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God in Your Neighborhood

Today’s Reflection

ALTHOUGH JESUS IS AT THE HEART of what we do at Union Coffee, “Offer them Christ” is not our guiding principle. We did not plant our church to bring God to the neighborhood or Jesus into the lives of those who walk in our doors. We believe that God is already at work in our neighborhood, that Jesus is already at work in the lives of the people who walk in our doors. our responsibility is to see what God is doing in our neighborhood and become a part of that. …

Church planting rooted in the omnipresence of God shifts the standard church planting perspective in subtle ways that significantly transform the community and the church. Our responsibility as the church isn’t to necessarily change the lives of individuals or our community. That is God’s work. Our responsibility, instead, is to set our imagination loose, open wide our ears, listen for the easily overlooked symphony of God that plays in the broken corners of our neighborhood, and join in God’s great work. I have consistently found that when I look for God, I’m rarely disappointed and always inspired.

– Michael Baughman
Flipping Church

From pages 9, 12 of Flipping Church: How Successful Church Planters are Turning Conventional Wisdom Upside-Down</em., edited by Michael Baughman. Copyright © 2016 Discipleship Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Discipleship Resources. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What do you see God doing in your neighborhood? How can you become involved? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

Ezekiel 37:6, NRSV

This Week: pray for the growth of new relationships. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Isidore the Farmer (May 15).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Jill May 17, 2018, 3:44 am

    I am grateful to still be in my neighborhood – it has been 20 years now. Grateful for some very good, reliable neighbors across the street from me. The one family attends my parents’ church. The other family – the wife is the sister of a classmate of mine from high school. Her kids are growing up and have become my cat-sitters when I travel. Both of these families are steeped in traditional family values and we all look out for each other and the neighborhood. Many of the houses around us have transient families or are vacant. I am grateful to still feel safe in my house, my neighborhood.
    Betsy – so sorry to hear the news about Gus. I can imagine the hole in your heart. I imagine when the time is right, you will rescue another.
    Mom’s oncology appointment got moved up to this past Tuesday. The doctor basically made the decision for mom – no further treatment. The side effects at her age would be too much – there would be no quality of life. He wants her to get stronger physically, emotionally, mentally…none of those would have happened had she done the treatment. I am praying that she will begin to re-immerse into her group of friends, get back to church and church activities and make an effort to enjoy the time remaining with dad.

  • robert moeller May 17, 2018, 5:33 am

    Today’s reflection certainly puts long standing views of what the church should do on their head. That said, I think these ideas are good, helpful, and most certainly a way forward. Now, how to put them into practice?

    I know that I know the members of my church better than I know the community. The church is smaller than the community. The community is also no where I live, I live in a neighboring community. I joined this church because it is the closest Methodist church.

    This church wants to and does help the community. It also gets a lot of help from the community that used to come from members. I think some aspects of church have been flipped already.

    My whole life long I have never lived in one place longer than 11 years. I am tired of moving, but realize that may been something I can’t always control.

    Betsy, after having lost Isis a couple months ago, and still missing her, I think Erich and I understand your sorrow losing Gus. That’s a very neat name for a cat. Animals we have and live with are far more than “pets”. They are part of the family. I wish there was a better term than “pet” to describe them. Cherish Gus’s memory, thankful you have that, it is precious, but also find another dear animal to love and care for. There are so many who need what I am sure you have an abundance of to give.

    Prayers for Gloria and Larry, Becky and Jill. Tough decisions made, very hopefully there will be many good days for the four of you. A sense of normalcy is returning, thank You, Lord. You are able to bring us through every situation. Lord, words do not describe all that You are able to do.

    I travel today to learn more about the risks I have of getting Alzheimer’s. I have a few, but thankfully they are not guarantees that I will have it. God has brought me this far, God will carry me through whatever comes.

    Erich starts work tomorrow, thank you for your prayers for him, Anneliese, and me.

    The Lord is with all of you too. As Jesus told many He healed, “Your faith has made you well.” I think that goes beyond physical healing to a much higher level, one we can’t see so well, spiritual healing. I think that is the ultimate,
    most important, for it cares for our soul, our very essence. Thank You, Lord.

  • Gail Churchill May 17, 2018, 7:00 am

    Received a phone call from a mother whose 40 year old son is afflicted with Huntington’s. Tried to listen and be compassionate and not put my foot in my mouth. Thankful that phone numbers stay in the call log of my phone so I can follow-up.

  • Betsy May 17, 2018, 7:13 am

    The neighborhood where we have moved is changing as there isn’t new construction and new folks moving in. Everyone is so welcoming and it made the transition much easier in meeting people. Our church we joined is also welcoming, even though we have experienced some problems with complacency and lack of tolerenace. I’m reminded of Paul and the early church. Many believers were unwilling to work together. I pray for a spirit of oneness in God. The Womens Bible Study that I’ve joined are a wonderful group of Christian ladies who pray and support one another. I’ve felt welcomed into this group in special ways.

