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The History of Valentine’s Day

The historic roots of Valentine’s Day are found in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration that was enjoyed annually by the ancients on February 15th .

In 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius I recast this pagan festival as a Christian feast day by declaring it Saint Valentine’s Day.  It had become customary as Christianity came to dominance in Europe that pagan holidays were often recast and changed to reflect Christian values.  Celebrations such as Lupercalia were frequently renamed for early Christian martyrs and the festivals became feast days instead. It was in accordance with this tradition that the Pope renamed Lupercalia for Saint Valentine.

But who is this mysterious saint and why has the honoring of love and romance become synonymous with his name?

Most scholars believe that the St. Valentine whose name the holiday bears was a priest in Rome. It is thought that the priest attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Claudius II around 270 and that is where his fame and his trouble began.

The Legenda Aurea, a collection of stories recounting the lives of the saints, which was compiled around the year 1260 and was a medieval best seller, contains several entries about a Saint Valentine of Claudius II’s reign.

According to the Legenda Aurea, St Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was very impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead and because of this, he was convicted and scheduled for execution.

The legend goes that sometime before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing the blind daughter of his jailer.  The story goes that on the evening before Valentine was to be executed on February 13th he wrote the first “valentine” himself.  He addressed it to the young girl variously identified as his beloved the jailer’s daughter the one whom he had befriended and healed and it was a note that read “From your Valentine.”  On February 14, 270 AD, Valentine was executed and this is a well documented fact.

It was early in the history of the Saint Valentine’s Feast Day that it became linked with a custom that involved young Romans offering women they admired, and wished to court, handwritten greetings of affection on February 14.  This is presumably how the greeting cards acquired Saint Valentine’s name and by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

The custom of the Valentine’s Day card spread with Christianity, and the holiday is now celebrated all over the world. One of the earliest cards that museums have on display was sent in 1415 AD by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was a prisoner in the Tower of London. The card is now show cased in the British Museum.

The existence of Saint Valentine can never be denied because archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to him.  In 1836, relics that were exhumed from the catacomb were identified as Saint Valentine’s remains and placed in a casket. The Saint’s casket has subsequently been transported to the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland where it still resides today.  Many tourists continue to visit Saint Valentine’s shrine on the day dubbed in his honor and the casket is still carried in solemn procession to the high altar for a special Mass dedicated to young people and all those in love.

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Celebrate MLK Day Linkathon

So many people have written so many inspiring posts today regarding the legacy of the great Martin Luther King that I find it difficult to try to say it any better.  Please follow the links below if you want to be motivated by this incredible man and his mission!

http://www.stilettosandgrace.com/2010/01/today-our-country-celebrates-life-of.html

I Have a Dream by Angela White at Stilettos and Grace

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TasteAndSee/ByDate/2005/1280_Martin_Luther_King_Birmingham_and_the_Great_Letter/

Martin Luther King by John Piper at Desiring God

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/18/martin-luther-king-jr-quo_n_426902.html

Famous Quotes of Martin Luther King by the Huffington Post

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One More Attempt At Losing Weight!!!

I made a New Year’s resolution this year to lose weight and I am passionate about carrying it out.

I am into the second week of new way of eating (AKA– a diet),

and I am as committed as humanly possible to sticking it out.

But this time things are a little different…

I did not start off , after realizing I’d put on a few unwanted pounds in 2009–with a vague, “I’m too fat, better eat less” –type of resolution.

This time I have attempted to practice what I have preached to others–and I have begun–with a very definite and well thought out goal and plan.

So on Jan 2, I began my quest for a realistic way to trim pounds through a healthier way of eating.  I have made my decision that curbing the carbs– i.e. taking in fewer carbohydrates and less sugary foods–will be the strategy that will work for me.

I have tried this method before and found it marginally successful but this time I am more organized than ever and I am using the “much touted” “South Beach” diet to accomplish my new low carb way of life.

