Written By Larry Shaw
“Be of the same mind, one towards another…”
– Romans 12:16
There is much that can be said on the subject of “the truth in love”. On our past blog page, I had been discussing the Biblical admonitions on how to share “the truth in love” but each blog had really been about each of us (Ryan, I, Nate and Jodel) doing just that so that Christians can turn from their ‘lukewarm’ ways & become “on fire” for Christ. If you’d like to read my previous blogs on the “truth in love”, you may read them here.
In an attempt to be a bit more personal, so you can know me & can relate to me as a fellow Christ follower, I will share how God brought together the two of us ‘98.6 Too Cold’ bloggers who are contributing to this blog as well as the past bloggers, Nate and Jodel who may also appear in upcoming blogs. It is really the story of how God can bring together four very different people with very different backgrounds and make them “one” in Him.
Though I just turned 62 the other day, my journey in Christ with my fellow bloggers started years ago. Ryan was my first connection. His Mom brought him to me for haircuts along with his brother & sister when he was still a boy. By the time he was a senior in high school, he had his own car and could come on his own. He opened up more then and shared a lot of personal struggles. I did a lot of listening back in those days. You may recall from one of my earlier blogs that it can be very helpful to build a relationship with someone before attempting to challenge them on something. Relationships build trust and acceptance. I didn’t realize at that time what God had in mind for us. In truth, God was establishing what would become the basis of what we are all a part of today.
By the time Ryan shared his deeper concerns, I knew that he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and since I had received Jesus as my Savior at age 19, I could relate to the things he shared. My goal even then was to convey truth in a loving way.
I invited him out to breakfast before he headed off to Nyack College in 2009 and I suggested we do some form of devotions together. He thought it was a great idea, so with very few exceptions, we have connected daily, integrating our personal lives with scriptural truth, for over four years. When he would bring up a subject that needed addressing, the Scriptures would be my source of truth, but I always endeavored to convey God’s love in whatever I shared.
One of our favorite devotionals was “My Utmost For His Highest” by Oswald Chambers which became a huge part of my connection to Nate and Jodel as well. You see, Nate and Jodel became aware of what Ryan & I were doing & realized God was using it to spiritually strengthen our lives and wanted to be a part of it. When I would visit Nyack occasionally, we all got to know each other better. Since then we have all been sharing the “truth in love” with each other either by phone, e-mail, or text very consistently.
Fairly recently, God placed on Ryan’s heart the desire to share what we have grasped & are still applying, to a greater number of people through a blog. We’ve all been realizing that the church has been living a “lukewarm” existence in many ways and needs to be challenged out of that complacency. We have realized that holding one another accountable to living out biblical truth has deeply blessed our lives and that we would love to see that principle multiplied many times over. Hence ‘98.6 Too Cold’ was born. May we, the bloggers, & you the readers & responders, nurture it, so that by God’s power, we may all see a transformed church, one person at a time!
Larry Shaw. ’98.6 Too Cold’ Blogger