Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lessons of Faith Part 2

I actually had a few moments in my hurried day yesterday to sit on my deck and enjoy the weather. I felt the slight breeze on my face and I believe I could smell a hint of fall in the air. During this quiet time I asked God direction for my blog time. Again, faith was the answer.

Personally, there are several people in my life who are living examples of faith. They are my heroes. Their "super power" is their faith. I would like to share briefly about a hero couple.

Recently, a sweet couple in my Bible study class received devastating news-Steve has lung cancer. Here is a man who seems in perfect health, whose family is a Christian witness and very loving. They have a great sense of humor and are servants. Ginger is a true classic Southern woman with a huge heart. This couple has two beautiful children as well. When I heard their news I truly was heart sickened. I wondered why God would allow such a terrible thing to happen to my friends. However, God is using this family to teach me yet another lesson in faith.

Instead of crying and feeling sorry for themselves, this dear couple is allowing God to use them. Each day is a gift and they do not waste it. They have shared that through Steve's illness God is opening doors for them to share Christ with other cancer patients who have no hope. They personally do not know whether God will provide an earthly healing or not but both Steve and Giner know that their Heavenly Father has a plan for their lives.

As I write this blog and think on this couple tears spring into my eyes. These are not tears of sorrow for what my friends are going through but of how our Heavenly Father is using Steve and Ginger. When I see them each week there are smiles on their faces and I truly see God at work in their lives.

Just as Abraham and Moses did not see the final product of their obedience, they stepped out in faith in order for God to be gloried. Steve and Giner do not know what their future holds but they are willing to step out in faith and be used of their Heavenly Faither. Because of their actions and faith, Steve and Giner are at the top of my hero list. I firmly believe they were placed in my life in order to teach me another faith lesson and I thank God for them.

Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Do you have a hero in the faith? Please share with me what your hero's example means to you. Better yet, tell that person.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lessons of Faith

Hello Girlfriends! I sure have missed you. There has been much taking place in my life over the past few weeks and many lessons God is teaching me. I can also tell you that I have needed my daily dose of chocolate to get through some of the hurdles. As I pondered what to share with you today, I believe God is leading me to talk about faith.

My busy life gets so bogged down in the junk of the day that I often become overwhelmed and frazzled. I find myself muttering under my breath of why life has to be so crazy. Oh but that is when God gets my attention. He whispers, "Oh, yea of little faith." In the midst of the craziness, I respond, "Yes Lord, I should have faith that you know what is best and how to work it all out for your glory."

Well, I am going to need to trust and have faith that the Father will take care of all situations. Right now, I have been praying hard from my youngest son, Bryan aka Moose. He is in his senior year of college and is struggling in one class. Can you believe that it is a news writing class? Bryan is an excellent writer but news writing is not his calling. However, this class is a requirement for his major. It broke my heart to hear him so discouraged after receiving a low grade on a story plus not finishing a very difficult test in this class. I wanted to do what any good mama would do--drive all day and just hug my little boy.

Since time, distance, and gas prices made it impossible to go hug my son, I sat down with God and prayed. I had offered my son much advice but the true answer would come from the Lord. I placed this situation in the Father's capable hands. I asked the Lord to take care of the situation and let Bryan see Him at work in his life. All my motherly advice cannot compare to the simple act placing my faith in the Lord so that His glory may be revealed.

It is my prayer that God will allow Bryan to pass this course. It is also my prayer that the professor will see Jesus through my son. Whatever the outcome I am placing this situtation in the Father's hands and trusting Him to do what is best.

How have you seen the Father faithfully working in your life?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ruts & Routines

Okay, MY plan was to post this yesterday, but in line with my theme for the week, my routine for the day was interrupted. So, here I am today sharing my thoughts with the God-given illustration of yesterday. I knew what I wanted to say, but was really unsure how to start it, when God interrupted.

