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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Modern Day Hero

J.D. and his family; fast forward two years and add in a now almost 2-year old Sara Grace. Surprise!

I'm really excited about this post because it's about someone I admire. Can I make it very plain that to me, he is a modern day hero. Today (uh, tomorrow actually) is his birthday and now he's almost as old as his big sister, (that would be me,) but not quite!

J.D., which stands for John David, is the youngest of four children in our family. He was my buddy growing up. We grew up on a ranch in Montana about 10 miles outside of town. We went to a small country school and had a childhood that was more than worth holding on to. It wasn't completely dreamy, but as close as you could come. We were raised in the Lord, and in the fear and love of the Lord, which laid the foundation of our lives as much as anything I can think of. We had some serious reality checks on down the years which I'll not go into, but it didn't shake the foundation.

The four of us kids would play "I-Spy".....I would always start out with my oldest brother Gus, and J.D. would be on Liz's team. Well, preferences won out every time, so I would defect and go to his side, and Liz would go to Gus's side. It always happened that way-as predictable as Heckle and Jeckle. He was a willing participant in crab apple fights to rival any other-both fresh picked and rotten! He and I had a horse club together. We would draw saddles and pictures of horses. We would clean out the chicken coop. We would take our horses out into the pasture and do trick riding, well our version of it anyway.

When we were in our 20's our oldest brother died very suddenly and it was an adjustment that none of us preferred to make, but did by God's grace. I can remember the scene at the airport following the funeral standing there with my sister and J.D.. The gap was unbelievable. Where was the older brother? The picture seemed so very incomplete.

As we grew older and into our 20's and very early 30's our relationship began to branch out. It went from trick riding to writing worship music together, leading worship together at his church in California anytime I happened to be in the area. And simply put, every time we get together out comes the guitar, his instrument, and piano - mine. Now J.D. is pastoring a church called Calvary Chapel Houston Metro, and as his own sphere of influence has grown, so has my love and admiration of this guy we all know as J.D. We know the wrong kind of pride is....wrong, but the right kind, which is what I want to have, is the kind of joy we get when we see someone accomplishing something wonderful. And J.D. would be the first to say that it's God's doing. I know that, and I am sisterly-tickled pink about it too!

J.D. is a modern day hero to me because he loves Jesus, he's a steadfast husband, he's really funny, draws funny cartoons, and with all these qualities is a very humble guy. He's genuine, caring and compassionate, can do a mean Jerry Lewis impersonation (now that's to be envied!), he has worked hard at everything and honors the Lord without any fanfare, and God has blessed him. He would say anything good we see in his life is because of who God is in him.

I'm including a link which you may listen to if you like of last year's Father's Day Message from Pastor J.D.! (I confess, I haven't asked permission...) But the message is so good. It's about Leaving a Spiritual Legacy. A modern-day hero of mine, J.D. is doing just that, now with his own family, his wife and 3 children. So, without further adieu, Happy Birthday, brother of mine. I pray God's favor and continued blessing and best yet to come!

Please click to listen!


Susan said...

What a wonderful tribute to your brother. I never had a brother. I know it has to be a wonderful experience and blessing from God.

Kristi said...

You're blessed to have him - he's blessed to have you!

What a lovely tribute.

Mary Lee said...

Happy birthday J.D.!!! My brother and I had walnut fights, I think crab apples would have been less painful! Nice tribute Kathy.

Gina Stinson said...

Very sweet and loving portrayal of your brother. My brother is much like yours...truly a rarity in these days. Thanks for sharing!

Nancy said...

When we, shall we say, mature...and are looking back at our childhood, it is so wonderful to have siblings to share those memories and bring us back to the reality of the past. Only a sibling that has been with us for nearly ever can bridge the years blending our lives into a cohesive whole...Thanks for sharing your sisterly love with us.

Mari said...

Happy Birthday to your brother. What a wonderful tribute to him.
I don't have time to listen now as I'm about to leave the house, but I'll come back.

Mari said...

Excellent - he truly is gifted!

Kathy said...

I'm glad you got to listen Mari. I know it's time consuming, but I certainly am glad I did. It was a clarion reminder of our role as parents in introducing our children to Jesus by living it out in a very real way. I'll be sure to pass on the greetings from everyone to J.D.

Nancy, truly a siblings role is unique.

MaryLee - with J.D.'s arm and aim I'm glad it was crab apples!

Red Writing said...

Thanks for sharing this. I too have a brother by the name of John David and feel about him the same way you feel about your brother.

The semon was great--went right along with a book I am reading right now!

Also of note: my mother grew up in Boseman, Montana, random tid bit

Kathy said...

Very cool RW. We used to go to Bozeman to visit a friend who lived their named Leroy Smith. He was what we called an area missionary. We used to go for New Years and watch football at his house. How neat-thanks for sharing that! I'm glad you enjoyed the message. It truly challenged me in many areas even as a Mom.

Red Writing said... mom lived there because her parents were "home missionaries" sent to Montana from TX to begin a church. That was in the 60's though...

Kathy said...

Well, that's when I was there. I think I could be your Mom's age truthfully. The couple was Leroy and Claudine Smith, and I don't remember where they were from....Texas I thought. Anyway, we grew up Baptist, and I specifically grew up in Miles City, MT. Brother Smith as we called him came to our little Baptist Church. Wouldn't it be crazy if there was a connection. He loved to ride horses, and as my Dad was a rancher he used to come out and help my Dad work cattle from time to time. Wow. Email me if you can and we can go into more detail.

Red Writing said...

Gotta call mom!! I will email you...