"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

March 2, 2016


I found a quote that said, "There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you're the one that will change theirs." Another quote says, "We don't meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason." Another better known quote states, "We have three types of friends in life: friends for a reason, friends for a season, and friends for a lifetime."

I was born having four older sisters. We have always been extremely close and best friends. Although our relationship grew and matured as we did, even when we were young, we went everywhere together and enjoyed spending time together. My sisters and I are lifetime friends.

Later, I met Jon and we developed a friendship, trust, and mutual respect for one another as we fell in love. The two of us are also lifetime friends.

Sometimes in life we meet someone and we develop a friendship with them that endures the test of time. When I first starting working in banking, I was in my early 20's. I was a shy, insecure young lady who didn't have a lot of self-confidence. I went in every day, did my job to the best of my ability, and talked as little as possible. As the months went by, my supervisor saw potential and skills in me that I didn't see in myself. She began giving me more and more responsibilities, and as she did so, my self-confidence blossomed. I became more talkative, secure, and over time became a supervisor and in charge of overseeing both the bookkeeping and teller operations; as well as being in charge of our ATM and doing the account payables for the bank. Little did I know when I first started in banking that my supervisor and I would become such close friends. Even though we haven't worked together for almost thirteen years now and don't get to see one another very often, we email almost every day and have stayed in close contact. We know that we are always there for one another and are big supporters of each other.

On the other hand, I have had friends who would fit into the seasonal category. Some of those friends were close friends during our time together, and I will always treasure the relationship that we shared. To this day, I can think of a couple of ladies whom I absolutely adored and we were close friends during the years that they were a part of my life. But circumstances caused their families to go elsewhere to live, they moved on to other things, and over time we didn't stay in touch as we had hoped. I still look back upon the time we spent together and cherish it. They were wonderful friends to me, we shared a bond, and hopefully I was as good of a friend to them as they were to me. We filled a need in one another's life for a particular season.

Some of my seasonal friends were not the best influence on me; and when I look back, I see mistakes I made in placing the value on our relationship that I did during the time we were together. But those relationships also impacted me and made me aware of the fact that every individual who comes into my life and wants to become good friends are not always people whom I should trust and form close bonds with. It brought about a realization that I need to exercise caution regarding who I allow to influence me, and that I need to be able to stand up for myself and not be a follower.

Another quote I found said, "Some people come into your life for a season, and some come for a lifetime. Never mix seasonal people up with lifetime expectations." I like that quote. There are times when God may bring people into our lives for a particular season of our life, never intending on it being a lifetime relationship. That's not a bad thing, but how God sometimes works. When that happens and the season ends and it's time for both parties to move on, if we try to hang onto that person with lifetime expectations, we could end up either hurt or disappointed, or could possibly miss out on recognizing a new lifetime friend that God wants to bring into our life. Why? Because the season for that particular friendship is over, but we're hanging onto someone that God has destined to move on for a specific reason; but we are so hung up on lifetime expectations for that person that we don't recognize someone else that God may be placing in our path, who really is destined to be our lifetime friend.

Then there are those friends whom God brings into our life for a very specific reason. We meet a very specific need in one another's life. God orchestrates our lives to come together for mutual benefits. These type of friendships can be very meaningful and special.

My father-in-law's roommate and his wife come to mind when I think of friends for a reason. Stan had been in the nursing home for several months when Zeke moved in. The roommate that Stan had prior to this, passed away. When Zeke moved to Homestead shortly thereafter, the staff move him into Stan's room. We had no idea at that time how huge of a blessing this would be to both families. Even though Zeke's health has taken a rapid decline in the past few weeks, and we can't always understand what he is trying to say, we are thankful to have him in our lives. Zeke and Judy have been a blessing and encouragement to my father-in-law and mother-in-law; and vice-versa. They have Bible study and prayer together and have developed a friendship. Jon and I have grown to love Zeke and Judy and count them as very special people in our lives. We've also been honored to meet their son and daughter and felt an immediate kinship with them; perhaps because we are all "kids" walking the same journey with our parents. It gives us peace knowing that Stan and Diane have another couple whom they can share this difficult path with. Diane and Judy understand the struggles and hardships of having a spouse suffering with Alzheimer's, so can pray for and encourage and support one another. We are so grateful for God bringing these "friends for a reason" into our lives.

