And that old north wind begins to blow…

December 9, 2008 at 9:26 pm 7 comments

Awakened this morning to much colder temps and a wind out of the north, with a little snow mixed in, that goes clear to the bone.  The trailer is moving around quite a bit, which is interesting.  Sustained winds of 20-30 and gusts to 40 have the wind chill pretty low.

Carole King wrote a song about friendship that was recorded on her 1971 album “Tapestry”.  You’ve Got a Friend kept that album #1 for 15 weeks and then her friend James Taylor recorded it that same year and it too went to #1.  I can’t help but think of that song when, that old north wind begins to blow out here in Western Oklahoma.  Here are the lyrics:

When you’re down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, oh nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up, even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name,
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running
To see you again.
Winter, spring , summer, or fall,
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there.
You’ve got a friend.

If the sky above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud
And soon I will be knocking upon your door.
And I’ll be there.

Hey, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend?
People can be so cold.
They’ll hurt you and desert you.
Well they’ll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don’t you let them.

I think a lot about friendship. There are some people who are so good at making and being friends and I have been trying to pay attention to how they go about it, because I have never been very good at it.  What is it that makes a good friend, so good that …when the sky above you… turns dark and full of clouds and that old north wind should begin to blow… there are people who are …soon…knocking upon your door?

I have written before that I thought I was a friend and thought I had friends but when that old north wind began to blow I found out differently.  Thankfully, if the sky turns dark again I do have friends who will come running.

So what is the difference?  In this culture, where we came to get well, relationships are intentional.  They take precedence over everything else.  It there is going to be an error made about how much time is spent on building relationship, they err on the side of too much.  Meetings last twice as long and take a lot of time to get started because there are the stories that must be told and catching up to do and well, just talking.  It takes a lot longer to get anything done because when you are with friends you have to see what is going on in their lives.  No doubt, that takes some time to get used to, for someone like me but, aint it good to know you’ve got a friend?

Andy says something about relationship that is so important: If God had wanted us to be something other than Family, He would have called Himself something other than Father.  Another friend says it this way:  If the Kingdom is anything at all, it is relational and if it isn’t relational it isn’t Kingdom.   

The difference in this culture from the culture I grew up in is clearly the emphasis on Family and relationships.  People came to our Convergence Summit because they had heard about or had experienced Family here and not because they knew the teaching would be good.  The Apostle Paul said to Timothy …you will have many teachers but not many Fathers.  His point?  You can fill yourself full of knowledge and acquire tons of information but you can never have too much Family.  I swam in a stream for years where, what you knew and the amount of what you knew, was the pinnacle of spirituality.  Elders were chosen on the basis of having more knowledge than everybody else and their major task was to make sure doctrine was kept pure and there was no variation from “what we always believed”.  That is the norm in almost all evangelical churches.

Unfortunately, most of these churches are not very good when the sky above you turn(s) dark and full of clouds. When what you know trumps friendship and protection of the institution is always more important than relationship than the institution must be protected at all costs.  I understand the concept, I was part of it.  We all live and act the way we know to live and act.  But we can change.

For whatever is left of my life I want to live it differently, even though old habits die hard and years of not trusting do not make trusting easy.  There is nothing more important in my life than getting know God as Father and building deep, abiding relationships with His kids.

Hey, aint it good to know that you’ve got a friend.  Seriously, call and I’ll be there.

That old north wind is still blowing out there, but Cody is coming by in a few minutes, and he is always good for brightening up, even the darkest night.


Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Christian, Church, Culture, Faith, Family, Friendship, Institutional church, Jesus, Kingdom, Kingdom Life, Music, Revelation, The Father, Theology, Thoughts, Western Oklahoma.

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.62 Summit Recap. Tim Johns

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jan  |  December 13, 2008 at 1:45 am

    The first album I ever bought was James Taylor “Sweet Baby James”. The second album I ever bought was Carol King “Tapestry”. Greg – you SO get it! I truly appreciate your ability and willingness to take a good look at things. And I must say I don’t think you miss much. You are exactly what our family here in Sayre was lacking when you and Linda came. Thank you for your obedience and thank you both for being my friends.

  • 2. bill  |  December 11, 2008 at 8:41 am

    greg, we have many aquaintences that could be our friends – and many are – but there are the few that touch our hearts. Thank the Lord for giving us friends that touch us and hold us up when life brings us down -those that make our life special and give us the opportunity to share ourself with one another. You have been that kind of friend to me. God love you. bill

  • 3. Your Wife  |  December 11, 2008 at 3:30 am

    I’m thankful that God gave us new friends when the north wind blew. Those friends introduced us to more new friends and here we are today in Sayre, OK. Wow, who would have thought? Our Father’s ways are not our ways, but I’m thankful for His leading. Thank you for being willing to step out in faith to follow that leading.
    I love you.

  • 4. BS  |  December 10, 2008 at 9:59 am

    glad you are in a place where ‘people will come knocking on your door’.
    it’s about time!
    so cool to see GOD moving in you and changing you!
    it truly blesses me and brings me JOY.
    i especially appreciate what andy says about relationship…what your other friend says too!
    good stuff.

  • 5. Royal  |  December 9, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Good friends are hard to come by, I believe that is why there are so many phrases, songs, rhymes, etc. depicting true friendship as a great gift. My parents, especially my dad, always told me that there are two things that can take you farther in life than anything else. 1. Manners. “Please and Thank you will get you further in life than anything else.” He must of stated that everyday of my life. 2. “It is who you know, not what you know, that matters most in life.” I am particularly bad at following this advice, I am always in awe of knowledge, and pay little attention to the person who is administering it to me. This is something I work on a lot. My wife always gets on me about not having compassion and feelings. Hopefully I have a lot of time ahead of me to work on this.

  • 6. Brandon  |  December 9, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Sounds good, wish I was there. say hi to Cody for me, see you soon.

  • 7. amanda  |  December 9, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    sometimes, it seems that what happened to you, back here so parallels a time in my life. it was different circumstances, but it truly tested my faith, and to realize that friendship has many definitions for many people. i am glad you didn’t deal with the fallout as dramatically as i did, but to see and still sometimes hear the hurt in you is hard. know that trusting people takes a LONG time, but sometimes, having just a few friends, those ones who seem to know when you need them (even when you REFUSE to cry for help) is what sets the foundations for new friends. you will always have some of us here WHENEVER you need us.

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