I have heard that if you stick to this “easily accessible” eating plan you can’t help but lose weight…

But…being the pragmatic, performance oriented person that I am, I wanted to hedge my bets. I am left asking myself, what steps will I take next to INSURE achieving my goal?

Like most people I know I am well acquainted with “what weight loss doesn’t look like.”

That picture is well imprinted in my mind. I am overly familiar with the portrait of me sitting on the couch complaining about the spare tire around my middle and how hard it is to lose weight.  And I realize; that image is getting me– NO WHERE.

In order to AVOID FAILURE in this endeavor I need to get a “new” vision in my mind that accurately paints out for me exactly what my new life of shedding pounds will entail.

What does weight loss look like for me?

No one wakes up one day and says “Oh my, I have lost 30 pounds by accident, how did that happen? For every one-out-of-a million person that stumbles into fame, fortune, or success, thousands of people get there by asking, “How do I achieve this goal?”

They then take the time to spell it out in manageable BABY STEPS, roll up their sleeves and begin to work. Unless you are fortunate enough to have a fairy godmother with a magic wand or the money for liposuction, weight loss takes a detailed an intentional plan that can take months if not years.

For me weight loss looks like someone…

…planning their meals,

……learning about nutrition,

………actively looking for ways to incorporate exercise into their daily routine,

…………having a good attitude toward change

and crying out to God for His mercy and help in the process.

Last year, in January, I wrote about ten be-attitudes for establishing new positive habits in your life.  This year I have decided to post them again in a new fashion—I am ruthlessly applying them to my own life.

It takes guts to get this personal, but I am biting the bullet and doing it.

I am doing this not only to model, practicing what one preaches, but also in the hopes that maybe by remembering these principles again and by employing them in my own life, I will take off those thirty unwanted pounds once and for all!

So here goes, as you can see, I am pretty passionate about this process,

TEN BE-ATTITUDES for WEIGHT LOSS in 2010!

1) Be Patient – Cultivate a new routine, knowing that it will take some time!

I will remind myself that it takes about six weeks, or forty days, to make any certain practice into a habit.  I vow to keep on this diet plan for at least six weeks, no matter what and then I will reassess and tweak my new lifestyle choices to make sure I have found something that works successfully for me.

2) Be Realistic – Try not to change too many behaviors at once (that can back fire on anyone) instead be realistic and specific!

I will pick one new positive habit (taking in fewer carbs and sugars) and I will stick with that.  I will not bite off more than I can chew, (ha, ha,) which is my typical modus operandi by giving myself too many new challenges.  I will be reasonable!!!

3) Be Concrete – Choose something tangible and measurable to change.  When you set a vague goal it is difficult to assess whether you are meeting it or not!

My goal is concrete I will decrease the high number of carbohydrates and sugar laden foods in my diet via the “South Beach” plan and by doing this I will change the way I eat permanently and thus lose weight.

4) Be Intentional – Recording my goal and posting reminders to myself–in places I will see on a daily basis–affirms my decision to change

I will remind myself of the commitment to change that I have made by placing lists of “the glycemic index” of common daily foods in my kitchen, in my office and in my purse.  In this way I will remind myself regularly of the foods I am trying to avoid and the “good” things that I want to eat instead.

5) Be Prepared – Preparing for success ahead of time will make it easier to begin my new behavior.  I will make sure I have all necessary equipment and materials available beforehand.

I have purchased my “South Beach” diet book and a low-carb cookbook so that I know exactly how to proceed and I will have these items with me when I make my grocery list. I have also decided to work out twice a week and I am making sure that I have all my work-out clothes in a bag ready to go so that all I have to do is pick up my bag on the way out the door.

6) Be Kind – Rewarding myself with a small reward each time I perform my new habit will help pair it cognitively with positive emotions.

After a day of staying on my diet I will reward myself with one of the low carb desserts listed in the “South Beach” diet recipe book or some other “pleasurable” item.

