{shine}

 

739ad53c3670dc8546fac50eb1dc9fedJeff and I had quite the adventure this past week—Philly, Connecticut, & Manhattan. (I think I’m still recovering from culture shock. I loved the east coast, but it is quite different from the west!) As wonderful as each of those places are, we were most excited for Manhattan. (Jeff LOVES Manhattan. He tells me every month we should move there!)

Staying in Connecticut, we boarded a train bound for Grand Central Station early Sunday morning. Chug-a-lug-chug-a-lug. (That’s my impersonation of a train. Man, I may need to work on those for when we have kids.) “Grand Central Station” we hear the conductor announce through his speaker. We are here! As we walked up out of the dark tunnel, into Grand Central Station, I gasped. It was stunning.

As the Bethke’s do, we HIT the town! Times Square, 5th Avenue, Central Park, Union Square, Greenwich Village—granted, there’s so much more we could have seen, but we packed a lot into two days.

One of our favorite things that we did during our time there was attend Hillsong New York. Oh man. Let me paint the picture for you if you’ve never been:

Dark night. Walk up to a club (club throughout the week that the church rents out for the weekend), line out the door, down the block. Walk up steep stairs, dark room; packed room. People from all over the city gathered to worship and know Jesus. Loud, beautiful songs. Heartfelt prayers. Hands raised. Adoration. Convicting, deep, & uplifting message. Humble people who love and serve Jesus. Church. Light in the city. Making Jesus known.

Not only was I so encouraged and challenged after we left, but I’ve been chewing on the message since Sunday. I can’t stop thinking about Jesus and how He came to seek and save the lost. The pastor shared how we are in a battle—and we have to fight. We can’t just gear up and stand in the field; we have to enter in and fight. We as believers aren’t called to be comfortable and safe. NO! Jesus was not comfortable and safe. He came on a mission. We are called on mission. We must wake up every morning and pray, “Lord, I’m Yours. Use me as You wish. I want to fight for you today. I want to be used by you.”

No matter what others say about you. No matter what season you are in life. No matter your job, schedule, abilities…God has placed us where He has to be used—to love with abandon & to make Him known.

We don’t have to be qualified—He is.

We just have to be available and willing.

As we walked around the city on Monday, I was in awe of the sites, but more importantly my focus was locked on the people. The beauty of the city is that you are forced to see people- you walk everywhere & take public transportation where sometimes you are pressed up against strangers. People from every culture, various languages—all with one thing in common—we are in desperate need of a Savior.

My heart broke for the city of Manhattan, for the state of New York—for my neighbors here in Tacoma. Unless they know Jesus, they’re without hope. Whether they are wealthy living on 5th Avenue with a view of Central Park, or poor living in the Bronx with no window to look out of. And same with us. We are in desperate need of Jesus.

He knew that. He planned from the beginning to come and save us. He came. He paid the price of our sins. He rose again, reigning on high. And he is calling us to Himself. He is calling His children to go—and to share Jesus.

My heart is still heavy today, and I can’t stop thinking, “Lord, how can I make you known, how can I love people with abandon, right where I am, where You’ve placed me? As a housewife living in Tacoma—Lord, use me. I don’t want to just be in the battle—I want to fight. I want to be about Your kingdom coming—to see people as You see people, to see their hurts, their needs—to be Jesus to them.”

I know this can be a heavy message. But seriously- how can we impact the world for Jesus? We are the light to this dark world. How can we shine for Him? How can we share His hope?

From my brief time at Hillsong, I witnessed that they were bringing hope to a hopeless city. They are “killing it for Jesus” as Jeff says! Thank you Hillsong for being such a sweet example to us.

So let’s shine today beloved. We are called out on mission to make Him known, to share His hope and His joy—to the person at the lunch table who needs a friend, our elderly neighbor who lives with her cats, our classmates & lab partners, our family members, fellow employees and the barista at Starbucks.

 

SHINE. BRING HOPE. SHARE JESUS.

 

How can you be a light right where you are at?

 

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8 comments

  1. I don’t know how to go about this because I’ve asked God to put me in the path of people who He wants me to reach out to for His name’s sake..but I’m not getting any direction and I don’t know what to do. But this message is weighing heavily in my heart lately and it’s primarily what I think about. I don’t know how to share God or to who share God with. I *don’t* want to cast my pearls before people who are *Not* willing to receive because that’s happened multiple times and it was a disaster. I guess sharing God begins with friendship and showing kindness to others first?

  2. Alyssa!
    Couldn’t agree more. “Shine. Bring hope. Share Jesus.” right where we are at. We all have a sphere of influence!

    We make the 2hr drive to HillsongNYC as much as we can, and you are right, they are doing AWESOME things there!

    Just so you know…we LOVE your blog. Such encouraging messages that come right when we need to hear it. You are awesome! The anointing God has on your life is so evident and it is awesome to watch you flourish in your gift of writing! The RE:DEFINE team looks forward to meeting you when you come to Jersey this August with Jeff for A Closer Walk 🙂

  3. This is so incredibly challenging and yet encouraging. When we step out in faith, God will use us in ways beyond anything we could imagine!

    Thank YOU for being such a light!

    Blessings, sweet friend!

  4. Check out the song “Glow” by Moriah Peters–it’s all about this! Thanks for the encouraging post, glad you had a good time!

  5. I love this, thank you!
    And i agree YOU are a light! 🙂

  6. Hi Alyssa,

    I really enjoyed the part were you said, “Lord, how can I make you known?” I ask myself and the Lord that so many times. All I can think is that, “if only I could bottle this feeling up, then throw it on somebody, they would definitely feel and know HIS love!”

    I hear you Alyssa, your making some great noise just as your awesome husband is. Keep it up, both of you!

    Take care,

    Claudia

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