Friday, August 21, 2015


 Some friends play at friendship, but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin.” (Proverbs 18:24)
This past Thursday morning, I was awakened by my cell phone.  It was a family friend and member of my former church, sharing with me the heartbreaking news that the “Minister of Music and Worship Arts” at my former church had suffered a sudden heart attack and died just an hour or so earlier.

I was shocked and stunned:  Frieda Brown, my colleague and dear friend for the past ten years at East Cobb United Methodist Church, was now with the Lord.  And while my heart rejoices over her homecoming in heaven, my heart grieves not only for her husband Jeff and two sons Aubrey (a college Sophomore) and Mack (a high school Senior), but also for the members and friends of my former “flock,” as well as  for myself and Trish (who considered Frieda one of her absolute best friends in the world!).  My prayers are with them and with us all.

I wish that those of you who are members and friends of my current church at LaGrange First UMC would have had the opportunity to know Frieda and her contagious joy, her love for music and all worship arts, her compassion for others, her creativity, her love for people, but most of all her love for God and Jesus, and how that love shown through in all she said and did – Soli Deo gloria ('glory to God alone') is how she always signed her notes to our choir.  Our loss here on earth is surely heaven’s gain as she has now joined the choir eternal!

Lux Aeterna Frieda, my friend!

But even if you didn’t know Frieda, each of us surely knows people like her who we value, respect, and look up to. So, I’m writing this article today simply to encourage you (and all of us) never to take those special relationships for granted – to find time and ways to tell those around us who are special to us how much they mean to us and to say “thank you” for their influence on our lives.  We never know how much (or how little) time we have here on earth. Cherish every moment and every relationship that’s special!

Remember, God loves you and I do, too!

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