Saturday, March 24, 2012


“There are only two places to make friends in this community,” a new resident said to me. This observation emphasizes how few options there are to make connections with new friends. It rarely happens in the neighborhood. It even rarely happens at our place of work – acquaintances, yes, but good friends, seldom.
     When families stay in the same general geographical area, they sometimes remain our primary best friends, but that is not guaranteed. How often do we choose our family with whom to spend an evening out, like a dinner, or a show, or concert or sports event?
     Friendship online has become a popular substitute for face - to - face interaction. Groups with common interests online, let’s face it, do meet a need. How many couples have you met who are now married, and some happily, through internet connections, not necessarily through single’s groups?
     One of the two places mentioned in the first sentence, was the local pub. Those who frequent pubs, often go for social reasons, and plan to engage in conversation in an unhurried manner while they are there. And if a pattern is set with two, three or more visits a week, repeat connections at the bar can lead to friendships. We will not take time to analyze, here, the risk in finding healthy friendships in a pub. But it provides a ripe atmosphere to make friends.
     The other of the two places mentioned was a local church. I was reminded about that this week when my wife, Anne, and I had opportunity for first-time visits with two different sets of people at two different places, all of which attend our church. We came away from each, amazed at how easily we connected. We could have three sets of new  friends right there.  The neat thing about coming to a new church these days is that almost all have small groups that meet weekly. That setting provides an ideal place to check out individuals with whom you think you might like to establish a long-term, meaningful relationship. And church offers you more than a social outlet. The risk level of being drawn into a negative pattern, is very low and, what is more, there you will find nurture for your soul.


Saturday, March 10, 2012


When is a friend a bosom buddy?
      We have many people connections and they all add meaning to our lives. We seldom make a list and categorize them. But by the way we interact with them, we unknowingly identify them as casual, business, high maintenance, refreshing, or essential friends. And there are degrees of friendship between these as well. If we bump into one of these, we might ask if he/she has time for coffee and talk about our favorite sports team, a movie, a sermon at church. But we would not phone them on a Saturday to see how they are doing.  Still, it’s pleasant and undemanding to spend time with them. We might enjoy a lunch with an office colleague and chat about things related to our work scene, but it would not occur to us to have them over to our place for dinner. Some individuals never have to be contacted because they always take initiative and when visiting we try to listen politely. The stories are pages long, without paragraphs or periods or even commas. There are other examples of high maintenance “friends” we allow into our lives, sometimes out of pity because they have no other connections. Prayer for endurance is often needed in such cases. Then again, the occasional connection with a buoyant, interesting acquaintance has us concluding we would not mind at all spending more quality time with that individual. But it doesn’t happen and we are puzzled since we feel that there is a mutuality that could develop into a close relationship.
     Our whole person gets a lift, though, when we get time with our special friends. There probably are not many of these, perhaps only three or four. With these we feel we can be vulnerable and lay bare our inner thoughts and personal struggles. We would not tell any of the others what the doctor said, disappointments in our marriage, the secret goals we are achieving or failing at. We feel at ease in expressing our joys. We can listen with empathy to such a friend’s own vagaries, and give words of encouragement. Affirmation to such a friend flows readily. There is free give and take, and uninhibited laughter and tears. Of such qualities is a bosom buddy relationship.  How can we find and nurture these kinds of connections? Should we try to answer that question? I welcome input.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Need to know how to make new friends? Having trouble making new friends? Well these little bits of advice I got off a friendship card will certainly give you a few tips on making new friends. Keep these in mind as you go out and soon you will lots of new TRUE friends
1. Don't worry about knowing people, just make yourself worth knowing.

2. Be friendly with the folks you know. If it weren't for them you would be a total stranger.

3. Friends are those who speak to you after others don't.

4. The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail and not his tongue.

5. The way to have friends is to be willing to lose some arguments.

6. Deal with other's faults as gently as if they were your own.

7. A friend is a person who can step on your toes without messing your shine.

8. You will never have a friend if you must have one without faults.

9. You can make more friends by being interested in them than trying to have them be interested in you.

10. A real friend is a person who, when you've made a fool of yourself, lets you forget it.

11. A friend is a person who listens attentively while you say nothing.

12. A friend is someone who thinks you're a good egg even though you're slightly cracked.

. . . and most important, A FRIEND IS A TREASURE!