Christian Life · friends · ministry

Being Your Friend’s Best Cheerleader

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Years ago a kind woman took me to lunch.  I was new to the area, and she had reached out to me in friendship.  We had a fun time just chatting, enjoying lunch and getting to know one another better.  I was truly refreshed by our time together.  The next day I sent her a card thanking her for being a Onesiphorus (On-ee-sif-or-us) to me, for this man had “oft refreshed” Paul.

The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: II Timothy 1:16

My kind friend came up to me after receiving my card and asked,

“Who is “Onesie for us?!”

I explained to her that he was a friend of Paul’s, who had been a blessing, and refreshed his spirit in the ministry. We both had a good laugh over the misunderstanding.

But you know, she really wasn’t too far off base with her mispronunciation!  How does a person encourage and refresh another?  They show by their actions, words and prayers that they are one person who is all for us! It’s like having your own personal cheerleader!

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I’ve been on the receiving end many times of people who have refreshed me!  I understand what Paul is talking about!  Life in general can be so disheartening, can’t it?  Ministry can also be so overwhelming that a person can feel like they’re drowning while trying to meet the needs of others.  We could all use a cheerleader from time to time!  It’s often easy to get so focused in on our own needs that we fail to see that others could use some cheering up, but how does that happen?

Here are some ways that you can refresh others and be their “Onesie-for-us!”:

  • Stop to ask about a burden they are carrying.
  • Write a note to tell them you are praying for them.
  • Stop and pray with them about the burden.
  • Stop in for a brief visit.
  • Send a text or email with encouraging Scripture.
  • Drop by a little treat you know they’ll love – a candy bar, their favorite kind of apple, or beverage.
  • Ask if you can  ____________.  Ask specifically.  Can I bring supper?  Can I watch your children?  Can I come clean your house?
  • Invite them out – lunch, coffee, over for a meal.

I got that list from a list of my “Onesiphorus friends” who have refreshed me over and over again!  I have to ask the Lord to turn my attention away from myself to others to see their needs.  I feel I fail so often, but I do desire to be a Onesie -For- Us! How about you?

What do others do for you to cheer you on in your Christian life?

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friends

Friday Favorites – It Made Me Smile

On this week prior to Thanksgiving, I have tried to stop and see the daily blessings the Lord brings.  How blessed I am!  I snapped pictures of some blessings.  These are things that just truly made me smile this week.

A full coffee drawer!  If you love the morning cup of coffee like we do, you know that good coffee is important!  We buy it up when it’s on sale.  Seeing this drawer full of coffee means lots of morning cups!  =)

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Call me strange, but I love it when my hardwood floors are shining.  It seems hard to keep them this way, but I’d rather have people coming in and leaving footprints than keeping it spotless! But it made me smile to see them clean on the morning I mopped them and snapped this picture. =)

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I love having my young Bible clubbers over any time we can get our schedules together.  This week I taught them the parable of the lost coin.  Does it melt your heart to think that the angels in heaven rejoice when ONE sinner repents and turns to Christ?  I’m thankful they rejoiced over me the day I got saved!  And for these two young ones to understand that Truth and then get to paint a picture about it brought a smile to my face and my heart! =)

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Here was my attempt at photographing the beautiful Super-moon we had this week.  This was the morning after.

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I love, love, love living in the mountains of Tennessee.  I snapped this while at a red light yesterday.  I thanked the Lord for the blessing of living somewhere that’s so beautiful! =)

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One of my sweet readers sent me the sweetest card and gift this week!  She and I met at a Ladies’ retreat I spoke at several years ago.  She started reading my blog, then contacted me and we’ve gotten to know one another via email!  I am so grateful for the friendships that have come as a result of my blog!  One reader visited our church this summer and then sent a precious card!  I love that, and smile every time I see those cards!  Thanks to each of you who read; I am encouraged by each of you that stop by!

How sweet is this Victorian card?  Look at the beautiful pin she sent!  I love it.  Thank you, my friend! =)

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So many things to be thankful for and to smile about!

What has made YOU smile this week?

I’m looking forward to a special weekend with several exciting events!  I’ll tell you about them next week!

Stay refreshed!

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Christian love · friends

Spend It All On Others

I am married to a man who has taught me so much about building relationships with people.  He’s always on the lookout for how he can make someone else’s life better, sweeter, or closer to God.  He does that with me, he does it with his friends, and he does that with strangers.  When you spend time with someone who has a large heart, the time goes so quickly.  They welcome you into their life.  They look you in the eye.  When you speak, they listen with their ears and their heart.

When I recently read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, it is obvious that he also had a magnanimous heart towards others.  Here’s what he said about his time spent with these people:  II Corinthians 12:15 –

And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you…

In other words, I will gladly spend whatever is needed for you.  That would include:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Energy
  • Effort
  • Thought
  • Preparation
  • Resources
  • My very life

Think about those with whom you’ll be spending time with today – your mate, your children, lost co-workers, a friend.  Will you GLADLY spend yourself for them?  What would that look like if you did? When you’re with them will you be “spent” when you are together?  Will you allow yourself to be so connected that you’re “spending” while you’re listening?  Will you let your heart love them so deeply that you’ll gladly give whatever it is they need – your full attention, time to pray for them, or even something tangible?

