To be honest, I was never a big fan of Valentine’s Day; because I thought that every day should be a day to celebrate love. Instead, the holiday is an over-commercialized time to go out to expensive dinners and spend money on flowers and chocolate. I’d be quick to remind people that the day is technically a feast day celebrating the martyrdom of St. Valentine. (You think the color red symbolizes romantic love? Think the blood of the martyrs, my friend!)
As time went on, I slowly recognized the need for specific moments of celebration. After all, birthdays are moments to celebrate one’s life; wedding anniversaries celebrate a marriage; and Easter celebrates the new life of Christ’s resurrection. These things are important to treasure year round, but holidays mark a special moment of intentional recognition. Valentine’s Day does not have to be commercial — you don’t need to give in to the traditional expectations surrounding it; the day can offer an opportunity to recognize the gift of love, which can be taken for granted at other times.
Here’s an idea for Valentine’s Day: Pretend it’s your first date. It’s a great way to recall how you fell in love. I wanted to remember the excitement and magic of that getting-to-know-you stage. “What’s your relationship like with your siblings?” “What do you like doing in your free time?” I think if you will do this you will find that you are still discovering things about each other. You will find delight in the small details of your spouses’ life, that others would find unimportant.
Recently, the Modern Love column in The New York Times featured an essay about a study done in the ’90s that tried to make people fall in love. The bottom line was that people can start to fall for each other by asking questions that gradually grow in intimacy. Intimacy forms through quality time and a shared vulnerability — a soulful honesty. One of the more intimate questions from the study, for example, was “When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?” Perhaps questions like these should be asked more often.
While a gift of flowers and/or chocolate might be nice, it is when I spend quality time with Annie and listen to her attentively that she feels the most loved. Sometimes I wish we could re-live our first date over and over again. I wish we could re-live our wedding day. Why? They’re moments of quality time and intimacy. Like Valentine’s Day, they are special moments that celebrate the gift of falling more and more in love.
We ought to make Valentine’s Day our own. If the day is going to be an intentional celebration of love, intimacy and friendship, any gift exchanged should be special to the person receiving it — whether it’s flowers, an affirming word of love, or a pretend first date.
An invitation to all the ladies at Discovery!
Don’t forget the Pot Luck Club gathering at Gina Croft’s house.
Address: 4002 Tropical Lane (Vanderveen Subd.)
Date: THIS FRIDAY, February 13
Bring a dish or finger food to share with all.
Call me, text me or email me with questions. 424-3768 or firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been a very productive and enjoyable January back in Panama! I am thankful to God to be over my throat infection and back to work. Thank you so much for all your prayers and encouragement during that unexpected setback.
I and my coworkers, Corey and Bethany Courtwright have spent much of the past month breaking in Lasting Harvest’s new demonstration farm. It’s exciting to be doing things like planning out where fish ponds will go, laying PVC pipe to to supply the ponds with spring water, and finishing construction on Corey and Bethany’s house and other buildings. Some tasks like building shelves or measuring spring water flow rates I’m familiar with. Others like snake/insect proofing every tiny crack in a house or repairing a hole in a dam with cement are brand new experiences.
My Spanish teachers are terrific and I am learning quickly. I’m so thankful to those who gave to fund my education at this little school in Boquete. It is a great feeling to be in conversation with someone and realize, “Hey! I’ve been talking in Spanish for half an hour!”
Please pray for us as we complete the initial work on the farm and begin to install the aquaculture ponds. Please pray for me as I study Spanish that I would learn quickly. Please pray for the Ngobe farmers we are currently working with, both Christians and non-Christians. And again, thank you so much for praying for me when I had my sickness. I’m so thankful for your financial support. I’m happy that while you can’t be here personally you can follow along and see how things progress. I’m often reminded how blessed and privileged I am to be in this situation. I’m so grateful to God for leading me here and I’m so grateful to all of you for helping me get here as well.
Please Note – because of the topic this week – Bro Doug will be offering a Teen class Sunday morning for those who desire to attend. (There will also be a teen class on Saturday night also.
This weekend our Taboo topic will be Pornography…..
· Matt. 5:27-28, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
· 1 Cor. 6:18, “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.”
· Col. 3:5, “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”
Every second $3000 are spent on porn. 40% of Christians say they struggle with it. Porn revolution is reprogramming women also. It is definitely a secret sin that affects almost 47% of Christian men. In research this week, I was staggered to read the at one Promise Keepers conference 58% of the attendees had viewed porn the week of the meeting. Many tell us that boys are 1st exposed to porn as young as 8 years old.
You will be amazed how porn affects the brain as it releases certain neurotransmitters Norepinephrine ———-Dopamine ———-Endorphins———-and Serotonin. A further discussion of this will be part of the weekend message.
· Andrea Turner spiked a fever – they are stopping the experimental drug – just hoping to bring the temp and blasts down so she can travel back to Kansas City. May our prayer be that Andrea will not become discouraged – and continue the fight that her body will one day be free of leukemia cells.
· Annie had a Dr. appointment and we are praying for 24 hours – whether to consider surgery or not….if we do – it would be a total hip replacement. Pray with us for wisdom.
· Kay Baker – making a decision with her medical team regarding the best play to help her regarding her rheumatoid arthritis.
· Great attendance to our celebration services and strong healing of those who are caught in the web of pornography
General Fund $1060.00
Building Fund $ 700.00
Yellow Duck $ 5.00
Jeremiah 1:4-5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
Psalm 139:1-6 O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away. 3 You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am.4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. 5 You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know!
A new thread in our Prayer Ministry will have its 1st meeting February 20. There is one purpose for this prayer time – the Pray for the Spiritual freedom of those live in our community. Word that could be used are these…..”bind Satan” …. “release for the captives” “preah good news to the poor.” …”prisoners will be freed.”
Bro David Croft will be leading this session…..During the hour there are a couple activities with which you could become involved.
· Bro Doug will put a Google Earth picture on our TV’s – we want everyone to pray for those – and adopt those streets – to pray daily for the residents
· Also, some will go out of the building and walk along the same streets praying the same prayer for those who live behind those doors……likewise these folks will pray daily for the residents – as our prayers adopt the street
February 27, 2015 @ 7:00 PM
The movie opens with a preacher (John Ratzenberger, TV’s Cheers) speaking to a church, and during his sermon he begins to tell the tale of 17-year-old foster kid, Mason Jones. Mason has had it pretty tough, he’s been placed with many foster families never finding anywhere to call home. And because of this, Mason has built up walls and has become angry with life and God.
After a series of bad foster placements, Mason is placed with the Lewis family, who believe they have been called to become a foster family. After Mason gets in trouble with the law, he is court ordered to attend group counseling. But things go from bad to worse as Mason fights everything that comes his way.
Down to his last chance, Mason has to make a decision – play by the rules and allow his self built walls to come down, or keep fighting the system and end up in Juvie.