Ode to a Great Friend
EVERYBODY should have a friend like Bobby Salmon. I consider it a privilege to be his friend. Today is Bobby’s 50th birthday. I wanted to use my blog time to try to express why he is such a great friend and why I appreciate him so much.
1. He loves God and is a follower of His Son Jesus – This is expressed in a lot of the ways that I will mention below, but the bottom line is that he genuinely loves God. Everything that he does flows from this fact. His life is centered on knowing God and obeying His Word. He is not just a good church goer – He actually practices what he says that he believes. I love that about him.
2. He has a great family – I love his family. Kim, Tyler, Jordan, and Morgan. But more than that – he loves his family. I have watched him over the last 12 or so years as he has poured his life into them. He has been an involved husband and dad. Not a passive, hope-my-family-turns-out-ok kind of dad. And he has made sure that if nothing else, they know that they are loved.
3. He is a servant-leader – In the truest meaning of the term. He is a servant par excellance. He loves to serve God, serve his church, serve others. He finds great joy in helping – especially in helping others. He will do anything for you if it is in his power to do so. But he is also a true leader. In fact, I know few people who are as good at leading others as he is. And he leads in such a way that you want to follow. The mark of a great leader.
4. He is a generous giver – I know this because he has been very generous to me and my family. Generosity is an indication of a man who understands grace. Bobby knows how much he has been given by God – how gracious God has been to him – and in turn is generous to others and to his church.
5. He loves Haiti – 10 years ago Bobby began going to Haiti and has gone just about every year since then when it was possible and sometimes more than once a year. He loves the country. He loves the people. He loves Pastor Leon Dorleans. He has invested time, money, sweat, and tears into making the country a better place to live. Here are a few pics of him from over the years:
6. He is hard worker and a bonafide success story – By the world’s standards, Bobby is a successful man. Every bit of his success has been earned , not handed to him. But he is a hard worker at whatever he does – whether he is in the gym working out, or building a house in Haiti, or serving in the church. Whatever he does, he does with all his might. He is a great example of working hard and not expecting life to be handed to you.
7. He is very civic minded – Not only does he give a lot of his time to his family and church but he also has invested himself in trying to make Durham a better place to live. He has served in a number of different volunteer capacities in civic organizations hoping to make a difference in this city that he has spent his whole life in.
8. He is great story teller – If you are around Bobby for any length of time at all you know that he tells a great story. And his whole body gets involved in the telling of the story. He has great facial expressions and voice inflection when he gets going and make you feel as if you were there when the story happened. A part of his being a great story teller is having a great sense of humor. He probably makes me laugh more than anybody that I know. And he’s especially funny when he’s telling a story on himself. Like the RAT story in Haiti. Like the Lindsay story in Fondwa.
9. He is passionate about life – This is probably evident from some of the other stuff that I have said. I love the passion that oozes out of him as he pursues life. Whether deer hunting or announcing Riverside football games or cooking a pig or leading a finance meeting or teaching Sunday School or rooting for the Blue Devils or any number of other things – he is able to articulate and demonstrate passion in all things.
10. He knows EVERYBODY! – I’ve gotta figure that my six degrees of separation are greatly enhanced because I know Bobby. If I need to know somebody, Bobby is a great contact to have because of all the people he knows. Not just knows about them, but knows them. And is considered a friend by most of them. Indeed, Bobby Salmon is a GREAT friend to have. But don’t just take my word for it, here are what some of his other friends say:
“He got us in DORAL! He is a Haiti Warrior. He is the Enforcer. When he speaks not only does everybody listen they hop to. Finally, he is another David, he has a heart after God.” Rodney H.
“Bobby is a friend who can always be counted on to help you in whatever way he can. He also cooks a very good pig.” Tony B.
“Bobby Salmon is one friend that guys in ministry cherish as a guy who is never wavering and always on time with words of encouragement.” Don C.
“Bobby is a gifted servant-leader who is willing to stand, speak, move forward, and take the heat. He doesn’t need recognition or the spotlight. And – he cooks good!!!” Marc F.
Happy birthday Big Bob! Thanks for being a great friend!