Selfish people really don’t know the blessing they’re missing when they are only concerned about their needs.  Let’s be like Paul today and determine to “be spent” with the kind of love that sent our Savior to the cross. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for His friends, giving us the premium example.

Spend for others today and watch for the blessing that will come to your own life!

With love,

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friends

Two Important Traits in Friendship

Friends

A ten year-old girl headed to camp recently and told her mom she was praying for a friend – one  who “would be like iron-sharpens-iron, and likes to have fun, too.”

There is so much wisdom in that prayer! It made me take a step back and wonder if I am that kind of friend!  How about you?

  1. Do you seek to sharpen your friends spiritually?
    • Ask how you can pray for your friend.
    • Check back and see if/how God has answered their request.
    • Hold them accountable with
      • marriage issues
      • Bible memorization
      • church attendance
      • opportunities to share the Gospel
      • their quiet time
  2. Seek to meet their needs, rather  than waiting for them to meet yours.
    • Provide encouragement, support, or practical help.
    • Send a card or text that will do the above.
    • Provide food, or financially as you are able.
  3. Have fun!
    • Find the laughter in a situation. Help your friend to see the humor in what she’s dealing with.
    • Initiate a fun outing with your friend – a meal out, shopping a movie, time at your house doing something you both enjoy like crafting or cooking.
    • Celebrate her!  Remember her birthday, anniversary or special events in her life.
    • Don’t be a “Negative Nilly.”  If you only share the ugly, hard stuff in your life, people will run when they see you coming.  Mind you that doesn’t mean you can’t share your burdens, just make sure you balance it with praises!

So whether you’re looking for a friend or checking out your own attributes as a friend, remember that sharpening others and being fun will go a long way in creating a friendship that will last long after camp is over!

Thanks for reading today, Friend!

Encouragement · friends · Gifts

Refresh Others

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It’s easy to know what you could use to refresh yourself – a little quiet, a hot, soaking bath, a cup of coffee or glass of tea, a magazine full of great recipes, and on an on.  But have you considered what you could do to refresh someone else?

This week I realized it had been a long time since I’d made any Sour Dough bread, because we’re trying to steer clear of such delicious carbs.  But I was reminded that I have a couple of neighbors that might appreciate a loaf!  One of them loves homemade bread; the other had given us fresh eggs from his hens and I thought a loaf of fresh-baked bread might be a good thank you.  So, I quickly mixed up two loaves and let them rise.  One loaf has been delivered and the other is set out and ready to go next door after Bible club.  It wasn’t a whole lot of trouble!  I love to bake!  I had everything on hand to make the loaves.  I sent them with a longing to be a blessing, and to represent Christ – the Giver of every good and perfect gift.  How can I not share with others?!

What do you have that you could give this weekend?

  • Time to make a visit to someone who may be lonely or discouraged?
  • An extra batch of cookies?
  • A book or magazine you’ve read and could share?
  • A meal?
  • A helping hand with housework or yard work?
  • A card with encouraging words?
  • Chocolate?

Proverbs 11:25b

He that watereth shall be watered also himself.

When you refresh others, you’re refreshing yourself!  So…

Stay refreshed,

Christian Life · friends

Show Yourself Friendly

Our world teaches us how to be:

Budget-Friendly  Pet-Friendly

Eco-Friendly    Kid-Friendly

But the Bible teaches us to be People-friendly.    In truth, it’s pretty easy to be Budget-friendly (spend wisely),  Pet-friendly (create spaces Fido and Fluffy will love), Eco-friendly (treat the earth well) and Kid-friendly (give children foods they’ll eat).  But sometimes coming up with ways to be just plain ol’ friendly to another human being stumps us!

In a world that drives up the driveway, pushes the garage door open, closes it quickly, and goes inside before anyone sees a real, live person getting out of the car, being friendly can be uncomfortable.  However, if we love the Lord Jesus and desire to be like Him, we won’t avoid people; we’ll look for ways to minister to them.

Proverbs 18:24

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:

Not – Should, might, or maybe, but MUST shew himself friendly.

How could you and I show or prove our friendliness today?

  • Reach out – Make contact.  Smile.  Give a hug.  Send a text.  Make a call.  Send a card.   An unfriendly person will turn and go the other direction to avoid others.
  • Give out – Give of your time – make a visit.  Give of your possessions – provide a need.  An unfriendly person will only see their own needs.  If they do see the needs of someone else, they’ll dismiss the thought of helping.
  • Speak out – Use your words to be a blessing.  Give a greeting at church to the visitor you don’t know.  Stop to chat and get acquainted.  Speak with the stranger in the grocery store.  Don’t be afraid to engage in conversation.  An unfriendly person only speaks to people that makes them feel comfortable.  

Now, you evaluate – are you friendly?  What could you do to change that today?  The Lord will help you!  Philippians 4:13

Don't wait for people to be friendly, show them how.  ~Author Unknown

John 13:35 – By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Will others know by watching us that we are Christ’s followers?  Open more than your garage door – open your heart’s door to someone today and show the love of Christ to them!

How has someone recently shown friendliness to you?

With love,

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