Who’s Your Jonathan?

Many of you commented off-line regarding my post “What’s Your Isaac”. For that I thank you. This post is somewhat born out of that post as well. One of the things I will always remember about our Charlotte oddessy is what we learned about our friends. People said heartfelt things to Heather and I that we will forever cherish. They expressed sadness is our leaving, but sincerely wished us the best. They prayed for and with us. They offered their homes when it looked like we might be in need of temporary housing. As Tobymac sings:

“Cause real friends are willing to intrude”

As to not embarass you all here, I won’t mention names. Hopefully you know who you are. What I will say is that I thought of each of you as I re-read 1 Samuel 20:17. One of my biblical heroes, David, had a friend like that. His name was Jonathan and he cared deeply for David. He fought for David. He protected David. They had a friendship and a bond that was as strong as they come. Today we would say that Jonathan “had David’s back”. David did the same. They were friends. They were brothers.

Sadly, I have been to many funerals in my life. One thing that always puzzles me is that we wait until someone passes to say wonderful things about them. We all wish we would have had that chance to tell them how we felt. I would argue that we do have that chance. Each day we have the opportunity to let a friend know that they hold a place in our lives. Their friendship is special and it’s good to know that they “have our back”. I hope each of you have a Jonathan (several really). I ask you today, who’s your Jonathan?

Maybe now would be a good time to let them know….

Who's Your Jonathan?

Many of you commented off-line regarding my post “What’s Your Isaac”. For that I thank you. This post is somewhat born out of that post as well. One of the things I will always remember about our Charlotte oddessy is what we learned about our friends. People said heartfelt things to Heather and I that we will forever cherish. They expressed sadness is our leaving, but sincerely wished us the best. They prayed for and with us. They offered their homes when it looked like we might be in need of temporary housing. As Tobymac sings:

“Cause real friends are willing to intrude”

As to not embarass you all here, I won’t mention names. Hopefully you know who you are. What I will say is that I thought of each of you as I re-read 1 Samuel 20:17. One of my biblical heroes, David, had a friend like that. His name was Jonathan and he cared deeply for David. He fought for David. He protected David. They had a friendship and a bond that was as strong as they come. Today we would say that Jonathan “had David’s back”. David did the same. They were friends. They were brothers.

Sadly, I have been to many funerals in my life. One thing that always puzzles me is that we wait until someone passes to say wonderful things about them. We all wish we would have had that chance to tell them how we felt. I would argue that we do have that chance. Each day we have the opportunity to let a friend know that they hold a place in our lives. Their friendship is special and it’s good to know that they “have our back”. I hope each of you have a Jonathan (several really). I ask you today, who’s your Jonathan?

Maybe now would be a good time to let them know….

Love Thy Neighbor

I wrote a post called “Thy Neighbor” back in January of 2007. You would think I would have learned from my post and my lesson at the time. Once again it is so easy to be the model of perfection behind the keyboard but when it comes to application…not so much.

Last night we had another house showing. When we arrived back at the house, one of our neighbors was outside and said she spoke with the potential buyers. It turns out that they had some questions about the home which is directly behind ours (seen above). Particularly, they wanted to know “what was going on with THAT house”. The picture quality is poor, but the backyard of that house is in very bad shape. Sadly, it is a direct reflection of what happened to the family that used to live there. The weeds are waist high and the trampoline and home have long since been deserted.

Here’s the point…I’m not upset about their yard. I’m not upset about the condition of their home. I’m not even upset that a potential buyer might have changed their mind over what they saw. What bothered me last night and this morning is that we didn’t “love thy neighbor”. I don’t know their story (and don’t need to), but what I know of them was that they were in the midst of a very ugly divorce. I am troubled that we never got to know them. We never shared a cookout, invited them over, or swapped stories over our fences. We never “loved our neighbor”.

Would we have been able to save their marriage? We can’t, but Jesus can. Would we have been able to be accountability friends and somehow help pour into their relationship and lives? We don’t know but Jesus can. Would their home be restored to a beauty like their family could too because we loved on them? I don’t know but Jesus can.

Maybe that is what he meant when He said to “Love thy neighbor“….

Love Them Like Jesus” by Casting Crowns

Hebrews 11:1

For well over a year and a half now, I have climbed aboard plane after plane. Week after week and month after month, I step onto an airplane and never once see the pilot. I’ve never spoken to one of them. I’ve not had the opportunity to ask them 100 questions before deciding if I trust them. I don’t know if they are tired, qualified, drunk, or even know where we are going. I just walk back to my seat, buckle up and keep my seat and tray table in the upright position.

So why won’t I do the same with my Creator and Heavenly Father?

That was the question that came to me almost audibly Friday. Weighing a big decision has opened some dialog and discerning with God lately. I find myself asking 100 questions (why, when and how). I am begging to know that everything will work out alright. I am even questioning His direction. In the meantime, I climb aboard another plane and give my faith to another pilot. I give a guy I’ve never seen my physical well being…literally. Yet I won’t trust God with a decision that He has made VERY clear?

