Tag Archives: Friendship

friendship – A Poem

This weekend I will be visiting with old friends and family as well as seeing friends at church on Sunday. As I thought about what I was going to write for Thankful Thursday, I decided I wanted to express how thankful I am for friends new and old, those related to me by blood and those who are connected to me by shared experiences and faith.

I decided to write this as a double acrostic because friendship is something that is with us from the beginning of our lives to the end.

friendship
f
or all my life it’s been my belief
rain or shine, whether near or far
images of love on my heart like graffiti
each memory together reveals love
needing each other to bear our burden
daily desiring friends to be around
sharing our experiences and lives
hoping to be together to our last breath
images of love on my heart like graffiti
painted far beyond skin deep

* * * * *

Note: It seems I have twice submitted this poem for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night. So that I don’t forget and link it again I’m adding this little link back to dVerse.

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Offended – A Poem

I was at a loss for what to write for today, but then I read the prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub. It’s one I had read before at Kellie Elmore’s website. The prompt is to write about a taboo subject – examples given being sex, politics, and religion – and to not hold back on what you would say. I started to write a poem today is about my faith in the One Way to know God, I even wrote three stanzas, and then I took a break to get in the shower. While I showered I realized this poem was too generic and then thought of another poem, one that is taboo because it not only addresses my faith in Jesus but involves a real person who has been offended by my faith.

Offended

I watched on the small TV screen
(thankful now I didn’t own a big screen)
as the planes hit the towers
smoke and flames rising
And though it was 3,000 miles away
it was my country under attack

I was in shock
not knowing what to do
so I did all I could
I offered a prayer
typed in an email:

I prayed for the dead
and the dying.
The living who knew the dead.
For the rescue workers
and the cleanup crews.
For our nation to survive
and to heal.
For those who attacked us
even for them.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

I hit send
I felt some peace

My phone rang
“This is Linda Kruschke, may I help you?”
I managed to say
“Hon,” I hear her say,
“I thought we agreed
you wouldn’t send forwards
like this to me?”

How did I reply?
I don’t recall exactly
I was stunned
The shock was almost as great
as when I saw the towers fall

She was offended
by my heartfelt prayer
because it was
in the name above all names
my sweet Jesus
in whom I trust

You see, she doesn’t believe
the same as I believe
It is to the goddess that she prays
Her and her coven lift their prayers
to mother earth

I do not judge her
That is God’s province
But I do not hide what I believe
I am who I am in Christ

But she has judged me
Intolerant and offensive
As if I’m the Westboro Baptist Church
spewing hatred wherever I go

She is my friend
I love her dearly
Her beliefs do not offend me
even if I do not agree

She is my friend
But if I must choose
between offending her
and denying my Savior
sadly I will offend
though I do not mean to
I only want to share His love

People were dead and dying
just as they are every day
Our nation was in need of healing
just as it is today
And she was offended
by the name of Jesus

Tears flow as I think of
the years we have been friends
I don’t know if I
am still a friend in her mind
She remains a friend in my heart
even as it breaks at the thought
that she is lost in her self-centered pride
and is offended
by the only Name that can save

 

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Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry, postaday2011

Trust, Sun, and Friendship – My Tuesday Three

Okay, I just couldn’t leave yesterday as my only post about the Third Day concert I went to on Saturday. It was so much fun and I had an awesome time, and so I decided for My Tuesday Three to share three great things about the concert.

The first great thing I want to share is that Third Day sang one of my favorite songs and I got it on video. Here’s my video of “Trust in Jesus” posted on YouTube.

I love how Mac Powell starts this song when he says, “This is a little ditty about the end times and judgment day.” He was kind of making a joke, but also being very serious. We will all face judgment before the throne of God. When we do, we have two choices. First, we can stand before Him on our own merits and say, “Okay, God, I’ve tried my best and I think I’ve done pretty good. I went to church, I didn’t steal or murder anyone, and I tried to be nice to everyone I met.” Second, we can say, “I trust in Jesus, because I know I’ve sinned and not all of my good deeds could ever make up for what I’ve done.” I’ve decided I’ll go with the latter option, and this song is a wonderful reminder of the choice I have made.

