I love my neighborhood! I love the community that it pictures. We have about 30 homes on our circle, many of whom still have the original owners from the mid '70's. There is a sense of family, and yet, it is so easy to forget each other and get busy outside of those who live side by side day after day. I was raised by a Mother who showed an amazing amount of intentional hospitality and have a heart that desires this. As a believer, this shows up most in the context of the local church, mostly because it is safe and non-confrontational. But I was challenged in the last week or so.
One of the most important books that I have read this summer was Next Door as it is in Heaven, by Lance Ford and Brad Brisco. They piece apart the downfall of the comradery of neighborhoods as they use to be and give some great history about why and how this happened. They confront the reader head on with the Word of God and how we as believers should be the most intentional beings in a neighborhood. They bring to life the practical out workings of this and give great step by step ways to fall in love with this idea and how Christ on earth was the ultimate giver of hospitality. They remind us we need to examine the busyness of our lives and compare it with how we are (or are not) investing in the lives around us, namely the neighborhoods we live in. If you have a desire to reach those around you for the Gospel, but in way more than words, this book is for you. You will be thoroughly encouraged along the way as you strive to meet those you may have never spoken with before.
As one author put it, "The dining room table is sometimes the best evangelistic tool."
For three years our family held a Christmas open house for our neighborhood, It's sad to say, this happened 8-10 years ago. So lookout Little Road residents and be prepared to party with the Pueblas again this year.
*Note: As a part of the Tyndale Blogging Network, I received a free copy of this book.