Friday, February 14, 2003

Expressions of Love

February the 14th is a day everyone likes to remember. It’s the day when love is in the air.

The school where I work gets so many flowers, balloons, and stuffed animals that they stop taking things at 11 a.m. just so they can get them all given to the children by 3:30 p.m. I drive a school bus and it had about 50 or more such things on it. I couldn’t see all the children because there were so many balloons on it.

Between the florists, the jewelers, and Wal-Mart, there are millions of dollars spent on Valentines Day each year.

I guess there are lots of ways to express love. One sign I saw said that roses were only $50.00 a dozen. I guess that was a deal. I am sure other places had roses a lot higher. One friend told me that he had gone to a candy store to get his wife some candy, only to find that the chocolate that she wanted cost $40.00 for a two pound box. He said to me, “I went to Walmart and got a $6.00 box.” It’s not how much you spend, it’s how much you love. Right?

As you read this, Pallie Sue and I will have celebrated our 38th anniversary together on March 5th. Thanks, Pallie, for loving me!

We have had a wonderful marriage with the help of the Lord. God gave us five wonderful children and 7 wonderful grandchildren that we think are the greatest . Through the years we have learned that we don’t have to buy something for each other to express our love just because it’s a special occasion, but rather we show each other day by day. We have learned that love is strong and deep-seated in the heart and not in the billfold. There have been times when on special occasions we haven’t had money to spend on each other, but we still were able to express our love to each other. We never let a day go by without saying to each other, “I love you!” (Pallie Sue, you are the greatest!)

Paul, the apostle, gives many ways to express love in I Corinthians 13 . Let me give you a short version from “The Message”
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end,
Love never dies.
My prayer is that the Lord would help me to love, like Paul is talking about in this chapter, in a greater way.

The scripture shows us how God expressed His love for us.
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” (John 3: 16. “The Message”)

Jesus also loved us.
“As the Father loved Me, I also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commmandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:9-10)
The scripture tells us how we are to love one other.
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and have Himself for her.”
So what is the conclussion from The Message?
“My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love - so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about--not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” (I John 4:7-11)
Now! That’s an expression of Love! Lord, help me to learn to express my love for God more.

Saturday, February 1, 2003

Sunrise

For days I have been seeing the most beautiful sunrises. Each day has been like watching a movie, only a movie could not have such beautiful colors in it. I don’t think that any artist can dupicate the colors that God has. As I drive along, I watch the landscape changes and I get to see different views of the sunrise. Each day I couldn’t wait to see what colors God would use just for me..

The other day I said to Pallie Sue, “I want you to go with me to see the sunrise.” She seemed to be very glad to do it, so early on a Saturday morning we went chasing the sunrise. I had forgotten that the sun would rise earlier each morning, so she didn’t get to see the brilliant colors that I had been seeing, but I did buy her breakfast.

From time to time I have thought a lot about God’s handiwork in nature and how we get to enjoy it. The thing that I noticed about the sunrises was that they were never the same. Not one morning duplicated the others that I had seen. The sun would always be in a different spot in the sky and the colors would always be different. As I would drive along I might go down in a valley or I might drive behind some trees, the scene changing all the time. But regardless of where I was, behide a hill or behind some trees or even if clouds covered the sun, it was always there! Each morning I would leave my home anticipating the sunrise. I didn’t always get to see it, but the next day I would look for it again.

Life is like the sunrise. Each morning brings a new day. Each day brings new things. It keeps changing. About the time we think we have seen everything, God brings new colors in our lives. We can choose to see the trees and the clouds or we can look for new colors. We can choose to begin each day with dread and gloom or we can start our day wondering what painting God will show us for this day.

It’s been amazing to me of late how in my morning devotions that I am seeing new things that I had never see before from God’s word. It’s been amazing to me that when I look to the SON He begins to reveal His beauty and glory. I choose to begin each day with Him and to go anticipating the colors he will show me.
The Secret
I met God in the morning, When my day was at its best.
And His presence came like sunrise, Like a glory in my breast.
All day long the presence lingered, All day long he stayed with me.
And we sailed in perfect calmness O’er a very troubled sea.
So I think I know the secret. Learned from many a troubled way,
You must seek Him in the morning. If you want Him through the day.
If you are behide some obstacle, or if your day is cloudy, just keep looking, the sun will shine again.