All Kinds of Friends

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dear Linwood Family and Friends,

All of a sudden it is Wednesday!  How did that happen?  Last Wednesday was only a couple of days ago – or so it seems.  Now, here it is again.  Remarkable!  I have heard that the older you get the faster time goes by.  I must REALLY be getting old!

O.K. – all together now – our theme for the 2014 Linwood season is…

Faith, Family and Friendships

Faith is a gift given to us by God; our families are assembled partly by choice (we choose our marriage partners) and mostly by God’s providence (we do not choose our parents, siblings, grandparents, etc.).  Friends, on the other hand, are almost always of our own selection.

There are many different kinds of friends.  For instance –
* I have had a best friend – a relationship that stretched across the decades and always seemed to become deeper and more precious.
* I have had a prayer friend – a friend who committed himself to me on a regular basis over a period of several years.  He remains a friend, but in a different way than during that period.
* I have had a friend who wore me out.  They wanted more than I was able – or wanted – to give.  (And, I suspect, there have probably also been those that I wore out!)
* I have had a friend that lifted me up.  There was something about them that offered encouragement and buoyed my spirits
* I have had a friend who was much like me, and one that was VERY different from me.
I could go on, but you get the point.  Friendships include a multitude of relationships.  One size does not fit all.

Life was never meant to be a solo adventure.  Faith and family include vital relationships as we go through life.  Also, essential are friendships.

  • Friendships are incredibly important.  There is something about the commitment and love of someone beyond God and beyond our family (both of whom are supposed to love us!) that is wonderfully affirming.
  • Friendships are complicated and challenging.  There are many things that try to get in the way of any relationship that is healthy and uplifting.  Friendships are not easy.
  • Most of us need at least one really good friend.  There is so much in life that changes, that to have a deep mutual friendship over the long haul is often a lifesaver.
  • Most of us need a relationship in which we give ourselves away.  There is someone out there who could be deeply blessed by our friendship with him or her.
  • Most of us need a relationship in which we are lifted up.  This is person you can call at any hour, with whom you can share any burden.

One of the great blessings of Linwood is that it has been a special place for the formation of long-term friendships.  One of the great joys each year as the season begins is the renewal and reconnection of friends – and the opportunity to form new friendships.

Blessings in Christ,
Hu Auburn, Park Pastor, Linwood Park

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