Random thoughts from around the house.

The New Neighbors

   A while ago construction began on a new house in our neighborhood. Most of the houses were built in the early to mid 1990's, so we curiously watched the frame go up. Marie and I were surprised to see architecture not common to our area of Texas. We've  often laughed at how different this house looks than all the others in our neighborhood. 

After a couple of months of wondering, I finally saw what seemed to be the owners of this new property leaving their home. The man driving the car had a very long beard and was wearing a cap. From his dress and beard he might be muslim. After observing those things I put  that information in my back pocket and proceeded with my jog around the neighborhood. I didn't think much of it. On my way back home I decided to jog by the new structure for a closer look and what I found disturbed me. 

From the street I could see that a couple of windows were broken from what looks like things thrown at them from the street. Any act of vandalism in my neighborhood troubles me, but if it is because the family's religion, race, or architectural choice, then I'm even more disturbed.  At best, I'm hoping it was just mischievous teens or something like that.

Either way, this broken window reminds me that it is supposed to be good news for my neighborhood that my family lives there. Our presence should be good news for muslim families, hindu families, and immigrants from all over. If the Collins' home is an embassy of another kingdom, what creative ways can Marie, Ella, and me be a light to dark places? For now I will pray for this new home and the people that will live in it. I pray for their peace, their wholeness and for God's love to be continually unveiled to them. I will pray for opportunities to serve them and to show them that they matter to God and others.

The Grill

 In other neighborhood news, I finally got the courage to open the lid of a grill that the previous owners of our house left in our back yard, nearly three years ago. Clearly it was in bad shape from the way it looked on the outside and our house was in such bad shape when we bought it, I just didn't have the energy to fiddle around with the grill or throw it away. It sat outside our back window until a few weeks ago. 

Finally, I opened it up and realized that it was not a lost cause after all. After a trip to the hardware wasn't store, some elbow greese and about $35 we had a really nice new grill to cook on! I actually replaced the burner (pictured above). It's probably not a big deal for most, but it was for me. It felt a little silly realizing the treasure we had sitting right under our nose! "Surely God was in this place and I did not know it." For me this was bigger than just a gas grill but an example of how I face some problems in life. Sometimes, I think they are a bigger deal than they really are.

What are you intimidated by? Are there relationships or problems that seem too rusted, dilapidated, and unfixable? Don't write off people, obstacles, or brokenness in your world. You may have a treasure or an opportunity for God to help you right under your nose too!

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