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Posts Tagged ‘Friends’

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The kids are off to camp in San Diego with Hume. I’m excited for my son to experience this week with friends and God.

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Sometimes God puts people in your life to encourage and inspire you. This week I got some quality time with two people (of so many) who have impacted me.

I was at PhoenixONE earlier this week running a booth. I ran into a guy who I haven’t seen in some time – my friend Malachi. It was funny because he was on the cover of my brochure at my table and I looked up and there he was. I love God’s sense of humor. At the very first PhoenixONE gathering in 2011, I sat with Malachi in the front row (he was volunteering). His personality made him easy to get to know as he was very friendly. Then I went through a difficult summer later that year and this guy Mike Bhatti recommended I get to know him because of our similar backgrounds. I ran into him at the ONE retreat in Williams and we spent some time together. I found out he had been through divorce and had a little daughter. He totally helped walk me through that tough time. He then moved to Alaska to be closer with his daughter not too long after that. But his impact on me remains and seeing him was a shot in the arm for me this week.

My bros Malachi and Daniel

My bros Malachi and Daniel

I went to Guatemala last year and met Karyn on that trip. It was her first mission’s trip and we sat together on the plane ride there. At first I was just trying to help calm her nerves. But then I really started to see how pure her faith in God was. I kept saying to myself that this is one very good girl and God is doing something cool in her. She is getting her degree in veterinarian medicine and was on this trip to work with the animals in the villages. We had a moment on the trip where it was just her and I treating a cow by ourselves in some remote village. The needle had broken off as she was injecting the medicine into the cow. I remember her tripping out at first because she couldn’t find the needle and didn’t know what to do. I so wanted to rescue her from this situation because I’ve always had this ‘rescue’ mentality most of my life for people in need (something God has worked out of me recently). So I decided to stand back and let God work in her. I just let her know that I was there for her if she needed and prayed. I then saw someone put her faith in God and take charge of the situation. It was amazing! I gained so much respect for her and we have become good friends since then. I remember telling my friend Julie (one of her accountability partners) on the plane ride back to not let any crappy guys come in and ruin this girl because she has such a pure heart for God. Today I razz her repeatedly for her loyalties to the U of A, but love her to death. We had a fun day celebrating her birthday today.

Me and Karyn

Me and Karyn

I love that God uses people to encourage our walk. These are just a couple of people God has put in my path to make me more Christlike. After a period of time of having negative judging people in my life that just drag you down, it is refreshing to have such positive uplifting brothers and sisters to grow with. I am thankful for them and feel very blessed to have them in my life.

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“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9

I had a fun day cooking in the kitchen and hanging out with friends on Thanksgiving eve. I was out and about pretty late and had a moment I pulled over in my truck and just reflected on how good God is and His blessings. Then a tweet came across the wire about lead worship leader Andrew Pray passing away after an accident. I looked at the photos of him and his family and it wrecked me. I was sad for his family but at the same time I was sad for those that take their life on earth lightly. God gives us people to do life with and it saddens me to see division in families and how some people treat others as disposable. I’m so thankful for my family and friends and that I get to do life with them. The above passage is one of the last tweets Andrew sent before he died.

First I’m thankful for my boys and that God gave me the opportunity to have kids in this lifetime. Those two boys humble me and have brought responsiblity and maturity to me. I’m thankful for my parents and my siblings and that I still have them in my life. God has also blessed me with incredible friends to do life with. Lately I have formed some really deep intimate relationships with many of them and I love having that accountability and the opportunities of growth in my walk with them. I am thankful I have a vehicle and a home to come to every night. But most of all, I thank God everyday for peace. My life is very calm for the first time in a while and I feel refreshed. My health is better than it has ever been and I feel strong in my walk because of the time I have had to draw near to the Lord.

“Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10

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A long time friend of mine found out she has breast cancer and had to get a double mastectomy. Several of us got together to raise funds for her. I have known Toni for many years since our days running a support group for divorced people at Cornerstone church. I also had her son in my disciple group for a couple of years as well. I still keep contact with many of my friends there and was heart-broken to hear of her recent surgery. Toni is a sweet loving generous lady who has such a heart for people. It was an honor to donate on her behalf and spend time with friends praying for her.

