Friday, August 15, 2008

Friends! Part 1

Proverbs 18:24 - A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

I've had an interesting past two weeks.
There have been extreme highs and lows in both my and my friends' lives. I don't wanna talk about any of it right now. Still processing...God is faithful, I know that much.

I thought I'd take a moment to blog about friends (boy are they gonna be surprised!)
I should probably do this one at a time:

1st up - Matt Cothern. Matt is a dear friend from Kappa Kappa Psi and jazz band. We were pretty darn close in college and, don't get him started, 'cause he could tell you a gazillion stories about me - and many of them during my "who cares about honoring God" days. [For example, I believe there is one story in there about me and some of the brothers kidnapping him from his dorm at ~ 5 a.m., taking him to a restuarant I believe in his jammies and my standing up on a table loudly singing Happy Birthday to him in a Marilyn Monroe style...frat days!].

Through all the craziness, there are 3 moments I will always treasure in my mind about ole Matt:
1. When his softball team, "Fresh Meat" (or Fresh Meat II, again, frat days) were getting their habitual hiney kickin' in their killer softball division and Matt thought it was a good idea as a catcher to stop a runaway train of a man with his hand. Moments I treasure - those hours in the hospital Matt and I spent together! I realize now in my life that I did all I could during those college days to build walls in my life to keep people at a distance. I even made more "friends" so that I wouldn't have to go "deep" with anyone. Matt was one of the few people at that time I truly let into my life. He helped me learn the value of true friendships.

2. The Bet. For the life of me, I cannot remember what the bet was, but the wager of the bet I do remember. I was a hard-core liberal at the time and Matt was the polar opposite. We spent much of our greeting time daily attacking one another's political stances. Well, the wager was, loser had to vote in the the winner's political party primary and, essentially, join that political party. I became a Republican (I consider myself a conservative independent today) because I lost a bet to Matt.
I decided to look at what some of the candidate's in the Republican party were all about and, to my surprise, many of them said they operated their life and work out of their faith in Jesus Christ. Kinda made me say, "What guides me in my day-to-day?" Somehow, through that wager and several other Spirit-led people and events in my life, I ended up re-dedicating my life to Jesus Christ sometime soon after I "became a Republican." [I put that in quotes because I honestly believe no political party has a lock on God...the story is just a piece of the puzzle God used to change my life].

3. The Church. So, I ended up being hired on at Hill Country Bible Church - Northwest and the pastor and my supervisor say, "There's a guy here who knows you...Matt Cothern!" "Really?!" I had been looking for Matt on the internet for years and had completely lost touch. We ended up meeting at the place that is common ground for both of us. Oh how God has brought both of us through crazy times! (I'm sparing Matt's crazy stories to protect the...guilty!)
Well, one of the "extreme highs" of the last two weeks was HCBC's Concert of Praise. My wife posted a video of me playing sax at a rehearsal - I could blog about that...I thought I was the one who was going to get to post wife is a "Blog Hog" - on her site ( Standing next to me, my dear friend, on trumpet, Matt Cothern.

I am thankful to God for the friends He has placed in my life.
Next blog, "Steve."


Meghan said...

You can come to Indy on Wednesday and sing Happy Birthday to me Marilyn style :)

Jennifer Barnes said...

And the two trombonists... Dave and Matt, yep, they went to college together at the same time as well (then went their separate ways for their Masters in performace degrees). It was amazing when we decided to move to Austin and found Matt and his wife and now, lo and behold, we're at the same church now.

-Jen, Dave's wife

Meghan said...

Where is "Friends Part II"? I need new reading material. ;-)