John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

Friends I Have

Okay, every time I've looked at my blog for the past several days I start singing Van Halen:

Can't you see me standing here?
I got my back against the record machine.
I ain't the worst that you've seen.
Can't you see what I mean?

Boy, those are some profound lyrics, aren't they?

I can remember 8th grade when that song came out. Lexington Middle School in Cypress, California. I was so nervous there and wanted to fit in terribly. Which I did. Fit in terribly.

The one thing that saved me was that I was pretty good at sports. It's weird how something that random can make you cool in the eyes of some. It's even weirder that it still matters to me all these years later. Craig and Scott and Ron and Damon -- I wonder where all those guys are today.

About the best you can say for Middle School is that you survive. You get to the point where you can look back, roll your eyes at how goofy you were and have a good laugh about it.

Of course, as I'm writing this it strikes me that I'm speaking as one of the fortunate ones. No one ever really made fun of me. I was tall and athletic. I had friends who were even taller and more athletic. We called each other names, but we stuck together.

There are probably some folks reading this who had a different experience. For some kids, junior high is just a nightmare. If that's you, I'm sorry. I really am. If you were the fat one or the ugly one or the one with the braces -- I'm sorry. I hope that one day you'll be able to look back and forgive stupid kids who don't know the weight of their words.

I do not know where a single person from my middle school is. It doesn't really bother me that much, either. Things have been orchestrated in such a way that I find myself surrounded by incredible people. Dane. Hal. David. Greg. Chuck. Steven. Don. Danny. Bill. Ken. Josh. Reggie.

That's just off the top of my head. If I sat here and thought about it for a minute I could probably fill up a whole page with names of people I'd consider friends. Mark. Daniel. Bruce. Rick. Derrell. Jeff. See, there are a few more. And these are just guys. I haven't even started with my sister, my wife, Angie, J, Kelly.... So many friends I have.

I hardly ever tell them how much they mean to me. So, here's my chance: Thank you, friends. You know who you are. You have been there through thick and through thin -- good times and bad times. You've provided comfort and shelter, figuratively and literally. You've been the hands, feet and (sometimes) mouthpieces of God in my life. You've been the best group of friends a guy like me could ever hope for.

But what about those friends who don't come by and read this?

Well, if they don't care enough to come by and read my blog every now and then, forget them! Who needs friends like that?

Hey, my good friend Lanny Donoho has a blog. You ought to go check him out; he's brilliant (even if he can't figure out how to put links on his page)!