My Brother Started a Blog
Tonight was a typical “New Normal” kind of night. My family (my wife and 3 kids) sat at the dinner table (which until recently hadn’t been used very often) and ate dinner. After dinner, we cleaned the table off and then joined a Zoom Paint Night with my youth group (I’m a youth pastor btw) and attempted to create beautiful water color paintings (the finished products weren’t bad. Not great, but not bad). After finishing painting and cleaning up, we decided to sit down and watch a movie together as a family and then my brother and his fiancé called via FaceTime.
We paused the movie for a bit so the whole family could join in on the conversation and then they finished watching the movie while I talked to my brother in the other room. We don’t talk all the time, but we try our best. I love talking with my brother. We get to talk about stuff going on in our lives and we also get to talk about ministry (yup - he’s a youth pastor too).
We are pretty close now. In fact, he’s one of my best friends, but this wasn’t always the case. Maybe you can tell by the photo above, but there’s a lot of years between us (15 in fact). We actually didn’t become as close until he was about 20.
Here’s how it started…I was 15 when he was born and by the time he was 5, I had not only moved out of the house, but I had moved a couple of hours away from him. We always looked forward to seeing each other. In fact, he would call about every 20 minutes to see how far away we were, when he knew we were coming to town for a visit. You see, I wasn’t much of a brother. We didn’t fight over the same toys and enjoy the same tv shows. We didn’t really have much in common until he got older other than the fact that we shared the same family members. He was playing with cars and I was driving cars. He was watching Disney and I was not watching Disney. He was making friends at school and I was getting married and starting a family. I guess, I was more like an Uncle, than I was a brother. We loved each other greatly, but we just didn’t share much in common.
We did both however, always look forward to summer. During the summer, he would spend a lot of time with me and he always joined my youth group for camps. He may have lived a couple of hours away, but he was a big part of our youth group. He knew everyone and everyone knew him. It was during this time, that I took on a different role in his life. I was still his brother, but I was no longer like an Uncle, I was now his youth pastor.
After a few more years passed, he moved in with my family and I for a couple of years and it was during this time that we became very close. He not only lived with me, but he also worked for me as a youth intern for the church that I worked at. After a few years, he decided to move back to Fallbrook (the home town) and it was there that God called him into full time ministry.
If you are still reading this and wondering where I am going - you ask a good question, because most of what I have just written is a very long tangent leading back to the FaceTime conversation earlier tonight.
While we were talking, my brother asked me if I had read his blog or any of his posts and sadly, the answer was no. I hadn’t taken the time to read any of his entries, let alone even clicked the link to look at the pictures in the blog. After we hung up, I sat down and started reading his blog and here’s what I want to say…
My brother is awesome! Not because he started a blog but because he loves Jesus and he loves the students he works with enough to want to connect with them by sharing his struggles and highlights. He’s had a lot of struggles in his life, but he also has a lot to be thankful for as well and so do I. After all, I get to be his brother, but I also get to be his friend.
To the reader - here is what I want to say, “Don’t let moments go by without taking the time to love others and don’t waste opportunities to share Jesus with them.”
It was at Woodleaf Camp, that my brother became a Christian. I wasn’t there as his brother. I wasn’t there as his “uncle.” I was there as his youth pastor. I was there as someone who loved him. I was there as someone who wanted him to know that he was important and that there was a God who loved him beyond measure. Truthfully, I didn’t know that he still had not decided to start a relationship with Jesus. My brother grew up going to church. He knew Bible verses. He even knew God. He just hadn’t made a decision to live for Christ yet.
I have had many proud moments in my life, but knowing that God used me to bring my brother to a place where he decided to eternally change his life - is one of the proudest moments of my life. There are people we know who need Jesus. Some of them will be people who obviously need Jesus and some of them will be less obvious. Don’t assume, that because someone knows God, knows verses and goes to church, that they don’t still need Jesus! We all need Jesus and we all have been called to lead people, especially people we love and care about, to a place where they can choose to eternally change their lives.
Jordan - thanks for letting me play different roles in your life. Thanks for letting me be more than a brother. I am so proud of you and am blessed to be your friend and honored to stand beside you as one of your biggest fans!
P.S. I read your blog.