Monday, March 29, 2010

A True Friend

I remember the day we met. We both worked at the Miami Valley Women's Center, a pregnancy care center. I was a volunteer and she was the Executive Director. When I became the Director of Development, we had the opportunity to work more closely, teaming up to visit our donors. Linda became a dear friend. The kind of friend I desire to be.

Although she worked countless hours, she was always available to discuss the next fund-raiser or up-coming church visit. I don't recall ever hearing her complain. She modeled a godly work ethic and had a genuine interest in all those who made up the staff at the Center. I remember her willingness to take clients when we were short-handed. Follow-up mentoring, after hours, was commonplace. Talk about a heart of compassion!

Because of her vivacious personality, Linda never met a stranger. She loved to entertain, and often would open her home for staff Christmas parties and get-togethers. And did I mention she could cook?! Her poppy-seed muffins and banana bread were staples we included on our donor visits. (And yes, I did get her recipes!) She had a willing heart to serve.

We had the opportunity to attend several Care Center conferences together. From Missouri to California and a couple places in between, we forged a lasting bond. Christ was the foundation of our friendship. Studying God's word and praying together allowed us to sharpen one another spiritually. King Solomon speaks to the wisdom of this practice, "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" (Proverbs 27:17; KJV).

As is the case with any job, there were always opportunities for gossip and slander. Especially in a workplace comprised almost entirely of females. What continues to amaze me to this day is that Linda didn't speak a harsh word about anyone. She seemed to have James 1:19 down, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:" She had a way of "speaking the truth in love" that let me know she wanted the best for me. Her self-discipline and humility left a lasting impression on me.

A true friend is hard to find. One who is willing to invest in a relationship through thick and thin. One who is quick to give praise and slow to complain. One who is in control of his/her tongue. Someone who won't deviate from God's truth, just to tell you what you want to hear. Someone who will be open and honest. A person with a heart of compassion, and a heart to serve. A true friend is a gift from God!

Has God blessed you with a special friendship? What character qualities do you look for in a friend?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the blessing of true friends in my life. I pray that You would help me to cultivate godly characteristics that would allow me to be a true friend to others. Amen.

*I have the privilege of presenting some awesome awards to my faithful, blogging friends!

I received the "Helpful Blogger Award" from Jill Kemerer over at Jill Kemerer: Christian Romance Author. Be sure to check out her site for a big dose of encouragement and fun! Here are the rules that apply to this award:

1. Post one thing no one knows about me.
2. Quote one sentence from a favorite book.
3. Pass it on to seven bloggers.

My answers? Here goes:

1. Hmmmm...This is tricky! How about something you bloggers don't know about me?! When I was growing up, my family would go down to New Port Richey every Christmas to visit my grandparents. My brother and I loved to play with stuffed animals, actually 99% of them were monkeys. We would cram every single stuffed monkey we owned into two smallish, orange suitcases because we knew we'd feel sorry for the ones who didn't get to come to Florida with us! Were we extreme, or what?!

2. I'm following Jill's example on this one. I couldn't narrow it down to just one sentence. Here's one paragraph from Beth Moore's, Praying God's Word:

"In praying Scripture, I not only find myself in intimate communication with God, but my mind is being retrained, or renewed (Rom. 12:2), to think His thoughts about my situation rather than mine. Ultimately, He resumes His proper place in my thought life as huge and indomitable, and my obstacle shrinks. This approach has worked powerfully every time I've applied it. It takes belief, diligence, and time, but the effects are dramatically liberating and eternal."

Try it! It works!!

3. I'm passing the "Helpful Blogger Award," to (in alphabetical order by last name):

Warren Baldwin @ Family Fountain

Carla Gade @ Writing to Distraction

Jeanette Levellie @ Audience of One

Susan Panzica @ Eternity Cafe

Susan J. Reinhardt @ Christian Writer/Reader Connection

Jaime Wright Sundsmo @ The Jaime Reports

A special thanks to Raymonde Newman @ Everyday I Walk With You for the Happy 101 Award, and to Karen Lange @ Write Now for the Inspiration Award. You ladies are the best! Stop by their blogs for a real treat! I'd like to present the "Happy 101 Award" and the "Inspiration Award" to all of my followers who truly are an inspiration to me and, of course, make me very happy!! Congratulations to all of you, and God bless!


  1. Thank you so much:) I love reading about special times in my friend's life. Sounds like you made some very good friends during your lifetime. I have a very good friend like yours up in PA. Miss her alot!

  2. Your friend sounds like someone to look up to. My sister is my dearest friend. I know I can tell her anything!

    Loved the excerpt you posted. It's true!

  3. My friend is more like a sister. I'm sad that I live so far from her now, but we still get together for Thanksgiving and Christmas. :)

    Thank you for the award! I'm happy to have such awesome blogger friends.


  4. God has truly blessed me with such good friends. I'm so grateful for the relationships I've had with various women over the years.

  5. Thank you, Maria, for this award. I am honored that you think my blog is helpful.

    My husband is my best friend, and always has been since we were married 35 years ago. In the ministry, we've moved a lot, so I have dear friends scattered all over. I also consider some of my blogging buddies kindred spirits.

    Blessings on you,

  6. Yes! I am so thankful for real friends!

  7. I'll be 64 years old this year and I can only think of a handful people I would consider true friends. True friends are a rare gift from God. I'll need to wait a little while longer to meet my number one best friend face to face.....his name is Jesus.
    Oh what a friend we have in Jesus!

    God bless you and have a wonderful Easter week,


  8. I believe you can never have too many friends ~ and I praise God for all of mine!

  9. awwww! thnx for the award!! :) Love your blog! :)

  10. Terri - Congratulations! Your blog has truly been helpful! Isn't it neat how friendship transcends distance? God bless you!

    Jill - How neat that you and your sister are best friends! Were you best buds growing up too? Have an amazing day! :)

    Susan - Congratulations! I've found your blog to be super helpful! I love hearing that your friend is more like a blood relation! Awesome that you get to see each other for special holidays!

  11. Jody - Good friends ARE a real blessing! I've enjoyed getting to know you, and your blog has given me tons of wisdom and insight. Hope your week is special! God bless!

    Jen - Congratulations! How fantastic that your husband is your best friend! I'd consider my husband my best friend, too! God knows what He's doing when He puts us together, doesn't He?! Have a fantastic week!

    Kristen - I'm sure you're making all kinds of new friends at your job! What a blessing to work with like-minded believers! Have a great week!

  12. Ron - Oh, you're absolutely right,that Jesus is the BEST friend anyone could have! Do you know the old hymn, "No, Not One"? "There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus, No, not one, no, not one. None else could heal all my souls diseases, no, not one. No, not one. Jesus knows all about our struggles, He will guide till the day is done; There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus, No, not one! no, not one!"

    Have a blessed Easter & happy early birthday! :)

    Glenda - You're right! The Lord uses each one in a special way in our lives! God bless you!

    Jaime - Congratulations! The feeling is mutual - I love your blog, too!! Have a blessed week and give that precious baby a hug for me!!

  13. Maria - Very good post. Having had some very good friends, I can agree with your statement that, "A true friend is a gift from God."

    Thank you for the very nice award. I will post it on my blog, probably next week. Also, I've visited all the others you presented it to and left a congratulatory note. Have a great weeik!


  14. Warren - Thank you for your words of encouragement! And congratulations on being a helpful blogger. You can't go wrong sharing the truth of God's Word, right?! Have a fantastic day and a blessed Easter!

  15. Praying you have a WONDERFUL Easter sister! You are such a blessing to me!
    God bless!