I am a mother.  Among my other titles; which include Christian woman, wife, daughter, nana, sister, friend, artist, individual human get the idea.  But, yes, I am a mother most surely.  I was given two beautiful children to love and raise, and that I did.  It wasn't easy in some of their growing up years as I was a single mother most of their lives...but it was my blessing, then and now. 
I love you my children.  I love you fiercely and eternally.  I love you so much it hurts, sometimes it REALLY TRULY PHYSICALLY HURTS! heart swells with pride, with fear for you at times, with understanding as you go through tough times.  I love you so much that I have to stop myself sometimes from running to "save" you like I did when you were little...because the wisdom that I have acquired over these many years since you were my little ones has taught me to let you grow and learn and BE your own persons...but STILL I want to jump in to help SO BADLY!  Did you know that is one of my hardest tasks? let you be the adult you grew in let you learn like we all must do?  I'm still here, I still have commandments, but I've given you that Godly foundation...I need to get out of God's way and let you two work...
Did you know that God gave me instructions for raising you, for being your Godly mother?  Did you know that I have commandments from Him regarding YOU?  Yes...I do.  Let me tell you about them...what it feels like, what it looks like.
Did you know that I love you more than I love myself? YES I do.  This is the way to love something more than self.  This is biblical principle! “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve Him, and shalt swear by His name.  Ye shall not go after other gods…”  Deuteronomy 6:13-14a
I am commanded to teach you God's word.  “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”  Deuteronomy 6:7  I would not have left you to raise yourself.  It is my loving job to teach you God's word.  I am not perfect my children, that only belongs to Jesus, so when I fail it is for me to confess that and ask for forgiveness.
I am steadfast and diligent in my work, it is the right example and the way to help you to learn that it is not right to be lazy or idle. “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”  Proverbs 31:27.  Did you know that the woman spoken of it Proverbs 31, the one who goes out and buys a field, did you know that she does that for her HOUSEHOLD?  That is her first and main see to the needs of her family, her house.  It is my blessing to do that!  I understand now that I was your FIRST example of what a good Christian mother and wife should be. 
I love you SO very much my children.  I feel fiercely protective of you.  I would give you everything I had if it was best for you.  Please understand that it is very hard to let you be the adult you have become sometimes...I still have those feelings of fierceness for you.  God gave me those feelings from the time you were a reality in my mind. 
My promise is this:  I will continue to be a Christian mother.  I will continue to follow God's commandments to me.  I will ALWAYS and FOREVER love you with ALL MY HEART...You have me until I go to MY father in heaven, and even then my children, you will have my heart...  Be gentle with me when I need to help you learn more, when I need to give you that good Godly wisdom...know that I am following His words and instructions for me...I love you!  Mom


Every single one of us; at one time or another, have  gotten off track in our lives.  We have all been in the bottom of a seemingly endless pit of despair or fear or honest; we ALL have been there.  Even our Lord was there during His time on this earth!  Have you ever been so low; so devastated, so destroyed from life that you sweat as drops of blood? Jesus did. Luke 22:44 "And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground."

Jesus was there in the garden before Judas betrayed Him. He was in that dark place of fear and felt those feelings of abandonment.  ALL of his friends and followers abandoned Him.  They even fell asleep at His darkest time.  Really think about our Lord for a bit...HOW He must have felt; the fear, the exhaustion, the loneliness.  He went through that for US...He didn't do anything to bring on his darkest time, He suffered for us; so we could be in Heaven with Him one day.  WHAT A GIFT!

We have a promise that we are NOT alone, EVER.  Jesus was tempted in all things as we are.  Hebrews 4:15 "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet He did not sin."  We have a chance to follow Jesus, who, for a time WAS A MAN; so strong that He went through the trials without sinning.  WHAT A ONE TO HONOR AND FOLLOW!! He KNOWS the sorrow, the fear, the utter loneliness. 

