Friendship Matters

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(I like a title that can be read two ways.)
(I like how, together, words can play.)

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A week ago, it came “to light” that:
“Our friendship has made a difference.”
That difference, not just to us (and for us),
although that is very significant to me,
but to the various communities to which we belong.
And not only because we completed a worthwhile project together,
but in the larger sense, in which a 1+1 relationship, when blessed, can equal “3”.
In the matter of friendship, “blessed” is the key word,
for I had been relatively alone, friend-wise,
for many years, in this city,
before He saved and transformed me,
and blessed me in many ways.
Now I have many meaningful Christian friendships.
I understand something of Christian love,
and the love of Father God which surpasses full understanding.
I hadn’t known what I had been missing!



~A treasure greatly precious, and rare,

is the time spent with a close friend.
Life spins and circles smoothly there,
Where, on a bond, one can depend.~

I’m reminded of how Jesus called the unworthy disciples
His friends,
and of how he calls us unworthy believers
His friends.
(We are unworthy by ourselves, but with Him,
our friend IN us,
we are made worthy.)
He taught His friends.
He showed them the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
through His companionship,
through showing them Himself –
His true Self.

He knew this verse:
Proverbs 27:17    “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

~As crystal dust polishes crystal,
so one believer polishes another.~

His brother knew something astute about errant friendship:

James 4:4   “. . . don’t you know that friendship with the world
is hatred toward God?
Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world
becomes an enemy of God.”

Undoubtedly, Jesus is THE best friend that any and every person could have.
(What A Friend  We Have In Jesus)
All that He hears from the Father, He shares with us.
I am His personal friend, and He is mine!
That friendship made, makes, and will make,
the greatest difference in the whole world,
of all time,
for everyone,
forever.

Remember that a friend is more than the condition of having access to someone’s social media page.
It takes more than accepting a digital request to be a real friend.
It takes precious time to be a companion,
~and companionship is the jelly on the bread of friendship.~
To anyone who is “a friend of the world”,
and not a friend of Jesus, you are like I was –
you don’t know what you are missing,
and I say that in the kindest, most compassionate way possible.

The best friendships are based on a mutual relationship with God.
David and Jonathan come to mind as Biblical best friends.
“Let God be between us,” said Jonathan, who had everything to lose,
yet, because of his love,
was loyal in saving brother-in-law, and close friend, David.

Friendship makes a difference! 
And not only to the friends involved,
but in an expanding sphere
which engulfs all creation.

Let God’s blessing be between us, as well,
as it has been,
as He has seen to it that friendship
has indeed inspired this message,
and it matters.

Yes, our friendship has made a difference,
is making a difference,
and will make a positive difference,
just as Jesus’ holy friendships
Have always,
are now,
and always will
make THE BIG difference.
All the difference in the world.
All the difference in His everlasting Kingdom.

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An Expanded Prayer To My Father In Heaven

 

My Father

 

Oh, my Father-God and my Lord, Who walks the vast halls of Heaven,
Where You live, and breathe, and reign sovereign
Over everything finite and eternal.
From where You speak,
From where You write Your Word,
From where You see all, know all, and do all,
From where You give Your unfathomable grace,
Your mercy, and forgiveness,
From where You open Your hands and pour out goodness,
And from where You sent Your Love Incarnate, Immanuel.

Your name is Holy.
Let me kneel humbly, respectfully,
In reverence to Your glorious name.

May Your kingdom, Your realm, be established,
May Your kingship be proclaimed,
May everything You desire to happen
Be done here on Earth, just as it is in Heaven.

I ask that You continue to provide all I need
In the form of wholesome food and water to nourish my body,
As well as The Living Bread, and The Living Water,
And understanding of Your Word, with personal revelation,
To nourish my soul.

I ask that You help me remember how You paid my debts
On the horrible cross of torture.
How You took my sin upon Yourself, Jesus,
How You gave Yourself in propitiating atonement, and in conciliation,
And appeasement, for my trespasses against You, Father-God.
Help me Lord to continue to learn to forgive others their debts against me,
Their trespasses, wrongs, crimes, and sins against me,
Just as You have so mercifully and graciously forgiven mine through Christ.

I ask You, Lord, to lead me away from the temptations of this world.
Help me keep your Word, Your principles, in obedience.
Lead me through the minefields, the snares, and the pitfalls,
For they are many, and my enemy shows me only the bait,
But hides the trap well.
Protect and deliver me from that devil, from that evil one, in Jesus name!

And finally, Almighty Father, I want to proclaim Your Kingdom.
It is the Kingdom of kingdoms, and You are the King of kings!

I proclaim that Your power is absolute.  It is the power that created
Beautiful Creation in its entire completeness.
It is the power to create human beings in Your image,
Human minds, souls, and hearts.
It is the awe-inspiring, miraculous power to change those hearts,
And save those souls.

And, I proclaim Your Glory, Lord.
How can I explain Your Glory?
It is too beautiful, too splendidly colorful, too exquisitely bright!
It blinds my eyes, baffles my mind, closes my mouth.
It is love unleashed, fervent, and intense.
It is Your inexplicable mercy, and grace, and kindness, and generosity.
It is as inexplicable as You, my God.
You’re glorious in Your Glory.
You ARE the Most High Lord,  Holiness Itself, Ancient of Days, The Great I AM.

Yes, Yours is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory,
For all time, and through unfathomable eternity.
You are my ABBA, my Heavenly Father-God to Whom I pray this prayer.
In Jesus’ most holy name.
Amen, and Amen.

 

Boiled Down

 

I have taken a hiatus, of sorts, from writing during this demanding season, but the heat has at least served to boil something down for me.  Today, while doing the most mundane work, wrapped in sweat and dirt, I was given renewed purpose and also a new way to express my purpose:

To come to know my Father-God’s GLORY in new, deeper, more exciting, more relevant terms, whether the individual revelations be particulate or magnificent;  and then, in my own way, with His guidance, to constantly make known that GLORY to all the people who have eyes to see, and for all nations who have the ears to hear.

I have faith in His faithfulness to bring this to be in me.

Solid stone heart made tender and pliable.

Unworthiness made righteous.

Dreary unforgiveness fading as the grey flees sunrise.

His Selfless Love replacing selfish “love”.

To come to know and, in the knowing, to make it known…..

Yes, this will be do-able.

He boiled it down.

 

About The Music Links Below

I don't own, and have no claim on, these music videos. The following are simply links inside my website pointing back to the original locations of the videos. The names of the creators of these videos are cited wherever possible, and only "embedding-enabled" selections are used.

The Basic Christian Library

"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. This is fundamentally what Christianity is all about.

"The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. Another converted atheist presents His compelling case for believing in Jesus.

"Left To Tell" by Imaculee Ilibagiza. This profound work is her own extraordinary story of endurance, discovery of the Holy Spirit, grace, healing, and an astonishingly compelling account of the necessity for forgiveness.

Compelling Christian Fiction Reads

"The Circle" 4-book series by Ted Dekker.
A man is the bridge between two very different worlds. Sound familiar? Can he save both? This T.D. work is brilliant in my book.

"This Present Darkness" and "Piercing the Darkness" by Frank E. Peretti. Tales of spiritual warfare from a unique perspective. Stirred a small controversy, but sold millions. What are we Christians afraid of? Hey, it's fiction!

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