Thank You Lord For Friendships

friends

Friend.

When you see that word or hear it what do you envision? What picture comes to mind? What kind of emotions do you get? Do you laugh, cry, get excited, become frustrated? Do you recall fond memories made throughout the years? Are there things you would like to forget or regret doing or saying?  

Do you think about the number of friends you have? How many friends do you need? Does everyone have to be your friend? What is the quality of your friendship? What kind of friends do you have? Better yet what kind of friend are you to others?

www.dictionary.com defines a “Friend” as: A person attached to another by feelings of affection personal regard. A person who gives assistance; a supporter. A person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile. A member of the same nation, party, etc. A person associated with another as a contact on a social-networking Web site like Facebook.

I have friends that fit into each of those categories. I have those that are really close to me. They know my heart and have experienced me on a regular enough basis that know me very well. Our love for each other is like family.

I have those friends that I can depend on in my time of need. I know if I need an encouraging word, accountability, prayer, or assistance with anything else I can call on them and they will help to the best of their ability.

I have those in my life that I may not see often at all but we keep in contact and when we talk it is as if we have been in each others life the entire time.  

I have friends I have gone to work, school, and church with that I do not know so personally but none the less I have a caring for them in my heart and enjoy giving and receiving hugs and encouraging words.

I have friends from my youth that I have reconnected with through Facebook. I love it because I have got to be a part of their lives in a small way. I enjoy learning how their lives turned out and seeing the pictures of their beautiful families.

God never intended us to be alone. We all have a need and desire for friendship. I am grateful for every person that has come into my life. Even if it may have only been for a short season.

I want to encourage you today to thank God for your friendships. Pray over each of them. Each one is a unique person, with special gifts that add to your life in some way. Ask God to bless them. Pray for their needs.

If there are people that are difficult to love in your life or there is conflict submit them and the problem to God. Don’t become bitter. Friends hurt friends too, sometimes without even knowing it. Be forgiving! People make mistakes! Do not carry bitterness in your heart towards anyone. I guarantee you it will carry over into other relationships. When possible talk out the issue with your friend and resolve it.   

Ask God to remove anyone who should not be in your life and when they leave let them go. Be realistic. You don’t have to be close friends with every single person in your life. It’s not a popularity contest. Don’t deceive yourself that you don’t have friends at all or feel rejected just because there are some who don’t respond to you the way you want them to. Sometimes when we go through issues in life we can feel abandoned and rejected by people we want to reach out to us. That is just not the truth. God places the right people in your life if you simply ask and be open to the gifts they have to pour into your life.

Also remember in any relationship it is give and take. Not just take. While we should give without expecting or demanding anything in return, we can’t be selfish and just expect the other person to cater to all of our needs and not look to see how we can bless them.

Think about it, who wants to give all their energy, love, time, and devotion into someone who does not want to be in your life. It is like fighting against the wind. Wouldn’t it be much more beneficial for you and those friends in your life who need you and what you have to give to use all that and pour it into them?

I also want to encourage you to ask God to reveal to you what kind of friend you are to others. Be ready because you may not like what you hear. I am not saying to go out and talk to every person you know now and ask them what they think about you as a friend. But God can definitely speak to your spirit through a word, an experience with a friendship, and through conviction in your spirit when you are making an error. Just be open to make changes and grow where you can. You can’t be everything to everybody but you can be a blessing to someone.

God lead me to submit each of my friendships to Him at the beginning of this new year, praying for each, and declaring the blessings of God over their lives. The picture above is only a few women whom are like sisters to me. My friends mean the world to me. Some have seen me through various, sometimes challenging, stages of my life. Some are from my youth, others I only recently met, and there are those that are yet to come. Regardless of who they are I love them and thank God for whatever part they have played in my life. I also pray that I have been a blessing to each of them in some way as well and that I continue to be throughout our lives.

With all that said, I would like to honor each of my friends today. I wrote this poem a few years ago using the word of God. Many of them have read it because I usually repost it each year. Thank You Father God for Your plan regarding friendship.

 

Your Friendship

My friend this is a simple poem written just for you.

I hope it helps you understand, at least a little, what you do.

I have sought God about what I should be, as well as, look for in a friend.

& His words are all true is what I have found in the end.

I started in the book of Proverbs where you can find words inspired of God Divine.

I learned there that a friend is one who forgives & seeks love in Proverbs 17:9.

There is the friend that loves at all times & is born as a brother for adversity. Proverbs 17:17.

That is someone who sticks by you even in the hardest of times…You know what I mean?

Then there is also a friend that sticks closer than a brother found in Proverbs 18:24.

My friend, in our case it’s closer than a sister. Please bear with me there’s more.

The Bible does warn us that evil company corrupts good habits so we must be on guard.

