Encouragement · faithfulness · friends · ministry

Stayers or Betrayers

It happens to everyone at least once in their lifetime – the betrayal of a dear friend. You thought they would stick with you through thick and thin, when the chips were down, or when you were the last person to be chosen when they were picking teams. When the betrayal comes, it’s a dagger in our heart and the loss is felt with a grief like death. I speak as one who knows…and you do, too. We read in II Timothy 1 that Paul did, too…

This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

Phygellus and Hermogenes – let’s give them nicknames – Gellus (hmmm, was he jealous?) and Genie…two men named for being deserters of Paul. They turned against him and led a group of others to do the same. This is the only place their names are mentioned in the Bible. How sad that their names are recorded in God’s Word as an example of unfaithfulness! One commentator I read said, “These men couldn’t do anything about their ugly names, but they could’ve done something about their ugly character!” How true!

Why did they desert him? Speculation says they could’ve been afraid that they might also end up in a Roman prison if they were known to be associated with Paul.

I think of Paul, writing this letter from his prison cell, recounting the two men who turned on him. Had they at one time been there with Paul when he preached? When he did miraculous works? When the prison doors were opened? When he ministered the Word from his home? Perhaps. But at some time, they realized it would be better for their own sakes to disassociate with Paul, so they did, and they led a group to follow them.

Years ago when my husband was deserted by a dear friend, Dr. Bob Jones III called to say,

Dale, you’re in good company. Matthew 5:12 says, Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Jesus is the Supreme example of being betrayed by friends. Of course Judas was the one who led the soldiers right to him, but Scripture reminds us that they all forsook him and fled. We probably would have, too, had we been there.

BUT then Paul goes on to say,

The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

Thank God for all the Onesiphorus’s!! Those are the dear ones who:

  • Stay near when the others slip away, quietly, one by one.
  • Stay near to meet a need that no one else even notices.
  • Stay near because they are not ashamed to be associated with you.
  • Stay near to remind you of God’s promises.
  • Stay near to remind you that you are not alone.
  • Stay near to comfort you.

May the Lord grant us memory loss of all the betrayers. Let’s just let it go. But may we praise God and also imitate the character of the stayer, Onesiphorus. The church needs more of them!

How might you come alongside someone who is ministering for the Lord to encourage and serve them this week? Here are some posts that might help you know how. How have others served you like Onesiphorus did Paul?

Refresh someone by being a stayer,

Charcuterie Boards · friends · Refreshment

Sandwich Charcuterie Board

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I feel like I’m always slow getting on trends – even with foods like the famous Charcuterie Boards that are everywhere right now.  Are you familiar with them?  Here’s one description ~

Charcuterie (pronounced “shahr-ku-tuh-ree”) is the art of preparing and assembling cured meats and other meat products. But, many people use the term charcuterie to refer to an assortment of meats that are paired with different accompaniments, such as toast, fruit, cheese, and sauces.

Last week I had the fun of hosting a Sour Dough Bread Making Class.  Since you cannot teach a food class without doing some tasting, I thought it would be fun to build a Sandwich Charcuterie Board filled with small loaves of Sour Dough bread and sandwich makings.  Continue reading “Sandwich Charcuterie Board”


Show Some Friendliness


Friends…aren’t they a blessing?!  As in the picture above, friends greet one another.  They’re happy to be together and they brighten the countenance and the day of their friend.

But what about that person who just entered your presence and isn’t your friend?  They’re just near you.  They are an outsider.  You don’t know their name, or maybe you met them once but you don’t remember their name.  You feel awkward, so you busy yourself with your head in the bottomless pit of your purse and pretend they aren’t there.  We’ve all felt the need to reach out, and probably also the aversion to it.

Let’s put oursevles in the shoes of the other peson.  She’s new to the situation – maybe at church, Bible study, or a socal gathering, and has “put herself out there” to attend, even though she doesn’t know many that will be there.  She’s trying to act comfortable, looking up at the surroundings, pretending she’s engrossed in her thoughts while people and conversation buzz around her.  She will either leave this gathering happy that she’s gained a new friend, or she will be glad for the safety of her car where she can retreat to the comfort of the familiar, even though it’s also a solitary place.

Proverbs 18:24 – A man that has friends must show himself friendly

We read this command in Proverbs and we may consider ourselves friendly because we conjure up the memories of laughter and constant chatter we had with our current friends just recently.  But I believe that if we’re going to say we’re obeying this verse, we need to realize that this is a constant state of reaching out to others – others whom we bump into in the grocery store, at the ballgame, in our small group or the pew behind us at church.  People need you and me to show friendliness from our heart. How can we do that even if we’re introverts who would rather not be noticed (because this admonition isn’t just for extroverts!)?

  • Look up.  Self-focused people keep their heads down so they can avoid looking at people.  Look in their eyes.  Make eye contact.
  • Smile. A smile is the universal language that says, “I see you.  I’m glad you’re here.”
  • Use words. Get a statement that you can genuinely say when you greet someone you don’t know.  “Hi!  I’m Denise.  Have you visited before?” Or, “Hi!  I’m Denise, and you are? I’m so happy to meet you!”  Get a conversation started by showing interest in them.  You don’t have to grill them, but pull them in.  Talk about how cute her hair cut is, or how adorable her children are, or that you see she’s got a Dunkin donuts coffee cup and you love coffee, too!

    This past Sunday my husband and I were visiting a church in New Hampshire.  A sweet reader of my blog attends that church (unbeknownst to me).  She walked up to us and welcomed us to their church and then told me she reads my blog.  What a sweet way to make a connection!  I didn’t feel as much like a stranger after meeting her (Thank you, Janet!).  That’s the kind of connection we can make even to people we don’t know!

We all like having friends, but we need to stop and really consider if we’re good at being friendly. Reach outside your circle and pull others in and then enjoy the growth of your friendship community!  You will have made someone else sigh because they didn’t have to experience the awkwardness of being on the outside.

Can you relate to the awkwardness of being on the outside?  What do you do to make others feel welcome into your life?

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baking · Crafting · Fall · Family life · friends · Husband · Prayer

Five Friday Favorites

We had our first really cold day of fall this week!  It came just in time for Trunk or Treat at church, making it a fun fall activity!  I made these costumes up for my husband and me.  I thought since he’s my other half, it was perfect!!

Dale and me

Life has been so enriched with these precious little boys in our lives.  They are growing and changing so much!  They’re imitating…

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and learning and rolling and growing…and stealing our hearts!

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Fall also means Pumpkin Roll!  Here was the first one of the year!

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To be a part of a group of praying friends is a HUGE blessing in my life.  These ladies are my prayer group.  We have cried, rejoiced, laughed, and prayed so much in the last couple of years.  Wow.  We are rich, indeed!  We got to celebrate a birthday of one of these precious gals this week.  What a joy to rejoice that she is God’s gift to us as a sister in Christ, a friend, and prayer partner!

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What fun activities have been a part of your week?

Do you have a group of women you pray with?  I’d so encourage you to ask God to give you at least two or three!

Refresh your life this weekend in God’s house!

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