Yesterday morning I prayed that God would control and lead me through my day. I dropped my daughter off at school and ran to Wal-Mart to grab a few items I needed. I thought I had time and was browsing through the toy section to get ideas for my nephew's birthday gift when my cell phone rang. I knew from my caller id it was a good friend and eagerly answered the call. I was surprised to hear the tears and pain in her voice and we agreed to meet immediately back at my house. 

She sat on my couch and began to unload her heart. She had issues with her husband. She had issues with her oldest son. She had issues with herself. And she had issues with God. Her life had become so busy -filled with schedules and routines- that she had scheduled God right out of everything that she was doing. I mean she was still going to church, trying to witness to her neighbors and serve her family, but she was starving her own personal pursuit of Christ. She runs her home like a well-oiled machine. She follows a strict budget. She has her family planner color coded by family member and always by her side. Yet, her routine no longer contained any opportunity for her to be still and know that He is God. It was unintentional, yet she found herself in a rut of a routine, that allowed no room for God to grow in her life. As a result, she found that every other aspect of her life was suffering. 

I find myself in a different kind of rut this week . . . I am still getting up early every morning to have my Bible study and prayer time, but I have to confess that it has gotten pretty stale. I find myself going though the motions just to check it off my list and say that I have done it for the day. I am not stretching myself. I am not really growing. I am just going. I am just doing and all the while my rut just gets deeper. 

As I prayed with my friend, I realized how alike our situations really were. I am not that far from finding myself in her shoes. I need to really pursue God passionately. I need help reorganizing my routine too. I need to be fed and I need to grow. I need more and more of Him. 

What have you done to get out of a rut? I don't think I need to ditch my whole routine, but I do know that it definitely needs to be tweaked. A different Bible study perhaps, or maybe a little less television in the evening may help. You know, I think I am going to ask my husband. Not only would it be a "real" conversation, but it gives me the opportunity to turn to him for some leadership. Hey, isn't that where I started my week? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Interruptions & Routines

I need routine. I need predictability. It is how I function best. I know what to expect and when to expect it. I guess I inadvertently passed that down to my daughter. One parenting book I read while she was still really young, stressed the importance of routine. I saw the logic in it, and I have never looked back. 

Looking back now, I guess I have always depended upon routines. I just never really identified them that way. It was and -still is- how I seek to make the best use of my time. 

I always tend to do the laundry on the same day. I have a pattern for running the vacuum cleaner. I even have a system for unloading the dishwasher. Now I know you must be thinking that I must be a High A personality type, but I really don't think I am. 

God, using my daughter, has often showed me that my best laid plans often fall short of what His plans for me are. He has taught me to be flexible when a girlfriend calls and needs an hour or two of my time. He has shown me to be appreciative when my husband volunteers to clean the floors, his way. He has allowed me to see that ten minutes past bedtime was an easy price to pay for the priceless conversation about His goodness and grace with my little one. 

Routines and schedules are invaluable to our daily lives, but lets not be so tied to them that we miss the bigger picture, the greater plan that God has for us. I don't know about you, but it seems like God is able to bless me in such amazing ways when I let Him plan my day. I often pray in prayer journal for God to take my day and shape it into what He would want it to be. Then, when He does, I try not to be too surprised and go with it  . . .

What are some routines and schedules that have worked for you and your family? How have you been blessed when you have been flexible enough to allow God to interrupt your plans? I know Jeanne knows a ton about the big interruptions, especially lately. But I am talking about the little ones: the traffic jam or last minute phone call. Too often we look at this little things as a nuisance, but couldn't God be the one trying to get our attention? Remember He is sovereign and there are not such things as coincidents

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Leadership & Routines

I know I should seek my husband's advice and guidance a whole lot more often. I mean God made him my husband for a reason and I should seek out his leadership. Pridefully, I like to think that I can handle all things of the home. I try to be organized and with it, getting the library books back on time and ensuring that there is always a pitcher of sweet tea in the fridge for him. 

