It’s Valentine’s Day as I write. The table is set. Okay, so the plates are plastic from Target. At least they’re red. I finished the runner this week. The menu is planned and everything prepped. My husband and I have been married almost forty years, but he is still my best Valentine.
There is so much that I appreciate about him. He’s much more of a people person than I am. Without him, I could easily become a recluse up here in the Northwoods surrounded by books, the Internet and lots of woods for quiet walks. He kicks me out into the world and opens doors to incredible relationships. He’s always ready to help a stranger, sometimes embarrassingly so for an introvert like me, but I wouldn’t have him any other way.
When in the course of human events we come to the end of our resources and recognize that we are unable to solve the world’s problems on our own, it becomes necessary to dissolve the illusions that have connected us to our false hopes in armaments and political platforms, in education and government programs, and to assume among the powers of the earth the humble and repentant station to which Nature and Nature’s God has called us.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are equally sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God.
"Dear children,” the apostle John wrote in old age, “let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) I don’t think he was talking about chocolates or Hallmark cards.
Valentines Day is over, but love is more than flowers and chocolates. In the end it has more to do with dirty laundry and toothpaste splatters on the bathroom mirror. Sometimes it may even mean NOT doing unto others as you would have them do to you because men and women are different and the way they perceive love is not always the same.
Another friend who doesn't have a blog wrote a New Year's letter I asked to share with you. Deb Snell and her husband, Greg, are missionaries in leadership training in East Africa.
November 11, 1918. Armistice Day. The day that ended World War 1--the war to end all wars--the war that opened one of the bloodiest centuries in history. We are a lot less idealistic than our fore bearers were then. Cynical even. Wars will never end. That's biblical, isn't it? Jesus said the end times will be marked by wars and rumors of wars. As I write, the news is of Iran's nuclear capability. I tremble to think of what such a fanatical government would do with that kind of power. So should we invade? Look what happened as a result of our last attempt to stop the use of "mass weapons of destruction"? Call me cynical.
My dad is coming up to his eighty-ninth birthday in September. I was recently going through old photo albums with him looking for pictures of the house where he was born for a blog about life in the Midwest. He was a cutie! He reminded me of my brother when he was small, and I know my dad would consider that to be the greatest compliment.
My father was a doctor. He left for work before I was up in the morning and didn’t get home until supper, but nearly every evening he led our family in worship. We sat on the couch and sang a few hymns from the old Inter-Varsity hymnal.
Today is Memorial Day in the US, a day when we remember those who died fighting for the freedoms we enjoy. I went to church yesterday. We came openly without fear and left our cars in a parking lot visible from the main road where anyone who passed could see we were there. The preacher spoke freely. The adult Sunday School teacher said some things that would not be popular in Washington. Another woman and I taught our children about the armor God has given us for protection against Satan’s schemes. We were not afraid of being arrested for corrupting the young. That isn’t true everywhere.
Last week we remembered and honored our mothers. This week I would like to talk about the joy of being one! Katie made me a mom. I guess it isn’t fair to broadcast the year on the internet. What a joyful day!
My husband once preached on Psalm 27 at New Years. “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” He asked us to imagine being in a dark room at night. There is a creaking sound, and your mind begins to imagine all sorts of terrible things that could happen. Then you turn on the light and see that there is nothing to be afraid of. “The Lord is my light,” my husband reminded us.
It's good to be home.
The picture is Fort McHenry, whose resistance to attack during the War of 1812 inspired the Star Spangled Banner.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
--Francis Scott Key
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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