Why Celebrate Valentine’s Day?
February has several smaller holidays, but in the USA the dominant holiday is Valentine’s Day. Why? Here are some excerpts I found about the history of “St. Valentine’s Day.” I hope they also challenge and inspire you to a deeper commitment to genuine true love!
- “There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it ‘From Your Valentine’…”
- “Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that the reason was that Roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. The good Saint Valentine was a priest at Rome in the days of Claudius II. He and Saint Marius aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples, and for this kind deed Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, about the year 270….”
“St. Valentine’s Story”
“Let me introduce myself. My name is Valentine. I lived in Rome during the third century. That was long, long ago! At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. I didn’t like Emperor Claudius, and I wasn’t the only one! A lot of people shared my feelings.
Claudius wanted to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families. As you might have guessed, not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious. So what happened? He had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought his new law was cruel. I thought it was preposterous! I certainly wasn’t going to support that law!
Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, I kept on performing marriage ceremonies – secretly, of course. It was really quite exciting. Imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and myself. We would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.
One night, we did hear footsteps. It was scary! Thank goodness the couple I was marrying escaped in time. I was caught. (Not quite as light on my feet as I used to be, I guess.) I was thrown in jail and told that my punishment was death.
I tried to stay cheerful. And do you know what? Wonderful things happened. Many young people came to the jail to visit me. They threw flowers and notes up to my window. They wanted me to know that they, too, believed in love.
One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit me in the cell. Sometimes we would sit and talk for hours. She helped me to keep my spirits up. She agreed that I did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and going ahead with the secret marriages. On the day I was to die, I left my friend a little note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. I signed it, ‘Love from your Valentine.’
I believe that note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine’s Day. It was written on the day I died, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. And when they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh – because they know that love can’t be beaten!”
Obviously, there are various types of love – such as friendship love, family love, romantic love, committed married love, sacrificial love – but the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write for us the all-encompassing description of God-quality true love: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things… So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, 13 (ESV)
Should Christians Accept and Use our Corrupted Culture’s Redefinitions of Sin (Propaganda Words)?
One common example is what God calls “adultery” – our culture calls “an affair.” A dictionary definition of affair is “business of any kind.” Is that all God meant to tell us in the command not to commit adultery?
For ten years (or more) I was a presenter for the Man and the Christian Worldview Symposiums and Conferences in Ukraine. At one of those symposiums, my presentation was “The Power of Perspective (Ready to Answer Objections of Secular Philosophy and Post-Modernism).” Basically, it was a summary of what Solomon taught by inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Ecclesiastes – “vanity of vanities; all is vanity!” Georges Carillet was the founder of these symposiums, and he was the director of Crimean American College. Sergei Golovin, founder of the Christian Center for Science and Apologetics, was Georges’ co-worker and right-hand man. They both considered these symposiums and conferences as “an outreach to the intellectuals of the former Soviet Union nations (an unreached people group).” Therefore, approximately two-thirds of the presenters had a secular, evolutionist, Marxist worldview, and some were quite aggressive about it. Only about one-third of us were the Christian presenters, so our task was to be respectful to the people, but persuasive with the truth.
There were two women philosophy professors who were offended and outraged with my presentation, so during the question/cross-examination time after my presentation they vigorously expressed their opposition to what I had taught. Ironically, there was also a man there who was a secular professor of philosophy, and he tried to calm them down and asked them to really consider what I was saying. One of those ladies remarked that if what I taught was true, then everything they were doing was worthless! (I didn’t comment on that declaration, but I thought: Alright! She got the message!)
Another irony was that a Christian lady, who was the wife of one of the Christian presenters, was also very upset with me because she thought I was being too blunt, thereby alienating the very people we were trying to reach.
Later (after the sessions were over), I was cross-examining myself and had some one-on-one time with Sergei, so I asked him for his perspective. Was I being too blunt? Sergei smiled and said, “Usually we take a more indirect route to put the point across, but once in a while someone needs to take a sledgehammer and smash the false philosophies. You did that today!” So, now I ask you this question – was God being too blunt when He inspired Solomon to write Ecclesiastes – which does expose all secular philosophies as vanity of vanities? Is God being too blunt when He calls the sin of sodomy “abomination”?