When it comes to this decision, it’s time to find my seat. It’s time to place my “baggage” in the overhead compartment. We’re about to “push back from the gate” and I am going to trust my “pilot”. He has delivered me safely in the past and will do it again….

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” -Hebrews 11:1

Directory Assistance

When –
You are sad, phone John 14
You have sinned, phone Psalm 51
You are facing danger, phone Psalm 91
People have failed you, phone Psalm 27
It feels as though God is far from you, phone
Psalm 139

Your faith needs stimulation, phone Hebrews 11
You are alone and scared, phone Psalm 23
You are worried, phone Matthew 8:19-34
You are hurt and critical, phone 1 Corinthians 13
You wonder about Christianity, phone 2 Corinthians 5:15-18
You feel like an outcast, phone Romans 8:31-39
You are seeking peace, phone Matthew 11:25-30
It feels as if the world is bigger than God, phone Psalm 90
You need Christ like insurance, phone Romans 8:1-30
You are leaving home for a trip , phone Psalm 121
You are praying for yourself, phone Psalm 87
You require courage for a task, phone Joshua 1
You are depressive, phone Psalm 27
Your bank account is empty, phone Psalm 37
You lose faith in mankind, phone 1 Corinthians 13
It looks like people are unfriendly, phone John 15
You are losing hope, phone Psalm 126
You feel the world is small compared to you, phone Psalm 19
Paul’s secret for happiness, phone Colossians 3:12-17
With big opportunity/ discovery, phone Isaiah 55
To get along with other people, phone Romans 12
ALTERNATE NUMBERS
For dealing with fear, call Psalm 47
For security, call Psalm 121:3
For assurance, call Mark 8:35
For reassurance, call Psalm 145:18

Tips and Tolls

Yesterday morning I set out on the drive to Charlotte, North Carolina. As I was cruising along, enjoying the incredible weather, I noted the sign “Toll booth ahead“. Uh-oh. If you’re like me you don’t often carry cash. I pretty well use the debit card for all transactions.

Tip #1 There are 3 toll booths on I-77 in West Virginia ($1.25 each)

I was frantically digging through the car looking for change as I got closer and closer. I only came up with .95 cents. When I pulled up to the booth I said “I’ve got .95 cents…and a debit card”.

Tip #2 Toll booths don’t take debit cards.

She rolled her eyes and explained to me that she could write down my drivers license information and give me a reciept which I have 14 days to return with payment. The next 2 booths would do the same. Meanwhile, the line behind me at the booth was growing and growing.

Tip #3 It’s not a good idea to make people wait at a toll booth.

Good times…

Ironically enough, when I got to the hotel and was unpacking my bag, I found 3 quarters that have been in there forever. I noticed that one of them was the newer kind that has a state represented on one side of it. Wouldn’t you know that the state represented on the quarter was…you guessed it…North Carolina.

For those praying with and for us this week, Heather and I have decided to use the Prayer of Jabez as I drive and walk through potential neighborhoods in Charlotte. You can find that prayer (HERE). I will also be carrying a certain quarter in my pocket as a reminder of Gods calling and faithfulness. Lastly, I will make sure I stop at an ATM before I make my return to Columbus.

He’s Not Here!

“You Reign” by MercyMe

worship__.jpg

4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”

Mark 16:4-7

He's Not Here!

“You Reign” by MercyMe

worship__.jpg

4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”

Mark 16:4-7

Jumping to Conclusions

office_space_kit_mat.jpgThis morning I was reading the same story I have heard and read so many times about the blind man that is healed by Jesus in John 9. There was something that really stood out to me this time around. In verses 1-2 an interesting conversation takes place between Jesus and the disciples. Check this out…

1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

I couldn’t help but think how often I am like the disciples in this conversation. How often do I hear of something happening in someone else’s life and jump to conclusions? How often do I assume that something must have caused this or reach into my own thoughts for reasons why these things happened. Then I read Jesus response.

3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

Wow. Here is this poor man that is blind and the disciples assume it’s his parents fault. Must be because of something they did….some big sin. Then Jesus sets the record straight. Not only was it not what they thought, but it was all done for a purpose much greater than their understanding or conclusions. He was about to do something glorious in this mans life. Then He did.

I was challenged to not be so quick to jump to conclusions. God might just be up to something.

19 Days

Best I can tell, there are at least 20 of us starting a 19 day walk through Nehemiah today. The guys at AC180 as well as friends of this blog have committed the next 19 days to opening the book of Nehemiah and seeing what God can teach us during this time. If you care to share the journey I am posting this weeks schedule below. I pray that God can use this time to speak to each of us individually as well as the entire group. All it takes is a Bible and a few minutes a day. The journey starts today.

  • Nehemiah 1:1-11
  • Nehemiah 2:1-10
  • Nehemiah 2:11-20
  • Nehemiah 3:1-32
  • Nehemiah 4:1-23
  • Nehemiah 5:1-19
  • Nehemiah 6:1-9