.
“Oh yes,” she said. “I go to the discount shelves at used book stores and buy Christian books for 2 dollars each. Then I give them away at supermarkets, doctors’ offices, and parks. I get to share the gospel and pray for people all the time.”
Angie bubbled with enthusiasm. As I looked at her wrinkled cheeks, beautiful make up, and stylish clothes, she didn’t look much like Jesus. But then again, I was pretty sure I saw Him in her smiling eyes.
What I saw was light.
I saw the Light of the World shining through a slim, 70 year old frame.
Angie reminded me of what Jesus said:
The Light of the World calls us to shine for Him.
Angie shines Jesus’ light when she gives away Christian books. You and I might do it differently. Maybe our lights shine as Christ’s ambassadors at our work places or at our kids’ schools. We shine when we invite neighbors for a meal. Recently I spent a beautiful hour at a Greyhound bus station; I talked with and prayed for three women who needed hope.
Here Are 6 Simple Ways to Be Lights of Hope and Love
Pray daily for non-believing friends and family.
Be friendly and talk to people at the park, gym, or grocery store.
Carry a tract or booklet in your purse. Look for an opportunity to give it away.
Invite a neighbor to your house for ice cream on Sunday afternoon.
Offer to pray for a non-Christian friend, either on the phone or in person.
Invite a friend to church.
God wants to use you to bring love and hope to someone who needs it. Don’t be surprised by the joy you’ll feel as you reach out to others.
Now it’s your turn: Have you had an opportunity to share Christ’s light lately? Does one of these ideas appeal to you?
Betsy de Cruz enjoys God, life with teenagers, and dark roast coffee. She and her crazy nomad family are currently spending 9 months in Dallas, Texas, but they look forward to returning to Turkey, their favorite spot on earth. Betsy’s passion is to encourage women to get God’s Word in, so their faith can spill out, even during life’s bumpy moments. She knows what it’s like to have a family blow-up with fireworks during breakfast, and she writes about everyday faith at faithspillingover.com. You can also connect with Betsy on Facebook, Twitter,and Pinterest.
Photo credit: Melika
Kristine Brown is sharing her new book with us TODAY!
My life hasn’t always been about good choices, all laced together and tied into a neat little bow. For a while good decisions seemed to fade into the background, pushed out by a more prominent desire to find myself in a world where that was the cool thing to do.
Good choices weaved into my circumstances from time to time. But they were never quite able to draw me out of my all-about-self attitude. Because that’s the place I was in – all about me.
I learned about how Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice so that I could have the chance to live with Him in heaven one day. And not only that, but also the abundant life God freely gives to those who know Him.
That day, I made the best choice of all. I accepted Him.
You’d think such a stellar decision would set me on an easy path toward change. But I soon found that change could only come through hard places. Oh-so-hard places.
As much as I tried, I couldn’t get past the unworthiness I felt deep in my heart. Considering the way I’d lived, how could I truly be forgiven? With all I put first in my past, how could God put my needs before His only son?
I began to look at other women who served our Savior with grace and poise. How beautiful they were! Each of these women certainly deserved their place at the Master’s table. But me? Not so much. Instead of looking to them as mentors and choosing to learn from their example, I resolved to compare.
I measured my first days as a new Christian against their years of serving the Lord.
This struggle with comparison diverted me away from God’s Word. It caused me to question my value. Yet God used it for my ultimate good by sending me on a remarkable journey to discover who He created me to be.
I didn’t realize how many times the voice of comparison had whispered into my life in that sneaky way it has. But as I learned to recognize its ways and stay alert to its dangers, a miracle happened. I began to uncover what God’s Word says about comparison and how I could conquer it once and for all.
“If you are content to simply be yourself, you will become more than yourself” (Luke 14:11 MSG).
This verse became the catalyst to launching me into a great new adventure – one that would reveal some deep truths about who God says we are. Every struggle, discovery, and lesson learned culminated into a message I am excited to share, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan.
In this book, I reveal my own battle with comparison. I also unearth the story of three women in Scripture who fell into that place. Through their circumstances, they found the keys to overcoming the need to compare. And by doing this, they allowed God to use them in a mighty way.
And He will do the same for us, too.
Winning the battle over comparison has helped me let go of the not-so-wise choices of the past and embrace who I am in Christ today. Oh, I haven’t arrived just yet. None of us have. But with these tools from God’s Word, I am well on my way to being able to say, “I’m over it,” and meaning it.
Would you like to join me on this journey? Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to silence the voice of comparison in your own life? Then I’d like to invite you to come along on an adventure.
It may not be all pretty and perfect, but it will definitely be worth it. Let’s make a choice today. Let’s dare not to compare, and find out the truth about who we are. Through Jesus, we will become more than we ever imagined possible.
