Love Challenge, Week 4 


Have you ever received a “Love Letter?”  Maybe it was written on a piece of paper and passed from one of your friends to you. Maybe your “Secret Admirer” wrote their feelings for you on a card and sent it to you. Maybe they were brave enough to write it, sign it, and leave it in your locker at school. Maybe it was even a valentine especially selected just for you, that they dropped in a valentine bag for you at school. While all of those are sweet and fun to receive when we are young, what about the Love Letters we have received after we have grown up. Have you ever received any of those?

I remember that one of my first was from my Dad while I was in college. Many of you have heard my testimony about my Dad. It is a true blessing of hurt, pain, abandonment, forgiveness, healing and restoration. Some of the most difficult years with my Dad were my years in college. I went to college for six years and received two Bachelor’s Degrees along with one Associates Degree. When I left for college my Dad and I were barely speaking. If he did speak to me, it was to yell at me and tell me that I would amount to no good going the direction I was going. My third year of college I transferred to a Christian College and he was even more adment that I would be a failure. His words, not mine!

As my College career was coming to an end and my graduation loomed, I realized I had a choice to make. I could throw my completion of college and success up in his face or I could forgive him for not believing in me and work toward a healed relationship.

With God’s strength, I did forgive him and invited him to my graduation. He came and gave me a “LOVE LETTER” signed, “YOUR LOVING FATHER!” He never said he was sorry, but tucked inside the pages of a Precious Moments Bible, he wrote that he loved me and was proud of me! I began collecting Precious Moments collectables my first year of college. Realizing he knew that also spoke love to me.

Throughout my years of adulthood I received many “LOVE LETTERS” from my Husband, Mom, Grandparents, Sisters and a couple of true friends. As I became a Mom and my children grew I began receiving LOVE LETTERS from them. I am so very blessed that my children are not only great writers but deep thinkers. The LOVE LETTERS on Birthday and Anniversary cards that they write me are among my most cherished possessions! When my children grew into adulthood and were married, I was blessed again with two new children who care enough to write their feelings in “LOVE LETTERS” to me as well. My most recent, and definitely my sweetest LOVE LETTERS have come from my grandchildren! This Valentine’s Day I received individual cards from all three of my grandchildren that can walk, and a scribble from the one who is still rolling around on the floor! I treasure these LOVE LETTERS and keep each and every one!

I read them frequently, especially when I am having a down day. I remind myself of the LOVE that I have in my life from others.

My Dad has been in heaven now for 10 years. Having my LOVE LETTER from him in my curio cabinet is priceless and a reminder of God’s goodness, grace and redemption!

Our final ‘LOVE CHALLENGE’ of this year’s “LOVEUARY” is to wake up for the next 6 days, the final days of LOVEUARY, and tell God that we love Him!

I’m sure you have received “LOVE LETTERS” in your life as well. Maybe they were not intentionally written as a “LOVE LETTER.” But nonetheless, they expressed that person’s love to you. 

As precious and priceless as all of my LOVE LETTERS are to me, none holds the power of the GREATEST LOVE LETTER EVER WRITTEN. 

This LOVE LETTER can heal the sick, cure the brokenhearted and bring hope to the hopeless! It can forgive, forget and save! It is patient and it is kind. It is never jealous, boastful or proud. It is never rude, and does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice over injustice but rejoices with the truth. It never gives up, never loses faith. It always hopes and endures through every circumstance. IT NEVER RUNS OUT AND IT NEVER FAILS!  (Adapted from I Corinthians 13:4-8).



God has written you a LOVE LETTER, it is called the Bible! It is True and it is all for you!

God loves you and wants you to know it each and every day! So, pick it up and read it and feel the perfect LOVE of God for you.

“Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.”  

Speak Truth Love


Am I catching you the day after Valentine’s Day in a chocolate fog? Or possibly are you suffering with an aching stomach today over a delicious dinner that you ate way too much of? Or maybe just maybe you have the addiction I do and you are suffering from what I refer to as; “Pastry Passion Overload!” AKA too many cookies and cupcakes!

