Changing the World with Agape Friendship
I took a week off from writing the blog to go on a trip to see family and friends. Now back at home, I cherish each moment and memory of my summer days of friendship.
Arriving in Knoxville, Tennessee, we venture over to Gus’s World-Famous Fried Chicken. This chic industrial-style restaurant with friendly servers is welcoming. There, we enjoy everything from fried chicken, coleslaw, fried green tomatoes, fried okra, to chess pie. The chess pie tastes like pecan pie, and the chocolate chess pie is like brownies – and, therefore, a Tennessee favorite. So, did I mention I was going to try and stay on a diet? However, it was delicious and worth spending upcoming hours on the elliptical.
My husband and I always walk the subdivision where he grew up. Boy, are those hills steep. I love hearing how he spent his childhood riding minibikes on the dirt paths before the first concrete roads and houses came. Once vast farmlands, it is now a bustling community. We saw and met many excited dogs on our way up and down.
Out in Sevierville, we visited The Robert A. Tino Gallery. We love his Smoky Mountain paintings and bought a print and some gifts. His gallery sits in a charming white farmhouse surrounded by graceful fields and gardens. I love the many cows in Tennessee, and the ones across from the gallery did not disappoint. In particular, these cows have a good spot, under a big shady tree, next to an idyllic barn.
Enjoying Summer Days
We spent the week weaving in and out of seeing family and friends sharing meals and conversation. One evening it went late after dinner. While the husbands played guitars, we gals talked about books, life, work, families – deep bonding conversations.
One other night we visited with more dear friends over at Chesapeake’s Seafood Restaurant in downtown Knoxville. We had the outside porch to ourselves as the baked oyster Rockefellers arrived. Later we hung out on their back patio. Again, the husbands played music, and we wives spent sweet time in spirited, thought-provoking conversations full of faith, grace, and life.
During the week, various friends joined us for lunch at the Chop House and Sam & Andy’s – which has the best-steamed sandwiches in Knoxville! Importantly, it is so good to get together and to catch up on each other’s lives.
On Sunday, spending quality family time at Lakeview Baptist in Rockford, Tennessee, was delightful! As was the fellowship and uplifting worship. After church, we went to The Wild Boar Tavern for lunch. “Riders of the Silver Screen” Marshall Andy was celebrating his 92nd birthday. What a treat it was listening to Knoxville’s cowboy Marshall and his band play their classics.
The next day we decided to drive around East Tennessee looking at possible homes for future dreams. In Dandridge, the picturesque mountains and enormous lakes were beautiful and serene. Next, we headed further east towards Morristown, looking at more homes, wondering, “what would life be like here?”
Before heading home to Georgia, we dig into a yummy pizza at The Wild Boar Tavern. Over our visit, we went there a few times, enjoying the “Best Italian Pizza,” burgers, pasta, grilled chicken salad, and company with cherished ones.
You may be wondering – what was this – a food tour? A Culinary Food Trip! Yes, so it was! And now we have spent the rest of the week back at home drinking fruit and green smoothies, working out and watching Little House on the Prairie and T.J. Hooker episodes.
God bless friendship and food!
Yes, sweet summer days. Days of day trips and long trips, seeing family and friends, because friendship is precious and essential. Certainly, the friendship between loved ones, close friends near and far.
Each friend is unique and brings such joy. Most of all, I love hearing what they love, and what projects they are doing. Is it a home remodeling project, repairing stained glass, starting a new job or promotion – or thinking about one? Likewise, is it a vacation to the beach or the lake, a concert, or a new exercise health regime? Indeed, such inspiration has me jumping up and down, dancing on my toes, and tackling ongoing projects and dreams.
Changing the World with the Love of Jesus
Although there is a lot of trouble in our topsy turvy world – our friendships keep us centered, loved, close, and comforted. So, that brings me to Jesus – who is our best friend. Therefore, we can find joy amid a storm. The song “What A Friend We Have in Jesus” will sustain and lift you. I love the George Jones version and you’ll find the lyrics by Joseph Scriven at the end of this page.
Our friendships can reflect the love that God has for us.
Jesus says to love your neighbor as yourself. This particular kind of love, agape love, is at the heart of friendship and kindness. The Greco-Christian term agape refers to God’s unconditional love for us. The love between God and man is the purest form of love and charity. We can change the world through only God’s love – changing the world with agape friendship.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31 KJV
Above all, thank you, beautiful friends, with whom I spend hours and hours in deep lovely conversations sharing homes and meals. I hope to be as good of a friend to you as you are to me.
I know some have already gone on their summer road trips, and some may be going soon. Some are at work, and some have time off. Some are starting school while others are completing a project. But wherever you may be on this summer day in August, let us all pause for a moment and think of all the incredible times we have shared with sweet, lovely friends.
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