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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

More than a Blog . . . and the Blessings of Friendship

“and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.” Philemon 6

Over the past couple of months, I have had the privilege of meeting several bloggers here in Louisville. Of course, the highlight was the Band of Bloggers Fellowship where I was able the shake the hands and hug the necks of many men with whom I have a kindred spirit and God-centered passion. However, since then I have been able to continue to meet many bloggers either in passing or intentionally. For instance, it has been a joy for me to be able to meet bloggers who are new students at Boyce and Southern via P&P. In addition to new friends, I have become reacquainted with some old friends from college days at the University of Mobile.

If you are a blogger and coming to Louisville for a visit or planning on attending Boyce or Southern, feel free to drop me an email at gospelcentral [at] yahoo [dot] com as I would love to take you out for breakfast or lunch. Tonight, I had the privilege of having dinner with one such blogger – Steve Weaver. Steve is in Louisville this week while taking a class on Baptist Theologians with Dr. Michael Haykin. We enjoyed some good fellowship and BBQ at Smokey Bones. If you are a pastor, let me encourage you to check out Steve’s blog as he has provided many of his expository sermons in print. Interestingly enough, Steve’s brother and father blogs as well. Ain’t that somethin’?

Another blogger new to Louisville I have enjoyed getting to know is Kelly Bridenstine. Kelly not only is starting here at Southern but also works 3rd shift with me at UPS. I have been greatly encouraged by our edifying conversation and warm-hearted fellowship. And although he is not new to Louisville, my friendship with Kenan Plunk is relatively new. Funny thing is we first met while working in the nursery at our church trying to control a room full of three year olds. Now we do this at least once a month together.

Why do I take the time to mention this? Well, there are some people who think that bloggers don’t have a life outside the blogosphere, that we don’t have real community and real relationships. It is a misconception to assume that bloggers don’t do anything but blog when the only exposure you have of them is when you come across them on your computer screen. I find it utterly ironic, however, that none of these relationships I have these brothers would have existed had it not been for blogging. God, in his providence, has used P&P and other blogs to direct me to godly men with whom I have experienced some great fellowship. I think I can speak for most bloggers by saying that we do not believe that we need to vindicate our social lives and ministries within our churches and our world by giving commentary about who we are and what we do. I for one don’t want to promote myself like an Annual Church Profile after a person’s nomination. It is not about me/us; it is about Jesus and His Church and His truth. So when God uses us outside our blogs to win people to Jesus or to encourage a struggling Christian or ministering to someone in need, be it known that God sees in secret and rewards in secret. In the meantime, I am going to continue to enjoy the blessings God has provided through relationships established and growing because of blogging—relationships that include some great BBQ with great guys like Steve Weaver.

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