COVID-19, Technology, and Fear

This has been a hard season for everyone. With the COVID-19 quarantine and the mandated stay at home orders that most people are facing, care and communication are very important right now. How do we do that without being able to get out? Well, we need to rely on technology to help us during these times. But just like COVID-19  so many people are afraid or have a hatred for technology.

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Saint Valentine: The Holy Troublemaker

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day.

What the Hallmark cards won’t tell you is that Saint Valentine was a holy troublemaker — he was imprisoned, beaten, and brutally executed. Pretty Punk Rock right?

Valentine was a priest in Rome in the 3rd century.

He was known for assisting Christians persecuted under Claudius II. After being caught marrying Christian couples, and helping Christians escape the persecution, Valentine was arrested and imprisoned. Undoubtedly, it is from this that the romantic elements of Valentine’s day emerged — but far more than a romantic, Valentine was a revolutionary.
There are many legends of Saint Valentine — that he courageously refused to pay homage to the imperial gods faithful only to Christ, and that he was a war resister, subversively marrying young couples preventing the men from going to war (the emperor Claudius believed unmarried men made better soldiers so married men were spared the horrors of war). Although Emperor Claudius originally liked Saint Valentine, he was condemned to death when he tried to convert the emperor.

Eventually, Valentine was beaten with stones, clubbed, and, finally, beheaded on February 14, 269. In the year 496, February 14 was named as a day of celebration in Valentine’s honor.

Valentine became friends with the daughter of his captor. Just before he was executed, Valentine healed the blind daughter of the jailer, restoring her vision (a radical Jesus type act of love your enemy.) As the legend goes, on the day of his execution, he left the jailer’s daughter a note signed: “Your Valentine” … undoubtedly sparking what has become a classic Valentine’s tradition around the world, of sending little notes to people we love.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children 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. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48

Perhaps this Valentine’s Day, we could could be a little more like Valentine, and write a note to someone who might be an enemy or who might be a most unlikely, subversive friend. Try that today. And sign it as he did, “Your Valentine”

#stvalentine #valentinesday #yourvalentine #history #churchhistory #loveyourenemies

Isn’t There Anyone Who Knows What Christmas is All About?

In 1965 Charlie Brown, after being terribly frustrated with the consumer mentalities around him, and how badly things are going with the Christmas play, he belts out the most provocative question of the season: “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” A Charlie Brown Christmas holds a sentimental spot in my heart, as I have always enjoyed the characters and the special. Every year countless households tune in to watch as Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang pondered the meaning of Christmas.

The Christmas special was originally believed to be a failure back in 1965, but has now  become as much a part of “Christmas Americana” as other well-known favorites like, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

In walks the most unlikely character to give Chuck a speech of the true meaning of Christmas.

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What are you Feeding Yourself?

What are you feeding yourself?

Thanksgiving and Christmas are the times of the year that we might we joke about overeating and getting stuffed on turkey, hams, and pies. While it is a festive time of year with all the lights, colors, presents, gatherings, music, and let’s be honest “baby Yoda” on Disney +’s Mandalorian there is still a large population of people struggling with depression.

This is usually due to feeling empty on the inside. When our stomachs are empty and we need energy, we eat….sometimes a little too much. Just like our stomach, our souls need to be feed, but not just on anything, but something wholesome and good. I’m not going to blame videogames, Netflix and social media for all of our problems, but just like our stomachs, we can’t live on Pepsi and Ice-cream alone. So how do we fill our soul? Below are 6 ways to feed your soul during this season.

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