I saw this article on Lifeway and just had to post - enjoy;)
Your best friend will always be the person who brings out the very best in you. According to Billy Graham, he wouldn’t have made it as an evangelist if he had to minister alone. Over 53 years ago, Billy Graham met his staff and best friends: Cliff Barrows, George Beverly Shea, and Grady Wilson. These three men protected him, strengthened him, counseled with their wisdom, and corrected him when he needed it. He is convinced that without these friends he would have burned out within a few years after his first groundbreaking crusade in 1949 (Just as I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham, pp. 125-129).
Developer friends will bring the gift of encouragement to your life and bring out the very best in you.
We tend to think of mentors as a personal, hands-on coach. The Latin and Greek define them more as “advisors” or “wise men.” Jesus was a master mentor. He ministered to thousands, trained hundreds, equipped twelve, and had an intimate friendship with three men.
Designer mentors may live near or far, be acquaintances or strangers, or may even be dead. They “design” our lives through Scripture, books, tapes, articles, or seminars.
We need friends who will shake up our status quo. Disturbers ask us difficult questions, forcing us to take a closer look at motivations and ambitions. Disturbers know when we have retreated into our comfort zones, and they call us out to greater effectiveness. God uses disturbers in our lives to become the object of greater force that breaks inertia and propels us to greater achievement.
A biblical picture of a disturber is in Deuteronomy 32:11. In this passage the mother eagle tears up the soft nest to reveal sharp thorns that bring discomfort to the eaglets. Because of discomfort, the eaglets leave the nest and learn to fly. The mother develops her young by repeatedly pushing them out of the nest and catching them until they become skilled flyers. Eagles were never meant to stay in the nest and neither were we. The disturber pushes us to learn to fly.
In a lifetime of relationships, perhaps only a handful of people are willing to play this vital role because it requires mutual vulnerability. More popularly known as accountability partners, discerners bring the gift of spiritual insight into our lives. They know how to speak the truth in love. They know how to exhort and rebuke, seeking to keep their friend on the right track. They are also vulnerable—the true friends who will walk into the room of your life while everyone else is walking out.
Proverbs 27:6 reads, “The wounds of a friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.” Always be slow in choosing your discerners and even slower in leaving them.
If you are without close friendships, I urge you to seek them out.
Monday, September 3, 2007
I am reading a great book right now called "This Beautiful Mess" by Pastor Rick McKinley. His preface is that Jesus said of the Kingdom of God that it was coming and is in you. While most evangelicals wait for the Kingdom, or claim to be building the Kingdom, Rick believes that the Kingdom of God is here now and is also coming. His plea is to recognize that even though it is not visible the Kingdom is here and that we are called to live in it and be signposts to others directing them towards the reality of the present Kingdom and the physical Kingdom that is coming when Christ returns. Here is a poem from the book that I really felt.
"When my brothers were to young to be wise but to old to name things creatively, they invented a game called: Let's take turns jumping off of Tom's roof and throw the cat after the person who jumped. At least they took turns... Later when my brothers were too young to be wise but old enough to put their scientific knowledge to use, they played a game called: Let's pour gas over this giant pile of weeds and light it on fire. At least the Doctor said that their eyebrows will grow back... Later when my brother was old enough to be depressed but too young to know how to cope, he would play a game called: Let's go to Tom's house and do a lot of drugs and drink all his step dad's beer. At least there was that one English teacher who asked id something was wrong... but what could you say? We are so poorly equipped to deal with these troubles, and there are so few doctors of the soul these days... What is there to do? I know some people who fight it all their lives, kicking against the goads until they bleed to death. Others, like Dad, ignore it, thinking that hard work, sunshine, and the passing of time will resolve it. Still others, like Mom, ostracize and cast blame by leaving condemnatory evangelical polemics taped to your bathroom mirror. But now my brothers and I are old enough to begin to be wise, yet still young enough to climb the cold roof to talk and to smoke. So I will play a new game called: Let's go and bear one another's burdens. At least I will not laugh at your pain, I will not try to fix your problems, I will not ignore your suffering or condemn you with my piety... I will simply lie here next to you in the cold while we breathe our smoky prayers to God." ~ Raeben Nolan
Music I am listing to today:
1. Calling on You - Stryper
2. 8th Grade - Chris Rice