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April 16, 2023 - #4883 Music & the Spoken Word

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Conductors: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Organist: Brian Mathias
Announcer: Lloyd D. Newell

“‘Give,’ Said the Little Stream”1
Music: William B. Bradbury
Lyrics: Fanny J. Crosby
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Hear Him”
Music: Ryan Murphy
Lyrics: Wendy Randall

“All Things Bright and Beautiful” (organ solo)
Music: English folk tune
Arrangement: Brian Mathias

“I Would Be True”
Music: Irish folk song (“Londonderry Air”)
Lyrics: Howard A. Walter; addl. lyrics by David Warner
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

This Little Light of Mine”
Music and lyrics: African American spiritual
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“On Great Lone Hills”
Music: Jean Sibelius
Lyrics: Amy Sherman Bridgman
Arrangement: H. Alexander Matthews

  1. From the album Teach Me to Walk in the Light.

The Spoken Word

True Friendship

by Lloyd D. Newell April 16, 2023

True friendship is one of the greatest blessings and deepest needs in our world today. We need each other. In fact, God wants us to need each other. He didn’t send us here to be alone.1 This life was designed as a place where we would help and support each other, confide in and trust each other—where we would find and be true friends.

It’s almost as if we were built for friendship. Friends enrich our lives not only socially and emotionally, but also physically. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on “eight decades of research from Harvard University” showing “that close relationships are the most critical component of health, happiness and longevity, more so than exercise and a good diet."2

To paraphrase the Apostle Paul, true friends are kind, they don’t envy one another, they seek each other’s welfare, they are not easily provoked, they don’t think evil of one another, and they never fail to extend loyalty and love.3 That may seem like an unreachable standard, but that’s part of the miracle of true friends—they help each other to be better and to do better.

We each have the capacity to be that kind of friend. As Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “The only way to have a friend, is to be one.”Being sincere and interested in others opens the door to friendship. Listening and caring, finding common ground, and being trustworthy keep the door of friendship open. Then, no matter what challenges we face, true friends walk the distance with us. As we read in Proverbs, “A friend loveth at all times” (Proverbs 17:17).

The greatest example of true friendship was given to us 2,000 years ago. Shortly before His Crucifixion, Jesus Christ taught His disciples: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends” (John 15:13–14). We lay down our lives, in a sense, anytime we sacrifice our selfish interests to help a friend in need. We love as Jesus loved, care as He cared, and, in so doing, we build treasured friendships.

  1. See Genesis 2:18.
  2. Julie Jargon, “They Found a Radical Cure for Loneliness: The Phone Call,” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 18, 2023,
  3. See 1 Corinthians 13:4–8.
  4. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Friendship,” Essays: First Series (1841), 176.