7) Be Smart and Link Habits- Establishing a new habit is made easier by pairing it with an established habit.

As a part of my new way of eating I am trying to remember to drink more water, I have placed my water bottle next to my coffee maker which will hopefully remind me to drink my water before I down my customary two cups of coffee in the morning

8) Be Accountable – Utilizing a social support system is one of the best ways to establish a new habit.

I have enlisted my husband to practice this new way of eating with me so that I have someone to help me stay on the straight and narrow.  We have also found several people in our community who have lost weight on similar weight loss programs and enlisted them as our mentors.

9) Be Public – Increasing a sense of accountability by telling other people about my efforts yields benefits. Announcing to others that I am establishing new patterns will make it even harder to let those new habits slide.

Being an extrovert by nature, I have already announced to my entire community my intention to lose weight and how I plan to do it. This post is just another way of doing that and now my entire cyber community also knows of my commitment to eat differently. You will keep me honest now, won’t you?

10) Be Gracious – Experiencing a set-back or failure to practice a new habit, does not warrant condemnation that will make me want to give-up.

I will give myself a second, third, fourth or as many chances as needed to get back on track. I will stay positive and believe I can change. I am vowing to stay proactive and motivated and get right back on task—when I blow it.  Finally, when I do fail I will pray and ask for God’s mercy, grace and strength to continue in the process.

In conclusion, this time I am as committed to weight loss as I have ever been before.

I have lost weight previously and I know that a big part of it for me is getting there psychologically…and I think I am there. I am determined to carry through my resolution—with God’s help–for a healthier new me in 2010.

I know that if I keep at it change will eventually come.

Do you want to join me on this weight loss adventure? Please comment below.

It is not too far into the new year, why not begin your own plan for eating healthier in 2010?

What does weight loss look like in your life?

Do you have any good advice that you can add?  Just take the time to add your two cents to the bottom of this thread.  Don’t be shy your thought as always will be well appreciated.

Get on board everyone—May we all decrease in the year ahead!

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Some Ideas About How to Celebrate Christmas!

How should we celebrate Christmas?

Well, if you are not a Christian, the best way to celebrate is by becoming a Christian, that is, by believing in Jesus as your Lord and Savior and asking him to come into your heart.

But if you already are a Christian, how is Christmas best celebrated?  There are many different views on the topic, but as I meditated on the Gospel accounts of Christ’s birth this season, an obvious theme regarding celebration jumped out at me.  I believe that by looking into the Scriptural accounts concerning the angels, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds some valuable clues and some good examples of celebration can be found.

First and foremost, the angel Gabriel came to the shepherds with the great message that: Christ the Lord—the Savior of the world—had been born in the city of David.

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” the multitude of heavenly host praised!  So what was the response of the angels toward the events of the first Christmas?

“GLORY to God”, they  shouted!

The basic meaning of the Hebrew word for glory; which is kabod is: “heavy in weight.”  To give glory means to, “to give weight to, to honor.” “To give glory” is to praise, to recognize the importance of another and to give weight to the role one carries in the community.  And one of the main jobs of God’s people is–to praise Him and to glorify Him.

We are to recognize the essential nature of His Godness–his goodness; that which gives Him importance and weight in the human community and report it back to Him.

I believe that as we celebrate this time of year one of the best things we can do is to take a tip from the example of the angels and their celebration at that first Christmas.  One of the best ways Christmas can be celebrated is by giving the gift of praise—to God.  As I have studied the passages of the nativity story I have found some great examples of how praise was accomplished at the first Christmas.

I have taken the liberty to utilize the first letters of the principles that I discovered in the story and I have arranged them as the key words in an acronym, of the word praise.  As you are considering ways to celebrate Christmas this season it is my hope that use might use this simple acronym and the accompanying Scriptures to inspire you.

