Summer is a great time to connect with neighbors and build community. Here are some ways to serve others with Christ's love.
Jean and I want our boys, Trent and Troy, to grasp the importance of reaching out to our neighbors. Jean made homemade pumpkin bread; Trent, Troy and I volunteered to deliver it, even though it was 10 below zero outside! The bread was a big hit, and Trent and Troy learned that it's worth going out in the cold to do a good deed.
—Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family
My family and I befriended a single mom and her daughter. The husband was stationed overseas, leaving the mom at home to care for their teenage daughter, who was in a wheelchair. We noticed how the girl would spend the afternoons sitting on their porch. My wife would take our children to visit with the girl. We soon had a sweet friendship with the mom and daughter that resulted in many dinners and long conversations.
—Max Lucado, author of the newly released
children's book Tallest of the Smalls
When we moved into our neighborhood six years ago, friendly neighbors greeted us with a basket of cookies. The experience made us feel welcome. We decided to pass our neighbors' kindness on, so we delivered a basket of VeggieTales DVDs to new neighbors with a young child, and we delivered a coffee-themed basket to another new family. The spirit of neighborliness was infectious and helped not only shape our neighborhood, but also helped teach our kids what it means to "love your neighbor."
—Mike Nawrocki, a vice president at Big Idea Entertainment
and the voice of Larry the Cucumber in the upcoming
VeggieTales: Sweetpea Beauty
Our neighbor Mrs. Lucretia made an effort to meet my wife, Melanie, and I when we moved into the neighborhood. Later when her mother-in-law fell and needed an ambulance, our son John Michael promised Mrs. Lucretia that we would pray for them. Melanie sent our neighbor flowers and told her that she admired her willingness to selflessly care for her mother-in-law. We try to visit her more now because she doesn't get out much, and the kids like to give her things when they visit.
—Mark Hall, lead singer of Casting Crowns,
who recently released the album Until the Whole World Hears
My neighbor had diabetes and went to the hospital. During that time, my family and I took his son, who was my friend, to dinner and to visit his dad in the hospital. When his dad died, we invited my friend and his mom to join us for dinner several nights a week. Now, a year later, we like to join them for "family" events. I enjoy sharing memories of his father with him, especially on his dad's birthday and the anniversary of his dad's death.
—Caroline Williams from CCM group pureNRG
Our next-door neighbor asked, "Who's bringing in our trash can?"
Her husband, Frank, smiled at my daughter. "You've been doing it, haven't you?"
Katelyn nodded sheepishly.
Later, I said, "That's sweet of you to bring the Jeldys' can from the curb."
"I remembered you doing it for that single mom when you were walking the dog," she said. "Plus, I've heard you tell about all the things you secretly did for others when you were in college."
—Cyndi Lamb Curry, author of
Keeping Your Kids Afloat When It Feels Like You're Sinking
This article first appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Jim Daly, Max Lucado, Mike Nawrocki, Mark Hall, Caroline Williams, Cyndi Lamb Curry. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com
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