Opportunity is knocking at your door this Oct 31st.
The opportunity to love your neighbor on Halloween and be a LIGHT.
I know, I know, it is the dreaded holiday -- Halloween. The one you celebrate BECAUSE it’s over.
But what if I told you that October 31st is redeemable? This is a day when you can bring glory to God. How, you ask? By letting your light shine!
National Good Neighbor Day is Wednesday, September 28th, and we have filled this newsletter with ideas to inspire you!
Created in the early 1970s, National Good Neighbor Day was established by presidential proclamation in 1978 by Jimmy Carter. Every year, all across the country, people make an extra effort on September 28th to intentionally be a good neighbor and build community.
Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start.
Beginning a neighbor Bible study is exciting! As a new school year approaches, you may be full of faith and expectant of what God will do. You may have prayed, invited and now it is time to begin your neighbor Bible study.
Neighbors on the Field
Our summer schedule was written down on two large calendar months I posted in my kitchen. Every weekday had a practice. Every weekend had a travel tournament. The pace of life was a rush to say the least. I realize many parents do not prefer this kind of summer. But for a household of three teenage boys and one preteen girl, I was honestly thankful to have a summer full of activities for them and with them. Outside their summer jobs, it was a great opportunity to be active and involved in the community.
Reposted with permission from Family Life Local, a Cru ministry.
Now is the perfect time to meet your neighbors! Why not plan a neighborhood 4th of July Parade? We know, this is a big step for some of you, but others of you are totally ready. So, let's do this!
Listed below are the best Christmas resources we have for loving and reaching neighbors. We pray that the Lord will lead you to draw close to Him and bring others with you during this wonderful season. As always, we love hearing if you are taking a step of faith to reach out. Please reply to this email with your prayer needs and we will pray!
- Enjoy the Let Your Light Shine at Christmas video filled with 40 minutes of ideas and personal stories. This video will give you vision and encouragement to take your specific giftings and capacity -- emotionally, physically, and financially -- to love those God has put on your heart and in your path. See also the Let Your Light Shine Christmas newsletter.
- The Advent Bible study available on nbs2go.com.
The Advent Bible plan on YouVersion.
“I had the opportunity to do the Advent study last year with my family during the height of Covid. Despite being as much as 500 miles away, we joined together to study this unique approach to Scripture. Not only did it unite our family, but it also had a way of drawing me in and slowing me down to meditate on the witnesses and surroundings involved in the birth of Christ.” Nancy
"This Bible study made the story of Jesus' birth come to life. It is so personal and engaging. I have never done a study like this before." Rita
- Would you like to lead the Advent study with a neighbor or family member?
Check out this 47-minute recording of the November 9th Called To Lead Workshop: https://youtu.be/r8IhbEx0LIA
- Do you know someone who speaks one of these languages? Forward one today!
Afrikaans Advent study
Dutch Advent study
Italian Advent study
Japanese Advent study
Korean Advent study
Polish Advent study
Portuguese Advent study
Romanian Advent study
Russian Advent study
Ukrainian Advent study
- Join us on the Called to Shine Instagram account where you will receive encouragement and inspiration to reach the people around you. Called to Shine is a community of women who believe Jesus is our light and long to shine!
♡ Inspiring women to love their neighbor
♡ Equipping them to shine for Jesus
The little boy peered out the window into the night, then suddenly smiled. A lamplighter was climbing his ladder again next to their door. He lifted the globe, lit a flame, and then climbed down again. The boy turned to his parents, “Look! He’s punching holes in the darkness!” Years later Robert Louis Stevenson would write a poem about his experience.
Crossing county or state lines to visit our families is now more normal via the bright, glowing screens we stare at day after day. 2020 was spent inside “Brady Bunch squares” as we “gathered” to make the best of it. Where has this taken you? Personally, I have “traveled” to Arizona, Texas, Ohio, Florida, and Colorado. The relationships I value have motivated me to reach out to dear friends and family with whom I’m not normally involved.
Do you want to reach out to your neighbors but don’t know how to begin? Make a Fresh Start! This 4-week group training will encourage and equip you to take simple steps towards beginning a Bible study. Each seventy-five-minute video call will include training tools, group discussion and application.
Here's what others are saying about the Fresh Start group training...
Let Your Light Shine This Spring
. . . shine like stars in the universe. (Phil. 2:14-15)
Just as the closest stars shine the brightest, so we can shine the light of Christ into the lives of those near us – our neighbors, acquaintances, friends. In spring we automatically feel more hopeful as the weather warms up and flowers open. We can get outside and connect more with others. As we do, Jesus’ light within draws them closer to us, and ultimately to Him.
