Tag Archives: friendship

How Do I Decide? Well, Who or What Do You Want to Be?

IMG_0030 How.Decide

A few nights ago my daughter and I watched a movie, and something one of the characters said caught my attention. I think it can apply to more than just the obvious situation, don’t you? The main character’s best friend said:

“Don’t choose the better guy, choose the guy that’s gonna make you the better girl.” —Trish in This Means War

So who do you want to be? What do you want to be? Are your current life choices keeping you from being the person you really are deep down inside? Are current relationships with people and organizations helping you grow or keeping you stunted?

“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” —C.S. Lewis, author

I’m not talking about being a snob.  I’m talking about the people you include in your inner ring, your most intimate of friends from whom you seek advice and with whom there is mutual benefit and not just a one-sided relationship.

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” —Proverbs 27:17

I’m also not talking about micromanaging our lives, and I know sometimes making the best choice isn’t always easy. After all, we’re human, and we make mistakes… sometimes, big ones. We cannot allow fear to keep us from making decisions either, because as Harvey Cox, an American theologian once said, “Not to decide is to decide.”

Don’t allow apathy to make the decision for you. Choose between what will keep you where you are or what will help you reach your goals.

Don’t just sit there. God cannot steer a car that isn’t moving.

“Are circumstances driving you, or are you controlling your circumstances?” —K. Scott Bonovich, author

It’s okay to say no.

Don’t kill yourself trying to fit into someone else’s mold. Do you want to be like them, or do you want to be you and who you believe God created you to be?

I recently made the decision to become a firefighter, and I am pursuing an education to become an EMT. I have been surprised by those who have been supportive from the beginning and those who are still not supportive to this day. One of my family members remarked that it seemed like the fire department had chosen me instead of my choosing the fire department. I assured her that it was my choice, and I worked hard studying the apparatus and equipment so that I could earn my shield and begin riding to assist and gain practical experience. Like anyone who has ever experienced great success, sometimes I had to decide between playing and working. I am grateful for those who also chose to work by taking the time to teach me. We played afterward.

“What are you prepared to do?” —Jimmy Malone in The Untouchables

How badly do you want it? What will it take to get it? Who do you want to be? It starts with a vision and then one decision after another.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” —Socrates, a character in Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Happy New Year!!

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: Breaking & Making Habits

Photo credit:  David Gunter

Photo credit: David Gunter


Leave No One Behind

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I have had a few occasions to witness the friendship and bond between bikers, and this past weekend, I was even privileged to ride in a Toy Run with a motorcycle club for the first time.  I knew a motorcycle culture exists, but what I suspected was confirmed— not all motorcycle clubs or bikers are created equal. Although some bikers would not call themselves a Christ-follower, they put some of us, who call ourselves Christians, to shame.

On one occasion months ago, I watched a group of bikers getting ready to roll out of a restaurant parking lot after having had breakfast. As I watched, I noticed one of the bikers pull out onto the main road when the coast was clear. He positioned himself in the center of the lane so his fellow bikers could safely depart. Then he took up the rear.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” —Jesus

This weekend while riding in the Toy Run, one of the club member’s bikes developed a problem, so all of the members pulled over. ‘Sailor’, the one with whom I was riding, said, “We never leave anyone behind.” The members pulled together to assess and assist.

Duct tape fixes everything. Well… almost.

I don’t know everything there is to know about bikers and motorcycle clubs, but there is one thing I do know. In most cases, the heart is the same; it’s just a different face.

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.   —Proverbs 18:24 KJV

 

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I Got Your Back

 


Wisdom Wednesday: Broken Teeth and a Foot Out of Joint

"Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth and a foot out of joint."  —Proverbs 25:19

“Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth and a foot out of joint.” —Proverbs 25:19

While trying to decide the topic for this week’s Wisdom Wednesday, I was reminded of a dream I’d had. Although I have heard many people say they have had dreams in which their teeth fell out or broke, I’d never had that dream until three nights ago. I was still trying to decide between two topics when I found out that someone hyper-extended his foot this evening. Broken teeth, foot out of joint? I couldn’t ignore the ‘signs’.

“Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth and a foot out of joint.” —Proverbs 25:19

Have you ever been surprised to find out who your real friends are during times of trouble? Although I try to be a good friend even during times of difficulty and need, I’m sure I have disappointed the expectations of family and friends at one time or another.

