Archive for January, 2009

January 31, 2009

Saturdays are for Stories

Man’s Bane

What was Paul’s thorn in the flesh? Despite the fact that there are too many theories tucked away in obscurity, I have discovered the answer. Actually, I’ve always known the answer, just as every man actually knows the answer. You see – Paul’s thorn in the flesh is the bane of every man. By The Man Code of Ethics we are sworn to secrecy. What can I say – you are born into the club. By this code we are bound to ensure that our secret is to never get out lest we, like Samson, are conquered by a mere she-devil. All these interesting theories about the bane of man are merely defensive tactics, not of Shock and Awe, but of Stop-n-Gawk. It is mildly humoring to discover what position women take on this subject. The more successful Stop-n-Gawk tactics include women, money, toys, cars, tools, books, fine cigars, red meat, cognac, and gardening. Please note that every one of these theories is WRONG!

Being a fine, upstanding gentleman I am going to out all the other men in the world by exposing our bane here. Please note: within 24 hours a smear campaign against me will hit the airwaves. This way no one will believe my “silly claims” and man’s secret will still be safe. Of course, the media’s lies will all be nonsense driven by chauvinism. Well then, you are reading at your own peril for “they” may run a smear campaign against you too.

Think you know man’s bane? Here’s a true story – see if you can’t find it. A few weeks ago, on a Friday, I allegedly was trying to go home after a long work week. Going through the customary routine of gathering my personal property, locking cabinets and closing computer systems I gave my enthusiastic goodbyes as I embarked into the night. Coming to my car, I tossed all my belongings into the back seat while climbing into the driver’s seat. Searching my pockets I looked for my keys. I went from one pocket to the next to discover no keys. Getting out of the car, I stood and did the standard patting down of all pockets. Then I continued the pat down checking pant legs (you never know). From there I did a thorough check of the car. Still, no keys. I rechecked my steps throughout the work day at least three times. This search took over thirty minutes. It didn’t help that we actually had plans that night and now were running late. I finally had surrendered to the fact that I had lost my keys. Just as I was about to call Rachelle to pick me up I checked my pockets one more time – and guess what, that’s right – there they were. I had to have shoved my fists in my pocket fifteen to twenty times as I diligently searched for the keys (SIGH).

This would have been a happy, cuddly story for everyone if this was the end, but sadly, it is not. The next morning I went out to do some work on both our cars. After a time, I needed to make a quick trip to the Auto Store. To my chagrin – and the smiling faces of women everywhere – I could not find my keys. I just had them. I just finished unlocking both vehicles. Where could they have gone! Another torrid inspection over thirty minutes topped off with screaming and kicking but still no keys. This time I was sure the only place they could possibly be was my tool bag. I looked through it at least three times, but no keys. I took each tool out until the bag was empty, but no keys. Finally from pure exhaustion combined with frustration I forfeited to my keys. They won and I lost. Sadly, I couldn’t even find a white flag to waive in surrender.

The keys remained incognito the rest of the weekend. Finally, on Sunday night, I decided to give that tool bag one last look. Pulling the zipper and prying the edges open, I peered into the gloom of the bag to see the sparkling beauty of the jagged edges of my keys glisten in the florescent, artificial light shining from above. There were angels singing “Hallelujah” in the background.

Now, you may hear this story and think that man’s bane is his inability to see what is right in front of his face, but you would be wrong. You might read this story and think our bane is impatience, but again you would be wrong. You see – man’s bane is a living being who thinks and deceives and gets its kicks by torturing us. In a very real sense, it has declared war on us men. If you missed that then you missed our bane. Man’s bane is…..keys! That’s right, from the days of Paul up to our own our bane has always been the key. Keys are not the lifeless piece of metal they appear to be to the unassuming. The evidence is in every story every told by a man about lost keys. The keys really were not there just a minute ago. Those keys got up and moved to an undetectable high vantage point and watch us frustrate ourselves for their own pleasure. Then just as we succumb to despair they return to where we actually left them. That way not only have we succumbed to despair, but now we look stupid too.

My message to keys everywhere – I’m onto you and now others know too!

