A father’s son and a friend’s brother!

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17 NIV)

This devotion is for men today.

Today I am taking a break from my usual devotional style of expounding on the meaning of a particular verse. I dedicate today’s devotion to a man who turns 50 today. His life has been lived in devotion to his God, his family and his friends. It is easy to write a devotion on someone who is devoted! The difficulty is in trying to get all the meaning and significance into printed words.

You would be hard-pressed to find a man more likely to treat his friends like brothers. He pours his life into those he cares about. I can say that because my family and I have been blessed to have him pour himself into our lives. He is selfless and sacrificial to those who are in a relationship with him. To me, and many others, he is more than a friend. He is a brother. He is family. We are blessed to have him in our lives.  I am blessed to have him in my life!

How did he become such a man? Put simply, he is the son of his fathers — both his heavenly and his earthly fathers. I had the privilege of knowing His earthly father. My friend’s strong faith was handed down by his earthly father. Although my friend’s father passed away way too early, he had a lasting effect on who my friend is. You see, a faith lived out is more powerful than a faith simply spoken. My friend is his father’s son because he chose to model his life in the patterns taught by his father. He is also his heavenly Father’s son. My friend is a brother in Christ. He is dedicated to his God and Lord. He doesn’t just speak the words, he lives them. I have been blessed to see him grow in the Christian faith for many decades now.

May we strive to live our lives with the same commitment that my friend has exhibited in his. As men of God, may we be our Father’s son and a brother to our friends.  May we love at all times, and especially at times of adversity.

To my friend, if I could wish one thing for you today it would be for you to hear three voices. First is the voice of your heavenly Father saying “Good job, Son, I am proud of you!” Second is the voice of your earthly father, who I know you miss terribly, saying, “Good job, Son, I am proud of you!” The final voice is mine, saying, “Thank you for being a friend who loves at all times and one who was willing to ride into adversity with his friend and who, through the process, became my brother.”  “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Thanks for being both to me.  I love you, Brother!


Pastor Tom

About the author: Tom Donnelly

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  1. Michelle Garland - June 28, 2014 at 10:40 am Reply

    As Reitte would say, “Wow!” What a great tribute to John Tom. He lives his faith OUT LOUD for all to see and is such an awesome example to us all of how to live a “Christ-like” life.I love and appreciate him and his family and I’m so blessed to have them in my life. I thank God for such a strong man of faith to show us all what it means to love The Lord Your God with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your heart, and with all your mind,AND to love your neighbor as yourself. We love you Johnny!:) Happy Birthday! The Garland Clan

  2. Chris K - June 28, 2014 at 5:41 pm Reply

    What a beautiful tribute to our brother! Happy birthday, John! You are LOVED!

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