But sometimes, despite my best intentions, it just doesn't seem to happen. Take for instance the last couple of weeks:

I have truly been struggling with all the glories of my first trimester while helping my 5 year-old adjust to the rigors of adapting to kindergarten. More mornings than not, I would find myself fussing and nagging Riley through finishing her breakfast, brushing her teeth and getting herself dressed. My voice volume raised. My patience gone. My day (and hers) off to a far less than stellar start. 

This wasn't what I wanted. I wanted her to start her day ready, but not rushed. I wanted her to be happy when she bopped her way from the car circle into the classroom. I wanted her to have great memories of me in the morning. This really wasn't happening.

So, complaining to my husband one night, he suggested an old idea he had had a year ago when we were in a similar predicament when it came to getting ready for Mother's Day Out. He reminded me that our daughter is a lot like me. She likes to see what she has accomplished. She likes to have clear expectations. She likes to have at least a little control of what is going on in her life. She likes routine. 

Part of me will always hate it when he is right. This week, he has proven to be right yet again. I got out Riley's dry erase board and listed her morning routine placing an expected time of completion by two sections. Yesterday, we walked out the door right on time. Today, we were early!

This week, we will look at routines. But this morning I want to encourage you to seek out your husband's advice. Don't be like me, and just assume you can do it . . . or, that you already know what he is going to say. Even if you have been married for years and years, God has placed your husband as the head of your home. Give him the opportunity to lead, not just at church, but especially in your family. 

Can you recall a time you submitted to your husband's leadership and were blessed by it? It never ceases to amaze me when I do things God's way, how much happier I am . . .

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Okay - so I made a mistake. It wasn't until after I posted the first blog this week that my daughter emailed to tell me that she read it. She also went on to say in a very kind way that I had already explained I broke my back the last time I blogged in August. Sorry for repeating myself...but you see, I was on drugs and don't remember writing about it.

On Sunday after the accident the drs. quadrupled the medicine I had been on that Friday. They also gave me a muscle relaxer!!! I have never been one to take much of anything, so this kind of sent me over the edge- to say the least.

That night I could not get comfortable, so I decided to read. I picked up this great book I had been reading called "The Desperate Pastors' Wives" and when I opened it, there was a letter "e" that floated off the page and started floating around my room! Forgetting that I had taken all that medicine, I panicked thinking that when I fell I must have hit my head and now I surely had a brain hemorrhage. I was thinking how much I hated to tell Randy that something else was wrong, when I suddenly remembered the drugs. I started laughing out loud. Randy looked at me and asked what I was laughing at and I asked, "I'm on drugs aren't I?" His response was, "Yes, big time drugs". Boy was I relieved!!

Anyway, just thought I would let you know why I wrote about this ordeal twice - because a normally straight laced Pastor's wife was a druggie for a while and she just couldn't handle it!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Do you ever feel like life is interrupted constantly? As a minister's wife, it seems like no matter what you plan - someone or something interrupts it. I am just now beginning to understand though that sometimes that's the way the Lord works!!!!

I was sitting in a meeting last week, in this crazy back brace, feeling like the Hunchback of Notre Dame (or maybe a linebacker for the NFL) when someone quoted Henry Blackaby from "Experiencing God". Our church had gone through that study years ago, but somehow I missed this. He said "God has the right to interrupt our life!" I put down my pen and actually laughed outloud. How true is that???

At this particular moment - my regular life has DEFINITELY been interrupted. This has forced me to be still and allow the Lord to do some cleaning in my life.

For now, I will try to be patient as my back heals. But my prayer is that when life returns to "normal" I will look at these interruptions as divine appointments from the Lord. Maybe that way, God can just whisper to me without having to get my attention in someother way:)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Well, the last time I blogged, life was going along as usual. That very day we had decided to ride our bikes on the loop in Cades Cove. It was a beautiful day and I was so excited about having the opportunity to spend the day with Randy. We packed a picnic with hamburgers to grill and all the fixings, loaded up our bikes and took off.

