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Don Everts: What’s it Look Like to Love My Community?

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Cross Radio
July 25, 2022 10:00 pm

Don Everts: What’s it Look Like to Love My Community?

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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July 25, 2022 10:00 pm

“What’s it look like to love my community?” Don Everts helps you get intentional about your relationship to your neighborhood, caring in ways that matter.

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So we just moved into a new neighborhood yes and one of the best things I don't know what your essay about this new it neighborhood is not the house, not even the location.

It's our neighbors roaming and handling the same room has welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationship that matter most and will send Dave Wilson and you can find us@familylifetoday.com or on our family life.

This is family life today. You know were bulleted were moving boxes in action might even be before that are our neighbor right across the street who looks exactly like Anthony Hopkins comes walking down into the driveway with this big smile. I read I think Polish accent genuinely was excited to introduce us to the neighborhood and then he's become a really good friend really good friend. He came here when he was 18 years old from Poland to hear his story how his wife from pollen from the village. He grew up in, and they didn't even know each other but they met here in the United States. He got married yeah now every time our garage doors open. He text and says hey you guys sure so I watching out for us and I here's I thought I thought in our other neighbors to have been great and I thought the way we feel about Roman justice, genuine love filled man does anybody feel that about David and Wilson in this neighborhood because I think that's what were supposed to be the light of Christ as we come into a new area. We should represent that sort of got that today and I also think Dave we've gotten really lazy back in Michigan now sometimes it's easy just to pull in the garage put the garage door down and go in without talking anybody especially if you haven't had a very good day.

Yeah so today were going to change that change change of got.Everts back in the studio with this Don welcome back for life today was love being with you. Just that your sit over there smile and I mean you written a book called the hopeful neighborhood. The subtitles what happens when Christians pursue the common good clear of their smiling because what were talking about is exactly what you're hoping happens right well and I'm smiling because I just moved into a new neighborhood 20 and by the way, this is your 31st, for those are to be tracked on this road moved around a lot and maybe it will be my last. Hoping that we just moved in.

And it's been fun to get to know the neighbors and we moved into 135-year-old Victorian home and we we live in a kind of funky placer almost people who come up to our door. Now we live in a different neighborhood than we've ever lived in some smiling because were kind of navigating same thing of life. What is my relationship to this neighborhood going to be my going to have a relationship question instantly have and should wait. No one expects me to its culturally normal to not, and yet you note with the research we've done neighborhoods and digging back in the Scriptures with the Scriptures have to say about how were meant to be a blessing to the people in place right around us, I think, actually, God invites us to life is more beautiful if we come to become a part of this like web of people in place and pets and treason, streets and sidewalks and all the things around us, so some smiling because what a wonderful thing to be thinking about you just alluded to what happened of what made us stop being outside and what took us inside. I was curious like what are those things I think their wide variety of reasons. I think one interesting one here in the modern era is we have a huge emphasis on evangelism, which I'm a fan of light most my books about evangelism but I think that we have equated like being a faithful Christian and relating with the people around us is mostly done by sharing the gospel message now is that a way of loving people, totally, absolutely. Now do most people trust us enough to hear from us know they don't.

But it's interesting to early church. An interesting thing was said about the first Christians. It was said that they had eloquent behavior. Think about that for a second. It wasn't that I had eloquent words that had eloquent behavior that's an early historian in the first centuries when they were being persecuted and yet they were loving the people in place around them in gorgeous ways in beautiful ways. Early historian, said that Christians have a strange way about them that drew people to them what that strange way, was Jesus's way of living your life down for other people and lifting others up and sing their dignity and and blessing them and picking kids up so I think one of the things that has changed is I think that maybe because the culture around us is shifting work on his post-Christendom era where like the culture is less Christian around us and I think some people are kind attempted to close off in every nominal to the law of an evangelism grenade out you know and hopefully God can use it. Probably all be persecuted and you know they won't respond if that's our most engaging when some picture of how were supposed to be a correlation of the world around us. No wonder work on isolated and closed often we pop up from our home and we run over to a Christian huddle in the Republic from there and go run over to another Christian puddle. So I think we can huddle up like that. We've lost this picture this biblical image of his right there in the garden.