January 27, 2009

Friendship – A Prize

It is built into the core of our being that we assign value with friendship. Such things as companionship, trust, openness, grounding, protecting, tending, laughing, loving, wrestling and familiarity are ostensive examples of the deeper value of friendship. Friendship is something worth striving for, possessing and maintaining. Friendship is a prize. Not a prize as in a trophy awarded to the victor of a competition, but a prize as in something valuable and cherished. Regrettably, often we confuse these two nuances of “prize” via verbal equivocation. The truth is we not only equivocate our words, but we equivocate our thinking too.

Let’s consider this equivocation of friendship as a prize. When we understand friendship to be a prize in that it is to be cherished then we can say we have a positive. If our understanding of friendship being a prize means we think it is something to be won and competed for then we have a negative understanding. In fact we can say our attitude is itself a malignant cancer festering and killing the friendship.

In this blog, we will consider the cancer. The equivocation in prizing a friend is this: we think that prizing a friend means we need to compete with other friends over that friendship. Maybe an example will help: In 9th Grade, I was in the midst of establishing new friendships since my friends from 8th grade did not go to my high school. I quickly developed friendships with Tony and Keri. Tony and I hung out during lunch and did track together. Keri’s aunt was a teacher at an elementary school behind our school. After school we would go to her class and tutor special needs students. One day Keri told me Tony had said some pretty rough things about me. I was extremely hurt. I hunted Tony down and emotionally unloaded on him. Our friendship was over. I spent more time with Keri. Only later did I discover that everything Keri told me was a lie. Still the damage was done.

Clearly, friendship is not this destructive behavior that seeks to elevate you over someone else in order to be seen as more valuable in the eyes of a third party. Get it? A positive view of friendship as a prize demands we value the other person, a negative view of friendship being a prize demands we are valued more than others in the eyes of our friends. This may be the biggest danger to friendship. We discuss this because, despite how we hate to admit it, we all fall victim to this mentality. It saturates our selfish prideful selves. We are quick to undercut those who are around us. Blogging for me is an exercise in personal evaluation. There are many positives about friendship that I must improve upon, but if I am not willing to be honest about some core weaknesses then I am exhaling hot air out of empty lungs behind a puffed-up chest. Reality is this: I could have told ten fold the stories of my undercutting of others just as easy as I could of Tony and Keri. I know I need to work on what the prize really is in friendship – and what it is not.

This competition over friends has been around a lot longer than us. It goes to the earliest of days. In Genesis 4 we are given the story of Cain’s murdering of Abel. Genesis 4.3-5 reads “So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. 4Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.”

Why was Cain jealous of Abel? He was jealous because God did not approve of Cain’s sacrifice, yet he did approve of Abel’s. That’s why in Genesis 4.6-7 God warns Cain of his anger. “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain wanted to be more valuable to God than Abel and so he sought to remove his competition so that he would be a greater prize. After killing his brother, he reveals the depths of his hate by refusing to acknowledge responsibility for his brother (which is part of the principle of friendship considered in a previous blog). Genesis 4.9 “Then the LORD said to Cain, ’Where is Abel your brother?’ And he said, ’I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’” The dynamics of friendship are usually not between two people (as Christians I would say “the dynamics of friendship are necessarily not between two people), but at least three. The outcome is not usually as catastrophic as with Cain’s story, but when we seek to elevate ourselves at the expense of another the outcome is never good.

Peter is a compelling disciple. He seems real because of his quirks. He wore his heart (and temper) on his sleeve. Starting in John 21.15 we find Jesus talking to Peter about Peter’s future and his relationship with Jesus.
Jesus: Yo! Big P – you got my back?
Peter: Pfff! Mac J – you know I got you covered.
Jesus: Then tend to my peeps. Big P – do you have my back!
Peter: why you all up in my grill? You know I’m tru.
Jesus: tend to my g’s.
But where does Peter want to take it? John 21:19-20 “Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, ‘Lord, who is the one who betrays You?’ So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, ‘Lord, and what about this man?’” Peter and John, both at times in their relationship show great concern for who Jesus likes better (cf. Matthew 20.19-20). They are two of the closest disciples to Jesus.
Peter: Mighty Master J – why you ain’t buggin’ John?
Jesus: quit draggin’ John into your business. You worry about Peter’s business when it comes to Mighty Master J – and I’ll worry about John’s business. Straight?
Peter: Straight. 😦
We need to be straight on this issue too. There is no room, especially as a Christian, too seek out and compete with others when it comes to friendship. It is antithetical to who we are, what we claim to be and who we represent.

