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Looking at some catalogues for new gift ideas, I am suddenly struck by the number of products that mention 'Friends and Family' and the view that they are two of the most important things that we have. And I think that's right. I had the most wonderful Christmas holiday in Canada with family and we were constantly joined by their friends with whom we played and laughed so much. Add to that the extraordinary cold, blue skies and white snowy fields and mountains and it was truly an idyllic holiday. Blessed indeed! But, as I mentioned in the last newsletter, Blessings are balanced by Burdens and tragically I also lost two very close and dear girl friends over Christmas. One friend was 59 and the other 52 years old, both leaving behind them heart broken family and friends. At times like this is is good to remember that there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, and Jesus calls those who follow Him 'Friends'. Jesus is a friend who is always there, who never can or will leave us but is a constant presence. None of us knows what lies around the corner, but we do know the friends and family that we have now. So, if we have any 'broken bridges' in our friendships or relationships, or simply friends that we haven't spoken to in a long while, let's make a point of getting in contact, of rebuilding bridges and giving them the value that they deserve.

Posted by Marianne Needham-Bennett
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