Road Trip With My Bestie

What an awesome, powerful, thought-provoking, convicting week-end.  My bestie and I spent Friday and Saturday in the company of Priscilla Shirer.  Imagine, two days in the company of 5,000+ women (and 2 brave men), worshiping, praying, and building trust in the One and Only.

Now, when I say praying I’m not talking about your run of the mill prayer times where we ask that our words and thoughts are pleasant in His ears, that He will bless and heal our friends and family, that He will keep us safe and give us wisdom and courage.  That was there, of course.  I’m talking about the kind of prayer that covers all the bases and gives no one any doubt that we were in His Presence.  All turned in prayer requests (Yes, all 5000+!) on the cards provided. We were then encouraged to take a prayer card the next day (They had been prayed on overnight.) and commit to praying for that person for the next 7 days.  Is that some powerful praying or what?

The conference was divided into 3 segments with music by Tony Evans opening each.  That man has some serious vocal ability.  Beautiful voice!  Another thing about the music — Imagine if you will 5000 women’s voices, praising God for those who accepted His invitation to join the Forever Family, singing It Is Well With My Soul a capella.  Each time I hear a large group sing a favorite hymn I know in my heart what heaven sounds like.

So, here are some things from my notes:

  • Scripture for the event was Luke 9:1-17
  • The cure for your exhaustion is intimacy with Jesus.  After all, He said, “Come away with me.”
  • A recipe for ministry.  First, we are called as the disciples were.  Second, we are given power and authority, as the disciples were.  Lastly, He does the sending, as He did the disciples.  Ministry of any kind is and must be about Jesus.
  • Resist the urge to put yourself in the ‘spotlight’ until He says go.
  • If there was a perfect church and you showed up, it wouldn’t be perfect.
  • Re: 5 loaves and 2 fishes – You don’t need more than His blessing on what you already have.

  • Hearing God is not about newness it is about nowness.
  • Those who don’t expect to hear from God, WON’T!  AW Tozer
  • God is omnipresent!  (I know you already knew that.)  He showed up for Gideon, Moses, David, Simeon, etc.,  and He shows up for us!
  • His glory is ever-present, yet, we often don’t see Him.  In this country we have so many resources, like Bibles, CD’s, DVD’s, books, the Internet… we fail to take the time to look for Him.

And that, dear friends, is what a terrific weekend looked like.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

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10 Ways To Build Lasting Friendships

When I was in my younger years I often wondered if I would have Best Friends later on in life. Guess what? I do. I have incredible friends in a range of friendships from bare acquaintances to BFF’s.

Have you ever met someone and immediately said to them you’re going to be my best friend.  Of course not!  Being a friend is a deliberate process.  It’s about spending time together. Getting to know one another. Sharing ups and downs and in-betweens.  Supporting them, praying for them, sharing with them, accepting them… That’s what grows strong friendships.

It’s nice to have friends that share interests and hobbies.  However, if we surround ourselves with exact copies of ourselves it gets really boring.  One of my BFF’s shares few commonalities with me, except a desire to grow closer to our Jesus.

In building strong, lasting friendships there are a few things that really don’t matter.  Age is one of them.  Yes, people of our own age share similar likes and experiences but those of other age groups have much to teach us.  Friendships cross many boundaries. Things like status, education, marriage, distance, can be overcome when two people say let’s be friends.

There’s a beautiful contemporary Christian song that points to the fact that God gives us our friends.  God Gave Me You by Dave Barnes really says it all.  Check out these lyrics:

God gave me you for the ups and downs

God gave me you for the days of doubt

For when I think I’ve lost my way

There are no words here left to say, it’s true

God gave me you.

What does God say about friendship? Check these verses out:

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 one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:5-6

So, here are my 10 Ways To Build Strong Friendships:

10-ways-to-build-strong-friendships

There’s a Kroger commercial that ends with a woman saying, “My momma always said if you want to have a friend be one.” Nothing more needs to be said, does it?

Not all of my friends are women.  My husband of more than 40 years has been my friend for more than 50.  Men add a richness that is unique in its own way.  Don’t count them out.

Blessings to you and yours!
 
Marie

Best Friend Forever

Have you ever thought about God as your Best Friend Forever?  I think that’s part of how He wants us to see Him.  Think about some characteristics of your earthly best friend.   Do words like encouraging, honest, trustworthy, strong, available, loving, caring, compassionate, kind, gentle, patient …, top the list?  God is already all of this and more.

God is always there, always available, always loving, always forgiving, exactly who He says He is.  Not only that, He never changes. (James 1:17)  I always know where I stand with Him.  Who wouldn’t want a friend like this?

Can we find a friend so faithful?  Who will all our sorrows share?  These words, from a much-loved hymn,  popped into my mind while writing this.  We may have the most awesome friends on earth but…  Are they always faithful (always wanting what’s best for us)?  Do they share our sorrows or even know what they are?  My BFF knows my sorrows.  He knows my every care.  He knows what I need when I need it.

My best Friend loves me so much that even when He finds it necessary to discipline me I still know and feel His love.  Those of us who have earthly friends like this are incredibly blessed.  (Proverbs 27:5-6)

Develop your earthly friendships.  They really matter.  But never forget to continue to mature in the relationship you have with the One and Only.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

10 Ways To Build Lasting Friendships

When I was in my younger years I often wondered if I would have Best Friends later on in life. Guess what? I do. I have incredible friends in a range of friendships from bare acquaintances to BFF’s.