    Thanks to this supportive group for your words and prayers concerning the loss of our dog, Gus. Things are very quiet around here; he was such a presence in our house and in our neighborhood. Many neighbors have shared with me how much they will miss Gus; we walked the neighborhood twice a day, and he had many friends! I believe God puts pets in our lives for a purpose, and Gus was here to comfort and love us through a tough move and transition in our lives.

    Jill, it sounds like the doctors know what is best for your mom going forward as far as her treatment. I know you all as a family will give her the quality of life she deserves. I pray for special moments for you all that will comfort your mom.

    Robert, praying for answers for you as you conduct your study. My father suffered with Alzheimer’s; it would be tough to know that I also carried that gene. Hope you find the answers you are looking for.

    Blessings to all my neighbors in Christ that visit here.

    • Connie May 17, 2018, 8:01 am

      I said “little Gus” in my post. He may not have been little. What kind of a dog was Gus?

      • Betsy May 18, 2018, 6:45 am

        Gus was a boxer/pit mix. He as a medium sized rescue dog. Thank you, Connie.

  • Connie May 17, 2018, 7:56 am

    We have wonderful neighbors. Many have been neighbors for over 30 years, even more for my husband. They are dear friends. Of course, as years fly by we are thankful for every day that we can spend on our little cul-de-sac.
    Hope all goes well for Erich tomorrow (thought it was the 19th). So sorry about little Gus. Hopefully, Jill’s Mom, Gloria, will “renew her strength”.
    Pentecost is approaching and I am hoping for a touch of that “Sweet Holy Spirit”. God bless you all.

    • Connie May 17, 2018, 8:05 am

      Lou, I am thinking of you. I remember my daughter’s graduation from High School. Me on one side of the auditorium, her Dad on the other side and thinking “this is not how I imagined it”. Heartwrenching, but life went on. God will take care of you…….

  • Julie May 17, 2018, 8:00 am

    Continued prayers fr Betsy as youo grieve Gus. I agree with Robert, a new name other than “pet” is needed to describe the unque bond we have with our fur babies.
    Prayers for Robert as he travels and undergoes tests. My grandfather had Alzheimer’s and I know the devastation it causes for the individual affected as well as their family. Continued prayers for Erich that he succeeds in his new job.
    Prayers for Gloria, Larry, Becky, and Jill as you attempt to acclimate to the new normal for your lives. I pray you may collectively live and collect many happy memories.
    Prayers for Gloria and her friend and her friend’s son. How wonderful that her friend found a caring listener in Gloria.
    Blessings and prayers for and thank you to all of the UR family
    If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.
    Jonathan Winters

  • Julie May 17, 2018, 8:04 am

    Sorry, Gail and her friend with the son.
    Prayers for Connie and her Pentecostal hope, may her hoping not be for naught. May we all hope in each new faith season for a renewed relationship with the Holy Spirit.

    • Connie May 17, 2018, 8:07 am

      Amen and Amen.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 17, 2018, 7:17 pm

    Grateful for good neighbors

    Went for a cousin’s funeral wake last night

    Blessings to all

    May Erich enjoy his first day at work

  • robert moeller May 18, 2018, 5:41 am

    Prayers for Gloria that there are many good days ahead, prayers for a mother whose 40 year old son is afflicted with Huntington’s., for Mary and her family at s cousin’s funeral wake, for Betsy after losing Gus, a dog and not a cat.

    Erich was contacted to start a day earlier than planned.

    I have several risk factors for Alzheimer’s, they do not guarantee I will get it.
    My risk factors are Apoe4 genes from Mom and Dad, high blood pressure, age, and that I have had a heart attack. I can move forward and try to qualify for a study that could lead to medication that possibly will prevent the disease. Having someone go with me for many of the steps and a 3 hour drive one way are factors I have to consider. Have seen what this disease does as my Mom and her brother had it. Hope I can help others as this disease is very demoralizing. Thank you for your prayers. I am in God’s hands. Can do no better.

    • Gail Churchill May 18, 2018, 7:29 am

      Robert, Thankful for your courage to address this disease and share with others. Personal ministry comes in ways we might not select if given the choice.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 18, 2018, 8:59 am

      Robert, may you have the best medical care, treatment and doctors to help you. I commit you into God’s loving care

      blessings

  • robert moeller May 18, 2018, 7:29 pm

    Thank you Gail and Mary. Very thankfully I am at the moment healthy. Thank You, Lord.

    Prayers for Gloria, Marcy, Julie, Anneliese, and all with medical concerns of any kind. Thankful for a good first day at work for Erich. This has been a good day, went for my walk early and accomplished tasks.

    I am hopeful that this information may be of help to Marcy. I’m not a doctor or have any connection to the pharmaceutical business.

    The first medicine designed to prevent migraines was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, ushering in what many experts believe will be a new era in treatment for people who suffer the most severe form of these headaches. The drug, Aimovig, made by Amgen and Novartis, is a monthly injection with a device similar to an insulin pen.

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