Noah's hero......



Thursday, November 16, 2017


Dear Friends:

What a blessed day I experienced today! No, the on-going insurance claim has not been settled, I did not register 200 new campers, I did not win the lottery and I didn’t even meet all my goals on my personal “to do list” today.  But today the boys in my home began to behave in a manner that made me very proud and gave me incredible encouragement.  None of the boys read these little devotions, so I don’t mind sharing the good and positive things they do from time to time.  

Today the oldest in the house, Greg (18 years old), helped Noah, the nine year old, in an remarkable way. Greg is in college and likes his “space”, his room locked up to keep boys kept out and in general his privacy.  He prefers to do his own thing on the weekends and at night, and does not interact much with us during the week. But Noah had a tough day yesterday and was very low. Greg offered to spend two hours with Noah today and it made Noah’s day. He was excited about it no matter what it was.  It turned out that Greg took Noah on a “basic training” regimen of running, sprinting, performing 200 sit ups, calisthenics, weight lifting—and Noah never whined, complained or asked for less. Greg is Noah’s hero and spending time doing anything with him was better than going to McDonald’s for a Happy Meal.  Yes, I was proud of Noah’s termination to hold up for two hours of working out (he’s not a very big nine year old) but I cannot properly elucidate the pride I take in Greg’s forbearance and investment in Noah’s life.  As I write these sentences I am still astonished that Greg gave so much energy and preparation into helping Noah today. Greg might forget about today, but Noah will not.  His hero became all—and more—than he ever imagined.

Tyler, the youngest, stayed with me all day but begged me to do with him what Greg was doing with Noah. I could not because of phone calls, emails and getting dinner ready. But Tyler was with me the entire afternoon, and after all was done I sat down to read the Wall Street Journal. Tyler, who cannot yet read, sat across from me, put on his glasses and took an old copy of a WSJ and attempted to read for the entire thirty minutes I read. He watched me fold the paper, drop a section when I was finished and strained to understand what he as looking at.  He mimicked my every action.

Greg has become the example for the two youngest I had hoped he would be. Honestly, my heart swells up in pride because his selfless investment in the young lives of these boys. Eyes are upon us. These boys watch everything and copy us!  I am not yet at the place Saint Paul was when he encouraged folks to “follow my example”, but I am aware that the boys will follow my example whether I request them to or not!  What an opportunity in discipleship(!) but what a danger if I (or Greg) get sloppy, lazy or indifferent in our walk.

It appears that as follower of Jesus I must accept the reality: People do copy us! And some might be inclined to copy my worst habits or attributes.  God help me to be Holy His.


dean  barley,

Dean Barley


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