Next Door As It Is In Heaven – Book Review

NextDoorHeaven_3DNext Door As It Is In HeavenLiving Out God’s Kingdom In Your Neighborhood by Lance Ford and Brad Brisco, was a complete joy to read.

There was a time when neighborhoods were places of community, where you not only knew your neighbors names, but you knew their joys, and their sorrows, and more importantly you helped and loved your neighbor.  I grew up in that kind of neighborhood, and I’m a better person for it.  But the neighborhood “where everybody knows your name”, has become the neighborhood “where nobody knows your name.” Ford and Brisco shows us the way back to community and love for each other with basic principles and best practices.

Ford and Brisco remind us that Jesus has two primary commands for us, His followers, “Love God”, and “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Throughout the book Ford and Brisco give several ways that we can change our actions and our mindset.  One of my favorites is Hangouts – The Importance Of Third Places.

Third Places are settings that are common ground, or “hangout.”  Coffee Shops, Cafes, Community Centers, Beauty Parlors, Barbershops, General Stores, and Bookstores.  In the most basic sense, a third place is a public setting that hosts regular, voluntary, and informal gatherings of people.  There are eight characteristics that are essential in the makeup of a typical third place.

  1. Neutral ground – people are free to come and go as they please.
  2. Acts as a leveler – a third place is an inclusive place. People from all walks of life gather.
  3. Conversation is the main activity – the talk is lively.
  4. Accessible and accommodating – can go there almost anytime and someone will be there and conveniently located.
  5. There are regulars – regulars set the tone of hospitality and regulars are attracted there because of the other customers.
  6. Low profile – as a physical structure, they are usually plain and unimpressive in appearances, but this adds to the essential need to linger.
  7. Mood is playful – the mood encourages people to stay longer and come back repeatedly.
  8. A home away from home – at their core, third places are where people feel at home.

He values his call as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven, which requires him to live his life as a faithful neighbor on earth.

At the end of each chapter they have a little “Reflection and Preparation” section which helps the reader fully absorb and help put into action what they have just read.

This is by far one of the best books I have ever read, and I believe, has the power to transform our world one neighborhood at a time.

hospitality-is-an-adventureHere is a “Declaration of Interdependence” that your neighborhood can use.  declarationcertificate_nocrops_x1a

I highly recommend Next Door As It Is In Heaven5 out of 5 stars.

You can read an excerpt HERE

Next Door As It Is In Heaven is available on Amazon.

 

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Have a blessed day, Jay

What Type Of Man Are You?

One type of Christian man trusts that what Jesus teaches is true . . . but only on an intellectual level. This man appreciates a good sermon, but then goes away and lives out the moments of his life in ways that make it indistinguishable from the lives of those who do not trust Jesus at all. This type of man doesn’t trust Jesus with his life, and so lives “like a shrub in the desert” (Jeremiah 17:6). There is another type of man, though, one who chooses to trust the truth of Jesus deeply, authentically, and practically. This type of man lives the moments of his life in ways that are markedly different than they’d be otherwise . . . because of his trust.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream . . .” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

 

God Bless, Jay

It’s what you have in your heart.

macro-wheat-field-sun-nature-2

Two brothers went away to college. One brother became a farmer. The other became a brilliant lawyer. The lawyer brother visited the farmer brother on the farm. He said, “I can’t believe you’ve not made anything of your life. You’re out here on a farm. Look at me. Look where I am. I’m on Wall Street. I’m an investor in the stock market. I have clients who are millionaires. Here you are, stuck out here on the farm. I wonder what the difference between us is.”
The brother farmer then spoke. He pointed out to his wheat field. He said, “You’ll see two types of wheat out there, brother. You’ll see the wheat that’s standing straight up. In the head of that wheat, there is nothing. It’s empty. That’s why it’s standing so high. You’ll also see some other wheat that is bent over. That’s because the head is full. It’s full of wheat.”
Some of us are standing straight up. We are walking tall. However, we are only able to do so because we are empty. Some of us walk a little bent over indicating that we are full. The test isn’t what you have in your pocket. It’s what you have in your heart.

The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.

James 1:11

The lord is my photographer

DSC_0293 copyThe lord is my photographer; He is all that I need.

He shows me the beauty of green meadows; and peaceful streams.

He renews my sight.

He guides me through every assignment, each photo bringing honor to his name.

Even when I photograph in the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are my light.

Your grace and mercy protect and comfort me.

You feed my soul as I capture memories of my friends and my enemies.

You honor me by framing my photos in my heart.

My camera bag overflows with blessings.

Surely I will purse God’s beauty all the days of my life,

and my work will dwell in God’s house forever.