Have you ever wondered why you are friends with some of the people that you are friends with? Well recently, I've had a lot of time to think about this subject. There is one in particular. I wonder why I became friends with him. What does God have planned? Is there something I'm supposed to be doing for him? Or, is there something that I'm supposed to learn from him? That is what has been bothering me lately. You see I just don't know. The only reason I became friends with him is because we were both friends with another guy. Lately this person has done some really stupid things. I won't go into any details because you don't need to know what he did. It has got me thinking though. How do you tell someone that what they are doing or about to do is stupid, if they won't listen to you? Also, one thing that irritates me is when you have someone that you consider to be a friend, and you do whatever you can to help them through anything that may come up in their life, but when you just really need someone to turn to, where are they? They're nowhere to be found. I think they call those types of friends "fair weather friends," friends that are only around when things are good or they need something. Now if you know anything about me, then you know that I have had my fair share of those types of friends and you probably have too. That is one of my biggest pet peeves. I know some of you went through the same situation that I did with the same person, and you know what I'm talking about. Maybe it was the death of someone that was close to you and you just needed someone to listen but no one was there. I know that feeling. I also know what it's like to realize who a true friend is when you may have never thought that they were that friend that you needed at that moment. Years ago, I went to Europe to tour for a month. That was first time I had been away from my parents for that long. Well while I was over there, I felt like I was alone. I knew some of the people that I was with, but none of them were really my friends. Well, one night some of the other people on the trip and myself were walking down the street after leaving a barbecue. Well, while we were walking, I received a phone call. The phone call was to inform me that my grandmother had passed away. She lived in Tennessee, and my parents were on their way to Tennessee for the funeral. When I got that information, it was like to world stopped. I didn't know what to do. I felt like I had no friends with me, I definitely had no family around, and I was scared. All I remember is turning around, tears pouring down my face, and barely being able to make out the figures of the people I was with through the tears and blur from the street lights. Then at that moment something amazing happened. They all hugged me. Now, yeah, that may sound like, "oh big deal, a hug," but you know that was the first time on that trip when I realized, "Hey, I'm not alone." Even though I was thousands of miles away from everyone I knew, I wasn't alone. Sometimes the most unlikely thing can make all the difference in the world. Listening when a friend just really needs to vent, and not judging them because hey we all need to vent sometimes. A simple hug for that matter. Just letting them know that you are there for them, and you will always be there for them. Also, when you have a difference of opinions or an all out argument, you need to reconcile as soon as possible. Ephesians 4:26 "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry." We can't afford to go through life holding grudges against everyone that has made us mad. If we did that, we would be alone, and we wouldn't have any friends. Now you may say, "Now come on. What if....," you fill in the blank. Well, Matthew 18:21, "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" to which Jesus replied, verse 22, "I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times." Now Jesus doesn't mean exactly seventy-seven times, and at seventy-eight times all bets are off. It was more of an expression to prove his point. No matter how many times they mess up you should forgive them. Man, this is really hitting close to home. I need to work on this myself. I mean God doesn't keep count of how many times we sin and after we sin seventy-eight times there's no hope for us. We have to forgive these people. Matthew 6:14-15, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." See the other thing is that we also have to recognize when we sin against our brother or friend. I John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Well, I'm sorry I didn't intend for this to turn into a lesson from church but that seems to be what it ended up being. I mean there's nothing wrong with it, but I guess that goes to show that the best friend that I have and could ever hope to have is and always has been God. Let me just end it with one of the best scripture readings that I can find to compliment this little note.

I John 4:7-21

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is mad complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."

AMEN