Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love seems to be the theme today, either by design or by accident. The praise and worship songs were about love, the sermon was about love and even the individuals who spoke during open worship talked about love. Maybe our thoughts just naturally go in that direction when we are deluged by ads to buy this jewelry or that car in order to show our love to our spouse or children. We had a wonderful weekend, without spending hundreds of dollars on each other (although Hallmark cards themselves aren’t cheap).

Each year the artsy little town of Tubac just about an hour south of Tucson has a Festival of the Arts and we’ve attended every year we’ve been in Arizona, I think. This year was the 57th and I think it’s the first time we’ve attended by ourselves. This is a juried show, so many of the exhibitors are well known artists from all over the country. It’s always fun to look at the sculptures, paintings and metal wall hangings, but since we have an extremely limited amount of floor and wall space, it’s also easy to walk on past. The vendors with hats usually catch LeRoy’s eye and I almost always stop if they are selling jewelry. This year I was on a mission. One of my favorite pair of earrings went missing in Kansas in December. I bought them in Tubac last year and I had not been able to find another with the same design. After walking more than 2 miles up one street and down another (I think there are only three) and looking at every jewelry booth, I finally found the seller! Come to find out, they have a patent on the design. No wonder I hadn’t been able to find them! For $15, I replaced the earrings and while I was at it, I bought another pair to go with them. I know, I’m a cheap Valentine.

Since we were gone all day on Saturday, we decided to go out for dinner last night and of course today being Valentine’s Day, we went out after church again. Longhorn Steakhouse is one of our favorite places to eat in Wichita but we had never gone to the one here in Tucson. We introduced Florence Marie to a new restaurant and enjoyed a terrific meal and shared dessert, all in the same day.

Florence Marie finished her sewing project this week by making the curtain that makes a “door” between her kitchen and bedroom and the one right behind the driver and passenger seats. She even made the tie backs for them from the contrasting fabric from the dinette seats. Pretty snazzy rig!

Now another more serious subject still on the Love topic. Jesus told us to love our neighbors and the question came back to him, “Who is my neighbor?” This week we spent an afternoon with a young woman and her mother who are not physically our neighbors but God is calling us to love them and I’d like to invite anyone reading this to join us. Due to circumstances I won’t go into, this young woman will soon be sentenced to an as-yet-undetermined number of years in jail. Would you please pray for Nakia and her mother Christiana, as well as LeRoy and me as we try to love this neighbor as Christ commanded?

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