A Love Song

February 29
Take a leap of faith and tell someone you love them!
A Love Song

Several people posted that this song makes them think of the gift of the Holy Spirit which God gave us. A reminder we are loved.

A Love Story Video

February 28
No Ryan O'Neal and Ali Macgraw are not featured in the video below...but someone much more talented and filled with a love beyond our imagination, someone who longs to capture our hearts.

Try to imagine seeing each person you see today through Christ's eyes!

Jesus is the ULTIMATE love!

She Fought the Good Fight

February 27
Bible Gateway's verse yesterday was:
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9

A fitting verse for the day my everyday friend, soul sister, monster of the faith and mischievous partner in crime, Kaye, left this world behind and headed to her heavenly home. My husband was able to be by her bedside and said he knew she heard the words of our faith that he shared. Her sweet daughter held the phone up to her ear so I could say good-bye and the brightest single star you have ever seen shown through my bedroom window as she exited this earth!
Yesterday, my heart literally ached so badly that I told the Lord, "Take me too!" Wouldn't she have been surprised if I had snuck up on her in heaven and said, "Thought you were going somewhere without me, did ya."

When we received the call she was ready to go, I called out to the Lord for comfort and He led me to the Bible Gateway verse above and then I was able to turn 2 Timothy 4:6-8 into this final farewell which her daughter read to her.

You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race and kept the faith. Now go get that crown of righteousness, which the Lord is waiting to award you. 2 Timothy 4:6-8

Father, thank you that Kaye is no longer in pain, thank you for all that she taught so many of us these past 8 years while she valiantly fought cancer by clinging to her faith and your promises. Strengthen her family and friends in the days ahead and please, please bring her grandson, Max, into this world on March 7th happy, healthy and ready to be loved. We do not understand Your ways Lord, but we know You are good. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Here are some photos of one of my very favorite people of all time.
She always made me feel loved and gave me a reason to laugh.

Six members of her family were baptized here at Shiloh!
What a day of rejoicing that was.
Kaye's smile was infectious.
She had a mighty fine wig and looked gorgeous!

She will be desperately missed, but deserves every ounce of happiness she is experiencing.
I can't wait for her to show me around heaven!
One final laugh...she loved my hair dresser, who has done my hair for over 30 years. Right now he has my hair really long. One day in the hospital she said, "Your hair looks beautiful." I said, "But it is so long. Would you really tell me the truth if you didn't like it?" She said, "Oh course I would. It looks fabulous. I was just wondering if you are having a mid-life crisis and trying to catch a younger man."
We all need friends who speak the truth in love! I will miss you dear friend. Loads of love, Boo

Loving Hard

February 25-26
The silence in our bed said so much. My husband could tell my thoughts were far away. Lovingly he said, "You love hard, thus you set yourself up to hurt hard."
Expressing honesty to a very sick friend, I confessed, "I am worried about you." Her reply, "I am sorry, I don't want to cause you to worry." My response was that I would rather love to a depth that brings heartache and concern than not have experienced that kind of love. She agreed.

The weather was fabulous yesterday. I was tempted to gather a couple magazines and head to the dock to escape reality, but I knew my Jesus time needed to come first. Opening Solo, The Message, I was so thankful I hadn't missed God's love letter to me as he shared of a woman who loved Jesus hard.
Luke 7:36-47
One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee's house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him."Jesus said to him, "Simon, I have something to tell you.""Oh? Tell me."

"Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?"

Simon answered, "I suppose the one who was forgiven the most."

"That's right," said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, "Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn't quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn't it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal."

Solo gave this challenge on how we should live.

"Oswald Chambers said, "If human love does not carry a man beyond himself, it is not love. If love is always discreet, always wise, always sensible and calculating, never carried beyond itself, it is not love at all. It may be affection, it may be warmth of feeling, but it has not the true nature of love in it."

"Think about the degree of restraint or abandon you show in your relationship with Jesus (and with others)." Solo, The Message

Think of who you love hard?

How does the depth of your love for Christ relate to that scenario?

