Valentineâ€™s Day in Siberia - It is on page 9 item #12 â€¦. (Please excuse the rough edges on this posting as I donâ€™t want El to edit it. It contains Valentineâ€™s Day secrets. In fact I have asked her not to read it till after Valentineâ€™s day) Links for Husband - copy and paste links A Trusting and Truthful Marriage http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=219151542321 The Material Needs Of Your Wife http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?seriesOnly=true&currSection=sermonstopic&sourceid=gci&keyword=Big+Sky+Baptist+MCS+2015&keyworddesc=Big+Sky+Baptist+MCS+2015 Links For Wife Making Your Marriage Sexually Exciting http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=218151623535 Being a Helpmate and Companion http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=219151547142 It is on page 9 item #12 â€¦. Holidays and Birthdays, that is where Valentineâ€™s Day first made its appearance back in early January of this year. Each time before departing on a mission trip we get birthday, anniversary and special event day cards and gifts for friends and family. Now that merchants are putting Valentineâ€™s Day out just as soon as they put the Christmas decorations up it makes it a lot easier for me but I still have to be sneaky. But when it comes to surprises for El I pride myself on being sneaky. I love her so much and it is a joy to see her eyes light up and that bright smile when she gets a surprise. Now I know there are some jerks out there who do not celebrate their wives. They forget their wifeâ€™s birthday on regular basis, they forget their anniversary or at best pick up something on the way home, Motherâ€™s Day is forced upon them by children and church but other events like Valentineâ€™s Day if not forgotten is downplayed. I have traveled in over 27 countries of the world and so I am rarely surprised at the subspecies allowed in Godâ€™s creation but this particular brand still amazes me by their selfish narcissist husbanding skills.
Early in my Christian life I was both excited and amazed by a passage of Scripture I came across in my daily reading of the Word of God. 1 Corinthians 2:8- 9 â€śbut just as it is written, "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM." God continually surprises us with His blessings. Every day through the Word of God, through small daily miracles, through countless blessings, God surprises us with His love and acts of love on our behalf. Having done this God the Holy Spirit then takes the husband aside and says specifically to him in Ephesians 5:2 â€śHusbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,â€ť I say over and over again in my Marriage Covenant Seminar, gentlemen, if you regularly go to God for reassurance of His love for you, His plans for your good, the security you have in Him. If you regular rely on His grace, His blessings and the daily mercies He pours out on you. If you testify regularly about the blessings He brings your way for no other reason than His great love for you and then you do not do the same for your wife then you are a hypocrite. For you refuse to do the same things for your wife that yore long for and receive from your God
You are a hypocrite if â€“ you read the Word and love to hear of Godâ€™s grace, mercy and love for you but will not write these same expressions of love down as they apply to your wife and give them to her at Valentineâ€™s day You are a hypocrite if â€“ you regularly go to the written Word of God to read of Godâ€™s love for you but will not buy a Valentine that she may read of your love for her. You are a hypocrite if â€“ you rest in the security that God will never forget nor forsake you but you regularly forget and forsake Valentineâ€™s Day, birthdays, anniversaries and more You are a hypocrite if â€“ you have come to expect the blessing of God on your life in terms of His material provisions yet you will not bless your wife this Valentineâ€™s Day with flowers, candy, perfume and more You are a hypocrite if â€“ the pagan husband of Esther in the book of Esther provides his wife on a daily basis with more of the feminine blessings of life than you are willing to once a year on Valentineâ€™s Day. So men â€“ Donâ€™t Do This!! Donâ€™t be a hypocrite, be a godly husband who loves his wife as Christ loves the church â€“ publicly, lavishly and in grace not as a results of works.
Well, back to Valentineâ€™s Day in Tyumen, Russia deep in central Siberia. Russians do celebrate Valentineâ€™s Day in a big way but they do celebrate it. The big holiday in Russia is Womenâ€™s Day â€“ you spend the day taking flowers, cards and gifts to all the women who are important in your life. This is a holdover from the communist era. Stalin was not big on saints, but slowly Valentineâ€™s Day is making a comeback. You can find Valentineâ€™s gifts here but as for cards, they are all in Russian and as in America, you donâ€™t want to publicly display an R rated card in your home, so I make provision beforehand. This brings me back to page 9 item 12 on our D.E.P.O.R.D. countdown list. When we came to this item Eleanor quickly got out the calendar, made a list of birthdays, anniversaries and the accompanying shopping list. I made a mental note that I had to be sneaky about this. I was going to have to purchase, wrap, hide and then get these items through London, St. Petersburg and to Tyumen before they made their appearance. Putting them in our checked luggage was a wash because El is in charge of the packing puzzle of our luggage. I am there to do the heavy stuff but she is the brains of the missionary rubrics cube which is why we are able to take so many gifts for others. In the midst of this brainstorm I have to use my limited grey matter to figure out how to get her gift there and it be a surprise.
We purchased birthday cards for children and grandchildren which would occur while we were gone as well as the appropriate gift or gift card. Next we bought Valentineâ€™s Day cards for all the grandchildren, signed and inserted a small monetary gift. These we put in a larger envelope and sent to their parents to give them on Valentineâ€™s Day along with any Birthday or anniversary cards and gifts Meanwhile I, on the way back from the Menâ€™s Bible Study Tuesday morning had gotten her three cards, two serious, one funny, candy, a ITunes gift card for her HayDay game she likes, a gift bag, a stuffed Snoopy that sings a love song when you press Snoopyâ€™ s paw and a small but expensive box of candy in a metal heart shaped box. Now here is where I made my mistake. As we went through security at Heathrow they were at condition orange. Military men with machineguns all around, body scanning and nothing was getting by. Well they pulled over my carryon as there was a suspicious metal box in it. Sure enough, in a plastic Target Bag were my gifts â€“ the metal candy box set it off. The security man was very nice, he immediately said, (in his official British accent) â€śMaâ€™am I am going to have to ask you to turn around!â€ť Then he said, sternly, â€śMaâ€™ am, I am going to have to ask you to stand back over there while I search your husbandâ€™s caseâ€ť Then he gave me a wink and uttered under his breath, â€śAlmost gave you away didnâ€™t Iâ€ť
As it turns out that was the only dicey part. We are now in Tyumen. El squealed with delight when I put the bag on the counter for her to look at till Valentineâ€™s Day. You see I strive to love my wife as Christ loves the Church. Christ gives us any number of daily visual reminders of His sacrificial love for us â€“ our Bible, Christian books, church buildings, worship songs on the radio and more. I am a hypocrite if I do not have something out to remind Eleanor daily that Valentineâ€™s Day is coming and I love her as Christ loves the church â€“ with all my heart, with all my mind, with all my body, with all my words, with blessings and surprises she has not even thought of - till death do us part. We will go out to dinner, watch a chic flic DVD on the computer that we brought with us and then, well we draw the curtain on the rest as it is decidedly XXX rated.
Let me in closing encourage the men to listen to the two Marriage Seminar lectures linked below as well as the women to theirs and then have a very happy Valentineâ€™s Day. I know we will. By His mercy, II Corinthians 4:1 Rev. John S. Mahon â€“ Director Grace Community International 02.05.16 Tyumen, Russia â€“ Central Siberia
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