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I’m loving being on campus at my alma mater. I have so many fond memories at ASU. Today was special because I had lunch with a friend of mine who is a full-time student. I first got to know Alina at Forest Home camp back in 2006. She needed help getting around in her wheelchair and many of us guys stepped up to make sure she had a good experience that weekend. We have been great friends since. She really has humbled my heart and showed me a lot about myself and my attitude toward those with special needs. I love cooking breakfast, having coffee and playing dice games with her. She is amazing woman of God and I love seeing her door greet at PhoenixONE. Below is a video of her testimony.

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Birthday Freebies, lots of surprise lunch and dinner parties, tons of texts and Facebook bday wishes, one of one coffee moments, a great day at church and a fun bday night out with an amazing friend – these are some of the blessings that God gave me on a great birthday weekend. It’s nice to feel loved. But most importantly, God has reminded me of where I was and where I am today. It has been an amazing journey of healing and sanctification for me and I thank the Lord for His grace and for His love and for putting amazing people in my life to move forward with in my walk. Here’s just a few pics from a fun weekend that I won’t forget!

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Family

God has really laid upon my heart the importance of family. My family has seen so much brokenness for most of my life, but recently I’ve seen a lot of healing. I’ve been more bold in speaking into different members of my family and have tried to be a rock for everyone as a whole. My family is huge and I am blessed to have so many of them here. This was an important week overall for me with my immediate family. My sister had her baby today and I was able to go down and spend time with her and my new nephew. My Grandma turned 80 this week and I enjoyed a long conversation with her. It’s been difficult for her to lose her son (my uncle) a few months ago. She is such a Godly woman and she prays everyday for me to have peace in my life and that God will bring an amazing companion to me. My Dad brought my sisters here last week and it was a great to spend time with them. Then I had a fun week with my own two boys as they are always a blessing. But my family isn’t just my blood relatives. I have an amazing church family and friends. God really has put some great people into my life do grow in my faith and to do life with. I also have some individual friends that I have become close with that I invest my time in who make me a better person. I feel overwhelmed when I think of all the blessings of amazing people I have in my life.

My Grandma

My Dad and my brothers

My Step Sisters

My kids

My Community

My friends

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I was running errands today and glanced at a card that I keep on my console in my truck. It reads:

My friends will determine the DIRECTION and QUALITY of my life

A pastor friend of mine gave me that card awhile back. It is something I keep in my truck as a reminder to be careful of who I choose to hang out with. This will be especially helpful if you are one that doesn’t discern God’s voice well and will need to rely on Godly wisdom from Godly people for advice.  It’s sad because most people will only keep company that only tells them what they want to hear or that will continually praise them so that they feel good or justified. You can tell these people because they will reach a certain age and will still live a life of immaturity and make scores of bad decisions and never get anywhere in life. They put more worth in the voice of man over the voice of God.

Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.
[Can a single lady forget her bling, or a bride her wedding gown? yet I AM not even on my people’s radar screen for eeons.]  Jeremiah 2:32

I know having kids has helped me a lot in this area. I lived the ‘fun’ life with ‘fun’ people for quite some time until I had to grow up and learn to be a responsible father and person. I was almost addicted to being around drama back in my college days and had a hard time adjusting to living a stable life. But it was good for me to learn how to enjoy the quiet moments of life. But what I try to do now is meet with someone older and wiser than me at least once a week that will speak truth into me. Trust me, I hate hearing what they have to say sometimes. Yet it helps me grow and learn. I have been doing this for some time and someday I will be able to give back to younger guys in need when the time is right.

“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”   Proverbs 13:20

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I have just have to give a plug for two of my favorite people in the world – Molly and Cora. It’s funny because I don’t really hang out with them or talk to them on a regular basis. But we get together at least once every 3-4 months at B’J’s and hang out. We’ve been doing this for some time now (even though B.J.’s service always sucks!) I seriously never laugh as hard as I do when I’m with these two.

Cora has got to be one of the funniest girls I’ve ever met. She totally cracks me up. Molly is an amazing talented person. I love her sense of humor as well. But it’s when the two of them are together that makes me crack up.

I met them two Christmas ago at Applebee’s. I was with a group of people and they were ripping on me. I’m sure I was doing something stupid that night. Then our young adult program came up with these homegroups in which Molly and Cora were in mine. I got to know them through the group and learn to appreciate them. Then the three of us have been meeting up ever since then.

I really appreciate those two a lot. I just recently got out of my little shell and started hanging out with people again. Its been tough because I’ve been a little down on a few people who I though were good friends and it has discouraged me. But a night out with these two always makes my night and was the perfect remedy for me. I’m very blessed to have good friends like them.

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