CHN is a network of volunteers from churches throughout the United States of America and throughout the nations. Our mission and passion is to carry on the Great Commission given by our Lord Jesus Christ.

February 2016

"He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love."
(Song of Solomon 2:4)

Dear Friend,

Blessings to you! Trusting that all is well with you and your loved ones. We are fine, and thanking God for all He is doing among us this winter. This month we celebrate Valentine's Day by giving cards and candy, etc. to those we love. It is great to have a day set aside for expressing love, but really, shouldn't it be every day? However, our human love, as wonderful as it can be, is nothing like the love our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ has for us!

When we think of how much He loves us, and how His thoughts are for us in such a powerful way, it is amazing! The love we have for others is just a small taste of what God has for us! On this earth, no love is perfect, but in heaven, it is beyond imagination! The Song of Solomon is a beautiful poem filled with words of love between a bride and groom. It is also a love poem depicting God's unconditional love for us.

As we read the Song of Solomon, we can rejoice in God's gift of love for us. We read of the seasons of life, when the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. (2:11,12) God has given us seasons in life, and their purposes are very natural. They are planned for us to relax, rethink, and realign our thoughts with a different perspective. Also, to check on our values and goals in life.

During the winter season, it is the time to regroup and set aside time to think of our life as it is. It is called the winter time of the soul. What changes would we like to see? Where can I begin to change my thinking in my values? Am I truly showing love to others? Am I rushing things along in my life, when I feel a check in my spirit to slow down and recheck my goals? What does God want for me? Am I following Him as I should? The low times are planned for us to calm us down, to show us not to rush into things without thinking and praying first. How many of us have made quick decisions that we have later regretted? I raise my hand on that one too! All of us need to calm down, spend time with God, read His Word and listen to His voice. There is one item that I need to work on, and that is to relax and listen. I am always in a rush, always have deadlines, and always ministering. This is my life, and I love it. However, I do need to set aside more time to be with Jesus. I found that winter does that for me

because it forces me to go along with snow storms and cold by utilizing the time to pray and seek God. I love the long winter nights where I can sit quietly by my electric fireplace, (yes, electric. Best I could do living in Brooklyn) Okay, so I take a hot cup of cocoa or tea, put a warm robe on, and a nice soft blanket, and spend time with my Lord. I re-examine my life, my goals, and where I am at the time. Then I ask Jesus what His will is for me, and if something needs to be changed, or improved upon. I have my Bible open and ask Him to speak to me as I read His Word. Before I go on with this, please, never just ask God to speak to you, and open up your Bible to any place in it. You may open up to where Judas hung himself, and that is NOT what you want to do, and God backs me up with that! Smile.... So, we read the Psalms, or chapters in the Bible that speak to us with encouragement. God will always encourage you if you are truly seeking Him! I like to begin by thanking Him for my warm house, my time with Him, and for all of my blessings... my family, friends, ministry, etc. When we are truly thankful, it opens up dialogue with Him. He wants so much to fellowship with you! He wants more than anything to sit with you, and look into your eyes, and hear what you have to say. It is the same as when someone who is dear to you, comes and wants to talk with you. It delights Him when you include Him in your life! He smiles as He listens to you with such love. He knows what you are concerned about, but wants to hear it from you! During this winter season, it warms our soul to know that our God not only wants to hear from us, but He wants to speak to us. He speaks through His Word. He can also speak to us in our sleep, or in a nudge that forces us to pay attention! Many years ago, I was going through a really hard time, and I recall crying out to Him asking when it would end! I suddenly, but so softly, heard in my ear, "It will be soon." I looked around to see if anyone was near me, but I was alone. Except for Jesus! Those words held me as I began to see Him work in that situation. Therefore, winter is the time to be calm, and wait.....

So, as we spend our time with Jesus this winter, and as we walk over frozen ground, or ice and snow, thinking that nothing will ever grow again, let us hold on to the fact that He is listening, and paying attention to all that is going on in our lives. Let us hold on to His Promises, that He will take care of things. As we recheck our goals and values, we will see that yes, winter has passed, and springtime has returned. A new prospective has come with a new aspect of our faith reborn. Old things have passed away, but new things have come. There is a new dawn arising! There is hope! The trees will blossom, the flowers will grow, and the sun will shine on our faces once again. In the meantime, dance in the snow and know that God never fails!

Father, I lift this reader up to you, and place him or her into your Loving arms. Father, we thank You for Your perfect love, Your warmth, Your smile, Your attention, as we seek You in this season. Thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your only Son, Jesus, to die on a cross so that we can be saved and live with You forever. Thank You for joy unspeakable that You have promised to all who believe. We bless Your holy Name and give You praise. Amen!

In His Service,

Pastor Barbara