Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.




Friday, October 8, 2010

Won't You Be My Neighbor?



The song from Mr Roger's Neighborhood has been ringing in my ears lately.  Not because I hear it on the television anymore, but because the message still rings clear.

In a world of high technology we can fall short on knowing our neighbors.  It is easy to come home, drive our cars into a garage, pull down the automatic garage door, to hibernate until morning calls us back out to our labor.

One year, our pastor called the leadership of our church together to speak from his heavy heart.  As we all gathered into the room, we knew he meant business.  The first question from his mouth was, "How many of you know your neighbors?"

You will not believe the answer.  We were the only couple in the room who not only knew our neighbors on both sides, but even the neighbors down our street and around the corner.
His second question was, "How many of you know any non-believers?"  The response back was even more troubling.

He was horrified, even though it confirmed what he was afraid of.  So, with intense passion, he started to shut down programs at the church.  No one was allowed to be at the church for more than two events per week...we were to be out....meeting our neighbors.  We were to be out getting to know pre-Christians.

The transition was very easy for our family at that time.  Our first four children were young, their involvement was outside the home with pre-believers, and our outgoing nature made the assignment easy.

Fast forward years later.  The teen years hit, schedules filled the calendar, life happened and taking time to meet and care for our neighbors started to vanish from priority.

Today, I am baking pumpkin bread....the loaves will be delivered to the neighbors.  Someone is moving in next door, and two different households are single women. There will be time to have a friendly chat and ask the Lord to open the doors to a continuing fellowship that He has ordained.

Mark 12:33
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

To my blogging friends...thanks for visiting my neighborhood on blog-sphere...thanks for being my neighbor. If I could send you pumpkin bread through the internet, I would.  Instead, just know that you are loved and appreciated.  Have a wonderful fall day and enjoy your neighbors!

15 Joining in with more words:

Cindy - Letters From Midlife said...

This is a good reminder. Even in our little town I have to confess that I don't know all my neighbors.

It was interesting because last week I read this verse in Proverbs 27:10: "Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend, And do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away."

In hard times it will often be our neighbors who we count on.

Farm Girl said...

First I have a blog award on my site if you want to pick it up. It is no big deal. I got one yesterday and I am passing it on.
A bad thing happened in our church a long time ago, but we ended up being without a church home. Being like I was I decided that where ever my sphere of influence was I would share Jesus. Funny thing happened not going to church I began to reach our neighbors and the people in the grocery store and because I had time. It became a life changing experience.
I am glad you shared this because I can tell it is very close to your heart. I am so thankful that I got to be your neighbor and thanks for the slice of pumpkin bread. :)

Sandy said...

I enjoyed your post, Janette, as
always. I know the neighbors on
my street only, but not those on
the surrounding streets, though
they are near enough. I find
people just aren't as approachable
as when I was younger. When I was
growing up our house was as filled
with neighbors as it was with old family friends and relatives.
I love being your neighbor and do
so wish we could sit down and have
a slice of yummy pumpkin bread
and coffee together!
Hope your day is lovely!
Hugs,
Sandy

Janet - AKA: Latte Lady said...

Thank you for that. I live on a farm and my only neighbor is the owner of the house we rent and I don't know them! I've been thinking about taking them something too. ?

We'll see how it goes.

Blessings and favor,

Janet

www.homeward4.blogspot.com

Theresa said...

Your neighbors are blessed to have you. Our sweet elderly neighbor across the street brings us tomatoes from his garden. We plow his driveway when it snows. They sent us a giftcard at Christmas time to thank us for being such good neighbors. It was such a blessing to us. We told them that is what neighbors do. I guess we are old school with that. I wish I could sit down and have a cup of tea and some pumpkin bread with you. Hugs!

Sonja said...

Janette:

I'm thinking of your pumpkin bread as I'm reaching for my Lean Cuisine!

What a good word to remind us today about being a good neighbor. I'm also thinking how blessed your new neighbors are!!

Hugs!

Debbie said...

Hi

There was a time when my kids were young when I knew everyone of my neighbors and some of them quite well. Through the years that changed as my kids got older and people came and went. No one it seemed was ever home but me, haha...But now that we have moved into this senior citizens park everyone is around once again. I am slowly getting to know some of them. One of the sweet little ladies next door recently said to me, "Honey, you are always on the run. How nice to be so young and still full of get up and go." haha I got a kick out of that as I am home it seems most of the time, and it feels like my get up and go, got up and went. But this is SUCH a good post and made me think of what I might do for some of them. I'd LOVE to be your neighbor I am very sure. Have a wonderful week-end my friend. HUGS, Debbie

Marla @ Always Nesting said...