With this background, I want to share with you a copy of an appeal letter I wrote to Michael Hines concerning his series of articles in the Restoration Herald magazine. (By the way – my observation about God from Scripture is that He is definitely clear, harsh, and blunt about sin – but kind, merciful, and forgiving to repentant sinners who come to Him.)
Good afternoon, Michael,
Overall, I appreciate very much what you are doing to wake up Christians to the “Impact of Cultural Marxism” with your series of articles on that subject in Restoration Herald. Thank you.
However, my purpose in writing to you is to appeal for you to reconsider something, make a change, and please write a sequel – article #7 for your series. Why? Because I believe you have overlooked something important and have contradicted your own purpose in the November issue (Part 5). In the second paragraph you make the clear statement: “Cultural Marxists want to redefine the family and when the family is redefined it gets broken because you can’t redefine something without destroying it.”
However, in the same article in the last two paragraphs on the bottom of page 13, in my view you have blatantly contradicted yourself by using the propaganda word “gay” to define the very perversion that God calls an “abomination.” You clearly told us that “you can’t redefine something without destroying it.” Isn’t it an historical fact that a group of homosexual strategists began by plotting in the 1960s and 70s how to redefine their perversion to put it in a positive light? They chose the word “gay” – which means “carefree and happy” to redefine their perversion. How successful are they? Very! Not only among secular society has homosexuality been redefined as “gay” – but even by most Christian leaders! Why should we Christians call an ugly, despicable perversion “gay” when God has labeled it an “abomination”? As you said at the conclusion of your article: “It is time for Christ’s church to take a stand for biblical truth, morality, and most of all the family.”
Do you notice that some of the Christmastime songs we hear over and over during December use the word “gay” with its original meaning “happy”? No wonder so many of our younger generation see homosexuality in a positive light! (Not because the songs were wrong – the redefinition is wrong!)
The #7 is the number of perfection. Completion! Please write an article #7 to clarify. 😊 Thank you for reading this appeal. Please give it your careful, prayerful attention.
May the resurrected Lord Jesus be always your joy, your hope, your comfort, your strength and victory! May you come to know Him deeper, love Him dearer and follow Him nearer!
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all peace and joy as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 Respectfully yours & His, Rick Deighton
Police Officers – Friends or Foes?
To give you some background and perspective on the above question, I want to share with you a copy of the letter I wrote to William Alexander, leader of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund:
William, my wife and I do appreciate the dedication and risk police officers take to protect the rest of us, and I have told them so, both at our police station and in restaurants. However, I have a pertinent concern, because police officers can be either the best friend or the worst enemy of a citizen. Our founding fathers recognized this danger and put wise laws and restraints in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
When a country is infiltrated and taken over by Marxism (or other false philosophies) – if officers are not properly trained, they can become pawns of the corrupted state and thus the enemies of the average citizen. That happened in Nazi Germany, in Russia, and in all of the Soviet Union countries – and now in America. We have a Marxist administration now in power that is intent on destroying the America our founding fathers designed. We have a stolen election and a make-believe insurrection resulting in about 300 citizens in prison for three years with no trial, in spite of the Constitutional guarantee of a speedy and just trial.
We get numerous appeals from police organizations, and I’ve asked this question before with no reply. Is there any national organization training police officers that the Constitution and Bill of Rights is our basic law? That they should not obey corrupted government agents who violate the basics? Please reply. Thank you! Rick
What Is Woke?
Woke is the distortion of all matters of truth and righteousness. In other words, woke is the condensed package of lies denying truth about physical, social, and spiritual reality, and it comes from the father of lies. The word “woke” implies that its proponents are wide awake, alert, and discerning, but the reality is the opposite. If you have been wondering how any sane person can actually believe that girls can become boys and boys can become girls and men can give birth to babies, no wonder! The reality is that these ideas are scientifically impossible nonsense, but the proponents of the Marxist wokeism have swallowed satanic lies and have become blinded to truth and reality by their insane philosophy.
Fear, Trust, & Peace
“I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me. But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 56:2-4 (NLT)
Jesus said to the apostles before He was taken and killed: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (NLT)
Mystery and the Manifold Wisdom of God
“To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:8-21 (NKJV)
Ask yourself, “Is this a wise decision?” Then ask God Himself, “Is this a wise decision according to Your Word? Please guide me by Your Spirit.” Then move as He leads you!
