Genuine FriendshipNew Every Morning | May 18, 2020
Words of Hope During COVID-19
Myriam Cortes, pastor of Iglesia Metodista Unida Ebenezer in Nashville, TN, enjoys nature. During the COVID quarantine, she has connected with God by sitting on her porch as she listens to the wind, trees, and birds.
An answer to the problem of loneliness in our Christian faith can be found as long as we help one another to experience genuine friendship with God and with others along the way. Often these two experiences go hand in hand. Telling a lonely person that God is his or her friend can sound very hollow. It only becomes meaningful when we make the divine friendship real by modeling it in our own relationships.
—Trevor Hudson, Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship (Upper Room Books, 2016)
How can you model God’s genuine friendship in your relationships with others? Join the conversation.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
—John 15:12 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Dear God, make me a channel of blessing to someone today.
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A couple of ways which come to mind would be – being available, listening well and being willing to be transparent. Each of these has been modeled to me by a select few, and they are treasures in my small friendship circle. I am grateful for a few “ride or die” friends, as opposed to the hollowness of a multitude of people with whom I associate.
Spent some time in my flowerbeds yesterday, planting all I had purchased earlier in the week. Will go out again in the next few days to purchase some more. Yesterday had the feeling of summer…windows up, warm temperatures, relaxed schedule.
Supposed to be three more weeks of school, June 4 is to be our last day. But – teachers were notified that grades are to be submitted by June 3 – so I am thinking that “last week” – which would have been exam week – there won’t really be any expectations. So, my assignments are posted for this week and likely will be minimal for the final week. Hard to believe this is week 10 of virtual distance learning.
I have a dentist appointment this morning, before “class”. Then after my last “class” – I am going over to my friend’s – we used to do book studies together – but got out of the habit when mom became sick and much of my time was spent at my parents’. So – we have chosen a book “Shaped by Suffering” by Ken Boa – and we are going through the first chapter this afternoon, will order out food and eat dinner on her deck.
Good morning friends. Myriam in the video talks of how she connects with God and how that’s changed. I have stayed the same, meditating on different passages and singing (the best I can and to myself). This rarely fails to bring me to God, sometimes getting me teary-eyed. My meditation verse for today is John 15:9 Jesus says, “As the Father has loved Me so I have loved you; abide in My love.”
How can I model God’s genuine friendships in my relationships with others? In John 15:2, our scripture for today, it says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” To be honest, God loves in such a way, I don’t find myself capable of such love. However, I can model this love. Do the best I can by calling them, talking with them, asking how they are. I have few of these friends left. They are busy working as essential workers, in healthcare, some have passed away (all but two of our Bible study group). Here among you at the UR, writing is the key, with the goal of telling my experiences, share them, see if it helps others. Then to be as encouraging as I can. Some days, I’m the one in need of encouragement. Why, when I first ever commented, it was to Julie. I felt an instant connection to Julie, through life experiences, yes, but also through the Holy Spirit. Sharing one’s problems, issues isn’t easy. But if one can do it, they’ll very often find a empathetic ear. I’ll pray through struggles with you, rejoice in your joys with you, and if I know a possible solution, I’ll suggest it to you. I can do better staying in touch. (I’ve been seriously knocked off my feet, medically). I hope and pray this models God’s love.
Speaking of friends, how are Mary, Connie and Betsy? Edy, Francesca, Rusty? I saw April several days ago. Oh, and found Robert’s Pearl, Betsy’s daughter’s dog, Leo and Andrea’s daughter’s cat, Poppy and dog, Fina!
Prayers anchored in God’s Love for you all, including all in the BALCONY and beyond. Our Father knows your needs. 🙏⚓❤ 🙏⚓❤
Praising God in song with those in joyful thanks. 🎹🎼🎶
Praying for all around the world.
Listening, truly listening with your heart, is something that I try to do to reveal God’s love to others. He listens to us cmpletely with His whole being. This is hard for us as we tend to think of our response and many other things while another speaks. I strive to achieve the ability to clear one’s mind and listen with no thoughts or emotions of our own.
Prayers for Jill and her students as they near the end of this strange school year, may the students have learned what they need to in order to move onward with their math studies.
Prayers for Marcy and praise and thanks for her improved health and abilities. May she and Roger enjoy the day together.
Prayers for Lou as she struggles with how to help her family. We are too close to our own situations to use our professional objectivity in order to find slutions. Rely on your mother’s instincts.
Prayers for Ally and David, may David continue to grw strong as he now transitions to outpatient pt and may Ally find God’s strength in order to deal with so much new territory.
Prayers for Robert and his difficult typing and his ability and tenaciousness to continue posting despite the difficulty.
Prayers and thank you and continued good health dear UR
In my work as a music therapist, I often used th song, Lean On Me, to stress the importance of friendship:
If there is a load you have to bear
That you can’t carry
I’m right up the road
I’ll share your load
As Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Modeling friendship often means helping someone bear their burdens and Christ does for us. Modeling friendship can also mean sharing what we have learned or been through with others. As God has comforted me, I can be a comfort to others. I’m so thankful for those who helped David and me bear our burdens. I’ve asked God to place those in our path for whom we can give comfort.
David is progressing, getting stronger and more bold. He is using his walker for support and using his wheelchair mostly for sitting, because it is easier for him to go from sitting to standing from the chair. He is in good spirits but gets a little discouraged because progress is not as fast as he would like. Pray that I can be an encouragement to him and that he will see every step as progress. Pray also for us to be patient with each other. God is working and we are thankful for each step.
I lift up each of you to the Lord, that you may fill your days with meaningful ways to connect to God. I do enjoy hearing about your daily activities and how you make each day count. I pray that our community here can help us bear each other’s burdens. I love hearing about your pets! My kitty-cats were such a comfort while David was so sick. I pray everyone has a good, Godly day and stays safe.
When I thought about this, Jesus, was the first thing that came to mind and how he interacted with others. Listening, and allowing myself to be vulnerable, authentic, and intentional are key. Many times friendships and relationships are built on just listening, I don’t always have answers to questions. I do know that praying with or for the other person is helpful. I’ve been Blessed with good relationships that were built on a strong foundation. Some were not, yet they survived and are treasured. It’s hard to believe that in school is almost done for the spring semester, I am grateful. June 2 and 3 are my last two finals. 🙏🏻☺️ Prayers for my cat LC. She has been having difficulty getting up and down. It may be the progression of her type 2 diabetes. She is so loving and a blessing to us.
Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers wishing you all a very Blessed Day.
Tried early this morning, the site didn’t open, PATIENT PERSISTENCE paid off and I’m on at 10:35 pm. So thankful for the powerful, deep, meaningful, helpful posts from Jill, Marcy, Julie, and Rick. Despite the means of communicating, our physical and facial distance, you are in many ways the dear close friends many of you describe as personal. Making, having friends so close has been a challenge for me all my life.
You are the closest I have come. Of course, Jesus, knows me best, where would I be without HIm? Have started cleaning up my files in hopes of improving computer performance. A very focused well taken photo of the station, that served as my train watching locale, has me working on a diorama. Very exciting stuff from a photo 74 years old. It’s true, a picture or photo is worth 10,000 words! Prayers and blessings to you for all your needs and concerns, thankful for your concern, prayers, and thoughts. Thank You, Lord!