August 2007


Friendship is a gift that graces our lives. It’s something that’s steadfast in the sunshine and the darkness… and in the time of need. It is not only a gift, but also a responsibility.

A friend will seek out the needs of her friend, and do all in her power to make sure those needs are fulfilled. At times, it will cost an interrupted schedule, exerted energy, and monetary expense. Yet a friend will not count the cost and see these efforts expended as grueling. Instead, she will find honor and pleasure in finding ways to help.

A friend will be selfless and giving. Like Jonathan spoke to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.” (1 Samuel 20:4)

Have you ever noticed the love and devotion that Paul had to the saints in his many epistles? He didn’t like them because they were part of his organization, or because they funded his ministry, or because they had the exact same doctrinal beliefs he had. No, he loved them as individuals, as people… and at great expense.

Be willing to lay your life on the line if you must. Be committed to a selfless heart. Don’t hoard your resources. God loves a cheerful giver, and when you give He will bless in return. Remember, the things you possess are but gifts loaned to you from above anyway.

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by Katie Marie

img_0061.jpgI can still hear the haunting cries of the loons lingering in my mind. As always it was a beautiful time in the Boundary Waters! Time stands still up there. It is forever changing yet life goes on day after day just as it has a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago, as far I know, since the day God spoke it into existence.

img_0080.jpg Walking along portages from lake to lake rough trails are peppered with roots, rocks, dips and rises. It is mostly rock up there with a thin covering of sponge earth with brave pines and poplars and a few oaks and cedars scattered here and there. Looking at the shore line it is amazing to see trees growing out of a mere shelf in the rock or a little crack in sheer stone. Yet a few mighty pines tower above the rest. Pines that would take probably 3 of me to reach around its massive girth. How long have they stood there I wonder. How many trees have they seen sprout only to wither and die? How many lightning strikes have passed them by to snap the tree next to it? How many travelers like myself have stopped to gaze upon it? It stands at attention and guards the wilderness. Yet its might is still vulnerable. 29.jpgEven the MIGHTIEST tree will one day come crashing to the ground.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.

Isaiah 40:8  

img_0127.jpg God is bigger, stronger, more beautiful than any created wonders. As I pondered these things I thought of Him through the ages. Trees have come and gone, rivers have flowed and dried up but God is never fading, all enduring and everlasting. Then I thought of not just the beauty of the world but the difficulties we face in this life. Cares of this world weigh us down when situations seem impossible. 29-1.jpgCorrupted leaders, war, famine, oppression, and things of that sort. Yet civilizations have come and gone, kingdoms have risen and fallen, but God still is and always will be Lord of all!

The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.

Isaiah 2:11  

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img_0062.jpgKatie Marie is an active young lady with a heart for the Lord. She lives in the beautiful state of Wisconsin, particularly enjoying the outdoors and EMS work, not to mention her own sweet pair of darling nephews.

Hurt, pain, suffering, death, loss, lonliness, confusion, stress, fatigue… all a part of life. Questions go unanswered and the million why’s echo into nothingness. One of the most beautiful ways to invest in a relationship is to encourage. Be there to love and support and build up. When your friend despairs, point out the bright side. Help them find a rainbow in a raindrop, peace in a storm, a smile in a flower.

Share a verse, a poem, a song. Drop a card in the mail. Make a phone call. Let them know that you’re there for them, and more importantly that their situation or struggle does not extend the reach of God. Tell them they can cling tightly to the last thread, or they can let it all go and hold on to Jesus. 

Encouragement is vital in life. We all need friends in our lives who can come up beside us and say, “Keep going! This soon shall pass, there’s always hope!” Be that friend to someone else.

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I apologize for the impromptu disappearance there… I was out of town, with slow internet access, and very busy. But now I’m back up and running–or shall I say, our Feminine Espresso is. 😉 Thanks for your patience. Stay tuned, there’s lots more to come!

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.” Matthew 5:9

There’s nothing like being stuck in the cross-fire is there? That’s precisely where Jonathon found himself. Dad hates David, David scared of Dad. Instead of running from the fight and letting them work it out, he stepped in. He settled David’s fears, and then turned to Saul’s issues. He reminded him of David’s heroic acts, he declared there was nothing that David had done to displease Saul so. He went out of his way to speak good of David, emphasizing with poignant grace David’s good points.

And such is your responsibility. Do not demean a person to gain status in the eyes of others, rather bring peace where there is war. Soothe the fight by gentle suggestions as to the person-in-question’s character. Perhaps you are acquainted with one who is enraged (or even just slightly ticked) at your friend. Don’t argue, don’t demand answers to strife-mongering questions, just state simple facts about the good character of your friend.

And whatever you do, never stop loving.

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There is a scene where spirits blend,
Where friend holds fellowship with friend;
Though sundered far, by faith they meet
Around one common mercy seat.

Hugh Stowell
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17-2.jpgSometimes, in the thick of a trying circumstance, it’s hard to see a way out. We grope and crawl around in the dark, and don’t know which direction is up, much less the way out. We pray, but the answers still don’t seem to come. Life is at it’s darkest. That is when it is time for you to step in and help your friend. Hold them, love them, pray for them… and give them advice.

Such was the case with David. When a king hates a guy, that’s about as bad as it gets. David was running for his life, but where to go? Where to hide? And the unknown: he’s not really that mad at me, is he?? He did well to find his trustworthy friend. Jonathan lent his ear, and then his advice, helping David devise a plan to save his hide. When David panicked, Jonathan was his calming potion.

 When your friend is struggling, speak the truth in love. Help them understand how to get from point A to point B. Be sure to seek God’s wisdom in giving your friend advice. When you feel inadequate, remember that the strength of God is the strongest when you’re at your weakest.

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