there are a number of people I know whose birthdays are  the same day as mine. One them is the wife of a couple that are good friends of Patty and I. We established the tradition a number of years ago that we would eat dinner together close to October 27th if not on the day, to celebrate our birthdays and lives.  We went out to a Resturant for a couple of years and then we  started having dinner in one of our homes alternating between us. Tonight we went to their house for this cool annual event, and had a very relaxing and enjoyable time with barbecued steak, potatoes, mushrooms, and other stuff that was delicious and we finished it off with ice cream, what else!  As a person assesses their life and tries to determine the valuable things that God has blessed them with I think good friends would rank right behind family. The Lord has blessed us with a number of very close, strong friends who have been invaluable to us as we face the pressures of ministry over the years, in keeping us “up”, encouraged, and enduring. We had our 40th anniversary of being the pastor here at JBC a week ago yesterday, and a question asked often was how did we manage that. I didn’t think of the answer then but now I would say with out a doubt the reason was easily the friends that we have had that provided so much support and encouragement. To have friends you must be a friend which requires effort, sacrifice of time to do things socially with them. I thank God for our great friends

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