I'm not bragging *wink* but I know almost all my neighbors and lots in my development. I love love love my neighborhood and wouldn't trade it for the world. It's the kind of place where we can go on a trip, leave a key and our home will be taken care of. If we need help with big chores, there's always a teen that's willing to make some extra cash. Just today I had too much trash so I topped off 2 of my neighbors cans, which I know isn't a big deal, except if I didn't know them, I wouldn't have been comfortable doing that. Our church is also full of our neighbors, which is nice because one by one, we see the comfort increase for the newbies.

I feel like God planted us right smack dab where he wanted us to be. If we didn't live here, we wouldn't have know about the church plant that we wound up, happily, being a part of. We also have a Bible study in our home that some of the neighbors attend.

Debbie said...

I always love visiting your blogging neighborhood friend.

I'm with you. I have many friends and neighbors who are not yet believers. In my previous neigborhood where we lived for 12 years, we had a monthly coffee and I loved it. We would rotate houses which was fun. I still get invited to their coffees even though we moved more than six months ago. I'm still at a point where I don't think I could bare seeing other people in 'my house' yet. Maybe one day but I still love to stay in touch with them.

I remember many years ago hearing about how Christians often stay in their holy huddles. It becomes like a Christian country club. Although I do think it's important to have Christian friends who you can talk to and be accountable to and pray with, we are also to go out in the world and share Christ. How can you do that if you never spend time with unbelievers? And let me tell you all something. Uh oh, I'm getting on my soapbox Janette. Please forgive me but ...people who are not Christians have blinders on their eyes. Trying to argue the Bible with them doesn't work unless the Holy Spirit has opened their eyes to the Truth. So I say ...pray for them; that the HS would open their eyes and then give you opportunities to love them and care about them. And in time when they see you really are interested, they may want to hear about Jesus.

Just saying ...

Love you friend,
Debbie

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Yea Marla...that is what it is all about. My neighborhood is new to me and has other moving in, so I need to become engaged again...like I did when we owned our home.
Debbie..totally agree, that is why I said, "There will be time to have a friendly chat and ask the Lord to open the doors to a continuing fellowship that He has ordained."

Well my day got sidetracked...our four year old broke his leg...now my days for a couple of weeks will be very busy carrying him around and letting him heal....now I will just have to set him on the counter to cook

Loved everyone's comments...it keeps me encouraged in my walk!!

Amanda said...

Great post, Janette!

We have only been in this current home for 10 months. I confess, I don't know our neighbours. None of them.

As we move around alot, it is de-motivating to meet people in our street, and like a previous commenter said, people tend to stick to themselves these days.

I enjoy having you as a bloggy neighbour though! lol...

Jo said...

I have wonderful neighbour, Sally, who is a elderly widow and when we are both gardening will chat. I often go and visit her and share a cup of tea. She is a very dear friend. We offer share books, recipes and DVDs and my cat spends a lot of time in her garden.

However on the other side we have a single older lady who doesn't talk to us and is quite rude. At present she is building a sunroom and it is now towering over us. She didnt even bother to come and tell us she was building it. As a result we have had to contact planning to complain. Not something I we wanted to do, but she appears to have completely ignore our house and view. It is very sad affair. Otherwise I really don't know my other neighbours very well.

myletterstoemily said...

what a wise pastor! i think it was easier
to know my neighbors when my kids
were little and we were out more.

this is a great admonition. when i get
home (we're in the mountains enjoying
the first snow and the aspens at the
same time. sigh.) i am going to bake
some pumpkin bread and totally copy
you!

i will think of you while munching. :)

myletterstoemily said...

oh no! poor baby. i never had to
go through a break, but we sure had
lots of sprains with basketball.

guess you will be watching lot of
'mr. rogers!'

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

Dear Janette,
I'm so sorry bout your little one! How I wish you really were my neighbor ~ I'd be right over w/some chili n choc chip cookies! I don't cook much so that's my standard offering to all my friends n neighbors. ;-) And Sarah n Jack would bring puzzles n toys and have so much fun providing entertainment! Oh well, (((HUGS))) and prayers sent. Hope you find unexpected blessings in these quiet days together.
xo
Leslie & family

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