All of these “overloads“ can cause us to wish we had not overindulged! But there is one Valentine tradition that we can never get enough of, Love Notes!

When someone cares to send you a note reminding you that you are loved, it can never overindulge!

Because there was a man who lived over 1000 years ago and was committed to sharing the love of Jesus Christ we have what we now know today as, Valentine’s Day!

St. Valentine lived as a Christian priest in Italy in the mid 200s A.D.! The facts that I am about to share about him with you are not a myth or legend they are historically accurate and known. While it is true that there are some facts that are questioned, the fact that I am about to share have been historically proven. While it is also true that Valentine’s Day has morphed into something much different then it’s original intent, it does not change the historical facts!

Valentine lived under Roman law. He was arrested for refusing to pray to a pagan god and for sharing Jesus, AKA, evangelizing pagans. He was put in prison and the judge who held him prisoner was Asterius. Asturias soon became fond of Valentine and curious about his beliefs, but it was not until Asterius’s daughter became blind that he got serious. He spoke to Valentine and said, “If your God is who you say he is then pray to him to heal my daughter.“ 

Valentine did pray to God to heal the daughter of Asterius. God heard Valentine’s prayers and healed the girl. At this occurrence, Asterius believed in Jesus and was baptized along with every member of his household!

Sound familiar? Read Acts 16!

Asterius was so moved by the love that God had shown him and his family that he released Valentine and all the other imprisoned Christians!

Valentine could not stop sharing God‘s great love! He was arrested a second time after continuing to evangelize. Valentine also was marrying Christian couples even though it was illegal under the Roman law! He believed with all of his heart that God wanted them to be able to share in the love that He had created for them!

It was said that Valentine would cut out heart shapes of parchment and give them to the couples he would marry to remind them of their vows and God‘s love for them. Sounds like the first ever Valentine cards to me!

At Valentine’s second arrest he was put under Claudius II. Valentine could not stop sharing the good news of Jesus! Although Claudius II was fond of Valentine, Valentines attempts to convert him were not met with appreciation. Quite the opposite! Claudius II ordered the execution of Valentine! 

On February 14th, 269 AD Valentine was beaten, but when that did not kill him he was thrown outside the gates of the city and beheaded. The church set February 14th as a day to remember him.

Valentine’s Day truly has God’s love at its source!

This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ lay down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” I John 3:16

Valentine lived out this verse to its fullest! He would not stop sharing the love of God with all of his “ Brothers and sisters!“ He shared the love of God with anyone and everyone that he came in contact with! Even to the point of it causing his own death. 

Like Valentine, let’s take every opportunity, especially on February 14th, when it is so natural and easy to do,  to remind others of God’s love!


Send someone a “Love Note!” Heart-shaped or non-heart shaped, reminding them that God loves them!



Speak Truth Love


Yes, it is still February, AKA “LOVEUARY.” In case you thought you could close your eyes and all this “lovey dovey” stuff would be over, it’s not! But even if it is not your favorite time of the year, there is good news! You still have time to accept the Love Challenge for the month of February and demonstrate the Love of God to someone!

This week we are going to get “All Shook Up!”  That’s right, I went there…

Elvis Presley blurted out the words loud and clear in one of his most popular songs, ‘All Shook up.’ I can quote every line and verse to that popular song from the 1960’s. Not because Elvis Presley was among my era of singers, but because he was one of my Father’s favorites. My dad had a similar look to Elvis. My dad had jet black hair, a chizled and very handsome face, crystal blue eyes, and an athletic build. True, his voice was no where near the voice of Elvis, but that did not stop him from blurting the words to this song out at the top of his lungs…

“Well, please don’t ask me what’s on my mind

I’m a little mixed up, but I’m feeling fine

When I’m near that girl that I love best

My heart beats so it scares me to death.”

At that point my sister’s and I would jump in and we would all sing the chorus together;


We would laugh and dance around and feel the love of our Father. Those were the good times! 