As I got on the bike at the entrance to the Cove the bike seat was up too high. It was a little thing that could be taken care of later-- BIGGGG mistake!! We had ridden probably about 4 miles when we came to a steep incline. There was a lot of traffic so we decided to walk the bikes to the top to let the cars pass. About 3/4 of the way up the incline I started to get off. Because the seat was up too high, and there was an incline, I didn't have good balance. Consequently, the bike fell backwards with me. As I fell down the hill I landed on my backside in a sitting position. All of a sudden, the saying "I saw stars" made sense.

After a few minutes of trying to breathe again, Randy suggested he go get the van. You have to understand though, that on the way into the park, 2 different times the traffic had come to a stand still because people saw bears. I thought that it would be a bad idea to stay there by myself, just in case the bears decided to pay a visit!! So I did what any intelligent woman would do -- I got back on the bike and rode to the van. Thinking it was a pulled back muscle I thought riding would loosen it up so it wouldn't be so sore.

An hour and a half later we arrived at the emergency room at the hospital to find out that I had broken my back!!!! All I could do was laugh and tell them that couldn't be possible since I rode my bike back to the car. The dr. replied, "Well, people have done stupier things before"!!! So now, for the last 5 weeks, I have been in a back brace, not being able to do some of the very simple things I took so much for granted.

My prayer has been "God, whatever you are trying to teach me, could you PLEASE teach me quickly...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Being B-U-S-Y

Not only do encumbrances and entanglements keep me from running the race well but so do enticements and distractions. You know how it happens....you are going along well....pursuing God, having time alone with Him daily, keeping your eyes on Him....and then, without warning....you find yourself on another path!! A route that is taking you straight to self-pity or depression or dissatisfaction or some other place way off course!!

For me, one of the main culprits that entices me...is being too busy!! I know the enemy wants us to do anything BUT what God wants. Read on....

Being Busy

Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, “We can’t keep the Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship experience in Christ. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.

So, let them go to their churches; let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can’t gain that relationship with Jesus Christ.

This is what I want you to do, angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!

“How shall we do this?” Shouted the angels.

“Keep them busy in the non essentials of life and invent in-numerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered.

“Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow.

Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work!

Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or CD player whenever they drive. To keep the TV, VCR, CD’s and their PC’s going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.

Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes.

Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines so the husbands will believe that external beauty is what’s important, and they’ll become dissatisfied with their wives. That will fragment those families quickly.

Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they won't talk about his resurrection and power over sin and death.

Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for the coming week. Don’t let them go out in nature to reflect on God’s wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead. Keep them busy, busy, busy.

And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotions.

Go ahead, let them be involved in soul willing; but crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus.

Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.

It will work!! It will work!!

It was quite a convention. The evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there.

I guess the question is: Has the devil been successful at his scheme?

You be the judge. Does busy mean:


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Let Us Lay Aside

So, how are you doing "running the race" this week? You know I am not talking about a crazy, exhausting "rat race", but the amazing race of faith that Hebrews 12 is talking about.

Hebrews 12:1-2. "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, by fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith..."

One of the reasons I have a tendency to not run the race well is because I can get so weighed down....so "encumbered" as Hebrews says. There are a lot of things that weigh me down. Good works, guilt, preoccupations with stuff, other people's expectations of me, religion, church traditions, excuses, etc. All of these things slow me down. They keep me from running the race well.

What "encumbers" you? What weighs you down? Hebrews 12 says to lay it aside!! Take it off!! Let's get naked and run!!! (Not literally of course....that would not be a pretty sight if minister's wives all across Tennessee were running around naked!!)

The second thing Hebrews tells us to lay aside are entanglements!! An entanglement is anything that “hinders our progress”. The author says that sin entangles us. I have a tendency to be entangled by discouragement, criticism, bitterness, fear, and low self esteem! (Just to name a few!!)

AND I have been entangled by the sins of others!!

