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Focus on the Family Broadcast

The Beautiful Impact of Loving Your Neighbor

The Beautiful Impact of Loving Your Neighbor

Patrick Linnell explains how serving and loving others is not a small thing in God’s kingdom. Through the “Grace Bomb” movement, acts of kindness to strangers have had far-reaching results—even bringing people to a relationship with Christ.
Original Air Date: November 4, 2022


Patrick Linnell: If the creator of the universe if preparing good works for us to walk in, that means that on Monday at your work, on Tuesday at the airport, on Wednesday at the soccer sideline or in the Starbucks line or at the Safeway checkout or you name it, there could be an opportunity that is just waiting to be stepped into.

End of Preview

John Fuller: That’s Pat Linnell, our guest on Focus on the Family, talking about the excitement and the joy that comes with surprising someone with kindness, the kindness of Christ. Today, we’ll speak with Pat about that, uh, about growing in our walk with Christ as we serve others. And we thank you for joining us. Your host is Focus president, Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, we’ve all had “I hope someone surprises us and do something kind for us.” I mean, for me, my football coach in high school. It was so awesome and he took me at Christmas to his mom and dad’s place in Southern California. We hung out at the beach together over Christmas. It was a little cold, but (laughs) other than that, it was just so nice for him to notice me, you know, with the- the orphan kid living with his brother.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: So, that was something I’ll never forget in just, uh, you know, just hanging with him.

John: Yeah.

Jim: It was a- a great thing. But those acts of kindness can, uh, leave such a deep impression, uh, for a lifetime, and they can also be kind of that key that encourages you to keep going. Hopefully, it’s coming from a Christian person who knows the Lord. That’s awesome. And, uh, and that also is a great testimony of witness to the Lord. Serving and loving others is not a small thing in God’s kingdom. I think it’s the main thing, perhaps, in God’s kingdom, to love your neighbor as yourself. And our guest, Pat Linnell, has come up with a very unique way of expressing that. And I’m looking forward to talking to him about it.

John: I am, too, and, uh, Pat has captured his a- approach to life in this, uh, this, uh, kind of living in a book called Grace Bomb: The Surprising Impact of Loving Your Neighbors. And we have copies of that here at the ministry, 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. Or stop by

Jim: Pat, welcome to Focus.

Patrick: Fellas, great day with you today.

Jim: (laughs). So good to see you and, uh, you and your wife, Kristen, started dating in high school, I understand. I’m always interested in… Jean and I were at a college-

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: … about one or two years when we meet.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: So, I mean, the high school sweetheart thing just seems like the perfect romance.

Patrick: You know, she… and turned out to be the perfect romance. I was-

Jim: Good answer. (laughs).

Patrick: Well, I was so out of my league when it came to Kristen because she was smart, athletic, and all the honors classes. I was struggling to maintain, like, C average GPA-

Jim: (laughs).

Patrick: … and I didn’t play sports. And-

Jim: (laughs).

Patrick: … I was seriously, I- I was seriously out of my league.

Jim: Have you ever asked her what she saw in you? (laughs)

Patrick: She saw a potential. I know that.

John: Yeah, there you go.

Patrick: She saw a potential.

Jim: (laughs). That’s good.

Patrick: She said, “That kid could do something with his life one day.”

Jim: Well, she obviously has a great heart. (laughs).

Patrick: Yeah. A great heart, great vision, and man, we’re coming up on 19 years. Say it ain’t so.

John: Oh, congratulations.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: Okay. So what… Yeah. I mean, one of the things, one of the stories in the book is you were at a Bible study, I think, and this great idea hits you, which is the grace bomb.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: So, tell us how that came about.

Patrick: Okay. So, I did not intend to get into vocational ministry. I- I did, you know-

Jim: (laughs). You know that the Lord goes, “Okay, that’s the one I want to go into vocational ministry.” (laughs).

Patrick: Yeah, I think that’s true.

Jim: Once you say, “I will never…”

Patrick: I was like, “That is so not me,” especially the way it came about.

