Coffee Inspiration: Pour a Cup of Love

Crosscards.com

On Tuesday, February 14, we will be celebrating the “love holiday”–Valentine’s Day. We have heard that “love makes the world go round”, “love and marriage come together like a horse and carriage”, and “all we need is love”; but what does the dictionary have to say about love: The Oxford Dictionary gives the following definitions:

“Love:
1) An intense feeling of deep affection
synonyms: fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy
2) A person or thing that one loves
synonyms: beloved, loved one, love of one’s life, dear, dearest”

Husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, and family and friends try to surprise one another with a special gift on Valentine’s Day in order to try and show/express their deepest feelings of love for that person or persons.

In Corinthians 13:4-8, Christ shows us His definition/teachings of what love truly is:

“Love is patient
Love is kind
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude
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.
Love never fails.”

He sums up the chapter by saying (verse 13):

“And now these three remain:
faith, hope, and love.
But the greatest of these is love.”

I don’t know about you, but whenever I read Jesus’ words regarding what love actually is and what it means to me as a Christian, I am immediately examining my heart and life so that I can truly show this kind of love to others each and every day. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I let the “little things” bother me and I am not thankful for all that Jesus has blessed me with. However, I get down on my knees and ask His forgiveness if I have wronged someone or said something rude. We are not perfect. We are on a journey in this world and if we show the kind of love that Christ has shown us, then this world would be a better place. All we need to do is remember to ask for His help.

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this coming week, remember to show our family/friends/loved ones that we love and care about them and how we can always “protect, trust, hope, and always persevere” because “love never fails.”

In “Thank Heaven for Coffee (and other little pleasures)” published by Barbour Publishing Inc., we are reminded of the following scripture:

A CUPFUL OF LOVE
“God has poured out His love into our hearts”–Romans 5:5 (NIV)
Since we have been so loved, let us not neglect sharing that love with others even in the simple offering of a cup of joe.”

Blessings to All,
Yvonne

Nana’s Corner: Christmas 2016

Crosscards.com

This is officially Christmas week and it is half over. Today my daughter, along with her dad and I, took the two grandsons off to Woodbridge, VA where we ate at a Denny’s Restaurant and then stopped by Hobby Lobby for some last minute gifts.

There were numerous cars on the road and even Denny’s was very busy. In fact, it took a lot longer to get our meals than normal. Guess everyone was out shopping and got hungry so they all stopped to eat as well!

It was a fun morning and Gryphon, and I got to watch the movie, “Minions”, in the car on the way up and on the way back. We also enjoyed the Christmas decorations and lights that adorned outside houses and businesses. The baby slept most of the time on the way up, in the restaurant, and on the way home. Gryphon fell asleep just before we got home but awoke after we went inside, and he didn’t want Nana or Pap (as he calls Roger) to leave either. So sweet to watch him interacting with his Pap!

In the hustle and bustle between shopping, parties/dinners, and additional church services this week, it is easy to forget that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Does Christmas come but once a year? Technically, it does to many people during this time of year. But let us not forget to celebrate and be giving throughout the entire year as well. We need to support and encourage each other all year long and not just during one week in December.

Let us continue to show the love that God has shown us not only to our friends and family in the new year, but may we also be made aware of the needs of those around us and show them love and kindness throughout 2017 as well. May you feel blessed as you open up your hearts to others. Jesus taught us to “love one another as He loved us” and may we also do the same.

Blessings,
Yvonne

A Special Christmas Gift

It is going on midnight and I am fully awake. My mind is thinking about past Christmases with my brothers and sisters and our mom and dad. As I lay awake, I am reminded of a very special Christmas which was quite a number of years ago. In fact, it was in the 1960’s. And I find my mind racing with excitement to share the following story with you. It is entitled, “The Cookie Jar.”

Let me take you back to when I was a young girl and my family lived in the low-income housing projects in Easton, PA. My parents struggled to keep food on the table even though my dad worked at the steel mill and, oftentimes, they had to get extra help at Christmas time from the Salvation Army for Christmas gifts since there was twelve children in the family. They also relied on receiving surplus items such as lard, flour, butter, and peanut butter from another organization as well.

