David Burchett Christian Blog and Commentary

Congratulations to you and you and you and you...

Steve Martin closed a comedy CD with this classic bit….

You've been great, I'd like to thank each and everyone of you for coming out tonight:

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you….(you get the point, the bit kept going)

Now Time Magazine has one upped Martin’s attempt to suck up to everyone by naming Me (and You) as Person of the Year!

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I am sharing the award with millions of my closest and dearest friends. I was awarded this pretigious nomination (along with those other people) based on this criteria.

The winners this year were anyone using or creating content on the World Wide Web.

Since the criteria was not for creating “good” content I can, with clear conscious, accept my nomination as Person of the Year. This joins my list of lifetime accomplishments that includes being a member of Sam’s Club, standing somewhat uncomfortably next to Jack Nicholson at a Forum restroom during a Laker NBA game, and directing the television broadcast of the baseball game that featured the baseball bouncing off of Jose Conseco’s head and over the fence for a home run. Yes, it is an amazing life I have led.

I think Time’s copout is a bit disappointing but it is generating the desired publicity and office patter. However, I have some ideas for Time if they are looking for real persons of the year. I would nominate some people who have demonstrated grace, courage, and what it really looks like to be a follower of Jesus. Last January I nominated our friends Bob and Susan. That nomination remains intact. This is what I wrote in January of this year about Bob and Susan.

These are two people that have affected my life for better because of their unquenchable faith. Susan has been battling cancer for a couple of very long years. The chemotherapy caused a reaction that severely damaged Susan’s neurological responses. Her balance, coordination, and speech were all profoundly affected. Yet everytime we visit she ends up encouraging me with her smile, spirit, and strength. Bob has cared for Susan with a dedication and love that embarrasses me. Bob went for months sleeping only minutes at a time and yet he served and loved his wife without complaint. He had pledged to love her through better or worse and, unlike so many of us, he stuck to the pledge. I had always wondered exactly what Paul meant in Ephesians when he wrote that husbands are to love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. I left Bob and Susan’s house after one memorable visit with that Scripture verse reverberating through my thick noggin. I had just seen the working model of how a husband can love his wife like Christ loved the church. Recently Susan personally dictated a Christmas letter that put the whole thing in perspective for me. For this family who has been through so much to be grateful for God’s blessings is an amazing demonstration of faith that is real. Faith that works even when the sky is dark. I can talk about apologetics. I can argue the validity of the ancient records. I can present the evidence for Jesus in historical documents. But nothing demonstrates the amazing grace and presence of a living God more than watching how men and women who love the Lord deal with such adversity. There are many stories of people who live a life that truly reflects the power of God living within them. You just don’t hear about them often enough. Pray for Bob and Susan as they trust God in every moment. They don’t make the news and they won’t be on the cover of Time. But in the midst of disappointing actions by too many Christians in the year of our Lord 2006 they are a beacon that shows that my faith is not only real…it works at the most difficult times. How can you endure such a trial? Paul begged for a trial to be taken away and received this response.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

It cannot be explained how the Holy Spirit comforts and sustains you in those trials. Joni and I have experienced it through the death of our daughter. I have recently seen it in the lives of my friends. I am grateful that I have had the privilege of sharing my life with these special followers of Christ. I hope that I will pass the future tests and trials of life like the example they have set for me.

I get chills as I read those words. Who knew that Joni and I would have the chance to trust Jesus in the midst of our own trial with Joni’s breast cancer just two months later. And as we have walked through the valleys of fear and trials He has been right there with us every single step of the way. And Bob and Susan have stepped outside their own problems to show love and concern to us as we learn how to trust Him during adversity. Joni and I often think of Bob and Susan when we start to grow discouraged and we soldier on. Because of their grace filled example we have seen how Jesus works in the midst of the storm.

I would also nominate Ed and Judy. I wrote about a recent setback in my friend Ed’s battle with cancer in a recent post. Here is Ed’s description of a difficult night.

Judy and I appreciate your prayers that carried us through a long, dark night. As you know by now, the main source of discomfort for me and concern is the "skin issue" once again. Last night was the first night off meds--pain meds, sleeping meds, antibiotic meds.--every hour filled with itching, skin falling off, twinges of pain in the knee, and, as you might imagine, anxiety.

With decades of studying about, relating to, walking with, and telling others about "Our Father" in my life, I was able to focus my thoughts on a comforting phrase from the New Testament--Abba Father (Romans 8:15).

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”  NLT

This is an endearing and intimate title for God the Father that could be translated, "Father, my  own dear Father." It is the title a child uses to relate to a father when the child knows that he or she is dear to Him, the one He delights in.

So, last night was so much more than a night of malaise, it was a night I spent on my Father's lap, talking with Him about my fears, feelings, and hurts. It is the upside of suffering for the child of God--deepening intimacy with Abba Father.  Please continue to pray that the knee will continue to improve, the rash will stop, and that I can return to my life with these lessons of faith in my heart.

Once again I am humbled in my puny walk with Jesus. That is an amazing line. "The upside of suffering for the child of God is deepening intimacy with Abba Father."  Ed has weathered this storm, is doing well and I am sure those lessons of faith are deeply ingrained in his heart.

Which brings me to my other person of the year. My bride. How can I ever doubt the courage, strength, dignity, and faith of this amazing woman? She has endured six months of chemotherapy, two months of radiation, and numerous setbacks with trust and determination. She is my hero and my person of the year. I write silly blogs and direct sporting events. Susan, Ed, and Joni have stepped up and stared the giant in the face without backing down. You will never be able to convince me that Jesus doesn’t work in the real world. I have seen it.

 



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