Love Worth Finding

February 24
This post may simply be a rambling as I am not quite certain where my head is. Thirty-nine years ago I asked Jesus into my heart and a mustard seed faith began to grow. That first year a huge test was tossed my way when, while my parents were out of the country traveling in Europe, my grandfather, who lived right down the street, was murdered. My siblings, who were much older than me, were all married and out of the house. My journal from that time records a young faith that cried out to God.
Flash forward to now and I am facing what appears to me to be a very unfair situation. I know God well enough after all these years to know He is capable of stepping in and changing the scenarios. My faith is being tested and my heart hurts.
When I take the time to stop trying to figure things out and turn to the Lord, He gives me life lines to hold onto, even while the waves keep crashing. Like the disciples in the boat, I scream, "Calm this storm!" Give us a miracle Father! No more suffering, no more pain, no more heartache! (Then I remember where that kind of life exists.)
I have no answers! Only a faith that is based on love and sacrifice.
While we are to understand God's precepts and his commandments, I want to understand the "whys," of His ways. The purposes in His plans. Our ways of thinking are so far from His.

Job realized in his book, chapter 36:26
"Take a long, hard look. See how great he is—infinite, greater than anything you could ever imagine or figure out!
Wisdom tells us to...Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Today Bible Gateway reads in Jeremiah 29:11-13:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

After 39 years, I am still seeking and learning. When we take time, even in the darkest times, to go near to God and place ourselves in a position to hear Him, He will speak. Adrian Rogers may already be in heaven, but his teachings still speak to us. The timing of today's message...
(The real world keeps churning...I had to stop working on this blog, as I heard my daughter calling to me...her son has been very sick all week..running to his room I found her with him covered head to toe in poop while still in his PJ's and sleep sack. "Start the bath!" she hollered. A distraction definitely. Ah, but what a reminder that when we call to Him, like a concerned parent, He will come.) God knows my innermost thought to email this to me today:

February 24-Adrain Rogers-Love Worth Finding

Is Trusting God a Challenge for You?

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” Psalm 37:3

This word “trust” is an interesting word. Its root is from the word that means “to lie face down on the ground.”

The idea is that a person is totally helpless. He has been cast down and has nothing to stand upon. Some would say his pins have gone out from underneath him. He has no visible means of support.

That is the place where God wants to bring us—where we have no physical means of support and all we have is God.

As a matter of fact, did you know that God will sometimes knock your feet out from beneath you so that you might learn to trust Him? At that point, faith is no longer an option or a luxury; it is a necessity. To the world your situation looks hopeless, but that is right where God wants to show Himself powerful in your life.

Is there an area in your life today for which you must trust God completely? Perhaps you need some “face time”. . .face down on the ground before the Lord. Bring that issue before Him in total surrender.

He loves you and me.

February 23
My heart is so heavy, the prayer list so long with burdens and needs beyond any load I've ever carried to lay before the Lord. A numbness of disbelief wants to set in...the kind of feeling where you need to splash cold water in your face to bring you out of the shock of it all. Before opening my eyes or praising the Lord, I started into the list...then I stopped and simply said, "Lord, I love you, would you like to crawl in this bed and sit beside me and just hold hands."
The reply....
"Oh, dear friend, my heart is so heavy, the needs of my children and those who are lost is so long."
I sat up and with compassion I switched to the Lord's perspective and thought about how He aches for the lost to be found and He longs to have his children home, hating to see them suffer. He knows our earthly journey is short lived compared with eternity.

Oh how He loves you and me!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of you souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9

Kindle Fire

February 22
An email came from a friend the other day and below her closing was the statement:
"Sent from my Kindle Fire."

With this being a month of reflecting on love, I thought about those words and remembered the importance of kindling the various kinds of love in our lives. Love isn't set a blaze on its' own.
Whether it is a love for the Lord, a romantic love, a relational love, or a parental love the pieces of kindling (our acts of KINDness and being active and involved) keep the fire burning!

