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Christian, Are Your Doors Locked?

Christian, Are Your Doors Locked?

Tonight, weather-permitting, a bunch of strangers will converge on our backyard for a cookout and a bonfire. We don’t know most of these people yet, but we hope to soon. They are fellow residents of Eastwood, a village in the city of Syracuse, New York.

A Positive Response from the Community After a Double Homicide

Thanks to a community Facebook page someone set up, we invited anyone and everyone in Eastwood to join us for a meal. When I posted the invitation on Facebook, the response was overwhelming. One woman messaged me, offering a $25 gift certificate to a grocery store, even though she wouldn’t be able to make it. She wrote,

You and your husband did something  extraordinary in a cynical world. You loved your neighbors, all of them! Thank you for being a shining light this difficult week in Eastwood!

That’s when I connected the dots. We had planned this cookout weeks before, but in God’s providence, I posted the invite two days after a double homicide in our neighborhood.

A Negative Response from a Church Member Concerned About Safety

While our neighborhood is thrilled by the opportunity to come together, a local church member had a different response:

I don’t think it’s wise. You have no idea who might be coming to your house. You just had a shooting in your neighborhood!

I didn’t say too much in response. I understand where this person is coming from, but here’s the deal:

Jesus didn’t call us to pursue safety; Jesus called us to the task of global evangelization.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matt. 28:19-20).

Is Safety Your Ultimate Goal, Christian?

I’ve wasted decades playing it safe. Praying for safety. Locking proverbial doors, shutting proverbial blinds, and staking a proverbial “No trespassing sign” in the front yard of my life. For years I thought the goal of Christianity was to hunker down and protect myself from the world. (How could I have gotten it so wrong?!)

I now live in a city of 500,000 people. God has tasked me–along with every other believer in this city–to share with them the good news that they have a Creator who loves them, a God who sacrificed Himself to atone for their sin and restore their wrecked relationship with Him. 

This good news is shared on ordinary days, in ordinary places, like backyard barbecues, by building relationships with our neighbors . . . even when we don’t know exactly who we’re inviting into our backyards. 

I wonder, Christian, what is your ultimate goal? Is it safety . . . or is it relationship with and representation of your God?

“Safety is of the Lord,” my parents taught me as a little girl from Proverbs 21:31 (KJV). May we trust Him with the number of our days, and may we swing open our doors in the meantime!

(Here are just a few ways you can pray about our Cookout on Collingwood.)

  • Good weather.
  • Wise, life-giving, Christ-centered words related to this double homicide.
  • Love for God and neighbor.
  • New friendships forged.
  • No hiding the fact that we belong to Christ.
  • Glory to God through this ordinary endeavor.

Thanks so much, friend!

UPDATE: WE JUST RESCHEDULED TO 7/11 DUE TO RAIN.

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15 Truths You Need to Know About Your Tears

15 Truths You Need to Know About Your Tears

The Bible has a lot to say about those salty drops that run down your cheeks. Here are fifteen truths you need to know about your tears.

  1. God sees your tears. He doesn’t miss a single one.

You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (Ps. 56:8).

Are you tempted to believe God doesn’t see or care about your pain? If so, how does that line up with this truth from His Word?

2. Praying and tears go together.

“Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears!” (Ps. 39:12).

Are you simply crying, or are you crying out to God?

3. God has been known to act as a result of our prayerful tears.

“Go and say to Hezekiah, thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life” (Isa. 38:5).

What are you pleading with God for? How are you trusting Him to work?

4. When God took on human flesh, He wept, too.

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence (Heb. 5:7).

Do you know that God empathizes with your sadness, ’cause His tears fell too while on this earth?

5. Serving the Lord and tears go together.

“Serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials” (Acts 20:19).

How often does the work you are doing for God lead you to tears?

Today I’m writing over at LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com. Catch ten more truths about your tears here. Then I’d love to hear from you.

  • Which truths stand out the most to you?
  • Did any truths surprise you?
  • What did I miss?
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