My Blooming Friends

My quiet time out on the porch this morning was extra sweet. There was a slow, gentle rain falling. I found myself distracted by the daisies that are in full bloom. I planted those daisies a few years ago. Every year they come back a little stronger with a few more blooms.

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As I was reflecting on the beauty of these simple flowers, my phone was buzzing every couple of minutes. The string of birthday greetings by Facebook and text message had cranked up and old friends, many I haven’t seen in some time as well as some that are everyday fixtures of my life right now, began to scroll before my mind in a cascade of blessing.

In the stillness of the morning it dawned on me that many of the relationships from the past, though not as close perhaps as once before, are much like those hearty little daisies that keep blooming year after year. They show up and brighten my day, even when I walk from the car to the front door with my head hanging under the weight of so many cares for so many loved ones. They remind me that moments invested in the lives of others are never wasted.

You see, when we walk through life and allow God’s grace to flow through our obvious brokenness, that grace drips like water on the relationships we make and that watering so often shows itself in moments here and there – moments of encouragement, of comfort, of celebration and sympathy, of joys multiplied and heartaches divided.

I have more than a reasonable share of friendships that, though perhaps not cultivated and even lying dormant for years, pop up with blooms of joy from time to time. I don’t have a great deal of material wealth in this world, but I count myself the very richest of men. For in whatever circumstance that may come about in my life, I shall never face a day without a friend.

As Paul said to his dear friends in his letter to the church at Philippi, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.”

Thank you for enriching my life.

Ch-ch-ch-changes…

There was a time when the word “change” made me reach into my pocket. Now it makes me hold on to my hat.

I’ve written about the craziness of the season of family life that we are in. Today is another one of those days of change amidst a season of change.

Our world-changers are returning today from almost a year spent in Honduras. That’s exciting…and difficult. But God is continuing to grow them and teach them and use them for His glory.

My one and only SweetPea is about to move from undergrad to grad school. It’s exciting, except for the loading stuff in a trailer and hauling it around part. But I’m dad and it’s what I do.

My Army man is in the process of being transformed from a boy to a soldier in one of the most intense seasons of change he will likely ever experience. All I can do is pray hard and write letters…both of which I am diligently doing.

I’ve had another anniversary and another birthday this month. I’ve been wrestling with the richness and majesty of our great salvation in my current theology class. I am in the process of being stretched in my ministry life in ways that I have never yet experienced.

Change is the one absolute constant condition in life right now. Continue reading Ch-ch-ch-changes…