How to be a Minister

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A Better Valentine's Day

It is interesting to watch the marketing culture change from season to season. Last year the Valentine’s Day push came right after Christmas. However, last year, and to my unpleasant surprise, I found rows of Valentine’s gifts and decorations lining the shelves two weeks prior to Christmas.Journey-of-Grace

This premature marketing ignited a plethora of thoughts and emotions. The first being, “You have got to be kidding, Christmas has not even passed, and I am already being bombarded with rows of red hearts, roses and chocolates.” Romance and love, the stirring of hope to feel special, to be loved and share love, the chance to welcome a mysterious or expensive surprise, and even the pressure to spend more money were just a few of the emotive thoughts which caught my attention.

Later, I took some time to ponder how of my single friends might feel as this ‘holiday for lovers’ approaches. Hope for a soul-mate, grief over a lost one, loneliness or feelings of disappointment and rejection were just a few of the initial sentiments which provoked further ruminations.

What kind of emotional pressure does a day like this create?  The answers are as diverse as the people who celebrate the day (or don’t.)  I guess most people can fill in the blank in one or two phrases.

As for me, I thought about the healing community we are called to steward. What kind of culture should we create or what type of philosophy should we imbibe for a day like this?

While those who are married may choose to take the occasion to indulge and fuel love, how should singles or the unattached own the day? It is true that the tenderness, longing and awareness of desires unfulfilled are highlighted as the day closes in.

I feel the ‘soul of the single’ must choose to celebrate this day differently; perhaps breaking the norms of culture and its expectations. This may not eliminate all the pain, but the exquisite risk of mysteriously marking the day will soften the impact for some. And for others the sweet and bold expressions of love and faith will ignite laughter, fresh hope and courage. It is creative, celebratory action that will transform the inevitable cry of pain to a song of joy.

For all, young and old, married and unmarried, it can be a time to create fresh opportunities to express love, honour, commitment and thankfulness. And if this is a day of love, then feel free to celebrate those you care about. You don’t need a spouse, lover, or soul mate. Be free to step out of patterns that replay the secular norms. Be free, feel free! It is the fine art of living and loving well.

If we choose to do so, our vivid signature of ‘love expressed’ will yield lifetime memories. I say, “A new threshold is waiting to be crossed.” As we cross it, we will move from feelings of isolation to feelings of belonging and significance.

As a community, a spiritual family, where different generations and relationships connect and intersect, let’s fashion and form a culture that nourishes one another on this day. Let the joy of spontaneity and intentionality be experienced though an environment of freedom, imagination and inspiration.

In closing, Bill and I recently heard the back-story behind the writing and producing of an all-time favorite love song, ‘You Are So Beautiful,’ written by Billy Preston.  So with a new appreciation for this ‘love song’ we say and sing to our friends, “YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!”

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Comments 6

Guest - Deanna Brown on Monday, 11 February 2013 21:56

The idea of coming along side people on a day that was created by someone who probably had good intentions for the day is a good one. Of course I have a problem with the commercialism that surrounds this and other holidays. All holidays can be stressful when your walking through the loss of someone special to you or your alone on these days. My husband and I don't celebrate Valentines Day as it was an anniversary from a former marriage and that just seems a little strange to do so. However, I would like to see the Love of the Lord put over top all Valentine's and have it a day of worship to the Lord and not each other. As a church we should claim the day as a day to worship God, kind of like we have for Halloween. This way the Love of God is first and foremost in the lives of the people. Then the Holy Spirit will love on us and there is no greater gift then the love of the Lord. I think this would solve a whole lot of problems that these holidays could cause, it gives people a different option. Just a thought!!

The idea of coming along side people on a day that was created by someone who probably had good intentions for the day is a good one. Of course I have a problem with the commercialism that surrounds this and other holidays. All holidays can be stressful when your walking through the loss of someone special to you or your alone on these days. My husband and I don't celebrate Valentines Day as it was an anniversary from a former marriage and that just seems a little strange to do so. However, I would like to see the Love of the Lord put over top all Valentine's and have it a day of worship to the Lord and not each other. As a church we should claim the day as a day to worship God, kind of like we have for Halloween. This way the Love of God is first and foremost in the lives of the people. Then the Holy Spirit will love on us and there is no greater gift then the love of the Lord. I think this would solve a whole lot of problems that these holidays could cause, it gives people a different option. Just a thought!!
Guest - Linda Barnard on Friday, 08 February 2013 09:32

This article touches the soul of people with love, acceptance and belonging in a way that you relate and share love. Celebrating love in a way that is not driven by commerce, but by honour, understanding, fun and spiritual family - in other words, living kingdom culture and community. A very much needed voice, not just for the unmarried, but for the married as well. The church needs to model the way in touching the heart and soul of every "group"/individual......this article does that.

This article touches the soul of people with love, acceptance and belonging in a way that you relate and share love. Celebrating love in a way that is not driven by commerce, but by honour, understanding, fun and spiritual family - in other words, living kingdom culture and community. A very much needed voice, not just for the unmarried, but for the married as well. The church needs to model the way in touching the heart and soul of every "group"/individual......this article does that.
Pastor Dave Smuin on Thursday, 07 February 2013 17:18

Thank you Mike.

Thank you Mike.
Guest - Mike Courtney on Wednesday, 06 February 2013 02:07

Good thoughts. Thanks for taking the time to share them.

Good thoughts. Thanks for taking the time to share them.
Pastor Dave Smuin on Tuesday, 05 February 2013 21:21

I love the idea of reaching out on these special days to someone needier than myself. I heard of someone who was alone on a special day like this. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he bought a big bouquet of roses. He went to the nursing home and gave one to each of the patients. He offered to pray with them, sat and chatted awhile. He said it was the best holiday he ever spent and loneliness just flew out the window.

I love the idea of reaching out on these special days to someone needier than myself. I heard of someone who was alone on a special day like this. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he bought a big bouquet of roses. He went to the nursing home and gave one to each of the patients. He offered to pray with them, sat and chatted awhile. He said it was the best holiday he ever spent and loneliness just flew out the window.
Pastor Dave Smuin on Friday, 08 February 2013 14:13

Thank Lorella,

My hope was to inspire many to do out of the ordinary things which share the love so freely given to us.

Thank Lorella, My hope was to inspire many to do out of the ordinary things which share the love so freely given to us. :)
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