I enjoyed about an hour with my great friend and best man in my wedding, Matt Canlis, today. He is a minister with the church of Scotland. He was in town for some family stuff, leaving his family of four and wonderful wife behind. We hadn't seen each for about 3 years, and it looks like it will be another 2 years until I see him again. It was like we hadn't missed a beat. Sharing old times, still connecting, still pressing on in our faith, and challenging each other to walk closer with Jesus. It is so fun to have friends that follow Jesus with all their life and to be able to share struggles and joys and victories and failures. It is crazy to look back at our college days at the University of Washington as single, crazy bachelors and to see the faithfulness and grace of God to bring us to where we are today. I just want to thank God publicly for Matt and my many other friends that God has blessed me with. It is crazy to think I will be leaving my other good friends for a long two years. It makes me glad to know that Heaven is my home and we are just a passing through... I was reading in Philip. 4:1 - Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! I was reading it and asked myself, what is how and why is the therefore there for? The previous verse is contrasting people whose mind is on earthly things and those whose minds are on heavenly things. So, to stand firm, we need to be people who live here for there. That provides perpsective to get through these hard goodbyes. It is what we live for, it is what motivates us to go and it was strengthens us when it gets hard when we do go there. May we all have dear friends that strengthen, challenge and encourage to love Jesus more.