Influence

Chip is an old friend of mine (that’s his artsy mug to the left). We met while I was on staff at Forest Hill Church, gathering the initial launch team for Threshold. Both of our roles fell under the Outreach Division, and we were prayer partners for about 9 months. He’s a really good guy, but unfortunately we rarely see each other anymore.

Since I last spent time with Chip, he has published a book, called Thin Places, personal stories of the surprising collisions between the human spirit and the presence of God.

I ran into Chip this afternoon, and he gave me an autographed copy. And he immediately pointed me to Chapter 11, titled “Did Your Father Ever Come to Your Football Games.” The chapter recounts an episode in Chip’s life when he was struggling with some things in 2002, and called a friend to chat about them. I was that friend. He recalls – though I honestly had forgotten – that in the midst of this tough conversation, I asked him that very question: did your dad ever come to your football games?

Honestly, i really don’t remember asking him that, and I only vaguely remember the encounter. Of course, I am almost 10 years older now, so that’s no real surprise. But it’s also my point. I responded to a friend in need and asked him – led by the Spirit, I’m certain – just the right question. My life went on. I forgot about it. But Chip’s was forever altered for the better.

We all have influence. We all have friends who need us. To listen. To ask. To care. To be forever altered for the better.

Who might be Chip in your life today?

How will you respond?

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3 Responses to Influence

  1. Brian says:

    Thanks so much for the encouragement to follow the spirit’s leading, Jeff. And, isn’t it great to see how you impacted someone…years after the event? Thanks again for the encouragement-

  2. Keith says:

    I know what you are talking about. It is even more amazing when God uses you completely in spite of yourself to say the right thing to someone. I was chaplain in a jail in NY years ago. I used to regularly walk the jail cells, listen to people, and invite them to Bible Study or worship. One day we had a guest speaker who was well known on the streets and was treated very disrespectfully by several inmates but one in particular. The next week I wanted to see if the worst offender planned on coming to church (he was on keep lock and it was the only way he got out of his cell). I wanted to invite him to stay behind if he was going to act out again. So I specifically went to the tier and singled him out and asked, “Are you coming to church today?” He said “no!” He asked me if I came out just to see if he was coming to church. I told him yes and I left. He came to church anyway and became a regular every Sunday. During his stay he had a life changing encounter with Jesus. He told me it all started that day that I made a special trip to see if he was coming to church!!!!

  3. mike moses says:

    Jeff and chip. Great memory of a significant God-moment. Encourages me to trust my holy spirit gut in the moment more often. Udaman

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