7 of us guys from jbc drove up together and watched the Seattle Mariners baseball team play the Texas Rangers today.we had a great time together in the van on the drive up and back and during the game. We have done this once each year for the last 15 years. It is one of the yearly traditions that I look forward to every year. Jesus in John 15 told His disciples that He considered them to be His friends. The book of Proverbs says that some people have friends that are closer than brothers. I have a book entitled, “The Lonely Male”, which says that most men in the USA don’t have any really close friends. They have lots of acquaintances, but few friends. I have been blessed by God with many very good friends that I would do most anything for, and who’s company and fellowship I truly enjoy. A friend is someone who you enjoy doing things with socially, but real friendship goes way beyond that. A friend is someone who cares for you, that is they notice when you have problems or needs and they are quick to do what they can to help. They also are quick to encourage when we need some motivation to keep on keeping on when life gets tough. I have many very good friends, why? Some would suggest because I am a pastor, but I know many Pastors who don’t have very many friends. I think the reason is that because I pray for every person in jbc every week. I have pictures of almost every person and I enter into my prayer journal needs, problems, and blessings. There is something very powerful and supernatural about prayer in that it is impossible to pray for people regularly and not grow close to them and love them. The love and closeness I feel because of my praying for them prompts me to choose to do things with them socially and to help and encourage when I see the need. The basic law of God is “be a friend to others, and they will be a friend to you”. God created us like Himself and God exists in community in the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We were created by God for community, for relationship, for friendships. Those who have good friends are happier, healthier, grow faster spiritually and in character, and are way more successful than those who have few friends.