The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it.
Leviticus 6:12

A Loving Spirit

During the snow storm Sunday, we had a visitor on our patio. We never saw him, but it is obviously from the marks he left that he was there. Neither do we see the Spirit, but when we allow Him to have control of our lives, it is obvious He is with us by the behavior His goodness evokes in us and the imprint that leaves on others!

February 21
Continuing on with yesterday's thoughts about connecting with the Holy Spirit, I wanted to share some of these thoughts of Charles Spurgeon. Born in 1834, obviously the Spirit has been impacting people for a long time. :)

"Common, too common, is the sin of forgetting the Holy Spirit....He shares in the threefold ascription of Holy, holy, holy. (Isaiah 6:3)...He is purity, truth and grace. He is good benevolently, tenderly bearing with our waywardness and striving with our rebellious wills. He quickens us from our death in sin, and then trains us for the skies as a loving nurse fosters her child. How generous, forgiving, and tender is this patient Spirit of God!...He suggests good thoughts, prompts good actions, reveals good truths, applies good promises, assist in good attainments, and leads to good results. Those who yield to His influences become good, those who obey His impulses do good, those who live under His power receive good.....Let us recognize His power and admit our need of Him by waiting on Him in all our holy enterprises. Let us hourly seek His aid and never grieve Him. And let us praise Him whenever any opportunity to do so arises.

How would our days look different if they were driven by the Spirit and not our selfish pride and desires?
As for me (and hopefully my house) I'll take a Spirit filled day, thank you Jesus!

Jesus promised us the gift of a Friend.
If you love me, show it by doing what I've told you. I will talk to the Father, and he'll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can't take him in because it doesn't have eyes to see him, doesn't know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you! John 14:15-16

The Connection..a gift of love.

February 20
CONNECTION-the word was as clear as if it had been handed out in a spelling bee.
"Could I have the definition please?" "Connection-when something (or someone) is joined and linked together."
Wandering through the house I looked for clues to what the lesson was in this word. Without my fingers connecting to the keys of this computer, messages would not be sent out or information gathered. Without the plugs of numerous items in our home being connected to an electrical outlet they would be useless. The information, education and entertainment of television would not come into our home without being connected to cable. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich would not delight any one's palate without the two elements connecting. And we can have the fanciest shower head available, but without a connection to the waterline nary a drip will drop out.

Checking out the Bible's take on this word I came across....

"In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part. Matthew 6:14-15

We can't come to the Father, without connecting with the Son. And we can't do all things through Christ who strengthens us without connecting to the Holy Spirit.

Nehemiah 9:20 says: You gave your good Spirit to instruct them.
John 14:15-16 talks of us being given a Helper, in the Holy Spirit, now that's a good connection to have.

Every connection I thought about, in the photos above, takes human initiative to happen. The Spirit connection requires a conscious decision to set self aside and be led by Spirit himself.

Come, Holy Spirit, come lead our lives today.

We so good 4 each otha.

February 18-19
There is a text message on my phone from a dear friend which reads:
"We so good 4 each otha."

I want God to feel that way about me....I know He doesn't need me to do squat for Him, but He did put me here for HIS purpose and I hope I am pleasing in His sight. The first thing He asks of me is to love Him. Adrain Rogers said this about God:
"He made you and me in the likeness of His image,
that He might have fellowship with us and that we would praise Him."

Lord, I do pray I get this relationship with You right this side of heaven, so when I see you will say “Well done, good and faithful servant.’

I was struggling with the Lord over some current situations and He spoke very lovingly, but sternly back. Only minutes after our conversation, I received an email from a friend who said she had me on her heart and had just Facebooked a quote of mine, from when we worked in youth ministry together.

The more you know Him, the more you love Him.
The more you love Him, the more you want to be like Him.

It was as if God wrapped his arms around me and said, "I know your heart dear one. There are just some days you lose sight of who we are together! We so good 4 each otha!"

