Posts Tagged With: Friends

Time with Friends

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I had a wonderful lunch with a friend from church yesterday. It was so uplifting. The woman I had lunch with is a strong woman of God who is truly walking out her faith each day. Her husband has cancer and is getting ready to start another very tough round of chemotherapy. I had missed seeing her lately and wanted to have a chance to catch up and hopefully provide her a little encouragement.

What I found was her being an encouragement to me. Watching her and her husband walk through this cancer journey has been a source of inspiration. They both have completely put heir trust and faith in the Lord and look for where He is working in their circumstances.

One of the things she said to me was, “friends made at church are friends for life”. It made me think about my friends. The ones I made when my husband and I started going to church regularly almost 15 years ago are still my friends today. There is a different kind of bond we develop with others who are followers of Christ.

There is something special that happens when we choose to walk our faith journey with others. When we open up and share what is going on in our lives with others, we find comfort and support. When we share our lives with others in the faith we find experience the love of Christ from them. They are willing to share their lives with us and we are able to love and support one another through the power of the Holy Spirit.

It doesn’t mean our relationships are perfect or even without conflict, but when we continue to seek the Lord, He helps bring restoration and redemption to these relationships. I have been blessed to see this work out in my own life. There have been a few people over the years within the body that I have not gotten along with and thanks to the grace of God those relationships have been redeemed and restored.

I am so thankful for the many friends the Lord has put into my life. They are a huge source of encouragement, support and accountability for me. My brothers and sisters in Christ have been there in good times and bad. We have had some difficulties but have been able to see the Lord work in our lives and our relationships.

Take some time today to reflect on your friendships. Are your friends from church friends for life? If you have had a falling out with a friend, seek the Lord. He will help you be reconciled.

Matthew 5:23-24

23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

On our own, it is very difficult to reconcile with others, but through the power of God, anything is possible. We are called to live at peace with one another. Seek Him so you can live at peace with others today.

Romans 12:18

18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

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Who are Your Supporters?

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LIfe is tough and we are not meant to go it alone. Scripture is very clear that we will face troubles.

James 1:2

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

Note this verse doesn’t say “if” you meet trials, but rather “when”. We will have trials and difficulties in this life. There is a saying that says “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Although it is attributed to God, it is not biblically based. God will often give us more than we can handle because He wants us to be dependent upon Him and the power of His Holy Spirit working in and through us.

God not only wants us to be dependent upon Him, but to be dependent upon other believers. When we go through difficult times, we need one another. We need people who will lend a compassionate ear, give us wise counsel, pray for us, encourage us and love us.

My month of December was anything but easy. I was away from home for 5 weeks, a caregiver for two family members after their surgeries, had a death in the family and spent Christmas apart from my husband and daughters. None of these things would have been possible if not for my wonderful support system.

My church family at Grace Anglican Community prayed for me, called me and encouraged me from afar. My dear friends provided listening ears, shoulders to cry on and just the right words of encouragement when needed. The love and prayers of these wonderful people and my relationship with Jesus is what sustained me during this time.

Who are your supporters? Who provides a listening ear, shoulder to cry on, words of wisdom and encouragement to you? If you find yourself lacking supporters in your life, turn to the Lord and ask Him to lead you to people who can help you walk this faith journey. If you are not part of a church community, that is a great place to start.

Who does the Lord want to use you to support today? It is easy to become self-centered and only see our own struggles and circumstances, but we need to look around and see who around us might need our support today. Pray the Lord will open your eyes to someone who could use your support today. You will be a blessing to the person in need and will be abundantly blessed by the Lord for being His hands and feet in the world.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

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Faith and Love

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready to dig back into our study on Ephesians.

Ephesians 1:15-16

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

Verses 15-23 are considered Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving and we will be looking at it this week. In the Greek, it is a single sentence which gives the idea of consistency of thought throughout the prayer. In these two verses Paul is giving thanks for the people’s faith in Christ and the way they love each other. He also says he remembers them in his prayers.

When you think of people you know who have that kind of faith, who comes to mind? I have been amazingly blessed by wonderful sisters in Christ who have shown me how to really walk out my faith every day. They have poured wisdom, love, encouragement and support into my life. In fact, two of them, Lynn and Betsy came up with the idea for this blog and I am so grateful they did!

My dear friends are such wonderful examples of women of faith and they truly inspire me. They not encourage and uplift me, they challenge me. They are the friends who tell me what I need to hear, not just what I want to hear. I thank God for these women and keep them in my prayers.

Paul not only thanked God for the faith of the people but also for their love for God’s people. Who do you know that loves God’s people with His amazing love? There are so many wonderful people who serve the Lord by loving others. An example from my life is my friend, Susan, who is currently in Uganda on a mission trip where she is serving at a medical clinic and ministering to orphans. This is not her first trip and she is being reunited with a couple of twins, Opio and Grace that she has spent time with on previous visits. Susan is truly a woman of incredible faith and is loving God’s people.

Who has poured into your life? Whose faith is inspiring to you? Who has loved you with a love that is gracious, compassionate, forgiving and patient? Take some time to thank God for them. Who does God want you to love with HIs love? Who in your life needs forgiveness, compassion and acceptance today. May we be the kind of people Paul was writing to; people who walk out their faith by loving others!

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Women’s Conference

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You are invited to a women’s conference. I will be speaking along with two wonderful women, Lynn Rosenberg and Betsy Engelmann. It will be on Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 8:30-2:00. The cost of the conference is $20 and it will include breakfast and lunch. If you are in the Houston area, I hope you can join us for a wonderful day of fellowship and studying God’s Word. We will be speaking on Colossians 3:12-14

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Email me at shelly@deeplyrootedinhim.com to register.

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Brothers and Sisters in Christ

 

We all have friends we can talk to and depend on when we are in need. However, brothers or sisters in Christ are more than just friends. They are the people in our lives who love and support us, but also hold us accountable. They will pray for us and help us seek the Lord. Brothers and sisters in Christ will tell us what we need to hear, not necessarily what we want to hear.

Ephesians 4:15

 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

They bring a different perspective to our situation. This week I have been struggling in a situation and one of them pointed out that I needed to forgive someone. Honestly, it didn’t occur to me that I wasn’t forgiving the person, I was just trying to distance myself from the situation. This was followed up by two other conversations encouraging me to put my faith into action regarding this situation. My sisters in Christ have been speaking loud and clear to me this week. Although it is not easy to hear when our heart, attitude, words and actions are not pleasing to God, we have to acknowledge them before we are able to seek forgiveness and change them.

Having brothers and sisters in Christ comes from being in community with other believers. If you are not in a community of believers, I encourage you to find one where you can grow in your knowledge and love of Christ, worship and serve Him.  We were created to be in a relationship with Christ and with others. We are all part of the body of Christ and have a role to play.

I have some truly wonderful sisters in Christ who minister to me, point me back to Christ and are willing to tell me when I am off track. I am so grateful for these ladies who have been a tremendous blessing to me and helped me grow in my faith. Take the time to let those who have ministered to you know what a difference they have made in your life. Be a brother or sister in Christ to those in your life and be willing to speak the truth in love.

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