A little about Kristine:
Kristine Brown is a writer, dramatist, and teacher. She helps women and teen girls navigate the ups and downs of real-life. Kristine devotes her time to family, freelance writing, and her non-profit ministry, More Than Yourself, Inc. To learn more about her book, Over It, visit www.morethanyourself.com. Connect with Kristine on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Get YOUR copy of Over It here!
35 thoughts on “Lights of Hope and Love AND Doubt My Worth – Linkup”
thank you for sharing it 🙂 #OMHGWW
Thanks for sharing Betsy and Kristine’s inspiring stories, Susan! And it’s a treat to be in the linkup! 🙂
Wow! Thank you Susan for sharing your space with these talented ladies who express God’s love in their own unique way. Betsy I pray that God will keep my eyes and heart alert to being a joyful witness for Him like Angie. Kristine your book sounds like you have been reading my mind! I long to stop the comparisons and feel the value in my heart that God has for me so that I can be the best “me” possible for His glory! I just finished Dawn Klinge’s book last week and I admit that I look forward to reading yours someday too. It sounds like such an inspiring and encouraging book. May God continue to bless you and yours in all your endeavors ladies. Have a wonderful week!
I know you’re already shining pretty brightly, Horace. Blessings on your ministry.
I fear sometimes I don’t do enough of this kind of kingdom-engaging that you mention, Betsy, so you’ve given me something to work on this month! Thankful for you today. xxoo
Kristine, praying your book lands in all the right hands and hearts that need your words! Exciting!
Thank you, Christine. May the Lord bless you and give you joy. Your brand of shining might look different than Angie’s or mine, friend!
Thank you Betsy and Kristine for such beautiful and honest words. Sharing God with others is our calling but it can be so hard to do. Believing that we are not enough because everyone else seems to have more and or is more successful makes us believe a lie that God has never believed about us.
You both are gifted writers whose words I always enjoy. Blessings and hugs for both of you.
Thanks, Mary, for your encouragement today! I so appreciate you.
I had to chuckle…isn’t just like God to be able to use us as salt and light…even in the ladies room. I always pray that He will have my eyes open to see the opportunities for me to bring glory to him no matter where I am.
Amen, Bev. I know you are shining His Light with your work for that school in Pakistan.
What a creative idea and Angie’s heart for Jesus…wow! Betsy, I smiled all the way through your story. I’m so glad you shared it w/us. Kristine, praying for the right hands and eyes to take hold of that good book of yours. And Susan, thanks for sharing your blog space w/these two incredible gals. You’re pretty incredible yourself.
Thanks for reading, Kristi. I appreciate you so much.
Well, two great ladies in one place! This IS a celebration. Betsy, what a lesson your story has given me. We’ve been talking about loving God, loving others in my ladies Sunday school class and I cannot wait to share this story with them. You’ve given me real tools to share the hope we have in Christ with others. SO appreciate you sharing this.
And Kristine, I continue to love your book. I’m so grateful for this message which is so needed by women in every age and stage. I know you work with a lot of teen, but this is something we never outgrow. I’m looking forward to sharing about your book this week, friend. 🙂
Yes, Lisa, Angie was such an example to me also. God me thinking! May the Lord bless and encourage the women in your Sunday school class.
Ok, I choked up by Angie, at 70 years old, ministering to others like that. Wow! What a great reminder of our purpose as we go about our day!
Yes, Valerie. She really impacted me too! I want to be light like that! (Well, I guess in my own unique way. 🙂 )
What beautiful testimonies these are. One of the things that is so important to me with my writing is to make a difference. I’m sure all three of you girls feel the same, so I wanted to let you know that these words I’ve read here today have made a difference for me. What an example Miss “Angie” is. I don’t need to just walk around with Jesus bottled up inside of me. I need to be more proactive with sharing Him. Thank you ladies. Blessings on your book, Kristine. May He glorify Himself through this work of your hands. ((xoxo))
Thank you Brenda! You have such a precious spirit:) I appreciate the encouragement!
Hey Kathryn! We are like co-guests! I’m honored to be sitting alongside Betsy here at Dance with Jesus:)
I’m new to the Dance with Jesus blog hop community. It’s so good to be here! I love your prayer about receiving a double blessing today. Thanks so much for hosting. :o)
Have a great weekend!
Double barrel blessing today!
Betsy, I’m going to pray about that path of outreach! I love to share books — why not go radical with it?
And, Kristine, so many blessings to you as you share your book with others. Such a needed message!
You ARE a book lady, Michele! Praying now, friend, that you’ll be filled with joy as you SHINE!
Thank you Michele. You are such an encouragement to many, sweet lady!
Betsy and Kristine – love seeing you both here today – and love both posts!
Thanks, Kathryn. Blessings on your weekend.
Oops, tried to reply to you Kathryn but clicked something else instead:) Showing my technology skills here today! Wink, wink.
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