Tag Archives: Friends

Good Morning

Good morning!

Today is Tuesday. Just another day during this new normal called the covid-19 shut down. I can look out my window and see the sun shining on the flowers in the yard. A breeze blows the branches on the trees and the flag waves in the sunlight. For all intents and purposes it is a good morning.

But that is the problem with superficialities. Things don’t always appear as they are. A duck floats along on a pond looking calm and at peace but below the surface its feet are franticly paddling! Likewise, outside my window the sun shines, birds sing, flowers grow and all appears to be well on my street.

But.

But within the walls of the brightly lit homes on my block are people who are locked down. Locked down, sheltered in place, quarantined, staying safe, flattening the curve, whatever you want to call it, they are not going about living life as usual. It is obviously the same almost everywhere around the world and maybe we can take solace in the fact that we are not the only ones suppressed by this.

And.

“And how are you holding up?”

“Well. We are doing well thanks, considering. It is an inconvenience but we will get through it. Together, of course.”

“Well, be safe and stay well. Please tell everyone at home I said hey!”

Platitudes. The things that we have come to learn are appropriate to say in ever circumstance. We know what to say when someone gets a promotion. What to say when someone looses a loved one. We know what to say to encourage each other when we face an unusual and stressful time such as this.

Why?

Why be superficial and just keep up appearances? Why speak in empty platitudes? Would being real really be so bad? Would it really be so bad if we said how we feel?

Fearful

Frustrated

Broke

Angry

Stressed

Worried

Tired

Hungry

Hot

Cold

Dirty

Defeated

Rejected

Lonely

Overwhelmed

Unemployed

What if we showed ourselves as we are? Drop the facade. Allowed ourselves to be real.

Yell. Cry. Rest. Take five. Take a nap. Call a friend. Hug someone. Ask for help.

Yes, ask for help! How many times have you been willing to help someone? Friend or stranger, have you been ready to help out without a seconds thought? Many people in our world can be so caring and giving. Yet, so many people will not ask for help. They hold it in. They “man-up” or “push through” or “press on” or whatever ridiculous thing they tell themselves just so they don’t have to swallow their pride and be real.

Jesus told us to ask. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 Take note of the words Jesus used – Ask, Seek, Knock – “A” “S” “K”!

The Word of God tells us the we have not because we do not ask. James 4:2

We are also commanded many times to help each other.

Love our neighbors as ourselves. Carry each others burdens. Look after the widows and the sick. Just to name a few. Mathew 22:39, Galatians 6:2, 1 Tim 5:3

But the point I wish to make here today is to be real! Superficialities and platitudes help no-one. Be Real! Be You. Let someone in during these difficult times and let yourself be refreshed by their love and support. After all wouldn’t you be loving and supportive of them if they needed it?

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.        John 4:23-24 NIV

If this scripture isn’t calling for us to let down our superficial ways of approaching God (and each other) then I know nothing and should stop writing. Don’t be locked into platitudes in life and especially not in your prayer life. Be real and be transparent. Love and encourage everyone but also allow yourself to be loved, encouraged, lifted up or even carried if that’s what you need.

I’ll stop now. I’ve obviously gotten carried away with this thought for today. Just be encouraged today and if you need help ask. Ask God. Ask a loved one. But ask. Because pretending you are ok when you are not will not help.

 

Be Blessed A&B

Friend Me

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24 NKJV

Here we are in 2014 and, oh my!, how things have changed. The advent of the internet and social media has changed the way we interact with each other and the world around us. In the click of a phone camera and a post to a web-sharing site we can tell anyone listening where we are and what we are doing. Just as quickly we can be “friend-ed” and don’t we love to see our friend count or likes grow! But just how close are these friends?

Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association.

Friendship for most people is a combination of affection, loyalty, love, respect, and trust. The general traits of a friendship include similar interests, mutual respect and an attachment to each other, and in order to experience friendship, you need to have true friends. The emotional safety provided by friendship means not having to weigh your thoughts and measure words. Definition of Friends
Friendship is one of life’s intangibles. It’s something we all have felt but we all may not have the same idea of what makes up a “friend”. Just the word brings to mind days gone by where friendships were started or activities shared with friends. But if we use the scripture verse found in Proverbs as a guide – a man (or woman) who has friends must show himself (or herself) to be friendly –  we can ask ourselves am I a true friend?
Have you ever heard a one sided phone conversation? Do you know someone who texts or tweets you but doesn’t read or respond to your texts? It’s so easy for people to get caught up in the “sharing” without really caring. Selfies epitomize this kind of self absorption social media has brought us to. It’s the “look at me” revolution of superficial friendships that make up too much of our interaction with each other. Social media sites have been used to raise people to over night stardom and fame as well as knock someone down to despair and suicide. Not discounting the ability of social media to rally people for a cause I still have to ask – how many real friends do you have.
The second part of today’s scripture tells us about One who sticks closer than a brother. This tells us two very specific things – one – it’s assumed that family ties are closer than friendships. Secondly, that there is one person referenced who may only be a friend but will defend and protect as if He were a family member.
Jesus is that friend Who is closer than a brother. He did what few “friends” would do. He died in your place for the sins you committed. AND He did it gladly and would do it again even if you were the only person who needed it.
For over two thousand years – long before social media was invented – He has been saying – FRIEND ME!
 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Rev 3:20 NKJV
Be Blessed, Al
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