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Patrick: I got the business degree. I was thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to have a porch and a three-car garage and a tennis court in the backyard?

Jim: (laughs).

John: It would be.

Patrick: That security would be nice. Uh, but, yeah, we ended up going to a small group Bible study. And although I had grown up going to church, this was the first time I ever saw young adults taking their faith seriously. Like, just taking Jesus’s Word seriously. And it blew my mind. I had never been to a Bible study. And if I’m 100% honest with you guys, we were expecting when we went some Bible nerds or some really strange folk waiting for some comets to fly by. We weren’t sure what we were gonna get ourselves into.

Jim: Sure.

Patrick: However, they were the most down-to-earth, sensible, like, successful, young people.

Jim: Huh.

Patrick: And Kristen and I just started growing like weeds in that environment. That led to me getting into a vocational ministry and have the opportunity to start preaching the Bible. And when you preach the Bible, you- you run into, time and time again, this mega theme of God’s grace.

Jim: Right.

Patrick: But you can’t miss it. It’s disruptive and it changes people’s lives and it wrecks things. But for the good. You know, think about the people’s lives that were wrecked by God’s grace and then put back together. And I’m also a visual presenter, so I’m a little ADHD maybe, but-

Jim: (laughs).

Patrick: … stick figures and props, they help me concentrate. And so I would draw things and explain this concept of God’s disruptive grace. I just drew a little cartoon, exploded ordnance, and said, “Here comes God’s grace bomb. It’s gonna land on Saul and it’s gonna change his life forever. He’s gonna become Paul,” and you get the idea. And that little phrase and that idea started to take root, uh, in the congregation. That was the seedling for this concept of God’s disruptive grace. And then later on it became something altogether different, but that was the origin story.

Jim: Yeah, that was so cool. Sometimes that seems incompatible, but I- I think I get. You know, this is a wonderful concept to, uh, deliver grace bombs.

Patrick: Yeah. You know, we live in a world of photo bombs and bath bombs and even some people still saying, “Hey, you’re the bomb.”

Jim: (laughs). Yeah. Older people.

Patrick: Older people.

Jim: (laughs).

Patrick: I’ll say it from time to time, too, before you know.

Jim: Okay. Well, that’s nice of you.

Patrick: But we’re talking about disruption, but of the best kind. And this idea of grace bomb is really a redemptive contrast-

Jim: Yeah.

Patrick: … because we’re taking something that man made for evil. God’s gonna use it for good. And the little disruption of your day, getting stopped in your tracks by someone doing something surprisingly awesome for you. You just- you just have to halt and say, “Well, wait. What was that? Why did that happen?”

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Patrick: And how cool to know, or to come to find out that that happened? Because kindness has a source.

Jim: Yeah.

Patrick: And his name is Jesus. And grace bomb gently implicates the source of kindness.

Jim: And I think what I like about it… We’re gonna unfold this as we go, but what I like about it is it’s a bit of structure for you to remember to be on the lookout for an opportunity to deliver a grace bomb.

Patrick: Yes.

Jim: I mean, that’s what you’re really driving out. Let’s go to a story that illustrates this. I think it’s a great story about you and your daughter, doing a little date night-

Patrick: Uh-huh.

Jim: … but you turned it into the grace bomb night, date night, right?

Patrick: Right. Right.

Jim: So, what happened and what took place in that example?

Patrick: Yeah, that was a beautiful little story. I did not feel like going out or hanging out with people. And in general, I feel comfortable with you guys, like, kinda extroverted. We can chat, you know?

Jim: (laughs).

Patrick: We’re in this cozy studio and people are out there. But in real life, I’m very introverted, kinda shy-

Jim: Boy, that shocks me ’cause-

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: … you seem like an extrovert.

Patrick: I tend to… Like, if I’m out and about, my head’s down in my phone. Honestly, I grew up in a neighborhood where strangers were danger-

Jim: Yeah, yeah.

