Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Did you know?  Valentine’s  Day began as a memorial; held for a man in the early church ages known as Valentinus. In his book, “Foxe’s book of Martyrs,” John Foxe records the story of this amazing man.  Apparently, during the second century, Valentinus was imprisoned by the Romans for performing marriage ceremonies for soldiers forbidden to marry.  He also gave food, shelter and comfort to early Christians, which was also a crime.

While he was in prison, his jailor, Asterius, communicated with Valentinus that his daughter was ill and about to die.  In desperation, the jailor asked Valentinus to pray to his God for a miracle.  Within days, the woman was healed and had returned to her healthy self.  She began to visit him in prison, and the two became very close friends.

On the day Valentinus was to be executed, Foxe records he sent a letter to her, as she had become the closest person to him. In the letter, he declared his love to her, and wished her well; signing the letter with “from your Valentine” as his farewell.  According to tradition, his execution day was February 14.

As word spread of Valentinus’ experience, the practice was repeated by early Christians who were about to die.  The term “Valentine” eventually became associated with the concept of expressing undying love in the face of difficulties.

Several hundred years later, during the Middle Ages, knights were assigned to care and protect for the female members of royal families. Because of time spent together, and inevitable conversation, the term “courtly love” became accepted.  This term became a description of the unspoken love and attraction between a maiden and her protector.  In that age, a knight would be executed if he expressed love for his charge as his objectivity in the situation was considered a major asset in serving as her protector.  In his writings, Geoffrey Chaucer used the term “Valentine” to explain this frustrating circumstance, and as a result, the practice of sending notes from a secret admirer became a practice in England.

In our day, Valentine’s Day still has the same symbolism, but without its history, we can forget the depth of its meaning.  But no matter the depth of meaning, the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” communicate affection and the desire for closer relationship.

Blessings! Enjoy your day!


©2013 dcg/atg


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So, I’ve been told it’s time to begin a blog — never heard of the word until my children described it to me — and even then, it has taken much too long to begin the process. As it has been explained to me — this is an environment where we journal — the old word that I’m familiar with — but blogging seems to be the public method; on display; open for comment — perhaps guidance? (I need as much of the latter as I can get my mind around these days….)  It seems the older you become, the less you really know…. how does that work again?

Like this morning.  I’ve made a pot of coffee must be a million times. I’ve even been told I make good coffee — but we added a twist to the mix….. we have a new coffeepot.  In the words of my oldest child, (and former Starbucks Barista), “How can you screw up coffee?” Well, let me tell you — it’s simple.  You do what you’ve done a million times before, and don’t think about it — until the pot is spouting steam, water is dancing on the burner in tiny droplets, and brown flecks of portfolio-priced beans are leaking all over your kitchen counter.  When such an occurrance happens it is then, and only then, one notices that this particular appliance requires the basket be put in a certain way — it seems there is a little notch on the basket that must be “just so” — It was then I realized how stuck into old habits and views I had become in my relationship to my old coffee pot — Did anyone else buy this model?

Which brings me to my first blog subject. 

I ministered at a dear friend’s church yesterday; much larger than my husband’s and mine.  We met at 6:00am for prayer and worship — I got to lead the worship segment — it was wonderful. It was more wonderful because the morning began with failure. Early planner/detailer that I am, I had set my alarm for 4:30, giving myself time to get ready and drive the 25-40 minutes to her door from my home.  Anticipating the early morning, I found I couldn’t sleep the night before.  Well, as you might guess, my alarm didn’t go off — don’t even know why — perhaps its getting older like me. I awoke with a start at 5:20am — soundcheck was supposed to happen at 5:30am — not happening today folks….

She called me at 5:32 — “Are you okay?” (Yes, I said, as I was rushing around — pulling on my dress pants — I’ll be there…this really is important to me…. ) She couldn’t have been kinder.

Long story short, they prayed without me til 6:15, when I walked in the door. No one panicked, or was in a hurry. In fact, I was hugged and greeted.  When I walked into the sanctuary, my friend hugged me, and said “Relax — just go up there and let God use you.”  (Did I tell you she was a dear friend?)   Her assistant took the time to pour bottled water into a goblet… they acted as if it was part of the program for the worship leader to arrive after the meeting had begun… I went right to the piano, and then looked out. (They had more intercessors gathered than Bill and I have in our congregation — at 6:00AM!– and all of those wonderful people had probably been early to the meeting!)

The Lord met us — Our time extended, and I stayed at the piano. Afterwards, my friend and I went out for breakfast — and then, at her invitation, we came back and spent some time in her office together, – meeting a publications representative, and talking about the differences in our ministries.  We live in two completely different worlds — my friend and I — serving the same Lord, and the same family.  Her church runs several thousand. Ours runs 100 or so (I say the “or so” because we are growing, ever so slowly). Her church ministers to the urban community and has two campuses.  Ours ministers to the suburban culture and has two buildings.

As I looked around her office, I gained an insight and an education about her world.  I am gaining new understanding on my eternal family.  Her African-American culture has a beautiful and painful history.  The images on her walls hold more color than those on my walls.  There is a different understanding about the world’s ways that is part of her environment….. Things I thought I knew….  I have so far to go — How badly I want to be effective in all of the cultures around me…

It’s kind of like working with a new coffeepot.

(C)2010 DG — awakenedtogrow.com

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