Keep in care for the people a place right around you receiving God's laws even after the fall were God's laws are like yours out of love the people around you and the animals around you in the land around you all that's mentioned in the law we see when the Israelites are in exile there in exile right me. They've been taken prisoners in their being tempted like we need to get out of here and some people are telling us Katsina brings back to Jerusalem was God duty. Since Jeremiah he says writing a letter that says those people are lying to be there for a long time is what you need to do is pursue the welfare of the city that I sent it to Peter in the New Testament where there being persecuted in Asia minor in their being tempted like you enough to close themselves off, and Peter writes this gorgeous letter that says all guys guys you are elect exiles your left by God, right where God wants you it feels like you're in exile so love the people around you.

I think we need to be reminded against I'm not able every now and then you know that the Latin phrases incur about this in say recurve in on ourselves and we corporately do that as well and that's why God just sends people from time to time with profit and the possible whatever to say. Remember were supposed be loving the people place right around us, so people are just moving into new neighborhoods that actually does have an opinion about whether we should have a relationship with our neighbors, yet it's interesting. I think a lot of us you know we want to get our neighbor to our church.

Yeah, Christmas is coming, research, and we make in invite and it's the only time we ever talk to you know you live in. It's like if we were over there helping them in their yard and we saw there was a need and we showed up with no agenda.

We just are there showing up. They don't feel like their project that we are what make the invite their prying and go yeah I know you I trust you what you what you talk about is research what, that's right. But if you just lobbed the thing in there just the brightest.

I know you think it's them is probably us yet.

That's right. And it's interesting Peter's letter. For example, we talked in the last episode about how he encouraged him to pursue the common good and I just love people. I do not think a little later he says when people ask you, the reason for the hope that is inside of you be ready to talk about your faith. It's just like as you are laying your life down in your living a beautiful upside down Jesus life with the people place right around you and ask you at some point during the build trust, you have gained a hearing and he's like, so be ready. I may be ready to talk about it, not the other way we can love our neighbors is like to be ready to say were like this because we follow this weird ancient rabbi you know and might we live this life for him because my wife and how incredible she is. Our neighbors already come into our church, but it's not because we invited them to church is because we invite them over for a meal that DL Moody quote that says out of 100 men, one will read the Bible and the other 99 will read to Christian your neighbors have been reading your wife you down there been reading your family and that they were thinking read my Bible. But when it when I see in that family is something that's attractive. Yes, some people think we make a good testimony by pretending we have it all together now and all that doesn't convince anyone of anything. It's being authentic and having people in your life and loving them in practical ways. That is what makes a difference and in our research told us we asked non-Christians. Is there anything in your community or your neighborhood that you think churches are Christians could be helpful with and they said yes. So there are actually things that I Actually Christians could be helpful. The other encouraging thing is that in general they don't trust churches, or Christians generally but they have a high trust for people who live in the neighborhood. Interesting. If the last air of the crew there of Christendom was maybe an air of like church centered programs are no massive programs and that sort of thing people want those right now the non-Christians, but they want. But someone who lives in their neighborhood will trust because they live in the neighbor David anything like as a family in your neighborhood.

Oh yeah company on the families that will mean being married. Wendy is who is a little like cheating. So we did basement church for a while and was having people in our church returned our garage into a hockey rink. You know, a lot of people have fire pit. We put ours in the front right rather than the back and people compile the time they want huddling you in on people stop by going to our neighbors and inviting them to holiday type things they were doing this for the holidays. So all those kind of preceding kinds of things block parties are great. All those things are ways of getting to know your neighbors starting to be a blessing that we we make it a practice just sit on the front porch rather than the back porch and that's just a simple little high in outward focused when we first when I was a kid. Nobody had trampolines know that is my family.

My dad got this square with a square trampoline the first day we moved into the neighborhood. We took that square trampoline and we put it in front yard while my dad is not some friends, but this kid on our street was in the front yard. I like that idea about your fire pit now because people just walking by and he can say hi to him. That's right again so there's little things that we've done in others.

Bigger things to invited neighbors to move in with us when things have happened. You really have done it sure went when there been situations where they need help where you know things are going on in life and you come on over and your washing machine does work. Come on over, but the prerequisite for a lot of those things. And this isn't rocket science, but it also is challenging is to actually know people so like you know when we do this research with Barnett Lutheran. Are we said we need to make some tools that can help people get to know your neighbors better so socially silly, but like is it hard if you lived in the neighborhood for a long time. It's hard to reengage and go.

I totally forgot your name.

I know you like so all the time but I forgot like how do you really get to know people. So like we created this neighborhood map. A simple thing people can do to go and try to get to know people.

