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love

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Luuuurrvvve

Yep, a nice little session for Valentines Day!

Valentines E-Cards

Dayspring (Christian) e-cards could be a fun thing to send out to all of the young people (obviously send something suitable and try to send the same thing to everyone, or one for the girls and another for the lads!)

Dayspring Valentines Day e-cards link

And / or Valentines card

Or make everyone a card with their name on it! Myfishbites has done two slightly different examples for you to download (A4 size which you'll need to print front and back on the same bit of paper or stick two sheets together. For US letter size, just change your print settings to print as a 'letter' size US). There is a space on the front page and on the 'inside' cover to put a person's name, to personalise :)

Gothic style PDF

Love heart style PDF

Heart Cards

A page of 'hearts' on A4 to cut up (there are 16) and then put one on every chair, or put a card in a little bag with a chocolate or something nice:

Page of hearts PDF

Not everyone likes Valentines Day - the solution is to get candy!

There's a real pressure that comes with Valentines Day. If you don't get a card, does it mean no-one loves you or there's something wrong with you? (The answer is "NO!!!") Or maybe some have suffered a break-up, or lost a boyfriend or girlfriend recently. For them, the day will obviously be painful too!

So what's the answer? Get everyone SWEETS!! (Obviously check for allergies and that the sweets are vegetarian friendly if you have vegetarians). Here's a link to somewhere that does Valentines Sweets (order well ahead of time).

Here are some sweets links - we have no affiliation so feel free to google for more:

- British Candy sweets link

- Keepitsweet link

- Sweetsncandy link

Love Is... 1 Corinthians 13.4-8

  • Love is patient
  • Love is kind
  • Love does not envy
  • Love does not boast
  • Love is not proud
  • Love does not dishonor others
  • Love is not self-seeking
  • Love is not easily angered
  • Love keeps no record of wrongs
  • Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
  • Love always protects
  • Love always trusts
  • Love always hopes
  • Love always perseveres
  • Love never fails

Love is also a decision. You have to intentionally keep on deciding to love, with God's help!

Any other ideas about what love is? Write them down...


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Love Isn't... What the media says

  • Love isn't sex and just sex isn't love!
  • Love doesn't always just 'happen', it takes loving work
  • Love is more than romance, but must include romance
  • Sex without boundaries (marriage) does leave a lasting effect
  • Hollywood is the myth! They are air-brushed, made-up and surgeried to the extreme!
  • Love isn't about being someone you're not - be yourself - God loves you, so should you!

Any other ideas about what love isn't? Write them down...


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Valentines Day activities

Obviously, being a fine upstanding youth worker you won't consider embarrassing your young people. Would you? On the other hand, I'm quite happy to do this. OK, so not really (unless you know the young people well enough to do this and are sure no-one will get hurt!)

Otherwise... a video on youtube gives a good idea.... Make loads of Valentines Cards!!

1. Come up with some creative phrases and straplines about God's love for us. Decide who they are for eg church people or people out on the streets etc. For example, "God's love is better than a date, and it's free!" or perhaps something that's actually funny...

2. Make the cards somehow - print them up, get them professionally printed, do something arty and crafty if you can and the young people will go for that.

3. Go with the young people and hand out these cards to everyone in the church / people in the local area / whatever you decide, being the one who knows the area and your young people!

Movie - Fireproof - God's Love

Here's a clip from the Christian movie, Fireproof. This is a great and hopefully moving clip looking at God's love and what it means to and for us! This is off youtube but hey - even better is to get the DVD, although it's NTSC (North American format) only. Apparently the married couple in this film are married in real life which is a nice touch!

God's Love for you - click on image for larger version

The thing about Valentines Day is that it's a day someone made up. It's great, but it's just a human thing that people now make money from and it's just one day! If you don't get a card, even if you've never got a card, you're probably in good company. Lots of people don't get cards, but not getting a card doesn't mean you're not loved.

The Valentines Day is supposed to have started by a Christian martyr (a Christian killed for their faith) called Valentine and was officially established in 500 AD. But I'll let you into a secret. He didn't start Valentines Day. In fact it started a long time before then. In fact, the first love letter / first Valentines Day card was the Bible. I once heard Steve Chalke (Faithworks) say that before you even open up the Bible, you know something about God - you know that God loves you so much that he had a whole book written to tell you how much he loves you. The Bible (and the life of Jesus) can be seen in one sense as God's love letter to the world, and more specifically to you.

In Jeremiah 31, we have a prophecy given to Jeremiah from God. This was about the nation of Israel but what God says is absolutely true for us too. Here's what God says:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness."

God didn't need humans but he chose to create us - he handcrafted Adam and Eve and then handcrafted you with amazing care and love too (see Psalm 139). God wasn't lonely, he didn't need our company but he created us and then loved us with an everlasting love. The story of the Bible is a love story. People like Richard Dawkins (a humanist who wants a world without God - there will be - hell!!) deliberately twist the Bible and lie about it saying God is bad. It's the opposite...

The story of the Bible is about how God loved us so much he gave us free choice:

God didn't kill us when we sinned (Garden of Eden when Adam & Eve ate the fruit); he chose a people and allowed people to go on doing evil because he wanted people to be saved; he didn't kill Cain who committed the first murder; he provided an Ark to save Noah and his family; God allowed mankind to start over; he allowed Abraham to pray so that people wouldn't be killed (and the same with Moses); he brought his people out of slavery; then God continued to allow people to follow their own way, giving Israel a King when they wanted one; he sent prophets to tell the people to turn from evil and to follow God; eventually he even sent his own Son, Jesus from heaven so that he could die on a Cross suffering in a horrible way so that our sins could be made right through him alone. The fact it comes through Jesus alone and that he died for us is a sign of his love!

People like Dawkins believe that humans are getting better (sounds a bit like the daft ideas out of Star Trek). But it was man who rejected God, man who sinned, man who kills each other and man who killed Jesus. It is God who time after time reaches out to mankind with his love, his people, dreams, in his creation and more. Jesus came to save (Luke 19.10 - For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”) Jesus won't return to earth until there is someone from every tribe, every tongue and every nation. God has always been looking for a people to love him.

End

This Valentines Day, remember the most important love is God's love for you. Just for you. He loves you so much he created you completely unique and created a world of uniqueness (each snow flake is unique). He loves you with an everlasting love, he offers you the chance to love him back and with it comes an everlasting life with him. He also wants to give you joy, hope, praise and use you!

Isaiah 61.3 - and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendour.

The books of Ruth, Song of Solomon and Revelation are all about love and about marriage. God sees any pain you have on Valentines Day, he understands what it's like to feel rejected and he wants the very best for you. Keep praying, keep thanking God, keep believing and remember that one day God will wipe away every tear, hurt and pain. And he'll give you the most incredible everlasting life!

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