Friendship

Robin and Gift

It was a fairly eclectic group gathered around the dining room table Saturday night.  A combination of old friends and acquaintances, family, and a special friend who had literally traveled around the world to be here.

All eyes were on our Thai friend Gift, who had come from Bangkok with her son Dift to stay with us for four weeks.  She was sharing with those who came to her “welcoming party” about the dream she had to establish an export business.

The goal:  to support her husband Dui’s ministry among the three distinct congregations, Bible study groups and the additional pastor training ministry he has established.  Also to give Thai women an opportunity to earn a living in keeping with their considerable work ethic and skill.

Gift designs exquisite jewelry and has a growing team of Thai women who are able to make her designs by hand using certified-authentic gemstones from China and other places.

After sharing her brief story and dream, Gift’s focus changed to address my father-in-law, who was seated at the table with us. He had left Thailand with his family when Dui was just two years old and Gift was one.  Though he hasn’t lived there since 1974, because of his frequent returns and ongoing relationships, he remains a hero there to this day.  And that was the word – hero – that Gift used to describe how she and her husband saw Dr. Willis.

“We pray that we can have the same…” Gift was saying, and she paused, looking to no avail for the right English word.  Finally, all she could do is say it in Thai.

“How do you say, gam-lang jai?” [click to continue…]

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I.

It all started with a dream last week,

About a friend I hadn’t seen in more than a decade,

And hadn’t talked to in six years.

Even though it had been so long

And so much life had passed us by,

I realized how important he still is to me.

My love for him and his family is as strong as ever.

And that dream made me take a look at the tapestry of my relationships

And realize somebody was missing.

[click to continue…]

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Parakaleo

by Andy Wood on July 20, 2011

in Life Currency, Love

Showtime… Get up.

Your long-held dreams may soon come true, but someone has to hoist the sail to catch the wind that carries you to your destination.  That someone is you.  There’s no limit to what you can accomplish or where you can go.  That is, unless you never bother to set the sail and position yourself to prosper.

You can listen to your fears or live as if nobody cares some other time.  But not on my watch. [click to continue…]

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So many random and not-so-random thoughts… so little time…  Here are the latest places and spaces where my mental wheels are turning.  You can find others here, here, and here.  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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“It takes just as long to be great as to be mediocre.”  -Brian Tracey

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 “Every day you live there are more things you are never going to do.” -Al Mohler

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Good teachers answer your questions.  Great teachers question your answers.

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Have you ever noticed that the people who holler the loudest about grace are the ones who seem to need it the most?  Uh huh. [click to continue…]

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The Gift of Being There

by Andy Wood on December 8, 2010

in Life Currency, Love

It’s a common exchange, repeated in restaurants, homes, and shopping malls everywhere…

“Oh there you are!  I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”

“I’ve been right here the whole time.”

Life gives us seasons – and this is one of them – when we are reminded that the greatest blessings come in the form of the simple happiness of relationships.  Working together.  Enjoying down time together.  Praying together.  Simply enjoying the Gift of Being There…

It’s one of the most common prayer requests you’ll hear, especially for someone who’s going though “the stuff.”  The theology is a little strange, because somebody’s asking God to do what He is already doing.  But we all sort of know what it means:  “Lord, be with them during this time.”  We’re asking God to give someone else the Gift of Being There.

I can’t think of a more God-like expression of generosity, grace, and love than what some people call “the ministry of presence.”   [click to continue…]

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The Incredible Worth of a Friend

by Andy Wood on June 15, 2010

in Esteem, Life Currency, Love

Rick was nice enough to drive me to the airport. Then drive BACK to the airport when I left my phone in his car. After, of course, taking his picture on my phone and setting it as my new wallpaper.

“What is the secret of your life?” asked Mrs. Browning of Charles Kingsley; “Tell me, that I may make mine beautiful too?”

He replied, “I had a friend.” (William C. Gannet)

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Last week I got an interesting email, informing me that there would be a breakfast meeting of the Mobile Mafia in Orlando for everybody who happened to be there for the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Mobile Mafia, aka Wolfepack, are a loosely-structured group of men in ministry who came up under the leadership of Fred Wolfe, who remains in every sense of the word our pastor, mentor, and father-in-the-ministry to this day.

“Have a nice time,” I thought, as I dismissed the email as irrelevant to me. I hadn’t been to a Southern Baptist Convention since 1994.

Immediately after that, I got another email from the same source – my friend Wayne.  [click to continue…]

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Set a Spell!

by Andy Wood on February 13, 2010

in Life Currency, Love, Time

Watching TV for the last 70 years has given us a steady stream of midwestern news reporters, California actors, a Motown pop culture, and other invasions of Yankee influence.  Of course, we Southerners have made a few inroads of our own; I don’t think we can fool many northerners into thinking that grits grows on trees any more. 

Bottom line is, our nation is slowly losing its regionalism.  By and large, that’s O.K.  Oh, you can still tell generally where a person hails from by hearing them talk.  But sadly, some of our most picturesque phrases and words have all but disappeared.  Not long ago I actually heard a young mother at the hospital asking her daughter if she could “tote” her food tray. [click to continue…]

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Aunt Ruth 2Aunt Ruth was neither my aunt, nor was she named “Ruth.”  Through a set of circumstances I don’t have time to relate, “Aunt Ruth” was what I wound up calling her. 

Aunt Ruth had eyes that danced long after her feet were unable to.  She defied aging – said she didn’t have time or sense enough to grow old.  She detested religiosity and people who took themselves too seriously.  “Fuddy Duddy Christians,” she called them.  Aunt Ruth was wise.  Through her sometimes-sharp exterior, she loved me.  And she taught me one of the most important lessons I ever learned. 

“Life’s full of mysteries,” Aunt Ruth said.  In fact, she said it a lot.  Aunt Ruth loved mysteries.  Not the murder-type, but those principles in life that defy logic.  It always amused her to get me in an argumentative mode and throw out one of her “mysteries.”  

Like the time I was angry because someone had been spreading lies about me.  “I’m gonna find out who started it, and set them straight!” I informed her.  

“Forget it,” Aunt Ruth said.  “Get to the bottom of it, and all you get is some stirred up mud and a mad catfish.”  [click to continue…]

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Photo ablum 2“Hi-ya Ang.”

 I hate it when people call me that.  Feels like Mayberry somehow, and only two people have ever gotten away with it.  Lacey Parker was one of ‘em.

Lacey was a nut job at times.  The whole (short) time I knew her, it was obvious she saw through a different set of lenses.  Or maybe lived on a completely different planet.  [click to continue…]

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Soul Mate

by Andy Wood on October 1, 2009

in 100 Words, Five LV Laws, Life Currency, Love, Principle of Increase

And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul (1 Samuel 20:17).

To give yourself willingly to meet another’s needs…

To protect God’s gifts and work in his life…

To risk being misunderstood, even by family, for her benefit…

To see in him, and invest in, the greatness of his destiny…

To show kindness, even to her children and beyond…

To see the hand and life of God as your ultimate bond…

THESE are the ways of a lifetime friend.

THIS is the heart of the soul mate.

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