Pass it on

When I was in college, I ran a computer-building business.  I’d like to say it was my way of working my way through college, but the truth is, it was a way to make money to support my habit for toys, dining out and going to movies.  I may have spent some of the earnings on books, but mostly, it was probably squandered.

I remember a close friend of mine named, Larry Venable gave me an external CD-ROM drive.  I was in need of one to help my business along because I was a poor college student who couldn’t pay for it myself.  In those days, external CD drives ran around $350… clearly above my means.  It was a necessity for building computers, however since most of my software was on CD and most of the computers I was dealing with were not pre-installed with optical drives yet.

I remember clearly the lump in my throat when he gave it to me.  I was floored by his generosity.  He said to me, “Paul, this is a significant gift and a sacrifice but you need it.  I don’t want you to keep it, however.  When you come across someone else who needs it, give it to them.  With this comes a lesson of generosity and love.”

I promised to do so.

Today, the drive sits in my basement in a box of used and obsolete items.  I’ve had opportunities to give it away, but never did because my pride and greed got in the way.

… but I never forgot Larry’s generosity nor the lesson he tried to teach me.

Larry, recently I gave away my laptop to a friend who needed one to build his business.  I’ve honored your request and fulfilled my promise.

I love you and the lessons that Christ taught me through you.

To my friend with a new laptop:   this is a significant gift and a sacrifice but you need it.  I don’t want you to keep it, however.  When you come across someone else who needs it, give it to them.  With this comes a lesson of generosity and love.

Pass it on.

Toast to Ruth and Warren

I just have to say: This is the best practical joke I’ve ever played.

I mean, c’mon! How many little brothers actually get their older sister MARRIED? I just put the two of ‘em in the same room 18 months ago and said, “hey, let’s see what happens.”

I didn’t really see this comin’.

They seemed like two custom puzzle pieces that were made to fit. The next thing I know, Warren’s passing her notes that basically say, “do you like me? Circle yes or no.”

I think it’s reasonable to assume she circled “yes.”

Rumor has it that’s how the proposal went too.

Ruth: anyone who has ever spent 5 minutes with us in the same room knows that, in spite of our difference in years, we’ve had a strong bond since childhood. We’ve laughed and cried together… probably more laughing than crying. We’ve been confidants and encouragers to one another and as we grow older, our laugh lines grow deep.

You were there to pray with me and sing me to sleep when the storms were bad and the thunder was loud. I was there to hold you up and carry you to the finish line when your knees buckled under the weight… but you need a protector and you need a friend.

Warren: You’re an artist and a musician… but you’re also a painting and a song. When I met you, I saw a grey image of a great man with strong character and a heart of kings.

I heard a song that harmonized with Ruth’s, but more importantly, it harmonized with God.

Today, I stand as a witness that joined with Ruth, you’re a man bursting with color and vibrant with life. The song you sing with Ruth and with God will tell a story of great blessing and of life-giving power.

I want to bring you this from Colossians 3:16-17:

And now… Ruth and Warren: may the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.