What are you going to do when your time has come
And your life is done and there’s nothing you can stand on
What will you have to say at the judgment throne
I already know the only thing that I can say I

There’s nothing I can do on my own to find forgiveness
It’s by His grace alone I trust in Jesus
Trust in Jesu

The second great thing I want to share is that the weather was awesome! It was a beautiful sunny day and 90°, which would have been too hot if not for some shade. But this being the Pacific Northwest, it could just as easily have been drizzling rain even in August. I personally love hot weather so it was just perfect for me. Mac commented that it seemed cool to the band compared to Atlanta, Georgia, where they are from. We were able to find shade to watch most of the show before Third Day, and by the time they came on stage the sun was starting to go behind some trees. It was a perfect!

So you might be wondering who else is part of this “we” I’ve mentioned. Well, that brings me to the third great thing about this concert. I bought my tickets over a month ago not having any idea who was going to go with me. Several times I posted on Facebook that I was looking for someone to go with me, but no one replied that they could. I had asked several people in the week or so leading up to the concert, but everyone had other plans already. My son said he would go with me if I couldn’t find anyone else, but he was just being nice and didn’t really want to go because he is not a big fan of concerts. (If I didn’t KNOW he was my son, I might wonder at this point, because I love concerts!)

On Saturday morning I had a meeting at church that I had to go to, and I still hadn’t found anyone to go to the concert with me. It started at noon, but I knew Third Day wouldn’t be on until after 5:00 so I figured there was still time. When I got home from my meeting I made a few more calls. I finally got a call back from my friend A, and she said she would love to go and that she just had a couple of things she had to do first.

We finally headed out about 3:30 and arrived at the venue by 4:00. We had lawn chairs because it was an outdoor event with seating on the grass. At one point A asked me if I thought it would be okay if she sat during Third Day’s performance because she has trouble standing for long periods of time. I said I thought that would be fine. In the end, though, she was having so much fun and enjoying the show that she stood up through the whole thing (except the one song where Mac told us all to sit).

As we were leaving the concert, my friend A said that this concert was such a blessing to her and that God had some relevant messages for her in the music. Knowing I had been God’s instrument for her blessing was a great blessing to me, too. On the drive home we both were just beaming with God’s love and hope. I was so happy that God had arranged for her to be the one to accompany me. It reminded me that even when I don’t know what He has planned, it’s going to be something wonderful.

So that’s it for My Tuesday Three. It was a concert of trusting in Jesus, sun shining down, and the blessing of friendship. Who could ask for more?

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Psalm 46 – Be Still; He Is God

The verse for our Women’s Retreat this weekend was Psalm 46:10, one of my favorites. So I decided to post Psalm 46 for Psalm Sunday.

This verse often comes to mind when I am trying to pray but can’t seem to keep my mind focused. It’s a reminder from God to still not only my body, but my mind as well, and remember He is in control and He will be exalted in all the earth.

Our retreat was wonderful! We had two session on Friday night, along with a potluck salad dinner. I met some women I didn’t know and learned more about some I did. We started Saturday morning with a little bit of chaos as the first session leader was late so a last-minute switch in the schedule was made so that Session 4 preceded Session 3. But we all agreed that this was God’s doing, because Session 4 was the session in which we were supposed to close our eyes and listen to the sound of waves at the ocean (provided on a CD in the retreat pack). We were to meditate on our Psalm 46:10 verse and try to be still and know that He is God. It really was the perfect way to start the day!

As I copied and pasted this Psalm I noticed that the word “Selah” appears 3 times in the Psalm. The meaning of this Hebrew term is unknown for sure, but based on how it is placed in the Psalms, especially those that have notations at the beginning for the director of music, is seems to indicate a pause or interlude in the music. That is what we learned to take this weekend, pauses or interludes in our life to be still and know that He is God.

Psalm 46

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.

