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TABLE OF CONTENTS
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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From the Editor -
Bill Shurkey
Featured Poems
life"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).

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My Love Knows Me
By Wendy Lynn Decker

My love wipes away my tears with his kindness.
He knows me when I smile and when I don't.

Without him I would be like the sun behind a cumulous cloud.
His strong wind gently blows my insecurities away and lets me shine.

He lifts me up with his laughter, adds chocolate to my peanut butter.
He completes the beginning to my end, he keeps me intact.

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You Give
By S. Megan Payne

    (Verse 1)

    I love You
    You love me
    How can I know such love?
    You love me
    You hold me close…

    (Chorus)

    You sent Your only Son
    To die for all my sins
    How can I know such love?
    You paid the greatest price
    He came and saved my life
    I'm not worthy of such love…
    But still You give


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life

About Your Love
By Jay Cookingham
Speak to me about your love
And I will speak about
poems that happen
filling the unforgiving minutes
with tasty morsels
of delicious words
and satisfying moments

Speak to me about your love
and I will have a word
about the pendulum swing
of my heart
which whispers your name
in every beat

Speak to me about your love
And I focus on an
ageless journey
I kiss myself goodbye
and settle blissfully
in your love

Jay Cookingham © 12-30-03
Dedicated to my wife Christine

Jay Cookingham is a freelance writer who is a featured writer on several websites, including fatherville.com, ibelieve.com, christianwriters.com and crossmap.com. His latest projects include one book on Fathering and co-authoring a book on parenting with his wife Christine. Jay's work has been published in three of the God's Way series (http://godswaybooks.com/). A father of seven, Jay Cookingham has been happily married to his wife Christine for 22 years.