The friendship some never think about

Have you ever thought about the friendship of Paul and Luke?

When it comes to Paul and friendships, we usually think about Timothy (Philippians 2:19-20; 1 Timothy 1:2), or Titus (Titus 1:2) or maybe Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:1-3, Romans 16:3). But Luke should be considered as well.

Luke was there in the midst of Paul’s mission journeys (Acts 16:10, 28:16 – note the use of “we”), and when it came to companionship – Paul could rely on Luke when so few cared to be counted on (2 Timothy 4:10-11).

We don’t have all the details of the friendship Paul and Luke shared, but we see enough to know Jesus changed the unlikely relationship this Jew (which Paul was) and Gentile (which Luke probably was) enjoyed together.

Luke the beloved physician….” (Colossians 4:14)

#friendship, #luke, #paul

The return of ‘Water in the plan’

Yesterday, someone discovered the post on my personal website, from 2011, which shared a link of a podcast by the name “Water in the plan.” I was a guest on Kyle Massengale’s “iQuest” program, and that was the title for the subject of the day. We spent about an hour talking mostly about baptism in all its rich and varied teaching.

Since yesterday the post has received over 50 hits. On my site that’s a significant number for such an old post. So somewhere on the internet, the link was undoubtedly shared, with lemmings falling over the podcast cliff. I thank whoever it was. Continue reading

#baptism, #corollaries, #friendship, #materialism, #podcasts

Scripture, Thought and a Prayer on True Friendship

Scripture: “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.” (Proverbs 17:9)

Thought: The wise man isn’t talking about hiding sin from God. That idea is far from behavior that is considered wise (Proverbs 28:13). What the wise man is talking about is the idea that keeps friends close – an understanding that seeks to privately help instead of publicly embarrass when an error happens. To insist on repeating a matter instead of settling it, and allowing it to stay settled, is a course that breaks the friendship. It’s a course that gives life to the mistake much longer than it deserves, and in a much more severe way it gives life to a memory of betrayal to the other party involved. Repeating the matter is the opposite of love as the book of wisdom says. It is the opposite of godliness, as a man acquainted with sin would say (Psalm 32:1). And it is a guaranteed way to transfer guilt from the original offender to the speaker of the offense (James 4:11). Finally, it ignores the golden rule of true friendship – treat your friends the way you want your friends to treat you (Matthew 7:12).

Prayer: Father help us to see sin in the lives of our friends as you see it. Help it to be acknowledged and then covered; and give us the wisdom and the heart to keep it covered by keeping private matters away from the public. Help us to be friends that can be trusted. We know in many ways that we can offend those to whom we should be close, and that our tongue often leads the way, but help us to remember the truth that your word has spoken so that we may be a friend in a way that lives up to the standard of love and mercy and faithfulness that you have given to us.

#friendship, #gossip, #scripture-thought-prayer, #trustworthy

More creative on my day off

Some day off today! My fingers have been busier on the keyboard than ever today: two stories on Brotherhood News, a Portuguese devotional, a lengthy chat with a contact, a windstorm of emails. Creative thoughts seem to flow when there’s no pressure. Ever feel that? Continue reading

#corollaries, #creativity, #evangelism, #friendship

You are my friend

A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of answers received were the following:

“One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable.”

“One who understands our silence.” Continue reading



(#127) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:17-How To Choose A Friend


Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 17:17: “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.”

Genuine friendship doesn’t waver. “A friend” will always be there for you and will not abandon you when your money, fancy clothes, expensive gifts, or other “freebies” have run out! Anyone who leaves you when you are in hard times never was your friend to start with! Those who make a big show of being your friend are getting ready to renounce your friendship or to take unfair advantage of your friendship! “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It will be counted a curse to him” (Proverbs 27:14). A sage quote says: Too many of the footprints on the sands of time were made by heels. True, friends are made when we are friendly. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). We must be “a friend” to expect to have friends! A true friend:

1. “Loves at all times,” under all circumstances, regardless of our frailties;

2. NEVER will use our friendship for his/her own selfish purposes or advantages;

3. Always tells us what we need to know for our own good. Jesus made this clear when He described His friendship with His disciples: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:13-15);

4. Sticks closer and is quicker to help than even blood relatives! Often “friends of the family” began with our parents, and we should respect and keep them, in addition to our own. “Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel. Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away” (Proverbs 27:9-10);

5. Will be shared with other friends, as John indicated: “Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name” (3 John 14).