Things that Might Be Misssed

Apple brings friends together!
February 17
Over a year ago, I met a gentleman in an Apple Store in Minnesota. After 64 years of marriage, he lost the love of his life. His love for her was the first thing he told me about. Now we often email about his love for the Lord and how his faith continues to grow. The day before Valentine's Day he shared how he struggles at times to let go of the past and get excited about what is to come. He did what friends in Christ do...he asked for prayer.
Emailing him back one day, I thought about how blessed his wife was to be loved like this.
I suggested he start journaling or maybe emailing loved ones on occasion and share a memory from his life with his wife and then something/someone in his earthly life he is thankful for.
I gave examples of simple joys in my life...the BlueRidge Mts coming down to meet the Lake, looking at Moses, fresh pineapple, and the twinkle in people's eyes.
He quickly replied and I will never look at a jar of peanut butter again without thinking of him.

"All time favorite view: Back-packing to the Greek Islands with his wife.
Animal- A dog, possibly "Maggie".
Things to Eat- Absolutely peanut butter
A Body Trait-smiles and now-women's eyebrows (natural is best)"

I've copied this list and stuck it in a drawer I frequently open, because it will do several things...
make me smile, remind me to pray for my friend and remind me of what would have been missed had I not spoken to this stranger in The Apple Store.

He sent me this beautiful video...I would have missed it had he not been in my life.

Be kind and compassionate to one another. Ephesians 4:32

Wipe Away Our Sins

February 16
As you read the story of the paraplegic, in Mark 2:1-12, can you think of people you would carry to a roof top, disassemble the roof and lower into a building to see Jesus? That was some bold faith on at least the part of the four men. I guess the paraplegic was UP for it! :)
Read the story below:
After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren't able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic,
"Son, I forgive your sins."

Some religion scholars sitting there started whispering among themselves, "He can't talk that way! That's blasphemy! God and only God can forgive sins."

Jesus knew right away what they were thinking, and said, "Why are you so skeptical? Which is simpler: to say to the paraplegic, 'I forgive your sins,' or say, 'Get up, take your stretcher, and start walking'? Well, just so it's clear that I'm the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both . . ." (he looked now at the paraplegic), "Get up. Pick up your stretcher and go home." And the man did it—got up, grabbed his stretcher, and walked out, with everyone there watching him. They rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then praised God, saying, "We've never seen anything like this!"

Where the Lord took me with this was totally different from the questions laid out by Solo. My thoughts were, how many people are willing to come to Jesus for the healing, the blessings, the help, but if you told them you were taking them to have their sins forgiven, they would become defensive, recoil, and pass on the opportunity? Until we see ourselves as sinners in need of a savior, there really is no reason to visit Jesus.

Yesterday, I received an email from a dear friend, who had been hospitalized. My mind began to wander to places it shouldn't. She wasn't answering my text from the past two days. I emailed some prayer warrior friends and confessed the mess I was in. Then I opened the day's Godtube video, which was on sin.


I called out to the Lord and asked him to forgive me for my fretting and growing anxious. The second I did that a text came from her! I don't believe that was a coincidence.

We need to know we are sinful in order to know we need a Savior, who can wipe away our sins.

The Fullness of His Love

February 15
The double whammy happened the other day where the same scripture reference was used in two different devotionals. The context of both was the BOLD faith of the hemorrhaging women, who reached out to touch Jesus' robe in a crowd, hoping to be healed.
Spurgeon's take on this passage in Luke chapter 8 was directed towards the woman's ignorance in thinking virtue came out of Christ by a law of necessity, without His knowledge or direct will. He goes on to discuss the fact she was a stranger to Jesus' generosity and felt like she needed to steal a cure.
"Misery should always place itself right in the face of mercy."
He goes on to write: "After she obtained the cure, she rejoiced with trembling. She was glad that the divine virtue had worked a miracle in her, but she feared lest Christ might retract the blessing and cancel the grant of His grace. Little did she comprehend the fullness of his love. We do not have as clear a view of Him as we could wish. We do not know the heights and depths of His love, but we know with certainty that He is too good to withdraw from a trembling soul the gift that it has been able to obtain. But here is the marvel of it; little as her knowledge was, her faith, because it was real faith, saved her."

