Jackson Five Friday: Tell the Stories

Hey Friends,

I hope you had a lovely day yesterday giving thanks with those you love. We ran a Turkey Trot and two things happened for the first time. Sam beat me, and Nate beat Will. Dub, of course, beat us all. His disposition, while very sweet in some ways, requires victory in any and every competition. I knew he was an uncommonly fierce competitor at a very young age when his eyes turned stern and laser focused during a game of musical chairs.

The guy hates losing and is willing to work his butt off to win. He’s kicked off his last high school swim season with some best times, which if you follow swimming you know is pretty unusual. The training cycle and taper period aim to achieve best times in championship meets, not early or mid-season.

Anyway we had a lovely day chilling out and eating way too much. We talked about specific things for which we are thankful and we told stories we’ve all heard before. Old stories are a treasure.

Sam gave me permission, inexplicably, to share the following. He’s usually adamantly opposed to such sharing, but perhaps as he matures his appreciation for his own hilarity grows.

Sam now shows aptitude for music. In fact he plays the trumpet and his music teacher is his favorite, but his promise as a musician was not evident in his early elementary years.

One day, back in Virginia, Sam was being so uncooperative in music class his teacher (and my dear friend) gave him an ultimatum.

“Sam, would you like to start paying attention?” my friend, the music teacher asked. “Or would you like to be sent to the office?”

Little Sam, thinking it was an actual choice, thought for second then exhaled in defeat: “‘I’ll go to the office,” he said.

As you might imagine this trip to the office has provided years of laughs. I doubt it’ll be any less funny to me in 2020 or 2030 or on my death bed.

Stories that are certain to bring laughs are always worth repeating but the best re-tellings are of God’s faithfulness. Years ago, my pastor, Lon Solomon, suggested keeping a journal of answered prayer.

As Joshua used stones as memorials of how God provided we should be careful to remember how God has delivered us, how He has loved us and cared for us in specific ways.

“And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”” Joshua ‬ ‭4:5-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I have a leather-bound journal that I write in only once in while. I keep it not to record every day events but as a memorial of God’s miraculous work in my life. I spent time writing in it recently about all that has happened in 2019, and was so blessed and encouraged by previous entries.

I hope some of the stories you and yours tell this weekend point to the faithfulness of Our All-Loving God. The story God is writing in your life is always worth sharing.

With Gratitude,


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