Posts Tagged friend

Be Thankful – FBC – Week Two- Say Something Nice Sunday

Scripture Focus: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” —1 Thessalonians 5:18

I didn’t recognize my friend. He has changed significantly since I last saw him a year ago. I learned that he suffered three light strokes in the past year that have primarily effected his central vision and his mobility. In telling me about his experience only after I inquired about his condition, he said, “I am blessed to work for a company that has continued me on full pay until I reach retirement age later this month. I may be unable to drive my car, but I can still mow my lawn. God is good to me.”

He kept his walking cane beside him. He moved among the crowd slowly but with assurance. He was quieter than I remembered. He added, “I had decided not to talk about this unless someone asked me. Other people have troubles of their own.” He is not bitter nor has he allowed his ordeal to make him angry. The first words he said to me were, “I am blessed.” On the other hand no one would mistake him for a Pollyanna. He takes life as it unfolds. Rather than concentrating on what he has lost, he counts his many blessings. He is thankful for what he can do.

The Apostle Paul reminds us to be thankful in all circumstances not for the circumstances. When we are overcome with our own problems and feel that life has dealt unfairly with us, all we need do to regain our perspective is to take a look around us at the sufferings of others. My friend is thankful for what he is still able to do. He praises God for his goodness to him.

Prayer Focus: Dear God, never let me forget that you are in charge. Let me take a lesson from my friend and praise you in all circumstances. Amen.

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Encourage One Another – Week Two – FBC – Say Something Nice Day

Scripture Focus: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

My friend has been unable to have full use of his right arm since having open heart surgery a few months ago. On the way back from lunch he said to me, “I can complain about all the things I can’t do with my right arm or I can be grateful for all the things I can do with my left arm. I choose to be thankful.” Wow! These words came from a man who has just lost his only daughter to a rare lung disease. His faith and courage under such circumstances gave me courage to walk back into my own house where my wonderful wife is plagued with Alzheimer’s disease. Carol taught in the public schools for twenty-eight years. She holds a Master’s degree plus thirty more graduate hours. She is the only person I have known who received more money on a grant request than she asked for. Five years ago she helped me edit my book, Christian Civility in an Uncivil World. She loved singing in the Sanctuary Choir. When our faith grows weak we can lean into the faith of someone’s whose faith is stronger. Peter Gomes said it best in his sermon for Christmas Day, “The House of Bread,” “The miracle of Christmas is that God cared enough to send the very best and that he continues to do so in the gifts now given to us in one another.” God has blessed me with friends whose faith helps me strengthen my own.

Prayer Focus: Dear God, thank you for all the wonderful people you have sent into my life. You have blessed me beyond measure. Amen

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Delete Proof

This is one of the devotionals for Say Something Nice Sunday published by First Baptist Church of Charleston, SC.

Delete Proof
Scripture Focus:
“I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able
to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”
— 2 Timothy 1:12.
I just read a post that starts, “If you get deleted in the next week.”
Isn’t that our universal fear in life? We are afraid of being deleted.
We are afraid that we don’t count and that others don’t need us,
don’t see us, and/or don’t value us. We want desperately to belong.
That is the wonderful message of our Christian faith. We do
belong. We are a part of the family of God. No one can pluck us
out of his hand or delete us from the Book of Life. You can easily
delete me from your circle of friends. You can unfriend me on
Facebook. You can even cut me off from any future contact or
communication with you. You have the power to cut me out of
your life, but no one can interrupt my connection with God.
There are those who think that they can establish the criterion for
who is in and who is out of God’s family, but those decisions are far
removed from their realm of control. They are powerless to set the
rules. God alone has established the criteria and no human being
can alter it. “ …whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but
have ever lasting life.” There are no modifiers. We all belong if we
believe. Whatever our particular demographic, we belong. God is
love. It doesn’t get any more basic than that. God loved me long
before I loved him or even knew who he is. I do not need to worry
about whether or not I will be deleted from his great contact list.
He calls me by my name. My place is secure and so is yours.
Prayer Focus:
Dear God, thank you for the assurance that nothing can separate
us from your loving care. Amen.

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Blessed Is He Who Writes Without Using Smiley Faces – Ethics Daily

Bob Newell

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014 6:12 am

Blessed Is He Who Writes Without Using Smiley Faces | Bob Newell, Facebook, Social Networking, Friendship, Relationships

Blessed is he or she whose written words can stand the light of clever inquisition without a preemptive smiley face, Newell writes.

Pity the elusive mouse who must struggle to disconnect himself in the minds of youthful humans from the ubiquitous, plasticized keyboard kind.

Does anyone any longer recognize the fundamental literary distinction between Walt’s beloved “Mickey” and some cordless, unconnected robot rodent? What have we done with our words? Rats!

Shame on the unwashed who thoughtlessly seem unable to differentiate the dissimilarity in essence that divides a computer keyboard and one played upon powerfully by Liberace or pounded upon forcefully by the fiery Jerry Lee Lewis.

Oh, how far has the never very noble Spam now fallen from its wartime usage as a marker for government-produced, cheap mixed meat to its contemporary reference to the unwanted and quickly-consigned-to-electronic-hell of today’s easy come, easy go communication.

And what has become of the serious obligation of equally serious deletion? Where is today’s cutting room floor?

Those who vociferously bemoan the disastrous decline in what was once considered polite, civil discourse might well spend a few well-chosen words of grief over the corruption of common communication.

In addition to the sharp descent of civil conversation in the public electronic square, is it grammatically correct always, insistently and increasingly to be angry?

“O, brother, where art thou?” Where have all the blessed beatitudes gone, “long time passing”? Blessed are those who need not place “LOL” after their messages to communicate their humorous intentions.

Blessed is he or she whose written words can stand the light of clever inquisition without a preemptive smiley face.

How sideways have become our smirking smiles, how crooked our occasional grinning communication.

Those that live by spell-check shall face an equal and equivalent death.

How curious has the malfeasance of our modern speech construction become. How “wearifying” the written art is fast de-evolving.

Perhaps nowhere is this language loss more obvious that the steep degradation of the treasured old-English word, “friend.”

“There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother,” it was once said and believed, in King James English; but modern friends seem to have little elasticity and even less “stickability.”

To be a Facebook kind of friend is unlike any previous species of genuine friendship and surely bears no resemblance to the Quaker kind. A true friend does not ask to be liked.

If it is sadly true that one can be “unfriended” and if friendship may indeed be a verb, isn’t it also true that authentic friendships are rarely so numerous as our electronic ones.

Real friends neither brag about their number nor boast of their political or ideological inclinations nor ruthlessly exclude those with whom they might potentially disagree.

Neither do they post only highly idealized or PhotoShopped versions of themselves solely for other so-called friends or groupies to admire.

It is actually rare for authentic friends to complain publicly to the unfriendly world of sleeplessness or send out detailed reports of intimate toilet habits to be shared with a host of so-called friends and many other unsuspecting passers-by.

If the tin-alley wordsmith once suggested of friendship that “it’s the perfect blend-ship,” there seems less and less to blend, so little longing for harmony.

Khalil Gibran, after all, said, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” But, in our days, we seek uniformity of thinking and conformity of doing from our erstwhile friends.

What thinkest thou? In our speech and written communication, can we be no more precise and selective than this? Can we not observe some boundaries?

Can we forego some less important things, in order to experience genuine communication with others? Can we, at least, think as much as we type?

When our words cannot be more properly managed, what hope is there for our ways?

Bob Newell is ministry coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Athens, Greece. A version of this column first appeared on his blog, ItsGreek2U, and is used with permission.

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