The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:5
Isn’t it interesting that no matter how thick darkness is, it can never ‘put out’ the light? It can be dark for miles and miles, but one little flame can pierce the darkness.
What if we put that into the context of our neighborhoods? What if people made their homes a beacon of light to a dying neighborhood? I don’t mean dying in the sense of run down. Your neighbor can have the most beautiful flowers and landscaping and still be dying inside.
I’ll never forget the first time I knocked on my neighbor’s door before we moved into an RV. The look on his face as he walked up was “What’s wrong? What happened? Do I know you?” all wrapped up in one expression. It’s not normal anymore to even talk to your neighbor. If we are in the world, but not of it, why don’t we do something totally counter-cultural that really speaks of the Kingdom. It’s never been easier to do this.
Go over to your neighbor’s house and invite them over for coffee, or a meal, or a yard game… something! People are longing everywhere to not be lonely; to have someone that truly knows them; to be invited into family.
What we do should flow out of who we are. God has made us all royal priests! We are to have authority given to us by Jesus over things of the unseen realm. We battle against things not of this world. Although Jesus beat sin and death once for all, we still have a ministry to serve in here on earth before He comes back.
That ministry is to be an ambassador of the King; to be a light wherever we’re at. Now I’m not going to give you a step by step process of how best to serve your neighbors or co-workers, because I believe the Holy Spirit can give you the best insight of how to do that. Every person and relationship is different, which is precisely why we need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
When we bought a 4-plex and lived in one of the apartments, the address was 513. God showed me Matthew 5:13-14 (you are the salt of the earth… you are the light of the world) and Galatians 5:13-14 (you were called to freedom so that through love you can serve one another; love your neighbor as yourself) as a roadmap for why God had us purchase it
Through prayer and seeking the Father about the purpose of the house, God revealed to us His plan. We began to have Thursday night worship where the evening was modeled after Acts 2:42-47 and 1 Corinthians 14:26. Prayer, worship, fellowship and eating together happened. People grew closer to God, and others were brought into the Kingdom. Everyone had a part to play, and were encouraged to do so. It was a safe place for all people to grow in their faith and relationship with Jesus.
God gave us a lighthouse, but we were to be the light! We were filled up and encouraged by meeting together… everyone having a place... everyone having a voice.
What if a church (a group of people following Christ) was full of lighthouses? What would our neighborhoods look like? What would our cities look like? What would America look like?
I believe the church needs a grassroots movement. A movement not led by pastors, but the body of Christ. A movement where people that love Jesus simply start loving their neighbors. I believe it would transform lives and transform our nation.
I (Mary) had a couple of dreams this past month... (that I remember, that is). One of those dreams was about a diamond. In the dream, a group of Christ followers had this large diamond.
The diamond was about 3’ tall and just about as wide around. It was massive and it was beautiful! The group was surrounding the diamond and they all had tools that they were using to try and break apart the diamond. Each one had a different tool and each was hitting the diamond with their tool of choice. Their goal was to figure out how to use the diamond and they were all working very hard. However, they were unable to break the diamond apart. As I was waking up out of the dream I remember thinking that they were using the wrong tools.
At first, it seemed pretty clear what the dream meant. The “Church” (group of believers) have this valuable resource. People seem to be working diligently to use it. But, they are working hard with the wrong tools and are unable to access the resources of Heaven. They are unable to break the diamond open.
However, as I began talking to God about this dream, He began to show me another possible explanation. Diamonds are not meant to be broken apart and put to work. Diamonds are valuable and of incomparable beauty. To possess a diamond is to signify that you have incredible wealth, and people who own diamonds, often display them for all to see and enjoy. This is especially true with a diamond of this magnitude.
I believe that God is saying He has given His people something of incredible value and beauty. We, as children of God, possess the most massive and most beautiful resource ever imagined. We have been working so diligently to do the right things and use the right tools to utilize all of the resources God has given to us. But, God is asking us to see the true beauty and value of what He has put in our midst. He is asking us to stop all of the striving, to put down all of the “tools” we have picked up, and to simply enjoy the majesty of what He has given us: Himself.
This is especially true as we enter this special season. Christmas is a time to rest and reflect on the precious gift our Father in Heaven has given to us. Jesus came down to be with us. He made himself man and gave us the most valuable gift of all: eternal life.
Take time to rest and gaze upon the beauty of Jesus.
I have been sitting in front of a window watching and waiting for about four hours. Why? Well, let me tell you. One of the major challenges of living in an RV is receiving mail. We have had things shipped to places all over California, Arizona and North Dakota.
I did a really dumb thing. I thought I knew a friend’s address. It ends in a seven, but when I purchased my new phone, I ended the address in a nine. Not a big deal? Maybe, maybe not! So, basically I put a shipping address that doesn’t exist. Mary had something shipped there (to the fictional address I gave her) and it was of course returned. Usually it wouldn’t be a big deal, a person would just have to wait longer. However, when you are travelling to a different city the same day it arrives, it’s a big deal.
So, here I am. Watching and waiting for a phone that is SO important. Now of course, it’s times like these that God reminds me of my ways… and this was the question today: What if you watched and waited for me like you have for your new phone? BAM! Right between the eyes. God is so good. We all have so much more to grow and learn.
Now here’s a bigger thought: What if every follower of Christ watched and waited like I am for my new phone? I have to believe amazing things would happen. It is very much comical how long I have sat here waiting, and how attentive I’ve been. Sitting at a window for hours with nothing happening but rain. I have seen precisely four vehicles in about four hours. One was the homeowner, and one was UPS with two packages… wrong truck!
How do we (the followers of Christ) grow a culture that waits on God attentively? I don’t have all the answers, but I have to think that the early church had this down pretty well. Acts 2:42-47, 1 Cor 14:26 have been so pivotal in our journey over the last two years. They speak to how that early church operated. These verses show how excited people were about loving God and loving others.
God showed us that a lighthouse is what we began at 513 6th St and what we would continue to do in the future. Would you pray with us that God becomes the most important thing in our lives? More important than sports and toys; more important than endless information? Let’s watch and wait for the Lord this Christmas season and look to 2019 to see what God will do.
P.S. The USPS just delivered two more packages, no joke… Wrong truck, still waiting.
Hi! We're the Hoeckles.
We're a family of six living full-time in a skoolie (aka a school bus converted into an RV). We are inviting you to join us as we live life to its fullest and empower others to do the same. Welcome to the family!