Being wise and careful in choosing our friends can sometimes be hard.

We should avoid those prone to anger and perverse talk because it could cause us to do the same.

Instead we should seek out friendships that glorify and honor God’s Holy name.

Proverbs 27:9 describes the counsel of a friend as sweetness.

God’s Word says that giving counsel should be done with meekness.

Iron sharpens iron, so sharpens the countenance of his friend is what God’s Word tells me.

Encouraging, edifying, joyful, patient, forgiving, and loving is what we should be.

We ought to be able to depend on each other through times both good and bad.

Spending time laughing with great joy and weeping together when sad.

Able to trust each other with our burdens and willing to share.

Lifting each other to God in prayer, really showing that we care.

My dear friend and sister in Christ after all my study and research I have found,

That the qualities & characteristics of a true friend in you greatly abound. 

So when I pray to my Father in Heaven I can’t help but thank Him for you.

For your friendship has blessed my life richly by all that you do.

There is a season, a time for everything, every activity under heaven according to Ecclesiastes 3. And with all this said I just felt this was the time to tell you what your friendship means to me.

By JulieAnne Hollist

June 11, 2008

What Are You Saying?

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Hey everyone! I pray you have all been doing well. I wanted to apologize for not blogging for a while now due to unforeseen circumstances. But I’m back and have something that God has been stirring up in my spirit and on my heart to share with you all the last few days. I pray you are blessed by it!

I am sure you have heard messages or seen books out there about making positive declarations over your life. Speaking from my own experience I have found that it is often easier to believe and speak positive things over other peoples lives than our own. As a result, there have been times in the past that I have settled for less than God’s best for my own life. That is until I got the revelation of how it works for me. I’m not saying I have arrived yet but applying this principle to my life has been very beneficial and life changing in many areas; physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, financial, and relational. I want to tell you can have victory in your life by changing what you say.

So today I want to share with you what I do each day and encourage you, in fact I want to challenge you to try it for yourself and see what happens. Now you might be thinking, “oh I have a good life already.” I’m here to tell you that it can be even better!

First we have to start with the fact that the Bible is God’s Word. As a believer we know that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Tim 3:16, NLT) If you are not a believer and not sure if you agree with that statement I would like you to try this and let God show it to be true to you. A great resource to use is www.biblegateway.com and try versions such as The New Living Translation, Amplified, Message, and the NIV (New International Version). You can actually do side by side comparisons and really get the most out of His Word. 

Second, in Isaiah 55:11 (see all of Isaiah chapter 55) God’s Word says that His words cannot return void, that it produces fruit, and it accomplishes what He sent it out to do. So whatever He says is going to happen, you can count on it! His words have amazing power to actively produce something in your life. If you read the account of Creation in the book of Genesis 1, you will see that God spoke everything into existence. He said “Let there be…” and it came to be. He envisioned it and then called it to be. Now think about this, in that same account it also says that we are created in His likeness, His image. Since God’s words have such great power doesn’t it make sense that they create the same power when we speak them? We are His children, made in His likeness, and His image so we also have authority and power in our words.

The Bible clearly says that there is power in the tongue. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that “the tongue can bring life or death.” In the Message version it says, “Words kill, words give life.” Another Proverb says that “the tongue brings healing.”

So what are you speaking out of your mouth? Are they words that give and promote life? Or do they bring curses and death? Are your words healing?

One of the worse things I used to always say years ago is, “my back is killing me!” Well guess what? That didn’t make the pain go away at all! In fact I would become so depressed and discouraged and the pain would get so bad I have felt like I was dying! I have really had to examine what I was saying and I had to change the words I speak. I declare that my back is in alignment and strong. I am still working on that but definitely seeing a greater improvement in this area. Thankfully I have people in my life that remind me of my declarations on days that might be challenging or difficult. So make you sure you have people in your life that will hold you accountable and remind you of your declarations.

My husband and I have taken God’s word and made it our own. We make declarations every single day together concerning God’s promises and have seen it work in our lives in many areas, such as our marriage, finances, and relationships. We are not only reminding God of His promises but we are personalizing His Word concerning our lives. So what does that look like?

I wanted to give you a simple example to get you started and then you can research God’s word for yourself. As you study and meditate on the scriptures you can ask God how you can personalize them. So let’s get started!

If you have your Bible turn to Psalm 1 or you can go to the site I mentioned earlier and enter Psalm 1 and choose a translation. I like using the Amplified when I do this because it elaborates on the words used but you pick a version that works best for you. Now take a look and read each verse slowly, thinking and meditating on what they say.

Now I would like you to stop for a moment and pray. Ask God to guide you and reveal His word to you and give you clarity. Ask Him how you can apply it to your own life, making it personal. Thank Him for His wisdom, guidance, and word. If you need to ask for forgiveness in any area so you have a clear mind then do so.

