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Red Rover, Red Rover

Red rover, red rover, let ______ come over. How many of us have played this game? Unfortunately the children of today will never experience that thrill that comes when you feel your arms are about to be ripped from their sockets. How could schools ban such an uplifting activity?

I think about games like this and I wonder,  “How did we choose who’s name to put in that blank?” I know sometimes you chose the person you felt like was too scrawny to break through. But most of the time you chose your favorite. The person that didn’t make it on your team that you liked the most. That’s how all games went … at-least if I was choosing. I don’t remember choosing the person with the best ability I just chose my best friend. Sometimes I had several best friends and that made the decision extremely difficult.

Well I’m about to ask you to choose. To decide who you want to “come over”. Tomorrow is a day of thanksgiving and we can’t help but focus on people we are grateful for. Well I want you to do this …. make a decision.

If you could choose three … really you can do as many as you want… but choose some people that you know  have had the greatest influence on your life. The people that you would want to “come over” for a thanksgiving meal with you … so that you can make sure they know just how much they mean to your heart.

 “Red Rover, Red Rover, let Cricket, Marilou, and Rex come over. ” I want to focus on these three because they all helped develop a part of me that has made me who I am today.

Cricket … if my memory serves me correctly we met in the office on the first day of school in first grade. She had gotten in a fight because her mom made her wear a dress and some boys made fun of her. I don’t recall why I was in there, probably delivering  flowers to the secretary or something 🙂 . We were fast friends for all of elementary and High school. I still visit her when I go to Hobbs. If you haven’t heard a “Paige and Cricket” story then you haven’t known me very long. She was the friend of my childhood. She is a true friend who’s influence shaped who I am today … I believe she helped me develop my “lighter side”. Learning not to take myself too seriously has gotten me through some tough times.

Marilou … I met her in 1998 when I moved to Illinois. It took us a while to warm up to each other, but once we did … we were tight. I went to the movie with her almost every Sunday (sometimes other days in addition to that) for about 6 years. She had vision problems, and on more than one occasion I read entire movies to her if there were subtitles. I rode with her the day she wanted to try driving … to see if her vision was going to allow it. This may not have been the smartest move, but when she pulled over, crying because she was no longer going to be able to drive, I was glad I was there. She stretched my heart … it grew parts I never knew existed. I learned to love someone in-spite of our differences. She taught me that disagreement on an issue did not mean you could not be friends. I thank God for her support during my toughest times. She helped develop my “empathetic heart”. This empathy has helped me be able to walk in someone else’s shoes and see things from their point of view.

Finally Rex … No one person has had more influence on my life. All I can say about him is he has been the most consistent person in my life. He has shown me a real Jesus, that has a real grace, that has a real love for sinners. Words can not express my appreciation for Rex, but I know he knows.  If I hadn’t been able to open up to him about my “real” thoughts I would never have come home. I thank God for his love, patience, and consistency. He helped me develop my “get real” muscle, and it saved my life. It wasn’t until I “got real” that God could work His wonders on my heart.

These are the folks I would ask over  … how about you?

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Comments on: "Red Rover, Red Rover" (7)

  1. I would choose Jaylee, Wes, and Kolin. They are the most fun children. Just another way God loves me through people.

    I’M GRATEFUL THAT GOD PUT YOU IN THEIR LIVES.

  2. If I had to choose three folks that have make the biggest impact on my life…it would be Jack Fisher, Cynthia King, and Rex Boyles. (so he gets two turns in this Red Rover game)

    Jack was my grandad. He was my hero…I adored him. He cherished me. I’ve written about him before..in other comments and other blogs. He was a quiet, hard working, Christian man that I still miss terribly.

    Cynthia King was my high school business teacher. She was very supportive and encouraging, and she taught me a lot…she is the reason I chose to go into accounting. Looking back at her now, I know that she had some trying things going on in her life and I admire her even more for her quiet strength. I saw it in her then….I appreciate it so much more now.

