Monday, April 27, 2009

we all need friends In life, we need friends. But, we need different kinds of friends. From Paul's life, we can see some of the different kinds of friendships we need. I think we need in life: a Barnabas, a Paul, a Timothy,* and other companions too. Paul and Barnabas were close friends. Barnabas helped Paul get started in the ministry (Acts 11:19-26). After that, their names are mentioned together as a pair twenty times in just a few chapters of Acts: Paul and Barnabas, Barnabas and Paul. These two spent quite a bit of time together preaching the Good News; they were co-workers in ministry. Paul and Barnabas also had the freedom to "disagree strongly" with each other (Acts 15:36-40). We all need friends who we can accomplish like-mind goals with, people who will be there with us and have the same vision and heartbeat that we do, but who are not afraid to challange us and hold us accountable to truth. In addition to needing friends to walk along side us, we need friends who can mentor us and friends who we can mentor. In 1 Timothy 2:1, Paul calls Timothy his "true child in the faith." It is obvious in his letters to Timothy that Paul is teaching and guiding Timothy, taking him under his proverbial wing. I have always treasured the "Pauls" in my life, older women who have walked the path before me who can help me to follow it. Likewise, I am able to help others who are just now walking along parts of the path I've already tread. It is important that we have mentors in our life and that we mentor others as well. I often tend to picture Paul "out there" on his own trailblazing and spreading the gospel alone. But that is not an accurate picture. Paul had other companions, male--Titus, Silas, Luke, Mark, Apollos, Epaphroditus, Aquila--and female--Pricillia, Phoebe, Lydia, Euodia, and Syntyche--just to name a few of his brothers and sisters in the Lord. In Paul's letters to the various churches, he mentions some by name sending greetings or thanking them for help sent. Paul clearly had many friends who he lived in close communion with and considered beloved. Like Paul, we too need others. We need to be supported and helped. We need companionship and fellowship. Friendships and friends in all shapes and sizes are needed! We may be walking an unknown path, but we do not walk it alone--praise the Lord! *This idea is not originally mine. I once heard a speaker in college talk about finding in our lives a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy. His idea of types of friends to seek out has never left me. (Originally posted in 2006.)
ten years ago, I wrote my first "blog" Ok, so actually it was written on what is called a website . . . but still I was trying to make it like a blog before blogging platforms were abundantly everywhere. Ten years ago, in a school's computer room somewhere in northern Taiwan, I became a blogger, and I didn't even know it! To get my printed photos online, I began using using a scanner in Chinese and yahoo's geocities to record my daily life here in Taiwan. The photo quality is terrible . . . and the layout was tedious, but, if I do say so myself, the design was better than many "homemade" websites from the late '90s. But OH! if I had had flickr and blogger back then, not to mention a digital camera . . . how sweet that would have been!!!! In fact, I carried my mom's 35mm film camera in my purse daily for a year. Soon after that I got my first digital camera, and so for nearly 10 years now my purse has always housed a point and shoot camera. It is essential--more important than lipgloss and a driver's licence! Anyway, Geocities is closing later this year, which made me want to take a walk down memory lane. Feel free to click through and see what life was like for me as an exchange student in Taiwan in 1999. Here was my very first "blog." (nothing is there now besides the "first blog," which I didn't even know was a blog at the time.) I had an index/home page (which originally was set up kinda of like flickr's sets page), that I changed when I started using another site and then changed again when I moved to blogging. Here are the "1st pages of each group of photos": flying cows in taiwan summer in taiwan studying in taiwan residing in taiwan friends in taiwan sightseeing in taiwan holidays in taiwan classmates in taiwan religion in taiwan vacation in japan Based on these "album" names, can you guess what I called that very first site? That's right "amanda in taiwan." And, yes, my love for not using capital letters in my online world titles started with this very site . . . ten years ago!! (Can you tell I'm having a hard time accepting it was a decade ago that all this happened!?!?!) Bye-bye, my dear first online home. Rest in peace.

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