Friday, July 14, 2006

Men in Black... me and charlie at the Young Life Halloween partyPosted by Picasa


When I was in college, my friend Charlie and I not only roomed together, but ate every meal together. We took Tae Kwon Do together, worked at the same grocery store (for a while) and even had a class together. We watched, and were in to all the same dorky comic book stuff together. We even had the same haircut and facial hair most of the time… maybe it sounds a little weird, but it was one of the best times in my life. It was the first time I had ever had a best friend who knew, could understand and help me in my walk with Christ.

Everyone we knew in college thought we were brothers. For me, that was the highest compliment. The only thing better would be if that were actually true. I don’t have a mansion, ‘phat’ cars, a bloated bank account or a ton of investments, stocks or securities, but I am filthy rich… in friends. I have friends that would do anything for me (and have)! I have my wife who has been my sweetest and dearest friend for the past nine years. I have countless high school friends and graduates who support and encourage me in ministry. I have a church-full of sweet brothers and sisters who have loved and accepted me since I was in high school. I have my dad, with whom I have walked through the toughest moments of either of our lives, and the list could go on and on.

When I first started dating Christy, I lived in Knoxville and she lived in Cookeville (an hour and a half apart). During that two years, Christy’s sister’s boyfriend let this young punk come crash his apartment every weekend so that I could spend the weekends with Christy. Once, when Christy and I were driving from Cookeville to Oak Ridge on a Sunday morning for church, my car broke down in Crossville. My friend Tom (also the pastor of the church) drove over 50 miles to come get us and 50 miles back so that we wouldn’t miss church. One time Charlie stayed up till 4:00 AM putting a CD player in my old car just so that I would have some tunes. Now, 5 years later, he stole my car and (in secret) installed an unbelievable system in it! He has spent countless days off building and plumbing our bathroom, leveling and tiling our floors, installing light fixtures and helping me chop down and haul off unwanted holly bushes.

Everyone needs good friends, and I am rich in them, but more than that, I have friends like my boy Charlie that I can talk to. I have friends that are there when I need them, there when I’m struggling. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” I have friends that love me at all times… who are there when my car is making weird sounds and my ceiling is cracking and falling down. But more than that, I have brothers who were born for adversity… so that when hard times come up and I really need someone to help me see God and keep me encouraged, they are there in those tough moments saying, “I’m here man, I was born for this.”

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