August is a month of friendships. Students return to school forming new friendships and renewing others. Today, August 15, 2019, is my friend Nicki’s fortieth birthday. Our friendship spans over a decade of hills and valleys, all of which God has shown Himself faithful. In honor of our friendship, here is a list of my fifteen favorite quotes on friendship.
15 Quotes on Friendship
A friend is someone who knows all about you & still loves you.
True friends are families which you select.
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.
Henry David Thoreau
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart.
I have learned that the friends who hold your hand through tough times and watch your soul twirl during the best, are the ones you should spend your lifetime dancing with.
Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life. Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend.
Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.
A friend is like a good bra; hard to find, supportive, comfortable, always lifts you up, makes you look better, and close to your heart.
A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.
Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.
Kristin Funston delivers refreshing grace for the daily grind of motherhood. Written in a conversational style, More for Mom Living Your Whole and Holy Life feels like a back porch conversation with a longtime friend.
She shares a common struggle with modern Christian moms—how to live a whole and holy life in a world filled with lies, distractions, and comparison from our culture.
Funston debunks the lie demanding more from moms, but God has a plan of more for moms.
Funston wrote More for Mom with
moms in mind. However, women with or without children, millennials and older,
can apply the principles and strategies for a deeper relationship with
Funston wrote More for Mom with moms in mind. However, women with or without children, millennials and older, can apply the principles and strategies for a deeper relationship with God.
I recommend More for Mom Living Your Whole and Holy Life for the Christian woman eager to receive more from God.
More for Mom Living Your Whole and Holy Life by Kristin Funston is available wherever online and wherever fine books are sold. To connect with Kristin you can visit her website.
In today’s post, Leah Lively shares tips on overcoming Bible study obstacles.
Leah and I briefly met before her family moved to the Louisianan bayous. Years later, their family moved back to the east coast with her husband’s career. Between surviving gulf coast hurricanes and the storms of parenthood, she has written a new Bible study called, “30 Days with John: A Journey with Jesus’ Most Beloved Disciple.”
Overcoming Bible Study Obstacles
A few weeks ago, I asked my Facebook friends to tell me some obstacles they faced when it came to studying the Bible. They echoed some of the same challenges: the Bible is difficult to understand, where do you begin, and an inability to stay focused. I understood the struggle all too well, until a couple of years ago.
In 2017, I attended a conference for writers and speakers in Christian ministry. A well-known Bible teacher organized this event and took us step by step through her time in prayer, in the Word, and writing. Two takeaways the main speaker shared were: we had to be in God’s Word if we wanted to share God’s Word in our world. Also, as believers, we had to know God’s Word because the world is constantly going to come against His Truth. If we don’t know His Truth we will be deceived.
1. Create Authentic Time
The speaker continued to give us the tools to create an authentic time of studying the Bible. It isn’t magic. It isn’t something some believers have, and others don’t. In the book of John, chapter 16, Jesus shares with the disciples in His final hours. He tells them He will be going away because if He leaves, the Counselor (Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth) cannot come to them. “When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13) Jesus promises that when the Holy Spirit comes to them, they would finally understand. Their eyes would be opened to all Jesus had been teaching for the last three years.
God offers us the Holy Spirit too. When we become believers, the Holy Spirit
becomes a part of us. When we open God’s word, the Truth comes alive in ways we
have never seen to the point that we cannot wait to discover all the Spirit has
to show us. The Bible was written through the help of the Holy Spirit, so we
need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit for help in understanding the scripture.
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.”
2. Read in Chunks
Another speaker at the conference addressed which scripture to read. She recommended reading the Bible in chunks. We tend to focus on a verse or two, which is fine, but to get a bigger picture and understanding of the passage, she said we should read the entire chapter or read through an entire book over the course of several days. To gain understanding, it helps to know who the author is, what perspective he has, as well as the time frame he is writing in. I had never read the Bible this way, but I was determined when I returned home from the conference.