P            ponder

And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:18-19

R            recognize Him

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.  John 1:10-12

A            acknowledge Him

Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits. Ps. 103:1-2

I            interpret your thoughts and feelings into words

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. Mat. 12:35

S            say it, sing it aloud

Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Heb 13:15

E            express the truth to all

And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. Luke 2:16-18

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F.Y.I. Some Thanksgiving History

What is Thanksgiving all about?  Today, most families in our nation will hold some type of holiday gathering but the majority will not really spend any of that time doing the activity for which the day is intended.

What about you?  How do you spend this contemporary feast day?  Do you know the specifics of the origin of Thanksgiving?

During the reign of Elizabeth I, queen of England, a sect of Puritans separated from the new Protestant Church of England and after much persecution took refuge in the Netherlands. They finally determined that the ultimate answer to their search for a peaceful residence for their families was to immigrate to America.  On September 16, 1620, these Separatist “pilgrims” became part of a group numbering 102 men, women, and children who left Plymouth, England, for America on the Mayflower. On November 21, the Mayflower dropped anchor in the sheltered harbor off the site of present-day Provincetown, Massachusetts.

It was in this vicinity that the Puritans met up with Squanto, a Patuxet Native American. Squanto was a unique individual who had encountered Europeans as early as 1614 in what is now Massachusetts and had aided the English in their early exploration of the American continent. He learned the English language and served as a ships guide and interpreter for expeditions from Britain.  He had even survived a kidnapping at the hands of rogue Englishmen who had attempted to sell him as a slave.  Upon meeting up with the British Puritans he taught them how to catch eel and grow corn.  He also served as an interpreter for them and it is thought that without Squanto’s help none of the Puritans would have survived their first year in the New World.

As it was the first winter took a demanding toll of life on the Pilgrims and between the time of the landing in November and March of 1621, only 47 colonists survived the diseases they contracted on the ship and the adversity of the new continent.  After the first harvest was completed by the Plymouth colonists in 1621, Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer shared by all the colonists and neighboring Native Americans.

The same Governor Bradford of Massachusetts made the first “Thanksgiving Proclamation” three years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth and declared.

“Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes and garden vegetables, and has made the forest to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.  Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th of the year of our Lord 1623 and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock there to listen to ye pastor and render thanks giving to ye Almighty God for all His blessing.”

This proclamation instituted what would come to be the first Thanksgiving festival celebrated in the New World.  It was this early celebration of Thanksgiving by the British Puritan founders of our country that began the tradition of a November Thankgiving feast.  These historical events represent the origins of our current national holiday of Thanksgiving.

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Staying Married Over the Long Haul–Requires Putting Jesus Christ First!

Today is my thirty-seventh wedding anniversary. For nearly four decades I have been married to my best friend.

I am among the most fortunate of people because I have endured the adventure of life and find myself still in relationship with my original team-mate.

You might ask me, what makes a strong Christian marriage?

And, my answer would be, two good Christians, and by this I mean two people who both love the Lord Jesus Christ with all their heart.

It is my belief that a strong marriage must have as its foundation two lives where Jesus is the priority. If this foundation in place then you have the ability to faithfully, together, pursue a path of obedience to Jesus Christ and His plan for your lives.

Marriage is first a commitment and then it grows into a deep love.  And, the base of the commitment in marriage, is first of all, not to each other, but to Jesus Christ and His will.

Centuries ago the prophet Malachi warned those who had cast their marriage commitments aside,

You cover the altar of the Lord with tears,
With weeping and crying;
So He does not regard the offering anymore,
Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.
Yet you say, “For what reason?”
Because the Lord has been witness
Between you and the wife of your youth,
With whom you have dealt treacherously;
Yet she is your companion
And your wife by covenant.
But did He not make them one,
Having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one?
He seeks godly offspring.
Therefore take heed to your spirit,
And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
“For the Lord God of Israel says
That He hates divorce,
For it covers one’s garment with violence,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“Therefore take heed to your spirit,
That you do not deal treacherously.”
You have wearied the Lord with your words;
Yet you say,
“In what way have we wearied Him?”  Mal 2:13-17 (NKJV)

Marriage is, first and foremost, a covenant before God and as soon as you get married, Satan will come after you.  He will target you because the bottom line is–he would love to destroy the covenant that you have made and the family that you have established.

