Witnessing Love Growing a Bit

What flame do you fan?


In Norfolk, Virginia, handmade signs, such as “love conquers hate,” have been appearing along busy roads. Special thanks to the person making the effort to remind us of basic truths.

The next part of the story is how I was able to see this picture in the first place. A co-worker was telling another, “I saw another sign!” There was profound joy and excitement in Joni’s voice as she shared the details and showed the pictures she captured on her phone.

Like all of us, Joni has been saddened by violence in our country. Yet, instead of succumbing to the vortex of despair, Joni stopped for a moment in her day to snap this picture. She then continued to fan the flame of its hope through its image, and most importantly, its message.

Thank you Joni, for growing love!

Recently, our pastor reminded the congregation of Nehemiah 8:10. If our Lord finds joy, despite all that He sees, how can we not? It stayed with me that joy and strength are interconnected. We can become despondent, overwhelmed and vulnerable when we sense no joy. Yet, it surrounds us. So, let’s fan the flame of joy. Let’s share it with others- every day, any way. It’s simple- just like the handmade sign in the shape of a heart.

Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10.

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Beep and Wave

George’s sister shared this story. One day she was driving with her brother as he beeped and waved with a smile to everyone they passed. “George, you sure do know a lot of people!” she said. “Oh, I don’t know most of them”, he replied.

You see, George was that special guy who made everyone he encountered feel loved. His booming greeting and genuine interest in you confirmed that you really mattered.

Returning to her home state after the visit, George’s sister emulated her big brother’s approach. She beeped and waved. Smiles were returned. The habit stuck. She noticed that life felt better.

Today, George’s life was celebrated. A poem in the service guide serves as a reminder.

God has not promised
Skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways
All our lives thro’,
God has not promised
Sun without rain,
Peace without pain.
But God has promised
Strength for the day,
Rest for the laborer,
Light for the way,
Grace for the trials,
Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
Undying love.
                                          -Annie Johnson Flint

Thank you George, for growing love.

Many people will be beeping and waving in your honor.



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Elf Grows Love

“Elf” must be considered a new Christmas classic, securing its place with “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” and “A Year Without a Santa Claus.” (who can resist the Heat Miser and Cold Miser performances?)

Elf’s Will Ferrell takes us on a comedic journey as we witness delightful dishes (spaghetti and syrup), learn the value of unfiltered friendship and how to properly decorate for Christmas.  But then, Santa’s sleigh won’t work because it runs on Christmas magic.  With belief in Santa at an all-time low, the sleigh’s power is nil. Christmas is in jeopardy.

Thankfully, on a street in NY City, a woman has the courage to sing the Santa anthem- “you better watch out, you better not cry…” Gradually, people join in. Her voice strengthens with each addition and the chorus of singers intensifies. Santa’s sleigh gets a seismic power boost. People believe again as they witness the momentous event.

We don’t always have to start the song but we can surely join in!

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