Jesus knows more than that...He knows what it is to be nailed so hideously onto a wooden cross...He KNOWS what it is to suffer an agonizing death.  We are NOT EVER ALONE! I love the words in Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” This was a time in history when the Israelites were coming into Canaan; a new land...after all the turmoil from Egypt...but, God's words are for us all; even today...How awesome is it that we have the promise that God is ALWAYS with us...we are not to be frightened or dismayed!  Imagine for a moment those feelings of safety we felt when with our parents or protectors...SAFE...THAT is what we have when we hold to God...He is ALWAYS there for us...He NEVER leaves us; it is WE who leave Him sometimes...sigh,  BUT, the path back to the safety of God's love and promises is ALWAYS there; WE can NEVER get too far away from Him that we can't come back in an instant!  Death is the only permanent separation...but, PLEASE don't let that happen! Come home to a safe place for your heart and soul...Make some positive changes and be ready to SEE what blessings God has to offer!

The first thing you need to do to make a positive change in your life is to DECIDE to. DECIDE that you are sick of the life you are living; full of frustration, despair, sorrow, loneliness, anger.  DECIDE that you want to have a better life.  God is in your corner, HE is waiting with outstretched arms to encircle you and help you find your way to a good life, a positive life!  It is not as easy as it sounds, I know.  We can so easily get "used" to the pain of a difficult life...we can get down and feel like this is the only way...CHANGE; even for the better is challenging, even scary, but we have a God in Heaven who is bigger than any scary thing here on earth.  He made you and He wants you to feel good, have a good life with Him in it!  Yes, change is hard, thinking differently can be hard; I've been there; at the bottom of the world, and I KNOW it is hard, but remember ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE with Christ Phil. 4:13 13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me." Hear that...Christ can strengthen us!!  AWESOME!

The second thing is to PRAY.  Pray that God help you with your decision.  Pray that He give you peace during this time.  PRAY for Him to give you direction.  PRAY that He help you understand the destructive things and people in your life that are keeping you in this pit, and for the STRENGTH to step out and dare to believe in a better life!  Use Jesus' example.  What did He do when he was afraid, lonely...He PRAYED.  God will not give you a stone if you ask for bread.  Remember we talked about this in my last post! and, BELIEVE that God is there and He will not leave you alone!

The third thing is to realize change will not happen all at once.  It is a process.  We didn't get to the depths of despair all at once; most likely, so it will take a little while to get to that positive existence.  It doesn't have to feel bad for a long time...but, give yourself a little break...let God work those great healing gifts as you go along.  You won't be alone, NOT FOR ONE SECOND of this process!! With your understanding that change; even a positive one is a process...this leads to what the process may look like.

The fourth thing is to GET SUPPORT!  Even Jesus, when He had prayed, went out to talk to the disciples that had fallen asleep.  He told them to be alert. DO NOT get support from those destructive folks who may cheer you along in your current life.  Find those people who love God, who truly LOVE you.  Your family, maybe a preacher, a Christian friend who won't just tell you what you want to hear, but is there to lift you up when you feel afraid.  Let these people guide you.  Find ones who are wiser...listen, find someone who has been there, they won't judge.  You don't need a whole football team, just a precious few to help you along!

The steps after this are to make decisions based upon your prayers, your soul searching about what is good to help you make a positive change.  Eliminate those things in your life that continue to drag you into that negative may have to consider a move to a new may need a different job, a new set of friends...WHATEVER it is PLEASE pray about making these changes...You cannot make a positive change when you are surrounded by things that weigh you down.  You need to think of yourself as a recovering __________.  You are recovering from a lifetime, or a period of time of despair and negative thinking; negative processes to try to get a temporary fix.  Think of yourself as more valuable than THAT belong to God.  You were loved SO VERY MUCH that Jesus died for you...Keep that in your heart!  Just make ONE positive step at a time...don't try to do it all at once...but keep that PRAYERFUL heart...pray that God help you see clearly...SEE the people that truly love you and wish for your good...those souls on this earth that you may not even realize pray for YOU, love YOU, wish for YOUR good...these are gifts from the God who is there for you, sitting next to you every second of life...Imagine Him there...Imagine Him cheering you on; not judging you...but wishing for your GOOD, and that is to be with Him one day in Heaven!

