Ultimately though, be like Jesus Christ. These amazing men (Bob Goff/Bob Affeldt/Rod Janzen/Doc Fuder) mentioned in the title are strong examples of living in a such a way to give God the glory, to share the love of Christ to whomever the Lord places in their path in an authentic, organic, and winsome way. I am pretty sure their attitudes and lifestyles did not happen overnight, they are human after all. I am guessing that as they got older and deeper into their walk with Christ, things slowly began to change for them. Hearts softened. Desires changed. They learned as they went how to love others in a more Christ-like way as the years went by. I, too, am learning this. I hope. By God’s grace I am learning to ask more questions, be curious, not engage in arguments for arguments sake; that does no one any good! Listen more than speak. Be present; this I am learning from my dad. His dementia has progressed to the point of not being able to converse about current events or anything of substance. So, I have learned that just sitting outside with him watching the birds and the people come and go from the nearby parking lot is fulfilling for him. And, it is for me too. I cherish these times. Presence…patience…. silence…. just being there for someone shows them love. Time is our most precious commodity these days isn’t it?! I have also learned of late that my “agenda” for the day might not be God’s agenda. He may have other plans, and I need to be ok with that! We are in the process of moving and my list is loooong! Much to do, very little time in which to do it. However, just last week I was delayed twice in one day by two instances that were (annoying at first, lets be honest here) and then once I realized my purpose/God’s plan, I was completely at peace and truly filled with joy! The interactions with the people in those instances ended up being much more fulfilling than checking line items #8 and #9 off my “to-do” list.
What prompted this blog was a recent Ann Voskamp blog (highly recommend reading the guest post by Bob Goff) that I read which prompted me to begin reading Bob Goff’s two books: Love Does, and Everybody Always. Both inspiring books filled with stories of how we can love others well. We are commanded to do this by the way, to love God wholeheartedly and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-39) Bob Goff explains how we do this in a simple, engaging, sometimes humorous way. Simple, yet, difficult. Simple, yet sometimes messy. Simple, yet, potentially life-changing for both you and whomever you are showing love to.
I mentioned above that we will be moving soon. I have already been pondering who our new neighbors might be and how we might connect with them. Here is an excerpt from Bob Goff’s newest book:
Everybody Always that stood out to me. He was explaining how in his cul-de-sac neighborhood, they put on a New Year’s Day parade to celebrate their neighbors. From Bob: “Here’s why we do it: we can’t love people we don’t know. You can’t either. Saying we love our neighbors is simple. But guess what? Doing it is too. Just throw them a parade. We don’t think Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor” is a metaphor for something else. We think it means we’re supposed to actually love our neighbors. Engage them. Delight in them. Throw a party for them. When joy is a habit, love is a reflex.”
Now, that my friends…is gold. Please read Bob’s two books and let’s all commit to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to whomever the Lord places in our paths.
Side Note: We will truly miss our neighbors on Harbinger Street. The Lord certainly blessed us with amazing, loving, trustworthy and helpful neighbors. And, even though we did not engage with them as much as we should have, we will miss these lovely people. (Nancy, Bob and Gina, Paul and Deanna, Greg and Amy, Beth and Robert, Frank/Ying/Young/Alice, Rick and Taran, Jay and Janna, Michael and Shannon, thank you all for showing us love.)
Side/Side Note: These were the first men who popped into my head as I was reading the Ann Voskamp blog/ Bob Goff limo story There are several other women and men who come to mind as I continue to read Bob Goff’s inspiring books. Did I mention that everyone should be reading these books??!!
We entered 2021 excited for what was to come. Things were looking up! We had a goal, a vision, and a purpose that gave us great joy. We had it all planned out. Our amazing graphic designer, Preston, had created the artwork. I had sourced just the right garments. Our trusty local printer printed onto the amazing garments. We had created giftable items for folks who might be looking for something more than apparel. We spent several months curating, sourcing, and working towards our goal of launching THE most amazing thing ever. We had a plan; (we have learned over 5 years to plan far ahead of the seasons.) We even had a pop-up planned at a trendy store. We were super excited to launch this powerful, hopefully life-giving movement. Everything was on target.
Then…during a benign Monday night in early January, we got a phone call. For anyone who has ever been a caregiver, you know that when you see the facility name and number pop up on your screen, your heart drops a little bit.
In mid-March, Kansas declared that schools would close for the rest of the school year. Other states soon made the same determination.
Very quickly we started hearing terms like “Shelter at Home” and “Social distancing.” “Quarantine” was a word seldom heard these days…until now when we hear it daily.
The words “Pandemic” and “Plague,” although foreign and strange to the younger generation, engender memories giving rise to fear in the minds and hearts of the oldest among us.
Businesses and churches closed,
The economy faltered,
Violence at home is increasing,
and Deaths from the virus are reported daily.
Many of us have only seen times like these in movies or read about them in books.
and Discouragement is on the rise, exacerbated by the news reports and accompanied by weather fluctuations from cold and wintry to mild and spring-like and back to wintry again.
And we are all wondering, "How long???"
Nothing is certain except that nothing is certain.
I always love it when I read those words “But God” in my Bible. Often they follow bad circumstances or evil, offering hope to a situation that would otherwise seem hopeless.
As I pushed forward and backward the seemingly heavy vacuum and saw the white pup hair that was being taken away little by little, I lost it. Literally had a breakdown right there in the living room. The room was quiet except for the hum of the vacuum. It did not matter that no one was around, I could not help but bawl uncontrollably thinking of our beloved Gidget and the fact that we had to put yet another dog down...
What do you do when you lose a beloved pet? Kelly Sue shares her and her husband's journey through their grieving process of losing their beloved dog, Gidget, and how Barkin Dogs Rescue found them not one, but two new pups to adopt and love!