Lessons From My Neighbor

Today, we celebrate the impact and life of a friend. He was my neighbor. And he truly left an impact.

A big topic today is walls between neighbors. Without getting political here, I want to talk about my little hood called The JR, or the Jacobs Road district. I had a neighbor that taught me some things. We didn’t have walls or barriers or extra security. Though occasionally his family did allow their canines to venture onto to my little yard. Not sure if they left the normal canine offerings, as I would try to have others mow. But that’s for another time. Today, I want to talk about what that man taught me. We say that people leave an impact, so let me get a little specific. Note, these are not in any order except that which my mind determined at 3 in the morning …

Faithfulness comes in many forms

I could say he was one of the most faithful members at our church that rarely came. It wasn’t my preaching, I think, but it was the complete and utter devotion to that woman who was his life. By her side, ever faithful, and never a word or action that made you think he even gave any other thought as to doing anything else. Which showed me another nugget of truth …

Marriage is for life

Thick or thin, good or bad, sickness and health, forever. And no thing and no one changes that. You want to look in the dictionary for faithful, then you will see the picture of this man. So as long as we are talking fam, this next one is great …

Family is important and it’s okay to brag about them, and occasionally laugh about them

Ever bragging over his grandkids. Glowing when his offspring was the topic. Always filled with joy when talking of in-laws, even future ones, ever thankful for family beyond the immediate, and always proud. He shared a few treks down memory lane, and always showing the best side of everybody in his family. And I know many of you, so I know some of the other sides. But to this man, you would think there was but the one good side – and that’s what we are to talk about. So when it comes to talking, especially talking to neighbors, I also learned this …

A good neighbor invites you to church

I was still unloading, and this man came down to my section of the The JR and invited me to church. Didn’t help unload mind you, but invited me to church. As stated in another blog, he told me the pastor was a bit crazy, and you never knew what to expect in worship. He knew I was the pastor, his pastor even, so what a fun conversation that was. Church was important to him. His love for the Lord was never in question. Speaking of his love for fam and for his church …

Love is a choice and a verb

His actions matched his heart, and we saw it over and over with family and with church family. And when you look at his life you see this …

We should live under the truth, showing we believe that our God is faithful

His Bible was old, taped together, few notes, but used. One thing did pop out as I looked through it. He referenced Job several times. A fellow pilgrim that had struggles but never, ever thought of turning his back on the faithful Lord. Always trusting even in the silence from above.

Listen to others when they talk; and acknowledged them when they are right

My fellow man from The JR listened when I spoke. He would tell me ‘thats right’ when I made sense (maybe it surprised him I had any, so he was being kind). But in a world obsessed about ourselves, and hearing our own voice, he listened. One more and I’ll stop …

We never take enough time to get to know those around us

I wish I knew him better, and had more time. I saw him 3 weeks ago. I wish I could see him next week, but can’t. But I do know this, and he knew it too – I will see him again.

His name – Doug Bowman. My neighbor, my church family, my friend.

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