Patrick: … and you kept yourself. And that was deeply ingrained. And so I didn’t wanna mix it up with my neighbors. But the cool thing about this story that you’re talking about is Scarlet, who is seven years old at the time, she… We go on a daddy-daughter date ’cause she asked to, and I said, “Okay, let’s go for it.” But then on the way into… It was McDonald’s, that’s where I was taking her. She stopped in the middle of the parking lot and said, “Dad, we should grace bomb somebody.” And that was the first domino that night. And so we- we paid the, um, check for the meal at some elderly at McDonald’s and that was fun and, you know, cool for Scarlet to be a part of, to see their expression and just to know that that was a really fun thing to do.

John: And that was the planned grace bomb that you kind of that you did there.

Patrick: That was the planned one. But then what we didn’t see coming was… Later that night, we take the kids off to their little Bible camp, and Kristen and I go on a date night. But because of Scarlet, I had one more grace bomb card in my pocket. We go out to this place called Chad’s BBQ. And if you’re ever in Maryland, shameless plug, the best wings in Maryland-

Jim: (laughs).

John: (laughs).

Patrick: … or in Edgewater, Maryland. A little place called Chad’s BBQ, serious, no kidding, gotta go…

Jim: It’s an unpaid announcement.

Patrick: Unpaid. And- and they’re always the best kind, right? So, you know, like, this place has to be legit. So, we sit outside and our server comes up to us and she said, “Oh, the last young couple that sat out here, they skipped out on the check.” And Kristen and I both waited tables growing up, so we know how that felt. And the- the server said, “You know, it’s not just that I have to pay the 50 bucks, but I feel like they just let me down as a human being. I just got ghosted and I thought we had a- I thought we had a rapport in the relationship.” So I looked at Kristen, Kristen looked at me, and we both had that nudge, that tug in our heart that this will be a perfect opportunity just to drop a little taste of grace in this woman’s life.

So, all we did was very simple. We just paid our bill and, by God’s grace, we had the ability to cover the cost of the check that walked out. We left a little grace bomb card, a little encouraging note, and that was it. We just- we left and as far as I knew, that was the end of the story. But it wasn’t the end of the story for the Lord.  ‘Cause two months later, I go back into Chad’s BBQ in to-go line, head down on the phone like I do as my introvert self. And the owner I’ve never met before, Chad, he’s shouting out above a line of people saying, “Hey, I know you. You’re that guy. You did that thing. Thanks for doing that thing. That was really cool.” And as he’s doing that, his wife, Kristy, walks over. Doesn’t work there, just happened to be a little God moment. She said, “Yeah, everybody was talking about what happened that night. We’re so thankful that you did that for our server.”

But then she said, “I’m a realtor and I love putting ideas out into the community to make the world a better place. Would you mind if I take grace bomb and I share it with my business network?” And here I am in a to-go line-

Jim: (laughs). That’s crazy.

Patrick: … trying to get wings.

Jim: Yeah. (laughs).

Patrick: And I said, “Kristy, I don’t know your story, but if you wanna perpetuate the conversation of grace out there in the world, go for it. Do whatever you want.” So, I found out later what Kristy did. She took $100 bills, gave them to her whole staff, said, “I want you guys to go out grace bombing people. Use these little grace bomb cards and come back, tell us your favorite story.” She took the favorite stories, put them in a letter, and distributed that letter to her entire business network, encouraging them to make the world a better place by grace bombing. And I found that out and I thought, “Look at what the Lord does-

Jim: (laughs). Yeah.

Patrick: … through this little step of faith initially started by a seven-year-old girl.” And I was seeing how these intentional acts of love can ripple out far beyond what we think. But I was also seeing the depth of what God could do.

Jim: Huh.