I prayed next time I sat down to study, asking God (through the Holy Spirit) to reveal His truth to me. I asked for understanding. God led me to study the life of Paul. I started in the book of Acts, reading about his life, his conversion, and ministry. By reading Paul’s letters in the order he wrote them, I was able to compare them with details in Acts to see what he was experiencing when each letter was written. My eyes were opened to a greater understanding of Paul and the trials he experienced throughout his ministry.
Two years later, on May 1st, I published a study on the book of John titled, 30 Days with John: A Journey with Jesus’ Most Beloved Disciple. Each day’s study begins with prayer, a full reading of the passage, and then questions to take you back through the scripture to aid in understanding. The study is concise, yet in-depth, for those who get overwhelmed by longer studies and lack the available time to complete them. I hope the study I have written will help facilitate going deeper into God’s word. We don’t have to be pastors or teachers, speakers or writers to love and understand the scripture. It’s here for all of us. The more we know God’s Word, the closer we become in a relationship with Him.
There are always going to be obstacles when it comes to reading scripture because the enemy doesn’t want you to do it! That is a topic for an entirely different blog post. Don’t allow distractions and obstacles to keep you from growing closer to God. If you need more focus, pray and ask God. The more He draws you into His Word, you will find those distractions and obstacles won’t be a problem for you. I hope the suggestions I have given will encourage you and give you some confidence in reading and understanding God’s word.
30 Days with John: A Journey with Jesus’ Most Beloved Disciple,available online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
Born and raised in Virginia, Leah’s faith journey began in a small church in a small town. She is a wife to one and a mom to 4 along with a sweet female boxer. Leah is motivated by 2 Corinthians 13:11 where Paul encourages the church in Corinth to “become mature and be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” She wants believers to grow in their faith and discover a hunger for God’s word. Leah’s genuine and authentic style of presenting the gospel lays a foundation for readers to learn more of God’s Truths.
Mysterious medical marvels occurred during my fourth decade of life; a genetic illness, Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis which had been dormant in my past triggered on. In addition, my estrogen levels and metabolism plummeted while hot flashes and brain fog skyrocketed. Something caused my body to short-circuit. I scrambled to search for the factory default setting, but none existed.
Those of us with a chronic illness can relate to this story. While the period of time and disease name may vary the overall sense of our bodies short-circuiting is universal. We miss our old life “before” our illness and we grieve the person we used to be. That person is still inside of us, held hostage by an uninvited circumstance or illness.
For me, the good old days prior to my illness, I led a balanced and active life. I enjoyed working three days a week as the neighborhood pharmacist. During my days off, I volunteered at my kid’s school, served as room mom, baked special treats for the teachers, and served in various areas at church. Physical fitness was important to me. I ran three to five days a week, competed in Marine Corp Mud Runs, and hiked the Appalachian Trail. I did not need a fitness tracker to monitor my steps or track my activity level because I was constantly on the move. Now I wear an electronic gadget to monitor my activity level. This pesky device prompts me to move when I linger in one place too long.
If we’re not careful we can allow our minds to be held hostage by our uninvited circumstance or illness. If we are not careful, we can allow our minds to wander off God’s intended path of peace (Luke 1:79) into the thorns and thistles of stinkin’ thinkin’. I pray for my mind. I pray for the Holy Spirit to prompt me like a spiritual fitness tracker to notify me when my mind lingers in stinkin’ thinkin’ too long.
When my mind begins to creep into the stinkin’ thinkin’ and when I begin to grieve my old life for too long, I dwell on the words of wisdom by missionary Paul:
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
Philippians 4:8-9, MSG
We cannot control our unwelcomed illness or life circumstance. However, we can control how we respond. Whether we become bitter or better is our choice to make. When the Holy Spirit prompts us like a spiritual fitness tracker to move, will we follow the prompt or will we linger? The choice is ours to make. Triumphant faith presses on.
Images courtesy of SnockSnap and Melkhagelslag of Pixabay
P.S. If you like this article, check out the online magazine Broken But Priceless.This faith-based quarterly e-magazine specifically nourishes the soul of the chronically ill and their caregivers. I call it “comfort food for the soul.”