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November 20, 2014, 12:00 AM

A Nugget From My Spiritual Journey- December 2014

And, so, we come to the year’s end…a year during which I committed to writing the entire year about some aspect of LOVE each month in this column. I admit that some months I had to really think a bit about how to best share what God was teaching me that month about LOVE. Walking into December, however, is a great time for me to think about LOVE.

Yes, it is the month of our wedding anniversary, and this month we will celebrate our 43rd year of marriage. Our LOVE is much deeper than it was when we stood there as a bride and groom, just about 3 months after we first met! We were IN LOVE but had no idea, really, how TRUE LOVE plays out over the years of a committed marriage. With 43 years of retrospect now, I think Russell would agree with me that learning to LOVE selflessly goes beyond the romance portrayed in movies and books and poems. Learning to LOVE selflessly requires commitment, work, determination, patience, forgiveness, and, well…selflessness. How do you do that???

By always, always depending upon and referencing the example set before us in the greatest LOVE gift of all…Who arrived as a tiny baby in a manger long ago, on a night we now call Christmas! Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords selflessly left Heaven to come and live among us, exchanging the glories of Heaven for a smelly, cold stable. He left the presence of the praising angelic hosts, exchanging their adoration for growing up as a boy in a town surely full of gossipy neighbors—enduring their finger-pointing and stares and whispers as He went with His mother to the well and the marketplace. He, Who had the riches of the universe at His fingertips, cared for the needs of His widowed mother and earthly siblings and later traveled as an itinerant preacher/teacher, with no place to lay His head. He, who had created the trees, the thorn trees, the iron ore, and the soldiers themselves, hung nailed to a cross, blood streaming from the crown of thorns and iron spikes hammered into His hands by the very men into whom He had breathed life. He died for them, just as He died for you and me. For all who would believe in the greatest LOVE gift of all.

That, my friends, is LOVE at its finest. Selflessness at its best. Submission to the nth degree. May we all LOVE as He first LOVED us! May we each experience a very BLESSED CHRISTMAS, as we learn more than ever to let Him LOVE like that through us every day of the years to come.

P.S.  Russell, I LOVE you! Truly…I DO!

Marsha Cook


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