Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Fight or Friendship

 I asked these three young men to share a piece of their story with us this last weekend.
 I can't get over it.
 When I tell you these guys are world changers, I mean it.
 They are all different and wild and full of life.
These guys are all bright and spread out all over the map in every way.
When they come together it's a feeding frenzy.
They feed on food and knowledge and friendship.

It seemed like a pretty simple moment sitting in a restaurant, and it turned into one of those times that we all knew was special and deep and different.
These guys are beating the odds. 
They are not going with the flow of the world or taking the easy route in any aspect of their lives.
They do the hard stuff.  They work hard and play hard; they learn and love hard things.

Claiborne took us on a journey of what his college life was, and the changes that he has made in the process.  He has had quite a journey and non of it easy, but very amazing.
 He has learned to mature and to own who he is and what he knows about himself and the world. 
He reminded us of how him and Kole became best friends.
 They had a class together their freshman year and they were literally going to fight, and walked away best friends.  I think they felt a connection and it was going to be a fist and face connection or a heart connection.  I'm so glad for the connection they decided on.  Claiborne's freshman year, he came to Oregon and met us, and when I learned a little bit about him I knew he was in our lives forever.  He remembers the day we were taking family pictures and I told him it was a commitment.  I don't take family pictures lightly.  It's a bit like a covenant to me.  He made the decision to be in the picture and from that day on he has been a part of the family.  Claiborne was pretty quiet when I first started "mothering" (pelting with questions) him, so I learned that he loved cookies.  I would bake cookies and tell him he owed me 10 minutes of conversation per cookie.  He liked my cookies, and I liked baking them and learning more about him, so I got to know him pretty well when he lived with us for a summer.


This weekend we had the honor of meeting more of his family and they are the best.  They cheered on their Claiborne with such pride and excitement. 
 They did a family huddle before parting ways after the graduation and it was so sweet and powerful.   I can tell these people stick together thru thick and thin and love each other strongly.  I'm thankful our circle widened, and now we have even more "family" to love.
  Claiborne had us cheering on one side, and his family cheering on the other side.
  We had him surrounded on all sides, with love and support and cheering and whistles and pictures. 
There were over a 1000 graduates and Claiborne stood out among them in every way. 
He is a special guy and we are blessed to have him in our lives.

Brady shared with us his journey in deciding to go to medical school.  I'm excited to watch him become all he is called and equipped to be. Brady is crazy smart, and he is also one of the most polite people I have ever known.  He knows how to treat people with respect and he knows how to relate.  He also shared how he is learning thru teaching, and the things he is learning are about looking deeper into the kids he is teaching.  I know whatever he does will be profound and will make this world a better place to be for everyone.

 Kole, very unwillingly shared a poem that he wrote for a class at Eternity Bible College.  It was good, really good.  He was not very excited to share it, but Kole can be bought.  So.....I paid him to read it, and now I feel like I own that poem (just saying).  Kole has a passion inside of him and a thirst for knowledge and it is all pointed straight at Jesus.  I feel like he is being refined and matured and when he gets his orders from above he will be ready, set, and  he will GO with everything in him.

We ended our time together with Charlie and I getting the privilege and honor of praying over these guys and also for Claiborne's beautiful girlfriend, Erica. We joined hands right in a simple Mexican restaurant and felt connected to God and to each other.  We left knowing more and loving deeper. 

This is what I know to be true....this is only the beginning for these guys and our continued prayers for them. These guys are world changers, and I pray that they put all their big passions and hunger for knowledge into knowing and loving the God that gave them their  amazing lives. I pray they continue to live full speed ahead, taking in everything they can, and pouring out the love that has been given to them for the

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