Sir Barnabas of Chester is ONE year old! He is an ‘abundant life’ dog for sure. Named in honor of Barnabas in Scripture, his destiny is to become an encourager. His first year of life has been one of expressing himself and learning to be part of a family.
And in doing that, he encourages all around him to do the same! That’s a pretty good start in legacy building. Join us in celebrating and may each reader BE ENCOURAGED!
Barnabas came to Chester as a gift of love and appreciation. Craig faithfully provides our family with love and care…and has done so for nearly a quarter of a century. The kids and I wanted him to have joy in loving…in the form of a squirming, wrinkled bully. Barnabas wiggled into that role perfectly.
Although he didn’t realize it (and sometimes still doesn’t), Barney didn’t come to rule his own kingdom. He came into a home with two doggy siblings…and a myriad of other critters. He had to find his way to harmony, and it hasn’t always been easy.
Sometimes you have to surrender to be a part of the pack! But sometimes you can just charge on with pack and have a good time, too. As Barney found his place in his new ‘kingdom’ everyone else learned a bit more about themselves too!
Sir Barnabas knows who he is created to be and he lives out the design with a strong will and determination. Sometimes his rambunctious pursuit of what he wants aggravates others–and gets him in trouble. That doesn’t really slow him down; he just loves with equal passion. This first year, Barney has spent encouraging his house mates to live and love! We celebrate that and anticipate the expansion of his legacy in year two.
Happy Birthday, Heartsong’s Sir Barnabas!
For more than half of my life, Valentine’s Day has been celebrated with one man: my husband, Craig. His love has been a blessing and privilege I could not earn and often don’t deserve. It has shown me what the love of God looks like. His love brought stability to me–and created two more loves of my life: our children Rusty and Riesa. But this really is a piece about the source of love…not just lovely samples of it!
God, in His infinite wisdom, actually led us to have this poem read at our wedding. We didn’t honor God in those years, nor did we understand how true this is. But accepting truth doesn’t make something true. It either is true or it is not. The love of God as a necessity is truth.
Human love is fraught with problems that come from our human nature–selfishness, self-centeredness and a lack of faithfulness. We say “I love you” and really mean “I love how you make me feel.” The only way we can really love is to receive the love of God and let it pass through to others. True agape love–the love that is God–is beyond our human abilities.
It intrigued me to discover that only Peter expressed his love directly to the Lord. We often talk of ‘loving Jesus’ but the Scriptures do not record many such expressions. There are many commands to love God and discussions of love, but stating love directly is a different story. You may recall that the disciple Peter saw himself as totally committed to Jesus prior to his arrest…and then he betrayed him three times. It’s also interesting to note the kiss Judas betrayed Jesus with came from ‘phileo’ love–the love that is based on shared interests. When Jesus restored Peter, he asked him: “Do you (agape) love me?” Three times Jesus asked about Peter’s love. Twice he asked Peter if we agape loved him, and Peter replied, “I phileo love you.” Finally, Jesus asked him if Peter phileo loved him. Jesus knows our limits and he agape loves us…he meets us where we are at!
And that brings me back to this Valentine’s Day. Craig’s love changed my life…changed who I was because it gave me a glimpse of the faithfulness of God’s love. Make no mistake: love matters. We are called to love but true love only happens when it flows from the Creator.
We love each other because he loved us first.
If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?
1 John 4:19-20
Celebrate those who love you. But most of all celebrate the One who is love and made it all possible..