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What kind of friend are you?

“Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother's house when disaster strikes you -- better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away. Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart;

then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.”

Proverbs 27:10

Are You a Nearby Neighbor?

Not many days ago I was putting up 100 bales of hay into my loft. It was on one of the hottest days we’ve had, and I was not looking forward to the chore. Getting hay out of the field is not something that you want to do but the old saying is true; “You have to make hay when the sun is shining.” It was a weekday, and my usual helpers were not available, but the hay was. Fortunately for me, I have a neighbor, Jacob, who is young and strong and almost always available to help. I sent him a message and his response was predictable…”I’ll be there!” So, together, we knocked out the chore. I was so grateful to have a nearby neighbor. On that very hot day he was a “port in the storm.” Be a Port for Your Friends I’ve been studying through the book of Acts with my bible study class. In chapter 27 we see Paul making his last missionary journey, to Rome, and an appointment with Nero. The trip was during September/October when the Mediterranean Sea is notorious for bad weather and treacherous travel. In this passage, the captain and owner of the ship had to decide whether to brave the dangerous sea or find a port. In the end, they chose poorly. The story reminded me of the importance of “ports” in our lives, and how we need friends in port AND how to be a port for our friends. What Kind of Port are You? Ports provide a variety of things for the traveler - a place of safety in a storm, a place to rest, and a place to refuel. In a port, there are usually people whose jobs are to provide essential services, just waiting for the tired, hungry, or unfortunate traveler. When I thought about this metaphor, I had to ask myself “Am I a man who is willing to accept the services of my friends (ports) or do I provide services to my friends?" I think the best answer is, both! My Prayer Lord, help me be a man who has the humility to ask and accept help from my friends when I need it. Lord please help me to be a port, open 24X7, for my friends who need my help.

Larry Martin

MD5 Lab Facilitator

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