You are NOT alone...we've all been there to some extent in our lives...we felt like you once; maybe several once's in our lives...but those of us who can SEE THAT BEAUTIFUL HORIZON; those of us who have a heart for God; WE are there...Please don't give up and live your life of loneliness and sorrow.  God has something SO MUCH BETTER for those that love Him and keep His commandments...they are for our GOOD you feels awesome to have God there; cheering us on, and loving us when we fail from day to day.  Let today be the day you start to make those Godly positive changes in your life.  I am praying for you all!!  I am praying for me; that I do my best every single day, and that I let that be enough. Tomorrow is another day! 



Life; satan; is ever present in this world; waiting to destroy the very best in you that God has created.  When the troubles in life weigh you down there is a way to find peace and joy; and it is in the very God who loves you so very much!

When you feel burdened and soul weary repeat these words of Psalm 46:10.  Be still; don't react; don't fear what is before you at any difficult moment...first of all BE STILL and KNOW that God is in His heaven and all is going to be all right for you if you live in His beautiful comfort.

I remember a particularly painful time in my life not so long ago.  My heart was absolutely broken and my soul was in pain.  I felt so very small and ineffective.  I happened to be near an ocean on that particular day.  My husband and I were spending a few minutes at the beach before we boarded a plane to return home to our Colorado mountains and I sat down with the view of the waves crashing to the shore.  The sound was repetitive and strong.  The waves were beautiful and ever coming in...wave after wave.  In that moment of despair I prayed to God to help me find peace; to help me know it was going to be OK.

At that moment my Father; who loves me more than I will ever understand; gave me the peace I was asking for.  As I watched those waves coming in over and over it struck me that He is SO great; He is SO much BIGGER than our earthly sorrows.  He made this ocean.  He set the waves in motion; waves that are always there crashing over the land and moving back out; only to come in again.  It hit me in that moment that God is always the same; Malachi 3:6a "I the Lord do not change"...He is our ever present calm in a sea of sorrow that life can bring when satan plays with our minds, our souls, and our hearts; wanting to destroy us. GOD can bring all things back to it's intended rhythm if we will only let Him! Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
We as Christians have a promise from our Father that we will never be alone.  Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” These are powerful words that we so often move over so quickly...never stopping to let the full effect wash over our sore hearts and souls.  Imagine if your parent said this to you...would you feel better?  How much MORE does God love us?  His love is perfect and sure and ever there just waiting for us to hold on to!

We can DO some things to bring comfort in times of trial and sorrow.  Our God did NOT leave us empty handed.  We have practical things to do.  First of all we need to sit down and be still...think about the things in life that bring pain and fear and sorrow.  Are they actions of others that bring us to our knees?  If these people in our lives are destroying the best parts of us it is OK to put those away from our hearts.  We can walk away from toxic people. The gift you can give to them is to pray for them. Don't let others take away the joy that God gave you! God built into us a survival reaction.  It's when we do not listen to the Holy Spirit; a gift from God, that we get in trouble.  We say to ourselves that we should be able to deal with this person or behavior; we should think about their souls.  True; we should be thinking about souls, but there comes a time when Jesus said to shake the dust off of our feet. Matthew 10:14 : If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet."
IF those people are bringing us closer to sin; and we have given the seed of the word(I Cor. 3:6-7); and it has had no effect that we can see, what are we told to do? Matthew 7:6 ""Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you."

When we are overburdened and life is too heavy and we are drowning in life's troubles we have a perfect example in Jesus!  What did He do when he needed to rest?  He went away and prayed to His Father when He was on this earth. Luke 5:15-16 "Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."

 Can you imagine being bombarded like Jesus was? We have all FELT bombarded by life from time to time. The point is; when life got too much; our Lord got away and was quiet and prayed...WE HAVE THAT GIFT!  We have the avenue of prayer to the one who made us, to the one who loves us more than anyone on this earth...HE WILL NOT GIVE YOU A STONE...PRAY...take some time to get away and re-fill your soul.  GOD WILL NOT GIVE YOU A STONE! Matthew 7:9-11 "“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!"