    And Rex. I have known him as youth minister, preacher, teacher, and friend. He has always inspired me to know God better. His way of making the Bible come alive has touched me all the years that I’ve known him. I cannot imagine where I would be (emotionally, physically, spiritually) right now if he had not spent so much time and energy pulling me back up and getting me “home” again.

    I THANK GOD THAT HE SENT THEM INTO YOUR LIFE, AND THAT YOU WERE WILLING TO LEARN WHAT THEY WERE THERE TO TEACH YOU.

  3. Caroline–the woman who loved me and looked after me as a mother when my own was thousands of miles away.

    Roy, John, Missy, and Melinda–my teammates. We were all we had the first holidays we spent on the field, still teenagers. Bringing all of our recipes from home to the table in the flat on Castemilk Road, we probably had enough food to feed the entire church.

    THANK GOD FOR GOOD GOOD PEOPLE. THEY WERE THERE FOR YOU WHEN YOU REALLY NEEDED THEM. I PRAY GOD CONTINUES TO SEND YOU THE PEOPLE YOU NEED AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME.

  4. I have been thinking about this post for several days – going through a mental list of names – friends. When doing something like this, I always analyze it more than necessary -but I am trying to be very honest and real in my life – so I don’t just answer off the cuff re. anything. Neither do I want to hurt anyone’s feeling, who may think that I should or would mention them – but don’t. (Even though – my true friends do not get jealous of each other; because they know – each of them – that they have a special place in my heart.

    So I am going to tell you the absolute truth: my best friends – always have been my mother and father … for real. I have always been able to tell them anything … ask them anything. From early in my life – even to this day – they have been my greatest source of wisdom, support, love, fun, encouragment, loyalty, example, faith, etc. You name it … I got from and had in my mother and dad. They are absolutely the best. And I felt that way about them – before I brought shame to the Lord’s church and to my family. But even then they did not treat me like they were ashamed. They loved me … with the purest kind of love I have ever seen – or known in this world. They have made it easier for me to understand the love and grace of God – because I saw it first in them. I would love to go on and on …

    Wish you could hear my dad tell stories. He is fun and funny … smart and wise. Wish you could be anywhere near my mother … because she would make you feel loved and special. They are the most unique – genuinely gracious people I have ever known.

    Yep, anywhere I am … I want them to come over!

    IF GRANNY OR BIG BILL WOULD COME OVER I WOULDN’T EVEN MAKE THEM BREAK THROUGH … I’D JUST GRAB THEIR HANDS AND MAKE THEM PART OF THE TEAM. I LOVE WHAT THEY DID FOR YOU … HOW THEY TREATED YOU DURING THAT TOUGH TIME. BUT WHAT I REALLY LOVE IS ALL THAT LED UP TO THAT MOMENT THAT YOU NEEDED THEM. IF THAT RELATIONSHIP HAD NOT BEEN SO STRONG, HAD NOT HAD SUCH A FIRM FOUNDATION IN GOD, THEN IT WOULD NOT HAVE WITHSTOOD THAT STORM. IT WAS BUILT STRONG WAY BEFORE IT REALLY NEEDED TO BE THAT STRONG. THANK GOD. I WISH THAT STORM HAD NEVER HIT, BUT WHEN IT DID YOU GUYS WERE PREPARED. NOT MANY PEOPLE CAN SPEAK OF THEIR PARENTS WITH THE GENUINE LOVE AND DEVOTION THAT YOU DO. YOU ARE BLESSED … THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR PARENTS WITH ALL OF US.

  5. This has been a fun question to ponder. And in truth, I got to share a huge thanksgiving meal with many that will one day be on this very list. (I don’t know if that made sense… We shared a huge meal with our team. I can imagine that in a few years we won’t all be together like this and in that time, they’ll be the ones that I’ll recognize as old friends that God used to greatly impact my life.)

