Finishing Strong!!! Part 4 of 5

** I miss posting yesterday because of Hurricane Isaac. Today I pick back up on the dialogue with my youngest son Jody.

I am sharing in five parts a dialogue that took place through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason for this dialogue-taking place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks. My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

Today I am sharing part four of our dialogue.

The following is an inside view of a dialogue through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. My intent in sharing is that I hope it may encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter.

This past Spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University.

You can go to to read the first three areas I covered in a challenge for Jody to finish strong.

Today’s post covers the fourth area that Jody and I discussed last spring. The fourth area that Jody and I discussed was the subject of friends. I told Jody how grateful I am that he shows himself friendly to all he meets. I expressed appreciation for his friends and for his openness to bring his friends around his mom and I throughout his life. We talked about how some of his college friends will be life-long friends, as will those he grew up with in Tennessee and even some of the friends he made during his short time of living in Louisiana before he left for Liberty. We also prayed for the person God would have for him to marry. This is something that my wife and I as Jody’s mom and dad have prayed for since the time we knew we were expecting him to come into this world. We continue to pray that God will bring forth the women he is to marry. I certainly look forward to meeting her one-day.

In wrapping up this part of the conversation I challenged him to live out his life before his friends not just the next year but throughout his life so he would never be ashamed of introducing them to his children or even his children’s children one day knowing that he never compromised his faith and convictions in Jesus because of a friend.

Today’s Take-Away for you to consider:

Take time to invest in people!

Matthew 28:18-20; I Thessalonians 2:8; Luke 14:25-33

I will post later today the fifth part of our conversation. I hope this series is an encouragement to you.

Please take a moment and leave a comment on my blog at

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston


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