Saturday, June 18, 2011


Every upswing in energy and growth in the church seems to be met with a serious wall of struggle and opposition. This makes sense, of course, because if the Gospel of Jesus is spreading and taking root in people's lives, the enemy is being destroyed, which I imagine must be awfully frustrating.

Our summer festival, about which I neglected to blog, was a resounding and encouraging success. Many many people came and availed themselves of all we had--ice cream, hot dogs, the tooth fairy, pony rides, the list goes on and on. Our on going efforts to build relationships in the neighborhood through tutoring and the community garden and so on are going swimmingly better than my skeptical heart imagined possible. The relationships are real and the opportunity to talk about Jesus is real.

More even so, during Solemn Communion last night I had the chance to lay out the good news about Jesus explicitly for the little boy who comes over to play all the time (let's call him Buddy because he's our Buddy and because I'm stumped thinking of a cooler name than his own, which is cooler than cool). He has never been able to sit still for more than 30 seconds, precluding then, the possibility to come to Sunday School or even sit through Children's Chapel. And yet last night he was sitting forward on his knees, rehearsing the little he knows about God, and adding to it word by word as I told him about Jesus.

After Solemn Communion and Shepherd's Bowl, while tons of people hung about in the parking lot and kids ran crazily around the play ground, an enormous bang shattered the quiet and smoke snaked ominously towards the gray twilight sky. The only other time I've seen Matt run that fast is when he jumped our short fence two years ago to chase some young stalking jerk who was peering in our neighbor's window and  harassing her on a cell phone. Actually every man in the parking lot and from several houses along the road took off, seeing the smoke. But the car wasn't on fire and police and fire department were there in under five minutes (especially since about 20 different people called 911). The driver of the car, our same neighbor no less, was fine, though totally shaken. Matt, after discovering who she was, ran up to get her son and father and bring them down the street and was able to pray with and comfort her little boy. After I post this I'm going to bake a cake to take next door. I don't know what could be more helpful than cake (I'm serious, if you can think of something more helpful please let me know because it feels terribly trite, just to take cake).

Anyway, the opportunities, even only counting prayer, which is enormous because I hadn't remembered to pray for them since our previous encounter, are abundant. Its almost As If, crazy though it sounds, God wants us to know and care for and pray for our neighbors.

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