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You can't stop love

Valentines Day has come and gone! Cards were received. Flowers were purchased. Chocolates were eaten and presents were given – in the name of ‘LOVE’

LOVE seems to be the descriptive word used to define this day for most people. Many either heard or spoke the words: ‘I love you’ to someone they care about.

Love is a verb and is activated when it does and doesn’t do certain things. Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 13 says: If you really love someone on any level there are some things you will continue to do and other things you will stop doing. He actually gives 10 descriptions of what love doesn’t do and 5 illustrations of what Love does.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. NLT

The simple truth being conveyed in these verses is: Love doesn’t remain silent. It knows when to speak up and when to shut up. It knows when to advance and when to retreat. It knows when to give and when to receive. Most important: Love never ceases! You can’t stop love!

The test of real love is not a one-day celebration. It’s not a one-time purchase of some flowers or candy. It’s not the big things but a lot of little things. The real test of true love is time! If the words ‘I love you ’ are still being acted upon in May, Sept and November – then the words spoken on February 14 might be genuine! Why? Because love never ceases – You can’t stop love.

God wants you to find true love on every level. He’s willing to teach you about the different kinds of love and how to love people as He loves people. The love of emotion is based on a desire but the love of devotion is based upon a decision. Every time a mother decides to change a baby’s diaper, even though she has no desire to do so, she exercises true love.

Whenever you decide to sacrifice something for the benefit of another by putting their needs before your own desires, you express true love. True love is a decision that never stops.

When my wife and I were married on Feb 16, 1973, we made a commitment for better of for worse! I didn’t know what that meant back then – nor did she but we both do now.

True love is offered 24/7 and 365 days of the year. When things are good and when things are not so good.

For better or for worse! When you feel like it and when you don’t feel like it.

That’s how God loves us and that’s how we are to love Him and others. You can’t stop love!


Religion
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Faith Matters
Faith Matters

UPCOMING

Shrove Tuesday pancake supper: Feb. 28, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Trinity Hall, 470 Champion St., Lemoore. The women of Christ Church Anglican Mission are sponsoring their annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake supper. Proceeds will provide church camp scholarships and to assist the church with other projects. Menu: Ham, sausage, eggs, pancakes, applesauce, juice, milk and coffee. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-11 years. Information: Contact 284-4744.

ONGOING

Upper Room Bible Studies for adults: Tuesdays, 10-11:30 a.m., Castle Building, second floor, 540 S. 11th Ave., Hanford. Join us for topics that include salvation, end time Prophecies and more. Bible provided, or bring your own. All materials and classes are free.

Community Bible study: Wednesdays, 9:15-11:15 a.m., South Valley Community Church, 1050 W. Bush St., Lemoore. For ladies of all denominations. Childcare available for newborns up to preschool. For more information, call Leslie Veenendaal, leslieveenendaal@gmail.com or 707-8006.

Coffee Break Bible Study: Wednesdays, 10-11:30 a.m., First Christian Reformed Church, 2175 Leoni Dr., Hanford, 582-4423, at Church Social Hall. Coffee Break is an interdenominational Bible study that invites women from any church or those who do not attend a church to study the Word of God in the comfort of a small group setting. All materials are free and will be handed out at the meetings.

Christian Meditation group: Thursdays, 5:15-6:15 p.m., at Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles Church, 870 N. Lemoore Ave., Lemoore. A silent meditation group as taught through the writings of Fr. John Main O.S.B. Visit www.wccm.org or call Robert Sandoval at 362-6824.

Celebrate Recovery: Fridays, 6 p.m., at South Valley Community Church, 1050 W. Bush St., Lemoore, 924-3458 or email office@svcclemoore.org. The Celebrate Recovery program is a biblically and balanced program that has helped millions of people find freedom from their hurts, habits and hang-ups. Dinner is at 6 p.m., meetings 7-8 p.m., open share 8-9 p.m.

PFLAG Tulare & Kings Counties: LGBT Youth Groups: The third Sunday of each month, 3-5 p.m., at Congregation B'nai David Education Building, 1039 S. Chinowth, Visalia. PFLAG Tulare & Kings Counties meets to support, educate and advocate for LGBT people, their families, friends and allies. We are open to the public and our meetings are a safe and confidential place. Information: Call Kathryn Hall, 363-0992, or email at kathrynhall16@gmail.com, or visit www.pflag-tulare-kings.org.

Old fashioned sing-a-long - Hanford: The last Sunday of the month, 6 p.m., First Southern Baptist Church, 1207 N. 11th Ave., Hanford. Family, faith and fun are ontap with an old fashioned sing-a-long. On the last Sunday of the each month. Information: Call 584-7255. 

ONGOING SERVICES

Amazing Grace Christian Fellowship: Services: 10 a.m. morning worship, 6:30 p.m. evening worship, Sunday, 7 p.m. Bible study, Wednesday.

Information: 904-3964, located at 293 N. Hamlet St., Lemoore.

