You know, my whole life I’ve wanted friends. True friends.
The kind you consider family even though you don’t share the same tree or bloodline. The kind you don’t hesitate to call or text at 2am. The ones you invite over whether your house is clean or not, who’ve seen you ugly cry and still love you. Those kind of friends.
Remember those “Best Friend Shirts” we made in the 80’s? A childhood friend and I had a set, which of course we wore with matching side-ponytails and armloads of plastic bracelets. Or maybe it was Swatches, I can’t remember. All I know is we were true blue BFF’s.
Until she moved 2 hours away.
Time has taught me the true friends I’ve described are like precious jewels: incredibly valuable and extremely hard to find. And the funny thing is, they’re usually not the ones sporting a matching t-shirt.
You never know who your dearest friends will be, where you’ll meet them or what circumstances will bring you together. Friendship is fun like that. Adventurous, even. It keeps life interesting.
Take for instance my dear friend Michael Powell. He and Stevie-P were college roommates…and polar opposites! Though they shared a call to ministry, these two guys couldn’t be more different. And yet, they were the greatest of friends. They balanced each other.
After graduation Michael married his sweetheart, Mandy. Then just weeks later, he performed a portion of our wedding. We lived in the same town and hung out often, even went on a couple of foreign mission trips together. Good times for sure.
But then, they moved.
Distance may have changed our physical proximity and much has happened over the years since, but I’m blessed to say our friendship is still just that. A true friendship.
And, I’m excited to introduce you to Michael today, not just as our friend but as an incredible evangelist and author. His first book, Moments with Malachi, will be available on Amazon tomorrow– January 19, 2016!
This book is also like a good friend– it is one of my favorite reads. It’s challenging and insightful; really makes me evaluate my love for God as well as my response to His love for me.
I’ve used it for personal study as well as with a group. It’s great teaching delivered in a way only Michael Powell can offer!
Check out this excerpt:
One of the greatest worship services my church ever experienced was at a wedding. Many of us drove over three hours to celebrate the union of Chris and Cassidy. I can’t think of a time when I have been so proud to be a pastor.
The event symbolized well the nature of our church. We celebrated romance during the wedding. We celebrated community at the reception. We celebrated dependency afterwards as five cars caravanned back at three in the morning. We celebrated Christ all along the way.
Malachi would have enjoyed the event. His book pleads for genuine romance to replace neglect and adultery. He begs for community during horrible struggles for power. He invites dependence upon the LORD, but is rejected and scorned.
The message of Malachi is easy to read and understand. Just do the opposite of what those who first heard the words of Malachi were doing. Malachi is a prophetic book written not because the people were failing to worship or offer sacrifices, but because the people weren’t interested in God anymore.
Those Malachi addressed were not great active sinners; they were great passive sinners. They weren’t running towards evil. They just weren’t running towards righteousness and God. They were minimalists asking, “What does God require?” and then making sure they didn’t do one thing more than what the letter of the law said to do.
Written around 400 BC, the temple and city wall had been rebuilt, but the Jews had failed to rebuild their own souls. They weren’t interested in God. The heartbeat of Malachi and the purpose of this devotional are to stimulate your interest in God. You may be interested enough to begin reading this book, but Malachi will soon show that often our standard of interest may fall far short of God’s. May God draw you nearer to His standard and closer to His heart as you read!
If you’re like me, when you think of Malachi you immediately think of tithing. (LOL!) But as Michael makes evident, Malachi offers so much more.
The audio version is FREE! and available on Michael’s blog. Visit www.upandoutpublishing.com to check it out. And while you’re there, sign up for Michael’s weekly newsletter.
“How natural it is that I should feel as I do about you, for you have a very special place in my heart. We have shared together the blessings of God…” ~Philippians 1:7
P.S. I’d like to give a giant-Thank You-hug to the friends who have loved our family as we grieve. It is precisely those 2am calls and texts and dirty-house visits that have carried us through. The Holy Spirit has without a doubt shown up in your hugs, tears, words and work. We love you to the moon and praise God for our friendship.