“I’m An Easy Mark”

I bought six.

Six What?

Little boxes of chocolates. One of my young friends at church was selling them for a school fund raiser. Something about some volleyball nets. 

candy-bars
Not what I bought, but close, really very close.

An Easy Mark

We used to buy from every child that was selling something. But we couldn’t sustain it. At our lowest point, we had to make a tearful appeal to our Church Benevolence Ministry just to eat. (Okay, that’s not true, but its close!)

fund raiser
 I understand philanthropic fundraising campaigns.

Why So Many?

I had $12.00 and they were $2.00 each, so I bought six. Her mother told me,

“You didn’t have to buy so many.”

And I said,

“I didn’t have to buy any, I just wanted to support my friend.”

My health and well-being didn’t need the candy, it wasn’t about the candy.

Risky?

Sure it is. Some of you are members of my church and now you’ll go tell your little fund-raising kids:

“Go see Mr. Rick, he’ll buy anything.”

Sadly, I can’t. The Benevolence Committee has me on a program. Sorry kids.

Now Jesus: Mark 10:13-16

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. 

Why Her?

  • I’ve known her since she was a toddler.
  • She used to sit with us in church.
  • Each Sunday, she still finds me and hugs me.
  • We like talking about school and stuff.
  • I love her. I love her family.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not close to every kid in church, but I wish. We have 150 kids in our Children’s Ministry and 100 teens in our Youth Ministry. It’s likely most of them have little interest in knowing me! 

To Close

Sunday morning, we had a Baby Blessing for a sweet couple with a sweet baby girl, their first child. I encouraged them a little, challenged them a little, and gushed over their baby, a little. Then we prayed for them and blessed them. It was beautiful.

Maybe in a few years I’ll be buying chocolate from her? You never know!

Have a blessed day.

A Recipe for Friendship

I’m thinking about friendship this morning.

The Recipe

What makes a good and lasting friendship? What’s the recipe? Here’s some ingredients:

  1. Things in common
  2. Shared experiences
  3. Compatibility
  4. Similar interests
  5. Mutual trust and respect

And?

There’s something to be said about liking each other; it’s a key factor in forming a friendship. What is it we like?

  1. Talking
  2. Laughing
  3. Adventure
  4. Values
  5. Perspective
x19404471
Not my friends, but close, really very close.

The Odd Couple

However, I have close friends who are different, or I’m different from them.

I have a close friend who loves to hunt, loves everything about it, and is good at it. Me? I don’t hunt, don’t care for it, and don’t want to kill anything. But we are great friends. Go figure?

Another close friend is a thrill seeker. Loves adventure and excitement. Loves to jet ski, ride horses, and is up for anything interesting or exciting. Loves to be outside gardening, doing yard work, and getting sweaty and dirty, and yet is fastidious about being neat and clean. I don’t like any of those things.

Another great friend is a world class fly fisherman who lives on a world-class fly fishing river. But he rarely fly-fishes. His summers are spent helping and serving others. He’s a Pastor in a small mountain community and he invests all his time caring for his flock. I admire him. But I would want to fish more!

One of my closest friends is way smarter than me. By smarter I mean, higher I.Q., quicker mind, faster conceptually, gets the point before I do. Why we are friends I’ll never know. It’s hard for me to keep up and hard for my friend to wait for me. Anyway, we get along.

To Close

 Frankly, I don’t get the friendship recipe, but I know a good friend is a wonderful thing.

To my friends, thanks for being my friend. We don’t always understand each other, and we have some differences, but somehow, someway, we keep growing closer.

Thank you.