In the end, the best way you can protect your marriage, is to develop a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ as the bedrock for your own life. A marriage between two people with Jesus Christ as the true center is the best protective insulation you can have against the assaults of this world.

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Some Food For Thought–Sour Godliness???–The Devil’s Religion!

Screwtape encountering his "righteous" victim

Have you been the unwitting accomplice of any demons lately?

Hmmm…church ladies…could it be Satan?

The capability of church people to spew forth guile and judgment never ceases to amaze me.

I hate the contemporary versions of the “religion of the pharisees” that I see run rampant in the Church of Jesus Christ.

John Wesley, seeking to put a name to the critical judgmental attitude he experienced among the Christians of his era wrote,

“Sour godliness is the devil’s religion. It does not owe its inception to truly spiritual people.  I suspect that sour godliness originated among unhappy, semi-religious people who had just enough religion to make them miserable, but not enough to do them any good.”

Sour godliness, (i.e. bitter piety) could it be described any better and it is as prevalent today as it was over two hundred years ago…or for that matter over two thousand years ago.

What is so ironic is…

Jesus fought against “false perceptions of godliness” judgmentally perpetuated by those who viewed themselves as “the righteous” of His day.

Jesus battled “the Pharisees” those He called “the sons of devils” and had no qualms about declaring them in league with Satan himself.

Jesus was not at war with the sinner, he was at war with the self-righteous.

And alas, in the end, they won…it was their same false judgments– kindled to a bonfire and ignited by the devil–that were used to murder Him.

And…What is so scary to me is…

The same demons that were alive back then are still around today.  Those same evil entities that whispered in the ears of the Pharisees are still deluding, deceiving and encouraging those puffed up with their own “errant pious” inclinations to do their dirty work.

C.S. Lewis, in his classic, “The Screwtape Letters” aptly pictured these demons schooling one another in the talent to tempt vulnerable Christians into “religious unholiness.”  Lewis with his words paints a picture of the Senior devil Screwtape in a Speech before the “Annual Dinner of the Tempters’ Training College for Young Devils.”

Screwtape slithers to the stage and exhorts his underlings of the underworld…

“It will be an ill day for us if what most humans mean by “religion” ever vanishes from the Earth. It can still send us the truly delicious sins.  The fine flower of unholiness can grow only in the close neighborhood of the Holy.  Nowhere do we tempt so successfully as on the very steps of the altar.” — quoted from C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters”

Fellow Christians, let’s be wary of falling into Screwtape’s trap–let us beware of enlisting ourselves in the pursuit of “unholy religion” practiced at the very foot of the altar.

This week in my home church we are studying, Luke 23, the trial of Jesus before Pilate.  In this passage, Pilate–the secular ruler of the time–would have let Jesus go free finding no fault in Him, but in the end the cries of “the unholy religious” of His time dictated Jesus’ death instead.

Could you be allowing “sour godliness” to rule your soul?  Evaluate yourselves and hear Jesus’ counsel, “beware the leaven of the Pharisees!”


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The History of Halloween! Is It Really Something Christians Should Celebrate? And if so how?

History of HalloweenInformed Christians should understand the origins of Halloween as they assess their level of involvement in celebrating what is actually a “pagan” holiday.

According to Wikipedia,

Halloween is typically linked to the celtic festival of Samhain which is derived from Old Irish and means “summer’s end”. The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the “lighter half” of the year and the beginning of the “darker half”, and is sometimes regarded as the “Celtic New Year.”

The celebration has some elements of a festival of the dead. The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honored and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.

