We had a fall party at our house on the 7th. We wanted to reach out to our neighbors/meet them, gather up some dear friends, and have a great time of fellowship/fun together before it gets cold and we are stuck inside for the winter. We invited all of our neighbors along our highway. We have lived here for about five years and hadn't met most of our neighbors...that's just wrong! Man, we feel so bad that it's taken us this long, BUT, better late than never. I'm *so glad* we finally did! I can't describe the wonderful feeling of looking around at our house and yard all filled up with more people than we've ever had here at our place at one time, all having a good time meeting, talking, and laughing together.
To all of our friends: thank you so much for all of your help! We don't know what we would have done without you!
wonderful weather, praise the Lord ^
three legged races ^
sack races ^
plenty of smiles ^
lots of laughter ^
vehicles parked just right to fit in our driveway ^
a full house ^
a big delicious dinner ^
* babies to hold
* neighbors turned into new friends
* more opportunities to reach out in the future because of the party
Who is my neighbor? Listening to a sermon once, the speaker answered that question with this, "Everyone whom God brings into my circle of influence who needs me." And you've probably heard the saying, "you are the only Bible some people will ever read." Well how are our neighbors going to have the chance of being influenced by us if they don't even know us in the first place?! We've passed by their houses hundreds of times and hadn't taken the time to get to know the people inside them until earlier this month. Yes, the thought of getting to know our neighbors seemed like a daunting task and took some work, but while I paused to look around at everyone at the party, I wished we'd done something like this wayyyyy sooner. I've been thinking on the story of the good Samaritan recently. Are we too busy/distracted to reach out and help those around us (are we like the Jewish priest and Levite) or, like the good Samaritan, do we stop what we're doing and make time to show love to others? I know that I have been both the Jewish priest and Levite put together at times, caring only about me and what I've got going on in my life too much to stop and look around me at other people in need. I am striving everyday to be more like Jesus, who took no thought for Himself but was constantly ministering to those around Him. And as He made us to be His hands and feet to this world, we have the amazing privilege of ministering His love as much as we can. So I would encourage you to "Love thy neighbor" which is Christ's #2 command by firstly getting to know them, if you don't already! If you do, that's wonderful...keep reaching out and be a light in their lives! The time and effort put into loving your neighbors will be so small compared to the happiness you'll have that always comes when showing kindness to others.
We enjoyed it so much that we are already tossing around ideas for having another get together in the spring! And I'm quite sure that this fall party will become a tradition.
How do you show love to your neighbors? Have you ever had a party and invited your neighbors? Please share your ideas, I'd love to hear them!
"For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
-Galatians 5:13 & 14