Armona United Methodist Church: Services: 9 a.m. Sunday service and 7 p.m. Wednesday bible study.

Information: 584-8340, located at 14013 Hanford Armona Road, Armona.

Central Valley Community Church: Services: 10 a.m. Sunday worship and 7 p.m. Bible Study, Wednesday.

Information: 816-2983, located at 942 S. Harris St., Hanford.

Christ Church Anglican Mission: Services: 10 a.m. Sunday service, 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. prayer, Tuesday through Friday.

Information: 924-5067, visit http://bit.ly/1UX6Hl5, or email lemooreanglicans@gmail.com, located at 740 N. 19th Ave., Lemoore.

Episcopal Church of the Saviour: Services: 9 a.m. Sunday, 6 p.m. Wednesday and 6 p.m. Friday.

Information: 584-7706, email ecosoffice1@gmail.com, located at 519 N. Douty St. Hanford.

First Baptist Church: Services: 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. morning worship, 10:45 a.m. Sunday School and 6-7 p.m. evening prayer, Sunday.

Information: 584-6644, located at 9125 13 1/2 Ave., Hanford.

First Christian Reformed Church: Services: 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. (English), 1 p.m. (Español) and 11 a.m. Sunday School.

Information: Visit hanfordcrc.org, located at 2175 Leoni Dr., Hanford.

First Lutheran Church: Services: 8:45 a.m. child and adult Bible class, 10 a.m. Sunday worship and 11:30 a.m. Bible study, Thursday.

Information: 582-2463, located at 9075 12th Ave., Hanford.

First Missionary Baptist Church: Services: 9:45 a.m. Sunday School, 11 a.m. morning worship, 5 p.m. Bible training, 5:45 p.m. evening worship, Sunday and 7 p.m. Wednesday service.

Information: 582-0377 or email info@fmbcarmona.org., located at 10649 Railroad Ave., Armona.

First Presbyterian Church: Services: 9 a.m. traditional Sunday services and 10:30 a.m. contemporary Sunday services.

Information: 582-0283 or email www.fpchanford.org, located at 340 N. Irwin St., Hanford.

First Southern Baptist Church: All ages Sunday School: 9:30 a.m., Sunday Worship: 10:50 a.m. (nursery provided) and Wednesday adult and youth Bible study at 6 p.m. 

Information: 584-7255, located at 1207 N. 11th Ave., Hanford.

First United Methodist Church: Services: 9 a.m. Sunday School, 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship.

Information: 584-4075, visit www.fumchanford.org, located at 505 N. Redington St., Hanford.

Glad Tidings Assembly Of God: Services: 9 a.m. Bible classes, 10 a.m. Celebration service, 6 p.m. evening service, Sunday and 7 p.m. Family Night, Wednesday.

Information: 584-8565 or visit gtchanford.com, located at 750 E. Grangeville Blvd., Hanford.

Golden Harvest Apostolic Church: Services: 9:30 a.m. Sunday School, 11 a.m. Sunday worship. 6:30 p.m. Bible Study, Tuesday and Missionary service, Thursday.

Information: Email golden-harvest@att.net, located at 11914 2nd Pl., Hanford.

Hanford First Southern Baptist Church: Services: 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Sunday. 6-7:30 p.m., Bible study and Team Kids, Wednesday. 7-9 p.m. Bible study, Friday.

Information: 584-7255, located at 1207 N. 11th Ave., Hanford.

House of Hope Multi-ethnic Seventh-day Adventist Church: Services: 6:30-7:30 p.m., Wednesdays till Oct. 28.

Information: 582-8821 or visit http://bit.ly/1PUEJhj, located at 206 E. 9th St., Hanford. 

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church: Services: Saturday, 5:30 p.m., Vigil Mass. Sunday, 7:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. English Mass, 9 a.m. and noon, Spanish Mass.

Information: Visit: www.ihmhanford.org, located at 10435 Hanford Armona Road, Hanford, 584-8576.

International Church House of God: Services: 11 a.m. Sundays. 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Information: 836-2565, located at 571 E. Seventh St., Hanford.

Lemoore First United Methodist Church: Services: 9:30 a.m. adult Sunday School and 11 a.m, Sunday service with children's church.

Information: 924-5295, located at 500 E. Bush St., Lemoore.

Lemoore Presbyterian Church: Services: 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship.

Information: 924-5658 or email pastorlemoorepres@att.net., located at 260 B St., Lemoore.

Lighthouse Fellowship Church: Services: 9:45 a.m. Sunday School, 10:45 a.m. worship. 6:30 p.m. Wednesday service.

Information: 584-7479, located at 130 W. Myrtle St., Hanford.

Mt. Olive Baptist Church: Services: 9:45 a.m. Sunday School, 11 a.m. service. 7 p.m. Bible Study, Wednesday.

Information: 924-3080, located at 18539 Jersey Ave., Lemoore.

New Light Baptist Church: Services: 10 a.m. Sunday school and 11 a.m. worship service.

