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??!!
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!
I will never forget the excitement I had going into a meeting with one of my professors, Dr. J back in grad school. I had the idea of launching a Christian clothing business from way back when and he had a side business that helped start-ups. I came prepared with all my notes, my hand-drawn ideas scribbled into a notebook from years ago and a prototype of a zip-up hoodie that had embroidered crosses and verses stitched all over it. I was so excited! See, Dr. J, now this is what I’m talking about! See this cool hoodie??!! It’s a nicer, higher-end product that I really think people would buy! He, of course, has far more knowledge than I and he is asking questions and pondering it all…thankfully not anything like “Shark Tank”; I would never have survived that type of questioning. He was genuinely being a kind fella and hearing me out. At the end of our meeting (as I am walking out) he asked me to write a “Theology of a Hoodie.” K…. hmmm….ok. That’s it? What on earth does he mean, I thought? I also thought, are you kidding me dude, you know full well how many books and papers we must write in graduate school and now you are asking me to (for fun) write a theology of a hoodie?!
Well, here it is almost 8 years later. (BTW I still do not know exactly what he was asking for, however, I have a far better understanding of hoodies after creating and selling them for almost 3 years now). “Theology” means a theological theory or system” I am going with just the theory or system; my guess is that was what he was asking for?
So, here is my brief explanation of how the system works, at least in my case.
Don’t ya love it when someone visibly looks shocked (not fake-shocked for like a tip or something), but, really stunned when you casually mention that you are about to turn 50?! ME TOO!! Hey, I’ll take fake-shocked sometimes. As I ponder this new year, the running thread at the forefront in my mind is about turning 50 in October. Can I lose 20-30 lbs. in that time frame? Is that even possible? Does that mean completely giving up sweets and bread? Will my legs ever look like they did in my 30’s? What can I do to my face/neck/hands to get ahead of this aging thing?
Then I swing to other side and think, really, why does it even matter? Why does it matter if some stranger thinks you are younger than you are? Like you are cheating the system somehow, like you got better genes (jeans?) than someone else? I mean, does it truly matter?!