Friends Are Beautiful Gifts From God #LMMLinkup

It’s time for Literacy Musing Mondays, and this will be my last week as co-host. I have enjoyed working with Mary, who is a great friend. She is a blessing as she encourages and also prays for me. We plan to meet together again as we live fairly near each other. My life has gotten busy with family and friends, and I am in a season where I cannot give my best as a co-host.


This decision was not made lightly. I kept putting it off, but as I continued to pray, I knew God was calling me to give it up. God has impressed on my heart that He has other plans for me at this time involving the people in my life here at home. Your prayers would be appreciated as I follow His leading.





What does it mean to be a friend? More than mere acquaintances, friends are gifts. Rhymezone defines friend as “a person you know well and regard with affection and trust.” I believe friends are beautiful gifts from God. Friends love each other, but what does real love consist of and why should we love each other?

1 John 4:7, 10-11 (CSB)

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.


John tells us that we need to love each other, because love comes from God.  I believe loving each other includes being there for someone no matter what the circumstances. Friends will listen, pray and speak words of life to encourage each other.

Photo by Gayl


A friend can help us see our potential and also point out strengths and weaknesses. We remind each other that weakness is not a bad thing. God works his strength through our weakness, as he explained to Paul.


photo by Gayl



I love our Beloved Prodigal team and count them as my friends. We have shared prayer requests, songs and scriptures to encourage and build each other up. Sometimes we have special prayer times via Skype. We pray over each post before it is published making suggestions, if needed. These friends are gifts from God.



Proverbs 27:9 (NIV)

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.


As I got to know some of the team members before joining, I was drawn in when I saw how they loved God. Bettie, Joy and Anna have spent countless hours in prayer, emails and instant chats with me. We have been able to encourage each other as we listen to God and share our hearts.

As I’ve learned more about each team member I see how we all have discovered the importance of prayer and trusting in God. We may not do it perfectly all the time, but God understands. He sees our weakness and He loves us anyway, granting us mercy and strength and forgiveness.




Without judgment we see each other right where we are. We are ready to pray, encourage and point each other back to God, the One who deserves our trust and praise.

A song that comes to mind is one by Ken Medema. I think he is referencing the church, but it also reminds me of how we can find safe places with friends who love and care.



As we build each other up in Christ, His light grows in us. His Spirit works in us and that light flows out to others as we share love and lend a helping hand.


When we have been refreshed with the living water that Jesus offers, we can lead others to the well that never runs dry. We can “offer a cup of cold water” in his name.



So much more could be said about friends. I’ve only mentioned some of my closest friends that I have online here at Beloved Prodigal. They have meant a lot to me as we have spent time praying for each other this past year, and our relationships have grown. I believe these friendships are just as important as my local friends. All friends are gifts from God.

There is one Friend we all can have. He is always waiting for us, ready to listen and to guide. His name is Jesus.


Proverbs 18:24 (CSB)

One with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.


I hope you have friends who are there for you, who will pray for you and always be truthful and loving, helping you to be your best self. Always remember that Jesus is the friend who will never leave but always loves and forgives, giving us strength and wisdom.

There is an old hymn called “What A Friend We Have in Jesus” which I think illustrates the kind of Friend Jesus is. This is a simple but beautiful arrangement.


Would you pray with me?


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for first loving us and teaching us how to love one another. Thank you for the beautiful gift of friends who love and care, who encourage and pray, who love you and want to share that love with others.

Help us to be a friend to others, a safe place where they can come for encouragement and a listening ear, someone who will pray for and with them. May each of us find friends that will always be there for us and may we be that kind of friend.

Most of all I thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus, who gave His life so we could be free. Thank you that he now lives and intercedes on our behalf and will never leave us. Thank you for the gift of your Spirit, who lives within all believers. May your light shine through us in our daily lives.

In the name of Jesus, I pray,


~Gayl, for Beloved Prodigal~

I’m linking up with #InspireMeMonday, #BVNetworkParty, #Faith’nFriends, #TeaAndWord, #TrekkingThru, #TuneInThursday, #HeartEncouragement,

Now on to our weekly linkup. First let’s meet your hosts:


Gayl at Words, Photos and Art

Blog/Facebook Page/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/

Mary at Mary-andering Creatively

Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/Google+

Last Week’s Top Clicked

Do you ever feel like you missed your chance? What if I could tell you that you are not left alone on the shore? Would you believe me?
We all have great plans at the beginning of every new season, but do you ever feel like you missed the boat? Rebecca shares an inspirational message of hope in this post not to be missed. ~Mary~

My Favorite Post

Hands Free Mama: Overcoming Technology Addiction the Family-Friendly Way


This post shares about how one family talked about addiction to technology as they sat around the table awhile ago. Interestingly the parents confessed their addictions and asked the children for suggestions. They gave quite good ones. There is also a review of the book by Rachel Macy Stafford called HANDS FREE MAMA. She had put off reading it because she was afraid it would make her feel guilty, but she found something quite different. I think you will enjoy this interesting and timely post!