We invite you to take part in the ADVENT 2GO Bible plan now available on YouVersion. This study includes four stories from Matthew and Luke. We learn of God’s divine plan for the birth of Jesus Christ and experience what it was like to be present at these events. The question-and-answer format can be used for family devotions, group discussion, and self-study. Invite a neighbor, friend, or family member to this Bible study and look expectantly to what God will teach you together. He will draw you closer to one another as you study God’s Word.
Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him!
Anno Domini, the year of our Lord. The calendar of the planet revolves around one date—the birth of Jesus Christ. Whether or not we have faith in who Christ claimed to be, it remains as a beginning point by which the world lives. This one event altered history.
When my friend and I thought of starting a Bible study in the neighborhood, we knew we would definitely need to start with some kind of event to get to know people. I knew only a handful of my immediate neighbors; she didn’t know many at all. The NBS2GO website suggested inviting neighbors to a tea or coffee event. As we thought of that, it didn’t have much appeal to either one of us. “Would you come to a neighborhood coffee?” I asked her. “Probably not,” she said. So we decided to brainstorm what kind of event we would be likely to attend. “What do we like to do?” I asked. "I think we're more game night people," she said. Thus the idea for Ladies’ Game Night was born.
To advertise the first Ladies’ Game Night we printed flyers and posted them on all the mailboxes.We also posted this event in our neighborhood’s Nextdoor app. I walked my street and the one next to it, handing out flyers to anyone who answered their door, and taped them onto the doors of those who didn’t. And of course, we prayed. We prayed together, prayed when we walked in the neighborhood, and prayed with other friends.
Our first game night was a lot of fun and after my two-sentence announcement that we hoped to start a Bible study, four of the eight women said they would love to participate. In addition, all the women expressed interest in another game night. Since then we’ve had a game night every month and they’ve been a wonderful way for the women in our community to connect. At almost every game night a new woman decides to join our Bible study.
NBS2GO Partners with YouVersion!
Above and beyond our wildest dreams and prayers, God has opened the door for a partnership with YouVersion. Our LIGHT 2GO Bible Study has been adapted into a devotion for the most downloaded Bible platform available today.
What an unprecedented time for this opportunity. We are overjoyed to share that our first LIGHT Bible Plans were launched at the beginning of August. LIGHT in English, French, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili, has already been downloaded more than 1,000 times!
"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think" Ephesians 3:20 NLT.
One week into the COVID crisis, I sat up at 4:00am filled with anxious thoughts. The “what ifs” started pouring in. The “if onlys” came right after. Following the intermission of this two-part heart-racing play was the trilogy, “Now what?” As quick as I could, I grabbed my pen and began to listen.
Speak, Lord, I am listening.
Where are You in this crisis?
What are You doing?
Do you see our fears?
What do You want us to know?
Opening the Bible that stays on the pillow next to me,
Here is a great idea for celebrating Easter differently this year! Ask several neighbors to join you in creating a walking scavenger hunt in your neighborhood. Included in this scavenger hunt are two main items, cute Easter riddles/jokes and Bible verses highlighting the Passion Week. On the attached printable forms are eight cards for each. Ideally you would ask eight neighbors to join you (adapt accordingly). Assign one joke and one verse to each of your eight neighbors. On Easter morning, each neighbor would post the joke and the Bible verse with a symbol inside the Easter basket, along with either a plastic figure of the item listed or a creative alternative.
On Easter, families go around your neighborhood looking for the Easter baskets that have these cards. The scavenger hunt sheet shows them what to look for on these specific cards and check them off. This is a fun way for us to celebrate #EasterTogetherApart.
Melody began praying for her neighbors and developing relationships four years ago. She started a neighborhood Bible study one year ago. What you are about to read is a poetic reflection that you don’t have to do big things, but one little thing at a time. Since she began, Melody has seen fourteen women join her in Bible study and five have come to Christ. She hosted a Christmas gathering where thirty participated. In her Easter outreach twenty attended. This doesn’t happen overnight but in micro-decisions and a commitment to pray moment by moment and day by day.
How it all began. . .
One little prayer
Awoke in my heart
Full of hopes and dreams
Not clear how to start.
Thank You. Two simple words — both written and spoken — hover as an endangered species in our ‘hurry up and get it done’ culture. But we see in the Book of Luke that Thank You is important to God.
As another Christmas approached I found myself weary of the commercialized season. What I really longed for was thoughtful moments being mesmerized by my Savior's birth. The story that had transformed my life somehow seemed diminished in the to-do's of December. I searched for an Advent study that would take me through the Scriptures in order to feel the story firsthand, but I couldn't find one. So, I wrote one. I invited several others on this personal journey, and their encouragement to publish and post this study was unanimous.
Step out of time and into these Scriptures. Find yourself pondering afresh this moment when our stratosphere was interrupted with the divine. The silent and holy night is near. Make ready your heart to worship.
The following is the introduction to the ADVENT study. The ADVENT study guide and compact guide are available here.