A friend loves at all times, and a sibling is born to share adversity." - Proverbs 17:17

Who can you turn to in your times of greatest trouble? Who do you turn to for wise counsel or honest feedback? Who loves you enough to tell you the truth, even when it hurts? The answer is a friend. In Mark chapter 2, we're told the story of 4 friends who try to bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus. When they realize that they'll never make it through the crowds, they don't get discouraged. They get creative. First, they climb onto the top of the house and start tearing out the roof. Second, they lower their friend down to Jesus and pray that Jesus' compassion outweighs his outrage at their act of domestic vandalism. The Bible tells us that when Jesus sees their faith, he forgives the man of his sin. (Note: it was common for people to assume that sin was the cause of sickness, including paralysis.) Then, Jesus takes another step and commands the paralyzed man to get up, pick up his mat, and go home. It's noteworthy that the paralyzed man says nothing and does nothing in this passage. For all we know, he may have been an atheist and skeptic. His past may have been more checkered that a checkerboard. However, Jesus honors the love and devotion of his friends. Just as Jesus "knew" the questioning of his critics, he "knew" the sincerity of the friends' faith. Can you name 3 or 4 friends like this in your life - people who love you in good times and bad - people who pray for and stand by you through thick and thin? A more important question - can you name 3 or 4 people to whom you are this kind of friend - people who you love in good times and bad - who you pray for and stand by you no matter what? If you have such friends in your life, praise God. Treasure your friends! If you don't have such friends, then start cultivating friendships by being a friend to others. Friends are wonderful to have in the good times. They are vital to have in the rough times. Pastor Caleb

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Apr. 2021 Newsletter

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