This past week I was reminded of the place that friends occupy in our lives. I spent the first of the week in Northern Michigan in a place that Susanne and I really enjoy. We love northern Michigan especially Petoskey, Charelvoix, and Traverse City. I spoke at the Eastern Michigan District Pastors and Spouse retreat. I pastored on this great district for over eight years. As beautiful as the area is, the best thing was reconnecting with friends. The DS Dr. Glen Gardner and his wife Kayla have been our friends for many years. It was so good to spend some time with them. I also reconnected with a couple of former staff members who are now pastoring. Rev JoAnn and Rob Bastien, and Rev. Debbie Stottele, and her husband John. I am so thrilled at how God is using these ladies and their families.
On the way home we stopped and had dinner with friends that we once pastored in Kalamazoo Michigan. It was good to laugh and remember things from days gone by. You know someone is your friend when, after not being with them for a while, you reconnect and pick up right where you left off and it is as if you have never been apart.
Upon arriving home we discovered our long time furry friend Ted, was very ill. He too was a friend. He did not make it through the weekend. If you are not a dog lover this will all escape you, but we have grieved for him this weekend.
Some final observations about friends:
1 Friends come in all sizes and colors.
2 Some friends are friends for life, some for a season.
3 Friends are like a tonic for the soul.
4 Friends are a gift from God.
5 Friends add color and texture to our lives.
6 To have friends, you must be a friend.
7 The greatest friend ever is Jesus!
Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. I thank God for His eternal friendship and the gift of friends he has blessed me with throughout my life.