“More on Friends”

May 14

“More on Friends”

A friend listens. A friend is curious. A friend doesn’t judge. A friend can complete my sentences. A friend offers suggestions but doesn’t force their solutions. A friend can(& WILL!) recite all your dreams & aspirations back to you when you are so crushed you have lost your way & desire to go on. I’m not ashamed to ask for help from a friend. I pretty much find it difficult to ask for help from anyone else. Sometimes I meet a new person and BAM! Magic! We don’t need to be friends for 40 years. We can’t stop talking. Our chemistry is friends. Sometimes I really like people but I can also sense, “I can never really be friends with them”. Eventually they drift away. That’s ok also. When I see a friend, sometimes I can’t wait to talk and update and…but I already know. When I feel that rush in my chest its my body’s way of saying, “there’s a friend!” I miss my friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. But I have some friends where we pick right up even if we haven’t seen each other in years. And I have other friends I know I will never see again. That’s ok. I love the fact that we were once friends. Friends don’t expect a lot from me and I don’t expect a lot from them. Then… guess what? Our expectations are always exceeded. 100% Friends introduce me to other friends they think I will like. I do the same. I think my friends will like each other. Friends share ideas with me and I share ideas with them. I have idea procreation with friends and we grow idea families together. Our little babies. We watch the babies grow. It takes a village to grow ideas. Friends make me laugh and I make them laugh right back. And when one of us cries, the other tries to listen. Sometimes we laugh even though neither of us made sense. We don’t dwell on our non-friends. They don’t exist. You don’t wait once a year for a big friendship party. For me, it’s important to have friendship “celebrations” as much as possible. Little ones. Maybe every...

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“Yogi On Life”

May 14

“Yogi On Life”

Former Yankee great and baseball Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra, turned 90 on Tuesday. Berra was known, not only for his  All Star career, but his “Yogi-isms,” funny quips about life and baseball. His family, friends, and fans gathered to celebrate his remarkable life and career, and to recall some of his famous “Yogi-isms” Several years ago, Sports Broadcaster, Brent Musburger, told a story that one Fall day Yogi was burning leaves in his yard. Suddenly the wind picked up, and it was getting harder to get the fire line under control. The flames got a bit more aggressive and headed toward a storage shed on the property. So he ran in to call the fire department for help. “Hurry!” Yogi shouted into the phone. “I got a fire over here that’s gettin’ outa control.” It was well before the days of Caller ID and GPS directions, so the dispatcher asked, “How do we get to your house, sir?” There was a brief pause. Then Yogi replied, “You still got them red trucks, ain’t you?” When asked about his quips, Yogi once said, “I don’t mean to be funny. Them sayings, they just ‘come out.’ I don’t even know I said ’em! I really don’t.” However, many of his sayings speak to valuable life lessons that are worth reflection. “You can observe a lot by watching” Yogi was right! Too many times we stumble through life without really watching where we are going. What we are doing. Or why we are doing it! The Bible is filled with exhortations to “be alert.” “Be vigilant.” “Be watchful.” Author, J. Oswald Sanders put it this way, “Eyes that look are common. Eyes that see are rare.” “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Life is filled with decisions. Daily. Some are big while others are seemingly small and insignificant. However, every decision carries some consequence. And each requires a choice. Indecision will drain your power. Paralyze you. And render you ineffective. “It’s déj vu all over again.” Yogi once explained this quote came from the early 1960’s. It occurred when he watched Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle hit back-to-back home runs. However, it reminds me of a statement by...

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” Having a True BFF !”

Apr 24

” Having a True BFF !”

