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Friends

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I’m back! After taking a 2 week hiatus from blogging and much of life’s regular routine of responsibilities, I have returned to a somewhat normal schedule. Last week my good friend and board member Tim Merta, his wife, and son flew all the way here from my hometown of Saskatoon, Canada. They, along with Andria, Dillon, Cassie and I, successfully moved from our home in Cornelius to my new place in Hillsboro. It was a bit of a brutal move but thanks to Penske, my faithful neighbor Martin and my friends who did a lot of the heavy lifting, we were able to “git ‘er done” as they say down south! I can’t tell you how much everyone did for me. Not just physically, but for my heart.  

To be honest, over the last few weeks I have had many epiphanies in regards to the meaning of true friendship and its healing power. Proverbs 17:17 says it this way:
“A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps in time of trouble.” (New Century Version).
Through one of the toughest ‘times of trouble’ that this family has ever faced, I can truly say we have friends both near and far. Brothers and sisters who have loved us through it all and have reached in to help. It’s been quite remarkable and at the same time, very humbling. I’ve always been the kind of person who has worked at putting others first. Striving to be an empathic listener regardless of whether I’ve known you for years, or just met you on the street. Being that way isn’t hard for me. And as odd as it may sound, I really enjoy being there for people in both good times and bad. When I read Proverbs 17:17 I want to be ‘that’ friend or ‘that’ brother for others. I actually strive to be that person. Not because of my calling, self exaltation, or pomposity gone wild, but because I sincerely believe that everyone needs a friend. So you can imagine my epiphany to this scripture in being the recipient of such love and friendship that has and continues to be shown towards me. I now have a new understanding…one from experience…that a friend really does love all the time, regardless of your performance. A brother really does help in time of trouble and will drop everything to prove it.

Maybe this is all just a reaping of what I’ve sowed. Or maybe the only thing spiritual about it is the fact God has truly blessed me with real friends. I’ve experienced firsthand the power of a phone call. The power of an encouraging text or email. The power of dropping everything and flying 2000 miles to help. The power of your neighbor taking you to the movies. The power of ‘I love you’ and it’s embrace. The power of your kids being able to make you laugh. The power of a simple bowl of fruit and bottle of wine from a new church member who says, ‘I believe in you!’ As Huey Lewis once sang, “That’s the power of love”. And it’s the power of true friends.

Let’s not forget the power of those who were there for us, when nobody else was. You made me a better friend.
Pastor Shian

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