Oh, that we could have a clear view of the fullness of Christ's love for us. When we see Him face to face we are going to be blown away. No greater love!
Happy Valentine's Day
February 14th
Opening Solo, The Message, I smiled as I looked at the title of Day 220's entry...Heartstrings.
Quite an appropriate title for Valentine's Day and totally by coincidence, as I am way off target in my reading (I should have finished December 31). The Lord obviously knew I'd be tempted to write about worldly love on this holiday, which my husband claims had to have been developed by Hallmark!
The scripture reading selected for this topic was Mark 10:17-22. To Enter God's Kingdom
As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, "Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?"Jesus said, "Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't lie, don't cheat, honor your father and mother."He said, "Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!" Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, "There's one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me." The man's face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.
"Jesus knows that though, the rich man is morally good, he still has strings attached to his heart that will keep him from being a devoted follower."
The author goes on to challenge us to take an inventory of our hearts and consider what things are deeply attached to our hearts and keep us from being dedicated followers of Jesus. (Possessions, relationships, thoughts, activities, etc.)

Further down in the passage in verse 27 Jesus has this to say to anyone who thinks they have a chance at getting into God's kingdom.
Jesus was blunt: "No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it."

God's grace is the greatest Valentine we can receive.
Draw a heart somewhere and write inside of it...
"Jesus, will you be my Valentine? No strings attached."

Loving Over and Over Again

Loving for the Long Haul
February 13th
What God gives us in the context of the word love
is a list of things to continue doing over a long, long period of time.
Edith Schaeffer

But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!
Jude 1:20-21

In the book Passages of Marriage the term "transcendent love" is defined as - "a profound and peaceful perspective toward your partner and toward life." Hmm, how many years does it take for that to occur?
For the marrieds out there:
If you made a pie graph and entered in the amount of time you spend at work, at home care/shopping, etc, at exercise, at spiritual endeavors, caring for others than your spouse and the amount of time you romance your spouse, what does it look like?
Marriages need to be fertilized and watered. Do you know what makes your spouse bloom?
I emailed a group of couples who have been married for different lengths of time and asked them what some of the simple sacrifices/acts of love were that they made for one another.

It was so much fun to hear about the acts of endearment that many of my friends and their husbands offer one another. It was interesting that the majority of the couples married less than 20 years did not respond. Maybe we are so busy, when our marriages are younger, that we don’t take the time to appreciate the one we have. Then as we get older and see so much heartache we are thankful for the simplest of things, like a spouse coming home at the end of the day. We also reach a point where we can look at little annoyances as clothes on the floor, the ring from a glass has made on a table, spills left on the counter and realize if that person was gone we would give anything to have those annoyances back.

Here are some of the examples of how simple sacrifices can mean so much to another.

First, I have listed the number of years they have been married. Then W if it is an act of the wife. H if it performed by the husband.

1 Year

W-I clean the house because I recognize how much my husband appreciates this.

H- My wife appreciates words of affirmation so I compliment her about her character. We have been doing the study on love languages and have found it to be very helpful.

4 Years W-I take our son to visit him at work. H- I scratch her back almost every night.

4 Years W-I watch the kids, so he can go hunting on weekends, and do this without nagging! H-Goes out and turns car on to warm it up for her in cold weather.

13 Years H-If there are dishes in sink I wash them, when she cooks. I like cleaning up or giving the kids their baths, while she cleans. I know this is not good for us to do, but she watches Young and the Restless every night and watch with her. Just because I love her.

24 Years W-I clean his car inside and out for his birthday. He hates cleaning his car.

26 Years W- I listen to the music that he likes (& I hate) without ever telling him or complaining and travel with him to football games that I have no interest in.

H-I make her coffee every morning and bring it to her before she gets out of bed.

31 Years W-My husband travels a lot. He decides what he wants to take and I pack his suitcase for him, wrapping his clothes in plastic so they won’t wrinkle.

H- I rub her legs, which she says feels so gooooood!

31 Years W- I bake him sour dough bread every week

H- I bring her coffee on Saturday morning, so she can sip it in bed.

32 Years W- He loves to be touched…any touch,…forehead rubbed, arm tickled. He also loves that I laugh at his jokes and affirm him.

