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Archive for the ‘friendships’ Category

I drove home from Memphis in silence today.

This was a long day that began with news of the death of a church member and then ended with the experience of being with another family while they said good-bye to a 15-day old child (the father has written a stunningly beautiful reflection on his son’s brief life here).

So, at the end of this painfully long day I made the 90 minute trip home in silence. My soul could not bear one more word, note, voice, or sound. Even the rhythmic bumping of tires against the pavement on I-55 seemed to blur into the grief that encapsulated the drive home.

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For the past few days, I’ve been following the news out of Israel closely. Rockets from Gaza (a Palestinian controlled area) striking Israeli areas have garnered a brutal response from Israel that has necessitated more rockets from Gaza and more bombs from Israel. Innocent civilians on both sides have been injured. Children have been killed.

When people wring their hands about the middle east and ask “When will they ever learn?” I quietly wonder, “When will we ever learn?” You see, what the nations do is only reflective of what we do individually. They do on a grand scale what we do to one another.

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Last week was a wild ride and my best intentions to continue the relate series were overcome by . . . well life. So, we’ll pick back up this week! Remember if you want email alerts when I post, just click the button to the right.

When I first got married, I just knew I could convert my wonderful new bride into a world-class house-keeper. This wasn’t because I had a patriarchal sense of expectations (wife: clean, husband: hunt). I wanted Audra to appreciate the joy of a clean house as much as I did. Cleaning the house was something we could enjoy doing together. I thought that surely with a little work on my part I could make her into the person I thought she would want to be.

Turns out I was wrong. Horribly. Terribly. Miserably wrong.

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Yesterday, I posted the first five rules for “fighting fair.” Every relationship has moments of tension and disagreement. How we manage those moments will determine if the relationship grows or disintegrates.

You can find the first five rules here.

Here are the next five:

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Today’s post is the second in the series, Relate. In this series, I’m discussing some important issues that will help us improve relational health. For you that may be your marriage, a friendship, or a work relationship. 

If you want to receive notifications about posts, just hit the “Follow” button to the right of this post.

In the previous post, I discussed that fights/disagreements/conflict/arguments can be a good thing in a relationship. The key is to make our conflict constructive rather than destructive. Over the years, I’ve developed a list of things that will help us fight fair. Some of these I’ve stolen from others and some I’ve painfully learned on my own. Today, I’ll give the first five and tomorrow I’ll share the remaining rules. At the bottom of the post is a funny, funny video a friend shared with me about what you don’t want to do in a relationship (guys, this one’s primarily aimed at you). If you need a laugh, you can skip straight to it. Or, it can be a bonus for making it through the list.

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A few notes from the management before we begin today:

  • I’ve missed posting a bit this week (and last) due to a hectic schedule. Today I leave for a conference for the rest of the week. So, I’ll resume regular posting next week.
  • Today’s post will end the Pivot series. Next week I’ll begin a series on Relationships (this post will actually “pivot” us toward that new series). If you have a question or a relationship issue you’d like me to address during the series, simply email it to eddierester@parkwayheights.org and I’ll see what I can do! You can ask questions about any type of relationship—parents, spouse, children, ex-friends/spouse, marriage, neighbors. 
  • Also, I’m working on creating separate pages for the 6,629 Miles posts and the Pivot posts. The pages will compile all the posts from those two series in one place, making them easier to find. Watch for that upgrade sometime next week.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

For spring break of my senior year in college I went to New York City with a friend. My sister was a nanny for a family in New Jersey, just outside the city, so she set up all the tours, shows, hotels, etc.

The friend that traveled with me was (and still is) one of the happiest, most positive people I have ever known. He smiled all the time. He never met a stranger. He could find a common topic with absolutely anyone. As an introvert, I was always in awe of his ability to strike up conversations with people.

The week we were in New York, though, he changed.

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Ya gotta eat, right? Every day requires a feeding. Or two. Or three. When we eat we have a choice to make about what we will eat. Will we eat what’s good for us (broiled chicken with a side of steamed vegetables and potatoes)? Or, will we go after a more taste-appealing yet drastically less nutritional choice–ramen noodles and Twinkies for lunch, anyone?

This is a critical question for our physical health. We are what we eat, after all. It’s just as important, though, for our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. What we take in has a lot to do with our attitude, our ability to creatively cope, and whether or not we’re able to pursue a new direction in life

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If you come by the church on any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday morning, chances are you’ll run into Parkway Heights best unpaid employee. He’ll be scrubbing the walls in the children’s area, dusting the stairwells, watering plants, or cleaning fingerprints off the windows.

His name is Junior Freeman, known to most of Hattiesburg simply as “Junior.” Hopefully you know him, but if you don’t, stop by and introduce yourself sometime.

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We’re taking a break today from our Pivot series so I can fulfill a promise I made in a moment of weakness. I promised Blair Wesley, our youth director at Parkway Heights and constant thorn in my flesh, that I would dedicate a blog post to her for her birthday. On Friday, September 7, Blair will turn 23. So, here’s her post.

I’ve known Blair Wesley since she was 7 years old.

That statement makes me feel very old. Because now, Blair is on staff with me at Parkway Heights.

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When I was 9 years old I thought Erin Gray was the most beautiful thing that graced television. She played Col. Wilma Deering on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. The show was campy, silly, and all-around terribly written and produced (even to a 9-year-old’s sensibilities), but Col. Deering made the show worth watching. You can check it out on Netflix if you dare.

Until last Friday she was simply a random piece of memory floating around the gray matter between my ears.

Then, Friday afternoon, she called me.

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