One Christmas holiday, when I was around 11, I decided that I wanted to give my mother a very special Christmas present; however, with money being tight for everyone, I decided that I would try to do extra chores and even if I received or found a penny, it was saved. I threw the monies that I received here and there into an old shoe box and marked the box with an “X” so that no one in my family would bother to look inside. Of course, I hid it in back of the closet just to make sure.

With only two more weeks until Christmas, I decided I should count the monies that I had saved. There was exactly $7.00. I felt like the richest kid on the block. Wow, with that much money, I told myself I could buy an extra special gift for my mom and even have enough left over to buy some candy for my brothers and sisters.

Hurriedly, I put the money in an envelope and headed to the corner store which was only a mile to and from my house. I had seen a cookie jar in the store the last time I was there to buy my dad some cigarettes (unfortunately, back then you did not have to be 21 to buy them for your parents).

Mr. Cooper greeted me as I entered the store and asked if he could help me with anything. I told him I wanted to purchase the cookie jar shaped like a house. He, of course, knew exactly which one I was talking about, and pulled it off the shelf. When I asked him how much it would be, he looked at the price and said, “That will be $7.50.” My heart sank, because I knew I only had $7.00. I explained to Mr. Cooper that I only had $7.00, and sadly he told me that I needed fifty cents more. I was so disappointed because I just knew my mom would really like that cookie jar. As I started to leave the store, a woman who I did not know told Mr. Cooper that she would give me the rest of the money so that I could buy the cookie jar.

As I handed Mr. Cooper the money, I turned to the woman to thank her for her generosity but she was gone. Mr. Cooper smiled and gave me the cookie jar. I left the store and remembered thinking that she must have been my guardian angel who gave me the extra money that I needed to buy this special gift. I never saw her again after that day.

Christmas Day that year was extremely special. There seemed to be more food than normal, and even the number of gifts were more than we usually received in years past. When it came time to give my mom her special Christmas gift, I beamed when she opened the box and discovered the house-shaped cookie jar. She hugged and kissed me but was so surprised that I was able to save up enough money to buy such a wonderful gift. I told her what happened at the store and she, too, agreed that the woman must have been a guardian angel who wanted me to buy this extra special gift for her.

Childhood memories are so precious. Thinking about this particular time in my life was good, and it seemed that everything in the world was right and the stars seemed aligned that night when I purchased this special gift–with the help of my guardian angel. Gifts are wonderful to give and to receive, but it is not about the amount that we spend on someone; it is whether the gift is given from the heart. I can honestly say and know that the cookie jar was given with much love and was definitely heart-felt by both the giver and receiver.

I think back about the gifts that I have given since to special friends and co-workers, family members, and loved ones. Each gift was from my heart and only God can give us that love that we share with others. Love, joy, peace, and hope are all part of this special gift-giving tradition that we give to one another. It is simply the gift of ourselves–who we are as a person and the love that others can see in us.

I don’t know about you, but I love this time of the year because it reminds me that the New Year is around the corner and giving of ourselves and having love and compassion towards others is the way that I want to be all year long.

We all have special gifts and talents, and I believe that God intends us to use those gifts and talents for His honor and glory every day. May you find those special gifts and talents to use during the New Year (2016).

Blessings,
Yvonne

Scriptures to Live By: Love

We have all heard the saying, “Love makes the world go round”, and yet in our society it seems that people are searching for love and can’t seem to find it. Or, they appear to be looking in all the wrong places.

There are several scriptures in the Word of God that teach us about the meaning of love and how to show more love to others in our daily walk with God. Here are just a few for you to ponder (all scriptures are from the NIV translation):

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Matthew 5:43-45: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

I Corinthians 13:4-9: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast; it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps on record of wrongs. Loves does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Mark 12-30-31: “Love the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Proverbs 17:17: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

May the Lord bless you as you continue to read His Word and allow it to bless your life.

Blessings on you,
Yvonne