H- She loves it when I rub her feet, take walks with her, take her out to breakfast every Saturday morning and pay for her to have her nails done!

33 Years W- I bake him fresh desserts several times a week and watch his favorite sporting events with him. I clean up the trail he leaves of melted ice cream and coffee stains and grounds on the counter, giving thanks that he comes home each day and is here to make those messes. When his office was closer, I would sneak in and write secret notes on his calendar for the upcoming months, like… "Rush home tonight!” Now I try to send cards and emails on a regular basis. I also placed a treasure box on his desk and keep it filled with goodies.

H- She loves to have me rub her feet and back. I watch HGTV with her to make up for all the sporting events she sits through! Years ago, I agreed I would do the dishes after dinner. Lately, she has asked me to read to her from Charles Spurgeon’s Evening by Evening before we fall asleep.

34 Years W- I make homemade biscuits and text the word “tonight” to him!

H- From the wife. He can read my mind and does things before I have to ask. Puts away folded clothes, empty the dishwasher, etc. He also brags on me in front of others.

34 Years

This brought about a discussion for us. I watch football and old westerns with him and he is great about going to chick flicks and watching the Hallmark channel with me. Thinking back through all the years, we recalled that no matter how far apart we were logistically, and he traveled extensively for 20 years of our marriage, we always talked on the phone at the end of the day. When we think about sacrificial love we keep going to the cross and there is nothing to compare with that.

(This couple has been through years of illness and they are stuck together like glue.)

35 Years

W-When we plan vacations or romantic getaways, I record our favorite songs to play, while we are away. (Very romantic!)

H- I make her a spinach omelet (her favorite) for breakfast every Sunday morning.

35 Years

W-We work side by side in business. My husband says that no matter what is happening in our life I find positive and good in every situation and with every person and that helps him stay uplifted.

H- She hates grocery shopping so I do the grocery shopping and always bring her a bouquet of flowers home from the store.

37 Years

W-I do little chores for him to save him time (acts of service), plus watch his favorite TV shows and movies, even when I don't care for them (quality time) and of course prepare his favorite meal of hot Italian sausage and spaghetti.

H- I bring orange juice and hot coffee each morning to her while still in bed; served with kisses.

39 Years

W- I keep his office cookie tin filled with sweets he will like.

39 Years W- I call my husband in the middle of the week for a lunch date.

H- I bring her coffee in bed and say I love her.

44 Years W-I’ve been scratching his feet and legs as he watches TV in the evening for 44 years.

H- She appreciates my small gestures of love like emptying the dishwasher without being asked and she will never turn down a back rub.

49 Years

W-I always say “By the grace of God"--guess my best gift to my honey is constant prayer for him. In our wedding book my dear father wrote this…"The family that prays together and plays together, stays together." Isn't that a good truth!

H- I share in our church experiences and Bible studies together.

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3-4

Brotherly Love

February 11-12
Our fifth child is celebrating his birthday today and as I watched this video, I thanked the Lord for the teammates our children have been to one another. Years ago I told them I had two requests for them...
1) That they love the Lord with all their hearts.
2) That they count it a privilege to be siblings, recognize God placed them together for a reason, and always love and support one another.

God knew not everyone would have siblings, so He created the Body of Christ and loaded it up with brothers and sisters in the faith.

Enjoy this precious story of selfless, brotherly, love.

“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.”

Follow Up-Love "Em All

February 10

Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. Robert Frost

Love is a free gift that is fun to give away. Boo Andrews

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

Matthew 25:35-36

Watch this video on the power of our words.

Simply sending a Valentine can send a strong message.

Read over this passage and ask the Lord to help you think creatively and direct you to people in each category who can be the recipient of a Valentine from you.

Hungry person
Thirsty person
In need of clothing
In prison

They may be hungry for love, thirsty for the gospel, in need of being clothed simply with a hug. Maybe the hungry person is in the lunch room, the thirsty person at your favorite coffee shop or the person in need of clothing found shopping in a mall. Make or purchase those Valentines and keep them on hand for the people the Lord will reveal!

