Tag Archives: Friends

Lessons from this Summer (Part 2) — Be Present

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Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

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Sometimes it is through the honest words of a friend that I am the most challenged and convicted. While talking with a friend from Cedarville about my life at school, they remarked that I often seem like I am just about to explode.  Not from anger, but from daily life.

Don’t you just love it when a friend speaks truthfully? If you’re like me, probably not at first. It takes a while for the words to digest and to process them clearly. I came home that day and mentioned the comment to my mom.

“What a great insight,” she remarked. And she was right, pointing out several instances where that was true. Too often, I am so consumed with worries about what I am about to do next that I am unable to be in the here and now. Rather than relaxing and being present, I am thinking about the many tasks and responsibilities that fill the rest of my day. No wonder I always seem like I am going to explode! It’s true.

Focusing on my problems and responsibilities takes my eyes directly off of Christ. I become completely focused on myself and what I am going to do to fix everything. But here’s the problem…I can’t fix it by myself. In fact, many of the problems that I have spent hours pondering were never solved by any of my 100 possible solutions.

When I trust that God is in control and I believe that the promises in His word are true, there is no reason for me to not be fully present in whatever situation I am currently involved in. Worrying about the next situation robs me of the joy of whatever is happening right now, and cannot change whatever task awaits me next.

I am so thankful for those honest words spoken by my friend. They probably have no idea how truly convicting they were to me. This year, I have decided to start being fully present in every moment and trusting all of my fears, doubts, worries, stresses, problems over to the only One who can truly carry and solve them.

So why did I share this with you tonight? A few reasons…

Honestly, I did not want to share with all of you that someone told me I always seemed like I was about to explode. Who wants to be known for that? But just in case any of the rest of you are ticking time bombs like me–here’s a little wake up call before the same words that were spoken to me are spoken to you. What is stopping you from being present wherever you are right now? Why? How can you take steps to give all of your concerns to the Lord and enjoy what you are doing in each moment?

Secondly, I shared this because we all need friends who are honest with us. I am so grateful for those people in my life. The person who shared this with me is not a best friend of mine, but they still spoke the truth. Sometimes we get frustrated or uncomfortable when friends say something that we perceive as negative about ourselves. Many times we are uncomfortable because it is true. Don’t be upset with your friend. Don’t take it as an insult against you. Rather, bring it before the Lord and ask Him to help you become better in this area.

Have a wonderful day today savoring every moment.

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My Times Are in Your Hands

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But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands…

Psalm 34:14-15a

I get excited easily.  This is not at all surprising to those of you who know me well.  Probably the thing that gets me the most excited is the joy I receive from relationships with God, family, and friends.

I absolutely LOVE being involved in the lives of people around me.  I desire to hear about and share in trials, triumphs, joys, dreams, successes, and every little bump in the road in between.  Sometimes, in spite of all this excitement, I catch myself thinking about changes which will inevitably effect these relationships in the future.

Because it is a well-known fact that those exciting, beautiful dreams and the mundane, every-day routines of life, will take us all over the country and the world.

It is nights like tonight, after spending a weekend on campus with old friends and new that I am reminded of how very short this precious time is.

And it is nights like tonight where I am also reminded how very thankful I am that my times are not my own.

If there is one lesson I have been learning my whole life, it has been to trust that the Lord has my times in His hands.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of change, especially when a change seemed to signify to me that an important relationship was going to change. Let me give you a few examples.

  • The summer after second grade we moved from Illinois to Minnesota.  I was so distraught about leaving friends and familiar surroundings that I told my parents I was going to super-glue myself to the wall and that they could not make me go. (My nine year old self must have realized this was a bad idea once I thought it through, because I got in the car and went and it became my favorite state and home).
  • Eighth grade graduation seemed like torture to me. I was convinced, and I mean absolutely convinced I was going to lose dear friends and that a new, scary, big high school was going to be the worst experience ever.  (I’ve still keep in contact with some of these people, and one remains one of my best friends to this day. Love you Em)
  • High School was not the worst experience ever. I loved it.  I dreaded leaving my entire senior year.  There were farewells to band and speech and teachers and friends.  And I cried my eyes out.  (I can still play my instrument, compete in speech, and stay in contact with teachers and friends).
  • College. Oh dear. I was a mess the night before starting school.  Saying goodbye to my family set off a full-out panic attack. (I cannot imagine my life without the people and experiences I have had here).

You get the point.  No change and potential shift in relationships has ever seemed pleasant to me.  But through each and every change, God brought new friends and gave me the ability to continue relationships with the old.

And through each of those new relationships and experiences, I learned valuable lessons that have helped to form me into the person I am today.

So maybe you’re like me.  Maybe nights of sharing life with friends gets you all worked up when you think about how very short your time with them is.

But I want to challenge you today to stop that thought, and just enjoy the time you have with them today.  Trust that the Lord knows what is best for you.  That your time is in His hands.

It will make life so much more full and memorable.

