What would we do without friends?

Today I feel incredibly fortunate, aware of the great friends God has given me. Some are close, some a scattered about, some I’ve had for years, some are new.

Yesterday I made my way from Michigan to Kentucky. I stopped to have lunch with Jason in Dayton. He was my intern ten years ago. Since then he has become a husband, father, pastor, and scholar. I am so proud of him. Not only for his accomplishments but for his willingness to allow the hand of God to shape and mold him.

Yesterday afternoon I stopped at the University of Cincinnati to visit Chris. He was at the Edge House where he serves university students. By “serves” I mean he extends hospitality, offers coffee & conversation, and provides space (both physical and spiritual) for students to lean into the life Christ is calling them to. I hadn’t seen Chris for probably 15 years. It was so inspiring to hear his pilgrim story from church based ministry to the coffee business to a now…a place where all his passions and giftedness have melded.

Last night I met my friend Darrell at Montgomery Inn for Cincinnati’s best BBQ and then we went to the Reds game. Darrell and I met in Border’s in Flint about six years ago. We and a diverse handful of pastors formed a book club to discuss A Generous Orthodoxy, by Brian McLaren. I felt an instant connection and it was easy to tell that he had a pastor’s heart and a consultant’s mind. Darrell is now a sr. pastor in Williamstown, KY. He has entrusted to me the privilege of speaking at his church tonight and tomorrow morning, which is truly an honor.

Why would I post this?

Because for me it’s too easy to focus on the people who’ve hurt me or let me down. It’s so very tempting to spend most of my emotional energy picking at the carcass of other people’s failures.  I posted this to go on record saying, “It is such a gift to not only cross paths with people along the way but to enjoy the way God intertwines us in each others lives for years to come. I couldn’t have made it through the last few years without people like this (and dozens of others).”

How about you? Have the scars of past relationships caused you to keep people at a distance? Or are there some treasured friends out there that you need to reconnect with today?

And by the way…if any of you are in the greater Williamstown or Dry Ridge metropolitan area this weekend, services are at 6:30 tonight and 8:45 & 11:00 tomorrow morning.



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