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How To Have Lasting Friendships

How To Have Lasting Friendships

Statistically, you probably can count your friends on one hand. The average American only reports having two close friends. You could’ve lost a few fingers in an accident and still count your friends on one hand if you’re living the average life.

This is a huge deal.

You probably think you don’t have time for all this. You’re too busy for friendships. As one of my friends recently said, “I barely have time for my kids and wife. How in the world can I keep a friend?”

It’s an issue of life and death.

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The Basics Of Friendship

The Basics Of Friendship

Friendship is an enigma wrapped in a riddle.

My friend Bob used to say that about things that were confusing. I don’t really understand it, but I get what it means. It’s a confession… a confessing of complication and confusion. It’s as if you’re saying, “This topic is so convoluted and difficult to understand that we can all have different opinions on it and all be right.”

Understanding friendship is like trying to nail down Jello (that’s another one of my favorite sayings from Bob… he has a lot of them).

Here’s a very simple principle for when things seem convoluted:
When things are confusing, go to the Bible for timeless wisdom.

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Why They Aren’t Your Friends Anymore

Why They Aren’t Your Friends Anymore

We’ve all experienced it…

We made a friend, got close to them and shared our hearts and lives, only to months or years later to look back and feel like we’ve lost them.

For many of us, that perspective is filled with pain. We hurt in the loss. It’s hard to open up to someone, and it’s even harder to feel like you’ve lost that connection after being vulnerable and loving someone.

The truth is we don’t have to hurt because there are often practical reasons why they are not your friends anymore. Here are just a few…

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They’re Not Your Best Friend

They’re Not Your Best Friend

How many best friends do you have?

My son Klay has about fifteen. He uses that term very freely. If you’re playing with him and it’s going well he’s probably going to tell you, “You’re my best friend.”

He’s not being manipulative in his use of the term. He’s just very situational.

I’ve noticed the same thing among adults. We have lots of “best friends”, and I don’t really think the culture of friendship we’re creating is very good for us.

“Best friend” is a very sacred title.

It implies that someone has significant influence in your life and that you, inversely, have great access to theirs. A best friend is someone who knows you inside and out, with all the ugly and broken. A best friend is also someone you can find rest with, simply be who you are, and be fully accepted for that.

We don’t stumble across those friends often.

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What I’ve Learned About Friendship From Planting A Church

What I’ve Learned About Friendship From Planting A Church

In January of 2012, my wife and I started working towards planting a new, life-giving church in Albemarle, NC. It was a scary, exciting, and faith-filled journey. We left behind a city we loved living in, friends we loved doing life with, and a church we’d given years to build.

I thought planting a church was all about church.

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Lead Me

Lead Me

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

To respond to that question, Jesus then shared a model prayer that demonstrated a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray today.

As Jesus closed out the prayer, He ends with this request, “And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:4).

Temptation represents a real challenge to the life Jesus wants to build in our hearts. Here are a few observations from this verse that should impact how we pray:

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A Gift To Regift

A Gift To Regift

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

To respond to that question, Jesus then shared a model prayer that demonstrated a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray today.

Over the past few blogs, I’ve offered perspectives on this prayer, and what Jesus is teaching us today through it.

Jesus prayed, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.” (Luke 11:4).

I think this one of the most difficult verses in all the Scriptures.

Let me make two simple observations from this verse for our prayer life today:

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He Wants To

He Wants To

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

To respond to that question, Jesus then shared a model prayer that demonstrated a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray today.

Jesus prayed, “Forgive us our sins” (Luke 11:4).

There are two things that we need to assume before we can pray with that perspective.

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What You Think You Need

What You Think You Need

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

In response to that question, Jesus taught his disciples using a model prayer. That prayer has been referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer”. During this prayer, Jesus models a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray today.

In verse 3, after Jesus has instructed His disciples to start with focusing on God as their source and laying down their will, He prays, “Give us our daily bread.”

Isn’t it good to know that God has invited us to ask for what we need?

Later, as Jesus continues to teach, He parallels God’s response to us to that of a father responding to his kids. If my kids ask for food, I typically try to find them something to eat. If my kids ask for a hug, I don’t withhold it. If my kids want to pray with me, I never say, “No.”

What have you refused to pray for because you already said no for God?

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Shift Your Focus

Shift Your Focus

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

At this moment, Jesus taught his disciples to pray by praying a model prayer. That prayer has been referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer” and is commonly recited among Christians worldwide.

During this prayer, Jesus models a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray!

During the first blog in this series, I shared how Jesus invites us to focus on Him as we begin to pray. What a powerful invitation! We can choose to look into the heart of the one that can change everything and talk to Him as a friend!

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