Patrick: Because six months after that, I was preaching in a church. It was a Palm Sunday. I look in the back for the first time ever, I saw Kristy. Kristy comes up after the gathering, she says, “Hey, remember me? Um, I’m joining the church and I just wanna let you know it had a lot to do with the grace bombing things that were happening because 20 years ago, I walked away from God and I haven’t spoken about him, to him since.” And I had come to find out that 20 years ago, Kristy was in a youth group heading towards Jesus when the leader of that youth group was tragically killed in an act of gun violence at 3:00 AM at a Dunkin’ Donuts in- in Maryland. And she thought to her herself, “How could a good and loving God let that happen?” She started to walk away. A few years later, she was newly married, fresh win in her sales, her parents had this long-lasting marriage. That’s what she was anticipating. Second, she had an unforeseen divorce and it set her in a 20-year silence between her and the Lord. Until about the time, check this out, that a little girl came running up to her dad’s car, wanting to go on a daddy-daughter date and then grace bomb somebody.

And it was not lost on Kristy that Scarlet had everything to do with how that night went, because later, Kristy was baptized as an adult and she specifically asked via Facebook Messenger if Kristen and Scarlet would be there for her baptism. She hands Scarlet a gift prior to getting baptized. It was a bag, and inside the bag was the starfish poem, where the kid on the beach sees thousands of starfish and the grumpy old guy is there, saying, “You’re not gonna make a difference for any of those.” And the little kid just picks up the next starfish, tosses it in, and looks up at the grumpy old guy and says, “Well, I made a difference for that one.” That’s the poem.

And Kristy looks at Scarlet, and I can remember it as plain as day. And she said, “Scarlet, you’re like the little kid in that poem and I’m like that star fish. Never stop taking Jesus seriously.”

Jim: Wow. That’s so good.

Patrick: And as a dad, I was like, “Come on, somebody.” Like, talk about just a memory that is gonna be entrenched in my daughter’s soul. And it all started because she just wanted to take a simple step of faith.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Patrick: And we did not see that coming.

Jim: Yeah.

Patrick: And how cool is it now? You know, a couple years later, Kristy and Chad are on our board of the Grace Bomb nonprofit.

Jim: That’s great.

Patrick: And they’re- they’re, like, serial grace bombers. They just- they’re loving the Lord and just blessing people like crazy. It’s really cool to see it.

Jim: How does the element of surprise kinda lift this up a bit? You know, I- I’ve tried to do that at times to pay for coffee for the person behind me or in front me or whatever it might be.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: Paying for somebody’s meal across the restaurant.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, it’s a good thing to do. I never formalized it. I didn’t call it the grace bomb.

Patrick: Right.

Jim: (laughs).

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: But they- they are fun things to do and- and sometimes you get a reaction, sometimes… ‘Cause you don’t go up and tell anybody-

Patrick: That’s right.

Jim: … nobody knows. And that’s a good way to do it as well.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: But speak to that idea of the- the element of surprise.

Patrick: Well, everybody loves a good surprise-

Jim: Yeah.

Patrick: … but you never see it coming from someone that you don’t know perhaps. Because grace bombing your neighbor, it doesn’t necessarily mean your next-door neighbor could be anyone in your walk life, in your everyday life. And so when something hits you out of the clear, blue sky, it does make a- a difference when you don’t see it coming.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Patrick: So, for instance, I can give you a birthday present; remember it’s your anniversary; there’s a producer today, it’s her birthday, “Happy birthday.”

Jim: Yay, Ashley.

Patrick: Yeah, Ashley. There’s some expectations of, “It’s my birthday.”

Jim: (laughs).

Patrick: You know, let’s- let’s-

Jim: Let’s celebrate.

Patrick: Let’s celebrate. But when I get loved on when it’s not my birthday, not my anniversary, and it feels good and it’s out of the blue, most people never get to experience that. And the potency that we get to experience the fun and the joy as a believer is giving someone that kind of taste of grace with that little element of surprise, whether it was just kinda creative and you knew something about them or you met a need in the moment that you saw. How cool to tie that feeling with the person of Jesus?

