Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Blessings of Staying Long

There are many payoffs to living in one place for a long time. Karen and I moved here in 1967 so for 41 years we have built relationships and reared our family in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with six long term friends from my days at College Hill Church. Frank Baker is in The Christ Hospital recuperating from a four-way by pass. PTL Frank is doing well and we were able to visit for twenty minutes before a nurse took him away for a walk.

Many good memories came back to me as I headed toward Frank's room. He is largely responsible for kicking me in the rear when I got behind in my doctoral studies. Frank confronted me about my promise to finish a dissertation, a vow I had neglected. As Proverbs 27 says:

5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.

6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend;

but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

After visitng Frank I met with Jon Kopke and Maurie Loomans, both from CHPC and two of the finest men I ever knew. We met to discuss a study group Jon invited me to at UC Medical School. It is an interest group on faith and medicine.

Maurie was a medical researcher for P&G for over 30 years and wanted to know how the scientists at UC measured faith. Jon runs the computer programs that track some of the research. Both are elders and Seasoned believers who believe in and practice healing prayers. The conversation was challenging, cutting edge, insightful and wonderful.

Upon arriving home I received word that Ron Meeks was in the hospital and needed prayer. Karen and I got on our horse and drove down to Deaconess to pray for Ron. God showed up and we had a great time of worship and intercession.

On our way home we stopped at The Lemon Grass, our favorite Thai place in Hyde Park. There we saw Julie and Ken Rothe, two friends and colleagues. They were our partners in founding the Life Way Counseling Center and Hospital in 1989. Ken was a hospital consultant and Julie a Counselor. What a joy to re-connect.

Being in one place allows friendships to mature and grow. We can immediately talk about our children and old times. Thank God for nostalgia.

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