Can you picture with me a jewelry box full of necklaces that are all tangled up? You know what it is like to try to untangle them! Before long you are frustrated and the small chains are a nightmare to unwind. Or have you ever tried to untangle a young girl's hair that is all in knots? The tears and wails and trials that go along with untangling such messes?

That is exactly what happens when we try to untangle the messes that our sin or the sins of others have made. So, then what are we to do with these entanglements that have a tendency to trip us up? It is something we must let our loving Father untangle! He died to untangle us!! Let Him do it!!

Lay them aside! Go to God for freedom through forgiveness. Claim and believe and live by the truth in 1 John 1:9.

OK, so far we have laid down encumbrances and entanglements....feel more freedom? Running 'naked' and your feet are free from tripping....run strong sister!! Run strong!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Don't Give up the Race!!

A couple of years ago I was in Carlsbad California visiting my parents and noticed that there were signs on many of the streets around where they live explaining that the roads would be closed for the Carlsbad marathon.

I was intrigued. I had always wanted to participate in a marathon. I have friends who run… who train hard for months and months building up for the big race. I read where it takes at least 6 months to train for a 4 ½ hour race! Now, you have to understand something about me….my philosophy on exercise has always been that if I should ever get in the mood to work out, I lay down on the couch until I get over it!!

Well, the morning of the race, I decided I would participate!! I threw on my sweat pants and sweat shirt….drove as close as I could to where I needed to be (so I would not have to walk too far) and parked my car. Straight ahead of me was Starbucks!! It was calling my name!! Distracted from the race, I went into Starbucks and bought a tall mocha frappacino light and a fat free blueberry muffin. So, with my Starbuck’s purchases in hand, I walked the seemingly long distance from the shopping center, over the bridge that covers the I-5 and down to Pacific Coast Highway. Once finally there, I plopped down on the curb, sipped my frappacino, ate my blueberry muffin and "participated" in the Carlsbad marathon! Never running--never walking--just being a spectator!!

You see…that is how many of us participate in this amazing life God has given us…we sit on the sidelines of life not wanting to get sweaty…not wanting to work at running well because the training is too difficult or we don’t have time or it hurts too much or whatever…and so we become content to be a bystander watching the race rather then running the race and missing out on all God has for us. And we are content with that!

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, by fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith..."

Sisters, we are in the race of a lifetime!! The ultimate 'amazing race'!!

Don't give up the race!! Don't give up on pursuing God, on living a life of faith. Don't give up on that relationship, that ministry, that job, that wayward child. What is it that you are tempted to give up on? Does God want you to stop or are you being led away by the enemy?

This race of faith is not a sprint or a 100 yard dash...it is a marathon. It does not require agility or speed....but it does take perseverance. Run hard sisters!! Don't give up!! There is much at stake!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Everyone's Friend

Have you ever felt like you needed to be every one's friend?

As a minister's wife it often seems people either shy away from us or consume us. It is a swinging pendulum.

We have looked at the importance of having friends and the characteristics of healthy friendships. It is possible to have good friends and best friends in ministry, but we must be wise in those relationships.

Today I would like to give you some suggestions to keep the women in church from jealousy.

As I developed my friendships in the churches we served, I learned some important lessons.

First, when you are at church events do not always sit with your best friend. Look for different ladies at each event and spend time getting to know them.

Don' share private jokes between you and your friend while in a group of your church ladies. This makes them feel excluded or even paranoid.

If you are invited to go somewhere with other women in the church, do not insist that your friend be invited. Be gracious and enjoy you time with the women who have invited you.

As you and your friend spend special time together, do not flaunt it when with the women of the church. It causes them to feel left out when you talk about the things you do with one particular person all the time.

It is not necessary to announce to everyone that "this is my best friend"! Women crave friendships and hearing that from their minister's wife can cause jealousy. It makes them wonder why did she pick her instead of me? Your 'best friend' will be there and know that you have a special bond, but it is not necessary for everyone else to know.

