Have Faith
February, 2014 - Issue #112
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Endless Love
by Jason VanderPal
Do you hate this time of year? If you're like most people, you've had your heart broken at least once. For many folks, the idea of a sappy, expensive holiday celebrating romantic love can be nauseating because it is a reminder of the love we may no longer receive.
If you're like me, then you find the idea of Valentine's Day to be cute but bothersome because of its brevity. Why should we celebrate our love for each other only one day per year? It seems to me that we might do the folks we love a better service if we treated every day like Valentine's Day.

Now before you stone me at the thought of buying 365 boxes of chocolate, think about what your relationships - not just the romantic ones - would look like if we exerted the same effort to acknowledge and appreciate our loved ones every day of the year. That's the kind of love Jesus has for us.

Whether you're a follower of Jesus or not, most would agree there is no better example of "all in" love than Jesus Christ. And one of my favorite verses in the Bible is Hebrews 13:8 where it says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow." That passage of scripture reminds me that even though I mess up almost every day, I am given a Second Chance. And even though it's been over 2,000 years since Jesus walked on the Earth in physical form, Jesus still loves me and would still die for me - no matter what day it is on the calendar.

"That's the kind of LOVE Jesus has for us."
It's that passion that drives the Mission of Real Life Church: Help People Find and Follow Jesus. I hope you know how truly loved you are this month, regardless of how many cards or flowers you did (or didn't) receive.
Jason VanderPal is the Life Groups pastor at Real Life Church.

Loving our Neighbors
by Michelle Andrews
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, we will soon be surrounded by the sights and sounds of "love." Many of us will give cards, flowers or chocolate to express love to the special people in our lives. Being loved by friends and family is a great gift and something to be treasured all year long.

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus shares what is often referred to as the Great Commandment. We are to "love God with all of our heart, all our soul and all our mind." In other words, we are to love God with our whole selves. There is a second part to the commandment. We are to "love our neighbors as ourselves." This kind of love isn't limited to warm feelings for someone, but extends to our actions toward and on behalf of others.

The people of Valencia United Methodist Church work hard to share love - with our actions, not just our words - with our neighbors here in the SCV and with neighbors around the world.

For more than 20 years, VUMC has shared love with those who are hungry in Santa Clarita by providing weekly meals through our FISH (Feeding Individuals, Sharing Hope) ministry. FISH also helps throughout the year by providing school supplies, coats and Christmas food and gifts. We share love with the homeless in our valley through our involvement with the Winter Shelter and with Family Promise. Both organizations provide shelter, food and resources to those without a home of their own. We extend love to some around the world through annual trips and financial support to people in Nicaragua who used to live in a garbage dump, and to women in Burundi, Africa who have nothing and nowhere to go. Because God first loved each of us, we reach out to others and share love with them.

All are welcome at Valencia United Methodist Church to experience God's love and to share that love with others from our Corner of Hope. #VUMChereforgood
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