Seeing God In Every Day

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Today I saw God at work in these ways…

  • An incredible  sermon which challenged me to let go of anything that is not of or from Him.
  • Amazing professors dedicated to Christ-centered learning.
  • The beauty of true friendships among the body of Christ.  How amazing it is that the Lord has provided people to walk alongside and lift us up when we cannot ourselves.
  • My daily food and water provided.
  • Clothing and shelter.
  • Watching junior highers write notes to encourage a friend having surgery.  20 personal notes were written to one girl going into a difficult surgery tomorrow.

Do you see God at work around you? What is He doing in your life? How has He blessed you?

A sermon I heard recently discussed how God has given us what we need for each day, food, water and Himself.  Everything else is a blessing.

So what are your blessings?

Leave a comment and tell me about them.

Thinking of You…

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Tonight my heart is with my friends all over the world.

I think of you in Africa.

I think of you in Asia.

I think of you in the Middle East.

I think of you in Europe.

I think of you across the beautiful United States.

I think of you in South America.

I think of those of you I only had the privilege to meet briefly, but oh what a blessing it was to know you in that time.

And I pray for you all.

I pray that God will strengthen you in your ministry. I pray that He will surround you with a complete awareness of His love.  I pray that He will bless you with strong friendships and good churches and opportunities to proclaim Him courageously and with boldness.  I pray that He will meet your needs in miraculous ways.  I pray for you as you go through the little things that will arise in every day life.   I pray for you that you will experience Him in new ways.  I pray that the wonder that God has filled you with will never cease.

I pray for those of you who have not met my Father.  I pray that you will find Him and seek Him with all of your heart.  I pray that His love for you will transform the way that you view your life.

May you know that there is someone here cheering for you, praying for you, and with you on the journey for the long run.

All My Love,

Breanna Reh

Friends

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I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ Jesus, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:3-9

What an opening to a letter! Can you imagine receiving that in the mail?  Some of my favorite passages to read in scripture are the letters of Paul to the early church.  I love reading how he encourages them in their faith, challenges them to grow and to pursue God, and rebukes them when they have fallen astray. I can hear the passion and emotion that he writes with, urging his brothers and sisters in the faith to pursue Christ above all earthly things.

Paul often mentions specific friends by name in his letters and includes a special message for or about them.  He writes to each church with urgency and a knowledge of their struggles.  He continually encourages his brothers and sisters in the faith, in spite of what they are going through, to press on.

We need friends like Paul.  Friends who challenge us in our faith and hold us accountable for our actions.  Friends who can encourage us in every day life.  Friends who will walk with us through suffering.  Friends who can rejoice with us in our successes.  Friends who are not afraid to speak Biblical truth in a world that is often preaching the opposite.

Who are those people in your life?  Have you taken some time to encourage them lately?  Have you told them how much you appreciate them?  Are you aware of what is going on in their life?  Take some time to catch up or write them a little note to say how much you appreciate them.

Thank You, God

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So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7

God is good.

He has given us…

  1. Food
  2. Water
  3. Nature
  4. Friends
  5. Family
  6. Jobs
  7. Meaningful work
  8. Ministry opportunities
  9. Music
  10. Creativity
  11. A new day
  12. Forgiveness
  13. Mercy
  14. Grace
  15. Compassion
  16. Butterflies
  17. Flowers
  18. Homes
  19. Rain
  20. Crops
  21. Exercise
  22. Finances
  23. The ability to think and reason
  24. His word
  25. Unfailing love
  26. Animals
  27. Different kinds of fruit
  28. Hilariously shaped clouds
  29. Laughter
  30. Joints and muscles that move
  31. Brains
  32. The five senses
  33. Math
  34. Rainbows
  35. Snow
  36. Waterfalls
  37. Icicles
  38. Smiles
  39. Hugs
  40. The feeling of hot and cold
  41. Cultures
  42. Languages
  43. Continents
  44. Oceans
  45. Planets
  46. Stars
  47. A soul
  48. Snow
  49. Color
  50. Light
  51. Darkness
  52. Gardens
  53. Rivers
  54. Mountains
  55. Frogs
  56. The praying mantis
  57. Starfish
  58. Second chances
  59. Ability to chose Him
  60. Salvation
  61. Redemption
  62. Righteousness
  63. Faith
  64. Spiritual gifts
  65. Unique strengths
  66. Galaxies
  67. A limitation in our knowledge
  68. The atmosphere
  69. The Body of Christ
  70. Justice
  71. No reason to ever be bored
  72. His one and only Son who died for us
  73. Prayer
  74. A way out of temptation
  75. Reconciliation
  76. Encouragement
  77. Children
  78. Older generations
  79. Wisdom
  80. Discernment
  81. Knowledge
  82. Understanding
  83. Patience
  84. Peace
  85. Direction
  86. Answers
  87. Dance
  88. Joy
  89. Excitement
  90. Watermelon
  91. Deliverance
  92. Sleep
  93. Beauty out of pain
  94. Companionship in brokenness
  95. Freedom
  96. Mentors
  97. Life
  98. Passions
  99. Dreams
  100. Adventures

And so many more.

And for these gifts…tonight…I am so very thankful.