Summary: Being a friend can make a huge difference in ones life.



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Matthew 5:1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,

2 and he began to teach them, saying:

3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

What he's saying: Do good. Share Jesus.

Today, I just want to let stories speak to you. I'm not preaching. You are. :)

Maria Elliston - Rodney & Amanda & Christian & Daniel & Debbie

Do Good. Share Jesus...

Lori's story - read

Knock knock… Who’s there?

It’s only another cock roach scrabbling rapidly down the wall. It quickly veers left to avoid the distant relatives assembled quietly conversing in the disgusting language that all cockroaches speak. I fleetingly wonder how many roaches there are in the dimly lit, acrid room. Without realizing I am doing so I begin to count. I stop at 68. There are too many to bother counting any more. In a passing thought I realize that If I can see that many, there must be thousands in the room, unseen behind the broken, stained paneling.

I wonder how I ever come to be in this revolting room, living this sordid life.

Hastily I swipe away a roach that had fallen from the ceiling onto my shoulder. Shivering with disgust I reach for “them”.

My pills.

My stash of oblivion.

They’ve been silently waiting in that white bottle. Waiting for me, a former lover long neglected. They’ve been awaiting my inevitable despair. Slowly I remove them from that hard plastic carafe. I count them as I lay them neatly in rows. Soundlessly I use the broom to sweep the wall of the many persistent roaches that are determinedly attempting to contaminate my neat, clean rows of promised relief.

I’ve been contemplating this moment for so long there was no fear. I hadn’t feared death since my husband Gabriel took his last breath cradled in my arms, sitting on the ground unaware of the shards of gravel piercing us both. I watched as his eyes turned from vivid blue to a pale gray. His death was the first of so many losses that the thought of death becomes a welcome end to the unrelenting grief and pain.

22, 23, 24, wordlessly I continue to lay out the pills without questioning why.

Evan comes to mind. I hesitate laying the oblong tablet in the next row of pills beckoning for my attention. My beautiful little boy, Evan. I failed him so horribly. I didn’t protect him from the trauma of losing his father. I couldn’t shield him from the falling snow as we shivered in the shed we slept in for so many months after Gabe died. I couldn’t feed him when the financial burdens of living on my disability income become impossible. I couldn’t be what he needed.

He found his own relief in drugs. I had lost him to methamphetamines and life of violence. He had no desire to speak to me or hear my voice anymore. Meth had become his comforting maternal protector.

I placed the hydrocodone neatly in the expanding row. 25, I mouth as I reach for the next pill.

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