Friday, August 8, 2008

Friendship

“Filosofer”.  It was a username I came to know well over the past 7 years from the time I spent on Christian message boards, first at Philosophia Christi, followed by Christian Corner Community and then at my own board, Sparrow’s Hearth.  Filosofer always provided a voice of reason and genuine concern, especially during the time of the heated Arminian vs. Calvinism “debates” that occurred periodically in these online communities.     

In a virtual world where anonymity can create distorted perceptions and facades, I found a consistent, humble servant of Christ in everything filosofer wrote.  I also discovered a gifted counselor, teacher and friend...one who offers wisdom without condemnation.   


It came as no surprise that filosofer, aka, Rich, was in fact a Lutheran minister.   What did surprise me was that he expanded his local ministry to take on the hat of President of the American Lutheran Theological Seminary.  Fortunately for me, this meant that Rich would be traveling to many areas across the nation, including North Carolina.  And so, only a few weeks ago, as Rich was making his way from NC toward Indiana, I had the pleasure of meeting him in person.


We had a delightful visit over lunch and he was gracious enough to preview my “Real Beauty” program and share constructive comments.  I enjoyed hearing about his pastoral work and admire the enthusiasm  he radiates when speaking about various projects in the church.


Another friend of mine once remarked, ‘I no longer measure success by my job...how much I’m bringing in, but rather in relationships, ...the friendships I share with other people..’   


Amen.  


I am blessed by your friendship, Rich.  May God continue to shine His face upon your journey.


1 comment:

exegete77 said...

Thanks for the kind words. I think we were equally blessed over the seven years of internet friendship, and then with our face-to-face visit.

Your work with "Real Beauty" is a message that needs to reach our younger people... they are starved for love, but are deceived by what the world offers as the "beauty solution." May God richly bless your ministry in that area.

I had never been to West Virginia, and the region is beautiful. But I was surprised at how much it changed west of Charleston.

In Christ,

Rich

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