Are you a “friend of God” as Abraham was by his faith and works (James 2:21-24), and by our obeying God’s works today (Mark 16:16)?

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #faith, #friend, #friendship, #life, #love, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wisdom

A Wonderful Old Testament Passage About Friendship

There are a variety of friends out there. There are friends we know at work, there are friends that we went to school with, there are friends that we see in our daily routine such as the person who works behind the counter at the gas station, there are friends that we give the title “best” to, there are friends who take away our need for an enemy, and there are friends who are closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). The young man David had such a friend in the person of Jonathan:

Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.” (1 Samuel 18:1-4)

If David ever needed a friend, a true friend, it was at this point in his life. He was young. He was removed from his home. He was about to become a man of war. He was about to become the talk of all the singing ladies of Israel. He was about to become an enemy of Saul, the king of Israel, the father of Jonathan. He was about to lose “everything” in Israel, save the loyalty of a few hundred souls, Jonathan being chief among them.

There were no doubt many times over in David’s life that go beyond what we read when the counsel of Jonathan was vital in God’s plan for David. Encouragement, warnings, trust, love – these formed the essence of the bond between David and Jonathan, and their friendship still stands strong as an example of what it means to be a friend today. When times were good and joyful, David and Jonathan were there for each other. When times were bad and painful, David and Jonathan were there for each other. A friend in need is a friend in deed, and in deed Jonathan was to David what we should be to others. This is why 1 Samuel 18:1-4 is a wonderful passage about friendship!

#a-wonderful-old-testament-passage, #david, #david-and-jonathan, #friendship, #jonathan, #relationships

Encouraged by the faith of Christian friends

As the access problem allows (seems I’m one of a few still having net problems on BNc and FMag), I’ve been setting up Mike Benson’s KneEmail site, have made a start. Still much to do there, like the footer widgets with list of articles. His site was hosted by Forthright Mag on the old site, so we’re transferring it to the new spot.

• Today’s Quick Bible Truth: This command has no age limit, applies to young and old: “Commit yourself to instruction; listen carefully to words of knowledge.” Pr 23.12 NLT.

• I’m glad to see friends still poring over the words of God, even after years of study. Old guys still learning. Some have never started that commitment, others have retired from knowledge, some preachers recycle sermons ad inifinitum, but a few try to read the Book as if for the first time. That’s encouraging.

• Our family went out last night for pizza with a few friends in Taubate. (If Haroldo posts his pics, I’ll swipe one and post it.) Good food, good fellowship, good conversation. What I needed. Times are one needs to just kick back and enjoy. No better way to do it than with Christian friends and be encouraged by their faith.

• Are there times you feel alone? I suppose it’s a universal feeling, except for a few extroverts, perhaps. Christian friends are a godsend in the truest sense of the term. Divine pick-me-ups. Satisfaction for the soul.

• Let me get biblical on you about this subject. Paul had friends to attend to his needs (Acts 24:23; 27:3). The references are probably to physical needs, but the spiritual may be in view as well. John referred to Christians as friends (3 John 14). The apostles went to their friends after being released from prison and they prayed together (Acts 4:23). Jesus, of course, called his disciples friends (John 15:13-15) and Lazarus as well (John 11:11).

• I once had in mind to write a book on friendship. Many years ago. Maybe in another 50 years I’ll be qualified for the task.

• With our trip next week, I’ll likely be out of pocket for a number of days. Have tried to do a few things, like QBT, ahead of time. But there’ll be a drop in my online activity, for sure. I always dread traveling shortly before the fact, almost always enjoy having done it after the fact. And always glad to be back in my little corner called home.

Have a good weekend, my friends.

#friendship, #travel

A chocolate-covered sermon

When I tweeted the following, David K. thought it would preach: “I just ate the last chocolate-covered almond without knowing it was the last one. So sad, because I could have enjoyed it even more.” Can you find a sermon in there?

• The latest foreign import inaugurates today in SJCampos: Outback restaurant, in the Center Vale Mall. Probably going to be pricey. So we’ll wait to let them work out all the opening-night kinks. Where did we find out about it? Facebook.

• The new Forthright Magazine will be rolled out shortly, Lord permitting. It’s taking shape nicely, after some intense work. Just don’t look too far back in time. If you want to take a pre-launch peek and give us feedback as a beta tester (I said that to make it sound swuft), zip me off an email, if you have my address, or through my contact page, if you don’t.

• Our home had guests over the weekend, good friends from our former city. They invited themselves over — good friends can do that — but I exacted my price: his teaching Saturday at our monthly advanced Bible study, for three hours, and preaching on Sunday. I drive hard bargains, yes?

