Monday, August 12, 2013

the good giants

Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other.

There are good giants and bad giants.  The bad ones are like the dude named Goliath that young shepherd David took care of with a slingshot and a stone.  The good giants are the ones that come in to our lives and are larger than life.  They stand out and stand tall to help us see further, dream bigger and bring courage and encouragement our way.

Friday morning a friend was on my mind, and I sent him a text message that I was thinking about him and praying for him and his family.  I hadn’t seen him for some time but have seen the evidence and impact his work, ministry and his incredible family.

In the coming hours we sent several texts and had a cool conversation.  Yet I didn’t know that we would end up in the same town and in the same area for at least for a few minutes.  What happened next was one of those God moments and blessed my family and me.  That blessing came in loads, and I believe more will come from this connection.

One of the giants in my life is Dan Ohlerking.  Dan helps lead an organization that we have
been connected with for several years, Children’s Cup that ministers to AIDS orphans and other children in Africa.  I first met Dan through Healing Place Church and their work with Association of Related Churches (a church planting group).  In the months after I met Dan I was part of a Men’s Bible Study that Dan led and would get to know him and his family.

It was Dan’s mom and dad, Dave and Jean Ohlerking, that helped start our family doing devotions every day.  Their impact on our lives is big.  I mean really big, and these people have a very special place in my heart.  When I am around them, I feel like I have been with Jesus.

Ok.  So the story goes on.  Our family went to Charlotte for a last piece of summer get away and back to school shopping trip.  It just happened to be on the same weekend that Dan and one of his coworkers were coming to North Carolina to be with several churches.  After a few texts back and forth we met at the Starbucks near our hotel.  Again, it was like being with Jesus again.  We reconnected.  We talked about family and ministry.  He shared how God is moving in Africa through their ministry.  It was a sweet time.  It ended with Dan praying over my family. 

This man is a giant.  No, he is not Jesus.  But wrapped up in his character, in his heart and in his passion is a boatload of world impact happening now and positioned to happen even more in the future.  He told me about a small community in Africa where a small business is now feeding the entire town and countryside.  All it took was a little creative thinking, some thinking outside the box and listening to God.  What an honor to see and hear what God is doing half way around the world, and how awesome is was to reconnect with a friend who once again blew my socks off.

Who are the giants in your life?  Who are the people that stand out and stand tall helping you live with courage?  Who are you a giant to?  I am not trying to build your ego.  I believe God wants to build His kingdom using the potential and influence that He has put in your life. 

May God give us giants all around us and make us giants so we can influence others in big ways.

Be on guard.  Stand firm in the faith.  Be courageous.  Be strong.

So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith.

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happy birthday, Julie

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