Thursday, January 31, 2008


A few days ago I had the privilege of meeting with our friend Corky Alexander. He is one of the truly authentic Bishops in our church who is also a talented musician, song-writer, and teacher with natural inclinations and holy giftings to minister to people's needs. We had a great lunch together at the Cracker Barrell. Thanks Corky, for all that you do for God and the Kingdom of God.

Friends are so important in our lives. I have a verse from the Bible posted in my office here at GQ from Proverbs 27:10 which is about this subject of friends. It reads in part, "Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not...". That's really a tall order for my father had many many friends. Also I have been blessed with lots of friends. Some are friends that I don't see for months at a time or even send an e-mail to. But when we see each other it's as if no time has passed and we talk and carry on just as if we had never been apart. There are others who are only temporary friends. We may meet several times for weeks or months - then we move apart and make other friends. Then there are those who are friends, close and personal friends, that disappoint us in a time of crisis and who shun us because of the nature of the crisis. There are old friends, new friends, professional friends, and a few choice friends that, no matter what, they are there for us. These are good friends that stick with us through thick and through thin. Those are of eternal value. The Bible talks about a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. That means that my natural flesh and blood brothers (Wil and Lowell) can also be my friends. In fact it is very natural for us humans to bond with and be friends to our siblings. I think that when the Bible speaks of a "friend that sticketh closer than a brother" we cannot really appreciate this truth if we don't know what it means to have a brother who is a friend. Read about the friendship of David and Saul's son Jonathan. In 1st Samuel chapter 20 King Saul recognized that his son had a strong bond of friendship with David. He was not pleased with that friendship but Jonathan loved David anyway and protected his life from the wrath of his father. What a wonderful thing it is to have friends. In John's Gospel, Jesus called his disciples his friends and almost in the same breath told them all of his inner heart. There is more here than meets the eye. Maybe this calls for further reflection.

Hmmm. I didn't mean to sermonize here when I started out. Oh well...may someone who reads be blessed today knowing that Jesus is always your friend and will be for eternity.


Favorite One said...

"Friends" - sounds like a good name for a TV show. :-) Your daddy had lots of friends & so does mine! I too am blessed with very good TRUE and lasting friends! And, I'm blessed with those who are just passing thru too. My daddy once said "You're mother will be the best friend you ever have" - I think you were right. And, Daddy's can be best friends too! Luv you daddy!

fred said...

Thanks Fav One! How great it is to love and be loved.

Corky Alexander said...

Thank you for your words. On Wesley-mobility was a deep concept for him, it had to do with being outdoors on a horse and extending the Kingdom..that doesn't do justice to the idea. It is something deep that I know you believe. It gets transformed in America on the frontier with circuit riders and creates the hard crusty overseer. All this is deeply misunderstood as lack of commitment and restlessness. You are right about the pastoral tenure. Now we are afflicted with dynasties and institutionalism. The Church was not an institution to Wesley. The problem was...Wesley got angry because Indians wouldn't show up for his appointments or were late.

About Me

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Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton