Proverbs 27:5-6 Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Dear Friends, Peace, love, grace and the joy of Christ be upon you. I want to ask you all to please pray for my dear brother, pastor, friend and mentor, Tom Shuford. Tom has been in and out of the hospital lately. Both Tom and those of us who love him so dearly could really use your prayers as this is very hard on all of us. The above passage is very, very deep and as I have been sitting and praying for Tom, I realize how much it relates to he and I. You see, Tom has always rebuked me, but it has always been non-judgmental and out of love. And, only when I truly needed it. I am so grateful for that. You see, my old group of so-called friends rarely did that. The ones who truly loved me did and my family did, but people that I associated with that were criminals never did, nor did my frienemies. You know, the ones pretend to love you, but really hate you and want to see you fail. Those types encouraged my poor choices. Most used me for their own personal gain and discarded me when I had no more value to them. Not a single one has ever written me or showed any love; Nor am I complaining. You know the old adage: “With friends like that, who needs enemies?” Only the ones who truly love me have been here for me. Chief among them is Jesus. He has never left or forsaken me. (more…)