Jon DeBell's Blog

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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Starting right. . . Finishing Strong!

Earlier this week I had the opportunity while visiting with my Aunt Linda in Columbus to meet up with an old friend I grew up with.  It had been 20 years since I last saw Sam.  Somehow middle age had passed us by and we both felt like we were meeting up with the father of the friend we had as teenagers. (And actually we're older now than our fathers were then!)

It was wonderful to introduce Sam and Penny to each other and to compare notes on our children.  We reminisced a lot and shared updates we had about our friends from youth.  Before I knew it over two hours quickly passed by.

During our conversation I was struck by the fact that the friends who had a consistent walk with the Lord as young people generally are the ones who still walk with Him today.  Those who lacked that focus as young people are the ones who still struggle with making good choices now.  To see Sam and to be reminded of others who have a heart to serve the Lord, and to sadly think of those who don't, brought Proverbs 22:6 to mind:
         Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

How crucial it is for each of us to get a godly start in life!  Several times since our meeting I have paused to thank the Lord for the Christian upbringing my brother and I received from our parents.  Their faithfulness has resulted in much sweet fruit in our lives.

Before we parted I asked Sam about the future .  He simply stated, "I want to finish strong."  He shared how he is meeting with younger men and trying to impart to them the lessons the Lord has taught him through his experiences in life.  He wants to show his gratitude for God's great blessings to him by investing in the lives of others for eternity.

Amen Sam!  Thank you for the encouragement I received during our time together.  With God's help I plan to finish well too.  I respect and love you my brother!