I am grateful for the many friends I have made through the years. Some of them are life long friends and some were friends for a season. They each had an impact on my life and I pray I did the same for them.

I have learned and laughed with women of all ages from all different places and stages of life. What an incredible blessing from our Lord. As women we are blessed to be able to develope deep, lasting, meaninful, relationships.

Paul says, "The greatest of these is love." We need to practice this love for all the women we are called to serve and thank God for those special friends that enter our lives and love us.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Best Friends

David and Jonathan were best friends. There are things we can learn about having a best friend by looking at the relationship between David and Jonathan.

Loyalty - Jonathan was loyal to David. He could be trusted.

It is important that we are able to trust our friends. We need to know that our friend understands the importance of 'confidentiality'. Before you begin to share your inner most thoughts with a friend, be sure of their loyalty to you. I have heard many stories of hurt and disappointment from minister's wives who have been betrayed. Be wise in your choice of a friend. Be a loyal friend yourself.

Spiritual Growth - Jonathan helped David find strength in God. In I Samuel 23:16 we read, "Then Jonathan, Saul's son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God."

A friend that challenges you spiritually is a treasure. Through the years, God has brought women in my life that forced me to grow, challenged me to grow and gave me the desire to grow in my walk with Christ.

Do you draw your friends to God? Do they draw you to God?

Accountability - I used to walk with a sweet lady in the mornings. I enjoyed our walks and they went quickly because we talked the entire time! One morning after I returned home my husband looked at me and said, "You walked with -----today, didn't you?" I replied that I had and asked why he made that comment.

He then proceeded to tell me that he could always tell when we were together because I would come home with a negative attitude and full of gossip! Yikes! That hurt! I wanted to defend myself and my friend, but as I thought about it and prayed about it, I knew he was right. This friendship was going in the wrong direction.

Is your best friend bringing out the best in you? Does she excuse sin in your life when you confess or encourage you to repent?

Love -Jonathan and David had a love for each other that brought out the best in each of them.
In Proverbs we read "A friend loves at all times." We need that kind of friend.

As we draw close to each other it is inevitable that we will disagree, let each other down or even make each other angry. This is a true test in friendship. Are you quick to forgive? Is your friend quick to forgive? Can you make a mistake and know your friend will be there to forgive, pick you up and move forward?

There are many things we would all like to have in a best friend. I ask God to make me what I need to be in my friends' lives and He brings me the perfect friends at the perfect time.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I have been so blessed through the years with wonderful friendships. Each place God moved us, He had special women waiting to impact my life.

Has anyone told you, that as a minister's wife, you cannot have a good friend? Have you been accused of favoritism or excluding someone? Do you feel guilty if you don't divide your time evenly between the women of your church or ministry area?

Let me stop here and say ... Stop Listening to those lies! Satan loves to isolate Christians so he can "sift them like wheat".

Friendships are very important in ministry. You, as a minister's wife, need the love and support of women. I would like to give you some hints on developing healthy friendships in ministry.

Women need women. Your relationship with your husband is number one under God without challenge. Yet, there is still the need to have the relationship with women. Some things only women can understand. (i.e. mood swings, weight, shoes and the need for another pair!)

God tells us in Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Male and Female, different! We need female friends who understand what we are feeling. To comfort us and rejoice with us.

Accountability is another reason we need the friendship of women. Our husband is accountable for our spiritual growth and providing for us and our children. He is also accountable for an entire congregation or youth group or choir, etc. This is quite a responsibility and it is easy for us to slip through the cracks.

The friendship of a Godly friend helps us to stay on track. Scripture tells us, "As iron sharpens iron, So a man (woman) sharpens the countenance of his(her) friend." Proverbs 27:17

If you have a best friend, stop and thank God for that gift today. If you do not, begin praying now that God will bring you that friend who will "stick closer than a brother (sister)".

We will look this week at the characteristics that are important as we choose friends. In the meantime, I recommend the book, Friendships of Women by Dee Brestin.