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Grateful for Friendships New and Old

I am so grateful for the many relationships the Lord has brought into my life.  I have a wonderful family, a fantastic church, amazing neighbors, and great community of friends in my city.  I have been blessed in unique ways by all these people, and each person has taught me something or shaped my life in a special way.

This morning I coffee with a friend in town who attends another church.  We used to attend the same church but last year our family felt God's calling to leave that place and help start a new church in Northfield.  I prayed through it a lot and talked it over with Stephanie for months before we made a switch.  I'm grateful that we walked through the leaving process slowly and positively.  Too many people leave a church for petty reasons and it sadly leaves relationships splintered.

What was so neat about the conversation today was the realization that even though we are worshipping in a different building on Sunday, our hearts are still worshipping the same God all week long.  We are brothers in Christ and that commonality unites us at all times.  We laughed at the thought that someday we'll be worshipping together again, so we might as well get along now and get used to it!  It was also inspiring to talk through some of the things God had laid on our hearts and to see where those visions meshed up with one another.

I believe that having solid friendships honors God, and acts as a witness to His desire for his people to experience loving community.  Friendships can be hard sometimes but they provide a place for us to be encouraged, sharpened, rebuked, comforted, challenged, and celebrated.  There will be ebb and flow in the various relationships in our lives, and we should look at each situation as a catalyst for growth instead of a permanent thing.  Enjoy deeply the people God has placed in your life, but don't hold them too tightly.

There is only one friend who is sure to remain in your life forever.  That is Jesus Christ.  Keep him closest as you journey and you will always have someone close by your side.
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