Am I so fortunate and blessed that I can’t decide week after week what “to be thankful for” on Thankful Thursday? Wow. Well, I’m thankful that I have eyes. I love colors. I love sunsets and sunrises. I love seeing, and reading, and I love having eyes! I’m thankful I don’t work outside the home. I’m so grateful that “I came home”. I remember how fantastic it felt the first few times I was out during the middle of the day driving around! Free! I could…Go Anywhere I Wanted! I’m very thankful that I was home to raise my family and Homeschool my children. What a blessing! Now I’m thankful that I’m free to be home and not have all the stress that went with my job, and to be free to help people, have lunch with friends and talk for 2 hours, go to antique stores, and laugh! I’m thankful for the sunshine! It is so good to see the sun. Everyone should live in Minnesota for one January to really appreciate sunshine again. I’m thankful for the example of people like Valentinus, having just celebrated Valentine’s Day. This week I read the story book of his life which my daughter, Kelsey, bought from Voice of the Martyrs. It’s wonderful. I trust the story, because it’s put out by VOM. Valentinus was an incredible man. Just think of all the incredible people that we’re going to be able to meet in heaven. I figure that the
first second 10,000 years, I will spend going around just meeting everyone! (I think the first 10,000 will be by the Lord’s side, or on my face before Him, worshiping.) So, I thought that I would hit the highlights of the story of Valentinus, as told by the wonderful book put out by Voice of the Martyrs, “The Story of St. Valentine–More than Cards and Candied Hearts”, written with Cheryl Odden. (Write to The Voice of the Martyrs, PO Box 443, Bartlesville, OK 74005 or go their website, www.persecution.com) for more information.)
Valentinus lived around 200 years after Christ. When the emperor Claudius outlawed marriage, in an attempt to remove an obstacle to his recruitment of soldiers (they didn’t want to leave their loved ones and not see them for 25 years!), Valentinus secretly married couples anyway, because,
“Marriage was God’s idea, and no emperor can hinder what God created!”
He was already in trouble for not worshiping the false gods they had in Rome. God gave him boldness to do what was right, no matter the cost. In Jacobus de Voragine’s “Golden Legend”, a book about Christians written in the middle ages, it is reported that, when brought before the emperor for what he was doing, Valentinus boldly told him about Jesus Christ! He became a martyr for his faith around 269AD. About 200 years later, February 14th became a day to honor Valentinus’ life of boldly living for Christ. (This replaced a pagan Roman holiday.) (There is much more to the story, which you can read in this beautifully illustrated children’s book, not just for children. I encourage you to get a copy to read all about this brave saint and share the true story of Valentinus.)
I am inspired by Valentinus’ life, and am thankful for people in all ages who boldly speak about Jesus Christ, and do what is right, no matter the cost. May I do likewise.
(Go to Iris’ site, “Grace Alone” to participate in Thankful Thursday and read other thankful hearts! Thanks so much, Iris!)