Another common practice was, divination which often involved the use of food and drink.  The name ‘Halloween’ and many of its present-day traditions derive from the Old English era.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween

The Bible doesn’t speak directly about Halloween, but some biblical principles apply. One overriding principle is clear — all pagan practices should be avoided. Witchcraft, occult practices, sorcery, etc. are strictly forbidden in the Bible (Exodus 22:18; Acts 8:9-24; Acts 16, 19). It is obvious that a small child dressing up as a character to go trick or treating isn’t involving themselves directly with witchcraft but what are the boundaries that a responsible Christian parent should set up?

Parents, the decision is up to you, but do not proceed in your decision from a place of ignorance.

If you decide Halloween is something fun for your children, it is probably most important that they are kept far away from the evil aspects of Halloween. When believers participate in anything (even Halloween), their attitudes, dress, and behavior should glorify Christ.

Every year at Crossroads Church of Denver we offer a special alternative celebration for parents who are interested in allowing their children to dress up and go trick or treating in a controlled environment. This year the event we are offering is a Trunk or Treat Celebration.  The event is held in our parking lot and we encourage participants to dress up and decorate their open car trunks as a site for handing out candy to the kids. The children go from car to car collecting their treats and a great time is had by all.  The parking lot is well lit, safe and secure and participants are monitored (nothing evil or too scary allowed)!

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Amount of Snow Totals for October in Denver May Hit an All Time High!

I have lived in the Denver area for thirty-three years and this is a new one for me.

This amount of snow in October is just plain scary!

Whatever happened to global warming?

Anyway, I am trying to decide whether I should attempt to hold Bible study for the brave hearts that will traverse the roads tonight?

Do you think that I should cancel?

If you have an opinion please comment.

I will make the decision some time around noon, Thursday, October 29 and post it here.

Please feel free to weigh in on the matter!

After much discussion, it has been decided. We have opted to be safe rather than sorry.  The men’s and the women’s Bible studies scheduled for Oct. 29th at 6:30 P.M. have been CANCELLED due to snow! Stay in and stay safe!

Friday morning Women’s Bible Study will proceed as usual!

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Lucy Analyzes Charlie Brown

Today in Denver we had a snow storm and too much time on my hands always gets me into trouble.  I was perusing You tube and came across this video.  Many of you know how much I love Lucy Van Pelt the independent and always right nemesis of Charlie Brown. Well, she got the best of me, the psychotherapist in me could not pass watching this video and now I must pass it on to you.  Lucy is a little too much like many women I know 🙂 Let’s have a little mercy girls!!!

 

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Love Letters

loveletter

When the topic of love letters is brought up among women there is always a mixed reaction.  For some lucky women they can remember back to a time when an enthralled lover took the time to meticulously compose his admirations for them and send it off.

However for others, you can see the “but I’ve never received one” look of disappointment in their eyes. In this day and age that is so far from the romantic times of days gone by–many women have missed the chance to receive a real love letter.  They have failed to experience the exhilaration of reading a letter painstakingly written and sent to them by the one who loves them.  In a time when each young man has at his disposal a cell phone from which to verbalize his affections or quickly text his feelings–alas, love letters it seems have gone out of style.

The good news is, that all women have received at least one glorious love letter they can boast about.  God has sent each of us a very elaborate love letter that virtually drips with His care. The Bible is a love letter sent straight from the heart of God to each person and it magnificently explains the parameters of His divine affection.

It is rarely enough for any truly creative and inspired author to merely write “I love you” and the Creator of the Universe is no exception.  God has placed in our hands a collection of writings supernaturally infused and filled with the perfect embellishments to melt our hearts.

Now to be sure, some parts of the Holy Writ warm the heart more than others, but there are within the Book certain passages that literally cry out to be read over and over.  By definition love letters are filled with passion, and of all literature, love letters are the words most often kept, treasured and memorized.  Similarly, God’s love letters are also passion filled and memorable. Indeed, within God’s wonderful love anthology there are some verses that veritably deserve to be inscribed on the recipient’s heart.

