Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Blessing of Friendship by Chuck Swindoll

Daughter Lauren's (Ilen Bell) Wedding 2010
“Family & Friendship is a sheltering tree ”

How true . . . how terribly true! When the searing rays of adversity’s sun burn their way into our day, there’s nothing quite like a sheltering tree—a true friend—to give us relief in its cool shade. Its massive trunk of understanding gives security as its thick leaves of love wash our faces and wipe our brows. Beneath its branches have rested many a discouraged soul!

But of all the trees God placed beside His choice servants, one human redwood looms the largest, in my opinion. David was hunted and haunted by madman Saul.

Between Saul and David, however, stood a sheltering tree named Jonathan. Loyal and dependable, Jonathan assured David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you” (1 Samuel 20:4). No limits. No conditions. No bargain. No reservations. Best of all, when things were at their worst, he “went to David . . . and encouraged him in God” (23:16).

Why? Because he was committed to the basic principles of a friendship. Because he loved him as he loved himself (18:1). It was the kind of love that causes men to lay down their lives for their friends, as Jesus put it (John 15:13). No greater love exists on this globe.

Beneath whose branches are you refreshed, dear reader? Or, dare I ask, who rests beneath yours? Occasionally, I run across an independent soul who shuns the idea that he needs such a shelter, feeling that trees are for the immature, the spiritual babes, or those who haven’t learned to trust only in the Lord. It is that person I most pity, for his horizontal contacts are invariably superficial and shallow. Worst of all, his closing years on earth will be spent in the loneliest spot imaginable—a hot, treeless desert.

So, then, let’s be busy about the business of watering and pruning and cultivating our trees, shall we? Would I be more accurate if I added planting a few? Growing them takes time, you know . . . and you may really need a few when the heat rises and the winds begin to blow.

My Sheltering Tress! If you have family, friends, and a relationship with Jesus Christ...You Are Blessed!!

Me and wife Tanya

Darryl, Mom, Yvette, Ron at Yvette's old home in Florida

Mr. McGee and Dad (John Harris)

Wedding Day 1982


Signing Day

East Orange Harris Kids

Broadway John and lil Jennifer Harris (Ron's daughter, MA U. of Chicago)

Yvette and Alice Harris (Mom) at home in Orlando

Yvette and Son (AJ) Anthony (U of Alabama Mgr. 2011!)

Ron Harris

Yvette and Ron (Barbara - wife)

Dave Dowlen, Me and Eric Jackson (best friend)

David Harris Ashland U!

Jonathan Harris Miami Ohio U                                          

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