Thursday, 29 May 2014

Talk about Friendship

By Moira Gardener and Sarah Davidson

Friends, we all need them, but how do we find them? We can act cool and try to break into the ‘in’ crowd, but when we need a real friend, will the ‘in’ crowd be there for us? And how long can we wear the mask we need to wear to be ‘in’, and what if they find out who we really are and reject us? The process sounds pretty stressful to me.

Friends are important because God made us for relationship and who we hang out with does have an impact on us. But God actually intended us to have a close relationship with Him. He wants to be our best friend. He modeled true friendship in the person of Jesus Christ. If we look to people to find our best friend, sometimes the price can be as high as compromising our integrity or values, especially if we’re trying to fake it until we make it. And in those moments, by whose standards are we measuring “making it”?
The most courageous thing we can do is be ourselves. And finding true friends starts by being a real friend. It’s a lot less stressful, and when we make a connection called friendship, chances are it’ll last. Even when it doesn’t, we have Christ who never leaves.

True friendship is a novel concept in our Facebook, tweeting internet society. This begs us to question what real friendship looks like. Making a connection as ourselves (the only thing we have control over) will determine the outcome providing the other person wants our friendship. Let’s turn to Christ for a role model. Christ is kind, trustworthy, loving, forgiving, has clear boundaries, never ditches anyone even when he’s ditched, and always puts the other person first. These are a few of His character qualities.

Being a friend to someone else means practicing all of these things. But I believe it is easier to do when we first have Christ as our best friend and let him help us to grow into the kind of person God wants us to be. Treating others the way we want to be treated is a biblical value and a good place to go after mustering the courage to be ourselves.

Practical qualities for friendship are: agree on how to act towards one another, love each other with a Godly love, welcome each other when you meet, be a trusted confidant, teach and learn from each other, be patient with one another, and adopt a servant’s attitude. This last one means looking out for the others’ best interest and not our own all the time. It’s a pretty tall order!

Even when we have a real friendship, we are human and there are times we will need to forgive each other. Human beings, being imperfect, always let each other down. And when they do, we have a choice to make. Forgiveness is a given if we want to be free of bitterness. But even then do we keep the friendship? It needs to depend on what happened. Do we value the friendship enough to move forward, or do we pick ourselves up and part ways?

Helping children navigate broken friendships can be difficult. Children often make friendships easily. Just spend five minutes at a playground to observe this. We, as adults, could learn a few tips. But when it comes to being hurt by friends, children need our help to walk forgiveness, and to learn how to be a good friend in spite of poor examples.

Another thing about human relationships; even when we are being a friend it doesn’t always mean it will be reciprocated. If the other person doesn’t want to be friends, or treats us poorly we have to be prepared to move on to other people.

But where are friends found? God is aware of our need, and if we prayerfully look to Him, He’ll bring them to us as we live out our lives daily doing activities we love to do. We need to pay attention to those around us looking to meet the needs of others instead of navel gazing.

Bottom Line: Trust God and Christ as our best friend trust he’ll bring the right people into our lives; and be a friend to others.



A friend is someone who is trustworthy and treats others as they wish to be treated.


In God’s timing he will bring human friends, in the meantime learn to be a friend.


Find friends in everyday life doing what you love to do and be aware of others around you instead of navel gazing.


All we have control of is who we are and how we treat others. Christ is our best friend, always there.


We were made for relationship and this is why we need friendships. Once again God desires a relationship with us himself (as best friends).


  • Proverbs 18:21 one good friend is worth more than many who are not. (Paraphrased)
  • 1 Peter 4:8-10 … keep loving on another … welcome one another
  • Ephesians 4:2 …be patient, bearing one another in love.
  • Galatians 5:13 …but through love serve one another.
For more scripture on friendship check

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Talk about Endurance

By Moira Gardener and Sarah Davidson

Boy I sure could use some of this about now. My ‘stick to it mind set has come unstuck. How does this happen? For me it`s rooted in discouragement. So I ask myself if my expectation is realistic. If no, how can I adjust accordingly? If yes, what is stopping me from pressing on? Why has my endurance taken a hike?
The Bible has *89 references about endurance, and encourages us “not to become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9). Endurance is finishing the race, even when the going gets tough. In Wikipedia, endurance is “the ability to exert and remain active for long periods of time, as well as the ability to resist, withstand, recover from and have immunity to trauma, wounds or fatigue.”

After pondering this from a Christian point of view, I believe endurance is choosing to persevere in our faith and trust in God in order to rise above the situation, no matter what life throws at us.

Why not just take the easy way out and quit? After all isn’t there a time when enough is enough? We need to realize God sees the end result while we only see pieces. We can’t see the rewards until we look back after the race is finished. So faith and trust in God is crucial.  When we endure, we’ll gain stronger character qualities like patience, a confident ‘I can do’ attitude, and a closer relationship with God.

Endurance can also be for someone else’s sake, as an act of love. When I think of an enduring individual, I think of the movie “Iron Will”. The move is based on the true story of Will Stoneman who endures a gruelling dog sled race to save the family farm from financial ruin.

One of the greatest love stories about endurance is how Christ endured the crucifixion so we can live with God for eternity.

