Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Yesterday I was able to go up to Muskoka Baptist Conference grounds to visit a friend from Stone Church days. It really is a pleasure to see someone move forward and exceed both your expectations and your own abilities.

Paul came to Stone Church when I was on staff there in the late eighties or early nineties, dissatisfied with his fast-paced but destructive lifestyle and hungry for a change. God met him and I had the opportunity to coach him and encourage him a bit. However it was he who spurred us all on with his passion for prayer and commitment to the things of God. He was a pastor's kid who had drifted away so there was some residual stuff that remained in his heart and head because he grew up "sleeping on the pews."

I know it was a long process but the growth in his life was steady and the results amazing - and the time seems to have flown by. He dealt with the issues in his life, he went to seminary for his Master's degree and then on for his PhD in New Testament and now he is teaching at Azusa Pacific University - astounding me with his growth over the years and with many of the insights he has in Christian leadership. He and his wife (Cahleen) have also been involved in foster parenting and have recently adopted two children (a brother, Jonathan, and sister, Emily). Although the challenges of fostering and adoption are great, they make great parents.

The reason for the post is that although we only see each other a few times a decade, I still feel connected to him. I still would go two or three hours out of my way to connect with him and I still find that when we meet it is like iron sharpening iron. The challenge to many of us in our fast-paced, travel anywhere on earth, lose touch with friends, kind of world, is to reconnect when we can and enjoy the reconnection. These friends with whom we infrequently connect actually bring perspective into our lives. They remind us of our history and of the things we used to love to do. They teach us that we influence one another and that influence is significant and long lasting.

Because of our meeting I have resolved to send some more emails and to continue going out of my way to connect whenever possible.

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