“Friends with Everyone” is the quest to love people in our lives well. God places people in our lives purposefully. As Christians, we are called to reach outside of our comfort zones in order to serve the people bordering our everyday lives.

“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 

To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. 

To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 

To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. 

I have become all tings to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NIV (emphasis mine.)

Love finds common ground. Paul isn’t advising us to change for people in these verses. He’s challenging us to find common ground with the people in our lives. There is common ground to be found. It’s not an easy quest. There are lines we will be tempted to cross and company we wish would could keep closer. We will be called to ruffle a few feathers in righteousness. We will be left out, called out, questioned, and ridiculed. Being friends with everyone requires us to flip all of the hurt into forgiveness, and trust God with transformation.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV

We wouldn’t die for someone that hurt us. We wouldn’t die for someone who didn’t apologize for the hurt they caused …and we surely wouldn’t die for someone intent upon hurting us again. Jesus did. Compassion and kindness come from Him. All of us continue to fall short every day, yet the forgiveness Jesus died to grant us, to go before us and pave for us, isn’t effected by our inability to overcome the broken world we live in. He has already defeated what we could …and cannot. It. Is. Done. A true understanding of forgiveness breaks the cycle of hurt and allows the love of Christ to flow through our lives.

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20 NIV

I believe we take this verse out of context when we use it as an excuse to shun people who are different from us. What good is all of our wisdom about Christ, if we hide from the people that don’t know what we know? Like Paul, through adversity …seek diversity. But we must keep our eyes on Jesus. He is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. He was friends with everyone, without sacrificing His mission.

Jesus had a close group of twelve friends, and out them three were extremely close to Jesus. Still one, John, was Jesus’ best friend on earth. We’re clearly called to choose our close circle of friends with care, but leave the door open. May our light reflect His Love.

I shudder to think of all the rich friendships I would have missed out on, had I not decided to leave my Monday morning Bible Study group open to anyone. Whether or not they go to church or believe in God is between them and Him. Our job is to open the door and share what we know.

“Don’t hang out with angry people; don’t keep company with hotheads. Bad temper is contagious- don’t get infected.” Proverbs 22:24-25 MSG

The more friends we have, the greater the risk of getting hurt. Learning how to survive devastating blows to our character and create healthy boundaries is all part of the package. Can I tell you something? It’s through our reaction to those situations that our faith is put on display the most.

Loving the people in our lives well leads us to brotherly and sisterly love. As we grow in wisdom and away from the lessons of our past, God is faithful to provide friends that are racing towards Christ alongside us. Never take these friends for granted. These are the best friends. The ones who don’t get all awkward and subject-change when we start to talk about Jesus. No, these are the friends who lean in to learn alongside of us. Every broken hearted moment is worth it to find these people in life. But we can’t stay there. 

We are called to be friends with everyone. 

Happy Friending, 


These Revelations Changed How I Think about Friendship

Every friendship begins with a hint of selfishness that we all innately possess. But if we learn to flip our vision outward in obedience to God and service to others, His purpose for friendship is revealed.

Jesus set the bar. He came to serve, not to be served. What did that look like in His earthly friendships? He was open to conversation with anyone, friendly with everyone, but held 12 people closer than others. And Jesus knew the best way to befriend someone was occasionally to confront them with the truth, even if it wasn’t what they wanted to hear. He had to allocate His time and manage relationships just as we do on this earth.

What else can we learn from Him and apply to our lives? Here are 10 revelations that have the power to transform friendships.

Click here to continue reading …

The Holly and the Ivy (#jammed daily devo, day 348)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 348: Rivalry.

“A true friend is closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

Ivy is a climbing vine. Holly is a tree or shrub. I will never hear the “Holly and the Ivy” DECJAM14carol the same way after bearing witness to my two oppositely gifted daughters and their unspeakably close friendship.

David and Jonathan’s friendship is highlighted in this verse. There is something that even they knew, comparing it to something even greater than sibling-ship.

I have a strand of ivy living my house that climbs all over the place. She branches off and takes initiative. She is strong and able and uneasily rattled. As she grows up, the vast depth of her giant heart for Jesus and others is comes into view. I find prayers for others in her desk drawer, and when she says she’s going to “do something about it,” that’s code for, “I”m going to pray about it and I know God hears me.” She is the carefree joy that a child of Christ personifies.

My holly tree, on the other hand, put down strong roots fast. She knows who she is and what she loves and where she’s going …and she’s in absolutely no hurry to get there. We can try to move her along faster or into a different spot where theirs more shade or sun ..but there’s no moving her. She knows Jesus loves her for who she is right now, and has a purpose for her that she can’t derail …so she’s in no hurry …I mean NO HURRY …to get anywhere at all …ever. She calls her friends or writes them notes, and takes on the hurt of others that don’t even know she’s looking out for them.

The friendship between sisters is different than other friendships. They don’t need to talk who they are, they just sit alongside each other the way they are. They are so drastically different, yet both love Jesus so much. They reveal to me how much He loves us all for the way we are. So different. Yet so smashed together for a reason. 

We’re the holly to someone’s ivy, and visa versa. This Christmas, when we’re checking our list twice and stressing out about the Holiday hoopla …who can we add that needs to know they show Him to us?

