Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mean Old Guy.......

I have told of my grumpy and self-absorbed spirit before. I am not sure where it comes from but it is a fight I have had with myself for years. Many times folks will complain they have been mistreated one way or another to justify their mood or disposition. For me, I am a 50-year-old adult male. From here on out if I have a problem, it is my problem. It is up to me to fix it or change.

One Sunday not long ago I was in one of those not real cheerful moods and I walked into church, stood there, then walked back out. That day I had my wife’s little jeep and the top was off. I got in the jeep and just started driving.

When you have the top down on a jeep, the radio or music is not much of an option. As I headed out into the countryside it was just me, the sun and God cruising along. Now I believe if you listen God will speak to you. It can be in all types of ways, sometimes even audible. On that Sunday as I was asking Him to please help me figure out why I was so mad, He spoke. He said go buy a can of Coke. Not the bottle of diet Coke with lime that I like, it was a can of regular ole Coke.

I was pretty far out into the country driving down a small paved road thinking I needed to find an old country store and get the Coke. The sun was warm and the air was cool. Just ahead of me I saw the top of a small white church, I passed it slowly and noticed the door was open and there were two cars out front. Up and around the curve and there was a highway. I turned right and quickly found a convenience store. I walked in slowly and purchased the soda. All the time I was wondering if I should buy a lottery ticket or if someone was going to walk up to me and say something profound to change my life. Nothing.

I got back in the Jeep, pulled to the gas pumps and filled it up. Nothing, nobody. I eased out of the drive and headed back to my country road. Then He started to speak again, He told me to go back to that church. What, what was He talking about. But the Jeep turned and I ended up in the grass and gravel area in front of the tiny church. I pulled under a tree, motor running and sipped on the drink. I told myself I had no business being there and there was no way I was going near a strange little church in the country. Then He spoke again.

He told me to go introduce myself to the two older men on the porch. Reluctantly I backed up and parked, got out and walked to the porch. There on the white painted porch I met the pastor and one of his congregation. I told them I had no idea why I was there but I did not want to be at my church that day and I wanted to at least be nice and say hi. The next thing I knew I was sitting in a pew in the back of the church when service started.

All six or seven of the men met up front, invited me up and then prayed before the service. We all sat back down and several of the ladies began to sing and it was beautiful. The pastor introduced a member who spoke that day on how he had been blessed recently and how he knew it was only by the grace of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit that he was there speaking.

I introduced myself at the end of the service and gave thanks for the Lords direction. I drove home back down that country road and into the bustling city. I was overcome with Gods hand on my shoulder that day. He helped me realize another piece of who He needs me to be, who I need to be. Eight strangers spoke into my life words of wisdom and grace, kindness and love.
We all have demons and life experiences in our closets. We all have hardships and struggles, all of us. Now you may think the guy with money or a pretty wife doesn’t have near as bad, it is all relative. The one thing we can all do that is the same is to choose to not go there. We can all choose to pray for God to give us the wisdom and heart to change who we are and how we are. He can do it, I know He can.

As far as that Coke in the can that day, I don’t have a clue. Maybe I was just thirsty, maybe I needed the extra sugar boost, maybe God will reveal it later. All I can say for sure is the soda was good, the church service was as close to God as I have been in a long time and one day, in the not too distant future, I will be back sitting in a pew at the small white church in the country.

God also spoke to me that day and reminded me that (Proverbs 29:11) A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control…….

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


The thesaurus here on my laptop says that a friend can be a pal, a buddy, acquaintance, comrade and even colleague, helper and ally. My friend from Australia calls me Nancy, I think its a term of endearment from his side of the globe. I call him Bubba.

I don’t think I make a very good friend for the most part. I don’t always remember birthdays or special events. I don’t call regularly just to check in and see how people are doing. I have friends that do, guy friends, they are awesome that way. Honestly, it seems for me, life just goes by and I don’t think about it. I try to put it off as a guy thing but that really won’t get it because some do.

I hear that on Facebook , Twitter, Myspace etc., all those social networks, it is about how many friends you can gather. There are a lot of television and media types who have millions of friends. I do understand that is just a term for fan or obsessed person with nothing else to do. But I bet there are those who feel that they are truly connected to that person on a more intimate level, their buddy, pal. I bet it even become more of a problem for celebrities and their fans wanting to get “closer” be cuase they follow them on “twits, or tweets, or peeps” – or whatever they are called.

Jesus had a lot of folks who followed Him and helped Him. I think He probably considered many of them friends and loved them for caring about Him and others. His fab 12 were closest to Him. They shared intimate conversations and I can just see them walking for hours down an old dusty road, hot, thirsty, sweaty. “Man it’s hot out.” “Yea.” “Do we have far to go.” “Not sure.” “Man it’s hot out.” “Yea.” Friends can have a conversation like that and it is fine, especially guys, friends just know each other.

Ladies friendships are so way beyond what most guys can muster. They have to plan time together. They talk for hours about things that they talked about just a week before, or an hour ago. They get excited if they meet another woman and might have a new friend in their circle, a new “best friend.” They can brush each other’s hair or share clothes. I don’t know if any of my buddies have ever asked to borrow a shirt to match his boots and belt, well maybe, but just once.

For my best and closest friends we have an unwritten bond, one that time and life have no power over. It is just there (our friendship) and it only takes a minute or two once we are together or talking to hit our stride from 20 or 30 years before. I have other friends who I have not know as long but we love each other’s company, we laugh and joke. I smile thinking about them in my life today. And there are friends who I think we just like each other. We don’t necessarily see each other often or hang at each others homes, but we could.

The human has an innate desire for friendship. They want to be cared for and care for others. Even the worst of the worst crave to be bonded with others in some way.

Thanks, thanks to everyone who came to my 50th bitrthday bash and grillathon. I am amazed at how many folks care enough for me, call me a friend and take a day of their time to come and tell me. Thanks ya’ll.

Friends are more important to me as each day passes. Lord help me to be a better friend to those friends I have now and those friends I have yet to meet.