Friday, September 17, 2010

Making friends the old way or the new way

I was busy this morning prepping for an event tonight (Missions Dessert Night - going to be awesome), getting my 15 yr old to the orthodontist, finishing up school, folding laundry (from Wednesday), etc, etc. You know "that morning." I did a quick email check (LONGING to sit down and blog to you...) before we had to run, and I opened an email from my bloggy friend Mary Joy. Suddenly, my shoulders relaxed, my feet stilled, my face smiled, and my heart filled as I read her note of encouragement and blessing. Unexpected. No strings attached. A note from a friend ... a friend I've never "met" in person. I really hope you feel like a friend when you come and read here at Come Have a Peace - I want you to go away feeling like you just sat down with a friend to chat, and you go away encouraged. Even more than "hoping" that, I PRAY for that!

Today there are new ways to make a friend. I once said (silly me) I didn't see how people could make real friends online ... until I made real friends online. In an interconnected world, there are new possibilities for women to network with those of like heart and mind and develop friendships. Today Mary Joy included me in sharing about blogs that bless her; not surprisingly, her blog is called "Seeds of Encouragement."

And how about the potential of social networks for building friendships? We've talked about some of the potential pitfalls of these sites, but there's also great opportunity for recapturing a new kind of familiarity with friends of old and with new friends whose lives are busy. It's a sort of a "stroll through the neighborhood" feel, but it works when friends live across town or across the world. With our world including things like flash drives, iphones, and skype, friendships can progress in new ways.

God MADE friendship and was the first Friend to take initiative to make and KEEP a friendship. I'm so glad He did! Some things about making a friend and being a friend don't change, because they're God's ideas.

  • a good friend loves at all times Prov. 17:17
  • some friends are dear friends, but not all Prov. 18:24
  • our behavior impacts the growth of a friendship Prov. 22:11
  • the more godly a person is, the better a friend they make Prov. 22:24
  • friendship can be hard sometimes, but friends want the best for each other Prov. 27:6
  • a true friend will act and speak in your best interest Prov. 27:9
  • friends help each other get through the hard stuff of life Prov. 27:10
  • life is hard; we need friends Eccl. 4:10
  • Jesus was a friend to needy people Matt. 11:9
  • sometimes following Jesus can separate us from friends Luke 21:15-17

Sometimes our flesh gets in the way of great friendships. You may even serve alongside other girlfriends at your church or in a compassion ministry, but your flesh may threaten the sweetness of your friendship. When you look back over all of the gifts a friendship gives, you can see why Satan would love to wreck it. It was the same way with two girlfriends who served together with their Pastor Paul and ended up in an argument; he begged Euodia and Syntche to get along! Come on, girls!! A good friendship can be such a blessing to others, when it takes on the qualities of Jesus, but it can cause such a viral sickness when it's all about our flesh. We have the perfect model of a great friend in Jesus. He put us before Himself, sacrificing His own life for ours. And He tells us that if we are His friends, we will obey Him. John 15:12-14

Do you have a friend who is blessing in your life? ARE you a friend who is a blessing in another gal's life? If you're longing for a friend, ask God to help you BE this "Jesus quality" friend and give you opportunities. Let me give you 5 Tips for Nurturing a New Friendship THIS WEEKEND -

  1. take initiative, and ask non yes/no questions about the OTHER person to get to know her (her history, her family, her background, her education, her travels, her coffee habits ;))
  2. set up a time to talk outside of your standard setting (work/church/school) to take your friendship to the next level
  3. if you've gotten to know her a little bit, next time talk about what you REMEMBER (this requires listening and remembering)
  4. share something personal (not TOO personal) about yourself that helps you connect (your family, your hobbies, an embarrassing moment, an answered prayer)
  5. share about something that inspired you this week, like a verse, a blog, a show, or a conversation

I'm off to prep for the Missions Night ... but I have a friend who's going to help me!!! Yay! Enjoy those traditional friendships and those "nouveau" friendships, and I'm so glad you've stopped by to be my blogging friend. Praying you are blessed and will be a blessing as a friend this weekend,

5 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Mary Joy said...

Oh wow! Julie I am so honored to be called your friend! You have touched my heart so many times through your blog, your sweet comments on mine, and thoughtful email notes. And I DO feel like a friend when I stop by your blog and read and "visit" for a bit. Every time I go away feeling encouraged and challenged to be better than I draw even closer to our Lord Jesus. I too never thought there could be "real" relationships on-line...just a year ago as a matter of fact. Silly me! You are one of the most wonderful ladies and I count you as a "real" friend of mine even though we have yet to "meet" in person. God bless you for all you do to shepherd, minister to, and befriend all of us who "stop by" for a visit. I will be praying for your missions event this evening!!! May God bless all you do with his abundant blessings and grace!!!

Theresa said...

Yes, I have made some great blogging friends. We all need friends. I am blessed to have a few really good ones.
Have a great Missions Night.

Dona Pugh said...

Wonderful post!! We are designed for relationships! Godly friendships are such a blessing, and help to grow our spiritual life. I have the joy of teaching preschoolers about David and Jonathan this Sunday. I love that part that says "that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." What a delight it is to have such friendships!
I appreciate the practical tips you gave us. Good stuff!!

Warren Baldwin said...

Good comments and advice.

Cindy Bultema said...

YOU are a friend who is a blessing in my life, dear Julie !!
And yes, when I stop by Come Have a Peace, I ALWAYS feel like I just sat down with a friend to chat, and leave encouraged. ALWAYS.
Thank you for your sweet words on friendship, but also for reflecting the heart of Jesus to me.
Bless you, my friend!!
Cindy :)