“Friends To the End (or maybe not…)”

There is nothing more painful than losing a friend. I’m not talking about losing a friend to death, but the death of a friendship.

Years ago my closest friend abruptly stopped speaking to me. I called and left several messages for her and she didn’t return any of my calls. I sent her emails and I finally sent her a letter. I heard crickets. I was hurt. After a while my hurt turned to anger because I knew that I hadn’t done anything wrong to deserve her throwing our friendship away, without an explanation. Life went on, but I thought about her often. I would pass by her street and would wonder how she was doing. I had other friends that I spent time with, but our friendship was different. Our lives were parallel on many levels, but we were opposites: I am very outgoing and she was very quiet. We loved each other like sisters. We never fought nor had a disagreement, so it was even more disturbing why she dropped off the radar.

After a year or so I moved from the area and one day when I was in Los Angeles, I felt led to stop by and see her. I’m glad I did. I mustered up my courage and walked to her door and knocked on her screen. I then heard her repeating, ‘Oh my goodness. I don’t believe this’. And when she opened the door, no words were spoken, we simply hugged each other and cried. She later revealed that when I knocked on her door she had just prayed and asked God to send her a friend like me. He answered her prayer quickly and answered it beyond what she had asked by sending me and not someone similar to me. I learned that she had hit a rough patch in life and pulled back from me and everyone else rather than drawing closer in her time of need. We picked up that day just where we left off and our friendship has never been stronger.

Take action now: Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other” (God’s Word Translation).

Embrace this truth: Make sure your friends know they have a safe place with you and don’t be too proud to take the first step toward restoring a friendship.


“The Balancing Act”

Chasing after money at the expense of your family, your integrity or your good name can leave you poorer than you can imagine. We all need money to survive, but don’t make the mistake of pushing your love of money ahead of everything else. I have friends who have worked two full-time jobs to maintain a certain lifestyle, but their kids got involved in risky behavior because they were working long hours, and not spending time at home and giving the children the attention and guidance they needed. Marriages often get in trouble for this same reason: one spouse is steadily climbing the corporate ladder to success, but their spouse is lonely.

To be clear, I don’t believe that God wants us to walk in the Ministry of Poverty, I’m simply saying don’t chase after riches and neglect everything else. Our first ministry should be our family. Don’t allow yourself to be a wonderful provider, but a so-so spouse or parent. Balance is key. When you’re home with your family, be in the moment. Disconnect from electronic devices and tune in to your family. Beware: pre-teens/teens may not appreciate your extra effort immediately and may even be suspicious of your motives. Give them time. They’ll eventually thank you for making them your priority.

Take action now: Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, raise them with Christian discipline and instruction(Ephesians 6:4, Good News Translation).

Embrace this truth: Set a goal to leave a legacy of love — this type of legacy will outlast your bank accoun