“In times of difficulty, friendship is on trial.” —Greek proverb

“The shifts of fortune test the reliability of friends.” —Cicero

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” —J.R.R. Tolkien

“He that trusts a faithless friend has a good witness against him.” —Spanish proverb

“He’s my friend that speaks well of me behind my back.” —Thomas Fuller

Have you ever been surprised by the faithfulness or generous support of those far away as opposed to those who are close?

“A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand.” —Kahlil Gibran

“We are attractive and winsome when in Christ’s name we ask questions and truly listen, when we share the suffering of another, and when we risk everything to be authentic.” —Denis Haack, Founder and Director of Ransom Fellowship

“The genuine friend, who is affected with the joys and sorrows of another, is a medicinal cordial, the sanctuary of the heart, the delight of the eyes, and worthy of confidence.” —Hindu proverb

“And, sometimes love looks like inaction when you’re really choosing not to enable.” —Jennifer, blogger in Rucksack Full O’Rocks

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Disappointment and Hope

 


Gifts From Afar

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One of the things I have enjoyed about blogging and other social media outlets is meeting new people from around the world.  I have even had the privilege of meeting a few in person.  Today I received a green envelope in the mail from, Ralph, a wonderful blogging friend in Spain.  If I remember correctly, I found Ralph’s Bluefish Way through another blogging friend, and I’m so glad I did.  Although a few of his posts have caused me to blush a little, his kind heart and humor have been such a blessing.  Thank you so much, Ralph, for the beautiful gifts… and your gift of friendship!


Wisdom Wednesday: The Power of Giving

"A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men."  —Proverbs 18:16

Photo credit: Charles Thompson via stock.xchng

Have you ever tried to ‘open a door’ by giving a gift? Maybe you wanted to get a special someone’s attention, make a good first impression, or gain favor. Proverbs 18:16 says that giving a gift has the power to open doors and give access to important people. Gifts are often given to people in positions of authority such as presidents, royalty, and judges. Part of doing so is etiquette or what is expected, but part of it is done in hopes of finding favor.  If an appropriate gift is given with knowledge about the person’s likes and desires, it can find its way into the recipient’s heart.

“An official never flogs the bearer of gifts.” —Chinese proverb

“A gift given in secret subdues anger, and a bribe given secretly subdues strong wrath.” —Proverbs 21:14 NET

Proverbs 17:8 well says that a bribe can work like a charm and bring success. We know how well bribes work in politics, because governments are well-known for being corrupt. So am I advocating the giving of bribes?  No, because if a person can be bought, then someone else can buy them for a higher price. It is better to not offer bribes nor to accept them.  When a bribe is accepted, there are often strings attached.

“A friend that you buy with presents, will be bought from you.” —Latin proverb

“He who would stop every man’s mouth must have a great deal of meal.” —Italian proverb

I once heard a friend say it is hard to say anything against someone who gives gifts or does nice things, even if the person is not really all that nice or even leads people astray in some way.  You probably know someone that is well-liked by a lot of people and either don’t know the real person or don’t care about moral ethics because what really matters to them is the end result and how it benefits them.  This, too, often happens in politics, whether it is in government, organizations, or even within families.

People with lots of wealth, especially if they are generous, often wonder who their real friends are, but it is not only people with a lot of money who eventually find out who their real friends are when the well runs dry.  I have heard a lot of people say when they ran out of drugs or booze, they also ran out of ‘friends’.  Reminds me of the account of the prodigal son.  (Luke 15:11-32)

“Many will seek the favor of a generous man, and every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.” —Proverbs 19:6

Sometimes people are generous simply because they want to be liked or to gain power. It’s like buying votes. But that works for only so long.

“You can get by on charm for about 15 minutes. After that, you better know something.” —H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I like giving gifts, and although my motives are usually to brighten someone’s day or to meet a need, I’m sure I have given a gift or two to open a door or make a good first impression. Is there anything wrong with that? Well, it really comes down to whether the motive is purely selfish and deceptive or whether it seeks the best interest of others as well, which is why we should be discerning when it comes to befriending or endorsing someone simply because they are generous with their time, possessions, and power. Jesus gave a principle when he sent the apostles out and said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. “ (Matthew 10:16)

“Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” —English proverb referring to the Trojan Horse

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: When It’s Never Enough


A Little Help From My Friends

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My granddaughter was too shy to blow out her candles, so she got a little help from her friends.  We all need friends.  Friends share in our joys and our sorrows.  They lighten our burdens and give us hope for tomorrows.

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 says, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?  And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

“I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.”  –Nancie J. Carmody, writer


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