The good news is that God gives us some great tools to help protect ourselves from falling victim to the wrong prize. Ephesians 4:29 “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” This verse is a great life verse! When feeling the need to gossip, lie, or engage in conversation that does not edify those who hear concerning others then we should not do it. Shockingly simple and yet oh, so hard! This is a battleground and we stand on the front lines and we can save friendships by employing this discipline. We have an obligation to our friends even when they are not around. Loose lips are not okay in friendship. Engaging or seeking to ensnare unsuspecting persons into unedifying speak is friendicide.

Another great tool is being bad at math. Matthew 18:21-22 “Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’” If the prize found in friendship is the result of competition then we most certainly should keep count. Who calls who, who pays for what, how many times so-and-so did such-n-such. I love math (in a theoretical kind of way), but here it is the kiss of death. Maybe we can take hostage the quote that says “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” and make it say “Friends don’t let friends keep score.” How many times do we keep count? Answer: we don’t. When are we to keep score? Answer: We’re not. As far as I can tell, the sole requirement a person has to meet in order to be your friend is a mutually agreed upon desire to engage in the relationship. That’s it. They don’t have to add any other value to the relationship other then the value of the relationship. So scoring is a no-no.

What happens in competitions? We keep score, we seek outside sources (gossip) to re-support our side, we seek to dominate and lord ourselves and our wills over another. We think we are the prize. The result is a buffet, where our friends are served up to be consumed by our wants. We become a devourer of others. The lay of the land is relationships and we are the predator. Woe to all who lay down before us as prey.

January 24, 2009

Saturdays are for Stories

Entertainment

Two highlights in my daily routine are to call and check in with Rachelle during lunch and on my way home from work. The reason is the stories accounted to me from Rachelle’s ordeal…umm…day as she runs our household. As any parent can attest, my mind dizzies when I consider all the stories we forget on a daily basis that are downright hilarious or developmentally inspirational as we watch our children grow and mature. Rachelle made a comment in tune to this the other day. She seriously wants to know what people do for entertainment if they don’t have kids (no – we cannot remember). Why? Here is a smattering of this week’s events:

  1. This first account has Rebekah walking toward me with her index finger sticking up. As she gets closer I notice that she is saying something indiscernible. “What’s wrong baby?” I asked. She continues to garble something indiscernible. “What?” I say. She says it again. “Baby I don’t understand what you are saying.” I’m getting exasperated. She gets right up to me and says loudly and clearly, “I got this from my nose!” with a booger hanging on her finger. She turns away and continues walking throughout the house repeating this phrase over and over.
  2. This second account is with Naomi. She, unfortunately, is our exhibitionist. I found her walking around the house naked. Me – “why are you naked?” Her – “because I can’t find the pretty pink pajamas that Charis gave me” looking at me as if it was so obvious I had no business asking. She turns and walks away with no further concern on the subject.
  3. Third account: Charis was running around the living room with a grand smile on her face as she danced in circles and arms swirling through the air. “Why are you so happy?” I ask. “Oh! Because everyone loves me so much Daddy!” She turns and continues to dance away.
  4. Coming up from church last Sunday Rebekah has both hands full. Here we go again with Rebekah and things on her fingers. With a smile on her face, pride beaming from cheek to cheek she says to me, “Look what I got for you Daddy!” as she holds her hands out to me clearly expecting me to unfurl my fists to accept the hidden treasure. Holding me breath I put my open palms under her hands. She dumps her treasure into both my hands as she says “Look I got dirt in my hands!” Grimacing I say, “You sure do.” Unfortunately, some didn’t make it to my hands so we hand to pick up all the dirt “cause I wooked weally hard for it.”
  5. Naomi was a little in the dumps since Charis slept over at nana’s house without her. Mommy informed her that Charis was on her way home. After that she lost sight of Naomi only to find her a few minutes later hanging from the middle latch of the living room window looking down the street saying “She can’t be coming home cause I don’t see her car.”
  6. Charis slept not so well at Nana’s. Fortunately she decided to cooperate by taking a nap the next day to make up for her sleep deprivation. Unfortunately, she decided to close our bedroom door and fell asleep in front of it so that Rachelle had no access to our bedroom until after nap time.
  7. Rebekah saw Charis get some m&m’s since she finished her dinner. “I want some m-e-ms!” She says. “You have to finish your dinner.” I say sternly. In the past she would then take her food off her plate and just put it on the table and then announce. “I eat all my dinner Daddy!” To her chagrin this never worked. I return to my conversation only to hear her say a few minutes later “I eat all my dinner Daddy!” I look down and sure enough all the food is gone from her plate with no food to be seen on the surrounding table. I was just about tell her good job and get some m-e-ms for her when I noticed a flash of color on my formerly empty plate. Sure enough – there was her entire dinner neatly sitting on my plate.
  8. I called for Rachelle from down stairs and got no reply. I called again and got no response again. Finally, I ascended the stairs calling for her as I searched each room. No reply came. I finally found her sitting in front of the mirror in our room making gargling noises, saying over and over again “No one home, No one home, No one home” as her eyes rolled into the back of her head. Okay – this last story isn’t true.

So, what did you do for entertainment this week?

January 21, 2009

Friendship – a prism

Friendships are not myopic. Yes, yes – friendships are built on commonalities, but a little liberty please. Maybe for just one moment we can diminish this requirement concerning friendship. Possibly it is just not as important as we think it is. I would suggest that we have succumbed to a mindset that desires to equate friendship with the qualifications of a romantic relationship – being equally yoked and all that.

Friendships are not about being equally yoked. If they were then Paul and Timothy couldn’t be friends. If they were then Jesus and the apostles were not friends. If they are then God is not your friend. No, friendship is not about being equally yoked. Nor is it about being friends with just Christians. If it were then why did Jesus talk to the Samaritan woman? Let me guess, he wanted to be her Savior, but not her friend. It just doesn’t work. Interwoven with inter-faith friendships is also the subject of inter-racial friendships. Not only are they possible, but I think they are necessary.

A couple of examples that God intends for us to have inter-racial friendships and not fall to the myopia that explains away our inability to interact with friends from other ethnicities follows:
• Moses’ marriage to Zipporah
• Salmon’s marriage to Rahab
• Boaz’s marriage to Ruth
• Paul’s friendship with Titus
• God says “And I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!'” Hosea 2:23
• God explains the makeup of his family. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

Now think about this: Racial friendships were an inferred requirement for Israel to have accomplished her call in the Old Testament to be a light to the rest of the world. In order for us, the church today, to go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the utmost parts of the world (Acts 1.8) then we necessarily must become friends with people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds – no way around it. There are two things to note from these considerations:

First, our inability to move out of our comfort zone and seek friends who are of different faith systems or racial backgrounds is a result of selfishness and laziness not faithfulness. If the overarching principle of friendship is one of service then it includes service outside the household of faith or our own ethnic group.

Second, friendships with people who have radically different identities than ours do not mean that we cannot maintain our own identity. It does not mean that we have to assimilate to their worldview. It does mean that we learn to have stretching relationships that teach us how to be critical in a serving and loving manner. It does mean that we must be secure in our identity found in Christ Jesus.

January 17, 2009

Saturdays are for Stories

A SHOT A DAY </strong

The comedian Brian Regan has a skit that goes like something like this…

“There’s this little kid who lets go of his balloon and he starts crying. His dad says to him ‘What are you crying about? It’s a balloon; we’ll get you another one.’ But imagine if you took your wallet out and it just started floating away. I can see it now ‘Waa, my wallet!’”

