Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Testimony Tuesday: Love Your Neighbor

Yay! Week two of Testimony Tuesday (missed Week One? Click here!) !! I thought I would start by linking my "original testimony" that I wrote in January of last year and my "baptism" post as well...since those were kind of the background for this whole Testimony Tuesday thing. I laughed as I was reading the testimony post from January 2010 and saw that I mentioned maybe doing a weekly post like this...talk about God putting an idea in my head and taking my sweet time making it happen!! I guess I will go with 'Better late than never'.

Anyway! I have been praying recently for God to take me deeeper into His word--for Him to show me new insights that I have overlooked in the past. I just want to know Him and His word better.

I am just going to warn you that you will probably laugh out loud when I tell you this example of insight that I needed because I come off like a mo-ron...but I am just being honest here. In my reading in the Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian, there is a chapter on priorities. One of the scriptures she uses to guide what your priorities should be is Matthew 22:37-39 (NLT). "Jesus replied, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (This was Jesus' response to being asked which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses.)

Ok--so the part I am focusing on is the second..."Love your neighbor as yourself." I have always thought of this in the general way...love those around me...my family, my friends, those that surround me socially. The new insight He gave me...brace yourself...it is a doozie...is to take it literally too. Duh! I can not believe I never thought of it. Yes, he wants me to love those around me (the general neighbors of my life)...but he also wants me to love my actual neighbors in my actual, literal, neighborhood too. Genius! Ha! This is why I pray for insight ladies and gentlemen! Apparently, I need the help! Ha!

So, we have started intentionally showing love to my neighbors. Matt and I have lived in several neighborhoods throughout our marriage and this is, sadly, the first one we have taken the time to invest ourselves in emotionally. I will share three things we have done.

1. We had a block party. Our church is the reason for this one. They gave our small group the money to host a block party so that we could get to know our neighbors (apparently God had given them the same insight he later shared with me. (c;). Many of our neighbors came and we had such a good time just fellowshipping with our neighbors! We plan on hosting another one next month.

2. At the block party, a few of us discussed doing a neighborhood bible study. So I passed out some fliers and a group of us are now doing the Power of a Praying Woman together. I LOVE these ladies and growing in the Lord with them!

3. I always wanted to live in a neighborhood that welcomed people when they moved in. I just always thought that was so awesome. When I was thinking about that one day, the Lord put the thought into my head, "If you, yourself, would love to live in a neighborhood like that, then do that for your neighbors!" (Love them like you, yourself, want to be loved.) So last weekend I got the list of anyone that had recently moved into our neighborhood and got to baking! I made cookies.

Then I put them in these bags with a welcome neighbor tag. There are actually 3 tags. The first is a welcome tag, the second is an "about us and contact info" sheet, and the third is a "things we love around town" sheet that has our favorite local things in case that family is new to this area. It has our favorite restaurants, doctors, parks, movie theater, places to go, our church. (I got this idea off of pinterest.) You could also do this is you are new to a neighborhood and want to get to know your neighbors too!

The purpose of this post isn't to show that I am trying to be a good neighbor--it is as follows.

1. Pray for deeper insight into God's word. You never know what you may be missing.

2. A recent example of that insight for me was that "to love my neighbor as myself" is to be taken both generally and literally.

Ok--I think I am adding a McLinky thing (technical term I am sure) in case anyone wants to join in and share something God is teaching them too. I have never used it before so if it doesn't work, let me know! Thanks Debbie for telling me where to find it. (c;

1 comment:

Lindsey Cobb said...

Such a great idea with the cookies and tags! Love the tag about your favorite things!