One of my favorite verses is found in Philippians 4:6-9 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

Think about this promise; this gift.  We aren't being chastised for being anxious.  Our Father is
reminding us that He is there; that we can pray to Him; that He will give us the peace that we do not understand! AWESOME!  And, a request...a WISE request...We are to think on those true and noble things...those things that are pure and right...THAT is the example; THAT is the THING we are to do...and the promise, the gift is peace! God is bigger than our sorrows; HE IS THERE...LET HIM BE THERE.  That is the gift; THAT is what we do when life closes in. 



I woke up this morning with thoughts of the consequences; both good and bad; of the choices we all make...the choices I make.  My first conscious choice of this day was to get up early so I could write this blog post.  I could have stayed in bed; my sheets are SO SOFT, and it was cozy...but this was my chance to write before I work on a painting, before I go to work later.  The consequence of this first conscious choice was grogginess, others will be satisfaction that I did something productive (not that sleep isn't productive, but I'd had a good bit of that already), I might be sleepy later in the get the point. Choices!  We are faced with them constantly. 

There are no great revelations in this blog post, just ruminations; just thoughts that might help choices to be made more carefully.  As I said earlier, our choices all come with consequences.  We have but this one life, and some choices may affect the rest of it.  It would seem to me that our choices; IF we want a life worth living, should be made with God's wisdom and not our own. Proverbs 3:5 - "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." After all, God made us, so who would be a better guide to make it through this life than He? Ephesians 2:10 - "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

I've not always thought about choices I make in life. It was the loss of several friends after the loss of my father last year that really brought this thought pattern home for me.  First my dad...that has been a hard one.  I am so proud of the man he was.  He was a man of dignity and grace.  He was honorable and honest.  He was my dad, and a great example. I miss him much!  I don't know what caused his Leukemia, his Parkinson's, his lymphoma...was it environmental?  I don't know.  I don't know if choices for him or his parents about working in fields that had been heavily sprayed with insecticides would have made a difference.  No one knew back then, so there was not a choice for safety in people's understanding then, but you understand what it means that choices CAN affect life.  I had a friend who made a choice to climb on a ladder that must not have been very secure, or she wasn't very secure on her feet, as she fell and died. We have choices before us every day to make that can and will affect the rest of our lives.  Who we marry, what dangerous or illegal chemical we put in our bodies, whether to speed down a mountain or is endless!  THINK FIRST...choose carefully, because we do not have a do over in life.  Use God as your guide! His way is good, ours is often fraught with pathways that lead to death; both physically sometimes, and also spiritually; which is the MOST important.  Proverbs 14:12 - "There is a path that seems right to a man, but in the end it is a road to death." God is our heavenly father, and He loves us, and He see's all things, so He is an awesome one to trust!

Joshua 24:15 - But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua was leading the Israelites into the promised land.  They were always choosing the wrong path; a path away from God.  He is giving them some sound wisdom that applies to us today...CHOOSE for yourselves, but know there are consequences of every choice! I know for me, I'd rather have a good consequence that leads to heaven and all God's blessings!

Sometimes, because we are human, we lean on our own understanding,  we choose a selfish path and we have hard consequences as a result. Perhaps we force a relationship and marry outside of God's wisdom; that consequence can be a life of stress and sorrow.  (and no, I did not marry the wrong person, I married the exact man that God knew I needed to marry to be the best Christian woman I can be...HOWEVER, I have no illusions...I have made plenty of unwise choices in life!!) (SIDE BAR: I'm laughing right now, because I wonder if my poor husband ever thinks he made a wonky choice?? I can be quite a little pistol! Pray for my poor hubby! HA) Using this as an example we STILL have good choices within that one that may not have been the wisest.  We can choose how we will behave within that relationship.  We can choose to be Godly, and in THAT choice we may affect a change within that relationship.  My point here is, IF we are walking in the light, and IF we love the Lord, we can change the affect of our choice on us in our attitude and our own actions.  We can find joy and happiness in our circumstances.  Look at Paul as he spoke the words James 1:2-4  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  This tells us that even in the face of choices that may have produced a less than joyful consequence we can use it to produce in us a complete and joyful servant! YAY!  This can also apply to those things that happen in life that are not a product of our unwise choice...See how God is working in all things!

