It is Sunday morning June 29. I am at church early today and I get the awesome joy of having my three grandchildren in church with me. Joel and Lydia live in Florida and I do not get to see them as often as we like so when they come visit us, it is a real treat. Lucy, My other granddaughter, lives locally but to tell you the truth although I see her usually several times a week, it is not as often as I would like. Lydia, was recently asked how her summer vacation was going and she said, “It’s fine but it will be better when I get to Michigan to see my MeMe and Papa. When I go there I can be with ‘my people’.” She is only nine years old but she realizes the value of family and friends both near and far. We all need to learn that friends, relatives, neighbors, and work associates are of great value. Russ is a member of our church and he works with a small crew at our local school system. This weekend two of his work associates died unexpectantly. Russ said, “It makes you think and it makes you more appreciative of your colleagues, family and friends.” John Maxwell wrote a book that I am re-reading entitled, “The Power of One.” It is based upon the Golden Rule of the Bible and it talks about the power of treating each person the way you would like to be treated. I have heard it said, that it would be even better to treat others the way ‘they’ want to be treated.
When I was twelve years old my parents and I moved from my home in Marion, Ohio to Ontario, Ohio. My world was shattered when word reached me that a half dozen of my friends had decided to take a raft out on a farm pond and the raft capsized sending all of them into the water. Two of my friends could not swim and did not make it to shore. Gary, my best friend did not make it. Grief struck my little heart and I was in deep mourning. A few days later I attended the County Fair with a schoolmate that had a horse in the 4-H competition. My parents thought it would be a good way to cheer me up. At the fair, I soon ran out of money and found that all the free exhibits were for adults. Suddenly, as I was having a pity party, a man asked me if I wanted to attend a free movie. The movie was about Jesus and after the movie the man touched my heart when he said, “There is someone here who needs a friend. A friend that would stick closer than a brother and that friend is Jesus.” Oh my, I needed a friend so that day in a mobile chapel, I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. He is and has been a friend that sticks closer than a brother now for 47 years. Relatives, friends, neighbors, work associates, and Jesus are very important to me and remain the reason for my full and abundant life.