 1 God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.

 Selah

 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
   the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
   God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
   he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 Selah

 8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
   the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
   to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
   he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”

 11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 Selah

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Nothing New Under the Sun

What’s your story? I know you have one; we all do. But a more important question is: Have you shared your story with anyone? So often we don’t. Even when someone asks, “How are you?” or “What’s going on with you?”, we answer with platitudes like, “I’m fine” or “Not much.” We do this even when it is not true, even when we are not fine or a multitude of stressful situations are plaguing us.

A Facebook friend posted as her status one day that everyone lies, and the biggest lie we tell is “I’m fine.” But why do we do that? Why don’t we share our story with others? I believe there are two reasons, both rooted in fear to some extent.

First, we think our story is ordinary. We are afraid that others will be bored by what we have to say about what’s going on in our lives. Sometimes this might be true, sometimes the person we are speaking with won’t really care enough to truly listen or will be bored. Dwight Yoakam sings a song called “Sorry You Asked” that exemplifies this concern:

You’ll be sorry you asked
me the reason
That she’s not here with
me tonight
And I know you were
probably just acting polite
But you’ll be sorry you
ever asked why

We think people are just acting polite when they ask how we are, and don’t really want to know the truth. But often that is not the case, at least not if you are hanging out with people who care about you.

Second, we think we are the only ones going through whatever difficulty we are experiencing. We are afraid that others will look down on us for the situation we are in or the trial we are experiencing. We are afraid they will think we are weird or worse. But seldom are we the only ones who have experienced the trial we are currently experiencing or have gone through in the past. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9.

The truth is our shared stories are what bring us together in community. I believe God allows us to experience trials that He knows we can handle so that we can then be an encouragement to others in a similar situation. If you have had a miscarriage, chances are at least one of the other women in your circle of friends has had one, too, and could use some support and encouragement. If you have suffered from depression and recovered, odds are you will encounter someone else who is struggling with this problem who could benefit from your understanding. If you have lost a loved one, I would venture that many of the people you know have lost someone, too, and could find hope in the fact that you have survived this ordeal.

I could go on and on with examples, but the specific examples are not the point. It is the fact that we are all the same in so many ways. We are not alone and need not feel alone. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Solomon wrote:

 9 Two are better than one,
       because they have a good return for their work:

 10 If one falls down,
       his friend can help him up.
       But pity the man who falls
       and has no one to help him up!

 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
       But how can one keep warm alone?

 12 Though one may be overpowered,
       two can defend themselves.
       A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

So go ahead, just like the character in Dwight’s song, share your story. Tell your friends how you really are, the genuine struggles you are facing, and the frustrations you are dealing with. Who knows, you just might help them feel less afraid and alone about their own trials, or you might encounter someone who is willing to share with you their story of hope and healing that you desperately need to hear.

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The Blessing of Relationship

I already posted my post for the day, but wanted to share something about how amazing our God is.

As part of my blogging experience, I have begun posting comments on another blogger’s site, and she has posted comments on mine. We both have added each other’s blogs to our respective blogrolls. We have discovered that we have much in common, most importantly our faith and trust in God, and we have developed a connection. But she blogs under a pen name for reasons that make perfect sense, so I had resigned myself that she would be someone I would only know through our blogs. And that was okay.

Then yesterday I got a phone call from someone I know as an acquaintance. I didn’t know she was a Christian and we have not had an opportunity to be close friends. But we know each other. Turns out she is my new blogger friend!

I am still chuckling to myself thinking how God must be quite amused at how we almost missed a friendship because we never mentioned our faith or other things we have in common in our dealings with one another, and the lengths He had to go to in order to bring us together as sisters in Christ.

Anyway, that’s all I want to say about that. I don’t want to give away her identity. I just wanted to share how great is our God that He would bless us both in this way. And to make us all think about the friendships we might be missing because we are afraid to share. Fear does not come from God. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7.

Is there someone you might develop a friendship with but you are afraid to make a connection? Don’t fear. Step out in faith that God will bless the relationships in your life.

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