Archive for ‘Friendship’

December 1, 2010

The Advent Conspiracy

It’s officially December and the Christmas season is here. Before we get too far ahead I wanted to share with you a compelling message I heard on the radio the other morning. I tuned in to hear about the Advent Conspiracy. This ministry challenges us to look at how we spend Christmas. Jesus came with a message of hope and love. How did we get so wrapped up in the commercialism of Christmas? What if we spent less time buying gifts (often out of obligation) and spent time with each other? What if we used that time and money to help someone in need? Think of what would happen if we all just bought ONE less gift? Just one. I think we would all be amazed by what could be done with the extra time and resources.

And, what about our time? Doesn’t it mean more to give the gift of time to our loved ones rather than a wrapped package with a pretty bow? One story I heard told of a man who bought his father a pound of coffee beans for Christmas. But the coffee beans weren’t really the gift. It was the note attached. The note told his father that he wasn’t allowed to use the coffee unless the son was there to drink it with him. Over the many cups of coffee, the son wanted to hear his father’s life stories and how he grew into the man he is today.The son spent less money on the gift but it meant more because of the time invested in it.  Now that’s a gift I’d like to get!

This Christmas consider giving the gift of your presence not your presents. Visit the website for more information: http://www.adventconspiracy.org/


November 16, 2010

The Blessing of Friendship

I’ve noticed a trend in my thankfulness journal (It’s been a great challenge to consciously pursue joy in my life – try it with me!). Most days I end with “I’m so thankful that I got to talk to ____ today” or “Lord, thank you that I was able to spend time with ____.”  Relationships are such a key part of our lives. We are meant to live in community –  holding each other up in prayer, enjoying each other’s company (read drinking coffee if you’re MY friend!),  laughing uncontrollably, sharing in each other’s sorrows, etc. I believe friendships are often God’s way to physically be near to us.

We also have this amazing chance to be refined. (How often have my dearest friends told me I’m screwing up or to step it up?! And I love them tremendously for telling me so!) Proverbs 27:17 is a notoriously quoted verse – “as iron sharpens iron, so does one person sharpen another.” But my favorite verse on honesty in relationships – Proverbs 28:23 “In the end people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.” If you’re my friend, speak the truth in love. I will do the same for you. I cannot grow and change if I do not see what I should see. The opportunity for growth and accountability is great. My friends are often the people who I let into my life- all of it. Most of the time, I’ve hand-picked you to be a part of my life.

Each friendship I’ve had over the course of my (not-so-long) life has left an imprint on my heart. Whether or not there have been hurts and pains accompanied with some of those friendships, I am so grateful for the lessons I’ve been able to glean from them. All my friendships have allowed me the chance to grow into the person I am today. I carry the lessons learned in my heart and I still apply them to my life.

My college roommate (Hi! If you’re reading this!) has had an ever-lasting impact on how I view friendships. She was one of the first people to model intentional friendships. This sweet, sweet friend would make it a point to ask me every few days how she could be praying for me. It sounds so simple but I remember being so startled by that question. Over time I began to get used to her asking this. I noticed our friendship deepened. I allowed her to be close to my heart, to challenge me, to hold me accountable. I’ve now adopted this question. I ask because I care. I ask because I want God’s best for you. I ask because I want to see you grow.

I am so thankful that God created us to be in relationship with one another. It is incredible that God uses our friends to be His hands and feet when we need a tangible taste of His love.  I am grateful for the way that I am edified through my friendships. I find joy and delight in the blessing God has given me.

This post is dedicated to all my phenomenal friends – new and old who have so graciously shared your lives with me. You truly are a blessing.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

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