Keeping up with the Joneses

Do you live in one of those neighborhoods where it seems like each guy is trying to outdo the rest of the block with his lawn care?

You know what I mean.

“I noticed Jim and Nancy put in some fresh bark chips and a row of boxwoods. I think I better go ahead and put the lighted fountain in that I was planning to do last year.” “Honey, make sure to use solar powered lighting like Russ and Deb have. We want people to know we care…. well, about the environment and all.”

As I fell asleep a couple nights ago, I distinctly heard God ask me to study Nehemiah. Not read it, not skim through and look for “life verse” to put on the fridge. STUDY Nehemiah.

I’ll get back to that.

The Johnson clan has been on the road for the last couple weeks, sharing the vision of Wide Awake International.

I left Kim and the kids in Montana, with my sister, and took a little jaunt to Colorado Springs to share with our dear friends at New Life Downtown and to attend a Missional Leaders Meeting with our group of churches.

I have been surrounded by beauty all week near Garden of the Gods.

I have truly met some amazing heroes. One couple, named Paul and Kristen, have been loving on orphans with special needs in Bolivia. They take them in to their home, get them medical care and love on them. They have been doing this for years, under the radar. Absolute heroes.

Another woman has been taking physical therapists and piles of wheelchairs into Kazakhstan, outfitting people with wheelchairs that fit their body and help them be mobile. Fantastic!

While we have known Tri and Nancy Robinson with i-61 Ministries, I have had the joy of meeting Sergio and Michael, who tirelessly work to mobilize people, passion, resources and the education needed to address injustice across the world. Intensity!

I wish I would have taken a picture of these folks and so many more. I want you to see the fire in their eyes. These people have given up everything to bring Dignity, Hope and Love to the marginalized, counted out and the broken. Heroic!

Well back to Nehemiah and the Landscaping.

On my first read through the book, I wondered if all the different families were just trying to keep up with the Joneses as they started to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.

“Did you see Eliakim and his kids out there this morning? I can’t leave my section of the wall all tore down if they are gonna build their section. What will the neighbors think?”

Who knows? That is why I am studying the book, I guess.

All I know is that as I have been meeting all these amazing people, I have realized there are many people like Kim and I who have sold everything to address the inhumanity that spans the globe. There are people, just like us, who won’t wait another minute to do something about the injustice that breaks the heart of God.

I have met the “Joneses” that I want to try to keep up with. I have seen the hands of Jesus in the hearts of great people who are loving their neighbor.  They are heroes, each one.

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