Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm in the Mood for Love

It's that time of year again, when minds turn to Valentine's Day and love. While feelings expressed through the giving of flowers or of a card smothered in hearts are nice, they don't define what love is. Relationships are hard and we don't always have an accurate picture of what love is in the face of dry spells, difficulties or even pleasure, for that matter (how many young girls still hear, "But if you loved me you would"?)

Many also can be confused by the concept that God loves them. If your earthly father was unkind or abusive, for instance, it might be difficult for you to imagine what a father's love should be like. If you've suffered the breakup of a marriage or betrayal at the hands of someone you love, it might be difficult for you to imagine that you can trust anyone's love, even God's.

When it's hard to know what love is, and you're doubting whether it exists or can be part of your life, look to its creator and see it reflected in the face of His Son. Jesus came, lived, died and lives again because He loves you and because God the Father loved you so much that we was willing to sacrifice His own child so that you could live and have a relationship with Him.

When you turn to the creator's own definition of love, as written in 1Corinthians 13, you see a way to put love into action:
Love is patient
Who's the person in your life you're sure will never change or love you the way they should? Don't give up. God hasn't given up on them either.
Love is kind
Abuse and betrayal aren't kind, so they are not acts of love.
It does not envy
Don't waste love by worrying about what you don't have or what others have. Embrace what you do have.
It does not boast
You don't deserve God's love and probably don't fully understand it. Be quiet and accept it.
It is not proud
You aren't perfect. You always can learn more about how to love.
It is not rude
You're not the only one who received God's love. Share it with others. God loves them just as much as He loves you.
It is not self-seeking
Think about what you can do for someone instead of what they can do for you.
It is not easily angered
It's easier not to get angry if your thoughts are on others instead of on yourself
It keeps no record of wrongs
So many churches would be happier, more productive places if their people would just forgive each other instead of letting disagreements fester.
Love does not delight in evil
God is love and evil has no part in God, so if you embrace evil, you're holding on to the enemy.
But rejoices with the truth
The truth will set you free and enable love to flow.
It always protects
We try to keep those we love from being hurt. When you love someone, their pain is yours So it is with God who feels your pain while counting your every tear and seeking to comfort you with His words.
Always trusts
He is unfailing. If you can't trust a particular person, you still can love him or her and trust God.
Always hopes
If you know Jesus, there is never a situation that can arise or a place in life where you can be that hope is not there also.
Always perseveres
Hard times are a given, but love it the way through them. He never will leave us.

Happy Valentine's Day from the creator. (1 Corinthians 13 NIV)

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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