The Monthly View focus for 2007 not only considers things that will interest you, but shares a view of live from an experience of God's love. My prayer is that God will give you a desire to visit this site often for an experience of His love. This desire fulfills the vision and purpose of abounding love ministry. That is, to always have others feel loved and to help them understand that God loves them.
Happy Valentines Day
Saint Valentine was a Roman priest and physician who clung to his love for Jesus Christ in spite of persecution by Emperor Claudius Gothicus. It cost him his reputation. It cost him his career. It cost him his livelihood. Ultimately, when he refused to recant, it cost him his live. He was an example of God's divine, unconditional love. He was willing to deny himself and take up his cross and follow Jesus.1
Valentine's Day has grown to symbolize a worldly view of love---kisses, heart candy, romantic music, cards with poems and pledges of devotion. This love is defined by the Greek word eros for erotic love, which is evident in our culture. Opposing this, the culture of the Kingdom of God is defined by the Greek word agape from the Greek New Testament Bible for God's divine love
How are we to view Valentine's Day as a Christian? We are to remember that God so loved the world that he gave is only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Jesus should not perish but have everlasting life. 2 What are we to believe about Jesus? That Jesus took our sin upon Himself at the cross. 3 He cleansed us from all unrighteousness, and made us right with God. 4 Then, we are able to love one another this Valentine's Day from a healed and pure heart.
Experiencing God's Love
It is possible to experience God's love throughout the day, year around. The Disciples experienced Jesus washing their feet. 5 The Apostle John alluded to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" five times in his Gospel. 6 He experienced God's love, which resulted in His love for God and obedience. 7Likewise, we are to abide, continue and settle down in God's love, that our joy might be full. 8
The Christian life is all about experiencing God's love, but many find it difficult to realize that God loves them as much as he loved his Son, Jesus. 9 For this reason, we must ask God through prayer to help us grasp His love. I suggest you pray the following prayer from God's Word, while at the same time slowly meditate what you are praying. It is God's will for you to know His love.
"Father, I pray that from Your glorious, unlimited resources, You will give me mighty inner strength through the Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in my heart as I trust Him. May my roots go down deep into the soil of Your marvelous love. And may I have the power to understand, as all your people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Your love really is. May I experience the love of Christ, though it is so great I will never fully understand it. Then I will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from You. Amen."10
What About Diet?
My desire is to be considerate of those who might not visit this site to experience God's love, but desires to hear something about me or my former days with the Manson family. There is much on this site concerning those matters, but I'm led to share a little about my diet.
In the December View, I shared our holiday menu, but in our cells, we are able to cook canteen and quarterly package item in our hot pots. Most of the items are instant, made with hot water. Many times I place a bowl in hot water for warming food. For instance, I'll dice up an apple and place in the bowl with a pouch of tuna, and then I mix in crushed red pepper, powdered garlic and olive oil. I set this inside a tortillas or with crackers. I sometimes add cheese and garlic sauce.
I've been a vegetarian since the '60s. I drink milk and eat eggs, cheese and fish for protein. I limit foods with flour, sugar and salts. I get fiber from oatmeal, cracked wheat cereal and fruits, mostly apples, bananas and pears at this time. We aren't allowed oranges and grapefruits because prisoners make wine from them. I eat brown rice mixed with dried vegetable flakes and spicy pinto beans on the side. I sprinkle a few crushed Nacho chips on top with a dash of garlic sauce. It's a tasty dish usually served in a tortilla.
The deceptive doctrine of self-love is still being taught today as truth, after creeping into the Body of Christ in the 1970s. Jesus narrowed the Ten Commandments down to two great commandments: Love God and love thy neighbor. Those who teach self-love add a third commandment to the second: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." 11 They say we have to love ourselves in order to love our neighbor, but in reality, we naturally love ourselves and are at least somewhat self-centered.
In the Monthly View for April 2005, I taught on the four kinds of love, but self-love is not one of them. It has been around since the Fall of man in the Garden. We've never had a problem loving ourselves. Some are taught in recovery that we hated ourselves in captivity to our past addictions, and we need to love ourselves in order to recover. To the contrary, we loved ourselves trying to satisfy our fleshy nature with every vice imaginable: "...the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life." 12
Self-love is called narcissism in the field of Psychiatry. It has to do with an excessive love and admiration for oneself. Narcissus was a mythological youth who pined away in love for his own image in a pool of water and was transformed into the flower that bears his name. As Christians, we are to "deny [say 'no' to] yourself, and take up the cross daily and follow Jesus." 13 I profess: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” 14 He [Jesus] must in increase, and I must decrease. 15
A Prayer For You...
Father, I ask that You give me a complete understanding of what You want to do in my life. I ask You to make me wise with spiritual wisdom. Then the way I live will always honor and please You, and I will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, I will learn to know You better and better. I pray that I will be strengthened with Your glorious power so that I will have all the patience and endurance I need. May I be filled with joy, always thanking You, who has enabled me to share the inheritance that belongs to all Your holy people. You brought me into the light. You rescued me from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and You brought me into the Kingdom of Your dear Son. You purchased my freedom with Your blood and You forgave my sin. Thank You In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen 16
1. Luke 9:23
2. John 3:16
3. Cor. 5:21
4. 1 John 1:9
5. John 13:1-17
6. John 13: 23 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20
7. John 14: 21,23
8. John 15: 9-11
9. John 17: 20-26
10. Eph 3: 16-19
11. Matt. 22:36-40
12. 1 John 2: 15-17
13. Like 9:23
14. Gal 2:20
15. John 3:30
16. Col 1:9-14