There is much Hoopla about Valentine’s Day

There is much Hoopla about Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is legendarily known for being the most romantic day of the year. Wow! This is a Day that couples desire to wonderfully express and celebrate life and their love for one another. This day of love is now further extended and expressed in many different ways between friends, families, classmates, teachers, coworkers and many more…

It is a great and marvelous day to annually commemorate your union of “the two becoming one.” Marriage was designed to be a loving, spiritual, committed and pleasurable fulfilling experience.

 

A Little History About Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is said to have originated from amongst the ancient chronicles of ancient Roman history within the early Christian Church. Not all agree; some believe its origin is that of a pagan nature.

 

However, this narrative goes as such.

 

Once upon a time, years ago somewhere in and about the 3rd century AD., many couples who were in love were forbidden to marry. It is said that Emperor Claudius II who was an austere, ambitious and controlling ruler requiring vast armies of men denied them the privilege to marry. He trained his soldiers well yet brutally. He was a hard taskmaster. The soldiers had to be on the road for long extended periods of times and he did not want them engaging in sexual intercourse. This left the lonesome lot of soldiers homesick and half-hearted… Still, the Emperor felt it drained the soldier’s strength and interfered with his goal for them to be victorious on the battlefield. So, he subsequently banned marriages altogether.

 

But one bold, compassionate, defiant priest in Rome named Father Valentine did not agree. He thought that the Emperor Claudius II was unjust and unyielding in this belief. He heroically came to the aid of many couples and secretly married the young lovers anyway. Well, when the furious Emperor got wind of what was happening, he was livid, and he had him beaten with clubs and arrested. It is alleged that the emperor himself began to grow fond of Father Valentine. He came to really like him.

 

Father Valentine eventually tried to no avail to convert the emperor. In turn the emperor wanted and attempted unsuccessfully to make Father Valentine renounce his Faith. They reached an impasse in their relationship. Father Valentine remained incarcerated and was eventually sentenced to death.

 

It is believed that the secretly wedded blissful couples that Father Valentine had married were so very thankful. Filled with elated gratitude they clandestinely visited the imprisoned priest. No doubt that they had pledged their love for one another but for Father Valentine as well. With thankful hearts filled with gratefulness and appreciation they surreptitiously brought him gifts, flowers and notes of gratitude. The couples would secretly pass the notes to him through the bars of his cell.

 

Father Valentine himself being loving, kindhearted, caring and compassionate supposedly too fell in love. How ironic for it was with the jailer’s daughter. Some say she was blind and he healed her… On the day of the condemned Father Valentine’s execution of February 14th around 269, he wrote her a note confessing his love for her and signed it “from your Valentine.” He however was still beheaded and martyred. From here amongst the varied accounts originates our tradition of “Valentine’s Day.”

 

Millions Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Today in this modern 21st century “Valentine’s Day” is one of the most celebrated days on the calendar. It has been festively celebrated by billions of people ever since the days of Father Valentine. This day has become extravagantly and immensely commercialized so be aware that you do not get pulled in. 

 

Yes, do celebrate “LOVE” but be responsible and stay safe!

 

Compare 2012 with 2021

 

This was true in 2012

Here in our beautiful country of America alone over 180,000,000 people celebrate by purchasing and showering roses upon their loved ones. Red is the most often selected color. It is a most prosperous day for retailers! Over 36,000,000 heart-shaped boxes of candy and chocolates as well as thousands of diamonds, dinners, cards and other gifts ranging from extravagant to simple in lavish expenditures collectively totaling billions of dollars are purchased.

 

Hershey the infamous chocolate maker employs 13,000 employees. Located in Hershey, Pennsylvania they make over $5,000,000,000 in revenue per year. They use over 600, 000,000 million pounds of chocolate per year as well as using over 200,000,000 million pounds of nuts and 700,000,000 million pounds of milk and an exorbitant ridiculously extravagant amount of sugar! Hershey Inc. vast quantities of chocolate is made from cocoa plants from all around the world.

 

Past Statistics as of 2021 on Valentine’s Day Spending according to Fortunly

Take note of these statistics because it is important to keep them in a balanced perspective.

Spending on Valentine’s Day in the US amounted to roughly $20.7 billion in 2019.

(MarketingCharts)

Valentine’s Day statistics show that around 61% of Americans planned to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their partner in 2018.

(Statista)

American consumers spent $886 million on gifts for their pets on Valentine’s Day.

(MarketWatch)

A quarter of all Americans will go Valentine’s Day shopping for their loved ones.

(National Retail Federation)

Valentine’s stats show that 28% of American adults purchased flowers or plants as gifts for the occasion. 37% of those were men and 19% were women.

(The Society of American Florists)

According to Valentine’s Day sales statistics, Americans spent $1.8 billion on candy for this holiday.