“Purity is power…The purer the life, the greater the power. The less pure the life, the less powerful. Dirt in gasoline kills the engine.” ~ Richard Halverson
“The quest for character requires that certain things be kept in the heart as well as kept from the heart. An unguarded heart spells disaster. A well-guarded heart means survival. If you hope to survive the jungle, overcoming each treacherous attack, you’ll have to guard your heart.” ~ Charles Swindoll
“The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us.” ~ Billy Graham
Trust the past to God’s Mercy
Trust the present to God’s Love
Trust the future to God’s Providence
Because of Jesus…
We have peace that passes understanding.
We have joy that can’t be taken away.
We have love that’s everlasting.
We have nothing to fear and
everything to hope for
today, tomorrow, and always.
Don’t wait to forgive until you feel emotionally healed from the wound; instead, choose to forgive and let God begin the process of true healing in your life.
The Grace of God Has Appeared
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!… Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you… The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:5, 11,14 (ESV)
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25 (ESV)
Along with these potent Scriptures, I want to share a quote from our friend, Jerry Dake. “Quote this week is from Max Lucado: ‘Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.’”
“It is chilling to read God’s warning in Proverbs 4:23 about guarding our heart, and then see that the next three chapters describe what happens when we leave our heart unguarded.” ~ Tom Claibourne
“We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
“Do it immediately; do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing Christ’s hand
Who placed it before you with earnest command,
Stayed on His omnipotence, safe ’neath His wing,
Leave all results. DO THE NEXT THING.
~Old English Poem
“Faith is…believing that in the midst of suffering and need that God will be enough, that He will enable me to make it through.” ~ Pamela Reeve, Faith Is…
“God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
“Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument later. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer and get first of all in harmony with Him. Prayer is the mighty engine that is to move the missionary work.” ~ J. Hudson Taylor
“It is more important to seek blessedness than happiness! Men seeking happiness find frustration, addiction, etc. If you seek God with all your heart, blessedness will find you!” ~ Adrian Rogers
“Obedience to God is always greater than being led by our feelings.”
“My attitude determines how far I go in life!” “
“Your attitude in the little things will determine attitude in the big things.”
“Nothing is beneath me and nothing is beyond me.”
“My attitude can turn my problems into blessings!”
~ Jordan Hodges
“Your attitude about your aptitude will determine your altitude.” ~ Zig Ziglar
“America is in a worldview crisis!
Churches are in a discipleship crisis!
Parents are in an authority crisis.”
~ George Barna
From Our Mailbox
“Thank you so much, brother, for your care and prayers! It is great encouragement and comfort for us! We are doing well. Was disturbed by the sound of missiles passing by and distant explosions, nothing is damaged however. God is good! Yours by His grace, Sergei (Golovin)”
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“Hello dear Rick and Della! Thank you for your letter and Christmas greetings! Have a blessed 2024 year!
Yes, we had a few terrible nights and days with major attacks in our city. One of the prettiest and modern buildings was damaged and many others. They try to ruin our power system… We don’t have stable internet connection. This ugly war brings so much destruction, deaths, tears and fear… so many broken lives, so many victims… What a high price of freedom… But nevertheless, we thank God for His Son Jesus, who was born and brought us freedom from our sins, and we can rejoice in God’s presence. We thank God for His precious gift of love and are so happy to be a part of God’s family!
We are safe and keep on helping needy people, distributing humanitarian aid. Also, the guys are starting over rehab center ministry because we see a great need in it. We already have three people. Please pray for their conversion and for our team of ministers… In Christ, Maryana and Volodia (Vakula)
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“Dear Rick, sorry for keeping you waiting for a reply. Indeed, the past week was one of the hardest in the past year and a half. Constant attacks. But I think I should first give you an update on our last changes. So, Mum decided to leave Ukraine with Anya. Dad also supported this decision. They didn’t have any particular plan, so they left for Ireland to get temporary protection at the beginning of December. They live in the refugee camp, and we will have to see what will happen next… Me, Lisa and Dad stayed in Kharkiv, as for now we have things to do here, and Dad is not allowed out.
