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To all my friends….

When we think about friends, we think about people we have come to know over time and have united our hearts and minds with about many different things.  To call a person a friend in our superficial world is a huge thing and true friends are few and far between, but when we get one we value them tremendously.  A true friend is one who loves us for our good and bad traits and has a blind eye to temporary failings.  They will look at us with much realiism and still call us friend.  Realism that is weighted with honesty and well wishing, and always believing for the best in us.  Friendship is not always salted with long term relationship, but many times can be established through brief interaction that is of great quality and understanding.  Some of my best friends are the ones I see very infrequently but treasure each time of meeting and find great pleasure for the time we get to spend together in person.  Through the years God has blessed me with a few close friends that I rely on for strength and encouragement, and yes, criticism.  Honesty in friendship is truly one of the great things that makes them so great and that honesty is well  received when you know it

comes from a person who really cares about your well being.  Why?  Because putting your wants on hold to flood your mind with consideration for another person is a show of friendship that brings in the element of time, and time is priceless.  The old adage, “I wouldn’t give them the time of day”  is a very powerful statement and true for me when I try to qualify what gets my time of every day.  A friend gets my time, whether in thoughts or

prayers, or advice, or whatever the need, they get it.  A person who is not my friend doesn’t get that time, that valued time that means so much to all of us.  As a Disciple of Christ, it is inherent in my life to give value to all people and I try to do that, but a friend gets that plus much more.  Why?  Because friendship is investment.  Investing time and thoughts into what another person is going through or needing is an investment into the now and the future.  We begin to walk through things with that person, as though we were going through it also.  We begin to empathize with their needs and wants and pray for their lives like it is our own.  And we do this without ever expecting anything in return, because they are our friend.  In Provers 18:24 the writer says, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  How can you have too many friends?  The investment into too many people is so deep and so time consuming it can ruin your

life, because you start to feel all their pain and needs and it’s just too heavy.  Remember, there’s only one God and we aren’t Him.  A true life changing friendship is one that is spent building up a person and taking that time to develop and share your heart with theirs and the investment is tremendous, but even closer than what a person would be with their brother.  I loved my brother, when he was alive, but my true friend relationships are all closer than my relationship with my brother.  Of course, I could have developed my brother relationship into a close friend relationship and that would have been awesome.  Never happened though.  Who is my closest friend?  Jesus.  Who is next?  My wife Andra.  Who is next?  My children.  Who is next?  Their spouses.  Who is next? An assortment on the same level.  You know who you are.  There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother……  I have many who do.  Do you?  If not, then try it, you’ll like it.  In John 15:13  Jesus said, “This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.”  Jesus knew the strength in true friends and we do too.  Immerse  yourself into the most beautiful expression of love by putting your life on the line for your friends.  You will never regret it.  Of course, Jesus went on to say, “You are my friends when you do the things I command you.  It was Jesus way of changing our vantage point from being servants to being friends.  If you have some friendships that are superficial at best and want to see them grow into deeper friendships, then invest, invest, invest….  The return will be worth the investment.  Michael W. Smith’s lyrics in his song Friends really do apply here.  

They go like this:  “And friends are friends forever, if the Lord’s the lord of them.  And a friend will not say never, cause the welcome will not end.”  Though it’s hard to let you go, in the Father’s hands we know, that a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.”    I love my friends and if you are one of them, I’m there for you and hope you are there for me too.  In the days ahead we are going to need all the friends we can get as believers and I’m relying on you like you will rely on me.  To all my friends, I say thanks for the time and prayers.

The Pilgrimage continues….

David Warren

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