(CNBC)

Red roses account for 69% of all flowers bought on St. Valentine’s Day.

(The Society of American Florists)

Some $5 billion is spent on jewelry for Valentine’s Day in the US.

(National Retail Federation)

Men spend up to five times more than women on gifts for Valentine’s Day.

(Bankrate)

Valentine’s Day sales statistics reveal that 85% of all Valentine’s cards are bought by women.

(Greeting Card Association)

Valentine’s Day retail data shows that more than 135 million Americans went shopping for the occasion in 2019.

(Finder)

US citizens are expected to spend $27.4 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2020. That equates to $196.31 per person.

(National Retail Foundation)

 

 

Valentine’s Day Is A Time To Celebrate Love!

 

When couples are in love it is both emotional and physical. The brain produces a neurotransmitter called dopamine. It is a natural stimulant that carries messages from nerve cells to other nerve cell muscles. It is sent to many brain regions creating intense feelings often associated with romantic love. There are also physiological responses that occur by another closely related neurotransmitter called norepinephrine that often creates and intense craving… This explains why kissing for some can be intense because the hormone testosterone is passed between the two when kissing. Hopefully this explains why some can tend to be a bit irrational initially when in love. Love is wonderful when properly and lovingly expressed.

 

There is much more to Love than the physical. In a good nurturing healthy marriage, respect, care, loyalty and concern are evident components. Many are committed to many other things and their marriage is secondary. You want to take time to really get to know this person who you have committed to love. You both made not only a commitment to your spouse but you both made a vow to the LORD, or did you? Remember this all throughout the year and not only on Valentine’s Day.

 

The Beauty of Marital Love Expressed in Song of Solomon 

 

“HOW beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter? The joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman. Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor, thy belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies.  thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.

Thy neck is like a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fish pools in Hesbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim, Thy nose is as the tower or Lebanon which leadeth towards Damascus. Thy head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like Purple, the King is held in the galleries. How fair and pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!  This thy stature is like a palm tree, and thy breasts shall be as clusters of grapes…” SONG OF SOLOMON 7   Example of: I and my beloved.

 

The WORD of GOD speaks quite candidly here and transparently reveals pure marital love in the form of poetic scripture.

 

MARRIAGE IS SACRED IN THE EYES OF GOD

 

When you truly embrace His principles of Love within your marriage you both will experience an ever-increasing fulfilling union.  (Together you have the freedom to privately express your love to one another in a physical manner.)   God is Omnipresent meaning; He is absolutely everywhere. Invite Him into every area of your marriage and everyday life. God is Omniscient meaning; He is totally cognizant of all things and knows everything. Remember it is He that has created us. He is the creator and originator and knows what is necessary to have a great marriage. It is always your choice to allow Him His place within your life.  It is important to keep GOD in the Center of your marriage. If you have not it is never too late to start… I assure you, you both will be or become a lot happier.

 

 

Suggestions To Celebrate VALENTINE’S DAY

There are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a couple. Here are a few suggestions:

Start the day off with a nice hug

A relaxing bubble bath or soothing shower is a good way to start your day.

Slip a romantic expression of love note in his pocket or her purse

Compose or read poetry to one another, for starters try, The “Song of Solomon” it is a fabulous book of inspiration and love

Plan a nice Candlelight dinner and or a romantic picnic lunch

Treats of: Cakes, Cookies, Cupcakes, Chocolates, Popcorn and assorted candies

Flowers & Cards

Fruit Baskets

Take in a matinée or evening movie

Select in advance a great movie you are excited about sharing at home

Plan a spa couple visit for the mud baths, mineral springs and for massages

Play nice enjoyable music to relax

Before retiring take a nice temperate, peaceful, tranquil candle light bubble bath

A nice added touch is a scented comfy and pillow puffy rose petaled bed…

All the above are simply suggestions. Each couple is quite different. You might even have some better suitable suggestions. So do what personally works for you.

Everyday  all throughout the year it is always good to Kiss your spouse whenever you part. You never know what a day may bring.

 

Genuine LOVE continues to refine and flourish 

A suggested gift to one another that continues the celebration throughout the year.  Remember to be creative! Do keep love alive in your marriage. Make life healthy safe & exciting for one another.  Simply write colorful to do “IOU’S “on note cards…  Fold and place them in a nicely decorated jar or basket. Pick from them all throughout the year.  

 

Here are a few suggestions; This is your day to do as you wish; An Impromptu no questions asked date, A together Car Wash, No arguing today, Dancing, A no spending date, Golf Pass, Couple shopping fling, Back rub & neck massage, Foot massage, Manicure & or Pedicure, Night on the town, Walk in the park, Let’s exercise together, A picnic, Event of choice or a lovely Evening of Elegance…

The intent is to learn how to enjoy your life together, and be thoughtful and considerate of one another as well as others…  Time is precious. After a while it becomes a part of who you are. And yes, do always take time to study the Word of God together for it is our necessary essential spiritual food for our mind, body & soul! 