I believe that Jesus understood the concept of friendship, and encountered friends in all three categories while He lived upon earth.

The disciples were seasonal earthly friends. (Bear with me; I know that eleven of them are eternal life-timers, also!) For three years they shared life together, ministered together, traveled together, and learned from one another. As far as I know, prior to Jesus calling them specifically to be His disciples they didn't personally know Him as a close friend. At the end of the three years, Jesus was crucified and resurrected, then ascended back to Heaven. He went away, and was no longer bodily there for those men to fellowship with and have that earthly friendship with.

There were also those whom, I believe, Jesus had a friendship with for a specific reason. Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, come to mind. When Jesus was traveling through their hometown, He would go to their house to teach and would eat meals with them. He knew that He was welcome in their home and would be offered hospitality.

We all have the invitation and opportunity to be lifetime friends with Jesus. That wasn't only something that was offered to those individuals whom Jesus was acquainted with while He lived upon earth.

In John 15:12-15 (NLT) Jesus is speaking and says, "This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn't confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me."

Jesus laid His life down for us all, which is the most ultimate of all love. If we accept His sacrifice for our sins and choose to follow Him and obey His word, then we are His friends. Not just an acquaintance or someone whom we recognize as being somewhat familiar, but Jesus offers us the opportunity of being His close, personal friend.... His bosom buddy, His confidant, the one to whom He shares His most intimate thoughts, the one to whom He most wants to spend time with. I want to not only be a lifetime friend of Jesus, but share an eternal friendship with Him!


I've heard that one of the definitions that divide introverts from extroverts is how many close friends you like to have. Myself, I like two to five close friends, and don't mind seeing others, as long as it isn't that often. I've known others who want to have dozens of friends, and don't care to spend much time with any one of them.

I also like for all my close friends to be good influences on me, and to build me up. That's a little greedy, but it's a lot more comfortable. I've had a few friends that seemed more 'needy'. They don't necessarily try to make me a worse person, or I wouldn't consider them friends. But there are those that are just exhausting. After an hour with them, I can feel so drained that I need to get away, and get a rest. I've had one such friend try to get me to go to lunch with them a few times. But I usually want lunch so I can get away and relax for a while. The thought of eating with an exhausting friend isn't the break I need at the middle of the work day.

Those are the cases where I have to consider that maybe we met so I can support them, and build them up. I could be wrong, and I'm the one who needs to learn a little patience, but it feels better to think it's for them. After all, who wants to work hard to learn patience?


Beefy Jalapeno Cornbread

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 can cream-style corn

1 cup milk

1-1/2 pound ground beef

2 eggs

Onion, chopped

3/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup bacon drippings

Combine meal, milk, eggs, salt, baking soda, bacon drippings, and corn in a bowl; mix and set aside. Brown ground beef; drain. Grease cast iron skillet; sprinkle with corn meal. Pour half of batter into pan. Sprinkle with the beef, onions, then the cheese. Add the chopped peppers evenly on top. Pour remaining batter on top. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.


When I was a little girl, a cousin and his family were our closest neighbors. His son, Kevin, was about a year younger than me, then the younger son, Nicky, was a couple years younger than his big brother. We played with one another almost every day; especially in the summers. One of our favorite things to play was cowboys and indians. Since Nicky was 3-4 years younger than me and Kevin, and we didn't want him to follow us around and play with us, we would always make him be the indian and the two of us were cowboys. We would tell him, "You have dark skin (which was true -- he was dark complected, and Kevin and I were really white-skinned) so you look more like an indian that we do, so you have to be the indian and we'll be the cowboys"; which meant we would run off and hide from him. He would invariably cry, so my mama would let him go inside the house with her and feed him cookies and play with him.

I saw Nicky a while back and asked if he remembered coming to our house and playing when he was a little boy. I was hoping he had forgotten how ornery Kevin and I were to him; or else was so young that he didn't remember those years -- after all, that was around 45 years ago. Nope! His immediate response was, "Yeah I remember! You and Kevin always made me be the indian!!" I told him it was because he was a cry baby, so we didn't want to play with him. He said the only reason he cried was because we would never let him be a cowboy with us; but that was fine, because Mama would let him go inside the house with her and give him homemade cookies or wackies. Fun memories!!


Having someplace to go is home. Having someone to love is family.

Both are blessings! - unknown


We love you!

Loretta & Jon