One of the wonderful things about God’s love letters to us are the things that they reveal about Him. If we were given the life-time correspondences of any person, we would probably move first to the love letters, knowing that incased in these we would find the most intimate and candid portrait of the correspondent. And likewise, as we consider the Word of God, it is especially within certain “love passages” that we receive a special illumination of the Lover of our Soul.  A collection of love letters written over time is always especially revealing, each letter exposing a different aspect of a multi-faceted affection. And God’s love correspondences with us are like that; one a letter of declaration, the next of affirmation, another speaking of His needs and supplications and best of all those that envelop revelation—and the Lover’s plan and dream for our future.

So why exactly does anyone take the time to write a love letter when they could just as easily speak their love? And why would God in Heaven see fit to leave us with such a catalog of written expressions of His love? One expert on the subject has delineated some reasons I believe provide some interesting insights into the topic.

“We write letters because we want to be close to someone who is physically absent.”

“We write letters to allow for graceful expressions that might be hard to deliver in person.”

“We write letters because they are more potent than verbal declarations and because it is a considered thing that time spent on a love letter allows for refinement towards perfection.”

“We write letters because they last, to be read again and again.”

And finally, “we write letters because we know someone wants them.” (quoted from Love Letters by Michelle Lovric).

In closing, no one can hear often enough that they are loved, or be reminded frequently enough about the delight that the one who loves them finds in them.  We are all made for relationship and the Bible teaches that loving expressions and affirmations provide for a healthy psyche.  They are literally like enriching food or healing balm for the soul (Prov 16:24).

Humans thrive on loving messages and there is no one among us who should deprive themselves of the sustenance that expressed love supplies.  And the fortunate truth is there is no need that anyone should go without.  The “love letters of God” are there waiting for anyone who will pick them up and read them and His loving messages provide the finest feast of all.

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Do you ever pray?

2007-12_prayer[1]I don’t want to get too personal but do you ever pray?

In the last two years I have prayed more than at any other time in my entire life.

Yet, the challenges just keep on coming. 

This Sunday I heard a sermon on the value of persistence in prayer and the biblical text examined was Luke 18.   

The Holy Spirit convicted me even more about the necessity of  “always praying and not losing heart.”   

I could use some encouragement.  How has long term persistence in prayer paid off in your life?  Are there any testimonies out there?  Please feel free to comment!

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Free To Be Me

Many of you have commented that you just can’t get this song out of your head.  It is a good one by a young gal named Francesca Battistelli.  She won the dove award this year for best new Christian artist.  I love it, we should all be “Free To Be Me.”

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God’s Wisdom Peanuts Style

peanuts1

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Grand Opening

Welcome to the grand opening of our new blog for the Women at Crossroads.  Our desire is that this will become a site that you can access any time that you can be online in order to interact with other women.  The idea is to have a place where you can share ideas, information, challenges, comfort and fun with those who possess similar values to your own.  Our perspective of course, will be first and foremost Christian since our primary desire is to be a home away from home for the community of women at Crossroads Church of Denver.  My ultimate hope for this site however is that this could be a safe place for individuals from all walks of life and places of origin to come and gather in cyberspace when they are in need of fellowship.  While men are obviously not forbidden from this site the content will feature topics relating to women’s issues and articles from a female point of view.  Please feel free to register your opinions and any desires that you might have for this blog.

Important Instructions to newbie blog readers!  I would love this blog site to become a community but you must participate and be willing to interact.

In order to comment on a blog you must click on the title of a post that interests you and you will see a reply or comment box appear at the bottom of the thread.  You will have to leave your e-mail address in order to comment (but don’t worry it will not be made public).  You will have to leave a name in order to post and that name will be posted (but never fear) you can use your real name or a nickname or pseudonym in order to post your comment.  Don’t be shy the only way a blog community is born is if someone takes the risk to be a part.

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