Hence is the introduction into a child’s life. It is a difficult prospect to see the world through the eyes of a child though we all once were children. Still, the effort is worth the empathy that should accompany our remembrance.

This effort is especially needed on our oldest Charis. She is my hero this week. After the result of many examinations it was determined that her body does not produce enough growth hormone. She now takes injections six out of seven days a week.

Not a year ago Charis had to be held down forcibly to stay in the dentist’s chair. I looked like a white jacket around her as her last flew shot was administered. Time and again we have experienced Charis’ frenzied responses to vaccinations and medical examinations. The impending thought of the doom of daily injections was oppressive to Rachelle and me.

A few weeks ago Charis told me that she had been praying that God would make her big. The big day when we were to administer the first shot came and we spoke in-depth on this change in our lives now. We told her that we are all in this together. We pointed out that God had answered her prayer in the affirmative and now she could grow again. After the nurse arrived we gave the first shot. It was a little bumpy, with Charis needing a “do over” since she moved so much that the needle came out and had to be re-injected. The second day she looked me in the eyes and said she was scared. I told her it was okay to be scared and I reminded her that we were all in it together. She cried a little and dug her nails in her arm leaving indentations, but she didn’t fight. The third day she was relaxed, asked for the shot, didn’t cry, but laughed with joy after it was over. She had tapped into her inner strength and found it liberating. It has since been this way day in and out. We give praise to God for the gift of her bravery.

I know soldiers who faint at the sight of needles. The impending pain and reality of a daily shot to a five year old girl is unimaginable to me. In her daily task of growing this must seem an unbearable weight. Yet she faces that which scares her with bravery. She puts on courage as part of her wardrobe, endures the experience and comes out the victor. It is a lesson she will need her entire life and it is a reminder to her daddy to be brave in the scary times in his life.

January 14, 2009

Friendship – a Principle

Jonathan and David may be the most famous of all the friends in the Bible. However, the greatest friend found in the Bible is the Great Friend – our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Our survey into friendship will continually return to our great, perfect example found in Jesus.

Jesus’ teachings impacting friendship starts with him pointing us back to Deuteronomy 6.4, commonly known as the shema, and then he goes to Leviticus 19.1, which is given as the opposite of the extended discussion found in the Pentateuch on “Thou shall not kill.” He teaches in Mark 12.29-31 that the greatest commandment … “is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; 30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ 31 “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Since a friend is someone who belongs to our most trustworthy and intimate circles, it should go without saying that being a friend includes – at minimum – the same acts of love that we would give to a stranger. Jesus makes clear in the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 that all people are our neighbors.

Jesus doesn’t leave us with some vague notion of love. He knows if our aspirations are going to be successful then we need to be shown exactly what love is – especially when it comes to loving other people. He is not only the most excellent teacher, but he is also the greatest exemplar! He who came to serve, not be served, is he who created all of creation. Find the most excellent person to ever exist and contrast that person with the most disgusting, despicable person ever to exist. Then have the most excellent person at the summoning of the despicable person and you will have slightly nudged your big toe onto the path of absurdity that is God coming down and serving His rebellious creation. Matthew 20:26-28 reads “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

So we come to the reigning principle of friendship. While other characteristics must be present to make a relationship a friendship, the primary motivator behind a friendship is a desire to serve someone other than yourself. It is part of our spiritual DNA as God’s creation. Deep within our being is a call to the wild and this call lays dormant in too many who have taken to chasing their tails. Our call to the wild is an adventure of serving and service. It is the opposite of being tame or timid. It is daring – willing to surrender yourself for and to another for the sake of the other person. It has no safety latches, seat belts, or nets. Instead it offers vulnerability, transparency, honesty, truth and real love.

Doubt that this is the case? Doubt that friendship begins with love through service? Consider Paul’s words in Galatians 5:13-14 “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'”

The two, service and love, are intricately woven. Expecting a cataclysmic illumination? Expecting some other insight than love and service? Are they too mundane for you? How many friendships have been bashed on the cliffs of calculations. When we lose sight of this overarching theme in our relationships we become counters of “what does John bring to the relationship?” He brings himself and it should be enough.

