Friday, February 26, 2010

Anyway Love - Gary Thomas

A friend just posted this on Facebook and I think it is quite possibly one of the absolute best articles on marriage I have seen in a long time.

This article first appeared in the Couples Edition of the January, 2007 issue of Focus on the Family magazine. Copyright © 2007, Gary Thomas. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

Anyway Love

To love anyway is to love like God – and to learn about God's love for us.
by Gary Thomas
Note: Names have been changed.

On Valentine's Day, Meg* went all out, giving her husband, Peter,* his favorite candy and tickets to a hockey game. Later that night, she wrapped herself in a special outfit purchased just for the occasion.

Peter got her a card.

At the grocery store. That he purchased on the way home from work.

He didn't add anything to it, either. He just signed it, "Peter."

A couple of days later, Meg tried to explain that she felt a little taken for granted. Apparently, Peter misunderstood her intent because two months later, when they celebrated their anniversary, Peter didn't get Meg anything.

"How could you not get me anything for our anniversary?" she asked Peter the next day. "Especially after our conversation about Valentine's Day."

"Well, I thought about getting you something, but it didn't work out," he replied. "And then I knew not to get you a card because you said you didn't like that last time."

"It's not that I didn't like the card. It's that the card alone seemed a little sparse. But even that is better than nothing ..."

Several months later, Meg had a birthday. This time, Peter got her a present – a kitchen tool set. Several weeks before, Meg had asked to borrow Peter's tape measure and screwdriver. Peter figured that Meg should have her own small set of kitchen tools so she didn't have to borrow his.

Meg recounted all this and then explained how she had tried to get her husband to read several how-to books on loving your spouse. He would read the first few pages, lose interest and never pick the book up again.

"I've realized this is never going to change," she confessed. "But I love him anyway."
Because ...

That last statement of Meg's, "but I love him anyway," is one of the most profound theological statements on marriage I've ever heard. Most of us base love on because, not on anyway. I love you because you're good to me. I love you because you're kind, because you're considerate, because you keep the romance alive.

But in Luke 6:32-36, Jesus says we shouldn't love because. We should love anyway. If we love someone because that person is good to us, or gives back to us, or is kind to us, we're acting no better than anyone else. In essence, Jesus is saying you don't need the Holy Spirit to love a man who remembers every anniversary – not just the anniversary of your marriage, but the anniversary of your first date and your first kiss. Any woman could love a man like that. Or if you love a wife who lavishes you with sports gifts, who goes out of her way to make you comfortable when you get home from work and who wants sex anytime you do – well, you're doing what any man would do. There's no special credit in that!

But if you love a spouse who disappoints you, who can be a little self-absorbed – now you're loving anyway. In doing that, you're following the model of the heavenly Father, who loves the ungrateful and the wicked.

... Or Anyway

Will you love only because? Or are you willing to love anyway? Will you love a man or woman who doesn't appreciate your sacrifice? Will you love a husband or wife who takes you for granted? Will you love a spouse who isn't nearly as kind to you as you are to him or her?
Just about every faithless marriage is based on because love. Christians are called to anyway love. That's what makes us different. That's what gives glory to God. That's what helps us appreciate God's love for us, because God loves us anyway. He gives and gives and gives – and we take Him for granted. He is eager to meet with us, and we get too busy to notice Him. He is good to us, and we accuse Him mercilessly when something doesn't go just the way we planned it.

But God loves us anyway. To love anyway is to love like God – and to learn about God's love for us.

That's love, the way God intended it.

Happy Birthday to my Mother in law

I think this is probably the first year in several that I did not forget my mother in laws birthday!! Yeah for me!!! :-) Anyways, I thought I would just re-post the slideshow I did last year for her. Happy Birthday Mom and Mama!. We love you!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Shandra!

Today is the 28th birthday of my sister, Shandra. One of her friends posted 28 reasons why she is so special and since I can't even begin to hold a candle to that I will just suffice it to say, Shandra, I love you more than you know!! It is such a privilege to be your big sister!

From here:

To Here:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

With All the Many Miracles

You all know by now that nothing speaks to my heart more than music. Of all the wonderful creations of God, music is by far my favorite. Anyways, this song is currently one of my very favorites. I guess it just encourages me and right now, that's what I need. Each of the verses to this song speak directly to me and my immediate needs. Now, listen and be blessed!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shamrock Shakes are BACK!!!! (limited time only)

Shamrock shakes from McDonald's happen to be one of those "little things" that happen to make me smile - REALLY big!!! I'm not a McD's fan. I really don't care for their food all that much but I will say that when they get their Shamrock shakes, I will drive out of my way to get one. They are to die for. Honestly. If you've never had one..... RUN... don't walk..... and get yourself one TODAY!!!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Who will be crying at your funeral?