Would you like us to feature your post? Just link up a post and if you are read the most, we will feature you. Also please make sure you link back to our community so others will know about our link up and join in. We will try to make it worth your while to linkup by promoting your posts across our social media networks. We will also pin the most clicked and featured posts to our #LMMLinkup Pinterest Board each week!


Don’t forget to grab your button if we feature you:


<div class=”maryandering-creatively-button” style=”width: 300px; margin: 0 auto;”><img src=”” alt=”Mary-andering Creatively” width=”300″ height=”300″ /></a></div>

Finally, it is time to link up to the Literacy Musing Mondays hop!

Linkup Rules:

    1. Include a link back or the blog hop button linked to this hop on your posts.
    2. Link up the urls to your posts not to your blog.
    3. Please remember this is a family-friendly linkup. Although we believe in the right for adults to read whatever they want to read, we prefer to read wholesome posts that feature literature that edify and uplift families. We reserve the right to delete any posts that are not family friendly. All kinds of literature and genres are welcome including family-friendly inspirational romances, fantasy, or science fiction. We do not welcome any posts that feature excessive violence, sexual content, or any cursing. This rule also applies to book review posts that feature books that are not family-friendly. We will delete these posts without notice to the blogger or explanation. While we believe in the right for all adults to read whatever they want, we feel our linkup is for family-friendly posts only. Thank you for understanding.
    4. We also want to be loving community by supporting one another. Please make a point to do this this week! Visit the two posts before yours and at least one other blogger’s post of your choice! I want to see lots of clicks on everyone’s posts. Remember it is also nice to follow them on their social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
    5. Also note periodically I will send everybody updates on the linkup using your contact information you provided when you linked up. At the bottom of the notifications you will be able to unsubscribe if you do not wish to receive these notifications.
    6. Tweet about the link up too.


22 thoughts on “Friends Are Beautiful Gifts From God #LMMLinkup

  1. Gayl, I understand your choice, and I appreciate your efforts in being a host. I hope you will continue to linkup at Mary’s so I can keep seeing your great posts when you have the time to create them. Blessings to you!

    1. Thank you for your understanding, Sarah. It was a hard decision, but I knew it needed to be made. Yes, I will keep linking up. Thank you for your encouragement. Blessings to you!

  2. Dear Gayl,
    Thank you for the beautiful encouragement that you have been at this linkup. I will miss you here, but I am sure praying for God’s continued guidance in your life. I am so blessed to see the ways that you are stepping out in faith to follow Him! And, I love that pretty begonia in your first photo. Love and Hugs and Prayers for you Dear Poet/Sister/Friend! xoxo

    1. Thank you so much, Bettie, for all your encouragement. I appreciate your prayers and your friendship. It’s friends like you who help me step out and follow God’s leading. The begonia is from my time at the SC Botanical Gardens. There are so many beautiful plants there. Love, hugs and prayers and blessings for you, too! xoxo

  3. Gayl, I appreciate your decision to lighten your load at the Spirit’s prompting. I have some decisions to make along those lines as well, and I’m encouraged by your clear vision and obedience.

    1. I’m happy to be an encouragement to you, Michele. These decisions can be hard. I will pray for wisdom and peace for you in your decision making. Love and blessings to you! xo

  4. Thank you for all the times you have hosted us, Gayl! We appreciate the work of love, and wish you the best in spending more time with those in your life. We’ll continue to look for your beautiful writings here and elsewhere.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lisa! I will definitely continue to linkup and be a part of the community when I can. Thanks for your encouragement. Blessings to you!

  5. Hi Gayl, I certainly understand when life gets busy with wonderful things. 🙂 Your obedience to God’s call on your life, wherever that may be, is so evident. Thanks for serving faithfully at Literacy Musing Mondays.

    Blessings to you in this new season of life.

  6. Aww, sorry to see you step back as co-host! You’re a great hostess! But I totally understand the need to focus on other things in different seasons. Blessings as you enter this next phase of your life!

    1. Thank you, Anita! I definitely need to focus on what God has put right in front of me. 🙂 Thank you for your blessings and encouragement. Blessings to you!

  7. Gayl, we will certainly miss you, but it’s so important to follow God’s leading. I know He has great blessings in store for you.

  8. Oh dear, Gayl! I have not participated in such a long time…..but surely you would be missed😊☺
    I understand sometimes stepping away could be the rest and reset we need.
    Much love.

    1. Dear Ifeoma, I’m sorry I took so long to respond to your comment. Thank you for your encouragement and understanding. I know I will miss being a co-host, but there are other pressing needs. You are a blessing to you! May God bless and keep you and give you peace. Hugs and much love! xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.