Happy Valentine’s Day!

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This is for the singles. The loyal and compassionate friends. The strong platonic bonds. The patient fellas and the ladies with high standards. Here’s to those who feel left out of a holiday that’s been taken over by couples and corporations.

Most people know of St. Valentine whom the holiday was named. But did you know there were many St. Valentines? The first Saint V was imprisoned for marrying roman soldiers after Emperor Claudius II banned marriages, thinking the institution would make them weak on the battle field.  While in prison, it was rumored that St. Valentine presided over the marriage of his jailor’s daughter’s wedding. Despite his imminent death, Valentine showed compassion and generosity to people in love.  Somehow the holiday became associated with mass-produced cards, candy and flowers.

I still look at the most basic elements of the Valentine’s Day celebration: connection, commitment and compassion. The Bible, in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, defines this perfectly. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

This Feb. 14th I will be spending the afternoon with my parents. As I sit here, thinking back on all the years they have cared for me and protected me, I realize no romantic relationship could be as strong a bond as ours. My life has had more than it’s share of struggles, sure, but I wouldn’t trade any them for the lessons I’ve learned. Still, my mother assured me she would have done anything to ease my pain; trade places with me….or even die for me. What could be a greater love than that??

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

** Happy Valentine’s Day **

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Pushing Your Limits

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Do you remember Jr. High Physical Education class?

Back, all too many years ago when I felt young and energetic, one of my favorite activities was the obstacle course. I have fond memories of tackling those challenges: running through tires, wall climbing, crossing monkey bars, rope climbing, the balance beam, crawling under ropes and simple jogging. No matter each student’s physical abilities, I remember everyone having fun and feeling a sense of achievement.

The great thing about obstacles in athletics or in life is that ultimately, the challenge is a mental one, not between you and the opponent but you and yourself. Similarly, the journey of Life is one big obstacle course. Some challenges may be extremely difficult but the thrill is in building perseverance, self esteem and strong moral character.

As the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson aptly put it: “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

~~ Breathe Easy! ~~

Rainbow Promises

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Genesis 9:16 says, “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

Each time I see a rainbow I cannot help but feel safe, knowing the power of God will guide me through dark storms. A rainbow is not a guarantee for a perfect life but a symbol that despite hardships, if you are willing to get your feet wet and put one foot in front of the other, dry land is within reach.

~~ Breathe Easy ~~