When you do begin to partake in some of the above consistently, they will occur naturally….

 

~ “GOD IS LOVE” ~

GOD Defines LOVE in HIS WORD

 

When you SAY that you LOVE someone here are some things to KEEP in mind. Here the TRUE meaning of LOVE is defined.

LOVE is best described herein I Corinthians 13: “LOVE is patient, Love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE does not delight in evil, but REJOICES in TRUTH. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. LOVE NEVER FAILS…”

Remember this; “GOD IS LOVE!” and His Love lasts through eternity! Father God Bless You Both. ENJOY & CELEBRATE the one you Love! Seek out ways to encourage more and complain less.  Stay committed to your vows you made to God and to one another.  Keep God in the Center of your marriage.

Always remember; “Love is patient, Love is kind, Love is felt most when it is GENUINE!”

GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

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Today Is A Gift So Be “THANKFUL!”

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I start each day with; “This is the Day that The LORD has made! Let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it! O LORD SAVE us; O LORD grant us success. BLESSED is he who comes in the Name of the LORD. From the House of the LORD we BLESS you.The LORD is GOD and HE has made HIS Light to shine upon us.” It is interesting how we can sometimes take it for granted that there will be another day after today! Think about it for a moment! Who but GOD can make a DAY?

As each new year draws near and end I am quite Thankful! There have been many things to take place this year throughout the world! Many who started the year out with us have passed on to the other side! There have been numerous earthquakes and natural disasters that have ravaged the land! The magnitude of the world’s overall dwindling economy has reached catastrophic proportions! Many countries are suffering… Yes some have begun to rebound but the aftermath is residual. The plethora of terrorists attacks are insane… For many things will never be quite the same. The ongoing cycle of wars ending and wars beginning seem endless…

I realize that the holiday season can be a time of great anxiety for many! Memories of loved ones that have passed on and distressing times seek to vigilantly rob you of your joy! But look you are still here! You still have more time! Time is priceless! Try to think about some of the happier moments and times that you shared with them and dwell upon the fond, humorous, tender and warmhearted memories! Build new and cherished memories to hold on to! Honor their memory now as you keep them close to heart! Live live to its fullest. Set new goals and forge ahead seeking ways to accomplish your goals! Look forward to an improving quality of life no matter how long or short… Change is always on the horizon! Anything that does not change is dead. Celebrate life itself as you continue to move forward!

I can personally think of some very unpleasant moments, times of grief, illnesses, deaths, distresses and calamitous disasters that have taken place but I do not want to dwell there! Nor do I desire to camp in denial! I pray that the Lord will continue to open my eyes to TRUTH! Knowing that He will lead you or I as we are willing to submit to His Will & Way! I so want to continuously “Abide in the Shadow of the Almighty…! ” Psalm 91. This verse assures us that His protection is always available… Time waits on no one! Well I must say that The Lord can and did allow time to be turned back for a moment… “

King Hezekiah was a great example! Here we learn that God keeps His promises! With Him even the impossible is possible! “Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go to the Temple of The Lord on the third day from now?” Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what He has promised; shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?” “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.” The prophet Isaiah called upon the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.” II Kings 20.

What are you saying; King Hezekiah was faithful to the Lord! He became sick and to the point of death. He turned his face to the wall and humbly and sincerely prayed to the Lord asking the Lord to heal him! As a sign he asked if the shadow could go back ten steps! The stairway of Ahaz is a sundial. The Egyptians made their sundials in the form of miniature staircase. Shadows moved up and down to tell the time! The Lord honored Hezekiah’s request! “On the third day from now you will go up to the Temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life…” II Kings 20. Here we can see that time belongs to GOD! Evidently Hezekiah had not yet fulfilled his purpose on this side of heaven and the Lord extended his time! He granted Hezekiah another fifteen years of life!

My point here is that time is so precious and sometimes we just never know from moment to moment what will be… Even in the face of death we can turn to the Lord! We can begin to relish each moment and seek to have happier moments! To sincerely make an attempt to deal with life responsively even when it becomes unpleasant despite what is going on about us! To live life to its fullest! I believe if you reach deep enough inside, and think broad enough anyone can find something to be thankful for no matter how infinitesimally small it might be! Life itself is a precious gift! Our good days can outweigh the rough times… You may have to take it moment by moment during the difficult days when you can’t see your way through… Just know someone somewhere has more or less yet, no matter how large or small or seemingly insignificant we can express thanks! Memories are priceless! God is bigger and beyond anyone, anything or any situation we may ever encounter! He will see you through!

