As we ease into Valentine's Day 2015, I'm asking those who are already blessed to have found that perfect romantic pairing that exists in belonging to that one special someone to remember those who will be alone this year and haven't yet found contentment in their singlehood. Stretch your definition of love just a little bit and show a random act of love that will encourage, inspire a smile, or give just a little bit of happiness. This can be as simple as an encouraging word, a prayer, a token gift, a flower, a card, an invitation to lunch, or even something as simple as a cupcake! When you use your imagination the sky is the limit. Happy Valentine's Day! May you be surrounded with the wonderful sense of feeling and completeness that comes from experiencing perfect love. 'Love of Christ, Angela
As a Christian, I have a very strong spiritual life and am constantly
trying to improve myself in the areas of personal and spiritual
development. One of the keys, for me, in doing this is through daily
Bible reading. As an extremely busy writer though with a very heavy
workload, this has proven to be challenging at times. However, I have
found a way to be consistent in this area through the use of technology.
Here are five apps that will help you increase your daily Bible
YouVersion. This one
is my absolute favorite. The developers have made it possible for you
to use it on a smartphone, a tablet, or a computer. There's a version
for just about every handheld device out there. YouVersion has even
improved over the years in that it now offers a social networking
capability to the app. You can invite friends and together you can share
the insights that you have gained in your reading during that day along
with notes, highlights, and bookmarks. It is very encouraging and
motivating to exchange these kinds of ideas with like-minded people.
Bible Gateway.Bible Gateway
has been around for a very long time. From different versions of the
Bible to reading plans to scholarly commentary, everything that you
could need or want to study the Word of God is here.
Glo Bible. This is one that I have never heard of before
today. It has all kinds of interactive multimedia capability and a
beautiful layout and design. It is available for both iOS devices and
the PC. The deal killer for me though is that it is not available for
Daily Bible. In the interest of being fair, since the above
app is only available for iOS, I am presenting this particular one
because it is exclusive to Android so far. Very simple in design, it
offers the Bible in the King James version and is indexed for topical
Logos Bible. This one is a veritable powerhouse for serious
students of the Word. Equipped with multiple versions of the Bible,
maps, scholarly commentary, and social networking capabilities, this one
is hard to beat. Available on iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and the Web.
With all of the technology available to us today, there is no
reason why any believer should not be able to get in a daily dose of the
Word. God has blessed us to live in a time in this country where
everyone has free access to the scriptures, and this is not a gift that
should be taken lightly.
Download one of these apps today and enjoy studying at home, away, at
church, or anywhere that you can sit down, get still, and receive the
written Word of God.
He that hath pity upon
the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him
again. Proverbs 19:17, KJV
Something happened today that brought me to tears. I was
truly wounded to my core. One of my Facebook friends, a very pleasant older
lady with a strong work ethic who has worked many years over the course of her
career life in a skilled and demanding profession, posted her frustration about
being 12 days away from pay day and not knowing how she was going to purchase
I've seen her post her fears and hurt about being in such a
predicament before, and her humiliation in having to 'beg her needs,' so to
speak, radiates from her typewritten words stronger than any verbal expression
ever could. Her distress has struck a nerve with me on other occasions, but
this time to add to the poignancy of the situation other of her friends joined
the refrain recounting their own past and current circumstances with being a
part of the working poor.
It's bad enough to have knowledge of the fact that she has
worked so diligently for so many years, yet still has to face this challenge,
but to see her anguish frequently met with disdain, scorn, apathy, and no
compassion by others on her page is a dagger to my heart that I can't even
begin to describe.
I'm aware that over the past few generations that we as a
culture have been acclimated to become a generally 'me-centric' type of
society, but have our hearts truly grown so cold that we can live in the
comfort of fine homes, drive expensive cars, and eat 5-star cuisine, all the
while fully aware that others are not only living a lifestyle that's not
abundant, but that they are struggling
to meet the essential needs of their daily life -- and it doesn't bother us
even one bit?
I humbly submit that as we aggressively pursue better career
and business opportunities that enable us to increase our standard of living
that we might take just a moment to think of those far less fortunate than
ourselves, and take some action motivated from a heartfelt place to fill a need
that won't necessarily ever be reciprocated back our way.
Let us have hearts that extend beyond mere lip service and
that represent a higher calling of character, godliness, and righteousness.
May more of us be compelled to actions that portray a more loving and
compassionate way of life.
When my father and my
mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. Psalm 27:10, KJV
Today we celebrate Father's Day in America. In the spirit of the day, we honor not only
the biological fathers who stepped up to the plate and have handled their
business over the years but also those men who have stood in the gap due to the
absence of bio dads and been role models, counselors, protectors, providers,
prayer warriors -- whatever was needed to bring and nurture a young soul along.
As always on days like these, I not only give primary honor to
my own father Mr. Roland Lane, Sr. for a lifelong history of service,
sacrifice, love, fidelity, and commitment, but I remember those who were not so
blessed for whatever reason to have a father figure present in their lives or
whose fathers are no longer present on this earthly plane to hear the refrains
of the accolades hurled their way. I also give honorable mention to my
brothers, Roland Lane, Jr. and Jason Lane, for modeling the pattern of
fatherhood set down by my father and carrying on the legacy. A special shout
out to Morris "Bil" Lewis, Jr., my brother-in-law, for the
exceptional care and parenting that he brings to the life of my nephew/godson.
As I scroll through the posts on my social media I see many
narratives that break my heart -- tales of sons and daughters whose fathers didn’t
take up the mantle of their calling and who abandoned them during the course of
their lives. These posters poignantly express the sense of loss deeply embedded
in their souls, their feelings of abandonment and rejection. To this group I
offer this encouragement: there still is a hope for you. There is One who
sits on high and looks down low, and He both sees and feels your pain.
Where your earthly father has missed the mark, know that
your Heavenly Father has never abandoned you. Even when you have not felt His
presence He has been right there by your side. He has ordained provision and
provided protection that you will never know about until you see Him face to
face. Most importantly, He showers down His love and is waiting for You to turn
to Him and receive it.
Let that void in your heart be filled with the perfect love
that only our Heavenly Father can give -- and armed with that love join the
ranks of us who happily celebrate the true meaning of this day. You are not alone. You are not
forgotten. No regrets. No sorrow. No looking back.