I have been a little jealous of my wife. She has FRIENDS and I don't. Well, wait...let me explain that. She has friends, near her age, that she can call and hang with. People that she can easily relate to without having to continually search for common ground - that live locally. Being a transplant from Detroit via Tulsa, my friends are scattered around the country. I've got the 3 R's in Detroit - Ray, Randy and Russ. I've got my dude Fedelity in Tulsa. I've got Cash out in Atlanta/Salina (who REALLY knows which one he lives in?). I've got my dude Mo Christmas up north in New Hampshire. I've got other people I'm cool with on the leadership team at the church (I'm the youngest person on the team by ATLEAST 15 years by the way - BUT I LOVE THE WHOLE TEAM!) and I have people I've met through doing music...but noone close to my age who I can relate too. Nobody to say, hey let's get together and watch the game. Or to say "hey, let's link up in NYC over the weekend." The only person I can say that about is my friend in Boston Erica, but that's my WIFE'S best friend (yes, she STOLE my friend! J/K! They met in college and became great friends. We actually met through her.)
Anywho, I've honestly been eagerly anticipating the day I could link with some people who who either rhyme or are in ministry that I could link with, talk to, chill with, etc. My wife has even been like "you need some people to kick it with!" My father-in-law is the person I "hang" with! I love him to life, but, when you father in law is who you decide to "chill" with, there is an issue looming over head.
Well, the time has come and I have made some GREAT people who I think we'll be really close with over the long haul. First, was Mike Servello, Jr. I met him while he was speaking at the "Awakening" youth conference in Smithfield, RI. I really felt the need to connect with him - even though he lives in Utica, NY. While speaking, he said something about the best restaurant in his home town was Outback. I figured I needed to get him down here to NPT and get him in a decent restaurant. Long story short, I invited him and he and his wife Melissa along with their cute daughter Daniella came down and we had a BLAST! It was one of those times when you go "I think we'll be friends for a looooong time." He's really good people. Genuine, down to Mars, good people. Him and his dad pastor a few churches in NY so he's also got a WEALTH of information I can grow from. We accidentally coined a new phrase "Leaders are breeders" - more on that topic later, though.
Then, while hanging out with Mike, I finally got to link with this guy Marco Debaros. (all of my ministry friends' names start with M - Mike, Marco and Mo. I can't WAIT until I start calling them the wrong name :) ) Marco is the youth pastor at the church that hosted the youth conference Mike was speaking at. Again, good people! He also rhymes too so we got a two-fer in that relationship - he rhymes AND is a youth pastor. Him and his wife Lindsey along with their daughter Grace, came down and we got hang out at the Taste of Rhode Island festival. great convo and good times together (despite the missing purse :( ). Again, another time of "we're going to be really cool for a looooong time. Genuine, good, down to Mars people. He lives only about 15 minutes away too!
So now I have friends who don't live in different regions of the country that I can chill with, talk to, vent to and pray with. AND talk smack about sports! HOW 'BOUT THEM SOX AND PATRIOTS! AND DON'T FORGET MY LIONS!!
Swing by Mike's blog and check 'em out. Tell 'em Steve sent cha. (I've always wanted to say that.)