Happy Valentine’s Day, or “Love” Day, as I like to call it. As my husband says, “It is just another over commercialized holiday in order to make more money.” And he is right. Yet for me it is also an opportunity to ask ourselves how we are doing at expressing love to those around us, our brothers in Christ and those who are lost, and to our Savior?
Things are zooming along here. The kids grow too fast and Gianluca and I are nearing our 5 year wedding anniversary (at times it seems we’ve been married much longer, and other times we think, “Wow! 5 Years”…depending on the day!). Rory is putting along walking holding on to everything in her grasp, pushing toys around the room, gripping chairs, legs, tables, etc. She doesn’t like to sit down and does not like to be helped. She is fiesty. EJ is speaking in full sentences now, switching easily between Italian and English. Soon he will be correcting me! Gianluca and I have begun to pack up our house. Prayerfully the house will be ready very soon. We will, however, be moving as soon as we get our stuff packed and if the house is not ready yet we will be staying with Gianluac’s family until it is.
Things in the church are going well. Gianluca is visiting local churches with a team of i6:8 members sharing about their experience in Morocco and the vision of i6:8. They hope to take three more trips this year. One in June to Morocco again, one in August to Albania, and one next December. i6:8 will be begin it’s school again this month and Gianluca will be teaching. We will be sharing the new couples ministry to the church in a week or two. We are prayerful for their response because we know that there is a big need.
Gianluca just hosted two gentlemen from England who work with the ministry Next Level- a ministry that helps with church planting and development. We hope that they will be able to partner with and bless the evangelical church in Italy. It was a crazy several days for him and I think in the end the kids and I saw him twice!
SO back to the infamous introduction to this brief look at our weekly lives…how are we doing at loving? More specifically, how are you loving those around you? I have been amazed in the last few years to see how the enemy is destroying the church from the inside out- divorce, church divisions, scandals, problems with team work, lack of submission to leadership/church authority, church hopping, insaddisfaction with everything the church does or the pastor says, lack of recognition of th divine authority God has given our pastors, etc, etc. There is persecution around the world for those who believe in and follow Christ, but the more amazing thing is that we are auto-destructing. So, how are you doing at loving? How well do you love your fellow brothers and sisters in your church body? Do you show love to the team you work with in your ministry? How well do you love and submit to your pastor as the authority God placed over your church- or do you just hop to another church when you feel unsaddisfied? How are we loving the world around us who is lost and without Christ? When is the last time you, or I, shared the gospel? Yesterday? Last year? Never? DO we love the world through setting a Christ-like example in our marriages? our interaction with other believers? the respect we show our pastor?
I hope this Valentine’s Day you and I can ask ourselves “How am I expressing love to those around me?” And that we can make real changes in our marriages, our ministry teams, our churches, our families, our lives, and in the world today. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
We love you all. And Christ loves you too.