Do You Remember?

Tomorrow is Holy Friday. Many of us have the day off from work. But how many of us will take time to honor the tragic event that happened two thousand years ago? Many of us pause to remember 9/11 but do we stop to remember on Holy Friday, or are we just like everyone else – making plans to go on vacation, getting the yard work done, bustling about our holiday preparations?

As human beings, we all suffer, but I cannot even fathom what Jesus went through that day on the cross; stripped naked, hands and feet pierced by nails, thorns ripping into his skull. Crucifixion was the ultimate shameful death in those days. So shameful in fact, that Roman citizens were not allowed to be crucified.

Yet Jesus endured the shame of the cross for us: his outstretched arms declaring “I love you this much”. The shedding of his blood paid the price for each and every one of our sins so that we could have the freedom, yes, the freedom, to approach a Holy God directly. Have you ever contemplated these facts?

It seems that Easter is just a blip on the calendar to most these days, but personally, it is a solemn reminder of the price that was paid for me to live a life of freedom, forgiveness and love. If you don’t feel free, forgiven or loved, I encourage you to look to Jesus this Holy Friday. No one can give us a more precious gift, but it is our choice to receive it or not.

Until next time, keep looking up and remember, God loves you, forgives you and has set you free!

The Greatest Gift of All

Think back for a moment on the greatest gift you have ever received. How did it feel when you saw it? Did you want to run and tell everyone you knew? Did it make you want to jump for joy? Did you feel like someone loved you a whole lot?

Yes, that’s how a great gift makes you feel – like you want to share it with the world.

Now imagine the manger scene and the announcement of the birth of the Messiah. Picture the awe of the shepherds as they watched the angels singing in the skies proclaiming the good news. Feel the anticipation of the wise men who traveled such a great distance to bring their gifts not knowing who they would find.

The gift of Jesus was the greatest expression of love God could ever give us. As the shepherds and the wisemen stopped what they were doing to behold the miracle before them, so too, let us pause and reflect the miracle of Christ’s birth and what it means to us today.

If I am feeling alone, Jesus promises he will never leave me nor forsake me. If I am hurting, he will heal my wounds and if I am afraid of what the future holds, I can rest in the knowledge that he is in control and he will deliver me. This Christmas will you accept the greatest gift of all and may you have the power to understand how wide, how long, how wide and how deep is the love of God for you (Eph 3:18).

How to Communicate Your Love

How good are you at expressing love to your spouse, partner, children and friends? Healthy relationships thrive when there is good communication and that includes communicating love. What ways do you show your love? And more importantly, does the recipient actually feel loved?

In his book, “The Five Love Languages”, Gary Chapman talks about the ways different people give and receive love. One way is through physical touch. This may be obvious to many, but others of us might not realize how important physical touch is. Perhaps we were not raised in a family where a lot of physical expression was displayed.

Studies have shown that baby monkeys who are separated from their mothers at birth suffer severe problems. We all need physical touch in good amounts and on a regular basis.

It could be as simple as putting a hand on someone’s hand when they are distressed, or an arm around their shoulders when they are crying, or even a pat on the back to say “Well done”. If a woman wants to get a man’s attention when she’s talking to him, she could try putting her hand on his arm lightly and then speaking. A man can console an emotional woman by simply taking her two hands in his and holding them. These are only a few examples of physical touch to express caring.

Hugging is another example. Just be sure it is done appropriately when hugging a woman and be sure there is not a jealous husband or boyfriend around. Hugging is a universal act between the sexes and it is a simple way to communicate affection.

Next time, I will talk about the second love language. In the meantime, experiment with physical touch and see how people respond. You might be surprised!

How to Communicate Your Love

How good are you at expressing love to your spouse, partner, children and friends? Healthy relationships thrive when there is good communication and that includes communicating love. What ways do you show your love? And more importantly, does the recipient actually feel loved?

In his book, “The Five Love Languages”, Gary Chapman talks about the ways different people give and receive love. One way is through physical touch. This may be obvious to many, but others of us might not realize how important physical touch is. Perhaps we were not raised in a family where a lot of physical expression was displayed.

Studies have shown that baby monkeys who are separated from their mothers at birth suffer severe problems. We all need physical touch in good amounts and on a regular basis.

It could be as simple as putting a hand on someone’s hand when they are distressed, or an arm around their shoulders when they are crying, or even a pat on the back to say “Well done”. If a woman wants to get a man’s attention when she’s talking to him, she could try putting her hand on his arm lightly and then speaking. A man can console an emotional woman by simply taking her two hands in his and holding them. These are only a few examples of physical touch to express caring.

Hugging is another example. Just be sure it is done appropriately when hugging a woman and be sure there is not a jealous husband or boyfriend around. Hugging is a universal act between the sexes and it is a simple way to communicate affection.

Next time, I will talk about the second love language. In the meantime, experiment with physical touch and see how people respond. You might be surprised!