Your Church +Portland


Product of Perspective


A big belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there who help make being a kid fun! I have some fond memories of my mom when I was a kid that will always put a smile on my face. Especially when it came to food – she’s the greatest cook and baker that has ever lived! She made Summer Borscht like nobody’s business, mouth watering cabbage rolls and had the mother’s touch when it came to making Alpha Getti’s and bologna taste incredible. She taught me how to work hard, love gardening, how to enjoy being home and play games, how to treat others and even convinced me that I had a great sense of humor – even when others couldn’t see it! Yes I’m kind of partial to my mom but then again, she’s a great lady. (Except the time she dressed me like a girl and paraded me down the street) 

One thing my mom taught me to do was focus on the positive. She has been through more doo-doo in life and yet she remains one of the most encouraging and uplifting persons to be with. On the same note, being around her reminds me of how easy it is in life NOT to be positive and how easy it is to spend energy focusing on the negative. Are you with me? I remember years ago when I worked at a full service gas station and customers would drive in. If the weather was cold, they’d complain. If it rained, they complained. If it was hot, they complained. If they didn’t complain about the weather, they complained about the price of gas. If not the price of gas, they complained how we washed the window or pumped the gas. The rich complained, the poor complained. The Canadians and the Americans, the saints and the sinners. What’s crazy is that customers actually enjoyed it more when I complained with them! Oftentimes it was easier to complain with them then to carry on a discussion about anything with substance. I laugh now because of how absurd it sounds. I think for all of us that it’s way to easy to complain about life and others…especially others! However if we’re not careful, complaining can quickly become a habit. 

I think all complaining is a product of our perspective. Do you remember the story of the Israelites in the desert with Moses? They were some of the worst complainers and it seemed like no matter how many times God provided or intervened, they found something else to complain about. What’s interesting is that when 10 of the leaders had the opportunity to fight their way out of the desert, they wouldn’t do it. Why? Well as they put it, “we are grasshoppers in their sight.” What’s ironic is that these 10 were sent in as spies – so they never once talked to their enemy. Nobody told them they were grasshoppers. ‘They’ saw themselves as grasshoppers and because they saw that way, their negative infectious thinking poisoned millions of others that day. Not only did it cost them their lives but their negative perspective affected 6 million families for the next 40 years! That’s scary. Like it or not, we end up communicating how we really see. If I see myself as a bug, I’ll think like one, talk like one and eventually end up getting ‘mashed’ like one!

So in an effort to help us combat a negative perspective, Paul tells us this;

Philippians 2:5-15
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself…Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. 13 That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure. 14 Do everything readily and cheerfully — no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! 15 Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night. 

One simple adjustment can change your life forever!
Pastor Shian

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