Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Valued Friendships

Chuckle:  While bragging about their dads. the first boy said, "my dad scribbled a few words on a piece of paper, called it a poem, and they gave him $50." The second boy said, "that's nothing. My dad scribbled a few words on a piece of paper, called it a song, and they gave him $100." The third boy said, "I got you both beat. My dad scribbled a few words on a piece of paper, called it a sermon, and it took eight people to collect all the money."
Quote:  “So long as we love, we serve; so long as we are loved by others, I should say that we are almost indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend.” –Robert Louis Stevenson
VALUED FRIENDSHIPS:                                                                                                      
    Jesus said to His disciples: “I command you to love one another in the same way that I love you” (John 15:12 NLT). The greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends” (John 15:13b NLT). 
I’m sure each of us has a personal definition of a true friend that has evolved from our own experiences in human relationships.  Someone has defined a true friend as “the first person who comes in when the whole world has gone out.” Someone else has said, “Value a friend who, for you, finds time on his calendar – but cherish the friend who, for you, does not even consult his calendar.”  Today, let’s consider this question:  Am I the friend that is cherished by those who call me friend?
Hopefully, we will not be required to give our lives for our friends, but there are numerous other ways to show the nature of our love and friendship to our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Our sacrificial love can be shown by helping, listening, encouraging, giving.  I think Jesus is saying that we should search out those who need this kind of love and and do everything possible to meet that need -- then give even more of ourselves.  True friends always place the needs of friends ahead of their own – They live for others rather than themselves.  
Casual acquaintances will not suffice as substitutes for genuine friends.  However, I think many of us live in a world of acquaintances rather than unwavering friends.  Acquaintances may fool us into thinking they are friends, but “a false friend is like your shadow.  As long as there is sunshine, he sticks close by, but the minute you step into the shade, he disappears.”  We have not truly lived until we have a wall of love and friendship surrounding us to protect us from storms of life. 
“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort, of feeling safe with a person (friend), having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out just as they are, chaff, grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keeping what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.” –George Eliot
Love, Jerry & Dotse  


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