January 2019   
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My older brother, Johnny and I were inseparable growing up. Where he went I went, what he played, I played. Then we had a little brother born, Terry, who was five years younger than I and seven and a half years younger than Johnny. Once he got big enough to be able to "tag along" we set down one rule;       " You cry, you go home. " Now, terry was not the biggest kid on the block, but I can grant you, he was the toughest. Way younger than us, but with us every step of the way. Our favorite play area was in the woods around our house where we played cowboys and Indians, army, hide and seek, or we would explore the woods, walk the creek, and kill snakes. He rarely had his friends over as we grew up, he had his brothers. We didn't look at him as a bothersome little brother, because he "measured up" to our standards. Fitting in is not always easy, especially if those we want to become close to have a set standard or pattern that we have to fit. Though Terry could not do everything we did, he was there and ready to try anything, without complaint; sometimes that's what it takes to gain friendships, be there, accept what comes and be the friend you would want to have. Friendship is very important, the book of Proverbs talks about its importance: "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." (Prov 17:17). In other words, once a friendship is established it will "measure up" and that friend will be like a brother to you when you go through life's difficult times. The Proverbs also says; " A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother". Prov. 18:24. There it is, to have friends, we must be friendly. Those friends who become closer than a brother are rare indeed, but even more rare is the brother who becomes the best friend. Reach out to others, they will reach back.