A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Touch of Romance
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Just Between Men
Ripe for the Harvest
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Joy of Family
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Rhythm of Life
The Treehouse
Through Their Eyes
'Tis the Season
We Are the Church

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"Love Does Make the World Go Around"

By Bill Shurkey

This month's column is dedicated to Deb and Tom. Without their love it would never have been written.

If someone walked up to you and started singing, "I love Paris in the spring-time, I love Paris in the fall…" most of us wouldn't be impressed. I know I wouldn't. It's not that I have anything against Parisians. I'm sure they're very nice people. Paris just isn't something I think about when I think of love.

We've all heard people exclaim, "I love pizza" or "I love the beach." Most husbands have heard their wives say, "I love shopping in the mall." That often triggers a defensive mechanism in men, which causes us to blurt out, "I love football!" Yet none of it is really love.

So what is love? God is. Agape love is selfless love and God is a selfless God. His love is perfect. It's safe to say that when God created Adam, agape was the only love. It was a perfect love between God and man.

After the Fall, love became perverted like everything else in the world. Man lost fellowship with God and the ability to love Him with a perfect love. We never lost God's love though. He loved us while we were still in the womb, knowing what we'd grow up to be. And He loves us now after we've become what He knew we would.

The world is incapable of agape love because they don't know God. They are restricted to the lower forms of love. The two higher forms are acts of the will and can be only experienced by those who have returned to God. (For a thorough study on love, I recommend the first epistle of John and "The Four Loves" by C.S. Lewis).

The world's idea of love is as perverted as the love itself. The world says, "love is never having to say you're sorry." God's word says (Matt.5:23-24) that "love means saying you're sorry first." God's word also shows us love is a sign of discipleship to Christ, it's required in marriage, and it's necessary for unity in the church.

God's love then is His answer for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. All of us fall short in these areas, for often it means loving the unlovable – and we'll find the unlovable everywhere. Blessed is the man who can love through God's eyes.

Next month we will be celebrating God's perfect love to us, the greatest display of love possible. This month we celebrate our love for God and others. February is traditionally the month of love and romance. Displays of affection, friendship and erotic love abound. The closer we are to God, the more abundantly they are displayed.

Child, spouse, friend, or Christian. Whatever particular role you find yourself in, let God's love send a message to the world. And what is the message? 'Love makes the world go around but God's love makes it go around perfectly.'

This month in The Rhythm of Life you'll find three poems all dedicated to spouses, and a love song for the Lord. Each of the writers gave a piece of themselves in the composition. Giving one's self… perhaps that is the key to love, after all.

As you go through 2005, I hope the rhythm of your life, its very fabric, is dominated by God's love. If it is, you will be blessed with more love, both to give and receive, than you have ever known.

At Winter's End
By Bill Shurkey

O fair lady, seasons soften your face,
your kisses still delight. 'Tis youthful glow
that endows you with all it's charm and grace.
More radiant then when we met, I know
'tis love adorns you like a rose in spring.
Alas! How fast the seasons fly! The bold
days of summer gone and we tightly cling
to autumn. But soon winds will howl, the cold
blast chill our bones. The shorter days die fast
and steal away the weeks. Take my hand. Come,
I'll hold you till this final season's past.
At winter's end 'tis spring again and home.
Ah, my love, could we live this year anew!
I pledge I would live it again with you.

A sonnet for Linda, my love and my life
© Bill Shurkey 2005
Bill Shurkey is the editor of The Rhythm of Life. He has published over 100 poems in various publications, as well as short fiction, short nonfiction and a nonfiction book. His two passions are poetry and teaching children through fantasy and humor.
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