Reunions & Best Friends

2 of my best friends arrived home last night.

They have been traveling around the country, seeking themselves & God. (you can read about their trip here)

After they got back, we hung out at my house. It was amazing to me how we could all pick right back up where we left off in our friendships, almost like they had never left.

But they had.

And they when they came back, they weren’t the same people, but that is a good thing.

There is a beautiful thing that happens when friends pursue God individually and together. It’s that similar passion for the pursuit of God that allows miles and months to separate us, yet we never grow apart…

The more I’ve spent time with other people, hear their stories, I have realized how rare it is that I actually have a GROUP of friends like that, when many people don’t even have ONE…

I can’t wait to see where God calls us all to in the future, and while I’ll be sad if/when that calling separates us, I take peace and joy in knowing that it is because we are all passionately pursuing God, and I know that no matter the miles or the months, we will always be close friends.

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A Thanksgiving Worth Celebrating

Well, today is Thanksgiving Day. So I guess I’ll be like everyone else and say the things I am thankful for…

First, is my family. Mom, dad, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma… They have been the ones who have shaped me into who I am today with their love, support, and strength through all my crazy idea’s, plans and escapades… and stood by me through it all.

Next I’d like to thank my “extended” family. Not like cousin family, but those people who are like family to me (ie my adopted parents, brothers, sisters, etc). Glenn, Luli, & Jordan Stoltzfus; Rodney & Stephanie Smoker; Cody & Cameron Hall; Ryan Dagen; Tyler Stoltzfus; My “little bro”, Brandon; Josh Stippich; Gordon Heinrich; Jonathan Masteller; Mahlon Beiler & so many more…  Continue reading

That’s What Friends Are For

By Dionne Warwick

“And I never thought I’d feel this way
And as far as I’m concerned
I’m glad I got the chance to say
That I do believe I love you

And if I should ever go away
Well, then close your eyes and try to feel
The way we do today
And then if you can remember

Keep smilin’, keep shinin’
Knowin’ you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Well, you came and opened me
And now there’s so much more I see
And so by the way I thank you

Whoa, and then for the times when we’re apart
Well, then close your eyes and know
These words are comin’ from my heart
And then if you can remember, oh

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
In good times, in bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
Oh, that’s what friends are for

Whoa… oh… oh… keep smilin’, keep shinin’
Knowin’ you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Keep smilin’, keep shinin’
Knowin’ you can always count on me, oh, for sure
‘Cause I tell you that’s what friends are for
For good times and for bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for (That’s what friends are for)

On me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
Keep smilin’, keep shinin’.”

I am working on a video for my church, and this is the song that was requested for me to use in it, and as I am listening to it over and over again, I couldn’t help but to be thankful for all of my friends that God has put into my life. My UMC family: Shannon & Ashley, Kaytee, Steve, Jonathan, Bekah, Teresa, Josh; my GMC family: Dan, Jenn, John, Paul, Robbie, Charity, Leah P, Amber, Erica, Sara, Leah J, Stacey, Angie, Amberlyn, Jenni P, Jessica; my friends here in Gap: CJ, Tyler, Jordan, Sticky, Cody & Stephanie, Glenn & Luli, Jonathan, Colby, Burnie, David, Chris, Erin, Susan, Rodney & Stephanie, Merrill, Buck, Jody & Rob, Austin, Dave, Caleb, Trevor, Dylan Ryan, Jeff, Scott, and so many more. I’m thankful for my family: mom, dad, sister, adopeted family: Josh, Beth, Kristin. My camp friends: Patrick, Cynki, James, Harry, Derick, Boss Lady; My friends from K-town: Mike, Sam, Scott, Tay, Joe, Ricky, Daniel, Alex, Henry, Sam, Sean, Dennis, Danny, Nate, Stefan, and a lot more. God, I could go on for ages and pages (yes, i did write ages and pages on purpose) about all of the friends I have had and the many ways they have encouraged me. I love you so much, and I don’t know where I would be today without you guys. I pray for you all constantly, and I love you so much. In the words of the song above: “I’m glad I got the chance to say that I do believe I love you, keep smilin’, keep shinin’, knowin’ you can always count on me, for sure, that’s what friends are for. For good times and bad times, I’ll be on your side forever more, that’s what friends are for.” I love you, you have helped me through so much, and many of you don’t even know or realize it. I will be your friend forever, if you ever need anything…