Information: 582-3452, located at 11590 3rd Pl., Hanford.

Philadelphia Ministries: Services: 9 a.m. Sunday School, 10:30 a.m. worship, 6 p.m. Bible study, Sunday. 7 p.m. Bible study, Wednesday.

Information: 817-5787, located at 533 Hill St., Lemoore.

Salvation Army Hanford: Services: 9:45 a.m. Sunday School, 10:45 a.m. Holiness Meeting.

Information: 582-4434, located at 380 E. Ivy St., Hanford

Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima: Services: 5 p.m. Saturday. 8 and 9:30 a.m., 6 and 7 p.m. Sunday. 8:30-9 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Information: 923-4935, located at 20855 S. Fatima Ave., Laton.

South Valley Community Church: Services: 9-10:45 a.m. Sunday worship.

Information: 924-3458, located at 1050 W. Bush St. Lemoore.

St. Brigid Catholic Church: Services: 4-5:30 p.m. Sacrament of Reconciliation, 6 p.m. service, Saturday. 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. service (English), 11:30 a.m. (Portuguese), 1 p.m. (Español), 5 p.m. Catholic Byzantine Divine Liturgy (English), Sunday. 7 a.m. Monday through Friday (English).

Information: 582-2533, located at 200 E. Florinda St., Hanford.

St. James Lutheran Church: Services: 8 a.m. traditional and 10:30 a.m. blended. Education for all at 9:15 a.m.

Information: 584-8706, located at 1780 Emma Lee Lane, Hanford.

St. Peter Prince of the Apostles: Weekend services: 3:30 p.m. Confession and 5 p.m. Saturday service. 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and noon Sunday service in Lemoore. Noon Sunday services in Stratford. Weekday services June 1 through Aug. 8: No Monday services. 5:30 p.m. Tuesday service. 8 a.m. Wednesday through Friday.

Information: 924-2562, visit, www.saintpeterpoa.org, located at 870 N. Lemoore Ave., Lemoore.  


Features
Finding the faith to be happy

When we hear that happiness is a choice many will roll their eyes in one of those “whatever” attitudes especially when having a bad day, the last thing we want to hear is another zip-a-dee-doo-da platitude. However, (here we go) yes, the statement is actually true and in order to discover what it means, I thought we could at least stop for a moment and look at a few ideas that might help us become…well…happier!

  1. What others say or do should not cause you to be unhappy. Even if they go out of their way to pull your string, you can refuse to be drawn into anger, intimidation or resentment. Mental strength comes like lifting weights – slowly with lots of determination and self-discipline.
  2. Your childhood might have been less than desirable but it is important to not allow negative emotions to continue draining your joy as an adult. Happy people learn how to understand the past and use these experiences as positive stepping stones for a victorious future.
  3. It’s very important to make peace with your appearance. You do not need to look a certain way to be loved or respected because true love accepts you perfectly as you are. Psalm 149:13 declares that you are “wonderfully and fearfully made.” Embrace who you are!
  4. Fear and anxiety is everywhere but it is not a license to be unhappy. We can rise above the chaos if we choose to live in God’s peace. When we discover that fear is a weapon to steal our happiness, Jesus can show us how to walk in the “valley of the shadow” with faith and hope.
  5. A broken heart is devastating but God’s joy is the perfect medicine. Difficulty can develop wisdom, character and an inner strength you never knew was possible. In time, it is absolutely vital to receive His healing, trust His decision and move forward with your life.
  6. If you have made huge mistakes and feel that you are on the bottom, this may be a perfect time to allow God to start rebuilding you. It is never too late to start again! The enemy of our soul will accuse us and condemn us until we finally stand against him with holy truth. There will never be a time when darkness or hopelessness can overcome the brilliant light of God’s restoring love.
  7. Surrender sounds like defeat but actually it can be our greatest victory. Learning to let go of our plans and allowing God to take total control can be one of the most liberating events in our life. When we allow Him to be our Lord, His Spirit will literally flood our heart with happiness.
  8. We are miserable when we choose not to forgive. In order for God to wash us clean we must repent and forgive others. Unforgiveness is a snare trap that can ruin us from the inside-out as there is no way we can carry the heavy weight of bitterness and be happy at the same time.
  9. Sometimes we need to re-evaluate our relationships in order to maintain a clear focus and a pure heart. We have a responsibility to guard our conscience and eliminate the negativity because a good attitude and a positive sense of well-being is the pathway to happy living.
  10. Lastly, there is more to being content than just singing “don’t worry – be happy” and even becoming determined to live in the joy of the Lord doesn’t guarantee we will never be sad, frustrated, angry or discouraged. But it does mean when facing adversity, we can learn with God’s help how to pray, confess His Word and make better decisions which will lead to higher levels of confidence and contentment.
  11. In this day and age when everything is going at such a fast pace, there is a temptation to become more self-centered and withdrawn. However, this type of reaction actually makes us more miserable while an attitude of sacrificial giving brings us joy and a deeper sense of gratitude.