A few weeks ago I wrote about the blessings of friendship.

But sometimes friendship is hard.  Sometimes friends end up on the other side of the political or moral fence.  Sometimes friends make choices that God didn’t intend for them to make.

The news this week reminds me that being a good friend doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything the other person says or does, or believes. But it also doesn’t mean I look the other way with a shrug of my shoulders and say, “Well I don’t agree personally, but if it makes you happy…”.

A quote attributed to Rick Warren says, “You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate”.

Jesus didn’t condemn the woman caught in adultery.  But He didn’t look the other way, either.  He said, “Go and sin no more”.  (John 8:11)

There are bloggers and commentators and religious people of influence filling the airwaves and internet with laments and dismay and doubts about the moral future of our country.   And I don’t necessarily disagree with them. But it won’t be political discourse that changes hearts.

Maybe it will be friendships.

Maybe it will be friendships that don’t compromise, friendships that stay the course even when the opposing convictions are strong.

There’s a difference between conviction and condemnation.  And while I’ll never condemn my friends, I hope that they’ll see that my convictions are based on my faith in God and my aching desire to see them walk fully in His will.

I can’t be a light in their lives if I’m not in their lives.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity.  2 Corinthians 1:12 (NIV)

For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  John 3:17

For this reason, we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.  Colossians 1:9-10


Flat tires are inconvenient.  They happen at inconvenient times and in inconvenient places.

But sometimes that inconvenience has an entirely different story attached to it, a story being orchestrated by God.

My brother was finishing up a business trip in New York City.  Kind of an inconvenient place to come out and find a flat tire.  It was inconvenient to call someone to change the tire, inconvenient to have to drive slowly all the way back to New Jersey because the flat tire had been replaced by one of those silly temporary donut tires.  And it was inconvenient to spend all of Saturday morning at the tire place attempting to get the flat repaired when we were trying to get ready for a family graduation party.

But that inconvenience might have saved lives.

The flat tire couldn’t be repaired because closer inspection revealed it was defective to begin with.  And the other front tire was defective as well.  If it hadn’t gone flat in a parking lot, it might have blown out completely on a major highway…with a toddler and an infant in the back seat.

Sometimes God lets the inconvenient happen to save us from something far worse.

The next time I’m in a situation I didn’t plan and find utterly inopportune, I hope I’ll remember to step back before I jump to all sorts of silly and selfish conclusions, and think about the fact that God might be orchestrating something behind the scenes to protect me, or bless me.

Because inconvenience just might be a blessing in disguise.

For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.  Psalm 91:11

In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.  Proverbs 3:6

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust.  Psalm 91:2





Today I am grateful.  Not sure why this overwhelming sense of gratefulness has hit me right now, at 6:30 in the morning, but sometimes it’s good to just stop and say thank you.

For friends.

I’m thinking back over the past month or so and remembering time spent with some pretty great people.

An afternoon in the park with my former college roommate, a surprise invitation on Mother’s Day to have lunch with a wonderful couple from church, sampling restaurant fare one night at an event downtown with two great guys who have been in my life for a really long time, dinner with a former student who is finishing her first year of teaching, lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in several years but who still holds a cherished place in my heart, a phone call from an amazing young woman I used to mentor who is now in seminary, a meal with a close friend and confidante where I got to share how her specific prayer for me was answered, a long catch-up email from a friend in Santiago, Chile I’ve never met in person but who has become a very special person to me.

I am blessed.  And this morning I am grateful for the people God has placed into my life.

On the days when I start to put a toe into the sea of discouragement or self-pity, I need to remember how God has taken care of me through the blessings of friendship.  And I need to remember that it’s not all about me.  It’s not all about who invites me to a meal, or who calls me, or who writes to me.

I need to be a good friend as well.  I need to look for the opportunities to reach out to someone, to include someone, to encourage someone, to look for ways to bless another person’s life.

Lord, thank you for my friends.  Help me to be a good one. Help me to point my friends to You, to remind them that You are the best friend of all.

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

A man who has friends must himself be friendly. Proverbs 18:24

Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel. Proverbs 27:9