Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Supernatural Friendship

Webster’s defines a friend as, “one attached to another by affection or esteem.” There is a particular passage of scripture that is a wonderful example of Godly friendship, and that is in I Samuel chapters 18-23.

David had already been anointed as the future king of Israel, but he would not ascend to his throne for approximately twenty-two more years. During that time he defeated the Philistine warrior Goliath, served in King Saul’s court as his armor-bearer, and played the harp to calm the King’s restless spirit.

It was during the early years, while David served at the King’s pleasure, that he met Saul’s eldest son Jonathan. It is my guess that Jonathan observed David during the time he was ministering to his father in the palace, as well as hearing about David’s conquest of Goliath in the King’s court. Saul decided that David would not return to his father’s house, but henceforth reside in Jerusalem with him.

I Samuel chapter 18 tells us in verse 1 that “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David.” A supernatural friendship had been forged. Verse 3 says, “Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.”

Jonathan and David’s friendship was unique and God ordained. Theirs was a deep spiritual connection – soul to soul – that was sealed with a covenant to honor and respect each other’s office. Jonathan was next in line for the throne by virtue of his birthright. However, he relinquished his power and position by offering to David his royal robe and armaments. God had no doubt prepared Jonathan’s heart in advance of David’s arriving in Jerusalem. Jonathan exemplified all that is noblest in friendship – true affection, unselfishness, helpfulness, and loyalty. His steadfast belief in David’s divine ascension to the throne, and rule of all Israel enabled him to intervene when his father, the King, attempted to kill David on more than one occasion.

After one such attempt on David’s life, Jonathan went out into the field where David was hiding, and after dismissing his servant, reunited with his friend. After an emotional exchange, he said to David, “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘May the Lord be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.’” During David’s season of flight, while he was in the wilderness of Ziph, Jonathan met David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God. He assured David that his father, King Saul would not find him or prevent him from becoming the future King of Israel.

Sometime later King Saul, Jonathan, and his two brothers would be defeated and slain in a battle on Mount Gilboa. When word got back to David, he lamented Saul and Jonathan’s deaths, tore his clothes, and wept and fasted until evening for them. His sadness was amplified in his eulogy in song to honor their lives. He especially missed the close friendship he shared with a man of unquestionable integrity and honesty. The love he had for his friend surpassed even the romantic love he had experienced with the women he had known up to that time. That would even include his marriage to Jonathan’s sister, Michal. In the Near Eastern culture, the exchange of kisses by men upon greeting was simply an expression of deep affection between friends and family. David’s loss of his friend evoked strong, reflective emotions, matched only by the mourning for his beloved house of Israel upon losing their King at the hands of the Philistines.

Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times…” And in Proverbs 18:24, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

To have a great friend, is to be a great friend...  (Anonymous)

Do you have a special God-given friend? I do and it is hard to put into words the love you feel for that dear friend. It truly is a spiritual friendship as well as a practical one. The bond is strong and eternal. Tell me about your soul-sister and what makes your friendship God centered.

This is one of my all time favorites from Michael W. Smith  -  "Friends"

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It was written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together.  Visit

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Is Exercise Really Good For Us?

As I begin to approach my mid-sixties, I am amazed at how quickly the last thirty years have flown by! I am the mother of an adult married son who is now a father to two darling children (my sweet grand kids), and I’m sharing our empty-nest full-time with a retired husband.

I was listening to a pastor’s message on the Christian radio station in my area, and heard a familiar verse that some have used in a humorous way: "exercise profits little".  But as I listened to his sermon, I began to hear and understand it in a whole new light.

I Timothy 4:8 says, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

Another translation puts it this way:  "...physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things ..."

A brisk walk lowers blood pressure, lowers your cholesterol, and reduces stress on the body. Engaging in some form of regular physical exercise will generally add years to your lifespan. Exercise helps to reduce harmful chemicals in our bodies, and provides a form of abreaction (letting off steam), builds up stamina, counteracts the biochemical effects of stress, and reduces the risk of psychological illness.

I attend a local gym and wear a workout monitor belt using My Zone to track my physical exertion. It tracks your heart rate & is nearly equivalent to an EKG. It shows and rewards your effort (as a percentile) when you work out, as well as your calories burned. The intensity is displayed using color-coded zones. Time spent in each zone is converted into MyZone Effort Points (MEP's) which rewards you based on effort and not your fitness level.

As women of faith, our temples need to be strong and fit, for that is where the Holy Spirit resides. We might not accumulate MEP's, but we will certainly notice when our efforts are making a difference in our personal lives. Spiritual wellness is more important than the latest fad diet or workout routine.

Health and fitness are godly goals when they are balanced with common sense and right priority. In biblical times, physical exercise was not touted as necessary because people living in that time period generally walked everywhere and performed manual labor on a daily basis.

As Christians, sometimes we focus too much on programs, bible studies and the latest book craze for your prayer life or child rearing. All those things in and of themselves are  a good thing, but they shouldn't be the main thing. Our spiritual exercise should consist of reading the Holy scriptures, spending time thanking God and conversing with Him on a regular basis, and practicing our godliness in our everyday lives. Our family, friends and co-workers should see the fruit of our spiritual workouts.

Verse 7 prefaces the previous passage with the following, “…and exercise yourself rather to godliness.”

Spiritually speaking, when we exercise godliness through prayer, Bible study, and self-control, we keep our spiritual man [woman] healthy. But what good is it if we take care of the physical body, but neglect our spiritual woman and coddle our sinful nature?

The eternal value is mentioned in verse 8.  Paul makes it clear that whatever we are doing for the here and now is indeed profitable – even commendable, but that which is to come is of more value and lasting. Taking care of the spirit woman, which is incorruptible and lives forever, is far more important than maintaining a corruptible body that will slowly decay in this world.

Exercise is not my god, nor do I place my fate in its hands. Jesus is my God! Sure, I walk my dog every morning and I still go to the gym a few times a week to a Team workout class.  I make it a point to stay active, eat right, and get a good night’s sleep. But for me, keeping my spirit woman healthy and fit is a higher, God-ordained priority.

Let God speak to you about your “spiritual workout".  What type of changes could you make to minister to your spirit woman as you aim to better your physical woman?

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It was written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together.  Visit

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