friends are important!

 On the whole, I believe that God has designed us to be social & for people to be important in our lives.  And in my life, I see that God has put lots of different kinds of friends & people in my life.  For me, its important to have a diversity of friends & not just try to have everything wrapped up into one person or only a few.  Here are a few of the diverse friendships that I have:   

  • friends with whom I share recipes,
  • friends that I see movies with,
  • friends with whom I talk about good books,
  • friends where our kids have similar ages so we hang out when our kids play together
  • friends with whom we share about God at very deep & transparent levels
  • friends that enjoy travel adventures
  • friends that challenge my political thoughts, even though I have very few ,)

Let’s be sure to celebrate & honor the various friendships in our lives & let God unfold their purposes over time.  Being & having friends is important! 😀

Celebrating friends!

I’m always thoroughly amazed at the variety of ways that God connects with us! I just had a coffee w a great friend & we did all of the usual catch up conversation, but what I always most enjoy is talking about how God is integrated into our daily living. In this particular conversation, it was a very rich & deep experience as we shared the different ways that God is moving in our lives. My friend & I are at very different seasons in our lives but getting to listen to the various was that God is moving in my friends life is nothing short of breath taking. Indeed, I’ve walked away from our conversation w the Emmaus road expression, “was not my heart burning,” as we talked. Truly, it is an indescribably rich discussion when we get to talk deeply with close friends about Jesus & His work in our daily living. What a magnificent Christmas presence 🙂

friendships

  When I was growing up, I used to complain to my parents about not having any friends – it was partly true, because I wasn’t a very friendly person.  Nevertheless, my parents would always encourage me that I had lots of friends & they were always very affirming on this topic.  Here are some other pearls of wisdom they taught  me in relation to friendships:

  • diversity is good – its good to have lots of different kinds of friends:  smart, funny, healthy, beautiful, chubby, witty, deep, seasonal, insightful, superficial, . . . . .   Diversity is the spice of life!
  • in order to have friends, we must be friendly:  smile, be forgiving, generous, seeking to understand
  • be more concerned about being interested rather than interesting:  listening can be a timeless gift
  • a friendship isn’t merely about what you can get out of the relationship, but also what you can give
  • don’t be disappointed because someone is unable to give something you want in a friendship – maybe they don’t have that skill set or ability, just like you also have some shortcomings
  • give the benefit of the doubt:  don’t assign malicious intent
  • no one person can be your everything in life – this expectation is unhealthy & ultimately idolatrous
  • be the friend you would like to have 🙂
  • forgive, forgive, forgive & be prepared to continue forgiving

scones & wisdom for breakfast ,)

 My ultra cool husband made scones for breakfast today & he makes a fantastic scone!  While we were eating, my kids & I had an interesting discussion about friendships with the importance of their various influences.  In my morning Bible time, I read Prov 13:20, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

Here’s a quick synopsis of our conversation, chose your friends wisely because they will have either a harmful or wise influence in your life – affecting your choices, preferences and values.  A companion of fools will suffer harm, but the person who walks with others who are wise, will himself be wise.  Let’s be sure to chose wisely who we allow to be close to us, with whom we share our heart & allow ourselves to be vulnerable 🙂

some thoughts on friendship

When I was growing up, my mom gave me some really good thoughts on friendships.  She would always encourage me to have lots of different friends & to not just have one, key friend.  I can still hear her tell me not to “put all of my eggs in one basket.”  This advice has really helped me over the years to be open to having lots of different kinds of friends – some young, some smart, some kind, some silly, some reflective, some old, some cheeky, . . . .   The diversity makes for some fantastic conversations, insights & interactions!

My mom also encouraged me that friendships go through seasons.  Furthermore, I picked up from Joyce Meyers that God puts friendships in our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  The reason, season & lifetime ideas have really helped me to keep a healthy perspective on the various relationships that God brings into & removes from my life.  Some friendships God brings for a reason – to help us grow, change, etc.  Some friendships come into our life for a season – they have a limited duration & for whatever reason, they seem to dissapate after a time.  Finally, there are a few friendships that last for a lifetime.  I think that the lifetime friendships are few & far between, but I highly treasure these relationships.  Recently, I had one of these friends pop through Denver for a few days & I’m musing today on God’s love to me, expressed through this wonderful friendship.  I’m keenly aware that my friend is ultimately a conduit through whom God expresses His love to me and how great is the Father’s love for us!!

amazing travels

I’m presently sitting between 2 of my kids, Isbell & David, thanking God for the most fantastic family – seriously!  God is indescribably amazing.  In the past 1.5 weeks, i’ve been to Ethiopia, Turkey (quickie), Jordan & Israel.  The best part of all of my travelling has been the fellowship i’ve had w God – such richness, depth & tantalizing closeness.  Sometimes, it really helps my walk w God to get out of the daily routine, out of my comfort zone, & increase my dependence on God. 

Ethiopia:  fantastic time with God, the orphanage we connect with & my friends.  The orphanage that we work with, over the last year, has really undertaken working w abandoned babies.  This was really touching, particularly as this is so close to my heart w the “saving Moses” campaign we’re launching w worldchild.  I also had the privilege of ministering in Pastor Eyob’s church in Addis & i can just summarize this by saying that my church family is now extended to include this church.  My time in Ethiopia has been rich in fellowship with not only family & friends but most importantly a rich depth with the Holy Spirit.  i can’t even begin to describe how completely riveting / captiving the Holy Spirit is to me, particularly during my time in Ethiopia.

