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By John Young
Life and Death
Before I lived I did not wish for life;
yet now that I live I do not wish for death.
Yet both come unbidden and sudden.
As I wait for sleep,
I toss and turn with the realization:
I am alive and will cease to be.
Death will come upon me just as it has to all life before me.
What does death have in store for me?
Before I lived I had no thought of such things.
There was no fear for there was no me... that I can recall.
Will it be as it was before?
Before my existence in this life?
Will death restore me to the state I was in before life?
Or is death just a stepping stone to another new life?
Is death only the removal of my living being from its cocoon of a shell;
so that it may continue on its journey of life in a new form?
Will it be to a new body
(to begin a new life,
with fresh memories to create,
with no memory of previous life),
to begin the cycle of worry and pondering over anew?
I have no memories from before this life,
so why would I have them after?
All that I know now I know from this life
and from the ideas of those who lived before me,
in this existence.
No one has come from beyond life,
nor from beyond death,
to tell us they come from a place of life.
unless I believe what some say of Jesus,
some say was the God creator;
But even this is told to me by people of this existence;
past down to them from ages past.
I would certainly like to know if this is true.
Sleep is coming.
I can feel it now.
The focus of my pondering is wandering.
Fear of death and worries of life slowly leave me;
a calm assurance covers me.
I know that when I sleep I will dream and then I will awake.
By Baptist Girl
Life is ineffably lonely without having our friends around us. It's even impossible to live without one, and if I knew someone who has none at all perhaps I would readily offer my friendship. I'm convinced God designed life to be about being friends with people, and that He Himself has friends amongst us. I believe friendships are essential to living.
We have a handful of answers to the question "What is a real friend?". I bet we can come up with the funniest to the most profound definition of a real friend, and still think we can't really describe one. When someone is a real friend, we just know it, feel it and experience it.
In the Bible, a friend is characterised as someone who loves you at all times (Proverbs 17:17) and whose wounds are faithful (Proverbs 27:6). The first verse speak about a friend indeed---a person who loves you every moment of your life, no matter what happens, even if you change or fall, and despite the difference in time and distance. The second verse tells how comforting it is to have somebody---a friend---who desires what's best for you, even to the point of hurting or causing you pain at times. It's true, real friends won't comfort you with lies and they will tell you what you need to hear and know.
Love, trust, honesty, loyalty and communication are indispensable to nurturing a friendship and making it last for a lifetime. From being friends, people become foes when they lack one or two of these things. We've heard of so many people who became strangers to each other because they gave in to hatred, betrayed trust, spoke lies or kept secrets, turned their backs from friendship and remained distant or silent for a period of time. For friendship to grow and stay strong through years, friends must remain as close as they can be, share each other's ups and downs, give time to listen to what must be said, do things together, respect personal differences and learn to stay true to each other even in trying times.
In times of distress and afflictions, real friends are there to comfort and buoy you up in the most thoughtful ways. During happy moments, they share your joys and make you even more blissful. At times you must be alone, they value your solitude and patiently wait for the time you bid them to finally sit beside you. In every decision you make, their advice is wise and encouraging---they won't let you take the wrong path. They accept you for who you really are, overlook your imperfections, know your worth, like what you do, examine your intentions and cause you to become a better individual.
What is life without real friends? I don't know. What and where am I without God-given companions? I can't tell. All I know is that I'm so blessed having them around me. I'm so grateful I have real friends.
~ Me, 11 March, 2012
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