I have a fast growing friend who is going through a series of serious disappointments. He hardly sees his daughter, has a difficult relationship with his ex and finds himself recently losing a “significant other”. After months of “hearing” I knew stepping out into the waters of relationship were on the plate. I did. Yesterday, he shook my hand and said, “thanks for being a friend”. Continue reading Maneuvering Disappointment→
Today while in the work place I was “befriended” by a few people. The irony of it was the people who wanted to talk to me were most likely considered “outcasts”. They reached out to help me. An odd group in all honesty. It caused me to think about my ability to always be around those not churched. In 2007 I wrote the following piece.
Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grow and develop. Dorothy Height
Last night I was fortunate to be able to celebrate a friend’s birthday at a local restaurant. A few of us gathered together together, surprising her. (Her husband had planned it!) It was amazing. As the conversations moved about the table, the friendships strengthened and the community advanced. Community is formed by relationships. As people’s lives overlap others, the community forms and advances. Continue reading People Need People To Grow→
Last night my daughter Amy and I went for a motorcycle ride. During that time we discussed marriage, Christianity, children, education and friendships. People are hardwired for friends. Friends can add value or devalue you. In fact the scriptures often talk about friends. Choosing friends? Sometimes keeping the scriptures at hand are important.
While working on my book over the last few months I found this:
1. My sons and daughters, choose your friends wisely in the days of your youth, for they shall determine the way you go. 2. A good friend rejoices with you in the praise of God but a bad friend fills your heart with violent thoughts. 3. A bad friend entices you to do evil but a good friend prevents you from sinning against the Lord. 4. A good friend praises you when you speak words of wisdom but a bad friend laughs when you cuss and blaspheme. 5. Good friends will rejoice with you in the days of joy that lie ahead but all the wicked together will despair in the futility of their lives. 6. The Lord knows all your thoughts, He hears every word that comes out of your mouth, and He observes all your deeds. 7. Seek, then, friends who meditate on God’s word, friends who delight in edification, and friends who are zealous in good works. For you are not unaware of the reward awaiting the righteous and you not ignorant of the punishment prepared for the wicked” (Quotes & Things David Collins-a paraphrase of Proverbs 24)
Yesterday we celebrated my birthday, but really what we celebrated was friends and friendship. People who joined us plugged in, whether to help put food on the table, hang out with someone in need, clean up or just be there. (I think sometimes just being there is a large part of the equation of friendship.)
Over the years I noticed a trend. The trend is the moving away from the value of friendship. Whether it was caused by a faster pace of living, swings in the economy, the internet or the idea of social media I am not sure. What I do realize in the interest of “time management” coupled with the infractions of any one of the afore mentioned causes, we have lost the value of community and face to face living.
In the church I have heard the word destiny used to describe what God can do for “me” and in some associations how destiny can help the body. But if in the process, we lose try to bypass our hardwired sense of community and friendship we lose value.
This morning I think about this single scripture. John 15:5 said this “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” No branch can live without the life of God in him. “Apart from me you can do nothing.” He is truly saying “you need me” but He is also by inference saying this is my “body.” He could have used many a picture, but He chose a vine. Branches connected to Him. Therefore being connected to one another.
I believe we are mounting up for a revival of relationship, rightly discerning the body of Christ, stretching hands out to those about us. How much greater our influence over time than to have the ability to sow in those we come in contact with? If we do not penetrate darkness in our homes and our community by the expression of Christ through our beings, what value is there to exporting it?
I value the friendships I have. They have made me who I am. I am thankful.