Friday, October 7, 2011

Friends

. 

Ministry can be difficult. It’s very much like being in the military (I can attest to that also) because you start getting Christmas cards from Allied Van Lines. When the moving company knows your first name, you’ve moved around some! It’s not really been that bad, we’ve been here in Cassatt for three years now, and we were in Kentucky for five and in Middle Tennessee for seven. But the names and faces are starting to pile up.

My “best” friend is and probably will always be Tracy Ponder. Trace and I have one of those relationships where I can go for years and not talk to him , yet with the next phone call we are back in rhythm, talking (as Patty says) in our own language. (So does Luke and Will; have their own language that is. Maybe it’s a guy thing.!?. Hey Tracy: Andithadsevemheads! Andlilbittyfeets!)

I have made several really good lifelong friends over the years. Tony Higgins, Kelly Cotton,  and John Wynn are all men I could call if I needed and they would be there for me, and they could do the same with me.

There is another name to add to the list; Roy Broughman. God put Roy and me together at a time when we both desperately needed each other. We both needed intellectually stimulating conversations. I love these farmers that that I pastor without equivocation, but a discussion on the ramifications of particular redemption on our soteriological urgency ain’t gonna happen in our conversations.  But now Roy is the one with Allied Van Lines in the parsonage driveway. So once again I guess I’ll have to keep my epistemological arguments about open theism to myself. (But I’ll tell you that I don’t like it!)



Roy is headed to the Promised Land…the Land Where God’s Glory Dwells…The Land Of The Shekhinah Glory…otherwise known as Georgia. Maybe God will see fit to put us close together again—preferably before we no longer have a need to discuss eschatology. In the mean time I give to Roy the greatest advice possible: you must learn a few things from my sagely wisdom on all things Georgia.

 1) Just say, “Go you silver britches” occasionally in your sermon and you’ll do fine. (i.e. “And in Luke 14:36 Jesus said, ‘For Florida is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill!  Go you silver britches.’”)

2) Do not wear anything orange. If you have any orange clothing, burn them at the state line.

3) In Georgia, especially where you are, a “mess” is a good thing. If you hear, “Preacher! We brought you a mess of peanuts,” don’t panic. That’s actually the good ones.

4) No. All of your deacons are not pig farmers. When they gather together each Sunday and talk about their Bush Hogs, they are referring to machinery. A bush hog is not actually a pig, but an extra large mowing device.

5) In South Georgia there is this terrible thing known as “Oyster Stew.” DO NOT BE FOOLED! You will be told it is a tradition. You will be told it is comfort food. You will be told it is delicious. The fact is that it is the equivalent of boiled snot served in that congealed liquid from a can of Vienna sausages. If you are offered oyster stew you must act quickly. Feign a ruptured appendix.  Lie on the floor and twitch your right leg and cry out, “Myrtle!” Keep this up until the ambulance arrives. Once you are cleared of the scene, have the EMT’s drop you off at the nearest Texas Roadhouse.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I think I'll hold on to that oyster stew one for myself just in case I ever grace that wonderful state (your potential words, not mine).

And I do understand the value of close friends. I have a guy from my first ship that I still keep in contact with. He and I haven't physically seen each other in over 10 years, but just like you were talking about, we can pick up with a phone call like nothing ever happened.