We crave a single neighborhood bingo bingo board and that there's little things that you have to do to create a thing and you know whether it's like ask them what the name of their pet is tell me forgot the name of their pet so there's little things that we can be doing just to begin to reengage with our neighbors. For those of us if his people listening to her like I'd love to do things to love my neighbors.

I don't know any of them. Well then start the just get the know nothing one things I hear you saying is like have eyes your eyes to see your neighbors is easy, even as a pastor I saw my people at my church. Yet my eyes were on them.

How can I serve them and not come of Shepherd there, but so were shepherds were where the light of the world in our neighborhood we need I say I'll never forget one day I get a phone call from an she's driving home and I find out and I only know how the stores can and that she picks up some lady on the side of the road that's David and Wilson with Don Everett that family life to a clear Don response in just a minute. The first all this week when you help reach more families with God's truth giving to family life we want to send you a copy of kind of a unique book about how to teach your kids when they have questions about the Christian faith, Henry Morgan Fehr has written a book called mama bear apologetics.

We want to send you a copy as our thanks when you give this week@familylifetoa.com or when you call with your donation at 800-358-6329 that 800 F peasant family L as in life, and then the word today. Right now, back to Dave and Anne's conversation with Don Everts see what happened went and picked up a random stranger on the side of the road. This wise I'm driving home and when I get up in the morning before I turn off right after I turn off my alarm I say a quick prayer Jesus I give you my life today give you everything in me and I pray that you give me your eyes, your ears and you give me your mouth to speak, and so you guys got.

Here's those prayers and answers as pairs and so I was driving home from work one day I'm talking to my mom and dad who were then in their late 80s and I talked to them every day. That was a big thing that they wanted me to call them every day.

So I called them my mom had Alzheimer's that my dad is really quick and I think I just might by someone that sat on my block and turn around and go see what's up because I could see she was older and she just down the middle the sidewalk on a busy road and my dad. This is so, I guess our day keep me on the phone hear what you think he was curious really want to protect you know he was carrying a woman and so I turned around I go to this woman and she's sitting in seat. I can tell she's probably in her late 80s as well and she has a huge bag and purse.

I sit down on the sidewalk with her and I said hey I noticed he sat down, are you okay she's tasty. So thanks honey. I am tired and hot and I have a ways to go my house and I said well this is probably five or 10 blocks from our neighborhood. Yeah, pretty close.

So yes she's pretty close to us and I said well I am on my way home and you don't know me but I am so happy to drive you home and she said that would be wonderfulto get my car and I have to introduce her to my dad and my mom is almost so I say to Betty yet. Do you have an and she said honey, I know where I live.

I'll just tell you where to go so I start driving and she tells me a street. I just kinda typing in my phone and thinking that street is and this is my neighborhood and so were driving she says take a laugh.

Take a right. She says she starts crying. She said where I and I can tell because my mom has dementia. I thought of things up and so I know that there is an assisted living home close to this place so I drive to that parking. I said does this look familiar.

And she's crying even harder. She says now and I said well you have your idea in your purse kiss you can even remember her last name and so she says let me find something this big bag and purse, but the only thing in this big bag she pulls out a way and then she pulls out this huge thing of makeup and she pulls out this huge alarm clock, a black big alarm clock with the bells on the top. You know the ending and I said daddy you are super prepared and she said honey you never know what you're going to come across is always a need for these things with you and Dan I find a while at that. There's nothing in the Wally that at the very bottom of her purse in a pocket.

I find a card and has a name on it and I said do you know this name I read the name and she said yeah that's my daughter's name and so I Google daughter's name and I find out almost neighborhood. I know this is daughter's daughter is street is near you know I derive to this.

It's pretty close.

This home and in the driveway is a police car, a fire truck and the alarm. The sirens are going off. Instead, he says oh no, I think I'm in trouble and so I pulled into the driveway. This man comes running out and he yells and I said we have been praying God, find our mother with his mother-in-law that she's been living in their home.

Just a few weeks. She has dementia and because they go to go to our church and he simply prayed, God sent an angel to find her and bring her home and he said thank you for finding her and seeing our mom and it makes me Terry thinking she passed away not too long after that he asked me to come to the funeral and share that story because they said we want people to know the catalase C-SPAN that there's someone in the neighborhood that's watching out for them, my God will send his people to you. I thought that was the sweetest story and the beautiful thing and what I love is started because he sat down next to me and saw her. You saw her. You sat down next to her people listening like how I did my neighborhood just look just want there are going to be opportunities to be live there can be opportunities to just be friendly.