My 10 year old granddaughter and I recently finished reading a book by , Stan Crader, called The Bridge. Crader gives a glimpse of rural America through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy, Tommy Thompson, during the summer of 1967. It details Tommy’s quest for a Honda motorcycle and the summer jobs he worked to earn it. Tommy recalls his adventures with his school buddies, Caleb, Flop and his best friend Booger and how he helped him through family tragedy. And he reminisces about his first infatuation with a gal named, Wendy.   As summer ends and the next school year begins, Tommy reflects, “It wasn’t until several years later that I realized the value of friends that I made that summer.” God made human beings for friendship. Fellowship. And relationships. We are created for community with other folks. The wise man observed, “Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel. Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend.” (Prov. 27:9-10). Keil and Delitzsch observe how the ancients perfumed with dry aromas and the sprinkling of liquid aromas “as a mark of honor toward guests and a means of promoting joyful social fellowship.” In the same way, friends provide delight. Give pleasure. Offer counsel. Furnish joy. The Preacher speaks of the kind of friends we need in Eccl. 4:9-12. Two are better than one because they have a good REWARD for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Notice what the wise man says about the value of a real friend. (1) A Real Friend Helps You when You’re Down. How can you tell the between friends and acquaintances? That’s easy. Just get into trouble and see who is still around! You can call them at 2 a.m. and they don’t question you to decide if they are coming, they just...

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“What True Friends Do” (Show Up)

Apr 14

“What True Friends Do” (Show Up)

Today I would like to post an old article I wrote last year in memory of an a family friend who had passed on before I had this Blog setup. I have made a few changes and taken out some information from the original posting Today 04/14/2015 I commemerate this post to A young family— Josh, Venessa, & Hudson Ellis. I did not know them, they were Youth Pastors in our Local Eastpointe Church that were tragically killed in an accident less than 2 miles from my home, just yesterday. I do know many of the members at Eastpointe and my own granddaughters attend there so my heart and prayers go out to them all.   Hopefully these words that seem to fall so short of the real comfort needed can help in a small way. Knowing what to say at these times presents us with a challenge. A sentiment doesn’t exist that can change the current condition. As hard as we search for the most consoling words, they still feel empty, they come up short. I learned an important lesson years ago that has never failed me, a phrase that is my North Star in any and all circumstances. It’s a simple truth, which I believe resonate with us the most. It’s one thing true friends do, even when they can’t do anything else. Show up. When sadness strikes, people aren’t always looking for cards or casseroles. They want a presence. Show up for your friends, for your neighbors, even for the people you don’t like all that much. Just show up. The beautiful and tragic thing about life is that it ebbs and flows, so even if we’re not hurting now, we will be sometime soon. It’s inevitable. Our feet can slip into that old pair of heavy boots for any number of reasons, so many times without warning. When sadness strikes, people aren’t always looking for cards or casseroles (though those are wonderful gestures). I have been taught by experience that people are seeking other people. They want a presence, another soul to enter into the space where the hurt exists, someone to sit there with them, just being together. People long for a reminder they...

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“Can You Do MORE?”

Apr 08

“Can You Do MORE?”

Abraham sending his servant, Eliezer, on a mission to find a wife for his son Isaac (Genesis 24) is a beautiful story with many spiritual applications and lessons for us. Probably the most significant ‘take a way’ for me, is what former Pastor now motivational speaker John Maxwell calls ‘The Rebekah Principle’ Eliezer left Haran with a large caravan of 10 camels loaded with expensive gifts and journeyed to Nahor, a distance of about 435 miles. Assuming that a camel can average 25 miles a day, it would have taken 17 days to arrive at their destination. It would seem to be a difficult task to convince a young woman to leave her family, friends and homeland to journey a great distance to marry a man she hasn’t met. The text records Eliezer’s prayer to Jehovah that he would find that right woman for Issac. The one of God’s choosing. As the caravan arrives, Eliezer spots a young woman. Rebekah, filling a water jar and asks for a drink. She humbly obliges and says “Drink, my Lord!” But what she does next is astounding! “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking” Rebekah offered. “So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels” Eliezer “gazed at her in silence to learn whether the Lord had prospered his journey or not.” As the story unfolds, Rebekah was the one chosen to be the Patriarch Isaac’s wife. Consider the astounding generosity of Rebekah. She carried water for 10 thirsty camels! It is estimated that a camel will drink between 20-30 gallons of water! It easily could have taken her 2 hours to carry that much water! And, all for a complete stranger, who only asked for a drink for himself! Rebebek did more than asked. Or even required or expected. She serves as a model for ministry for all time. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus illustrated the principle in practical terms. Palestine was under Roman occupation. A soldier could tap you on the shoulder and force you to carry his bags or equipment for one mile. The Jews...

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