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PWOC Spring Retreat
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Northern CA Christian Women's Connection
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Castro Valley, CA
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I have been a bad friend lately.
Between book deadlines and speaking, let's just say I have not been as present as much as I should have been. (And since my two closest friends refuse to participate in Facebook, they have to constantly remind me just because I announced on FB that my youngest got accepted into college, that doesn't mean that they have been told...)
I felt bad because there were times that my BFFs needed to chat or to be loved on, and I just wasn't as "there" as I should have been. And they loved me anyway.
But who missed out the most? Me.
Everyday I am learning a little bit more about balance and for the desperate need I, and most women have to have those good, godly friends as a part of our day to day life. After 42 years I am beginning to realize that friendship is not a luxury.
This month is dedicated all to friends and the important - no necessary - part they play in each of our lives.
Not only do we have articles, we have giveaways! See Karen Porter's article at the end of this newsletter, Plus - check out my blog for another chance to win her book and Hillary Lodge's new book Plain Jayne. Enter the blog giveaway by this Friday at 8:00 PM PST.
And let me just state, even though SOME of my friends have refused to be on FB, I have had a BLAST getting to know the rest of you on there - in fact many of you just helped me finish my latest book, THE ME PROJECT and I couldn't be more grateful. If we're not FB friends, click the button to the left and let's make that happen...)
|Why You Need Two Good Friends|
I love this story in Exodus 17:8-13 about a group of supportive friends:
The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands."
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up-one on one side, one on the other-so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword."
OK - so let's break this down.
Moses orders Joshua to go attack the Amalekites (who were attacking them, so it seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do). So Moses, in a show of support, goes to the top of a hill and stands there with the staff of God in his hands.
I don't know if you've ever tried to stand for a long period of time with something heavy over your head, but let me tell you, I get tired just holding my hands up at church during singing, for any period of time. After just a few minutes it looks like I'm doing an interpretative rendition of the "Worship Macarena" - hands up, hands down, one hand up, one hand out.
As long as Moses held his hands up - his team was winning. But, whenever he lowered his hands, his team would get kicked around the field. So his guys, Aaron and Hur, climbed up the hill. And this is what I love, this is the illustration of true friendship: Each of those two friends came alongside Moses and not only held up his hands, but pulled up a rock so that Moses could sit down. They provided comfort and support to their friend who was standing in the battle.
As women we need those friends - and need to be those friends - to hold us accountable for every plan that God has for us. Who are going to stand with you when life gets to the hardest part.
Are you in the midst of a battle? Do you need someone lifting your arms up? Make sure to surround yourself with people who will stand in the battle with you - and who you would be honored to lift their arm up as well.
|April Give Away: I'll Bring the Chocolate by Karen Porter Loyalty
in friendship is like meringue on a chocolate pie. After you've whipped the meringue to a stiff consistency,
spread it over the entire pie covering every inch. Seal it on the edges; don't let any part of the pie be
Behind my parent's
house near the fence grows a beautiful stand of lilies. They are blooming in
yellow and orange. I don't know how they survived. Mom brought them from
Grandmother's house and forgot to plant them. When we finally put them in the
flowerbed, the cows leaned over the fence and chewed them. Then Dad mowed them
flat. We haven't watered or fed them, but there they are-blooming and beautiful
as if someone reached down and pulled them up to stand straight and glorious.
I've been chewed down to the nub or careless words mow me down or when I've
allowed the weeds of anger and impatience to creep in, I need a friend. A girlfriend who sees my potential not
my failures and who reaches down to pull me up.
friendship, as luscious as chocolate pie with meringue, is only possible if I
am willing to reach into the morass of my friend's life and help her survive
and blossom. What could another person be if I was really loyal to her?
I wonder how
Shirley, who got strung out on drugs, would have reacted if I'd kept going to
her apartment and encouraged her to get into a treatment program. What if I had shown her I cared yet strong
enough not to enable her? What if
I hadn't walked out of her life?
I wonder if
Annie's life would be different today if I had not given up on her when she
left her husband and kids for her old high school flame. Would she have given
up on God if I hadn't given up on her? Would she be like Grandmother's lilies-beaten down but not destroyed?
Never abandon a friend. Loyalty says, "I'll defend
you." Loyalty is sincere and unshakeable
belief in my friend, so spread it like meringue on all your friendships.
Kathi here: If you are a leader at of a women's ministry, here is a great idea:
HAVE A CHOCOLATE PARTY AT YOUR NEXT EVENT! Karen
will even show you how with ideas for decorations, skits, even budgets. Contact
her today firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen has also offered my readers a TIP SHEET FOR SMALL GROUP
LEADERS on her blog.
Karen Porter is a national
retreat and seminar speaker, the author/co-author of six books, and a
Karen served as VP of International Marketing of a
major food company in Texas for more than 30 years. She
traveled around the world and her varied experiences (including dinner with
Fidel Castro) contribute to the richness and depth of her writing and speaking.
Karen founded kae creative solutions a communications consulting
says her marriage to George is her greatest achievement. Karen's favorite
activity is continuing her life-long quest for the perfect purse.
Karen has given me THREE copies of I'll Bring the Chocolate and some super cute tote bags to go with the book to give away to you! E-mail me at email@example.com by April 20th for a chance to win one!
Renovating life with projects for your soul,