There can be opportunities to just have fun, and that is eloquent behavior. That's what they called in the early church and there's a reason why Jesus said, let your light shine and people will give glory to your Father who is in heaven. You know what you did you let your light shine.

But the glory goes to godlike people are more impressed by God because of what you did and so that's kind of the hope of people listening to like all share the gospel with my neighbors. I don't like him but I want to share the gospel with will maybe start by liking them or getting to know them and being kind and loving them pursuing the welfare of your neighborhood and then God will give you, you will gain a hearing over time. If he's pursuing someone will be an opportunity to share the gospel and eloquent behavior draws people in, and they go why are you hopeful yeah I think is so easy to see and move on.

Like I'm honestly thinking of. I was driving a day and send this woman right I want to Driving like others woman sitting there and and has this hard as I got a job you know I gotta stop that prayer at the beginning. I feel like when we offer our lives to God.

He's like I you're available you're available today when you're walking around her neighborhood which we do a lot yeah like you walk by neighbor, stop to say hi and yet it may leader conversation.

I know some years ago and I don't want to stop. I don't want to talk okay I want to get my you know steps in its like know you were called to be the light of the world and you know it's really interesting is one of my mantras when I was preaching is that very passage Matthew 514 when Jesus is your ally, the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. The word in the Greek set on a hill is strategically placed on a hill so in a sense, he sent his disciples into us now as disciples. I'm strategically placing you in neighborhoods to be light.

Don't close your garage door and shut your door and turn off the lights and hide I'm in there time you need to refill. I have to say I street and say hi to your neighbor another story. I have not done this well over the years I messy wary of the woman sitting on the side lot better than when we lived in California and we were going to seminary. We are pouring into and trying to love our neighbors and then just one lady I drained after about just talking talking I have to admit she came to my door when time and it was in glass taking 50 I fell on the fourth day like we don't all do it perfectly.

Another time we had a woman who is not in a great situation in marriage. It was a little abusive so she lived with us for a little bit with the daughter had a little talk and dog upstairs went to the bathroom all the time that upstairs bedroom where they were staying in like that's I'm saying is really convenient. It's not always easy.

It's messy. This is part of why after we did this research and realize like how we do this and we don't have the muscles that you know me, which are shatter whatever we develop this network across the country and around the world.

People are starting to call the hopeful neighborhood project which is just people who are like I want to be helpful in some way in getting know my neighborhood in helping my neighborhood is re-created hopeful neighborhood.org. It's just like a place there's neighborhood coaches who can. You will hear some ideas. People sharing best practices with each other, sharing stories with each other because sometimes we fall the floor. We pretend were not there and we need to hear the story from someone else to go. Okay I can do that do that or to get ideas. It's embarrassing that were out of practice because Christians should be you like industry leaders when it comes to being good neighbors. We really should not that's okay like was admitted and repent and then say we have to grow.

How can I get some help in this. How can I get some ideas to sit up front. This just that's an actor being available.

We ask you about this. I would say to what ever you do whatever you pray about. Bring your kids if you have kids in your home ring to it, pray to the Lord help us to love and see our neighbors and what would that look like in and talk to kids about it and pray about your neighbors. It gives them a worldview.

It gives them absolute vision for their neighborhood of how God can use them not to sharing the gospel a just and loving every first day of school in okay schedule part of my speech you know sending them off. I always say I want you to keep an eye out for someone who is new to the school in your classroom or someone who doesn't have anyone to play with on the playground because we get so caught up in ourselves. It's actually like your life is found by giving it away by looking out for others.

We want to pass it on your kids do better than we you been listening to David and Wilson with Don Everts on family life to his book is called the hopeful neighborhood. What happens when Christians pursue the common good.

You can get your copy@familylifetoa.com or when you call us at 800-358-6329. That's 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today. If you know anyone who needs to hear today's conversation. Be sure to share it from wherever you get your podcasts while you're there simple way you can help more people discover God's plan for families is by leaving a rating and review for family life now. Tomorrow, David and Wilson are going to be talking with Hilary Morgan fair about the importance of instilling a strong biblical foundation for your kids faith that's tomorrow on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm Shelby Abbott will see back next time for another edition of family life today, family life, today's the production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most