I was asked to share a short devotion at a Women’s Meeting at our church last Friday. I was so thankful for the opportunity to have God minister through me to the ladies at our church.. but extremely nervous.
I never could imagine a crowd in their underwear. Whoever thought of that anyway? You’re supposed to turn your head if you ever see anyone in their underwear. Instead, I tried imagining what they were like as kids. I’ve worked long enough in children’s church to be comfortable speaking to kids.. even on a mic. It helped me relax a little.
Just before going to speak, I tried out my speech on Mike. It didn’t go well. I’d read it a hundred times but still couldn’t say what I wanted to say with out reading it word for word. Mike encouraged me to ad lib it. When I actually gave my speech, I tried to and ended up just telling the stories.
Looking back, I wish I had read the part at the end to them and played the song I found to go with it.
I love holidays. I’ve always seen them as a gift from God; a time set a side from you’re daily routine to remember who God is and what He has done, and a time to enjoy being with your family.
I love all the holidays except Valentine’s day. I never could get into Valentines Day ever since I was in grade school and learned that it was the day you might be teased about who might or might not like you. That’s not the ideal kinda day for a shy girl like me.
My husband, who enjoys making fun of Mother’s Day by saying that it was invented by the greeting card companies, absolutely LOVES Valentines Day. He loves being in love ..with me and showering me with gifts, and cards, and surprises on Valentines Day.
You’d think when for one our first Valentines Day’s together I received this jumbo card in the mail that I would have figured this out and joined in the fun, but it took me a while.
(I pulled the card out of a large shopping bag.)
A few Valentines Days ago (just before our 20th anniversary), the Lord had a talk with me. He said something like.. “Look at what you’re missing out on. Your husband loves to delight in you on Valentines Day and you keep pushing him away. It’s time to get over it.”
Looking back now, I see that it was pretty retarded of me to allow 20 plus years of Valentines Days pass me by and not use them as an opportunity to build more love and joy into our relationship. There was only one thing standing in my way all those years: surrendering that part of my heart to the Lord and allowing Him to heal my past hurts and fears.
The Lord has only spoken to me that sternly only a few times. Many times just hearing the truth has set me free. I worked really hard that year to bless my husband and since to delight in his delight in me …but to tell the truth I am still not totally sold on Valentines day. I am still journeying though that surrendering and healing.
This Valentine’s Day, the Lord encouraged me to make these fabric fortune cookies for you.. At first I thought that it might have been my own idea and that it was a pretty corny one.. But then He sent me three confirmations that I was supposed to make them for you.
So I googled the words “fortune cookie” and “Bible” to try to figure out where God was going with the fortune cookie idea… and every blog and sermon that I could find said the same thing, “Fortune cookies are bad.” So I obeyed God, made the corny fortune cookies and God shocked me with a fourth confirmation. Those are rare for me.
The google preachers may think all fortune cookies are bad but these fortune cookies have a purpose.. You see, the same way that a fortune cookie has to be broken before you can see it’s message and enjoy it’s sweet flavor sometimes we have to be broken before we can be the message of His love to the world and that sweet tasting sacrifice to our Lord.
These cookies are to remind us of how blessed, fortunate and to be envied we are because… in Christ everyday can be a holy day. Everyday is a day to delight in His delight in us. Everyday is a day to surrender our whole heart to Him and allow him to turn our brokenness into joy. Every day His mercies are made new. Everyday we have an opportunity to turn our thoughts towards Him and to allow Him to build more love and joy into our relationship with Him. This fortune cookie is to remind you this Valentines Day that *The Desire of the Nations desires you and wants you delight in His love.
I wasn’t sure how to end my little talk but I had these scriptures ready..
Philippians 4:4 It says.. Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!
In Song of Songs 4:9-10 He says..
You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace.
How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much more pleasing is your love than wine,
and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!
Ps 147:11 says He delights in those who fear him, in those who put their hope in His unfailing love.
Ps 139 says He thinks about us constantly
It’s impossible to count how many times a day His thoughts turn towards us.
Ps 103 says He crowns us with love and tender mercies.
He fills our life with good things.
His love is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
Zephaniah 3:17 says The Lord your God is in your midst.
He is a mighty savior, a victorious warrior.
He celebrates and sings because of you!
He will take great delight in you.
He will quiet and refresh you with His love.
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy
and delight you with His songs.
The scripture I put in the fortune cookies was…
Song of Songs 7:10 I am my beloved’s and his desire is toward me.
Here’s a YouTube video of the song the I thought went with my message…