Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Just thought I'd drop a note here to let my wonderful readers, friends and any other interested parties know that I may be a day or two late getting to contests, newsletters, reviews, etc. that I've planned or promised. But I will get to them...just keep checking back - here and at the other appropriate sites for whatever "event" you're awaiting.
Thanks for stopping by!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Check back for the next contest. I'll give that certificate to someone...sometime...
Friday, February 13, 2009
Lovers everywhere, young and old, rejoice in this day – the one day of the year designated especially for them.
Valentine’s Day. Fluttering Cupids and glittery hearts, chocolate and roses, love letters on pretty red cards. On this day, it’s okay to be openly sentimental – even for rough, tough, mucho macho men. And those of the female gender normally considered “ice maidens”? Well, even they may thaw a little on February 14th.
On this day, you’re expected to let your sweetheart (meaning beloved) know that he or she is your beloved. According to Merriam-Webster, that word means “dearly loved,” or “dear to the heart.”
My marriage will be 35 years old later this month. Being the sentimental ol’ me that I am, I have a collection of Valentines from over the years. I simply cannot bring myself to throw them away. Why? Because it’s there in writing. He loves me, and he took time to say so in a special way. No matter what happens the rest of the year…no matter how many disagreements we have…no matter how many times he might forget to say the words – I have it on those cards in his own writing. He loves me! I am his beloved – dearly loved, dear to his heart.
Yet, as much as those beautiful cards from my one and only earthly love mean to me, I must confess to possessing another love letter that is closer to my heart.
Have you ever noticed how often the word beloved comes up in the Bible? In the New Testament in particular, it is used repeatedly.
God referred to Jesus at His baptism as “my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Then in John 17:23, while praying, Jesus states, “…that the world may know that thou [God] hast sent me, and hast loved them [the world] , as thou hast loved me [Jesus].” God loves us just as He loved His Son.
We are God’s beloved – His sweetheart. The Bible is His love letter to us - a very special valentine! Through the writers, God repeatedly refers to us as His dearly beloved.
I want to share just a few beautiful verses from this amazing love letter, starting with the one at the top of the page:
Philippians 4:1 - Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
2 Thess. 2:13 - But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
2 Peter 3:14– Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
1 John 4:7 – Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1 John 4:11 - Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Talk about a valentine to be treasured!
No matter what this world throws our way…no matter what fiery trials we must endure…no matter how sorely our faith might be tried – God has given it to us in black and white. In His own words, in His own writing. He loves us. We are His sweethearts – and we have His love letter to prove it.
And now, here's something fun to do together for Valentine's Day....
Let's all share a verse of scripture that expresses God's special love for us. If 10 or more people participate with a "Valentine" verse, I'll put all the names into a drawing for a 1-lb. gift certificate to Sees Candy (Value $15.60). Note: Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you in case your name is drawn!
Let me get us started with the following verse:
Jeremiah 31:3 - The Lord appeared to us in the past. He said, "I have loved you with a love that lasts forever. I have kept on loving you with faithful love.
Now it's your turn. Happy Valentine's Day!
Winner, if applicable, will be announced Sunday night, Feb. 15.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Up until a few months ago, I had lived all of my life in
For the first time ever, I woke up one day in late January to a white world. During the night, an ice storm had hit and the world outside my window was cloaked in several inches of snow and ice. Beautiful. Cold. Pure, pristine white. Not a footprint, not a smudge, no indication whatsoever of having been touched by anything save the hand of God.
It took my breath away – and not just because it was too cold to breathe. I saw in all that unspoiled purity what God must have seen in the first man at the moment He dropped His leftover dust back onto the ground, brushed off His hands and gazed at His new creation. The mud man was perfect! Totally pure. Innocent of wrongdoing, not marred by impure thinking, untouched by sin. Adam was a spic-and-span, immaculate, perfectly clean slate, just waiting to be filled with something, be it good or bad. If ever anyone throughout the history of all time had the potential for greatness, it was Adam.
Then, with one bite of a forbidden fruit, he blew it. Just one taste of the apple. One act of disobedience. One gargantuan mistake. And, of course, one existence in
But wait! God – being the awesome God He is – must have seen the unfairness in that situation, because He offered a loophole. Granted, we don’t live anywhere close to
Thank God for that big ol’ “but”! It means we have an advocate with the Father. We have the right to come boldly to His throne of grace – every day…every hour…every minute, if necessary, and have all uncleanness of mind, heart, and body swept under His blood. Talk about the ultimate power cleanser! When we walk away from a session of repentance with our God, we look like Adam looked the day God first breathed breath into his body. Like the snow outside my window, we're pure and clean and untouched by filth.
We look like – indeed, we are…new creatures. II Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Isn’t it great to know that we can be made new every day of our lives? Every morning, we can awaken to a clean slate, just like Adam. Every day, we have a brand new chance to keep “the snow” pristine white.
Do we bite the apple…or don’t we?
Precious Lord, I want You to look at me just the way You looked at Adam on his first day of life. I want to be a clean slate – pure and undefiled before You. Please wash away all my sins with Your power-cleansing blood. Create a clean heart in me, and make me what I should be. And God, help me every day to make right and godly decisions, not marring the immaculate slate You so graciously bestow on me with Your forgiveness. I want to be clean in Your eyes. I want to be pure. I want to be saved! Amen