The Many Blessings of Having Great Neighbors

white picket fence

One of the blessings of having great neighbors is that our home church is less than an hour away from Haven Baptist Church. Because of the nearness of our churches, we have the privilege of sharing traveling missionaries. Last week we were blessed to have the Holmes Family fellowship with us and present their ministry to the church.

The message was very timely for our small group of believers. The testimony of this young family heading to Russia proved that they lived what they preached. First Corinthians 9:24-27 is a familiar portion of Scripture about running a race and its correlation to the Christian life.

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Bro. Holmes brought out some things that I’ve never heard in my nearly 33 years of being under sound Bible preaching! I learned that there was more than just the Olympics in the city of Corinth; there was also what was called the Isthmus Games. These games were held both the year before and after the Olympics. Essentially, the city of Corinth was very big in athleticism which is probably why Paul used similar terminology when talking about the Christian life.

The verse that struck me the most was verse 27 – “But I keep under my body and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

There is more to the word castaway than I previously thought. The Greek word is “adokemo” which in the context of athletics not only means rejected and set aside but also reprobate and disqualified. Bro. Holmes referred to the cloud that hangs over an athlete who cheats by using drugs or who otherwise “strives unlawfully.” I don’t want anything like that in my life, therefore, I must discipline myself according to God’s Word! I personally struggle with procrastinating – like with writing this article… *smile* But in order to remain usable for the Lord, I must subject my body and mind to Christ.

A second blessing of being so close to our home church is the blessing of seeing many of you ladies on special occasions – like the recent luncheon for Beverly, Sarah’s Baby shower (she’s due December 10th) and Maria’s Bridal shower (her and Nathan will be married on January 10th). We’re also looking forward to attending the upcoming Christmas banquet next month, too! We were SO thankful for the “showers of blessings” bestowed on both Sarah and Maria these last couple of weeks. We are also grateful for Nathan being able to purchase the house directly next to our backyard – thus assuring another “good neighbor” in a home that has sat vacant all the years that we have been in Pottsville.

A third blessing is God’s goodness in my husband’s life. Last month was his 20th Anniversary in full time Christian service – 5 years as the Youth Pastor at LVBC and 15 years as Pastor of Haven Baptist Church – YOUR mission church in nearby Schuylkill County. We trust the Lord to help us continue to try to fulfill I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

Thank you for your part in this endeavor.

Sue, for all the Gables and HBC


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