Friday, May 31, 2013

Quotes on Friendship

By Jennifer R.

If you haven't seen the new bulletin board upstairs, here's a picture of it.

We will be changing the topic every month, but this month - since we're focusing on godly friendships in the summer ladies Bible study and in the upcoming fall retreat - the topic is "friendship." Below are the quotes that are on the board this month.

If I take offence easily; if I am content to continue in cold unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love. ~ Amy Carmichael

It’s impossible to have friendships that aren’t directed by the heart. And it’s impossible to have genuine, authentic friendships if what is in our heart is self-centered and self-absorbed. Bad hearts produce bad friendships. Good hearts produce good friendships. (Luke 6:45) ~ Amy Baker

When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly [best friends], I shall love my earthly [best friends] better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly [best friends] at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly [best friends] at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased. ~ C.S. Lewis

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, “What! You, too? I thought I was the only one.” ~ C.S. Lewis

A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down. ~ Arnold Glasow

The dearest friend on earth is a mere shadow compared to Jesus Christ. ~ Oswald Chambers

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. ~ Jesus (John 15:13)

I am convinced, by the way, that friendships provide the most fertile soil for evangelism. When the reality of Christ is introduced into a relationship of love and trust that has already been established, the effect is powerful. And it seems that invariably, when someone becomes a true follower of Christ, that person's first impulse is to want to find a friend and introduce that friend to Christ. ~ John MacArthur

A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend; one human soul whom we can trust utterly; who knows the best and the worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults; who will speak the honest truth to us, while the world flatters us to our face, and laughs at us behind our back. ~ Charles Kingsley

God's is the only friendship that can really meet all our soul's deep needs and cravings. Human companionship helps us at a few points; but the divine friendship has its blessing for every experience. We never shall be left alone when we have Christ. When other helpers fail and comforts flee—He will ever stand close beside us. When other faces fade out of view—His will shine out with gentle love, pouring its light upon us. ~ J.R. Miller

Good friends are among our greatest blessings – they may keep us back from much evil, quicken us in our course, speak a word in season, draw us upward, and draw us on. But a bad friend is a positive misfortune, a weight continually dragging us down, and chaining us to earth. Keep company with an irreligious man, and it is more than probable you will in the end become like him. That is the general consequence of all such friendships. The good go down to the bad, and the bad do not come up to the good. ~ J.C. Ryle, Thoughts For Young Men

To become another's friend in the true sense—is to take the other into such close, living fellowship that his life and ours are knit together as one. It is far more than a pleasant companionship in bright, sunny hours. It is more than an association for mutual interest or profit or enjoyment. A genuine friendship is entirely unselfish. It seeks no benefit or good of its own. It does not love - for what it may receive - but for what it may give. Its aim is “not to be served—but to serve” (Mark 10:45). ~ J.R. Miller

Christ loves us—not according to our worthiness—but according to the riches of His own loving heart! So should it be with our giving of friendship—not as the person deserves—but after the measure of our own character. ~ J.R. Miller

Friday, May 24, 2013

Guarding Our Hearts on Facebook

By Kim W.

We log onto Facebook and read other people's statuses, and we look through the numerous photographs from our friends and acquaintances... and what do we sometimes conclude?

Everyone is happier than us.
Everyone is more successful than us.
Everyone's husband is more thoughtful or helpful than ours.
Everyone gets to go on wonderful vacations.
Everyone else has children who are perfectly obedient and excel more than ours.
Everyone else has more friends.

Sadly, Facebook can be a miserable place.

It can be a good thing in our hearts, though. Why? Because it exposes something ugly in our hearts - which is hard at times - but we can deal openly with our sin when it comes glaring at us from the pages of Facebook. When we become aware of our jealousy, our grumbling spirit, and our discontentment, we can bring those sinful attitudes before the Lord and ask Him for forgiveness. We should then repent from those sins and move on toward godliness. Sometimes, Facebook should be avoided, and that may be a wise choice...but sometimes God can use this media source to help us become more disciplined in our attitudes toward others.

In regards to guarding our hearts, we must be aware that this goes both ways. We present ourselves in the best light possible. We lie, we exaggerate, and we present ourselves as WE want others to see us. We want others to believe that we are living a life worthy to be envied, and we desire, in a way, for others to applaud us for our perfect and wonderful lives. What is the result of this? A simple conclusion: we all end up trying to be something we are not, but at the same time believing that everyone else has a better life. We try to bring ourselves glory, which is in direct opposition to what God wants for our lives.

I read an anonymous quote that said, "If we only wanted to be happy, it would be easy, but what we really want is to be happier than other people."

What pride and selfishness! I am constantly having to guard my own heart from these kinds of thoughts and attitudes.

The next post will include the conclusion of this series. It is full of good news for all of us! I will discuss how and why we should bring glory to God while we are on Facebook, which should be our heart's desire.

Friday, May 10, 2013

What Is Facebook Replacing in Our Lives?

By Kim W.

If you think about it, all of today's technology has replaced something else. In 2004, when Facebook came into being, it was basically unknown for a while...even in 2006, some of our teenaged children were learning about it, but it was still new and we were just starting to hear the word and trying to figure it all out. But, now it is literally a way of life.

A recent study showed that one-third of women between the ages of 18-34 check Facebook before they go to the bathroom in the morning. That same study also showed that 21% of women check it in the middle of the night and 50% admit they can't live without it. Older adults between the ages of 40-50 represent the fastest growing population on facebook.

All of those 700 billion minutes a month from 2010 are coming from somewhere. Time spent on Facebook is being taken from somewhere else. Have you considered that?

What could it be replacing in our lives?

Time in God's precious Word?

Time in prayer?

Time with our family?

Could it be that Facebook has replaced real face-to-face conversations? Are we tempted to say "Happy Birthday" on Facebook and neglect sending a thoughtful card or having a lunch together to celebrate? Do our words on Facebook somehow remove the need to see people? Has sending a private message taken the place of meeting in homes or getting together for coffee?

Facebook can cause us to be removed from people's lives. Our physical presence can easily be missing from those who need us there face-to-face.

Facebook should not take the place of real life relationships. It should supplement them. It should enhance the relationship and make it richer. We need to look at our time on Facebook and make sure that real relationships are a priority. We should make sure that we don't allow Facebook (or anything else) to replace that blessing.