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Patrick: Because currently, our cultural climate looking in towards the church is, “These guys are a bit cold, a bit critical, a bit judgmental, a bit hypocritical.” And they’re not seeing us as the ones where it’s our birthright to drive the cultural conversation of kindness in the world. And so we get to change that by God’s leading edge of grace, but also to your point, Jim, like, surprising grace.

Jim: Yeah.

Patrick: Like, let’s get creative about it.

Jim: You know, Pat, what’s interesting, uh, someone once said to me that they felt hell will be where God’s character just does not exist.

Patrick: Mm-hmm.

Jim: There is no love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, mercy. It’s everything opposite of those things.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: And it’s interesting in the world. I mean, people that don’t know the Lord that express love and express kindness are tapping into the character of God. That’s who he- he is.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: And so when you’re doing these things, you actually are exemplifying, whether you know it or not,-

Patrick: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … the character of Christ.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: And that’s what’s so awesome, is he is all of this.

Patrick: Yeah.

John: Mm-hmm.

Patrick: He is, and you’re right. There, you know, there’s a lot of trendy, popular kindness movements today, and there’s nothing wrong with that because we’re created in the image of God. And whether you’re a believer or not, that gives you inherent dignity, value, worth. Can you imagine if we lived in a world that we just embraced that? Like, just the first couple chapters of Genesis, if we just lived by that, the world would be a better place.

John: Mm-hmm.

Patrick: But now, as believers, we are called and commissioned and empowered to be this leading edge of grace. And just to find the- the permission to be that in the world, like, for the majority of believers. ‘Cause I’ve been in the church world… You know, I love the Bride of Christ. I’ve been a pastor for a long time. I wanna see her thrive in the world. But for most church people, they’re looking to the pastors and the staff to be the ones who are out there grace bombing or telling me what do I have to do. But what’s so cool about the simple concept is, in some ways, it gives you permission, sorry, to do the things that were already there-

Jim: Yeah.

Patrick: … already for your taking. Like, this is our identity in Christ.

Jim: Mm-hmm. Right. And we should not be waiting for the- the pastors to do that.

Patrick: No…!

Jim: And we’re being fed on Sunday so we can go out-

Patrick: That’s right.

Jim: … and do these things.

John: Yeah.

Patrick: That’s right.

John: This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. What passion we’re hearing from Pat Linnell about, uh, this concept of grace bombs. His book is called Grace Bomb: The Surprising Impact of Loving Your Neighbors. Contact us today for your copy, 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. Or stop by

And- and Pat, I- I just got back from a trip. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the story in your book-

Patrick: (laughs). One day short.

John: … that would’ve motivated me, uh, but you have a story about somebody in an airport, a woman who was not feeling well.

Patrick: Yeah, that’s right.

John: And it was a simple act of kindness.

Patrick: Yeah, it was. And th- this is from a lady named Monica. And why I remember this story is ’cause it was one of the very first stories that got shared on, and it was… She shared it and she said, “Listen, I was at the airport, waiting for my flight. I had a terrible cold. I felt so crummy.” And, you know, Jimmy, you mentioned the element of surprise, right?

Jim: Right.

Patrick: She said, “Then a complete stranger comes over to me and hands me a bag. And inside the bag was an iced tea ginger, uh, earplugs, some throat lozenges, and maybe Kleenex. And he wished me to have a great day.” And-

Jim: That’s awesome.

Patrick: Yeah, it was so cool.

Jim: That’s a lot of effort, actually.

Patrick: A lot of creativity-

Jim: Yeah.

Patrick: … and- and the element of surprise. Like, he noticed her, he was aware of her.

Jim: Uh-huh.

Patrick: He was waiting for his flight, too. He did something about it, you know, took that step of faith ’cause who knows what she would’ve- how she would’ve responded? But how she responded is so telling, because she said, “This was one of the best surprises I’ve ever had in my life.” Now, for her to have shared that story with us means that she knew, because that guy left a little grace bomb card along with it, she knew that Jesus was somehow involved with this, one of this best feeling she’s ever had in her life. And it can be that simple.

