joy

A Long Awaited Party

I wish I could put each of you, each reader of this blog, in the same room at the same time. I wish I could draw out the deepest wisdom, the funniest and most interesting stories, and the true essence of who you are in a nice, neat little package and share it with all the others who cross paths on this site.

I wish I could put the ex-punk rocker from England in my kitchen with the worship leader father of three IT guy and my national laboratory scientist friend. All have spoken nothing but words of kindness to me the entire time I’ve known them. They each reflect a Christlikeness in their attitudes and heart that challenges me. I am honored to be connected with them. I think they’d get along great.

I’d like to introduce the marathoner who has inspired others to excel in fitness and in devotion to God to the lady in Kentucky who seeks freedom from religious bondage and inspires others to do the same. I’d hope my longtime co-worker and running friend who selflessly adopted a child would share in the conversation. God is working in all of them and it is cool to watch, even if sometimes from a distance.

I would love to watch the veteran auto industry sales trainer, whose integrity is unblemished (even if his golf game isn’t…) share his wisdom with the father who faithfully serves his church and family (including a touring musician) and the boy scout leader who is a model of humble servanthood and God’s joy. I would enjoy looking on as a single man who pours himself into serving his family and God chimes in and a young uber-talented painist from Indonesia listens and shares his encouraging smile – all of them beautiful pictures of God’s grace and faithfulness. All of them very different, but all of them the same at heart – all filled with the same Spirit.

I’d like to sit at dinner with the childless couple in their late 30s who unhesitatingly took in their teenage nephew when his family situation went bad. I’d bring along the ex-senior pastor who put his heart into a church plant that didn’t quite work out, but continues in steadfast devotion to the Lord. I would introduce the “on top” HP sales guy who wasn’t on top a few short years ago. They would all agree that God is faithful and are three all great examples of keeping on when all isn’t perfect.

I’d introduce the faithful IT guy whose family has sown their lives and money into counseling troubled kids to an Atlanta filmmaker who is risking his time, finances and heart to present the message of God’s love in unconventional and creative ways. I’d walk them over to the ex-military man in New Jersey who is now a painter and studying art full time, while remaining a committed father and husband. I look at each of them and marvel at God’s handiwork and the many forms service to Him takes.

Of course, any gathering worth being at would include my wife, whose ongoing patience and love for me through 25 years of marriage is perhaps the most amazing miracle of all. The Bible says we become one flesh, a picture of us and Him. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I know that its true. Thank you for who you are.

I value you all, faithful readers and friends. If I haven’t said it recently, thank you for your encouragement to me and the positive input you are in my life. You are an eclectic, incredible group of people and it is my honor that you take the time to read this blog from time to time.

If you are reading this, whether I mentioned you specifically or not, I appreciate you being here, whether regular reader or passer through (which has according to Google included people from Alaska (?), hardcore Green Day fans, “real” spiritual authorities who read upon request (or coercion), and a teenager or two). You are of value to me and, more importantly, of value to God -The One who created you. He made you who you are and supplied the gifts, talents and heart you exhibit. He is your life.

Thanks for being you.

Jeff

 

Jeff McKinney
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Jeff McKinney

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