Quality Friendship by Gary Inrig

I read this book several years ago and it is on my list of favorite books now. I hope to re-read it at some point. Below is a blog post I did around the time of reading it, summarizing key points from the book. Friendship can be difficult for me as an introvert as I need my space/time alone to re-charge. Others don’t always understand that. But as a Christian, I am called to live in community and friendship with other believers is crucial to my walk with Christ.

“The essential basis of friendship is not who we know, but who we are.”
“…it depends on being the right person.”
1. The extent of the Lord’s friendship is sacrificial love.
2. The effect of the Lord’s friendship is change.
3. The expression of the Lord’s friendship is intimacy.
4. The initiative of the Lord’s friendship is His love.
5. The goal of the Lord’s friendship is fruitfulness.

To ponder in response:
(1) what are the limits of my friendship? do I use people or lay down my life for them? what do I know/how much do I know of sacrificial love?
(2) what is my impact on others? am I a change agent for godliness in my friend’s life? is he more of a disciple because of me? am I giving away myself in such a way that God-given needs are being met in his life?
(3) do I take the risk of openness or is there a carefully constructed wall around my life that no one can penetrate? have I ever expressed verbally my love and appreciation for my friend and displayed that love by opening up my life to him?
(4) am I an initiator of love, or am I waiting for others to earn my approval or to reach out to me? do I choose people as friends because of my needs or because of their needs?
(5) how am I helping my friend realize his potential in any or every area of life? is he fruitful because of me?


Bible in 90 Days – the Psalms

Been reading a lot of the Psalms lately in the Bible in 90 Days as we finished up the life of David and moved into the life of his son Solomon. There are so many encouraging Psalms!

For instance, Psalm 37 in the New Living Translation (emphases are mine):
“Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. ┬áLike spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land. Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone. The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity. The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming. The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right. But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken. It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich. For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the Lord takes care of the godly. Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever. They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough. But the wicked will die. The Lord’s enemies are like flowers in a field – they will disappear like smoke. The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers. Those the Lord blesses will possess the land, but those he curses will die. The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing. Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever. For the Lord loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die. The godly will possess the land and will live there forever. The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong. They have made God’s law their own, so they will never slip from his path. The wicked wait in ambush for the godly, looking for an excuse to kill them. But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial. Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed. I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil. But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them! Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future. The Lord rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him.”

And then, Psalm 8, praising God and His majesty:
“O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers – the moon and the stars you set in place – what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? You you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority – the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!”

What a wonderful and awesome God we serve!

Bible in 90 Days Update

I have really been enjoying this reading through the Bible. For one thing, it has me reading the Bible every day, which is a great habit to develop and one I hope to continue after this reading is over. Another thing that I have enjoyed in the last week or so, is during the reading of the Samuels, the Psalms are interspersed. Because I’m reading chronologically, the Psalms that David wrote are with the events in 1 and 2 Samuel that they correlate to. It makes the Psalms more alive as they are read in the context of the event they were written about. I also discovered something I had never noticed before – that 2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18 are very similar. The song that David writes in 2 Samuel 22 is the Psalm that becomes Psalm 18! I had never realized this before but because I read them the same day I saw the similarities.
I highly recommend this reading through the Bible in 90 days. It really helps to get the big picture of the Bible and develops a great habit of being in the Word every day.

Faith Goals

Do you set goals for yourself? What about goals for growing spiritually? As part of creating a faithbook (a spiritual scrapbook), this site offers tips for setting faith goals. I use 43 Things for setting goals or bucket list type ideas of things I’d like to do at some time in my life. Some of my goals are just fun things, like petting a dolphin or visiting the Grand Canyon. Others are for physical health such as losing 15 pounds. And some of my goals are “faith” goals or goals for growing spiritually. Here are some of the goals I have set for myself to grow in my walk with God.

-Reading the Bible in 90 Days – currently working on
-Memorize 2 Corinthians 4 – seem to do well up until about verse 10
-Attend a Bible Study Fellowship Class (BSF) – just registered for one!
-Listen to entire Bible on CD – have gotten into Joshua but have put aside until finished with Bible in 90 Days
-Read New Testament in ESV
-Read Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem – part of a group on Facebook going through this, finished chapter 11
-Pray through Operation World
-Go to a Theology Conference

Maybe not spiritual per se, but developing a discipline – developing the habit of journaling weekly.

I would also like to create a faithbook, or a scrapbook of my spiritual journey, a testimony of my life learning about God and coming to trust Him for my eternal salvation as well as my sanctification (spiritual growth) in this current life and eventual glorification in eternity.

Bible in 90 Days: Week 3

I am really enjoying and loving doing this reading. It has been a great way to read large sections of Scripture at once, getting the big picture. At this point, I have finished the Pentateuch – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy and also completed Joshua where the Israelites conquer many of the Canaanites in order to possess the land God has given them.

Bible in 90 Days: Week 2

Finished Week 2 of the Bible in 90 Days – now books of the Bible that are completed include: Genesis, Job, Exodus and Leviticus. Leviticus was a bit of a challenge, particularly the passages on what to do if you have a rash or how to handle mildew. To me, this seems to indicate how detailed holiness is – it involves every aspect of our lives. God will not tolerate any evil or sin – He is perfectly holy. It is awe-inspiring to realize how perfect and majestic He is. And yet, He cares about people enough to live as a human and die for us. He WANTS to have a relationship with us. We can never match His holiness on our own, as can be seen in all the minute details through Leviticus. So He made it possible by having Jesus live the perfect, holy, sinless life in our place. Amazing!