Every day is a step in the unknown. God has kept us safe, and we learn to trust Him every day. Our flat hasn’t been damaged, so we still live there. Please keep us in your prayers. As for now, I only pray that God gives me the grace to be useful where He would like me to be and keep the people I know safe. In Christ, Katya N.”
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“Rick and Della, thank you for your kind Christmas greeting and other materials that just arrived in the mail. And I do hope that you and your family had a very blessed celebration of the Birth of our Lord Jesus. And I really do thank you for your repeated kindnesses in the books, the CDs, and the various other ministry materials. I am thankful for – and encouraged by – the lifetime of the two of you – a lifetime of faithful service to my Beloved Lord and to His people. And for your thoughtful and needed writings in the monthly newsletters. Thank you. May my Dear Lord Jesus continue to bless you both. I pray daily for you. Ken Morris.”
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“Dear Della, thank you for your amazing testimony of God’s presence and work in your life. So many hardships, but you experienced God’s steadfast love, mercy, grace and faithfulness! So many blessings you received from our dear Lord, and so many blessings you pass along to your readers. Thank you, again, and God be with you always. With you in Christ Jesus, Mary Greer”
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“Hi Rick, in response to your question, it does seem that enjoying a 12-day Christmas celebration, including January 6th, would serve us much better than the “narrative” that has become attached to this date. In addition, thank you for passing along Inga’s words from a previous Christmas – with its abundantly rich content in relatively few words. 🙂 May blessings from above surround you and Della in the year before us! Sincerely, David Harleyson (Family Talk)”
The Hill of Trial
By Shasta Hutton
As I came to the peak of the hill that I’d climbed,
I turned and looked back at the valley behind.
There were places so grassy and peaceful and green.
The path that went through them was bright and serene.
Then I followed the path to the base of the hill.
I sucked in my breath and stood there quite still,
For the path became steeper with boulders to climb,
And in places the path was just too hard to find.
Parts went up quite steeply so narrow and tight,
That if you’d looked down there you’d get quite a fright.
There were dark places too where the sun never shone,
And anyone climbing would feel quite alone.
I marveled to think that I’d just made that climb,
And was glad to sit still and to rest for a time.
And just like the climb sometimes life seems too tough,
And the climb through the steep part seems so very rough.
But with God as our guide we’ll make it clear through,
And when we look back, it will be quite a view.
We’ll see how He’s helped us and see what He’s done.
We’ll see all the battles and victories He’s won.
We’ll see how we’ve grown as we’ve trusted in Him,
And praise Him that that time of trial did end!
1. Continued prayer for safety and courage for our coworkers.
2. For wisdom, boldness in witnessing, and protection for persecuted Christ-followers worldwide.
3. For each of us to carefully re-read and apply the potent quotes we have just read.
A Bit of Humor & Some Good Sense Tips to Brighten Your Day!
Quotes for Seniors:
- It’s okay to talk to yourself. There are times when you need expert advice.
- “In Style” are the clothes that still fit.
- The biggest lie you tell yourself is, “I don’t need to write that down. I’ll remember it.”
- It would be wonderful if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes, then come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller!
- Growing old should have taken longer!
Tips for staying young:
- Enjoy the simple things.
- Watch little children – they can make us smile with the cute things they do.
- Look around at the children who are in shopping carts in the grocery store. If you talk to them, watch them look you over. They almost always make me smile as they seem to be thinking, “Do I know you?”
- Surround yourself with what you love, whether it is family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
- Tell the people you love that you love them at every opportunity.
- Cherish your health. If it is unstable, do what you can to improve it.
- Don’t take guilt trips. Take a walk in a park, visit another county, or even a foreign country, if possible.
- Ask God to help you start each new day with a new attitude and lots of gratitude.
- AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!
Quotes from Andy Rooney:
- I’ve learned…that just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!’ makes my day.
- I’ve learned…that being kind is more important than being right.
- I’ve learned…that having a child fall asleep in your arms in one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
- I’ve learned…that I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in any other way.
- I’ve learned…that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
- I’ve learned…that money doesn’t buy class.
- I’ve learned…that when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
- I’ve learned…that a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
- I’ve learned…that when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, you’re hooked for life.