During our online Bible study called We Saved You a Seat by Lisa-Jo Baker, we explored the “new girl” concept. Being the new girl can be a transformative experience filled with growth, new friendships, and exciting opportunities. We can embrace the unknown with an open heart, a curious mind, and a resilient spirit.

Remember that this journey is just the beginning of a new chapter in your life, and with time, you’ll build a strong foundation of connections and create a sense of belonging in your new community. I enjoyed the New Girl challenge this week from page 93. When I look back at the times I experienced welcoming new people or being a new person myself, I see opportunity. There are so many layers of revelation in the experience.

As we discussed Mark 10:35-41 in our online Bible study, two brothers James and John ask to sit at the right and left of Jesus. I think they could be seen as self-serving, using the kingship hierarchy, seeking reward and privilege. But on the other side of my opinion, I think they could have been craving wisdom and being close enough to hear His words.

Jesus says, “…a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him” (John 13:16). Often people will try to get close to the messenger without getting close to God. We worship God, and we can serve His messengers without worshipping them. My pastors are messengers in my life, carrying God’s word each week in sermons and worship. I serve them with tithes, and prayers, and speak positively about them and their work. However, I do not worship them.

As a friend said this week, “All who pray for me, share my faith, preach the Good News, encourage me to grow in my faith by being in the word are messengers in my life. The Bible Cafe is a great example of messengers of Christ because we grow in the word through these Bible studies.” Okay, those are beautiful words!!

My goal at the Bible Cafe is to see women disciple others to live like Christ in our modern world

When you represent Christ, as His messenger, what type of “soul clothing” do you wear most: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12-15)?

I tend to wear compassion, and I need to cultivate gentleness. I am driven to help people and extend anything the Lord has given me as a blessing to bless others.  For example, when I think about my dining table or outside patio table, I desire to use it for “heaven’s gaze.” It is a place of compassion where everyone is welcome to sit.

Get yourself an outdoor table (freecycle). Prepare it in advance, location, convenience, visible. Have mugs and a French press coffee pot. Invite people at a specific time each week. The table is “open” to serve the Lord.

Why be intentional only on holidays? Let’s open our homes or our front yards for conversation. Jesus dined numerous times in the Bible because He met people where they were!

Perhaps we can feed the spiritually hungry, right in our homes. Keep the doorway of your heart open. Let people know you are a praying Christian. Have the Bible visible and not on a shelf. In my neighborhood, people know that I pray. Someone will say “I have (illness)” and my reply is always “I’ll pray for you.”

Since I don’t have a front yard table (yet) a neighbor recently sat on the pavement (no sidewalks here) in front of my house and shared her trials with me. I listened and prayed for her.

Your mission field is your FRONT yard. Sit in your wheelchair (in the front yard) as my stepdad did. He would talk to everyone who had time to listen to his heart. You are not too frail to witness for Jesus. You have a mouth. Use it.

Lisa-Jo Baker writes, “I’ve been given this little lot in God’s kingdom. It’s my job to be a good and generous host here.” How can you steward the “little lot” that you are given?

Before this study, I saw my little lot as an embarrassment. Never clean and overgrown with weeds. Now I am intentional to keep the house ready for guests anytime. And to pull the “super bloom weeds” which have invaded the garden. I am planning a neighborhood summer in that garden and getting ready to receive Jesus’ guests.

When was that time you felt like the “new girl?” When I moved to my new neighborhood and rental house, people did not bring pies or cookies. Instead, they were suspicious of me. I was an outsider, and they were a tight community. They immediately referenced all the bad things (supposedly) the past renters had done. Later I discovered these were lies. They drilled my children on “What kind of Christians are your parents?” It was unwelcoming. When I moved to my permanent house, they were still giving me the inquisition and by this time I knew how to answer without triggering a rejection tag on my home and family. Today, those neighbors are close friends.

Lisa-Jo Baker writes, “Friendship isn’t something we passively receive. Friendship is something we actively do.” And so, I can actively be different and allow my friends and neighbors to be different too. We all grow in our faith, often in seasons of difficulty. When those seasons come, I am planted right where God needs me to bloom.

One of my neighbors painted rocks and put them in her front yard with a sign “Take one.” Another neighbor puts her garden flowers in vases in the front yard and has a note “Take one.” Many neighbors put their unwanted household furniture or items in the front yard with the sign “free.” In my home, we have a “reverse garage sale” and give everything away.

Love your neighbors- where God has planted you for a season.

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.