Friends Are People Who Love You No Matter What Happens

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 NIV)

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
(John 15:13 NIV)

 

friends

 

Friend is the Five Minute Friday word for this week. True friends are gifts and sometimes rare in this day and age. Jesus is the perfect example of a true friend. Click To TweetHe made the ultimate sacrifice by giving His life for you and me. That kind of love is immeasurable.

Most of us will not be asked to give our lives for our friends, but often we may make sacrifices to help them. We might bring a meal to a family who has been sick. Maybe we offer to babysit to give parents a needed date night.

There are many ways to show friendship. Click To Tweet One of the most important ways is just to be there for someone else. Sometimes we don’t even have to talk. Just the presence of another person who loves and cares can do wonders to lift the spirits of another.

Showing love and listening are also things that good friends do. A friend is someone we can count on no matter what happens.

 

Long time friends – photo taken a year ago

 

(John15:9-15)

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 

 

I’m linking up with: #FiveMinuteFriday, #InspireMeMonday, #Glimpses, #TeaAndWord, #TuneInThursday

 

Trust God When You Cannot See the Way

It’s Five Minute Friday time again! This week the prompt is the word abandon. I thought about it for awhile and then decided to try a poem. It was mostly done within the allotted time, though it took a little longer to finish it up. Each stanza is a haiku and finishes up with a reminder to always trust in God.

 

 

Trust God in the Dark

Where are you, my Lord
My eyes are dim with teardrops
I am all alone

The way is so dark
No light shines to guide my path
I can’t see ahead

Brambles and tree roots
Stretch like fingers to trip me
Please don’t leave me here

Abandon me not
Oh Lord, my God and Savior
I am yours alone

My child I am here
You must trust me in the dark
I will never leave

                                                                                      ~gayl wright

 

 

Many times in this journey of life the road ahead seems dark, and we strain to see the light. Maybe we even feel like God has abandoned us. When trial after trial comes we might be tempted to fall into a heap and give up. Click To Tweet But take heart, God is always with us even when we cannot see. We don’t need to worry about the future or if we will have all we need, because God has it all under control.

(Hebrews 13:5-6 NIV)

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

So we say with confidence, The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

 

I’m linking up with: #FiveMinuteFriday,  #DanceWithJesus, #LMMLinkup, #TeaAndWord, #CoffeeforYourHeart.

 

Slow Down for a Time of Reflection this Lenten Season

Slow and steady wins the race is the moral of the story about the Tortoise and the Hare. I’m not sure it always holds true, but there is definitely wisdom in taking things slowly rather than always rushing ahead. SLOW is the #FiveMinuteFriday word prompt for this week.

Lent: A Time to Slow Down

We are coming up to the season of Lent as observed in both Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches. The first thing many of us think us when Lent is mentioned is that something has to be given up for the 40 day period. I’ve also heard that you could add something meaningful instead.

In thinking of Lent I believe it is also a time of slowing down, of contemplation, a remembrance of the last days Jesus spent on earth before His sacrificial death.

I did not grow up practicing Lent, but am now learning to see it as a meaningful time of reflection. Click To Tweet My observance of Lent has been sporadic and some years I haven’t done much at all. This year we will be on vacation when it begins with Ash Wednesday on March 1. Since we’ll be relaxing at the beach there will be ample time to take things more slowly.

We are planning to read through a couple of books written especially for the Lenten season. Click To Tweet Both are written by friends of mine, one of whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person several times. The other I’ve gotten to know over the past couple of years in a small online writer’s group.

Books to Read for Lent

The first I want to share is The Living Cross – Exploring God’s gift of forgiveness and new life by Amy Boucher Pye. She is an author and speaker and contributes devotions for Our Daily Bread. Amy is passionate about the Scriptures and sharing God’s love with others. She write a weekly devotional on her blog.

In Amy’s words from the Introduction:

“Lent is traditionally a time of self-examination and thus an opportune moment to delve into God’s stories of forgiveness. As we move from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day we will engage with biblical characters from both the Old Testament and the New, as well as modern-day accounts of sin and forgiveness.”

Amy’s book is divided into weekly sections with a devotion and prayer for each day. At the end of every section as per the Table of Contents are “spiritual exercises and questions for individual reflection and group discussion.”
The focus is on the forgiveness we have in Christ. Click To Tweet
The Living Cross can be found at Amazon.

The other book I want to share is:

40 Days of Lent – the people, places and events of the Passion by Susan Shipe. Susan is an author who writes from her heart the words she has to share. She blogs at Hope, Heart Home.

These words from her Introduction tell a bit about the book:

“We will cover events, people and places. For 40 days, minus Sunday’s we will meet on the pages of this devotional; remembering Jesus’ final days on earth and celebrating His victory over life and death!

Each short chapter ends with a challenge for us to consider. Also included are a couple of maps showing the area of the ministry of Jesus. At the end  of the book she shares a recipe and a project. Susan’s book is also available at Amazon.

I'm looking forward to reading both of these books. Click To Tweet The plan is to read one in the morning and one in the evening. I hope you will take a look at these wonderful books that point us to Jesus. His sacrifice was great, but it made a way for us to be forgiven. What great mercy and love He continually shows to us!

 

I’m linking up with #FiveMinuteFriday.

 

 

Trust in God Can Overcome Fear

Safe is the Five Minute Friday prompt word for this week. What does it take to make us feel safe in our everyday lives? In who or what do we put our trust? What does it actually mean to be safe? These are questions I think most of us have, and we all seek to find the answers. Click To Tweet

 

 

One of the first things that came to mind with the prompt was an old hymn I remember from childhood. It is called “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” and was written by Fanny Crosby. You can click on the link above to read all the words. Here is the chorus:

Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o’ershaded,
Sweetly my soul shall rest.

When I looked up the lyrics I found some interesting information about Fanny Crosby. One is that she was the first woman to be heard in our government’s Senate chambers when she read aloud one of her poems. Even though she was blind she did not let that stop her from getting a good education. She even became a teacher in the school for the blind that she attended. Click To Tweet

 

Trust Triumphs Over Fear

 

What if she had been too afraid to try new things?

What if her parents had been over protective, because they wanted to try to keep her safe?

We can try all we want to prevent accidents and live safely, but we are not really in control. Fanny Crosby kept going in spite of any fears she may have had. I’m sure she must have put her trust in God to see her through. She penned many of the hymns that people still love today.

 

 

I want to always put my trust in God, but I know I am weak and will sometimes let fear creep in. It is a comfort to me to know that God knows my weakness, yet still loves me and promises to be with ever me.

 

Psalm 28:7-9 (NIV)

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.

 

I’m linking up with #FiveMinuteFriday