Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Have a Confession, I Have a Girlfriend

I have a confession that will shock some, and hurt others. It is not my intent to do either of these things, but I have to make a confession. I have a girlfriend.

Last night I went to a local Wendy’s restaurant to take part in a fundraiser for Youth Horizons. I started working with Youth Horizons recently in part to help me financially with The Virtual Pew. The marriage and association with Youth Horizons has been wonderful. I have the opportunity to earn some needed income, while being free to do the work I believe God has called me to, The Virtual Pew. In the process I am blessed to also work in an area that reminds me of my own youth. The more I do with Youth Horizons, the more I know I could have benefited from a program like this. To be a part of helping youth who are fatherless is not only a reminder of what God has done for me, but a answer to the prayers of my youth, of giving back to youth who are much like I was when I was their age.

Another reason I was excited about my association with Youth Horizons was the opportunity to learn from Earnest Alexander, the President of this wonderful ministry. From providing mentors to a residential program for these children, Mr. Alexander has established a wonderful and effective ministry that is extremely effective. I am genuinely impressed by his love for this ministry, and for the young men and women who this ministry reaches out to.

Last night, while at Wendy’s Earnest asked me a question that caused me to ponder. The question caused me to ponder because I wondered how he knew what he knew. While I had not thought of things in the same way he had, he was right on the money when asking me the question; “Where is your girlfriend?”

I met my girlfriend over 30 years ago now. Truth is, many didn’t think the relationship would last, but it has. I still have fun with my girlfriend; we go on regular dates, normally on Thursdays and Saturdays.

When our relationship started to develop there was a lot of physical attraction. While a building block, we learned quickly that while the attraction was important, it wasn’t the most important thing. Unfortunately over thirty years, our skin started to wrinkle, hair turn gray, put on extra weight, and, well, you likely get the picture.

With over thirty years of relationship we have learned other things. And for the kiddos, especially those with the last name Furches, you may not want to read this paragraph. I have to say, for over thirty years, the sex has been wonderful, I expect it will be for the next thirty years. I don’t know why people don’t talk about sex, or when they do they talk about it in a disrespectful way, but truth is, I think my girlfriend and I have learned that the beauty of a long lasting relationship has in part, the beauty of experiencing this wonderful gift from God. That’s right; a sexual relationship is a beautiful gift from God. We have both enjoyed it, but over the years we have also learned it is far from the most important thing in the development of a relationship between a boyfriend and girlfriend.

(Now the kiddies can read again.) With the above said, I have to also say this, while that paragraph is a beautiful thing in a relationship, I have learned to enjoy holding hands in a movie, a gentle kiss, and just a chance to sit and caress each other on the arm, back of the neck or wherever. I have also learned that few things in life are as sweet as a loving hug, or a meaningful conversation. In my later years, or mid years now, I have learned it is those things, times of sharing life together that real and lasting relationships are built.

I must also make mention of the need to forgive. Over the years, God Almighty knows there have been numerous times I needed to be forgiven. In our 30 year plus relationship, I have been pretty stupid at times. At times turning my back on God and at other times turning my back on my girlfriend. I regret those times, but am so grateful for a loving and forgiving girlfriend, and even more grateful for a loving and caring God who gave me that girlfriend. This reminds me of an old church saying common in Black Churches. God is Good, All the Time!

Yea, last night I had a burger, a diet-Coke, and a baked potato at Wendy’s but I had more than that. I had a wonderful reminder from a Godly man that I have a girlfriend named Mary Jane. I have gotten so used to calling her my wife that I forgot I have a girlfriend. Sometimes God uses wise men to remind each of us of little simple things that are so important. That said, thanks Earnest, I can’t think of a more important truth in my life that I have this giddy feeling for this girlfriend of mine. I have been blessed to keep a boyfriend, girlfriend relationship alive for over 30 years now. I knew that one of the benefits of my association with Youth Horizons was that I was going to learn from a wise and Godly man. The reminder that I have a girlfriend is a perfect reminder that God has given me a wife, but more than just a wife.

In closing I would ask, especially for those who are married, do you still get giddy over your boyfriend, girlfriend? Do you still take those dates that enabled you to spend time together when you were young? Do you enjoy the blessings of God, as God intended them? Are you as much in love with your boyfriend, girlfriend as you were in your youth? God can rebuild that relationship if you miss it. I have to say, while there have been times I have missed it, over the last years I have learned to rekindle a love relationship from my youth, a love relationship that has lasted all of these years.

For those not married, but in a relationship, are you building it in a way that pleases God, and follows His directives for relationship? Are you doing it in a way that guarantees success, happiness and longevity? People often ask me how I have done it, how we have lasted when few gave us a chance. I say, we have done it by honoring first and foremost our commitment to God, following his directions in regards to relationship, and doing little things like keeping dates, and spending time with each other.

Oh yea, did I tell you about that saying in many Black Churches, God is Good, All the time! All the Time, God is Good!

Now for something unusual. Most of you know that I appreciate your support for The Virtual Pew. I am so blessed to see God use this ministry. This issue of The Virtual Pew though, I am asking you to consider supporting another ministry I believe in and love, one I am learning from. I am asking you to click here, and look at the ways you could also give a contribution of support for Youth Horizons. While there, check out the work they do, and know that you are supporting a ministry that I could have used as a teen and a young man, and you can see a ministry I am blessed to be a part of. Again, you can also click here to go to Youth Horizons Donation page.

I was looking for a good song to play here, and finally realized, I have a dear friend, and relative by marriage that had a pretty big hit. That person is Perry Richardson, a cousin by marriage who used to play some with a band called Nantucket, and then after that a little band called Firehouse. He played bass guitar for Firehouse and this song did pretty well on the charts. You may have heard of it. If you see the video below, just click on it, if you don't then just click on the link.

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