Huge, huge thank you to Tom Pierce and Austin Bruce for working into the night/morning to help finish the electrical.
Wonderful friends. They are family closer than blood. It humbles me to know men like them, and to receive their loving assistance. Because I know that their lives are busy and that their own responsibilities are great, but they see a need around them and they help! Man, I can learn from this example and do better myself in that area for sure!
And the relationships that it builds — doing life together regularly, blending families into a community that helps each other, contributing and helping build each other up, pouring into each other’s lives — that’s so much more close and personal than hundreds we sit with on Sunday mornings, or thousands that “friend” and “follow” us on online apps/sites, or hundreds that share the same blood/legal family ties. It’s something deeper and more personal and more tangible. It’s TRUE FAMILY / COMMUNITY.
Don’t listen to the wrong voice on this post — I’m not slighting anyone else for not being close with me, for not helping me, etc. I feel like that happens far too many times when something is revealed that should encourage us to press in deeper, to change, to try it out and see for ourselves. We look at the messenger as if they are judging us for what we have or haven’t done in the past (that we can’t change), instead of realizing the truth of the message as an opportunity to be an agent for change in our “now”.
So I’m saying that community is valuable, and that we all can really thrive when we jump into it and fulfill our purpose towards one another. We are all much better for it in the end. Let’s not isolate ourselves so much from the neighbors and friends around us who could benefit and pour into a thriving community just as much as we could ourselves.
I know as much as the next guy that it is easy to isolate ourselves into little, closed in drywall boxes, with glass windows to the world that we cover up to not let the light shine in — but we are called out into life with others, not to spend our whole lives in front of a screen, behind a keyboard, lounging in our comfortable escapes.
I just want to encourage you to recognize the dividing lines that have been isolating you from the ones that are your community. Step over the lines of anxiety, of depression, of unforgiveness — of whatever excuse that voice in your mind gives you for not drawing close and expanding your relationships with others, and for closing yourself off.
For my Christian friends — On another level, these wonderful friends (and several others recently as well) have shown me that the body of Christ, the family of believers — truly isn’t who sits together on a Sunday morning, but — is a body in unity that loves and cares enough to get into the trenches together in the rough times, celebrate in the wonderful times, spend time together with eyes that don’t see the dividing lines, and praise God together so naturally and encouragingly and in awe every day that gifts are active and flowing and God is being glorified daily.
I’m so blessed to have such good friends, to be able to be a good friend, and I hope that I will see their need and contribute and be alongside them as well. And I truly believe that this “true community” comes from a power source greater than myself, greater than these two wonderful men that have honored me, and that I am seeking to honor as well.
Thank you, Jesus!
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 2:42-47 ESV