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The Art Of Friendship (via Sammy Rhodes)

Friendship as a trusted and faithful custodian of someone’s story, of being a friend to them through the accumulation of knowledge that might otherwise isolate us.
An interesting observation from Sammy Rhodes.

The hard work of friendship is entrusting your heart to another and risking your story while at the same time holding your friend’s story carefully. Friends cannot hold the weight of your identity, but you should be able to trust them with the weight of your story — your dreams and fears, your desires and struggles, the things that make you your — self past and present. This is the hard work of friendship, the art of friendship.

Sammy Rhodes, This Is Awkward, Thomas Nelson, 2016, pg 116.


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Vale Ron Clark

A blessing to watch the funeral of Rev Ron Clark today.
If you search on Facebook for Creek Road Presbyterian the video may still be available, and that can inform you about this gracious and committed disciple of Jesus.
Mention was made that a staple of Ron’s evangelistic ministry to children, the song Stop/Go wouldn’t be sung at the funeral. It wouldn’t have been out of place.
Among the privileges of knowing Ron was to be a leader on some upper-primary aged camps run by Ron in the late eighties – early nineties.
One of the songs Ron taught us hasn’t travelled too well, based as it is on the concept of the newspaper seller’s cry of Extra!.
Trying to explain special editions of evening newspapers being sold on street corners by youthful vendors seems a few too many bridges to cross these days.
But the lyrics, along with the rousing shout of the word ‘EXTRA’ as part of the song are an abiding memory of Ron’s love for the Gospel, his love for young people, and his contagious joy and enthusiasm.
Back in the day, a simple printed fold out poster were all the visual aid needed to lead a group of children in song.

The lyrics:
Good news! Good news! Christ died for me.
Good news! Good news! If I believe;
Good news! Good news! I’m saved eternally.
That’s wonderful EXTRA good news.

I found one recording of the song, but it has defied my attempts to embed it on this page.
Follow the link and it should open in a new page.

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/218126116%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-UYVa0&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true

Or go to this page and find out more about the song.


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A Song About Friendship by Steve Martin And Stephen Colbert That I Like

This clip features a Steve Martin and Stephen Colbert singing a song about friendship that includes an important lesson about the nature of true friendship and then ends with them both singing a version of their song that I found strangely encouraging, for some reason.


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Archenemies (McDonalds Promo)

This one minute ad of archenemies coming together makes me smile.
And in no way makes me want McDonalds food.
Really.
No.
(I looked up the song, and it’s by an artist who goes by the name MoZella.)


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Thankyou Basket

The MGPC Presbyterian Women’s Association held their 2014 breakup today and my colleague and myself both received lovely hamper baskets for our families.
Other gifts were shared among the members.
We feel so grateful for such generosity.

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Hamster Reinvents The Wheel

I’m having coffee with some friends this morning.
People are worried that I’ll be working on holidays.
But if there’s coffee and friends it’s not work.
It’s like this.


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Some Practical Suggestions About Supporting Others In Their Suffering

After watching this video last week, I took some material from it and wrote the following article for the mgpc newsletter.

I saw a testimony last week from Amber Sutterfield, a young woman who had experienced chronic sickness all her adult life, culminating in leukemia and bone marrow (stem cell) replacement.
While watching I was reminded again of how those who are part of the life of those chronically ill struggle to support the sufferers.
There were the reminders of unencouraging encouragements, such as: “Well it sounds like this is the best sort of cancer you can have”; “You can always adopt”; “It’s just hair, it’ll grow back”; “Well, at least you’re still alive.”
And there were the truly encouraging encouragements: “This sucks”; “I don’t know what to say”; “I can’t imagine what you’re going through”; “When you can’t believe, we’re believing for you.”
You may have heard some of these statements, you may have spoken something similar to those afflicted.
Some of you have gone through chronic illness, many have been spared. Most of you know and love folk who are unwell, some of whom will recover, and some not.
As a people who are to weep with those who weep, it is confronting.
I know I consistently stumble into trying say something that will make it better. As a pastor, sometimes others expect me to do that.
More and more I try to remember not try and fix something that God allows to remain.
Not to try and speak about a similar situation that someone else has gone through.
Not to try and offer an example of someone who is going through something worse.
Not to try and project about what God may do as a result of this situation.
Whenever I do fall into these I end up kicking myself later.
For those already suffering I don’t want to add a further burden of making them feel like a failure of a Christian because they don’t feel a certain way.
I simply want to affirm that the God who loves them is good and he’s no further away from them than he’s ever been.
Amber closed her testimony with these words:

“When you encounter someone in your life who is drowning… it may be physical pain or illness… it may be emotional loss. Whatever it is, that person doesn’t need you to fix it.
He doesn’t need you to have answers. He doesn’t even necessarily need you to preach truth to him in that moment.
He needs to see truth. He needs to see the goodness of God in your affection, the sovereignty of God in your presence, the faithfulness of God in your tears.
Just exist with that person and watch the Holy Spirit do exceedingly above all that you could ask or think.”

Friends, there is a time to speak and time to refrain from speaking. There is a time when tears say more than words and when silence is more eloquent that speech.
Don’t be afraid.
Show the presence of God’s love.