My simple point in all of this folks is that we are free moral agents in this world.  God is ALWAYS there, loving us, trying to guide us if we will but take time to listen and learn from His most perfect wisdom.  Try to think first before you choose.  Pray every day that you let God guide your choices and heart!  DON'T judge those who may have made a choice that causes pain and sorrow...LOVE that person, and above all look to yourself first...Look to your heart, let God give you's there; all we have to do is ask!!  James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."

and remember...




If you have lived very long, unfortunately you may have lived through a church split. If you have you will understand the emotional turmoil that immediately exists within each and every person within the congregation involved.  It's like a death of sorts, it's like a divorce, it's confusing and hurtful and scary for all involved.

When a congregation my husband and I were attending had a major event that caused a split I was out of town and got the news that led to the split in a very ugly way; the event in question was merely listed as one of the things to pray for in an e-mail prayer request.  It was a major shock, it was unbelievable, it was NOT a way one wants to find out their church family is headed for disaster!  My first reaction was disbelief, my second was to call someone to find out what happened, my third was to pray.  A little backwards I'd say...perhaps prayer should have been first.  It would have calmed my soul a little, it would have helped me center and think more clearly, and it would have prepared me much better for events that followed!

Psalm 107:28-30 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven

There are as many reasons congregations split as there are sins in the world, and, for this writing it
isn't about the actual EVENT that caused our congregation to split.  (not only would it be gossip if I mentioned it, but it would cause further harm to some very heart and soul sore members of a family that is trying to matter where they may be right now) What matters is understanding what to do, how to be, how to act in the aftermath of a family that has been torn apart.

Feelings first...well, we know a lot of people are hurting, no matter what they believe happened, so it is important to remember the words in I Peter 4:8-11  Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."

I said feelings first, because we are human beings that feel a certain way no matter what the event or the words or the wisp of wind in the air causes within us...we are going to FEEL a certain way after events occur that lead to a church split.  It's OK to have feelings about's OK to feel hurt or angry or afraid or unsure, it's NATURAL to have whatever feelings that come!!  Let that happen, let yourself feel what you feel, because that is the very beginning of truth; the best place to start!  And then you PRAY, you pray hard! PRAY before you react, pray during your reactions, pray after you hear things, pray when you feel ANYTHING you feel...let GOD be your guide in everything!

After I prayed (which should have been FIRST) sigh..., anyway, after I prayed I immediately went to (called) an elder to ask questions.  I couldn't wait the 9 days before I returned home to find out what had happened that was most surely going to be the death of the church family (as it was) I had known and loved. He told me some things, but not all, and so I felt tortured for all of those days to wait until I returned home to try to understand what happened and why things were done the way they were. A VERY long 9 days I'll tell you!! 

A very important thing to keep in mind when events occur that cause your congregation to divide itself is NOT TO BE PART OF THE PROBLEM!!  Taking sides is a natural inclination, and it is RIGHT...WHEN the side is GOD. There is always THE right way, and that is the way of truth and our Lord...He gave us the rights and wrongs for our guidance, and in THAT we can feel confident. Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.

One thing that is critical IF healing of anyone is to occur is that there be transparency within the leadership of the congregation.  COMPLETE AND UTTER TRANSPARENCY!!!
What has happened is VERY PUBLIC, and it happened to every man, woman and child in the congregation.  It happened to the FAMILY within, and, as in our earthly families, when something so drastic happens that causes a split TRANSPARENCY is essential!  IF that does not occur, fear, confusion, anger, and every negative emotion that can be imagined will continue to exist. 

The second thing that should happen is the leadership has the task of ministering to each and every soul that lives within that church family THE WAY THAT SOUL NEEDS!  IF an eldership makes a decision that impacts a church family, they need to take responsibility and help each soul impacted the way THAT SOUL NEEDS IT!!
Liken it to a teacher.  A teacher is given the task of teaching each student that they are in charge of, THE WAY THE STUDENT LEARNS!  I was a teacher, and I know the task is not always easy, but those parents expect their child to learn, that school district expects that I will help each child learn, and EACH CHILD deserves a chance to learn and grow...In just the same manner, our leaders within each congregation are responsible for each and every soul within that congregation, and IF a decision they make (which is sometimes the case) results in  a church division, then they have a very heavy responsibility! IF these two things don't occur, it will not be a healing situation for all involved.

