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August 2009
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October 2009

Jesus and Friendship

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:13
 
Today I'm following some of my own coaching advice in that 80% of something is better than 100% of nothing.  I've been wanting to write the perfect post here for quite some time and decided that today I was casting perfection aside here at Bread Crumbs to bring you some unplugged thoughts I've had lately regarding friendships or relationships.
 
I love to help people.  My mom always used to tell me, "Janna, you can't save the world." As a good friend of mine says, I am a "net holder".  I am someone you can count on to hold one corner of your safety net, should you need to "plunge" to safety. I don't run from the tough stuff of emotions and contrary to my impatient nature I am generally long suffering with my friends. 
 
Jesus says that there is no greater love than sacrificing for our friends. He modeled it perfectly, giving up his life on the cross as a sacrifice for the souls of man. Even with my helping nature, I can't remotely compare to Him. In fact, I'm extremely selfish in comparison!
 
Friendship is about sacrifice. Its about the other person, not yourself. To be a good friend according to Jesus' example means we need to give and expect nothing in return, knowing that we will eventually reap for ourselves the good we have sown if we don't lose heart (Gal 6:9), even if we suffer heart ache in the process. Sometimes it's not easy to do, especially if we care deeply about the other person for which we are sacrificing. But Jesus didn't say His way would be easy, did He?
 
How closely do you model Jesus' example of friendship? What stands in your way of considering someone else's needs over your own? What can you do today to reach out to someone in your world? Your small gesture may mean the world to someone else.
 
Note: For more thoughts regarding the impact of small gestures, check out my post "Little Things Make Big Impacts" over at Purposeful Leadership.
 
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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her other blog at www.purposefulleadershipblog.com.


Pressing On With the God of Hope

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:13 (NASB)

My heart aches for people in need of a break in life.  Today I post with a heavy heart for a friend going through some rough times. While this post is primarily for her, I pray that if you are tired, weary, drained and beat up from life's circumstances that the following might provide even the tiniest bit of encouragement to get through another day.

The song "Press On" by Selah is a beautiful song of God's provision when we lean into Him and His promise of hope through the tough stuff. Because I can't say it any better than they sing, I'll offer this prayer and let the music speak for itself.

Lord, please lift up those who are in the valley with seemingly no strength left to take another step.  Wipe the tears from their eyes, heal their wounds from falling and give them wisdom to make the hard choices they face.  And please, help them to see clearly the prize before their eyes, and give them the strength and endurance to keep pressing on. Amen.

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Love Them Like Jesus

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; - Isaiah 61:1 (NASB)

Last Friday night I led a workshop at my church where I taught our Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) and small group bible study leaders how to create great discussions through the arts of listening and asking questions. I loved the questions the class asked and how eager they were to participate and apply the things they were learning.

However,while I love teaching and coaching on the technical aspects of what it takes to be a good leader, what I love the most is attaching our roles to the Big Picture...God's picture.

Following is a song I played for my group to cement in their minds the notion that all of our work as Christians should serve one purpose, to place someone else's hand in the hand of Jesus. We don't need the answers to all of life's questions because He does.

Now, enjoy the song by Casting Crowns, "Love Them Like Jesus", by clicking the image below. (For email subscribers, be sure to visit the blog to get to the audio/video). 

How can you love someone like Jesus today?