DSC_0863It’s been a busy weekend. In consequence, I have to share two separate posts. This covers Saturday.

I’d only been home from my early morning Bible study a few minutes when it was time to get ready for hosting our friends for brunch. Tim and Kelly Black – along with Micah, Liam, and Vivi – stopped in for a couple of hours on their way to their beach vacation. I cooked lots of wonderful brunch food and we enjoyed a marvelous visit.

Tim – as I mentioned in “Beyond Recreational Christianity” a couple of days back – served our previous church with Rebekah for nine years. He and Kelly were newlyweds when they came to Brandon in 2004, and gradually expanded their beautiful family by two dogs and then two boys until The Great Vivi Adventure put the icing on the cake as we were leaving for North Carolina in 2013.

Today the Blacks live and serve in Pennsylvania, and we try hard to enjoy the rare treat of catching up every so often.

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Tim, Kelly and kids with Rebekah

One reason Rebekah and I love Tim and Kelly so much is because they unreservedly poured themselves into ministry with us, and they poured themselves into our family too. They chose to love the church, and – generously – they let the church love their growing family, and claim them as their own.

Our relationship with the Blacks reminds me that love is – first and foremost – a conscious and a deliberate choice. Love is risky because it is so powerful, and it can be so very messy sometimes too. But that kind of decision-by-decision love becomes the fuel that not only creates deep, authentic relationships but gives us the strength to sustain them too.

BIRTHDAY AND REFLECTION: Looking back over the years of ministry Rebekah and I have enjoyed together (and I’m doing some extra close remembering because Rebekah has a fairly significant birthday tomorrow…), this idea of intention and love going hand in hand keeps coming to the front of my heart and mind.

Everything worthwhile, and wonderful, and cutting edge, and transformational we have shared has also cost something. All our growth has come in response to authentic struggle. It’s true in ministry and it’s true in relationships. But Rebekah and I are on this adventure together to live faith, and love, and promise, to the absolute full and without holding anything back.

Rebekah and I are on this adventure together to live faith, and love, and promise, to the absolute full and without holding anything back.

Every day… every year… every decade… every challenge God throws out in front of us… is one more opportunity to throw caution to the wind, hold hands, embrace the possible, and jump in the deep end. Why? Because the shallow end turns out to be – well – awfully shallow…..

And God wants so much more for his children – DEREK

 

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