SO, what to do when your church splits? FIRST and foremost, PRAY. Pray for the situation, for the individuals at the crux of the matter, for the reactions of everyone, for the leadership; that they handle it GOD'S WAY, for every aspect of the situation. Let God be in the center of any decision you will make. 

CONSIDERATIONS:  The main consideration when you are deciding the right thing to DO in the aftermath of an event is to stand for truth!  IF your leadership is handling things in a Godly way, work with them to be part of the solution to healing.  Let them do what they need to do to heal and help the members move past the event. Help in any way you can!

IF you find yourself in a situation where you feel your leadership is not handling things in a Godly way, or have actually been a part of the problem, you then have a decision to make. YOUR SOUL is under their guidance.  YOU HAVE TO TRUST YOUR ELDERSHIP with your soul.  If you cannot do that, then you may have to make the hard decision to find another congregation with an eldership you can prayerfully and with trust, put yourself under.

A second consideration is how to love the other members of your once whole family congregation.   Think of an earthly family.  When a family splits up you don't stop loving your other family members.  Some may not be walking the way they should, but you still love them!  LOVE THEM!!  Continue to pray for them, with them...Make wise decisions to NOT be a hindrance to healing on either "side" of the split!  Recognize that every soul in the damaged congregation has a Godly right to decide for themselves what they need to do.  Respect their decisions.  We are all still free moral agents.  God set that in motion, and who are we to try to force anything on anyone!  IF we see blatant sin existing in a church family we are still bound by scripture and given clear instruction as to how to handle it...FOLLOW the scripture on any given situation.   

It's horrible to be a part of a church split.  It grieves our Lord to see disunity within His children.  It is sad, but we can find comfort in the fact that God is still here for all of us.  He gives us guidance for every situation we may find ourselves in.  He is our champion!  HE LOVES US ALL!! Find comfort, Love each other, Respect the right things and you will be OK. 




There is a radio station I listen to in the mornings. The DJ's make a show once a year about how they go through their list of friends and "weed".  They actually sit back and decide what is healthy for them and what is no longer healthy as far as friends go.  I used to think it was callous and rude, but after living the life like we all do I have come to believe that we need to take our friendships and relationships more seriously.  Girls, do we spend more time and care thinking about what we may "weed" from our closets than what kind of friendships we have?  (sorry guys, I just HAD to make that comparison!)  We need to ask ourselves questions about people in our lives.  Things like, "Does this person help me in my Christian walk?", "Am I good for this person?", "Is this relationship beneficial to each of us?.  Think of questions you might ask yourself to take stock of the friendships you hold in your lives right now...WHAT kind of friendships are they? What is happening within the relationship?

Before we can think about anything else it might be beneficial to take a practical look at the types of "friendships" that exist. I put quotes around this word "friendships" because we all know that a "good" and healthy friendship is based upon mutual interests, but there are two other types that aren't quite the same.  The first type of friendship is a mutual friendship. If we have things in common with a person we are naturally drawn to that person, and visa versa. That is a BEGINNING.  Similarities in other things play into this as well. It is helpful and beneficial  and important if two people are of like mind and are of similar maturity levels. These factors are important to keep a mutual friendship healthy and happy!  These types of friendships take time to develop; they aren't made complete over night. Once similar interests are discovered it is very important to develop the relationship slowly as the two people learn more of each other and "work" together within the framework of the new friendship.  This is a joyful experience, and folks, rather rare. So take your time with a new friend and allow it to grow naturally.  I see the framework of a healthy mutual friendship in Amos 3:3 "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"