Israel:  i joined the group trip w mom & had a great time getting to know some new people, reconnect w some old friends, share about God & see some cool places / ruins.  We visited Petra (in Jordan), Masada (in Israel), drove by the dead sea & then onto Jerusalem.  The group trip is going well & the travellers seem to be experiencing God in many different rich ways by being in many places discussed in the Bible.

Travelling:  i’ve been in lots of airports & on lots of airplanes – all total, in 10 days, i’ve been on no less than 10 planes & spent well over 100 hours on planes & in airports, to include 1 lost & now found blackberry. 🙂

if you’d like to check out some pics, pop over to my facebook & you can see some cool friends, places & experiences 🙂

Again, the best part of the last 1.5 wks has been the rich & deep fellowship w the Holy Spirit – the treasure of my life! 🙂

hello from Ethiopia!

Greetings from Addis Ababa! I’ve had a spectacular time of ministry here for the last 4 days – simply wonderful!! To begin, we’ve been able to launch our “saving Moses” campaign for worldchild – I was able to visit the orphanage we sponsor in Gondar Ethiopia, where I met the baby girls who had been rescued from being abandoned in a field last year. They’re doing AWESOME & I plan to post some pics shortly. The orphanage in Gondar in the last week received 5 babies who have been abandoned.  I’m struggling to wrap my head around this problem of abandoned babies – I think it happens in the world much more than we are aware.  It shakes my heart to see these babies who are abandoned.  I’m rather speechless on this.

From Gondar, I flew to Addis where i’ve had the privilege to minister in a church on leadership & also for the Sunday service.  The ministry time here is really powerful – they are so eager to receive, very gentle & humble and open to God speaking into their lives.  Its a very humbling experience to minister here, a very RICH spiritual experience.  In one of our services, you could sense God’s presence with tremendous weight – such that even now, words elude me from describing how powerful this experience was. 

Additionally, I’ve been able to connect w some great friends from last year & I’m so very grateful to God for bringing me here.  This has been a really powerful time for me w God on a very personal level & i’m extremely grateful to Him for allowing me to come back to Ethiopia.  Of course the food & coffee are great & I always LOVE to pick up some of the language – most of all, i love the people. 

In a few hours, i’ll fly to Israel to join the group trip w mom & I know this will also be wonderful.  Thanks for being patient with the blogging thing – the internet in Ethiopia can be kind of like a safari experience.  that’s all i’m gonna say about that.

So let me leave you with some spiritual thoughts:  don’t reject God’s provisions just because they don’t meet your expectations.  perhaps God is testing you so you can see some of your weak spots.  🙂

get some heart burn

Ok, maybe not heart burn like you might initially think – I’ve got something different in mind. 

I really like Jesus – I like thinking about Him, praying to Him, writing about Him, singing about Him, reading about Him, being w Him, talking about Him – especially.  What really gets to me is to sit w a friend & have an indepth conversation about Jesus, what’s He’s saying, how He’s leading, what He’s challenging us with, experiences w Him . . . . . There’s something that goes off in me when i get to talk in depth w someone i trust about Jesus & what He’s doing in my heart.  There’s something that quickens in my heart when I get to listen to someone deeply share about what He is dealing w them about.  I love getting to hear & be part of what He’s doing on a massive & micro scale – I just like Jesus. 

heartburnRecently, I felt like He explained why I get so amped when I get to have a deep conversation about Him:  in Luke 24:13-32, Jesus is walking w 2 of His followers, after His resurrection, on a road leading to a city called Emmaus.  They had what appears to be a long & indepth conversation w Him where He talked & explained things to them while they walked.  When they stopped for a meal, Jesus broke the bread & immediately disappeared & the followers suddenly recognized Jesus & said in vs 32, “did not our hearts burn within us as He talked w us along the road. . . . ?”  I find my heart burns in my chest when I get to talk deeply about Jesus w some trusted friends.  Maybe this is partly what Jesus meant in Matt 18:20 when He says that when two or three are gathered in His name, that He’s hear with us. 

Get some heart burn – talk deeply w a friend about Jesus.

friends

Ok, really crazy, lively & interesting dialogue from my facebook page about friendships.  In a recent status update, i said, “who you pick as friends can reflect your future.”  A sentence w less than 10 words but has generated lots of feedback!!

So, i want your opinion:  agree, disagree & why

“who you pick as friends can reflect your future.”

 

marching toward thanksgiving

Thankfully, this year, I’m not making a turkey & everyone says, “whew!”  So in all of my free time, here are a few things floating around – my food for thought:

  • listening to Reece discuss potential ski purchases
  • snuggling w Benji
  • passed my greek quiz tonight
  • some of my friends are really hurting – I feel this very deeply
  • looking forward to riding this week
  • I want to dream about Jesus tonight
  • computer frustrations I think I finally solved
  • began working on beatitudes book – takes me to great depths. 

Here’s a closing thought – be God’s child by imitating Him. 🙂

a few of my favorite things

well, its been an interesting week.  Here are a few of my favorite things that have happened this week:

  • successfully made a coconut cream pie & a delic peach pie for Benji’s bday
  • had family over for Benji’s bday & served one of the best dinners I’ve made (nothing burned, everything tasting good, & excellent company, easy to enjoy!)
  • picked up the kid’s ski gear – yahoo!!!  rentals for the season for each of them for $50!!!
  • got Benji’s ski pass – 5 mountains for FREEEEEEEEE & he survived his 5 yr old check up at the Dr (3 shots)
  • walking home w David & Bell from school each day – I get to hear about their day, friends, etc
  • friends

Routines are good things – they can bring sanity & order from a chaotic summer.  🙂

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