Premeditated Love

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By Jeff Foerster

Roses. Red roses. Long-stemmed, red roses. Dinner prepared just so. A stuffed bear. A heart-shaped box fragrant with chocolates. Discovered notes left carefully, quietly by smile’s light. Cards and poems breathing those three little words and hope written on tiny candy hearts.

“What will she think?” and, “Will he like it?” and, “I can’t wait to see her reaction!” We plan and we prepare. We wait with anticipation for the moment’s hour to arrive.

I wonder. Why do we give gifts and why does it feel good to do so? Then I remember the Giver. I remember fields and slopes of mountains sprinkled with flowers. I remember skyscapes painted across the dawn and fading into the dusk. I think of the rich smell of green each spring and the last note of that song which never stops its singing. I remember the touch of cool ocean air and the warm embrace of the sun. The first sight of snowflakes dancing on their descent toward the ground. I’m reminded of the smell of good, tilled earth and the knowledge that from it comes endless varieties to tantalize the tongue and fill the belly.

Then, I remember.

With a whisper and a SHOUT! Spanning thirty-three years and two millennia, the Father gave us an unspeakable gift — Himself. Who could imagine such a thing? Who could dare to ask it? Yet from eternity past was this gift planned and prepared. Love letters were carefully crafted and placed for us to read, at just the right time. We were told in advance, that man should anticipate the day. We are told of the past that we might cherish each word, yearning to be with the One who truly completes us, our soul’s mate.

– Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Eagles’ Wings and Other Things

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By Tom Chase

On Sunday, we heard about and processed things that rob us of our peace. We live in a world that is constantly telling us the opposite of what God’s truth claims. Like in the video we watched on Sunday, so many things are calling, so many things telling us we don’t measure up. These things and more create roadblocks that can prevent us from hearing and interacting with the One who will tell us the truth. If we listen too long, all these voices simply beat us down and diminish our worth, saying we have no value, there is nothing special about us, etc.

I am reminded of a truth which is made evident in the person of God. He is the Eternally Existent One, the Three in One — the Trinity. I was told long ago that all theology makes a difference in our lives, but I find that sometimes the effect is hard to see. But here is how this theological truth has impacted me.

When God chose to make the world and to make each of us individuals, He did not make us because He needed us or because it fulfilled something lacking in Him. No, that is not the case. He exists in three Persons, whole and complete, fully satisfied within his own being with perfect community and harmony. So why did God make us, then? It is because God wanted us. Can you believe it? God wanted me and God wanted you! None of us are here by accident. Isn’t that truly amazing?

When I stop and contemplate this truth, I feel a lift in my spirit. Isaiah 40:31 tells us that

“…those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

That light-stepping feeling in me increases when I see God for who He is. Much of Isaiah 40 describes just how great and awesome and majestic this God who wanted you and me really is:

“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.”

Isaiah 40:28

Someone infinitely significant wants us!

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God,” are the beginning words of Isaiah 40. That’s His desire for you. So let us run to the One who not only loves us, but wants us as well. In Him we find our significance and peace from all the other messages we hear constantly in our world. If you are looking for a treat, why not read Isaiah chapter 40 and bask in His glory!

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