Thursday, March 27, 2003

I'm blessed to have a lot of good people in my life. My wife and kids. An extended family in which I know I'm loved. Great friends.

I'm also blessed to serve as pastor of a wonderful group of people at Friendship Church [].

Among the best blessings I can count though, is my kid brother, Marty, who also is my friend.

At the age of thirty-six, Marty dramatically recasts my definition of that adjective, kid. (It's funny how young and old get older as I hurtle toward the big 5-0!) Marty also helps me define other words.

One of the words Marty defines for me is "faithful." Back in 1986, at a rock concert, Marty began to follow Jesus Christ. He didn't suddenly become perfect then. No one who follows Christ is perfect. (That's why I like the bumper sticker that says, "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven.") But anyone who observes Marty can see a guy moving in God's direction, toward a deeper love of God and neighbor. It shows in the way he lives, the things he does, and how much he cares.

That word "faithful" also describes the relationship that he has with his wife of fifteen years, Trina. You could see faithfulness too, in the care that Marty gave to Trina's uncle in the months before he passed away.

Another word that describes my brother is "talented." Okay, make that "multi-talented." Marty has spent years in radio and is now involved in what I would call "brand identity" work. In his new business, he creates web sites, videos, and radio spots, among other things, for everything from colleges to radio stations.

Another word to describe my brother is "funny." He's a fledgling stand-up comic who is truly one of the funniest people I have ever met. Marty is funny whether he's standing on a stage or in private conversation. Some times when he and I are speaking on the telephone, I am astounded at how his mind works and how quickly he can identify the funny side of any situation. The synapses of his brain must have pathways where I only evidence unoccupied grey matter.

Marty is also a "risk-taker." Both of our grandfathers were entrepreneuers. Each started or owned several businesses over time. Neither became wealthy. But both derived enjoyment from their entrepreneurial risk-taking. Marty inherited those entrepreneuer genes big-time. Right now, he and Trina are working hard to get their company off the ground []. It isn't easy. But risk-takers (which is another title to be applied to those who are faithful, by the way) don't take the easy route through life. They're too busy challenging themselves to be their very best, too intent on leaving the world a better place than it was before they showed up.

That leaves me to mention another word I associate with my brother, Marty, and my sister-in-law Trina: "heroes." They're heroes to me...Faithful, talented, funny risk-takers...Good people I love and of whom I am very proud!

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