We met in 1983 and slowly, but surely we became good friends over the years.
And then I got divorced and as is usually the case, sides have to be taken and friendships, relationships come to an abrupt end.
Our friendship of fifteen years was one of the casualties… There were certainly no hard feelings on my part. There probably were no hard feelings on his side either. This is just the way things go. I wish it was otherwise…
About four of five years ago, after a fifteen year moratorium of silence, I reached out via email to let my friend know I still cared about him and his beautiful family. I cannot tell you how much my heart skipped when he responded and wanted to catch up by phone.
I ran into a friend of mine yesterday I hadn’t seen in a long time.
We have a very unusual relationship.
He’s been my best friend.
He’s also been my worst enemy…
We stood face to face and acknowledged one another.
Yesterday our relationship was somewhere between friend and tolerable acquaintance.
He looks much younger than I remember even though the gray around his temples would suggest otherwise.
His compassionate eyes still have that sparkle but they also looked tired and lost, longing for something of which I wasn’t quite sure…
I inquired, “How ya doing?”
His response of, “You know…” left me wanting to scream, “No! I don’t know!”
The first Thursday after the Fourth!
Hope you had an exhilarating time celebrating our country’s two hundred and forty-first birthday!!
USA USA USA!
Here’s our question of the day?
How spiritually fit are you to face the daily obstacles, people, issues, dysfunctions and challenges which greet you?
I love Paul’s description of the Armor of God in his letter to the church in Ephesus.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
(Ephesians 6: 13-18)
How is your spiritual armor holding up these days?
- Belt of Truth
- Breastplate of Righteousness
- Shoes of Peace
- Shield of Faith
- Helmet of Salvation
- Sword of the Spirit = Word of God
May this upcoming weekend be an opportunity to prepare these six crucial pieces of armament to be at the ready for those things you will be facing in the days ahead.
Speaking of “facing”… Did you notice in the Armor of God there is nothing to protect your back?
That could mean a couple of things:
- God always has your back… Or
- Never turn and run away from the problems facing you! You have more than enough armor to face and defeat that which you are facing! Full steam ahead! Fear not! Go get ‘em!
Don’t forget Paul’s sage advice – Put on the WHOLE armor of God. Not a couple of select piece! Not just one piece! Put on the WHOLE armor of God!
See you Sunday…
All suited up!
Grace and peace,
Laugh often and Fear not!
July 4th – An excerpt from my devotional book – “iWitness July”
Back in the late 70’s… (the fact that we can remember back that far makes this story suspect from the start. Yet, I promise it is true to life as was told to me by my good friend Brian.)
My friend Brian made some type of All-American marching band. Their trip was a European tour which included a few stops behind the “Iron Curtain.”
Please remember that this was during the height of the Cold War between the Americans and the Russians.
While the band was marching their way through Czechoslovakia, Brian met a girl… a Christian girl. The girl told Brian how when she and her Christian friends wanted to meet for Bible study they had to be very secretive about it and would meet late at night under the cover of darkness and candlelight. At best, she confided, they could meet maybe once a week at different homes so as to keep their meetings at the highest level of secrecy.
After listening to her testimony, Brian in a rather nonchalant manner went on to tell her in the United States you could have Bible studies whenever and wherever you wanted with full publicity and without any level of secrecy.
The girl’s response haunts me to this day, “Wow… I bet you have Bible studies every day!!”