Don and Sherry are ordained ministers through Advocate Ministries, a teaching, counseling, and deliverance ministry located in Irondale, Alabama.
Don is Pastor of Emmanuel Fellowship, a home group church that meets in Vestavia Hills, Alabama.
Sherry is head of The Ester Banquet, a ministry to ministers. She also serves as a Christian counselor to many in and around the Birmingham, Alabama.
They have four grown children and four grandchildren.
They live in Chelsea, Alabama.
In John 15:15 Jesus addresses us no longer as servants but as friends. So, I conclude that friendship is very important. I have been lucky to have had lots of friends throughout the years. But just how good of a friend have I been? What is true friendship as defined in the Bible and how can we become a true friend? I believe a great study on friendship can be found in 1 Samuel by observing the relationship between Jonathan (King Saul’s son) and David. Jonathan and David made a covenant (a strong and lasting friendship) based on the love and respect they had for each other. In Chapters 19, 20 and 23 we find Jonathan protecting David from the wrath of his father, King Saul. If not for Jonathan, David would not have survived. If one faces adversity, and we all face problems from time to time, it’s important to have a friend. Friends, spouses, family are indispensable when facing hardships. Why did Adam need an Eve? After all he had paradise. But paradise was not enough without a friend, a companion. Why is God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
It’s about the need for relationship. And we are made in His image. What are the elements of a true, biblical friend?
A friend is constant. They can be depended upon. There are no conditions to the friendship. In society today most people do a cost/benefit analysis when seeking a friend. In other words, how is this person going to help me achieve my goals and will they be a liability or a bother in any way? Proverbs 18:24 says “A friend sticks closer than a brother.”
A friend is transparent. 1 Samuel 18: 1 says that Jonathan loved David as his own soul. Friends treat each other the way they would treat themselves. They are vulnerable, willing to discuss their flaws. Hebrew 3: 13 encourages us to exhort one another. Read the end of the verse. It says sin is deceitful. We are blinded to many of our shortcomings. We need a friend to help fight against the deceitfulness of sin. Friends have common passions. I have always said that Christianity is the great equalizer. We are all the same in Christ. But, at the same time we have different likes and dislikes. Sharing our individual passions is a good thing. So, how does one become a friend like this? Maybe Jonathan can be our example. Ask yourself, who had the most to lose by being David’s friend? Wasn’t Jonathan next in line to the throne? Yet he surrendered his earthly inheritance to protect David at all cost. He did this by remaining to honor his father. He was faithful to defend his family and it cost him his life (1 Samuel 31:2). Does this remind us of the consistency of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. John 15:13 says “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” David could only be saved through the sacrifice of Jonathan, we can only be saved by the sacrifice of Jesus.
True, biblical friendship is hard, sometimes costly. Am I really as constant and transparent as I should be? I have to admit often I probably come up short. I’m kind of like Jesus’ friends in the Garden of Gethsemane who were found sleeping at Jesus’ time of need. I guess at times we are all caught sleeping when it comes to our relationship with Jesus and each other. But, thank goodness, Jesus never is caught sleeping. He is always constant and transparent on our behalf. And, if we will let him, he will form us into the friends we ought to be. “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.”
* The Story of Zacchaeus
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Jesus In 50 Pages Or Less - Learn from the wee little man.
* American Armageddon
I hear too many so called experts expound on solutions to society’s problems. I start by viewing problems from a biblical perspective.
* Does Evil Matter
Is evil real? Where does it come from? What can Chrstians do about it?
Sherry’s Garden Stories June, July – 2017 A New Day of Promise
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom alos after that ye believed, ye where sealed, with that Holy Spirit of promise. Ephesians 1: 13 Every day we are given a new day of promise. God’s promises are true today as they were true yesterday and true for tomorrow. They are new to us every morning. No matter what yesterday beheld, today is a new day of hope. Whatever mistakes we have made or failures we have committed, Jesus will carry us through and give us victory. He will take every failure, every mistake, every doubt, and bring them to His truth. His truth will enable us to have understanding and we will be able to help others with their mistakes and failures. Learning about His truths helps us develop our faith and trust in His goodness. When we have the understanding of His faithfulness we can help others find the love of Jesus.
Experiencing the love of Jesus comes through everyday happenings. Every day we learn to seek His way and not the world’s way. Jesus desires for us to know all of Him. He wants us to learn His trustworthiness. He wants us to have power and loving kindness. He wants us to love as He loved and loves today. Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 2 Timothy 1: 9
False Aster Boltonia Asteroides/Asteroceae This plant is native to the Eastern United States. It is much loved for the masses of showy blooms in late summer. It has tall stems with broad clusters of yellow centered flowers. Petals include white, pink or pale to deep purple in color. They resemble daisies. They are good for the back of boarders and sometimes stand six feet tall and they are about three feet wide. They need support to keep from falling over when it rains. They tolerate damp soil. Jim Crockett is another variety. It has violet flowers that stand about two feet tall. My grandmother had a variety called Snowflake. They have white flowers and stand about three to five feet tall. I loved to pick them for her. She and I would arrange them with other flowers and put them all over the house. I had a special place on my grandmother’s porch and I would put them in a big jug. I loved that special place. The flowers always seemed to be smiling. They always made me happy. I always thought they were smiling at Jesus.