I just ran across this from Rick Grubb's "Redeeming the time" seminars. I thought it was fantastic!

Who will be crying at your funeral? That’s a question that author Patrick Morley, began asking himself.

Morley and his wife were successful in their business. Their schedules were filled with business and civic responsibilities. Meanwhile they had young children at home who needed their attention.

One evening, as they reviewed their time consuming responsibilities, the thought came, ""Why not prioritize everything we do on the basis of who will be crying at our funeral?"" And that's exactly what they did. The results, they claim, saved their family.

Why should you and I invest all our time with people who don't love us, at the expense of those who do?""

Powerful thought. It is a question of priorities. It is a question of putting first things first. It is a question of redeeming the time

Free book (you pay only shipping)

I do not endorse everything Vision Forum advocates however, they have many great resources and this book looks like one of them!!

Through February 19, 2010, you can get a copy of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God for only the price of shipping. Here’s how:

1. Visit Vision Forum and add Passionate Housewives Desperate for God to your cart.

2. Go to checkout and enter coupon code FREEPHDG.

3. You should be able to checkout only paying shipping charges. This coupon expires at midnight on February 19, 200 (CDT).

Thanks, Shellie!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Daddy Comes Through!

Vincent is now taking violin lessons from Edinboro University under Dr. Howard Lyon. If you google his name you will find out some extremely outstanding and interesting facts about this man. Anyways, his first assignment to Vincent was to take a butter box and a paint stirrer and make a violin. He was also to use dowel rod to make a bow. Vincent came home and Byron promptly told him he'd help. The result exceeded all of our expectations!!! It looks adorable!! Dr. Lyon said he had never had one that nice.

Visiting Friends of like profession

A couple weeks ago we took a road trip to spend a day with some friends who are also pastor's and pastors wives. We had a lovely day together - so much so that I was too busy laughing to take many pictures.

The parsonage queens

Evie Shiery jr.

The only picture I managed to get of Mike (sorry Mike)

Vincent and Garfield Shiery

Byron and Paul solving one of the may problems

that were resolved (or not) that day.

Miss Kallie Eckert (isn't she just a doll?!)

Special Friends Visit

A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world. ~Lois Wyse

A friend accepts us as we are yet helps us to be what we should. ~Author Unknown

A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart. ~Attributed to Heather Pryor

And in conclusion... just for Mr. Herl - "A good friend is cheaper than therapy. ~Author Unknown"

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Cousins Visit!!

Its been awhile but my nieces (aka, "The Cousins") visited this weekend and we had a blast!! However, since I was so busy sitting around eating bon bons and reading my novels whilst (I love that word) the 6 tiny people ransacked my house I managed to only take a couple pics - all of which were posed. Well, as you will see, they were an ATTEMPT at posing the 6 angelic munchkins. If you'll look very closely you will see that the halo's are all barely visible. :-) (Just kidding). I was hoping for a frame-able - very nearly perfect pic of a group of adorable children but despite the fact that I kept saying, "Ok, kids!! enough goofing around!! Let's have a good pic now!".... this was what happened.....

Valentine's Day 2010

I am very late in making a Valentine's Day post but I do want to say that my heart is full of love!
First of all, I am deeply in love with my Heavenly Father. I daily marvel that even if I had been the only one on earth, He still would have gone to the cross and suffered. Is that not just mind boggling?!

Secondly, I cannot get over the love God designed to hold together and enrich a marriage. This marks our 15th Valentine's day together and while I thought I could never love Byron more than I did back in 1995, I'm amazed how the years have drawn us closer to each other in much deeper, mature love than I could ever have imagined 15 yrs ago. The years have had incredibly low lows and some fantastically memorable "highs". Byron, thanks for being my Valentine.

Thirdly, I am DAILY amazed at the love I receive from the most awesome friends a girl could ever hope for. I have no desire for hoards of surface, shallow friends but I do deeply appreciate and love the handful of deeply loyal and faithful friends God has sent my way.

Fourthly, I am deeply thankful for the love of my family. Time has a way of changing the extended family dynamic but time in no way diminishes the blood connection. I sincerely love my family.

Fifthly, I cannot say how much I admire, love and respect my sister. She's the only one I have and I suppose I can sometimes get a bit protective of her but I love the relationship we have and I love the fact that while we couldn't possibly be more opposite of each other, we have a love for each other than continues to grow through the years.

I am truly loved. And I deeply love. Ain't love grand?!! :-)

My first Valentine's Day roses since we've been married. We agreed long ago to not spend money on flowers that would die within hours.
This year God allowed Byron to get me long stemmed roses for free!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kendra and St. Jude's - Update

Thanks to 3 very special people Kendra raised $75.00 for some very special kids at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. I will upload a couple pics of her working on the math problems as soon as I get my camera back. Thank you VERY VERY much to the 3 who donated. You know who you are!! :-)