Love to be Chosen

February 9
OK, real life confession here...I was watching the Bachelor on TV with friends (I will not give up their identities) and cringed at a scene where the Bachelor chose two girls to be captains and choose teams for baseball. Ugh, the rejection of being a "last chosen" on national TV. Later, I asked my husband, who coached and taught PE for years, if he ever did that. "Absolutely not!" he replied and listed off numerous creative ways to randomly divide up for teams.

The time of year for college acceptances, which can lead to sorority and fraternity acceptances, and boyfriend, girlfriend choices, and then job acceptances is upon us. Life is filled with rejection opportunities that hurt our hearts to the core.

A good reminder for those with hurting hearts is that God CHOSE them! He created them on purpose and wants to communicate with them daily!

There are so many ways we can bring smiles to others and make them feel loved and chosen. I was invited to a banquet where you entered the dining room and chose your seat at tables of eight. Most of the tables were filling up, but there was one table with only one woman sitting there. I had a CHOICE to make. I could sit with the more popular people or I could go sit with this woman, who dressed a bit differently and who appeared to have no friends at this event. Hmm, what would Jesus have done?

I am having a Hallelujah Moment! After starting this blog, I stopped for breakfast and then decided to pass up exercising to do Day 214 in Solo, The Message. The title for the day "Overlooked and Ignored." WOW, it went right along with the chosen theme on my heart.
I will make this a two parter and follow it up with another entry tomorrow which I had started and fits nicely.

Here is the passage from Matthew 25:31-40 Remember, even though God has chosen us we have a reciprocal part to choose Christ!

The Sheep and the Goats

"When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'

The Challenge in Solo is this: "As you serve people who are overlooked and ignored, be mindful of the presence of Jesus. See if you can spot him."

How exciting is that!

Love Story #3

February 9

Good Samaritan- A Bible Lesson on Love

"One of the parables of Jesus was the story of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10. A lawyer came to Jesus and wanted to prove to the Lord that he wasn't a bad person. Jesus told him that he need to love God with all his heart and his neighbors around him. The lawyer wanted to find out exactly who Jesus meant were his neighbors. In response Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan.

A Jewish man was beaten and left half dead in the street. A priest and a Levite passed by. Though they were Jews too, they chose to leave the man alone thinking that he was not their responsibility. A Samaritan saw the man and offered to nurse him back to health even though the Jews despised the Samaritans. The Samaritan paid for the needed medical care and offered to pay more as necessary.

Though the Jews would not cross the street to help their fellow countryman, a Samaritan realized that all men are his neighbors and showed love and compassion. Jesus told the lawyer that he too should show love to those around him."

Boo Thoughts... I was in Charlotte, waiting to board a SMALL airplane recently. In my company were two Japanese students, who spoke very little English. These two fellows were very nervous, as they inquired about whether their luggage would be on the plane. Standing up from my chair to stretch a bit before boarding, I turned around to the remainder of the waiting area and noticed at least 13 lively, laughing, Muslim students having a grand time. The atmosphere became a little more tense once on board when the stewardess approached four of these students, who were sitting in the emergency exit row. Their comprehension of the questions the flight attendant was asking them left than less than what I would call a level of confidence and comfort in the ability of my fellow passengers to carry out the instructions...written in English on the plane door! The lack of English understanding kept this entire group from quieting down during the attendant's overall instructions to the passengers on safety features. She had to raise her voice over the micro-phone asking them to be quiet for 3 minutes!

Reading the Good Samaritan story has me searching my heart, wondering if I would have gone to their aid or that of the Japanese fellows if they exhibited a need..I think my apprehension would have mainly been because of the language barrier. Earlier I had assisted an older African American woman in the airport, who did not know where to go to wait for the handicap cart to take her to her next flight. I was johnny on the spot with sympathy for her, but would I have been for these younger foreigners. Lord, I hope so. If not...change my heart.

