Here's another lovely reflection, this time on friendship, from the makers of the DVO iPhone app. May you all be blessed with the kind of friendships it describes.
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)
We were not created to do life alone. No man, or woman, is an island. I have come to believe more and more that we need each other, we are all connected. I grew up with an idea that to 'need' another human being was a sign of weakness... but after a few years of living, I think it just shows our inherit need for closeness, for sharing and for community.
There is an ebb and flow to life mostly influenced by our actions and our reactions to what goes on in us and around us. We often find ourselves using these moments to point out and focus on what makes us different from each other - and for some reason, maybe it's human nature, it mostly seems to be in a negative light. We build walls and obstacles between each other through ignorance, offence, assumption... and so much more.
But we are all more alike than we realise. We all have the same basic needs - physical, emotional and spiritual. We all feel joy and pain, we all have hopes and fears... There is more that unites us and brings us together, than divides us.
In the Message version this verse reads: "Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family." Stick by those you love through thick and thin. I'm not suggesting that you stay in manipulative and abusive environments, get out of those as fast as you can... But to those you call friends and family, be committed, be forgiving, be true. This earth is in desperate need of more than just fair weather friends, it's crying out for people who value loyalty, faithfulness, truth, honour, grace and love... People who will cross fences, borders and preferences to reach out and extend kindness and compassion, to gather and hold, encourage and empower. Cultivate friendship of the heart not circumstance. Just as Jesus reached beyond our brokenness and into our lives, let's do the same for others.
Tear down the walls of difference, open your heart up, and be a true friend. It has the potential to change your world, someone else's world, and THE world. Love you guys...
I've often wondered how it must feel to be a successful Christian recording and touring artist whilst having to deal with the worldly aspects of that life such as marketing, profit margins, contracts, image, media communications, etc... It must be a really delicate balancing act to not let success go to your head when it comes, to keep the focus on the Lord and yet do your best to get your material out there because you believe that God wants you to touch people's hearts and souls through your songs and performances/recordings.
I know that one of my all-time favourite bands, Switchfoot, constantly struggle with this tension. Just listen to their last 3 or 4 albums for numerous examples. Jon Foreman's - and the other band members' - lyrics seem to be a way of working through for themselves the tensions inherent in their career/ministry, calling on themselves to keep the focus on what is right and true, above all on love... love of God, love of their fellow human beings.…
Just finished my annual retreat, this year with 25 other De La Mennais Brothers at the Benedictine monastery of Landévennec in Finistère, Brittany. A time to recharge the batteries, to read, to pray, to reflect, to write, to enjoy the beautiful coastal countryside... to take stock of the past year and to look forward to the future with hope. Today and tomorrow I've 2 days of meetings with our Provincial Council, after which it's back to Liverpool just in time to get ready for Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. Here's a Facebook message from the people at "40 acts" to help us live this Lent in a way that takes the focus away from what we can do for ourselves and towards responding better to the needs of others. "Lent starts this Wednesday! How are you doing it?
We're giving up giving up and giving generously instead. Like & Share if you're joining us and tag in some friends to join the #40acts generosity movement.(Sign up at www.40acts.org.uk to …
The article linked at the bottom of this post was written by the bass player of Switchfoot, Tim Foreman (The band are favourites of mine and there was a Switchfoot song on our Indonesia/Japan tour playlist, "Love Alone Is Worth the Fight”). The band are all mad keen surfers. The article recounts a dramatic experience that Tim had while surfing somewhere that Team Win! now know: Bali, Indonesia! The end of the article is as follows:"... life is meant to be lived. And that means taking risks. We come alive when we step beyond the comforts of what we know. And it’s all too easy to just say “no” to the things that scare us. But who knows what’s waiting for you, beyond the safety of your apartment or your mobile device. Like fire in your veins: rebellion, adventure, the unknown."Congrats to Andy (Rolo), James + Harry for being willing to take a giant step outside of their comfort zones and embrace our Far Eastern adventure with all the encounters and experiences that made i…