Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Monday, April 14, 2014 @ 4:17:00 PM - Written by Doug Hignell -

Kaylinn and I recently hosted a dinner party for the two teams representing North Rim CrossFit at this year’s regional CrossFit competition. (Our son, Ryan, is the primary owner and manager of this gym.) The evening brought great joy to Kaylinn and I. Why? Because these young people have become dear friends of ours, as we have spent time with them in a variety of settings. Even though we were serving them, we received as much or even more joy from them as we all enjoyed an evening together.

The longer I live, the more I realize that life centers around friendships: our friendship/ relationship with God and our friendships/relationships with others. Both are truly gifts from God. Wealth, material possessions, prestige, power, and intellect all pale in comparison to having a good friend and being a good friend.

Have you ever considered that one of the most significant attributes of Jesus is that he's our friend? 

As Jesus says in John 15:15, "I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father." 

When he walked the earth, he was constantly followed by people whom the religious leaders of his day despised. He was much more interested in demonstrating his love than he was in trying to "change" his friends to please the religious leaders. He knew that his love and friendship were more powerful than any challenges he might give.

What a tremendous model! Jesus demonstrates to us the significance of loving and caring for those who come into our lives no matter what "baggage" they carry. Recently, I wrote a prayer summarizing my heart's desire on this subject: 

Jesus, let me be known as a giver of grace, a friend to many. I’m sure that’s why people of all walks of life loved being around you. May grace be my default position, instead of being critical of others. 

Because of the Holy Spirit within me, I desire that people at my funeral would be able to say the following: 

  • His presence brought love, peace, and joy!
  • I could be myself around him. He loved and accepted me just as I was!
  • He knew me at the core, and loved me anyway!


It's to the extent that we understand God's love and incredible grace that He showered on us that we can extend that same love and grace to others. 

Reflect for a moment on the significance of friendships in your life: What do you hope people will say about you at your funeral?

She followed Jesus and was faithful to Him,and to her friends and family.
Kathy Keough @ 7:55:44 AM 4/15/2014
Doug, I've read a few of your posts and your testimony tonight (per a link on Facebook by a longtime friend, Jone Trost), and they have been a blessing. A couple of things I really enjoy in your writing. You have a nice way of bringing a life application to real life situations/events in practical ways. I also like how you help your readers think about the point you're making with questions for reflection and a prayer that causes us to think about how to approach God with our concerns. You remind me of our friend and mentor, Dwight Hill, who has recently passed on to a fuller presence with God. I was thinking how Dwight was always pushing for real life application with God's Word and how thankful I am for that influence as a younger man. I'm glad you enjoy making a life of faith real and tangible for others. In regards to friendship, being a friend is one of the hardest things I'm learning and not so much with people who are "likeminded", but those who have significant differences in their approach to life, whether as Christians or not. I'm sad to realize that I've not been one who as gone out of my way to be a friend to especially those who wouldn't be accepted by most Christians. But God is changing that in me. I'm making friendships more intentional and it feels good. I'm going to agree with you in prayer with, "May grace be my default position, instead of being critical of others." May we be quick to hear (listening to the needs/voices around us), slow to speak (and seeking first to understand others before wanting others to understand us), and slow to anger (judgement) (withholding judgement and extending grace and acceptance). Thanks again, Doug.
Glenn Hervieux @ 2:10:42 PM 9/1/2014

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