A Love We Can Trust

No, the Lord is all I need. He takes care of me.
Psalm 16:50

God's power is very great for those who believe.
Ephesians 1:19

A story on trust by Max Lucado
I stand six steps from the bed's edge. My arms extended. Hands open. On the bed, Sara-all four years of her-crouches, poised like a playful kitten. She's going to jump. But she's not ready. I'm too close. "Back more, Daddy," she stands and dares.
I dramatically comply, confessing admiration for her courage. After two giant steps I stop. "More?" I ask.
"Yes!" Sara squeals, hopping on the bed.
With each step she laughs and claps and motions for more. When I'm on the other side of the canyon, when I'm beyond reach of mortal man, when I am but a tiny figure on the horizon, she stops me. "There, stop there."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm sure," she shouts. I extend my arms. Once again she crouches, then springs. Superman without a cape. Skydiver without a chute. Only her heart flies higher than her body. In that airborne instant her only hope is her father. If he proves weak, she'll fall. If he proves cruel, she'll crash. if he proves forgetful, she'll tumble to the hard floor.
But such fears she does not know, for her father she does know. She trusts him. Four years under the same roof have convinced her he is reliable. He is not superhuman, but he is strong. He is not holy, but he is good. He's not brilliant, but he doesn't have to be to remember to catch his child when she jumps.
And so she flies.
And so she soars.
And so he catches her and the two rejoice at the wedding of her trust and his faithfulness.

How long do we need to know Jesus to know that kind of love comes from a trust worthy God?

"Our approach to life says a lot about how much we believe God cares for us."
Max Lucado

God helps us when we feel like orphans.
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
Psalm 10:14

God listens to our prayers.
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;
Psalm 34:15

God helps in times of trouble.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

God makes us strong and supports us.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Give all your worries to Him, because he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7

The Love Recipient

Working through Ruth Myers', 31 Days of Praise, I've looked back at what I journaled in 2001 when I did this study the first time. There's a lot on love in there! I particularly liked one entry.

"What we need are hearts that are humble and recognize none of us are worth of all you offer Father." I went on to write what a music minister had shared at church one morning. A woman commented that she did not like a particular song which had been sung in church. The music minister replied, "That's ok, we weren't singing it for you!"

Oh, Father, that Jesus would be the recipient of our love and praise!
We need to get over ourselves and into Him!

"Love is, above all, the gift of oneself".

~Jean Anouilh

He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:30

Love Story #2

February 4-5
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:6-8

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another;
as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:34

Confession. Last night, while channel surfing, I stopped on "Say Yes to the Dress." I was rather intrigued because the bride had a multi-colored tattoo, which went down her arm from her shoulder to her elbow. I was thinking "that is going to look lovely with a wedding dress ...maybe she will select a long sleeve dress"...so I watched. It went on to say this was her second marriage and she had three children. I was about to think..."and why is she shopping for a second wedding dress" when the people shopping with her were introduced. It got stranger when the best friend of her first husband was one of her advisees. Then it happened...the don't be so judgemental realization...her first husband was a Marine killed in action. The best friend had a made a pact with his fellow soldier should anything happen (I am tearing up again while typing) they would look out for the other one's family. So out of the depth of friendship that these two young men shared, this one was carrying out his commitment and standing by this woman and encouraging her to get on with her life and that the first husband would approve.
Love comes in all forms and the love of dear friends is a precious gift.
The Bible holds such a tale.

David and Jonathan- Bible Story About Friends

"King Saul was jealous of the young man David. This was partially because David was gaining in popularity and partly because God had already told Saul that his kingdom would not continue. Samuel had already anointed David as the next king in 1 Samuel 16 before David killed Goliath in chapter 17.

Saul’s anger toward David mounted with the passing years.

Even though Jonathan knew his father hated David and that David would become the next king of Israel, Jonathan and David became good friends. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 18:1, “…the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”

According to 1 Samuel 13 there were only two swords in the kingdom. King Saul owned one and his son Jonathan had the other. When David was preparing to flee from Saul, Jonathan gave his sword to David.

Logically Jonathan would become the next king in Israel, but he knew God’s hand was on David. He chose to help the man whom God had anointed instead of fighting him out of jealousy."

Do you have a dear friend you love? Pray for that person today!