In HOPE 9.4

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David Timms


Prayer for Today

Dear Father -- Thankyou for calling me Your friend, for looking past my rebellion and my failure, for forgiving the hurt and pain I've caused You, for loving me even when I'm most unlovely. Empower me to live that same way with the people in my life, to reach out to those who pull away and to show grace to those who wound me. As I rest in Your friendship, may those I meet today rest in mine. Amen.



Hope Happenings

Founded in 1928, Hope International University will celebrate its 87th commencement on May 16, 2009.The Spring 2009 graduates come from a student body of more than one thousand students drawn from 27 states and over 40 countries. The commencement speaker will be Dr. Jim Reeve, Pastor of Faith Community Church, West Covina, CA.


Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831


"Friendship is always a sweet responsibility,
never an opportunity."
~ Kahil Gibran


A Free Upgrade

A good friend recently asked me how many “good friends” I have. I hesitated, wondering how many of my fingers and toes I might need. I started to mumble about “lots of connections and acquaintances and colleagues.” And he exposed the proverbial sword of Damocles swinging over my head.

“Why not give everyone a free upgrade?” he asked.

For weeks I’ve been thinking about it. Why not? Why must a person meet certain criteria to be my “friend” or my “good friend” or my “dear friend”?

Grace would offer everyone the free upgrade whether they ask for it or not and perhaps let them grow into the relationship. That’s what Jesus did. Shortly before His crucifixion He declared to the disciples, “I have called you friends.” (John 15:15) And He generously included Judas (soon to betray Him), Peter (soon to deny Him), and all the other disciples (soon to abandon Him).

Perhaps that’s what Jesus had in mind when He says “Love your enemies.” (Matthew 5:44) We offer a free upgrade, whether it’s received or not, because that’s what the Father offers us every day. We look past the foibles and failures of others and refuse to let their weaknesses (or our own) define our relationship.

Ironically, I had lunch again this week with my good friend and he described how he offended his step-mom recently by describing her as a “client.” He had asked her for feedback on her recent experience as a hospital patient because he’s designing a new piece of equipment for hospital rooms. He thought she should feel delighted to be his personal “focus group.” But she was not impressed. I suggested that perhaps she didn’t warm to the free downgrade to “client” status.

What might happen if we upgraded each other as readily as the Father upgrades us from strangers to family, and from enemies to sons and daughters?

Perhaps we’d need more than fingers and toes to keep count. And the sword of Damocles – the ever-present fear (of being isolated and alone) – would recede.

Grace. No strings attached. A free upgrade. Life. It’s worth a shot!





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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.