This week was Valentines and of course there was a whole lot of LOVE flying around. All week I pondered on this theme - seems the entire world wants to celebrate for this one day. It occured to me that God loves 365 days of the year, and HIS love is incomparable, unconditional. HIS love is something so amazing that its incomprehensible.
Even in this week I saw the Spirit moving in lives. I saw love poured out through different situations. I saw love in its different facets. I saw the passing of a husband (Cecil) and father, and in this I saw a pouring out of love from family within family, friends to family, church family to family. I saw the love of widows to widows. Such a unique love that is defined by the very tragic loss of a life-long companion. How precious must the conversation and friendship be between a long time widow and a newly created one (Marie). What a precious gift of comforts can only come from one who's known this particular bitter-sweet pain.
2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
I saw a friend who's husband suffered a terrible injury to his body this week. She sent me a message (which I missed until later when she was offline) and so I called her - yes CALLED her on the phone and we prayed together. And I called the second day, and we prayed together. And I've emailed each day since. What a special love to be asked to pray for her husband's injuries. The good news - his injuries are healing - with physio-therapy he should have almost full recovery. What a splendid love that allows friends (me and my friend who have built an on-line relationship and met in person only once) to KNOW that we can count on each other to pray. What a hopeful love this couple and their young family will need to sustain them over the coming months as he heals and they have to exist on whatever funds they can. What a unique love she will have to have to nurse her mate through this most difficult time.
He heals the broken-hearted
and binds up their wounds.
I have a friend who the Lord brought to a crossroads in their life this week. He pulled this person up short - convicted them of a sin in their life which was eating up their very being... God took this person and brought them to the point where they had to make some very hard decisions... and then when this person did what they had to do to get right with HIM - He caught them in His arms when they jumped. He delivered them from their sin. Took the control the enemy had over them through this sin and turned it to HIS glory. It had to be one of the hardest days of this person's life - but they chose to trust God. They had to confess sin to friends and family, come clean with facts that had the potential to make or break relationships. And God was merciful. Instead of this situation breaking up relationships it strengthened them... HE is the one who FREES us from sin as He knows what it means to be tempted Himself...
For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.
In these three cases - the LOVE which was needed in each was a sort of love that comes of the process. In the case of the widow it came through the sacrifice of her beloved husband. A loss which will rend her heart. But in the loss of her husband she was delivered love from her family and friends and church body. In the case of my friend who's husband was injured - a LOVE was revealed when this wife assured her husband she would stay by his side, nurse his injuries. In the third instance - this person took the risk that revealing sin could cause the loss of relationships. And their family said "I love you and will stand by you" Each of these sorts of love have NOTHING to do of the airy - fairy love on Valentines Cards - these sorts of LOVE come from a sacrifice.
Only when a flower is crushed is a full fragrance released to make perfume. Only when grapes are crushed can we have wine. Only when olives are crushed do we have Olive Oil... And only when there is some sort of sacrifice can we experience the sort of LOVE that Christ gave us when he bore the stripes for us - when He went to the cross for us. Though it was a difficult week - aching for my friends, I feel overwhelmed and blessed to think about THESE kinds of Love. HE supplies us with the deep and unique loves we need to comfort those in need.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
So while there is a whole lot of love flying around... at least until the drugstore sells what's left at 85% off to clear out their stock of chocolate and hearts - remember the most influential, mind-blowing love is HERE, NOW and its free for the asking. Valentines is a great way to have fun, tell our friends we LOVE them, but its the every day - often in painful situations where we find something much, much deeper...
Al Johnson provided us with some more 'love' food for thought with the Word this Sunday. Entertaining and interesting message, Al - thanks for sharing!
Just click the button to enjoy. This message is approximately 25 minutes long.
We had our monthly church luncheon this Sunday - went with the Valentine's theme with the tables decorated. Betty was presented with a gift in honour and appreciation for her long and dedicated service to our church. Bev did the presentation to Betty and said some words about the work Betty has done in the church and about how Betty has touched the lives of each one of us. We are so proud to know Betty.
Bible Study (Al Johnson)
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
at Osoyoos Christian Centre
Phone Al if you need more information. 250-495-5133. Bring your bible, pen and paper.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Presentation by Vi for the Canadian Food for Children - how our Women's group can be of service. Bring along - a friend or two! Snacks provided
Jussi and Leena - as their church has released them to do their work among us. That this next month will be a special time of preparation.
Marie and Family - with the loss of Cecil, loved husband and father. Pray for comfort for the family.
Lindsey - a 14 year old young lady who is suffering with Luekemia.
And the two other UNNAMED needs from the beginning of this post.
Florence and Dale as they minister in the USA.
Jim and Elaine as they travel to churches who are hurting.
Angie and family - fighting to keep their bus stop. They are in danger of losing it and it's creating animosity and burden to these families who live in the rural areas.
Gina - for her health.