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Today’s guest author is my good friend, Bob Magness.  Bob contributed Random Musings on a Spring Morning back in April. I love the way he assembles his thoughts and turns them into prose.  When I read his words I can hear him saying them in his baritone voice as though he were right here beside me.  

I first met Bob in April 2012 when I attended a Christ Renews His Parish retreat weekend (now called WELCOME) that transformed my life and led to my conversion.  Bob was one of the men who took me under their wing and taught me much about my faith.  He continues to do that today.  We just participated together on another WELCOME weekend.  As always, the experience was phenomenal and we received so many graces!  Two of these Bob put into words and he’s allowing me to share them with you.  The first is below and the second will be published tomorrow.  I’m sure Bob would appreciate any comments you have to offer.  

Sharpening Knives

by Bob Magness

For the last six months I’ve had the privilege of being a part of a Welcome team at our parish.  The process was not new to me – weekly meetings to form each other spiritually with the purpose of delivering a retreat weekend to another group of men that would bring them closer to Christ. 

I had been a part of this process a couple times before and I had seen the positive power of a good team and the destructive nature of a bad team.  Any apprehension I may have had was quickly dismissed as the team gelled almost immediately.  Five minutes into that first meeting and I could tell this team had something special.  Fifteen men: some who were friends, some just acquaintances, and some who had just met.  

It’s amazing what happens when a group gets together with a willingness to speak and to listen.  Maybe the best way to describe those conversations: life – just talking about life – what’s important, what needs addressed, what we can build off of, what we can celebrate, and above all, how we’ve seen God working in our lives. Being a part of this team was an absolute blessing.

We have a tradition in our parish that each Giving Team creates a banner that best describes the Team’s journey.  I had the honor of presenting our banner and explaining its significance to the men of the Receiving Team:  

Proverbs 27: 17- Iron Sharpens Iron as One Person Sharpens Another

Dull knives are dangerous not because they dont cut.  Theyre dangerous because theyre inefficient.  And that inefficiency leads to mistakes.  Those mistakes can be dangerous.  

To sharpen a knife, you need to expose a new edge.  This is usually done by grinding the old blunt steel against something harder than itself.  First one side and then the other until they form a new sharp cutting edge.  That newly exposed edge is then honed by repetition.  Honing takes care of any burrs.

For the last six months, weve met as a Team to find that new edge.  We started as strangers.  We talked as true friends.  We supported one another.  We challenged each other.  Grinding, polishing, honing… We prayed for truth, for wisdom, for each other.  Once strangers and now Brothers.  

Iron sharpens Iron.

Its a continuous process, even the best knife goes dull without proper care.  Keep it clean, hone it, keep it sharp.

Dull knives are dangerous. 


(Proverbs 27:17 – Iron Sharpens Iron as One Person Sharpens Another was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)

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