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Iron Sharpens Iron

Never underestimate the power of spending time with a friend.

This past week I met with three different ladies on three different days. Each encounter was as unique as the person I was meeting. The thing about fellowship with a friend is renewal. Depending upon what you need and who your friends are, the result be superficial or deep.

Iron Sharpens Iron April is a very charismatic woman whose insight and wisdom continues to blow my mind. She’s fun, witty and beautiful but also very insightful and Christ-centered. She told me a story about a friend who was feeling a bit low on faith. April told her, (and I am paraphrasing) “I have plenty because I have direct access to the source (God). When you are running low, let me be your battery pack. Plug into me and let me teach you how to access the source yourself.” Then she went on to talk about believers being “the light” and how in a world where darkness is rapidly encroaching, that light is more noticeable than ever. Again, I am paraphrasing. As believers carrying and dispersing evidence of the Holy Spirit, we can be targets for those who fear and feel threatened by the light. But more importantly, we are beacons for those who would be lost to the darkness and desperately need the hope that the light reveals. When I parted ways with April that day, I felt like I had a shot of spiritual adrenaline.

Blessed To Be A Blessing Two days after meeting with April I had lunch with my best friend’s daughter. She’s 14 but talking to her is like conversing with a 40 year old. Jaden is intelligent, articulate and very chill for a teenager. She is delightful to engage. We talked about a lot of different things that day and I learned a lot about her. She’s reading the first novel John and I wrote so we also chatted about that for a bit. She likes to write too. By the time we said goodbye, I had hope for her generation (surely there are more like her who love the outdoors, respect and value the elderly, don’t buy into the social media hype and don’t think that the world revolves around them and how many selfies they can post to Instagram). I also felt like she “gets” the message of our books, as she told me her favorite parts of the first one in the series. If we can impact a teenager, we’re on the right track.

God’s Mighty Hand When I met with Mari for coffee on Friday, I was unaware that I would bear witness to miracle after miracle in her testimony. She is very personable, organized and driven. Her spark is undeniable. Her life should be a movie because her story has it all - trials, tragedy, humor, mystery, triumph, intrigue, and inspiration. How she fits all the things she does into her days and nights I cannot imagine. She sacrifices, serves others, and is obedient to the Lord. Her faith and trust that God will make a way is unbelievably encouraging and her life (especially recently) is proof of what God does for those who are willing to walk through the doors He opens. Her story gives me goosebumps because it is immersed in the works of the Holy Spirit. You would literally have to be blind to miss how God is moving in her life. Her ministry is anointed, let there be no mistake. She heard God’s call and her response was “send me!” in spite of physical and financial challenges. Now she is caught up in the whirlwind of God’s business. I can’t wait to see what her life looks like a couple of years from now. She is on the precipice of greatness, but not for herself. No, this woman is all about giving glory to God and serving Him. Talking about walking away inspired. I felt like I could float home rather than drive.

This was the second week of my summer break from work. I could have slept in, laid around every day or perhaps spent my time at the water park. I’m glad I followed God’s prompting to invest my time in people instead. My work schedule does not afford me much time for socializing. My comfort zone is hunkering down and recharging by doing very little. This summer has been remarkably different and I am grateful for that.

As I seek leading from the Lord, I often find myself acting without truly thinking about it. By that I mean reaching out to people without planning to do so. It’s more like a reflex action, done more from instinct than intellect. The NOT planning typically blesses me more than anything I could map out in my own.

We are all influenced by those with whom we surround ourselves. This week my appointments were so much more than lunch and coffee dates. God used each of these ladies and the conversations to gift me something wonderful. All were things I have needed and even prayed for.

Through our relationships, God can and will speak. We need only be present and listen.

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