You know, we’re told… Paul says in Ephesians 2:10, “We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, that God has prepared in advance for us to walk in.” That little phrase, if the Creator of the universe is preparing good works for us to walk in, that means that on Monday at your work, on Tuesday at the airport, on Wednesday at the soccer sideline or in the Starbucks line or at the Safeway checkout or you name it, there could be an opportunity that is just waiting to be stepped into. And how awesome is it just to walk in, uh, to walk in our purpose? It feels good.

Jim: You know, let me ask you this, Pat, because I’m sitting there… You know, obviously, there’s a lot of enthusiasm that comes in doing this and it’s interesting that that root word for enthusiasm is En Theos, God in you. So, I mean, you’re full of enthusiasm, uh, God in you. And what prevents us… I- I guess here’s the better way of saying it directly: why do we become Christian curmudgeons-

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: … instead a joyful heart that does these things in the name of Christ, which is great?

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: What a different reputation the church would have if, you know, if we had 40, 50, 80 million people running around every day-

Patrick: Let’s go.

Jim: … doing this?

Patrick: Why can’t we have that, Jim?

Jim: But- but I guess what… Yeah. But what prevents us? Is it just our flesh? Is it… What keeps us from doing this?

Patrick: Some of it’s internal, some if it’s systemic, I think. So, I will give you two reasons. They’re just hypothesis, so t- take it or leave it. But number one, we’re scared. I’m scared. I go out, I- I love the Lord. I think the Bible’s true; I think his resurrection was real, I feel secure and… in where I’m headed. And I believe that wholeheartedly in my life. But to think about bringing that up with a neighbor in some way, I initially start to back down. What are they gonna say? What are they gonna think? Am I gonna have all the right answers? What if they press me on this? What if they press me on that? What if they label me as the right-wing Christian, blah, blah, blah?

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Patrick: And then what is that gonna mean for my promotion? All of these fears start running through my mind. And I think fear can grip us on the inside. But I think there’s also a systemic thing. Because as Christian curmudgeons, uh, I think part of the dynamic… And I- and I can say this from what I’ve seen in my own experience. So, I was at a church for 15 years, love it. Still go. You know, we’re doing some different things with grace bomb, uh, and again, want the best for the Bride of Christ. But as a professional, if you will, minister and a staff person, I saw the congregation becoming dependent on what I was telling them to do in how to love their neighbors and break the ice for people.

So, we have these typical things we would do a couple times a year, and it was almost like, “Oh, I checked the box. We did our outreach for our neighbors,” and then never really got to exercise the muscle that was atrophied. And so the concept here is we’re Spirit indwelled believers, every one of us. We all have muscles of- of faith to flex. But most of us, we just haven’t worked them out enough to get a little bit more comfortable outside of our comfort zone. And sometimes, the system of subtly depending on the church leadership to kinda tell me what to do, I think that can be part of the problem as well.

Jim: Yeah, no, I- I think that’s so good. I mean, one of the things you mentioned in the book is Jesus being the ultimate grace bomber. I think that would put a smile on his face, actually.

Patrick: (laughs).

John: (laughs).

Jim: Uh, maybe that is the distinguishing mark, right? I think the Lord is like, “Yes! Do it.”

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: Because so many people in- in the book is so full of stories, where it arrests the person’s attention.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: Like, what motivates this person to be kind to me?

Patrick: Yeah, absolutely.

Jim: And then they start asking questions about it, right? To themselves or to you.

Patrick: That’s right.

Jim: Like, “What motivates you to do this? Why are you being nice to me?” People so don’t expect it.

Patrick: That’s right. And it’s so there for the taking, so readily available. And you’re right, I do think Jesus is the master bomber.

John: (laughs).

Patrick: And-

Jim: (laughs). It’s so funny to think of him that way.