• The Missus slaved in the kitchen over the weekend. Splendid meals. So I offered to take her out last night. She wanted to wait until today. Now she wants to just order in some pizza, from the delivery place just around the corner, rather than get out. I call everyone as my witness that I was playing the good hubby. Should I tell her three strikes and she’s out?

#brazil, #forthright-magazine, #friendship, #preaching

TFT: Memorial

A Quick Note:
As Memorial Day is upon our beloved land, let us reflect with thanksgiving upon all those who are in service roles. Military, Fire & Rescue, Police, Intelligence, and countless other professionals who hazard there lives daily.

And to the widows and orphans that remain in the wake of the loss of loved ones – we honor you along with their memory.

God bless You.

“Just Walk With Me”

I have a problem.  I want to tell you about it.  No, I really don’t.  I’d rather keep it to myself; handle it alone.  I do think it would be good for me to share it with you, though.  I don’t want to because I’m afraid of what you’ll say or how you’ll act.

I’m afraid you might feel sorry for me in a way that makes me feel pathetic – like I’m some “poor thing.”  I’m afraid you’ll try to cheer me up.  That you will give me words, or texts or prayers that tell me in a subtle way to stop feeling bad.  If you do that I’ll feel worse (but hide it behind my obedient cheerful smile).

I’ll feel you don’t understand.  I’ll feel you are making light of my problem (as if it can be brushed away with some brief words of cheer). I’m afraid you’ll give me an answer.  That this problem that I’ve been wrestling with for some time now and about which I have thought endless thoughts will be belittled.  You can answer in a half-minute what I’ve struggled with for weeks?

I’m afraid also you might ignore my problem; talk quickly about other things, tell me of your own.  I’m afraid too you might see me stronger than I am.  Not needing you to listen and care.  (It’s true, I can get along alone, but I shouldn’t have to.)

What I’d really like is if you would “just walk with me.”  Listen as I begin in some blundering, clumsy way to break through my fearfulness of being exposed as weak.  Hold my hand and pull me gently as I falter and begin to draw back.  Say a word, make a motion, or a sound that says, “I’m with you.”  If you’ve been where I am tell me how you felt in a way that I can know you’re trying to walk with me – not change me.

But I’m afraid….You’ll think I’m too weak to deserve respect and responsibility….You’ll explain what’s happening to me with labels and interpretation… Or you’ll ask me, “What you going to do about it?”

PLEASE, just walk with me.  All those other things seem so much brighter and sharper, and expert.  But what really takes love is to “Just Walk With Me.”

I’m sure, what I want is people who have a Shepherd as their model.  People who in their own way bring to others an experience of:  “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…Yes, even when I walk through the valley, You’re with me (walking with me).”

-THEOS International Foundation (1975)

“A friend loves you all the time and a brother helps in time of trouble.” (Prov. 17:17, NCV)

“Thoughts For Today To Brighten Your Day”

From: Glenn, Mercedes & Lauren Hitchcock

#friendship, #memorial-day

Daily Nudge: When troubled, what do you need? — and news

When you feel troubled and need a friend, what do you hope or look for in that friend, for that moment?


#friendship, #needs, #nudge

End of Best Friends?

The New York Times claims that children must be kept from having Best Friends. My response.

#friends, #friendship, #moving-word

“We live by encouragement and we die wi…

“We live by encouragement and we die without it – slowly, sadly, and angrily.”

Actress Celeste Holm, cited in Tom Wacaster, “Studies in Hebrews,” page 507.

#encouragement, #faith, #friendship

Daily Nudge: best friend — and news

Describe your best friend, nudges the Nudge on this nippy Thursday. What qualities do you admire in him or her? What in this person has endeared him to you? Arbitrarily, we are excluding one’s mate. (Exercising dictatorial powers.)

News 1: Vicki will study with a lady tonight, please pray it will help her to know the Lord.

News 2: Rio death count is up to 150, from heaviest rains in 44 years. A record-breaking 28.8 centimeters of rain fell in the city in a 24-hour period. Ten thousand homes are in areas of risk. The poor have built slums on the steep slopes above the city. Mudslides are taking their tool. Schools were closed yesterday, people encouraged to stay at home. I have no word from our family in Christ there.

We are fine here, thanks. Several have asked. Have had lots of rain, but no danger to us.

And your news?

#friends, #friendship, #news, #nudge, #rio-de-janeiro