MWS circa 1983
November 29, 2007
I feel great this morning! For the first time in a week I had a full nights sleep and Carie and I have been hard at work during the evenings moving into our new house. We’re really excited that the project will be finished soon. We’re pretty busy, and this task, along with our mutual sickness, has made us to be busier than we’d really like to be.
Anyways, todays topic on my blog features some of my closest friends over the last several years. I have had many more, but I wanted to offer up special attention to these friends and the influence they have had on my life. So many people in the world believe themselves to be “self-made” peeps, when in reality, without the support, encouragement ,and love of other people, we would fall very short of any goal we’d like to accomplish.
So I’d like to take the time to write up some words about some close friends of mine (just a brief summary really) and hopefully encourage you to find friends, not just one, but a couple, or even many, who will influence you to become the person you cannot become by yourself. (For a better glimpse at what I’m saying, recall Michael W Smith’s song “Friends” circa 1983) Enjoy!
I have had no friend as close and for a longer period of time than my junior high best friend, Clay Davis. We were the biggest nerds back in 1988 and 89, but we loved the spotlight and loved making people laugh, including one another. Later on, in college and beyond, Clay and I continued our friendship, and he always told me the truth, even when it was hard. Even to this day, I spend most holidays, either before or after I hang with my parents, with Clay and his wife Carrie (who I went to school with since kindergarten).
I first met Chad in my freshman year at Pensacola Christian College (don’t ask),and thought we were not going to like each other. He was from the backwoods of Alabama, and hated contemporary Christian music, specifically DC Talk. We then proceeded to live in the same hall at college for the next four years, and our friendship grew the entire time. Ridgeway is one of the most loving, loyal friends a guy could ever have. Right now, he’s going through some hard times personally, and my hope is that I can be there for him as much as he’s always been there for me.
Ruben Cimbron & Al Dancy
I put these two guys together because we always hung out together. Ruben I knew because we were NBT Evangelists together, and Al went to college with Roo here in Boston for a few years. We did some pretty crazy stuff together, none of which I’ll share with you here in this venue, however, I really appreciate these guys and there impact on my life. In a way, they helped me to grow up faster than I probably would have, and yet we always had the time of our lives when we were together. Roo is currently teaching in Virginia, and Al is about to come and work with us here at Fellowship Church. Sweet!
David, Amber, & DD Huey
There’s no greater sibling mix than this. I met Dave in College, and later, I met his sister Amber. After school, I moved to Atlanta, GA, where I ran into them at the church I attended, and the relationship blossomed. (is that the appropriate word?) So Dave and I would hang out, go to concerts, steal newspaper machines (don’t worry, they were the free ones), eat Chick Fil-A and Ramen noodles for about the same cost, and listen to music. Amber and DD became my sisters and outside of my wife and my own family, there’s no females I have loved more in my lifetime. This family has meant a lot to me, and though my schedule gets busier and busier, (hopefully not for long) There will always be time for them. (Of course, I really do need to call all of them as of this writing)
Brandon Whittall, Steve MacArthur, and Ray Pierce
These guys helped me make it through a period of time at Wachusett Valley Christian Church that I didn’t think I was going to make it through. We became as close as brothers, and they seemed to be always there when I needed them. Steve is now one of my heroes, in Iraq, Brandon works as a caterer in Texas, and Ray works for the State of New York (which I try not to hold against him).
Everyone in my last 4 small groups
I know we constantly say this at Fellowship Church, and maybe if you’ve heard me say this, you think it’s a commercial or something, but the truth is that when I go into a small group, I literally put my all into it. I try to influence and be influenced by the people in them. I know it’s not going to be a seminary education but I don’t need one of those. I need spiritual growth and influence which I can get and give in the contexts of relationships. So over the last few years, here is who I can say that I’ve influenced and who has influenced me to lead me into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ from 2003 – present:
Jeff and Kiley Campbell, Billy & Colleen McGuiness, Brandon & Michelle Whittall, Steve & Amy MacArthur, Steve & Tina Blumer, Beth Parent, Pam Watson, Jim & Kristen Hilton, Dave & Sharron Smith, the Crafts, Simon & Tiffani Beckwith, Scott & Diane Herzig, Chris Pezzano, Joe & Neva Novarro, Trinke Vaughn, MB Makara, Garret & Sue Walker, Phil & Leslie Kenney, Ben Daggett, Whitney Jones, Mark Duclos, Nicole Lagace
So I’m interested in knowing: Who are you influencing and being influenced by?
Until next time…