Thursday, June 23, 2011

One on One - Providential Relationships

This week we launched into our iFaith series, 6 messages on discipleship and the 6 common denominators to most Christ-centered stories. God personalizes His work in our lives. He brings people into our lives whom He can use to shape us, to knock off our sharp edges and mold us into His image.

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another."

   God has used many people to shape my heart and life. Sometimes it's through a momentary bump, other times it's people of the road - those that journey with us at certain periods of our lives - and others are people of the heart - those that journey with us no matter what road we are on ourselves.

   Mike Slaughter, Mark Rowland and John Larsen all had a profound impact on my early years of following Jesus. They remain friends of the road today. Sometimes I can't believe they were willing to invest time into my life. I was obnoxious (stop it those of you are are questioning "was"). I bugged them. I was always hovering nearby. It was probably more pride and wanting to be in the know but I pray it was immature desire to imitate faith. Either way I'm glad God used it to shape and grow me.

   I've started long journey's with others where I feel like we can pick up even if we've been apart for years: the Asbury Seminary mentors like Steve Harper who listened and gave incredibly wise insights for my life; Bob Mulholland who I got to know and respect through my wife working for him. He added wonderful depth to my life. Steve Seamands who taught me much in class but also in the raquetball court.  The late David Seamands who encouraged me and taught me so much. Lawson Stone who gave me a love for the Old Testament and sat with me for hours in total answering questions. Maxie Dunnam who came after I left Asbury but whom I met later was and is a great encourager in my life.

There are more. Many more who have played a role in my spiritual shape. I'm sitting in a room right now with friends of the road, colleagues whom God has used to shape me. I'm thankful for each and pray I'll pay attention to the ones He brings into my life.

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