Reality check – friendship, for a Christian, absolutely requires ministry. That is the very point of service as Jesus states it. Sometimes you are doing the ministry and sometimes you are the recipient of the ministry. Friends are not meant for our entertainment or our convenience. Our friends serve us by allowing us to lavish our love and support on them.

January 12, 2009

Friendship – a primer

A biblical investigation on the topic of friendship seems odd. In retrospect, my proverbial highway has been littered by more friends than anything else – more than enemies or those ladies who suffered my affection and devotion as a youngling. I am embarrassed at my attempts over the years at being a good friend. I still rub salve over wounds hard to heal. The notion of friendship feels elusive. My fingertips grasp through the veil and return with nothing. It is a melancholy experience I’d rather do without.

A mindset saturates us that we must be the obese, fetid baby selfishly ramming people down his throat when they meet his needs. We operate within the parameters of friendship based on what others can do for us. My experience tells me that lazy selfishness – oops, friendship – opts for self gratification. We (I really mean myself) cast a mental image of the perfect friend on all who enter our circle of intimacy. When they disappoint, and there is no doubting this point – that they will disappoint, they are tossed out like some personal embarrassment you would rather no one stumbled upon rather than entrench yourself in the invaluable battle for your friend. When we should fight for each other we find ourselves strategizing against one another – keeping score. How many people desperately and rightly need my repentance to move on?

I admit I don’t know that answer and am not interesting in wallowing in past mistakes to the point of elevating past sins to a place of exultation. Still, I desperately long to mature in my walk with the Lord. I long to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which I have been called. I want to finish well!

It may be surprising (or not) that not a lot of books have been written on biblical friendship. We find great sentimentalities about friendship, such as this primer and Michael W. Smith’s Friends are Friends Forever. I imagine that part of the reason the topic of biblical seems not to be addressed is because it really is under other, weightier topics such as loving your enemy and working for the good of all – especially those who belong to the household of faith.

My desire, and goal, in the next few posts is to peruse the Bible in search for some guideposts for myself as I seek to move forward in friendship – a seemingly elusive peak.

Enjoy the journey!

iz

January 10, 2009

Saturdays are for Stories

TOO EASY

A few times a week I go over Greek and Hebrew with Charis (5) and Naomi (4). Both have shown an aptitude toward languages but Naomi’s aptitude borders on exceptional. One day a month ago Naomi decided she didn’t want to do the flash cards. Unfortunately, she wasn’t given an option. Doing the Greek first, I asked “what’s this word?”
“Theos” Charis answered. Naomi rolled her eyes, looking elsewhere.
“Very good.” I was proud, “What’s it mean?”
“God” Charis chimed; I grinned.
“Right. What’s this word?” I queried.
“eis?” Charis said after a minute of “ummm.”
“Right again. Good job Charis. What does it mean?”
“Into” Naomi still refused to participate. We did another flash card and Charis gave the answer.
“Good job Charis!” Watching Naomi I said, “That’s three for you and none for Naomi.” Naomi suddenly became very interested. I pulled out the next flash card. “What this word?”
“ek, it means from or out of.” Naomi replied quickly. She pulled in a little closer.
“and this word?”
“That’s Iasous – it means Jesus.” Naomi replied as soon as the card was turned over. The sixth and final Greek word went the same way. Both ladies now had three. Then we got into the Hebrew, which is Naomi’s strength. She went through all six flash cards with the speed and efficiency of a professional. Last tally, Charis had three and Naomi nine. Good thing Charis is the reigning wii boxing champion in our house.

January 8, 2009

Friends – a poem

In the next few posts I want to consider a biblical perspective of friendship. I decided to start this “series” off with a poem I wrote when I was thirteen.

A cradle
Who tenderly embraces me tight.
A chair
Who sometimes forces me right.
A pillow
Whose shoulder is a place to weep.
A bed
Who lets my dreams live and leap.
A coffin
Who will not depart from my side.
A friend
Are those who in hard times abide.

January 6, 2009

Desiring God Giveaway

Click here for a chance to win a Scholar’s Library from Logos or tickets to the Desiring God pastors conference.