Everybody Always

You do business with buyers; you do life with neighbors.

Do you know your neighbors? I just moved out of my childhood home, and I knew most of the neighbors on a surface level. I did not really know them, but we would do the wave and talk to one another when we were outside. I think this is how a lot of Christians know their neighbors. We never take time to invite our neighbors to dinner or get to know them. I know I am guilty of this, and I hope in the future- once I settle in a community to call home- that I am able to put this into practice.

I want people to meet you and me and feel like they’ve just met everyone in heaven.

WOW! This statement is hard to take in because it is hard to love people that have hurt you or taken advantage of you. I think most people expect a lot of Christians to fire back, but we as Christians have to learn to love through trials. I think social media has painted a bad picture of a lot of Christians, and unbelievers will judge a lot of Christians by what they post and how they respond to others. We have to stop beating each other down and learn to not post at all. We show more strength by not posting at all than we do by trying to be right.

God isn’t always leading us to the safest route forward but to the one where we’ll grow the most.

Embrace the journey through the uncomfortable. Loving people can be challenging, but it is people that shape us along the way. Each of us can learn important lessons from people that are different from us. Sure, people will take advantage of our love, but that is okay because we learn to forgive them through God’s love towards us. Love is not safe, and it is painful, but it is worth the journey.

People don’t follow vision; they follow availability.

I think this is a shift that is taking place. People want someone to talk to more than they want vision. I think this shift is happening because of social media. We see so much of others that we, in the end, simply want someone to talk to. Our vision has been blinded by our unavailability.

Loving people the way Jesus did either changes everything in us or it changes nothing.

Jesus loved people expecting nothing in return. Too often we make loving people a job instead of a calling. We cannot look at people as a job, but rather we should look at them through the eyes of Jesus. When we see people the way Jesus did, then we will be moved with compassion, and that changes everything in us. We have to quit using the language of “they are a piece of work” or “they suck the life out of me” because those are the very people Jesus would choose to be with. Love people to the point of being uncomfortable because that is when Jesus will change more in you as a person.

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It’s the simple acts of kindness that can bring the greatest joy to someone

Saturday was an awesome day for our Elevation family! It was a very unique day at Crossover. First, we only have been doing our own Crossover route for almost two months now and it has been nothing short of amazing! We have been meeting a lot of great people and building relationships but last Saturday was special!

It was Margie’s birthday! Margie was the very first person we met when we started the Crossover route. We had no clue who we would meet or if they would be open to us talking to them. She was very sweet and friendly when we approached her. She was sitting outside enjoying the weather. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that we found out her birthday was in November.

Margie was turning eighty-one and surprisingly her birthday fell on the same day as our Crossover route time. We had asked her the week before what her favorite cake was and she told us. Two of the girls from Elevation baked her a cake and she even had candles for the cake (great idea! You can tell the girls had this all planned out). It wasn’t anything huge but a simple cake and card. She answered the door and we all said, “Happy Birthday”. She invited us into her home (this was a first). We told her we had a card and cake for her. We lit the candles and started to sing “Happy Birthday” and tears of joy came down her face. It was a special moment for everyone in the room. She gave us all a hug and told us, “thank you”. We went onto the next house but my heart pondered that moment the entire day. I never would have thought such a simple act could bring so much joy.

I began to think and wonder, when was the last time she got a cake or card from someone that had only known her for a few months? I am not trying to brag about what we do but all I am saying is that anyone could provide a simple act of kindness moment. I believe we make serving so complicated when something so simple as a cake and card could be remembered forever. The other cool part was that her son was there. I was able to talk to him for a few minutes and he said, “You all almost had me in tears. You all just made her day.” I learned another important lesson that day. It is not about how much we give but how much we care when we give. People do not care what you have they just want to know you care. The greatest gift you can give someone is showing him or her you care. If you want to change the community you are planted in then all you have to do is showing them you care.

My hope is that this will encourage you to do simple acts of kindness to those around you. You just never know what will happen or the relationship that could be formed from that encounter. Don’t make serving complicated, keep it simple and see what happens.

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