There were bad times too. There were times when we literally felt “All Shook Up,” as my father would be absent or angry. His exuberant, fun-loving nature could turn on a dime and we would be “All Shook Up.”  

As I grew up, and wisdom and maturity helped me sift through the good and the bad, I realized my father loved me very much. I remember clearly God speaking to me and asking me to have “COMPASSION” on my father. I immediately retorted back to God, “Why me? He’s the father.”  

With complete love and compassion, God reminded me that because He has shown compassion to me, I can show it to others. 

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills removed, yet my unfailing LOVE

for you WILL NOT BE SHAKEN not my covenant of peace be removed, says the 

Lord, who has COMPASSION on you.”       

                                               Isaiah 54:10

We all get “SHOOK UP” from time to time. Changes, circumstances and even catastrophes can leave us grasping for equilibrium! But hold on friend, because the unshakeable, unfailing compassionate love of our God will never be removed!

Now it’s our turn. Compassion has been shown to us, let’s show it to others!

God helped me show love and compassion to my earthly father through forgiveness. When I took a step back from the pain, and what I believed was the injustice of his treatment toward me, I was able to demonstrate God’s compassion to my dad and love him like Jesus loves me. It was not perfect, but it was good! I love to say that my dad was a good dad, he loved his girls, but my dad was an incredible Papa!  Because my sisters and I demonstrated compassion to my dad, he was forgiven and freed up to LOVE his grandchildren BIG!


Demonstrate God’s LOVE through COMPASSION this week to someone who needs it. Not necessarily deserves it, but needs it!



It’s time to do some SHAKING friends. The world needs to be All Shook Up with the compassion and love of Jesus!


Speak Truth Love


Seriously, it’s the first day of the month dedicated to LOVE! I have recently heard it termed, “LOVEUARY”! It’s February 1st everyone, and like it, LOVE it, or hate it, it’s the month dedicated to LOVE. 

Everything’s coming up roses and hearts! You can feel the commercialism coming at us in every direction. It can stir strong emotions both good and bad. Regardless of our reaction to this month of LOVE, we can use it to celebrate TRUE LOVE, God’s LOVE!  We can actually turn something divinely created by God Himself;  used, misused and abused as it is by the world, into an opportunity to put God’s LOVE on display! We have the opportunity to do this no matter how we are feeling personally or how we feel personally about “LOVEUARY!”

I would like to propose a four week “Love Challenge,” through the month of February.

Each week I will Blog about the LOVE God shares with us and asks us to share with others. Then, I challenge myself and you, to share God’s LOVE with someone different each week of LOVEUARY. How you do it and when you do it is up to you. No one is watching you but God. And He loves you unconditionally, so you cannot fail!


Jesus tells His disciples in John 13:35 that it is by the way we love others that the world will know that we love God.



This week write someone, call someone, speak to someone, or do something loving for someone, even or especially if they do not deserve it and you do not feel loving. Love someone with God’s LOVE this week.

When I had been married for only a year, someone shared a great book with me. The title was, ‘Lord of My Rocking Boat.’ It was a wonderful book with great truths that were deep and profound to having good relationships. One of the illustrations stuck with me and has challenged me many times in my life.

“My husband/friend/sibling (you fill in the blank), and I had a pretty strong argument. Unfortunately, it did not end in resolve. We both stated our opinions and walked away unsettled. That afternoon I was getting ready to head home and stopped by the store and bought a bouquet of flowers. I walked through the door and handed them to my spouse/friend/sibling…and said nothing. My spouse/friend/sibling reached out and accepted the bouquet and asked why? I simply stated, “I do love you, but I was not feeling loving toward you, so I practiced a loving act.”

God’s LOVE is genuine and real, it allows us to practice being loving until His love can become genuine within us.


We have the opportunity to show God’s love to others each and everyday!

It’s February 1st, will you accept the LOVE CHALLENGE with me!

I LOVE you and God does too!


Speak Truth Love