"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Memphis Guys

God really blessed me by allowing me to grow up in a Christian family and be surrounded by Christian friends. These friends grew up in Christian homes as well. Some of the parents of these friends have, over the years, become some of my parents' best friends. They take trips together, laugh anywhere and out loud(sometimes in a way that would make you think they had a snootful of moonshine), have fun, talk smack on the golf course and, most importantly, pray together. They literally show and live the love of Christ.

My dad and four of the men from this group have been praying together every Tuesday morning for the last few years. Garrett calls them the Memphis guys. I've seen what this time together has done to these men.

When we are back in the states and visiting Memphis, I have the privilege to join them on Tuesdays. It's been fun for me to move into an adult, spiritual relationship with these men after years of seeing them as being "the dads of my friends." I've learned much from my times of prayer with these guys. I've seen them confess, cry, laugh and, of course, pray together each Tuesday morning. I've seen them being faithful during hard, very hard, personal struggles. I've watched them bring their paper and pens and write down each prayer request and then pray for every thing listed usually more than one time. I've been blessed to see these men grow in their faith as well as have my faith grow just by being around them.

They are all different today than they were years ago. They are different today than they were yesterday and isn't that what God wants from His kids? Transformation and growth? What I've seen in them reminded me of a quote I read from an older brother in Christ in regards to growing his faith and how he continues to be changed in Christ. He said, "Yes, I have changed on many issues BECAUSE I have been studying the Bible, praying, trying to have a daily, intimate, personal relationship with God. Paul says in Rom. 12:1-2 to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, and it is very difficult for me to understand how a person can be transformed without changing. If transformation is not change, what is it? How can one put off the old person and put on the new without changing?" I say......EXACTLY! This is what I have seen in the Memphis Guys and what I want for Benay, myself and our kids as well as our new family in Porto Alegre.
Transformation and growth.

My blessings continue as I now see the influence that these guys have in my life being passed on to our kids. Here is a picture of me and Garrett with the guys and my dad, at their prayer time, last year during our visit to the states.
Since then Garrett has, at different times, prayed for these guys by name. Garrett has a heart for prayer and his time with these men impacted him.

When I think of the "Memphis Guys" I feel very blessed to have had them in my life since I was a child. It's been a cool thing for me to realize that God had these prayer warriors planned for my family in Brasil years before we ever felt the call to move here. He is so good that way isn't He?

Thank you Paul, Gerald, Larry(a.k.a. The Duke), and Danny for praying for my family every Tuesday, for praying blessings on what God is doing in Porto Alegre, for being there for my parents and for continuing to show Christ to a family 5,000 miles away. We love you and your families.

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