Have you seen the movie, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ If not, I recommend you do! It is a documentary that is also a great movie. More than that, in these polarized and divided times, it is a breath of... Related Stories - Hurricane Relief: How to ...

 

The Needed Neighbor and more...




The Needed Neighbor

Mr Rogers movie- Wont you be my neighborHave you seen the movie, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’

If not, I recommend you do!

It is a documentary that is also a great movie. More than that, in these polarized and divided times, it is a breath of fresh air- and just what we need.

There are lots of great reviews about “Won’t You Be My Neighbor’” but the best one is from someone who isn’t a movie critic. David Brooks writes,

There’s nothing obviously moving here, and yet the audience is moved: sniffling, wiping the moisture from their cheeks. The power is in Rogers’s radical kindness at a time when public kindness is scarce. It’s as if the pressure of living in a time such as ours gets released in that theater as we’re reminded that, oh yes, that’s how people can be.

Later this Fall, I have planned a sermon series by the same name, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” When Rich and I were planning this series, we believed it would be timely and important to talk about how to be good neighbors in such an un-neighborly environment. We didn’t know there would be a documentary- or that it would be so good. There is, and it is.

 

 

I recommend going with others. Friends and family are the easy choices, but why not think about going with people in your LIFE Group or another group from church? Another suggestion: invite a neighbor to go with you! Regardless of who you go with the obvious question to discuss afterwards is, “What can Mr. Rogers teach us about being better neighbors in our neighborhood?”

I also don’t recommend you wait too long to go see it. This is one of those movies that is a limited release and may not be around for long.

Jesus said that the whole Law could be summarized into…

  • Love God with everything you are
  • Love your neighbor

That means at least half of God’s intent for us is contained in how we treat our neighbors.  Mr. Rogers’ life was the model for the needed neighbor. His life was a reminder that, “oh yes, that’s how people can be.”

 

 

The Fear Factor

Trying a new way to share past sermons!

 

 

What do you think? What would make this more helpful?

Would welcome your insights!

 

      
 

Are You Finding Bread?

Field BookA simple tool that can make a big difference!

When it comes to the provisions of God, the problem is not that they aren’t there, but that we often don’t see what is all around us.

That was the thrust of my sermon on Sunday. When God sent ‘manna’ every day to the children of Israel, they didn’t recognize it as a blessing. In fact, the name, ‘manna’ translates as “What’s this?!” The provisions of God surrounded them every day, but it took some practice to recognize and know how to use it.

The lessons that seem so obvious, still need to be learned today. To help us learn to recognize and respond to the provisions of God, we handed out a simple tool- a notebook with some simple instructions. The notebook is easily carried in a pocket or purse and is used to jot down the provisions of God as you recognize them.  It’s hard to believe something so “simple” can be so powerful. Here is how it works:

The instructions inside the book are called a “Manna Prayer” and it is a way to recognize the ‘manna’ that is provided daily (even if we don’t know what to do with it at first.)

 1. Be still and experience the presence of God

Take some deep breaths

Open your hands

2. Review the Provisions of God

Five that are fairly obvious

Five that are not-so-obvious

3. Claim & Celebrate Provisions

“Thank you God for…”

4. Reflect on Responses that Disconnected You

“Forgive me, for…”

5. Consider the Upcoming Day

“God, you are my dwelling place, help me with…”

 On a weekly basis, review what you have discovered

 

This is the abbreviated version, if you’d like the full-page explanation that was put together by GEST (our Growing in Everyday Spirituality Team), you can see/print it here.

Options

Rohr; Presence- runner-verticalWe will have more of the pocket journals available this Sunday, but you don’t have to wait until then to start. It is just a tool and there are several other options that help accomplish the same thing:

Journals:

Many people already have their own journal and this practice can be easily incorporated into that practice.

Cards:

Another option is a humble 3x5 card. Each day, put it in your pocket and jot your notes. At the end of the week, gather your cards together and look for themes and patterns.

Smart Phones:

There are many note apps that can be used to do the same thing. I suggest using one that allows you to email the list at the end of the day so you can start fresh the next day.

???

You get the idea. Whichever tool you choose, the important thing is to start. Are you finding the ‘bread’ that is all around you? Once you begin noticing the provisions of God, it will be hard NOT to see them!

      
 

A Prayer for the New Year...for the Rest of Us

Thomas MertonLet's face it, most published prayers sound a little too polished, a little too perfect, and a lot too churchy. They have words that you know you should pray, but you have to cross your fingers a little bit when you pray them. They don't really sound like...you.

Here is a prayer for the new year that anyone could pray! It's from Thomas Merton-  a Trappist monk that changed the way a lot of people thought about God. I'm one of those people. I've used this prayer many times when the rest of my words feel empty. 

 

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."

Lord, hear our prayer... 

      
 

...And Then It Gets Better!

From Dave Arnett, who gave us the story I posted yesterday:

After I posted the earlier article about the family, I thought it couldn't get any better.  I was wrong :)  please take a minute and watch this incredibly touching video showing the parents surprise their children and let them know for the first time of their home.  Your heart will smile.  This is the home YOU have been working on!

"This is it you guys, this is going to be our house!"

 

 
 

Lisa and Francisco have been dreaming of the day they can give their children a life-changing gift… a safe, stable and affordable home. They’ve tried to become homeowners for a long time, but it wasn’t until partnering with Habitat earlier this year that their dream started to become a reality. 

Instead of telling their kids about their future home immediately, Lisa and Francisco patiently waited until just the right moment to surprise them. Earlier this month, under the guise of getting a new family Christmas tree, Lisa and Francisco shared the big news with their kids on the front porch of their future family home.  Watch the video to see this special moment unfold and experience the joy and excitement as the family starts dreaming of their brighter future.