Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sunday----Proverbs on Friendship, Part 3 with Dr. Tim Keller

If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse. (Proverbs 27:14)

SENSITIVITY.  A third mark of friendship is sensitivity and tact.  Why does someone show inappropriate heartiness when others are just waking up?  Why do they use humor inappropriately or speak lightheartedly to grieving people with a heavy heart? It is because they are emotionally disconnected and therefore clumsy.  They don't know the other person's inner topography well enough to know what hurts or helps, what inspires or bores,  what stimulates or irritates.

If I can be content when you are sad, I'm not your friend. Friends voluntarily tie their hearts to one another.  They put their happiness into their friends happiness, so they can't emotionally flourish unless their friends are flourishing too.  Jesus  tied his heart to us so that even in his suffering he know joy because of the salvation he was bringing to us (Hebrews 12:2; cf. Isaiah 53:11).  The friendship connection may not be as emotionally intense as that which comes in romance, nor always as enduring as family ties, all the more reason friendship is so valuable, because such a link is both deliberate and voluntary.

Are you putting in the effort to be a friend?

Prayer:  Lord, our sin causes you pain (Genesis 6:6)  and our broken hearts draw you to our side (Psalm 34:18)  You love us more tenderly and sensitively than a nursing mother does her child (Isaiah 49:15)  Let me be so moved by your love for me that it makes me highly sensitive to the needs of those around me.  Amen

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Congratulations To Vanderbilt Baseball Winner of College World Series Tonight!

NO DOUBT ABOUT IT,  Vandy baseball Coach Tim Corbin is one of the finest---if not THE finest coach of any sport in the nation. Way to go Vandy boys!   So well done as the Vandy team takes down Michigan 8-2 in game 3.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday---Proverbs on Friendship, Part 2 with Dr. Tim Keller


Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiples kisses.  (Proverbs 27:5-6)

TRANSPARENCY.  A second requirement for friendship is transparency. The King James Version renders the first part of Proverbs 27:6 as "faithful are the wounds of a friend."  What are "faithful wounds"? The phrase means that real friends do open rebuke, they tell each other things they need to hear even if they are painful. If you are too afraid to say what needs to be said, you are really of your friend's soul.

Have you ever listened to a recording of yourself and thought, "I don't sound like that."  But yes,  you do---you can't hear from within your body what your voice really sounds like outside.  And without the perspective of others we will never know our strengths and weaknesses. If you have a measure of status in the world, or if you have chosen friends poorly,  you may just be surrounded by flatterers. (29:5)  Transparency is scary, but we need it.  And to get courage,  look to the one who became so vulnerable for you that he died on the cross.  How faithful were the wounds of this friend for you!

How many real friends do you have----friends who will speak the truth in love to you?

Lord Jesus, you became a vulnerable human being to show us the truth about ourselves. You were faithful and constant even to death on the cross. Now, Lord, reproduce in me that same character and let me be a friend to others as you have been a friend to me. Amen.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Greatest Show On Earth---Trump Dazzles In Orlando

TRUMP WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS ONE OF AMERICA'S GREATEST PRESIDENTS.  I cannot imagine him not winning a second term.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Proverbs On Friendship, With Dr. Tim Keller

IN HIS BOOK OF DAILY DEVOTIONALS ON THE BOOK OF PROVERBS,  God's Wisdom For Navigating Life,   Dr. Tim Keller does a series on friendship  which occurs in his book during the month of June.  It is wise and well worth pondering.  I believe real friendship takes in person contact and proximity to grow and deepen.  E-mails, texts and social media contact just doesn't get it for very long.  So old fashioned friendship today, as opposed to fast friendship, needs more than ever to be disciplined and intentional because of myriad distractions in today's hectic world. Real friendship is reciprocal though at times one person carries more of the load.

The best marriages are at their core deep friendship.

I'll be posting for the next few Sundays on some of the traits of real, long-term friendship from Proverbs.  Hope it's inspirational to you, as it is for me:

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.---Proverb 18:24

INTENTIONALITY. This says that a friend can be better than a sibling---quite a statement in a culture that was far more family oriented than ours. But how so? Your family may be there for you but they may not really like you or understand you. And there can be long stretches of life in which you have no romantic partner or spouse. A friend, however, may stick with you over the years closer than a brother.

In the early stage of your life, you were shaped most by your family.  But for the rest of your life you will be shaped largely by your friends. You become like the people with whom you spend the most time.  As we will see, you can't live without friendship.  But remember how deliberate friendship must be. Erotic attraction and family relationships push themselves on you in various ways, but friendship will not. It must be carefully, intentionally cultivated through face-to-face time spent together.  And in a busy culture like ours, it is one thing that is often squeezed out.

How have your best friends over the years shaped and influenced you? Who are your best friends now?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you befriended a handful of disciples and through those friendships you changed the world. Help me choose my friends wisely, cultivate them carefully, and learn all I should learn from them so I can grow into the person you've called me to be,  Amen.

Fathers Day Sunday


Monday, June 3, 2019

Sunday, Monday: The Enticing Sin of Empathy---How Satan Corrupts Through Compassion



DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR BLEEDING HEART LIBERAL DAYS WHEN YOU DID EVERYTHING MOTIVATED BY FEELINGS AND EMPATHY?  I sure do.  Feelings-based decisions are a national epidemic and regressing society, our culture and our families.  Here,  Joe Rigney shows how too much  empathy can twist and warp the best of intentions and cause more problems than  it sought to solve.  Please don't get me wrong:  feelings are important and can sometimes guide us. Yet when they become the ultimate force for living, rather than critical and principled thinking and acting,  feelings can take us down many  painful dead-ends.

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