Unconditional Love

When I thought about Easter, and what I could write and how to approach it, the first thing that came to my mind was love. The Love of Jesus. When we think about Easter and all of the events that transpired during this time, the only thing I can think is- Woah! Jesus loved me that much? So much that He endured the pain of the cross and died for us, so that we could live, so that we could have hope, so that we could have joy. He endured this pain for me, for you, for the person sitting next to you in class, for your family members, for your teacher or boss.

I think the majority of us are familiar with the Easter ‘story’, how Judas betrayed Jesus which led to the Roman soldiers capturing and torturing him, ultimately nailing him to a cross and killing him (Matthew 27). Jesus was then taken to a borrowed tomb (Matthew 27:60), and was dead for three days. On the third day though, they found the stone rolled away, and the tomb empty- Jesus had risen from the dead (Matthew 28). How miraculous!

This love, the love that Jesus has for us is unconditional and sacrificial. Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions. He loves us without conditions, we don’t need to pass a test or make perfect decisions for Him to give us His love, it is a gift that has no conditions, no hidden motive, no ‘fine print’.

Throughout my life I have experienced being loved and giving love. I have been blessed to have grown up in a loving family with parents who worked hard to provide my brother and I with an environment that was completely different than theirs, an environment that was full of unconditional love. I know not everyone has that, and a lot of people are growing up in or have grown up in a home where love is not the environment, where they don’t feel unconditionally loved. Unconditional love is something that is rare, that is beautiful, and when you are given it, hold on to it.

Jesus sacrificed His life for ours, so that we could live. He gave His life for ours. I think that the least I can do is return the favor. He isn’t asking us to be tortured and hung on a cross, He is asking us to show selfless love like He did. He is asking that we follow His Word, and model our lives after His. He is asking for a relationship with us.

Jesus died on that cross, to show us His unconditional love. He died so we don’t have to. Because of the cross we can have eternal life. And now, knowing this- it is our job to give love, like Jesus did.

 

Sabrina Hope

Celebrate Love

Valentine’s Day is a day of celebration for love and the only way to enjoy it is you must have a boyfriend! Wrong! Yes, this day is a celebration of love but it is not just between a boy and a girl. It is about spending time with your loved ones like your friends and family. As a single young lady, it was hard for me to be “single.” I would always joke with my friends that I was on a record setting “single” streak; Single September, Only Me October, No Man November, Don’t Date December, Just Me January, and Forever Alone February. This joke made for some great laughs but there was always this discouraging voice in my heard declaring that I was truly forever alone. Would there ever be someone I could love during this holiday? I would see couples together and roll my eyes because I was again reminded that I was single. I then began to question if I should even celebrate Valentine’s Day.

The year it all changed for me was when God gave me the revelation that all my other girl friends were also single and it was not because of anything we had done wrong – it was because we were not in that season of our lives. God answered my question and said, “I have given you numerous friends and family to love. Do not miss out on this time with them just because the world deems this a ‘couples’ holiday.” Ever since that moment, I treat Valentine’s Day like I do any other holiday and I make sure to be surrounded by family and friends that I love and who love me. I chose to not wallow in self-pity (I can be very dramatic sometimes) and instead celebrate with all my friends!

God will place people in our paths for us to love and to be loved in return. God has shown us this promise – when He brought together David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel – of always bringing special people in our lives at the moment we need them. So instead of looking at this holiday as a reminder that you are “single” like I did,  learn how to show God’s love to all those around you. And if you are reading this but you are not single, it is always a good reminder to remember all your friends and family that might want to share your love on this special red and pink holiday!


Valentine’s Day is perhaps my most favorite holiday besides Christmas! I am a romantic at heart and am very sappy when participating in the festivities. I want to share with you a couple things that always brighten up my Valentine’s Day!

First, we all know that a great outfit can set our entire mood throughout the day (FACTS. HA!). For every holiday I always dress in festive colors and for this holiday, anything pink or red goes! Here, I have paired a red Zara shirt with a Target jean skirt and a pink purse from TJ Maxx. This is a simple but festive outfit to run around town in or have a Valentine’s Day brunch with my girls!

PICTURE ONE

Another tradition I enjoy is getting my friends Valentine’s cards. You can buy these Valentine cards (or others like these) at TJ Maxx for a reasonable price. These specific ones are the brand “Meri & Meri” and cost only $7.99. Valentine’s Cards are simple but perfect to let all your friends and family know you were thinking of them!

PICTURE TWO

I pray you enjoy this Valentine’s Day with all those you love and who love you! Please share some great ideas you do for Valentine’s Day in the comments below.

 

Alisha Eason

Just a Piece of Paper

Forever the statement will be etched in my memory…

We were hurriedly checking into a hotel in Jacksonville, FL trying to get into the room so that we could change from our travel clothes and get to a church service on time. In conversation my husband and I happened to mention to the hotel receptionist just how long we had been married. To which she replied, “It’s just a piece of paper.” I was in shock and regrettably did not get to respond, but the comment still haunts me and the answer still burns in me. So now, to this young lady and others that have this mindset, I have to challenge that statement.

Tell the graduate from High School or the student who just got their doctorate that it’s “just a piece of paper”. Tell the 16 year old that just got their drivers license, that proudly shows it off to friends and family, that its “just a piece of paper”. Tell that to the physician that has his license on the wall. Tell the new home owner that signed a mortgage and keeps it safely in a fire vault that it’s “just a piece of paper”. Tell the elderly man that holds the hand of his dying wife after over 50 years together that it’s “just a piece of paper”.

The day I walked down that aisle, I knew that I was wholeheartedly committing my future to the man waiting for me and it forever redirected my life. That piece of paper has represented years of commitment and memories and has affected the lives of so many around us. There is a universe of difference between a private promise and a public vow. That public vow shows you are willing to put your name on the line and to commit unselfishly to the cause of another.

No job will hire you if you forego the interview process that includes a contract and agreement. How much more important is an agreement that says for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part?

In fact, we invited several hundred friends and family to our wedding and just two years ago to our eldest daughter’s wedding to witness the signing of this piece of paper. This piece of paper’s value can not be declared like that of a $100 bill, because how do you put monetary value on unselfish, undying commitment. The risk it takes for two people willing to lay it all on the line.

I have a family that has directly been effected by that piece of paper. In fact we had a big 25th celebration over “just a piece of paper”. Friends and family far and near came because of that marriage license.

Just because some may make light of that paper and not keep their commitment, does not make it less valuable for those who do. In fact, this piece of paper becomes more valuable with age because behind it stands years of commitment, stickability, and happy and sad tears in a world where this kind of loyalty is becoming rare.

Moms, let us combat the flippant attitude of this world. I encourage you to find your marriage license and share with your children it’s value. Let us show the next generation that it is so much more than a “piece of paper”.

Mark 10:9 – What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

about-mom

Tammy Huba and her husband, Daniel, pastor in Tallahassee, FL. She is a graduate of Jackson College of Ministries with a Bachelor’s of Music. She is a motivational speaker, accomplished musician and vocalist, but most of all… the mom to three incredible girls.

*Featured Image: Intimate Weddings