Sunday, February 12, 2017

This month's observations are: Black historical accomplishments and Valentine's Day. Unlike American history, which has shaped the life of every Black American {and not always in positive ways}; Black history should be acknowledged by all White Americans because, many Black men and women, gave their blood, sweat and tears to make this nation what it is today. The products and achievements of ingenious Black men and women have been a benefit to every citizen of this nation, but unfortunately, American history books are deplete of  any mention of  Black {or Negro} citizens, outside of slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Abraham Lincoln issued on January 1, 1863.

As I think about Valentine's Day, I find it ironic that we only celebrate love for one day, when it should be celebrated all year long. One songwriter penned: "Love makes the world go round." I don't believe that love actually causes the world to revolve around the axis of earth, but love does make hearts beat faster and can put pep in the step of those in love. Love feeds the hungry, clothes the naked and makes the lonely feel wanted.  Without love, hatred rules in the hearts of men, women and children. Anger and hatred are the ingredients for murder or genocide., which is what is occurring in our nation today.  We need to not only survive, but to thrive individually and collectively [e.g. our family]. 


It’s been many decades, but I do recall the excitement of Valentine’s Day, when I was in elementary school.  My mother would take me and my siblings to the store to purchase packaged Valentine cards.  Do you remember those cute cards?  They came in several varieties and the individual cards in the package had a simple message of affection with pictures of cupids, hearts and cartoon characters.  I took time to meticulously sign my name on each card and then wrote the names of my favorite classmates on the envelopes provided.  On Valentine’s Day, I proudly took my stash of cards to school to give out during the scheduled class party.  It was a fun time exchanging cards and eating treats, to include candy hearts, cookies and punch.  But, the next day, we returned to school and back to our usual class routine, while anticipating the next holiday party and a chance to get a break from classwork {Lol}.

The adult tradition of celebrating Valentine’s Day has most often included giving or exchanging  cards—preferably Hallmark; expensive chocolates, personal gifts to include flowers, perfume, jewelry and others items. The evening would not be complete without a movie and/or dinner at an upscale restaurant.  On this day, expressions of love are freely and generously given to family members, spouses, or that ‘special’ someone.  Like other holidays, it is a day to be enjoyed, but is sometimes dreaded by those, who don’t have anyone special with whom to celebrate.  After all the fanfare and romanticism of Valentine’s Day, it seems that people return unaffected to their usual routines of life.  Shouldn’t this popular day of love have some lasting impact on our lives?  I believe that many of us have celebrated this holiday for years without even knowing its’ history.

“The history of Valentine's Day -- and its patron saint -- is shrouded in mystery. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial -- which probably occurred around 270 A.D.” (Excerpts from

This month many will celebrate Valentine’s Day extravagantly,  others more simply and some will choose not to celebrate at all because, they are alone and/or without God in this world.  I started to think that perhaps, I would have no reason to give attention or observation to this holiday because, I am single and without a significant other.  I started to assume that this year would be just like the last several years. Whenever, I considered the commercial observation of Valentine’s Day, I would fall into the ‘loneliness trap,' but not anymore! Thank God for His Holy Spirit, Who reminded me that as a believer in Jesus Christ, I am not alone for the Lord has promised never to leave me or forsake me! (Hebrews 13:5b_KJV)  If you know you will be without that ‘special invite’ this year and have no plans to be your single friends, don’t be discouraged—make a date  to spend your evening with Jesus, the faithful, righteous One, who is full of love.  The Bible declares that God is love (1John 4:16b) and also contains many expressions or Valentines of His love, care and desire for you and me.  His timeless love letters found in the Holy Bible were written for all mankind and He continues to ask: “Will you be mine?”

If you would indulge me, I would like to share paraphrases of familiar Bible verses (or Valentines) that express God’s loving care for us:

·       John 3:16 – God loved the world so much, He gave His Only Son, so those in the world would not perish, but have His everlasting life.  This Valentine is for: Whoever believes in Him

·       Matthew 11:28-30 –An invitation to come unto the Lord; to take His yoke, which is easy with a light burden; to learn of Him and find rest for one’s soul.  Addressed to: All you, who work and are tired and burdened

·       Hebrews 4:16 – We are exhorted to come boldly to God’s throne of grace in prayer in order to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  This Valentine is for: All of us

In preparation for your personal Valentine’s Day celebration, remember to imitate Christ before others.  As you willingly show love to those, who love you; also show love to one another and any strangers in your midst as the Lord commanded. (John 15:12)  When the holiday is over, let love can continue because, God’s love is everlasting. (Jeremiah 31:3)

Remember to set aside some quality time this Valentine’s Day to extol and bless the Lover of your soul. (Psalm 103:1-5)  The Lord always desires to be in fellowship with us and when we get too busy, He woos us by His Holy Spirit.  Remember, Jesus will not force Himself on you but, because of a desire to commune with you, He is standing at the door (of your life) and knocking.  Don’t you hear Him as He softly asks again: “Will you be mine?”  He wants to be your Valentine above all others; to come in to you (your abode) so; He can sup with you and you with Him. (Revelation 3:20_KJV) “For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.  To-day if ye will hear His voice harden not your heart . . .” (Psalm 95:7-8 _KJV) If you don’t get the invite or box of gourmet chocolates you expect for Valentine’s Day, Jesus awaits you with something sweeter and calorie-free: eat God’s Words, which are sweeter than honey; Oh taste and see! (Psalm 119:103; Psalm 34:8_KJV)


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