“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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” 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 Teach Compassion?”

Feb 22

“Can You Teach Compassion?”

I was sitting at a local restaurant recently enjoying breakfast with some former work mates, spinning the dream of spending time in a third-world country with my granddaughters in the near future. I was waxing lyrical of the benefits to my granddaughter’s character development and hopes that such an experience would instill compassion in them in a relevant and tangible way. Then someone said, “You can’t teach compassion to a child.” We bounced the statement back and forth for a bit before the conversation moved elsewhere. But that proclamation stayed with me and hasn’t let up. Can you teach compassion? Various studies have shown that compassion is like a muscle. Yes, some of us are born with good muscle/compassion tone but those of us who weren’t so lucky can still improve with hard, dedicated exercise. The word comes from the Latin ‘compati’ meaning to suffer with (com- “together” and pati “to suffer”) or to take pity. “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” Luke 6:31 reads as a compassion imperative, if rather brief. After all, isn’t that what compassion is: putting yourself in another’s shoes, feeling with them, suffering with them, laughing and crying with them? You may know the story of the Good Samaritan. Perhaps it’s not so well known that the narrative belongs to Jesus, as detailed in Luke 10:30-35. A man was robbed, beaten and left for dead by the side of a road. The first two people who passed by ignored him and continued on their way. The third, a Samaritan, “took pity on him” and not only bandaged his wounds and helped him to safety, but paid for his accommodation and care. “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” Jesus concluded. The “expert in the law” who Jesus was telling the story to replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” And Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.” Can you teach compassion? I think so. Jesus obviously thought so. Compassion, after all, is the language of...

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“A Tribute To Natalie”

Jan 03

I first wrote this post a couple of years ago….HERE is one of the folks matters most in my life My life, the lovely and talented Natalie Terese Wittler, my oldest granddaughter Wow, How time flies by! To think it was 10 years ago this evening that our lives were so wonderfully and forever changed is hard to fathom. She came into this world at 11:33p.m. on the clear and very cold evening of January 2nd 2005. Her name, chosen by her parents (our daughter and son-in-law) was ‘Natalie’; a very suitable and proper name for this beautiful creation. Being the ‘Word Connoisseur’ that I am I had already found, researched, and marinated on the origins and meanings of her name. With my back round in Theology the origin and meanings of names had always fascinated me as the ancient Hebraic and Greek cultures had named their sons and daughters with the idea of defining or setting in motion as it were what they sensed was the character and destiny that the Creator had intended for the child they had been blessed and entrusted to raise and nurture to adulthood. The name ‘Natalie’ is derived from an old Latin word ‘natalis’ meaning ‘birthday’ or from the old church Latin ‘Christmas day’ alluding to the birth of Christ and a new beginning for the world. For me and what I have come to know in these ten short years about Natalie it was fitting for her to come into the world on the second day of a New Year, when at this time many are planning a ‘new beginning’ or new path to the start the year. A birthday is a time for a celebration of all that is new, fresh, and exciting as well as a time for reflection on all that has passed on before. The day that one is born or ‘birthed’ into this world is a new creation of a personality and essence that has never been ; it is a time of celebrating and honoring the potential of what I would like to call a New CREATIVE SOURCE or CENTER that has been given to our world for a specific goal or purpose —that is...

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“Ferguson Fiasco”

Dec 12

“Ferguson Fiasco”

The More and more I Ponder The Ferguson Fiasco…the more it saddens me. It seems our culture has shifted so much in their views in the past 40 years of what is right and what is wrong, what is Black and what is white (no pun intended)….We no longer Value TRUTH and Goodness, we no longer see authority as in Police and the military etc. as organizations to bring security, righteousness and law and order, and hence Peace to us so we can enjoy prosperous lives….Has it really been all that long ago when the policeman on your block making his rounds for your safety was considered a trusted friend!? Heck, I remember in my small mid-west town my parents giving the patrolling officers cookies and hot chocolate at Christmas and other gifts all year long. My parents appreciated the peace we felt by the officers presence and that was in a time (late 60’s) when bad incidents rarely occurred. So fast-forward to today in our time, a white officer defends himself and kills a black man attempting to take his gun and there is such an outrage that HE …the officer was the evil one!, that what he did was wrong. I find this both a sad and repulsive response for a man that I am sure took an oath to protect the people of the community he served. He put his life on the line and was basically castrated for it…I don’t think he will ever work in Law Enforcement again and who knows what kind of career he will have? And what of his family I am sure they will suffer the rest of their lives as well. Five years ago around Thanksgiving in a neighboring community here in the Seattle/ Tacoma area I live in 4 police officers were gunned down in cold blood at a coffee stand, again by a Black man. I ask today where were all the protests in the streets over that, who is mourning for those families and all they have lost and suffered? I do not have all the answers, I do believe there are still many issues related to racism that block us all of every race and...

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