How can we endure? It begins with trusting and having faith in God’s love for us. He has our best interest at heart, and never leaves us. If we look at the apostle Paul, while in jail he rose above his circumstance by singing praises to the Lord. So, what are some tools we can use when we are in the thick of it?
  • Choose to persevere in our faith and trust in God
  • Believe He works all things for our good
  • Reflect on how far you have come, remembering He is always with us.
  • Choose an attitude of gratitude
  • Try to see things from Gods’ eternal perspective
  • Start with the end in mind and decide if the goal is worthy. If it is, write it down and post it somewhere you can see.
  • It helps when the goal is bigger than ourselves.
  • Think about how the end result will be beneficial to you and others
  • Some circumstances are difficult and others can be excruciatingly hard. And while we do not know the tough roads God has called others to walk, we do know God never gives us more than we can bear and He will provide the way out in His perfect timing. In the end, we will become eternal winners.



    Endurance is the ability to finish when the going gets tough.




    Throughout our lives at work, play, home, everywhere.


    All of us.


    It is God’s building block to:
  • Strengthen character (Ex. patience, confidence … )
  • Bring Wisdom – to learn what to do for next time
  • Increase faith and trust in knowing God sees the end and knows where we are going even when we don’t
  • Build friendship with God as our best friend who is all loving, and yes, sometimes it’s a tough love.
  • To empower us to be a friend to others-walking alongside them while they go through a similar circumstance.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Talk about Humility

By Moira Gardener and Sarah Davidson

Children automatically know how to be all about themselves and encouraging them to step back to see the bigger pictures is challenging. Humility in our culture is neither encouraged nor looked at as something positive, and is often misconstrued as grovelling. 

In actual fact, humility means being gracious by choosing to put others first and giving up what you think you deserve. It means recognizing that the needs of others are as important as our own and it opens us up to growth and love.

Humble acts come in all sizes and shapes - from the person who stands aside to let the elderly man in line at McDonalds, to the nurse who looks past an inconsiderate patient and does their job with a smile, or a waiter who listens to a customer complaint and cheerfully remedies the situation. Whether the action is small or large the bottom line is that humility is serving others with a good attitude even if they may not appreciate it.
As followers of Jesus the goal is to be like Christ. He knew if he died on the cross, the Holy Spirit would be released giving everyone the option to have Christ’s spirit inside them. He knew his action covered our sin, opening up a direct chat-line to God.

Humility is found when we step back and see things as Christ sees them, on an eternal scale.  When we serve others with kindness and love we are serving God by being his hands and feet.  It’s when we love everyone as much as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31) we can be free to shift our focus from navel gazing to unconditional love in action.

One thing to note: humility is not self-abasement it is acknowledging there is a power greater than ourselves. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking about yourself less.
How can we teach our children this? Model it, talk about it, and pray for it.



Humility is putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve


To become more Christ like and be God’s hands and feet on earth.


Whenever needed




  • Seeing the eternal picture as Christ does.
  • Choosing to do the loving thing
  • Serving others with a good attitude
  • Model it, talk about it, and pray for it.


  • John 18:12 – 20:23 -The Easter Story.
  • Philippians 2:3 -Put others first.
  • Mark 12:31 Love your neighbour as yourself. Note: Your neighbour is everyone
  • Proverbs 15:33 The fear (respect) for God

Thursday, 1 May 2014

I pray for your boxes

I pray for your...

Lunch containers that hold nourishment for your family,
and small containers in your hearts that hold malnourished hopes/plans/dreams.
May you and your family receive the nurturing and nourishment you need physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Jewelry boxes that protect memories held in creative molds
and the boxes in your hearts that hug memories from the past {hugs that squeeze joy from them, or comfort the pain}.
As you reflect on the past, may you remember the many ways the Lord has walked with you, and be encouraged to cherish the treasures of the present.

Tool boxes that help you upkeep your home
and boxes with figurative tools you have to upkeep your heart
and relational tool boxes that you have to help in times of conflict.
I pray you would be equipped to constantly be working to grow, improve and fix yourself and your home.

Storage containers that hold decorations and clothes for other seasons,
and containers in your hearts that are storing emotions and experiences from recent weeks.
May God give you great wisdom and discernment for with what, and how, you fill these.

Donation containers that carry your blessing's overflow to others in need
and the containers of time and resources you draw from within yourself to give to others in the church, community and your family.
May you feel the freedom and joy in the release, and find your personal boxes full to draw from.

"Penalty boxes" that aren't fun to sit in, but do develop character.
Whether you're sending someone (an employee or a child) to one, or are in one yourself in your heart, or in your life's circumstances,
May you have the humility to embrace a lesson, and the fortitude to let the process shape you for the better.

Laundry containers that may look more familiar than your pillow, and the washing and reusing of your own heart's wardrobe.
Our spirituality isn't always new and fresh, sometimes we see old stories and lessons in fresh ways. So like a clean shirt you've worn a dozen times, may you find fresh perspectives in 'old' morals and lessons you have relearned a dozen times.

From matchbox containers and the ignition of new ideas
to jack-in-the-boxes and surprises that will come your way
I pray for your containers - that they hold good, healthy contents
that will not weigh you down, but enable you to make a Kingdom difference, for His glory.