#FollowJesus * Natural Path of Life * #GoodFriend
Our family moved to Stonegate Estates in September of 2001. God used the years we spent in Wichita as a training ground in disciplemaking. We closed on the Stonegate home a few weeks ago. We have been reminiscing the experiences and lessons learned over the 17 years at that home. If I had to boil the disciplemaking lessons down into one sentence it would be… We learned how to follow Jesus and be a good friend on the natural path of life.
I remember going for a run when we first moved to town. I was praying for families that lived in our neighborhood. When I was a few houses away from home a car pulled up and started engaging me with paintball guns. The new Youth Pastor, Shawn Ammons, was receiving a warm Stonegate neighborhood welcome. I met a few neighbors as a result of that experience that have been good friends ever since.
As we settled into a new normal the Lord kept teaching us how to follow him and help others do the same on the natural path of our life. We were blessed to see a neighbor boy pray to receive Christ. Neighbors got sick and needed meals. Weather gave us bad ice and thunderstorms that opened up serving opportunities. Other neighbors had relational challenges with a few experiencing devastating divorces. God specifically used us to come alongside neighbors in need for his glory. As our family followed Jesus we were able to be a good friend with many neighbors. These friendships over time have not only grown in intimacy but have produced some great memories, intimate friendships, and beautiful spiritual fruit.
A few years ago my wife and I started praying for two specific things. We wanted our younger children to see and experience a faith step while they were still at home. We knew our older children had experienced that and desired our younger children to have the same. We also wanted to have less financial debt. We praise God today for answering both of those prayers.
Guess what? We moved to Conway Springs and have the opportunity to keep learning how to follow Jesus and be a good friend on the natural path of life. By God’s grace we have already seen a young neighbor boy come to Christ, another boy asks discovery questions all the time, and one neighbor in need allows us to subsidize their food shortage. We have been asked if we could help build a handicap ramp for another neighbor. Following Jesus and being a friend on the natural path of our life is not only what we are called to do, it is very rewarding here and for eternity.