If you have been depressed for a long time, it’s time for things to change! God really does the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT to flourish within all of our lives daily! Know that it is the devil who wants to keep you bogged down in regrets, fear, doubt, shame and hopelessness. To make you feel so bad that the pains of life have you down and overwhelmed! To separate you from the Lord and to get you to focus on your pain! Don’t let your emotions continue to get the best of you. Exercise some self-control! Reach out to the Lord! Cry out to Him He can meet you right where you are! There is light at the end of the tunnel you may feel lonely but you are not alone! God can reach over your abyss of torment and bring you through to start anew! Know that today is a gift from Him!

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us from sin. Sin is anything that separates us from GOD! Jesus came to earth to give us hope for a better life with the Lord! He never sinned and did many marvelous miraculous healings, signs and wonders! He even fed thousands of people with a small lunch of fish and bread shared by a generous young boy! The Book of John even tells us that the world could not contain the books of all the miraculous things that Jesus did WOW! Look at GOD! HE IS AMAZING! Although JESUS helped many, He was still horrendously mistreated! He was beaten, spit upon then nailed to the cross and placed in a borrowed tomb! It was borrowed because He did not plan to stay there! What happened to Him was a part of God’s plan for us! Jesus redeemed us and paid the price for the sins of the world with His life! He arose with all power from the grave declaring power over sin and death! GOD IS AWESOME!

“But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was IMPOSSIBLE for death the KEEP its hold on HIM. David said about Him:

“I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue REJOICES; my body also will live in HOPE, because you will not abandon Me to the grave. Nor will you let your HOLY ONE see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with JOY in Your presence!” Acts 2.

Today is a gift from God! Draw closer to the Lord and shift your focus to Him! He will and can make all the difference in the world in your life! Everyone who is willing to invite Him into their heart can receive His Holy Spirit! He is the Inner Teacher, Guide, Wonderful Counselor and Comforter! Do not let life just pass you by! Ask the Lord to fill your heart and lift you from despair and fill you with His JOY!

No one can be a better you than you! Don’t allow man to take you down the primrose path that leads to destruction… Don’t allow the devil to make you live in regrets… What has happened cannot be undone! But you can always choose to go forward from where you are with the hope of building a better tomorrow! You can live eternally with the Lord! Don’t let anyone or anything rob you of Hope! Seek God for yourself! We can always have Hope in the LORD! Faith is what inspires Hope! Trust GOD! This is why an ongoing intimate personal relationship with The Lord is so very important! God is Love! He is the Great Equalizer! This is why He gave us His Son JESUS CHRIST! To accept Him into our hearts and let Him become our personal SAVIOR & LORD! With Him your age, race, address, bank account, medical condition, state of mind, societal status, IQ, what you have or do not have, does not change His Love for You! In Him you can discover everything that you will ever need! He can help you be the best you! He can fill your inner void and give you His PEACE that surpasses the understanding of man! PRAISE GOD!!!

God has created each of us for a purpose! “And we KNOW that in ALL things GOD works together for the GOOD” Romans 8. In HIS time! Life is about living and discovering whatever that purpose may be. All the signs of the last days are all about us! “ “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:25-28. Knowing this we can be thankful as time draws near! Prepare today! JESUS IS COMING SOON!

In Him we can have blessed assurance! It is “in HIM we live and move and have our being!” Acts 17. Yes be Aware! Yes express your doubts and fears! However make Him your focus! Not in a legalistic religious way! God wants us to enjoy life on this side of heaven! Spend time in His presence, meditating upon His Word! Allow Him to write His Word upon the tables of your heart and trust Him to bring it to your memory when needed! His Word is precious Spiritual Food for our souls! You have as much time as you need with the Lord, because time belongs to Him! Draw closer to the Him regardless of what is happening or not happening about you! Despite what is happening in this world know that He is still in control! His Word is being fulfilled!

Make it a point to spend time in His presence today! Be Thankful today because tomorrow is not promised! We know from His Word that even when your days may be few if it is His will He can extend time! If your Faith is dwindling and your heart troubled ask the Lord to rekindle your FAITH! Surrender your anxiety, depression, sadness,doubt, regrets or sickness to Him and let Him restore your JOY! Recommit or commit to His will and His way! God is our Protector, Healer and Deliverer we must continuously learn to entrust our wellbeing to HIM! Allow Him to be your Refuge and Fortress! God has already given us the Greatest Gift ever which is JESUS CHRIST!! We can Celebrate Christmas, New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving , Anniversaries, Birthdays, Holidays and everyday knowing that “”The earth is the LORD’S and everything in it the world and them that dwell therein!” Psalm 24. Trust God for brighter moments, days and precious memories ahead! He CAN and will supply ALL of your needs in CHRIST JESUS! GOD TRULY IS ABLE!! Prayer and Faith go together! Each day is a day to be Thankful! “This is the Day that The LORD has MADE! Let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it!” GOD BLESS YOU!

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