Hello all! (No more Aloha anymore since I'm not in Hawaii anymore!) Thank you all for how you have welcomed me back to Lancaster! I am so blessed by the members of Crossway who I am humbled to call sisters, brothers, friends and cohorts (hehe Carol Landis)!
I hope to, once things calm down and get settled back into place (my main goal since being back was food and laundry - everything else has kind of taken a back seat - there's even some mail I haven't opened yet!) I hope to write about my experiences in Hawaii in future blog posts. I apologize for being brief on what we did each day in Hawaii. I realize that some of the pictures speak for themselves, but there are a few stories behind each place we went to.
But for now, I want to pass along some excellent articles by the 9Marks ministry. In a nutshell, the 9Marks ministry is headed up by Mark Dever of the Capital Hill Baptist Church and is dedicated towards building and maintaining the church. Mark is one of my favorite speakers and is a frequent guest to the NA conference.
In this month's e-newsletter, 9Marks discusses the importance of friendship in the church. In the opening paragraph the editor writes,
Friendship is one of the primary means of grace the Lord uses to keep church members growing in grace and bound to one another—like the sinews between muscles. Friendship helps church members to fight sin, disciple younger Christians, and spur one another on to love and good deeds. After all, friendship is a bond of mutual affection, trust, and commitment; and two individuals will most quickly influence one another within the context of such affection and trust. It’s a basic fact of human nature, I believe, that we more quickly believe and follow individuals whom we know love us and are committed to us. Likewise, we’ll take greater care in encouraging those whom we love. That’s what friendship affords.
I am looking forward to reading these articles in depth and see where I can grow and change in these areas, especially on how I think about the idea of friendship as well as some of the practical things as well. Some things I've been challenged and changed by the grace of God over the years is not being selfish in my relationships. It's not all about me or about my desires! And you know how this sin was revealed in my life? Through a friend who cared and loved me enough to point out this sin to me and has encouraged me along the way! I am blessed to call this person one of my dear friends and someone I respect and admire because of their influence in my life.
You can read the 9Marks newsletter here.