They know what to say when you’re upset
and when not to say anything.
They know when to laugh to cheer you up,
when to cry or to sympathize with you.
They know the real you,
even when no one else does.
They know how to make you burst out laughing
with a single look.
They know how you feel
before you tell them.
They know what you think,
even if you don’t.
They are your confidants, your counselors,
your gifts from God.
They are your friends.
Angelina Palumbo [Mentor, OH]
The Turtle Penguins
I am a part of an elite group: The Turtle Penguins. We are all violinists in our school orchestra who connected because of our love of music. We are silly. We have inside jokes. We eat bacon pancakes. I know we will always be willing to talk to one another about what may be difficult in life. But most of all, we have become a family built on the love God has for each of us.
Michelle Ankrum [Marshalltown, IA]
Sisters In Faith
(left) Michell and Ate Basang, (right) Rochael and Michell
Being a member of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines has opened me to many long-distance friendships. In fact, two of my closest friends who helped me grow in faith are now hundreds of miles away. Rochael, who helped me discover my God-given talents, is now 481 miles away. Ate Basang, who encouraged me to step up as a leader, is now 182 miles away and will soon be farther away as she moves to Virginia to be part of our church’s mission agency. Despite the distance between us, we find time to communicate and to pray for one another. Every time we chat, text, or video call, I feel as if these sisters in faith are only a few meters away. Even though we’re miles apart geographically, our hearts are still united in God. And I thank God for giving me such good friends.
Michell Sanoy [Cebu, Philippines]
FEBRUARY 11, 2018
NEXT DAY STRETCH
I am blessed to be friends with a bunch of crazy intelligent weirdoes at my church who serve as my accountability group. They help me to improve myself and my ministry. They love me and are not afraid to tell me when I am wrong. We build up one another and have fun at the same time. I can ask them for advice about personal or spiritual issues, and they can ask the same of me. We enjoy good and healthy friendships that keep us grounded in God’s word.
Since you and I can’t always be aware of how we affect other people, we need friends with whom we can check in from time to time. If we can listen to what they say and receive their feedback with an open heart, we can learn how to improve ourselves and how to be a good friend to others.
PRAYER: Loving God, thank you for offering us the gift of friendship with Jesus and for blessing us with earthly friends who help us to live by his example. May all of your children find a friend with whom they can walk this journey of faith. Amen.
Juvelyn Lumberio [Cavite, Philippines]