My Best Friend (New Teaching Series Announced)

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By , August 23, 2014 2:01 pm
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I am excited to announce a new teaching series called “How Relationships Work” that will begin September 23rd. So much of life happens in the context of relationship! See below for details on how you can join me as we explore this challenging topic.

 

MY BEST FRIEND

 
When I was a girl, having a best friend was a singular thing. “Best,” to my generation, meant that just one person held a spot reserved for no other. Not so for the millennials. I discovered this last week when my 23-year-old daughter and her friend were talking in my kitchen. In that one short encounter, they referred to 3 different individuals as Merrill Lee’s best friend. That did not add up for me.
 
When we discussed it later, I discovered that there is much wisdom in their view of the title best friend (though I still don’t think it is grammatically correct). They mean that a best friend is the best kind of friend you can have—someone who knows you well, loves you anyway, keeps your secrets, and cares about the things closest to your heart. With this new definition, I can say with integrity that my mother, my daughter, my husband, and many women in my closest circle qualify as best friends. How great is that?
 
Yet there remains a desire for a friend to occupy that one special place in my heart, someone who has no rival. To my wonder and amazement, I discovered that Jesus wants to fill that spot. He has been the perfect best friend to me! He meets me for coffee every morning and listens as I pour out the concerns of my life. He makes me laugh when I’m taking myself too seriously and He offers unsurpassed wisdom when I listen to Him.
 
Just last week I was telling Him about a relational conflict and my personal plan for handling it. When I finished unfolding my own ideas for handling things, I asked for His advice. He pointed me to a familiar Scripture and a way to apply it to my situation that was completely new to me. Not only did I feel helped, but His plan for bringing harmony back to my relationship brought me a little bit closer to becoming the kind of friend He is to me.
 
Do you want to enjoy richer relationship with God and other people? Join us this fall as we study biblical principles for satisfying, healthy relationships. We will:
 

  • Seek to develop intimate friendship with God
  • Observe how He relates to us as His people, children, bride
  • Discover how to become honest and safe people that connect deeply
  • Develop and enjoy authentic community
  • Learn God’s way of dealing with relational conflict and tension

 
We would love to have you join us in person for an amazing time of learning and fellowship. Please come and invite your friends! If that is not possible, you can take advantage of this exciting new teaching series via our website.
 
Attend the class:
Two class times available beginning September 23rd!
 
Tuesday mornings:
10:00-11:15   Worship and the Word
11:15-12:00   Prayer and Mentoring Groups (optional)
 
Tuesday evenings:
7:00-8:15       Worship and the Word
8:15-9:00       Sharing and Prayer (optional)
 
Covenant Presbyterian Church, Room 104
65 Old Montgomery Highway
Birmingham, AL 35209
 
Listen online:
The weekly message and handouts will upload on Wednesday afternoons and can be accessed 24/7 at www.divinedesigndiscipleship.com under our Resources tab. Please join us at a day and time that is convenient for you.
 

Indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.

 

1 Samuel 2:2

 
 
 

 

Empty Nest

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By , August 8, 2014 10:19 am
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“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, … “I will protect him.”

 

For a solid year I had dreaded the day when my firstborn child would leave home to go to college. Things would never be the same once he left.  I’d sniffled (and sometimes cried outright) through almost every “last” event of his senior year. Tears would flow when I realized it was our last registration or pep rally or spring break. Soon the day would come when I would no longer be a part of his day-to-day life or close enough to make sure he had everything he needed.
 
By the time we got to our last family beach trip, I was inconsolable. Surely I was taxing God’s willingness to keep track of my every tear! Fortunately I was just about cried out when the Lord led me to Jeremiah 31:16: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears; for your work will be rewarded,’ declares the Lord.” The next verse goes on to say, “’There is hope for your future,’ says the Lord. ‘Your children will come again to their own land.’” What a good and timely word to me from my heavenly Father! I was ready to accept the reality that my only begotten son was flying out of the nest in less than a week.
 
The intervening days were busy with organizing and packing, and my tear ducts were actually cooperating. I woke up on Jackson’s move-in day with a sense of anticipation in my heart. After all that preparation, it didn’t take very long to get the boxes of carefully chosen college gear into that tiny apartment and put them in place. We had plenty of time for lunch and afternoon football.
 
The family headed to Auburn’s Jordan-Hare stadium before all the pregame traditions began. We were making our way up the long ramp that curves around the arena when I noticed feathers scattered all over the path in front of us. Immediately I was reminded of the promise so dear to my heart: “He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4). How precious of God to reassure me — I could count on Him to provide a safe place for my son.
 
A few minutes later I watched my son as he watched the eagle make its game day flight over the stadium. I could see the pride and determination in his face. He was crossing the threshold of a new season, and he was ready. It was time for me to step back and let God be the primary parent and teacher.
 
From that day on, feathers have become a symbol to me of the Lord’s protection. It seemed I saw feathers everywhere I turned those first few weeks after Jackson moved away. My heart skipped a beat every single time; I received each one as a special love message from God. I even began to find great comfort at the sight of the feathers that leaked from the annoying, cheap pillow inserts I had purchased!
 
While my son studied math and science, God had me majoring in trust. Jackson has since graduated with honors, and God was faithful to keep His promise of protection during those college years. Even now, every time change or uncertainty comes my way, I’m still learning that I can trust God to keep my fearful heart safe under His sheltering wing.
 
feather

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