I’ve known Dennis for more than 30 years. His work in the human resources space is legendary and since I was in staffing for so many years, we had a chance to get to know one another rather well. While I did, from time to time, have him as a client, the real value in our relationship came from doing ministry work together.
Dennis is retired now and still stays active in doing things that he considers relevant and vital. A former Marine, he is a real stand-up guy and like when E.F. Hutton speaks, you listen to what he has to say.
Back at the beginning of the 2000’s, he was part of our ministry team that dealt with assisting people to find jobs or new careers. He gave selflessly of his time and our Career Transition Group was stronger because of his knowledge and participation. He still, to this day, gives of his time to consult with emerging entrepreneurs – helping them to launch their dreams into reality.
We have so many common memories of the corporate world during our time in the workplace that we have found ourselves enjoying each other’s company over coffee. In fact, it used to be every several months and now, well, we probably get together every two to three weeks.
While Dennis is technically my elder by a little more than a decade, we are equals during our frequent conversations. We share freely with one another and and each of us takes turns being the teacher – and the student. It’s a relationship that we both value and I really look forward to our times together.
Yesterday morning we had coffee together, in advance of his travels south for their spring getaway. The time just flew by and when we were getting ready to leave, Dennis remarked that he thought I should write a book, titled “Coffee with Scott.” He went on to talk about all the stories I tell and how they make an impact on him. Of course, he teaches me as well, but I must say that I am the main storyteller.
Come to think of it, I have always told stories to illustrate concepts or to teach. I still do it every week when I teach the Bible or want to make a salient point in the corporate community. In the business community, I call them “portable stories.” I have found when I coach people that their best chance of a promotion or to be remembered come as the result of telling interesting stories that can be easily communicated to others. Undoubtedly, stories stay with us far longer than just quoting facts and figures.
Telling stories to hold audience interest seems to come naturally to me. I’ve done it since I was a little kid and, on balance, it has served me well. Many of my tales are funny or memorable and each time you read one of these posts, you are, quite literally, reading one of my stories. In a way, I am kind of like Forrest Gump. I have had a very interesting life and just seem to find myself in unique situations, not necessarily of my own choosing.
I can’t help but be reminded of all the stories that Jesus told. Most versions of the Bible refer to them as parables, but the Bible is full of stories that help educate us and give us historical context to have a better understanding of what it was like during the time of the earthly ministry of Jesus. Most of His stories were used to teach the apostles life lessons.
While Jesus was preparing for His crucifixion and ascension, the disciples didn’t always understand the point Jesus was trying to make. To this day, we learn about Jesus through the stories about Him as well as the stories He told.
Back in the day, many people didn’t necessarily believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Even though there was mounting evidence of His divinity, it took quite some time for word to spread about the miracles and mission of Jesus.
Our verse for tonight comes from the apostle Peter’s second epistle. Peter was the one who preached the first sermon at Pentecost and was the one who denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed. He was also the one who was restored, claimed that Jesus was the Messiah and also walked on water! Peter was impetuous but you couldn’t help but love him.
In his letter, Peter tells us that he was an eyewitness to the majesty of Jesus. That’s because he followed our Lord for more than three years before the coming of the new church. Peter tells us, in 2 Peter 1:16, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” Once again, stories help us to better understand Jesus through the eyes of one of the original apostles – real stories of what it was like to walk with Him.
My encouragement this evening is that stories help us live life. They teach us, inspire us, encourage us, humor us and cause us to become introspective. They draw us closer to one another. My prayer is that we will forever see the value of telling, and listening to, stories. After all, we are a relational people and stories are one of the best ways that we can communicate with one another – even if you never see “Coffee with Scott” at your local bookstore. On the other hand, perhaps you’re having coffee with Scott right now as you read this post! Thank you for being a reader of my stories! I really appreciate it! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…