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Unusual Friendships!

Hi Friends! Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, was a highlight in my life. There are so many great memories of visiting the Spanish missions, eating Mexican food, playing on the River Walk, enjoying family gatherings, and learning to drive a car. Oh, did I mention the Mexican food?

My best friends (other than my big brother Doug) were Neville Bennett, Barto Arnold, Jim Schmulen, and Clifford Thompson. We all lived on Berwick Street, and pounded every inch of turf. We were not alike in anything except that we were boys who liked to get dirty, sweaty, and play ball. In later years, we all went different directions in life. But we are friends forever.

Who was your best friend in elementary school? If you are like me, some friends were completely opposite in their viewpoints. The election of 1956 caused me to stand against one of my best friends. Richard was a supporter of Adlai Stevenson, while I backed Dwight Eisenhower. After all, Ike was a native-born Texan. How could anyone vote against a fellow Texan? But Richard and I remained friends, mainly because we were too young to vote, anyway.

Are you aware of the warm friendship between President Richard Nixon, and baseball great Jack “Jackie” Robinson. Jackie was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball, and was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1962. His number 42, has been retired from baseball in honor of this great man. Two opposite lives connected in a notable friendship between Robinson and Nixon. At Jackie’s death, Nixon stated: “His courage, his sense of brotherhood, and his brilliance on the playing field brought a new human dimension not only to the game of baseball but to every area of American life where black and white people work side by side.”

Another friendship that was curious was the one between George H.W. Bush and Ted Kennedy. At Kennedy’s death, Bush stated: “While we didn't see eye-to-eye on many political issues through the years, I always respected his steadfast public service.” Possibly you remember the friendship between Nancy Reagan and “Mr. T.” He steadfastly supported the “Just Say No” campaign against drugs that Reagan promoted. Upon hearing that Mrs. Reagan had died, Mr. T tweeted, “I mourn the death of First Lady Nancy Reagan, who was Very Special to me.”

It was Thomas Jefferson who said: “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend.” Dr. Martin Luther King said, “You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can't forget. Those are your friends.”

In the Bible, there were some amazing friendships like Naomi and Ruth, David and Jonathan, Elijah and Elisha, and Paul and Timothy. We need friends in our lives, even if they occasionally grate on our nerves. Proverbs 27:17 NLT says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

But the greatest Friend of all is Jesus. As songwriter Ed­mund S. Lo­renz, wrote about Jesus, “He is a Friend that’s well known. You’ve no other such a friend or brother.” Jesus said about His followers in John 15:15 ESV, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends.” Think it over.

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