I love summer. Even that is an understatement. What I mean to say is I REALLY love summer. †

I will probably die of skin cancer but at least they will be able to say, ďHe loved the sun and the summer time!Ē

I never went to camp as a kid but I still turned out OK, I think my parents loved me. I remember the summer when I was 15 years old. Our church had a college student from Dallas Christian come and stay with church members as he served as the youth pastor. His name was Coy Pearson and Coy was from Crane, Texas. †

Coy would load us up in his 1965 Ford station wagon, the old Country Squire complete with fake wood panels on the side. We would get as many boys in as we could and play baseball (out in the heat). Then we would go swim in the lake. †

Wow!† That might have been the best summer of my life.

†We donít have people like Coy who would come and work for basically room and board anymore, do we? I wonder what ever happened to Coy. My mother didnít like him and Iím not sure how much of a big time Christian he was but I do know he loved life and he loved people and only a total nut ball would do what he did that summer. †

You know I canít remember Coy leading us in a Bible study or him telling us to be better, sin less or do more for Jesus. Iím not saying that was good but at 15 it wasnít bad either (forgive me).

Itís funny the impact Coy had on my life.† His physical presence, hanging out and just being a friend made a difference. He did not have a cool car thatís for sure Ö at 20 he was a candidate for the Hair Club for Men, so he didnít have the cool hair do either Ö that makes me think about all the things youth pastors/churches think they have to do in order to win the hearts of their students. †

Friendship is so undervalued in our culture.† I like what Jobís friend did in Job 2. They came and sat on the ground with him for seven days and they didnít say a thing. Thatís the kind of friend I want to be. I want to be loyal and committed.

If you read this and you are religious donít misunderstand the proclamation of the Word is paramount to the mission of the church but Jesus said He was our friend too and a darn (I owe the cuss jar) good one! †

Jesus didnít preach all the time Ė I think He knew how to sit and cry, play baseball and swim, too. †

If you grew up in the church you probably sang, ďWhat a friend we have in Jesus.Ē And if you sing it then why not be it? †

He asked me to ask you that.

Ken Ansell is the pastor of Community Life Church in Waxahachie (www.communitylifechurch.tv). The church meets at 10:30 Sunday mornings at the Waxahachie Country Club.