Other types of "friendships" have different characteristics. There is a mentoring friendship. This is where one friend has a bit more maturity and is helping another in times of need with wisdom and knowledge that may be of help to a less experienced, less knowledgeable person. These types of friendships are important for people at different stages in their lives, for BOTH parties. It gives the one being mentored a chance to benefit from the knowledge and experience of the more "mature" person, and it helps the mentor in the relationship to use what they have learned to help another person. Philippians 2:4 " do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." So we learn that it is important to help.  It is also important to note that a mentoring friendship is not the same as a mutual friendship. We must take care within this relationship to understand that the mentor will need to take care of themselves and make sure their balance of life is kept in tact. We all need a rest now and then! Clear boundaries are important within this relationship so the benefits can continue for both parties. It is also important to note that as a mentor IF you have given a mentee everything you have be HONEST with the mentee. If the need is still there and you have nothing else to give you may need to suggest they should seek help from another mentor or seek professional counseling.  This is a loving action.

The third type of friendship is the mentee. This is the person seeking counsel or help from the mentor.  This relationship is important so that a less knowledgeable or person needing help can learn from the one who is a little further down the road in experience, wisdom, or knowledge. It can be a very rewarding experience. We have all most likely been in a situation at a job for example where one who has been there longer can help us learn from their experiences and knowledge. It is important that the mentee realizes that their needs may be overwhelming at times and to understand that the mentor has a life beyond the needs he or she may be experiencing. It is hard to be in a situation where you are needing help. Practical or personal issues can be difficult to wade through at times. The mentee needs to take time to put into action the suggestions of the mentor.  The mentee/mentor relationship can quickly become out of balance if there are only entreaties of need without any effort on the part of the mentee to take advantage of the knowledge and wisdom of the mentor. Everyone has needs and times of being "needy" in life, but we must recognize that this relationship is not a mutual friendship born from mutual interests and similar maturities...this relationship CAN grow to a mutual friendship, but that can not happen until the mentee has learned and grown to a similar place.  It might not ever get there, but the relationship can be a good one if healthy boundaries are kept within the mentor/mentee relationship, or the two individuals find themselves in similar places at some point.  Again, this is not a process that happens over night.

Also important to note for a mentee that if your needs happen to be very encompassing at the moment you may want to find a few mentors of like mind so as not to find yourself in a situation of need and your mentor not available.  It is also a biblical wisdom as found in Proverbs 15:22 "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." Be sure in this situation to be taking advantage of the knowledge and wisdom you have been given and not just moving from house to house with your need. 

 Now, within these frameworks what does God expect of us in our relationships or friendships? There are many scriptures regarding our relationships with each other, so let's just look at a few that might help wade through our responsibilities to each other and ourselves as God would have it.

A great place to start is found in John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." This would indicate a sacrificial type of love for each other.  I can see this in each of the relationships above.  Within this sacrificial type of love we need to employ love of each other and not take advantage of each other on either side of the coin.  Mutual respect can and should exist within the framework of each of these relationships for them to continue in a healthy way!

Jesus tells us the framework that makes us His friends...what can we learn and apply to each us in the above relationships? John 15:14 "You are my friends if you do what I command." and NO, we don't get to boss each other around...think hard about this one!!

Look at the wisdoms within Proverbs...

Proverbs 17:17 "A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need." our job is not to take advantage of a loyal friend, but to accept help, when needed, with grace and gratitude.  On any given day we can be on either side of this line!

Proverbs 27:6 "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." If you are lucky enough to have a trusted friend or mentor, understand that some things said may not be easy to hear. II Timothy 3:16 is a good measure to remember when we are searching for Godly wisdom "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,"

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." If we have the right attitude within any of the types of friendships discussed above, this is a blessing! IF we take "sharpening" with the right attitude this means we have the choice to grow!

Proverbs 18:24 "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."

I encourage you to take some time to evaluate your relationships in life...if you have a mutual friend, REJOICE, if not, let time wisdom guide you in that direction.  If you are a mentor or a mentee, take not take advantage of the other.  If your lines are fuzzy and you don't know what kind of relationship you are in, read through this again (I didn't make it up, I studied the topic) and see if you can clarify your lines and set boundaries so the relationships can be healthy and Godly!