As you grow in your declarations God will begin to teach you how to even pray out His word when you speak with Him.

Now re-read Psalm 1 again. I am going to break it down verse by verse. The scripture first and then the example of the personalized version in bold letters.

Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.

I am blessed, happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable because I do not walk and live in the counsel of the ungodly, unwise, & unbelieving. I am blessed, happy, prosperous because I do not follow their plans, advice, or purposes and I do not participate in the things they do.

But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.

I delight and desire God’s word, instructions, direction, guidance, and teaching. I study, meditate, speak it, pray it, and live it everyday, all day.

And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].

Because I do that I am like a tree that is firmly planted by streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season. I do not fade or wither and everything I do prospers.

Not so the wicked [those disobedient and living without God are not so]. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away.

I am not disobedient and live without God. My life has meaning and purpose.

Therefore the wicked [those disobedient and living without God] shall not stand [justified] in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous [those who are upright and in right standing with God].

I do not have to fear judgment because I trust in God’s word and live it. Because I have received Jesus as my Lord and Savior I am in right standing with God.

For the Lord knows and is fully acquainted with the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly [those living outside God’s will] shall perish (end in ruin and come to nought).

The Lord knows and is fully acquainted with my ways, my choices, thoughts, actions and I live within His will and plan for my life.

When you get a chance I want to recommend you look up all scriptures regarding the power of your tongue in the scriptures. Meditate on them and begin to make simple changes. It won’t always happen immediately. But you will definitely see results!

Begin to see, recognize, and acknowledge the power you have to speak over your life. It is also very important to begin to see what you are speaking, believe it, receive it, and live it. I am not saying it’s going to be easy, it will take effort on your part. People can declare over you all the time but unless you receive it for yourself it is not beneficial to you. So do it for yourself. James 1 says that we cannot just be hearers of the word but we must be doers of the word! So you must also live it! You have to walk out the word! 

It is truly life changing. You can have greater confidence when you know who you are and you declare it over yourself. You will experience victories in areas of your life that you thought you could never have. You will experience God’s best for you and live a phenomenal life and that’s exciting!

So I want to encourage you today, especially if you are struggling, need improvement, or needing a breakthrough in any area of your life to begin to see what God’s word says about it. Be open and sensitive to what God wants you to learn regarding this. Be prayerful and give thanks. Find a principle or example and personalize it. Active the word! Make the word your own and make the word work for you! Speak with words of faith!

With that said this is my prayer for each of you taken from Eph.1 & Phil. 1
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. I have not stopped thanking God for you. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy. I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. In the Mighty name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

P.S. Just to say how awesome God is, as I completed today’s blog my hubby started listening to a message he got last night from our Pastor’s spiritual father and it was on this very subject and he even used the same exact scriptures I used here. Definitely a word and confirmation from God! I believe it is His heart for His children to know this truth about His word, how to be & speak like Him. So in awe right now. God is good!

Hello world!

After praying and sensing the prompting of the Spirit of God for quite some time now and with the support, encouragement, and confirmation through my wonderful husband I have decided to start my very first blog! I am really excited about this chapter of my life and look forward to seeing where God is taking me on this part of my journey in life.

It is truly my prayer that this will be a place where you can be inspired and find laughter, understanding, encouragement, and guidance for your life when facing difficult, challenging, or stressful situations. At times I will share wisdom from the scriptures, quotes I have learned or that have been passed on from others, as well as my own personal experiences. I  promise to be as transparent as possible with you, after all I am human too and go through struggles just like anyone else. I will be working on my About Me page sometime this week so you can learn a little more about me.

This will also be a place where you can submit prayer requests and I will be honored to stand in agreement with you in prayer. I strongly believe in the power of people coming together in prayer and absolutely love seeing God answer the prayers of His people. No request is too small, too big, too silly, or too ridiculous sounding to me or God. I can share plenty of testimonies with you of prayers He has answered for me that may have seemed silly or unusual to others. You are NEVER wasting your time in prayer with God. He cares about EVERY aspect of your life. So if it’s important to you then you can count on it being important to Him.

With that said I leave you with my email signature….

There’s a saying “P.U.S.HPray Until Something Happens.” I want to add that after you P.U.S.H.
You should P.R.E.S.S.  – Pray Relentlessly Expecting Supernatural Solutions!
Then P.A.C.E yourself while you wait –Persevere And Courageously Endure!
Afterwards you must S.T.A.N.D on the Word of God – Simply Trust And Never Doubt!
& Always remember to P.R.A.I.S.E GOD –Pray Reverently And Ignite Something Extraordinary!!!
~~ JulieAnne ~~