    The first name I thought of was quite easy… Rex. I can’t express how grateful I am for Rex. He makes Jesus new… through his teaching, encouragement and example. Though I would be a little worried because when I was in AIM, Rex joined our team in Portugal for Thanksgiving, after which many of us were violently ill.

    I’d also love to invite Chris and Linda Jones over. He is an elder at Memorial Drive in Tulsa and has the a real shepherd’s heart. I think I’ve mentioned Linda on this blog earlier as she tutored me when I was a first grader to help me get through some learning difficulties. They are two of my heros and champions.

    And the third choice would be Jenny (Kosack) Cortese. (I’m counting the Joneses as one.) Besides my wife, I’ve never had a closer female friend. She was an AIMer in Portugal when I arrived and she took me under her wing. I know no one else who is easier to laugh and cry with.

    I ALWAYS HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT JENNY, BUT NEVER REALLY GOT TO KNOW HER. I’M GLAD YOU HAD A WING TO GET UNDER … WHERE YOU COULD LAUGH AND CRY.

  6. I used to be real ornery in school and I had lots of help. Me and my friends in elementary school would play Red Rover this way: we would call someone we didn’t like too much and they would run but we would instruct the others to wait until right when they got there and then drop to their knees while still holding on and this would cut the legs out from under the person. I would like to apologize to Brian for doing this to him everytime and I hope he eventually got out of elementary school because he was like 12 and still in the 3rd grade. Slaton elementary was a rough place…….

    Now that I am not like this anymore, I would like to call Sarah, Tanner, Paige, Lisa, Sherry, Rex, Lynn, Celia, Thomas, Kelley, Benji, Rachel, Jenna, Andrea, Lexi, Lacy, Justin, Dwayne, Riley, and Tim to come on over and hold hands with us and thank God for allowing me to have such good friendships with them. And those little girls fill a void in my life and make me smile!! 😀

    I HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT THOSE KINDS OF TRICKS. WE WOULD JUST LET GO AND SO THE PERSON HAD BUILT UP ALL OF THIS SPEED AND THEN FELL FLAT ON THEIR FACE. WE WERE TERRIBLE.
    I’M SO GRATEFUL TO HAVE YOU WITH US … I LIKE THE THOUGHT OF US HOLDING HANDS THANKING GOD TOGETHER FOR THE GRACE THAT GAVE US ALL A CHANCE TO SMILE AND LAUGH ONCE AGAIN.

  7. Thanks Barry, I like that idea too, I’d join hands with you any day, and we all have lots to be thankful for.
    For my red rover dinner party I would first invite Lynn my husband and best friend. We have grown up together, and can not live without each other. Sometimes I think we are related by more than marriage, like cousins or something, since we think alike so much, and are so much a like.
    Next I invite my real cousin Barbara, she is more than a cousin, she is my sister, and other best friend, we were born 6 days apart. I just wish she lived closer, but Lynn probably is glad she does not, or he would not see me very much, or he would see way too much of Barbara to be happy. Barbara visited our church over the labor day weekend. We do not look alike, but we share the same heart.
    Next, but not least, I have to group these into one, my kids, Carrie, Nicci and Kelly. They have allowed me to be thier mom in good times and bad times, sometimes a good mom, sometimes a really lousy mom. They put up with me when I still treat them like little kids, especially Kelly. Poor Carrie, she is lucky to still be alive, I was such a dummy, my maternal instincts did not kick in real quick and I did not know you should not let a 2 year old be in the front yard by herself. duh.
    Of course Rex is always fun to have around and he has had a great influence on my families life, that is for sure.

    I’M THANKFUL FOR THE EXAMPLE OF YOUR FAMILY. I REALLY LIKE SEEING THE SUPPORT YOU GIVE YOUR CHILDREN. I’M GRATEFUL THAT I’VE GOTTEN TO KNOW YOU THIS LAST YEAR.

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