Summary: In order for us to affirm and encourage others in relationships we must first accept God's love and view of our lives.

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Lake Washington Fellowship


Title: ‘First Things First’

Theme: Compliments/affirmation

Series: The Positive Side of Family

Prop: Bucket of beach sand

‘First Things First’

We begin this morning a new series of messages that I’m calling ‘The Positive Side of Family.’ By family I don’t just mean blood related but also people we consider family, the meaningful relationships we hold. For example my family is composed of me, my wife, and two daughters. Our dog princess Jasmin went to doggie heaven a couple of years ago…we considered her part of the family. Then there’s the extended family, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and cousins, in laws…you get the idea. I also have good friends that are like family. Beyond that bunch there’s my church family (the brothers and sisters in Christ). The best thing about family is the good times, those high times with the people we love that make us feel like we’re on top of the world. I want us to concentrate on those times and think on how to make more of them happen.

This morning let’s look at the subject of affirmation, the times when we lift each other’s spirits. Before Ipods, Playstation, laptops and cell phone texting existed families used to talk…I was at a restaurant last night with the Acevedo tribe and a couple with a 5 year old was seated close to us. They had brought a portable DVD player so the child could quietly watch a movie while they ate. Families used to talk and sometimes around the dinner table or in the car on a long trip the mom or dad would say, ‘why don’t we go around and say something nice, something we like about the other person.’ The little boy would say, ‘but I don’t want to… I don’t like my sister…’ then he’d say, ‘ok, I got one, I like it when she’s grounded…’ and the moment was gone.

Words [statements, phrases] can have such amazing power…use them wisely.

INSERT…Stuart Briscoe tells a story of something that happened to Howard Hendricks when he was in elementary school. Howard had come from a broken family and was a problem kid. During his first day in fifth grade the teacher said, ‘Oh, Howard Hendricks. I’ve heard a lot about you. I understand you are the worst kid in school.’ That year Howard did whatever he could to prove her right. When the next year rolled around his sixth grade teacher said to him, ‘Oh, so you are Howard Hendricks. I’ve heard you are the worst boy in this school.’ Hendricks thought, ‘Here we go again.’ But then the teacher continued, ‘And you know what? I don’t believe a word of it.’ And Howard said that year that woman did everything she could to help him and encourage him and praise his work; she believed in him. Hendricks credits her with changing his life forever. (Spiritual Stamina, Stuart Briscoe, p 231-232).

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