Patrick: You know, one of the ways that we tell people to grace bomb is load, listen, let her go. So, grab some grace- grab some grace bomb cards, be loaded, you’re gonna be a little bit more aware of your neighbors. Listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We’re indwelt believers, he will illuminate the truth that he inspired in our everyday walks. And then we let her go. We drop that grace bomb. But Jesus loaded, listened, and let her go, too. He loaded by drawing near to us. He, in his incarnation, the second member of the triune God takes on flesh, gets in it with us-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Patrick: … feels all the pains, all the drama, all the feels of- of being in it with us. And so, he loads, he draws near, he prepares, and he is aware. And then he listens. He listens to the Father. “I’m gonna carry out this mission that you sent me on to atone for the sins of the world. And, yes, in my humanity, it’s hard and I don’t wanna go to the cross.” And he’s praying for strength and the Lord strengthens him. And he drops the ultimate grace bomb when he spreads out his arms on that Roman cross and he dies for us fellas.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Patrick: He- he let her go. And praise the Lord that happened, right?

Jim: Absolutely.

Patrick: We wouldn’t be here talking about this with lights and microphones if this didn’t…

Jim: Yeah, right. That’s the difference. Yeah.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: That’s why it’s the greatest story ever told, right?

Patrick: It IS the greatest story ever told, and it’s a must-tell story and we- we must tell it. And I think when it comes to loving your neighbor, we get to tell it but we get to lead out with kindness.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: You know, we talk about the high points but you did have, uh, some stories that illustrate the low point.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: You had a neighbor that the Lord put on your heart.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: You did one thing of kindness, but time went by-

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: … and- and something happened. What- what took place and what was that a- a lesson for?

Patrick: Man, I probably missed more opportunities that I step into in this whole grace bombing adventure, and that was in our first house we moved into, a lady who was a shut-in and, almost every day, we were- we were wondering like, “How is she doing? What’s going on in there?” And for years, we- we didn’t really make much of an attempt and then we left some flowers on her doorstep and we didn’t get a real warm, fuzzy response, and so we just let it lie.

Jim: Right.

Patrick: And before we knew it, the- the food trucks that used to come deliver groceries to her were replaced by the ambulances until the last ambulance that, unfortunately, took her to the hospital where she passed away. And I realized like, “Wow, that was permanent.” Like, there’s no- there’s no second chance there.

Jim: Right.

Patrick: And it just stuck in my craw because I just… We probably knew that we could’ve, in love, been a little less busy and stepped out, and we- we kinda missed.

Jim: But, you know, in some respects, and I hear that and it’s the right heart. Um, but like the Lord, there’s so much need in this world. Um, you have to pull back and you have to replenish yourself, too. He did that.

Patrick: Yeah.

Jim: You know, he- he didn’t just go from person to person to person.

Patrick: Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Pat, this has been terrific. I- I think the thing to do here, John, is to say, “Hey, let’s kinda go at this together with the Focus listeners and the viewers.” Why not give it a roll? Uh, if you need to, uh, we’d love to give a copy of Pat’s book, Grace Bomb, and get that into your hands. And if you make a gift to Focus for any amount, we’ll send it to you as our way of saying thank you. And if you can do that monthly, it will help more families. And when you give to Focus, God will use your support to strengthen families. Right now, through a matching opportunity, your gift will be doubled dollar for dollar, so thank you for helping us to have twice the impact for families.

John: Donate today and, uh, stop by our website to learn more about Grace Bomb: The Surprising Impact of Loving Your Neighbors, and, uh, this whole movement that Pat is part of. Uh, stop by the website for all the details or give us a call. It’s and our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Pat, this is so good. Thanks for being with us.

Patrick: It was great to be with you guys today. Happy to be here.

John: On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back next time as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Grace Bomb Book Cover

Grace Bomb: The Surprising Impact of Loving Your Neighbors

Receive the book Grace Bomb and the audio download of the broadcast "The Beautiful Impact of Loving Your Neighbor" for your donation of any amount! And now through a special matching opportunity, your gift will be DOUBLED, dollar for dollar!

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