Friday, December 21, 2007

Jack Nicholson Said It Best


There was a line in the motion picture "As Good As It Gets", spoken by Jack Nicholson's character, Melvin Udall, that's come to my mind more than any other single such line I can recall.

Well duuuuh .... it'd be hard for a line I can't recall to come to my mind. Oh well.

Anyway, Carol (Helen Hunt's character) complained that Melvin never complimented her. He promised to come up with one, and some time later, he did. What he said:

"You make me want to be a better man".

As I've thought about that line, I reflected on the friends God has brought my way over the past couple of years. Those folks (in addition to my family, of course) make me want to be a better person. I'll toss out a few, with a promise that I'll omit some important (to me) folks. Unintentionally. I plead advanced age.

CB Scott. I don't have a better friend. If I were pinned down by angry Sandinistas, angry Arminians, or Osama Bin Laden, he's the guy I'd make my one call to.

Wade Burleson. What a Christlike guy. I've seen him in friendly and unfriendly crowds. He's always Christlike, and getting involved with him has gotten me into some SBC stuff that's been rewarding to me, for reasons which go back to my childhood.

Ben Cole. I've been around him enough to know two things for sure: 1) He doesn't have horns, and 2) He's likely the smartest man I've ever met. He makes me think about what I say before I say it, which seems to be a good thing. I'd like to see him on the US Supreme Court. YouTube would take on a whole new relevance.

Tim Rogers. Love that guy like a brother, and his Gail and Rebekah like family. We disagree about some stuff. And maybe about some people. I don't think either of us cares.

Ed Stetzer. There's a pretty big guy (that applies both ways) yet he's humble, entertaining, and perhaps has an even better sense of humor than I do. And he remembers me, too, when I figure he'd not have any real reason to. Gracious.

Boyd Luter. He approached me at the Holy Spirit Conference in Arlington and introduced himself. Said he enjoyed reading my comments and posts. We've become friends via the electrons since then. What a neat guy.

Dwight McKissic. Wow, what a gentle giant. And THAT applies two ways, too.

Monte and Janet Erwin. They've put a face and a heart to all the missionaries who've been eased out of IMB and NAMB service over silly practical issues cloaked in doctrinal positions having more to do with pride than with winning the lost. Monte & Janet are fine people, fine neighbors, and fine friends.

There are lots and lots of others; Dorcas, who bought sandwiches at Subway, Alycelee and Debbie with whom Peg & I had lunch one day at Arlington, all the others I've met in the stuff we've been involved in.

And all the people I forgot. If I remember, I'll add you in.

You probably didn't believe me. But I meant it. I forgot Les Puryear. He's a great guy and is best described by saying you can wrap up a really big Christian in a relatively small body.

Said all that to say this: these are my Christmas presents from God. And I'm most grateful to Him, that our paths crosses.

Since I'm too cheap to buy you all something, consider my wishes for a Merry Christmas to be my present to y'all. My wish for all my friends, is that you'll have your most blessed Christmas ever.

You make me want to be a better person.


8 Comments:

At 5:01 PM, December 21, 2007, Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

I suggest you also have a list of people you'd like to say "You can't handle the truth!" to.

It might also be good to have a list of people you'd like to say "Here's Johnny!" to.

And finally, it would also be good to have a list of people who you'd listen to when they say to you "Forget it! It's Chinatown!"

 
At 5:53 PM, December 21, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

OSO,

Well ... the first list would be 'way too long. I mean REALLY long.

The second was already done, but it took place in my dreams about the 2007 SBC convention. I was talking.

The third .. I didn't see Chinatown, but as a Pentecostal and a Calvinist in an SBC church, I can sure identify.

Thanks for commenting.

 
At 11:26 PM, December 21, 2007, Blogger CB Scott said...

Bob, May all of your family have a wonderful and Christ filled Christmas.

cb

 
At 6:58 AM, December 22, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks, CB. My wish for your family matches yours, for mine.

 
At 6:41 AM, December 23, 2007, Blogger Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bob,

I have been listed on my first list of Who's Who. I just do not know who is who. :^)

Seriously, You and Peg have a very Merry Christmas. Rebekah as already asked when we will see that Mr. Bob and C.B. again. Thank you for sharing your love with my family.

Blessings,
Tim

 
At 6:47 AM, December 23, 2007, Blogger Debbie Kaufman said...

Bob: I am just glad I'm not one of the people you forgot. :) I want to thank you for your wise comments and emails. You are one cool guy and your wife Peg is terrific. I remember the time spent on the front row in Arlington. Since being a student in college, I find the front row rules out distractions and I spend time listening, not looking around. :) Thanks Bob and Merry Christmas to you and Peg. I could write a post just on your post, so somebody stop me. :)

 
At 7:44 AM, December 23, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Tim: I'm approaching 70 and haven't known who's who for YEARS. It's apparently not a problem. :)

Debbie: So go ahead. :)

Thanks both, for the kind words.

 
At 5:46 PM, December 24, 2007, Blogger Alycelee said...

Bob & Peg,
What a joy to have spent time with you.
I read and watch all the time Bob, but I have to say watching Peg worship our God is a beautiful thing.
I have great respect for you both.
Alyce

 

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