I thank God for you Pat, for you have refreshed my spirit. Your life is exciting, inspirational, and faithful. You are Godly, kind, humble, fun, and full of joy.
I took a chance on hiring you at my outdoor store when you were but 16 years old. For all these years I thought it was because you were so persistant by coming back week after week begging to work for me. You essentially wore me down and I relented! It turned out that God sent you, and you have become more than a great employee and a super kid. In those day you absorbed my every word. All these years later I am suprised you can repeat my words and tell me how much my training meant to you! I had no idea! I just knew you as a great kid, an always willing and responsible employee. It has been twenty years plus since we last spoke face to face. Facebook and phone calls can never replace the timing of this meeting. Today I know you as a man I respect and I honor for your committed faith. You have a persisting spirit, and your desire to do what is right and honor our God in ALL things is staggering. Your honorable commitments over the years past have had consequences which at the time seemed dire, but now they have produced fruits. You are light years ahead of your peers and the follys of this generation. Keep up the good work!
The bible says of Saint Paul’s friends, “for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people. (1 Corinthians 16:18, ESV). This is why I am making this message public. To my friends, you know there are very few special people God puts in our lives. For me, Patrick is one of these people. His worldly accomplishments are notably worthy of praise, but few of these these are of eternal importance; it is just fun to hear of his adventures, and maybe someday I can share them with you.
What I wish for you to hear today is what I learned from our long awaited reunion. I learned again we should all give thanks to God because of the grace given to us God in Christ Jesus, for in every way we are enriched in Him; in Christ we lack nothing. My friend Patrick reminded me of this truth. A once young, immature kid, by the help of God and the faith in his soul, has grown into a man. He is someone special to me because of what God has done through him. Patrick has given his mind, his talents, and his heart to God. God guides his every move. He trusts in Him in all situations, and when you get to know him you’ll understand the “situations” Pat gets himself into!
So, in Christ I boast! We should all be as worthy and humble as my friend Patrick, for in people like him (and in ourselves) we should see Christ. Our friends should see us as faithful and kind, believers in God. They should see the one who has done so much for us that He has changed the way we think and live. This is Christianity! This is freedom in Christ, in so doing we live radically bold and incredibly satisfied lives.