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for sisterly friendship, and the lessons that we learn from observing them. Thank you for placing us in our families so purposefully, and forgive for taking that for granted. Bless our hearts with the love we need to reach out to siblings and friends this Christmas. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Sibling-ing,


Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Bossy Cow (#jammed daily devo, day 320)

November #jammed: Gracious.

Day 320: Thankful for my friend.

“A friend loves at all times.” Psalm 17:17 (NIV)

Side by side, with our arms up in the air and our souls light under the weight of His 320presence, we sang praise to the One at the core of our lives …and our friendship. The older I get, the more I realize how rare it is to find a friend to seek Christ with throughout life. Someone who meets my enthusiasm with excitement and encourages me in my faith. We share a thousand inside jokes like the one in today’s title.

Friendship can fleet and fade over the years, but ours seems to grow stronger still with time. We’ve both been through hard times and trials, and our friendship has been God’s way to hug us through some things that no one else could. We became AU Eagle teammates twenty years ago, and we’ve not stopped laughing for much since then. She took me to FCA, where I began to study the Bible and connect with my faith and my Father like never before. I have confidence in our friendship because He brought us together.

A true friend loves regardless of the situation,
    and a real brother exists to share the tough times.” Psalm 17:17 (VOICE)

My life was riddled with wrong choices in those collegiate years, and afterwards I continued to chase after anyone’s plans for my life but His. But Kate was there for me when I wanted to disappear from my past and everyone in it in the wake of my divorce. Looking for me, searching for me, and never giving up on me …she found me and pulled me back to face what wasn’t going to disappear. Over ice cream, we’ve built so many bridges back to Him …in search of Him.

Friends love through all kinds of weather,
    and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.” Psalm 17:17 (MESSAGE)

When she suffered from post partum depression, we sought Him together through it. Prayed her through and praised her entry back into the light …and full night’s sleep …and her first marathon. Through the storms of married life and motherhood that He has pulled us through, and the rock of our joy that He is after every trial …we sang side by side that day. The people God places in our lives are not always blood-related, but they do become our Christian family. They are the people who build us up in Him, so that we can be better people to everyone else.

“A friend is always loyal.” Psalm 17:17 (NLT)

It’s not good to go through life alone, and because Kate is my friend …I know God has given me someone on this earth that will be my voice of reason. She will pray me through the troughs in the waves, and laugh with me eternally in this life and the next.

There are few things greater, and more heart filling and soul soothing, than a God-placed friend. It’s the closest thing to Jesus’ loyalty and love that we get to feel on this earth. We took a road trip recently, to the Outcry Tour, and stopped talking only to worship and sleep. In all of my efforts to be friends with everyone …Kate, you have been the friend that has taught me the most about what true friendship is. Thank you for being my friend …through all of my craziness and all my bad choices. Here’s to an eternity of laughter.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for the friends You place our lives. Thank You for my Kate. Your Kate. Bless our friendship to honor You always, and our lives to reflect Your Son …our King …Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy “Thankful for Kate” Day,


Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 



The Crossfire (#jammed daily devo, day 313)

November #jammed: Gracious.

Day 313: Thankful for friends.

You can’t just go along with this, treating it as acceptable behavior. 1 Corinthians 5:11 (MSG)

“I just don’t have respect for Christians that drink.”313

So much for sharing a casual drink among friends.

“It’s judgmental not to hang out with people just because they drink or swear.”

Anyone else feel like a friendship yo-yo at times?

It’s not our place to judge anyone, but especially not in our line of duty to lace words into ears that are not ready to hear. Only God can soften hearts. However, today’s verse addresses an aspect of Christian friendship that the non-confrontational soul in me wants to scatter and run from.

It’s uncomfortable to check someone else’s behavior. Especially for Christians! Who are we to judge? We certainly don’t want our mistakes drug out into the light, so why is it our job to correct our Christian friends? Paul explains it best in the Message translation of today’s verse in context with the verses that surround it.

 I wrote you in my earlier letter that you shouldn’t make yourselves at home among the sexually promiscuous. I didn’t mean that you should have nothing at all to do with outsiders of that sort. Or with crooks, whether blue- or white-collar. Or with spiritual phonies, for that matter. You’d have to leave the world entirely to do that!

But I am saying that you shouldn’t act as if everything is just fine when a friend who claims to be a Christian is promiscuous or crooked, is flip with God or rude to friends, gets drunk or becomes greedy and predatory.

You can’t just go along with this, treating it as acceptable behavior.

I’m not responsible for what the outsiders do, but don’t we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers? God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house. 1 Corinthian 5:9-13 (MESSAGE)

It’s a lot, and it seems really judgmental and hypocritical on the surface, which is why it’s a terrifying thing to stand up for what we believe in. But as the famous saying states …if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Take these verses into the mirror first, and then to prayer. God promises to give us the words we need when we need them.

Ignoring the sin actually makes the lives of the sinners worse. -VOICE notes

Life isn’t always about understanding things, and our perspective sight doesn’t always allow us a view as to why God asks certain things of us. But we can trust His intentions are always good.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for godly friendship. Thank You for the friendships we are blessed with in this life where we don’t have to worry about being judged for who we are in You. Forgive us for judging others, and for not standing up for what we believe in because of peer pressure. Help us to be strong and firm in our faith.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Friending,


Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80.