Have you ever met someone and immediately said to them you’re going to be my best friend.  Of course not!  Being a friend is a deliberate process.  It’s about spending time together. Getting to know one another. Sharing ups and downs and in-betweens.  Supporting them, praying for them, sharing with them, accepting them… That’s what grows strong friendships.

It’s nice to have friends that share interests and hobbies.  However, if we surround ourselves with exact copies of ourselves it gets really boring.  One of my BFF’s shares few commonalities with me, except a desire to grow closer to our Jesus.

In building strong, lasting friendships there are a few things that really don’t matter.  Age is one of them.  Yes, people of our own age share similar likes and experiences but those of other age groups have much to teach us.  Friendships cross many boundaries. Things like status, education, marriage, distance, can be overcome when two people say let’s be friends.

There’s a beautiful contemporary Christian song that points to the fact that God gives us our friends.  God Gave Me You by Dave Barnes really says it all.  Check out these lyrics:

God gave me you for the ups and downs

God gave me you for the days of doubt

For when I think I’ve lost my way

There are no words here left to say, it’s true

God gave me you.

What does God say about friendship? Check these verses out:

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 one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:5-6

So, here are my 10 Ways To Build Strong Friendships:

10-ways-to-build-strong-friendships

There’s a Kroger commercial that ends with a woman saying, “My momma always said if you want to have a friend be one.” Nothing more needs to be said, does it?

Not all of my friends are women.  Men add a richness to our lives that is unique in its own way.

Blessings to you and yours!
Marie
First posted in October of 2016

5 Ways To Improve Any Relationship

I often think about being the best wife, friend, teacher, worker… I can be.  Perhaps I can do more, be more, give more… Certainly all of the above but there are some very practical, down to earth ways we can show those around us they matter most.

friends-1149841_960_720

I believe the #1 way to improve friendship is to take yourself out of the running for 1st Place.  Narcissism destroys more relationships that any other personal characteristic.  Anytime we think we matter more, in any way, than the person we’re relating with ruins any chance of building up the other person.  Jesus said it best when He said, ‘love others’ in response to what is the greatest commandment.

Steven Covey, in his book First Things First, makes it clear that we must know the wants and needs of the other person to become successful.  In our relationships, we really need to know what another likes or dislikes.  Remember anything we might think is fun may not be enjoyable to someone else.  Get to know your friends, husbands, co-workers.  Talk to them.  Discover their hobbies and interests.  The best relationships take the desires of the other into account first.

When you’re building friendships and relationships don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.  If it’s more than one-sided the other person is just as interested in you.  If your friend says let’s go see a dirt bike race and you really can’t stand the dust then tell them.  Remember, if your friend is truly interested in creating an awesome relationship they’ll find someone else to go with and both of you will discover something about the other.

That leads us to trust.  If a friend chooses to do something with another person do not put a guilt trip on them.  Building relationships with other people adds more to the friendships you already have.  Learning to trust others is a huge growth issue.  One does not need to know everything that their friend is doing every moment to build a strong relationship.

kindness-710209_960_720Last, but certainly not least, choose kindness.  In Aesop’s fable, The Lion and the Mouse, the moral is, a kindness is never wasted.  Perhaps something you’ve done in the past will lead to its reward in the future.  True kindness, like love, is based on wanting what is best for the other person.

 

Sometimes, when I read a list like this, I think I have to do everything.  Not so!  Even choosing one of these suggestions will make you a standout, awesome friend.  Go for it!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

10 Ways To Build Strong Friendships

10-ways-to-build-strong-friendships

When I was in my younger years I often wondered if I would have Best Friends later on in life. Guess what? I do. I have incredible friends in a range of friendships from bare acquaintances to BFF’s.

Have you ever met someone and immediately said to them you’re going to be my best friend.  Of course not!  Being a friend is a deliberate process.  It’s about spending time together. Getting to know one another. Sharing ups and downs and in-betweens.  Supporting them, praying for them, sharing with them, accepting them… That’s what grows strong friendships.

It’s nice to have friends that share interests and hobbies.  However, if we surround ourselves with exact copies of ourselves it gets really boring.  One of my BFF’s shares few commonalities with me, except a desire to grow closer to our Jesus.

In building strong, lasting friendships there are a few things that really don’t matter.  Age is one of them.  Yes, people of our own age share similar likes and experiences but those of other age groups have much to teach us.  Friendships cross many boundaries. Things like status, education, marriage, distance, can be overcome when two people say let’s be friends.

There’s a beautiful contemporary Christian song that points to the fact that God gives us our friends.  God Gave Me You by Dave Barnes really says it all.  Check out these lyrics:

God gave me you for the ups and downs

God gave me you for the days of doubt

For when I think I’ve lost my way

There are no words here left to say, it’s true

God gave me you.

What does God say about friendship? Check these verses out:

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 one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:5-6

There’s a Kroger commercial that ends with a woman saying, “My momma always said if you want to have a friend be one.” Nothing more needs to be said, does it?

Blessings to you and yours!
Marie