Sunday, February 15, 2015


Pastor Ryan Freeman
Payson Christian Church

Feb 14th marks Valentine's Day- which traditionally is based off the legendary exploits of 
St Valentine, according to Wikipedia:

describes Saint Valentine, as the former Bishop of Terni, Narnia and Amelia, a town of Umbria, in central Italy. While under house arrest of Judge Asterius, and discussing his faith with him, Valentinus (the Latin version of his name) was discussing the validity of Jesus. The judge put Valentinus to the test and brought to him the judge's adopted blind daughter. If Valentinus succeeded in restoring the girl's sight, Asterius would do anything he asked. Valentinus laid his hands on her eyes and the child's vision was restored. Immediately humbled, the judge asked Valentinus what he should do. Valentinus replied that all of the idols around the judge's house should be broken, the judge should fast for three days, and then undergo baptism. The judge obeyed and as a result, freed all the Christian inmates under his authority. The judge, his family and his forty-four member household (family members and servants) were baptized.[20] Valentinus was later arrested again for continuing to proselytize and was sent to the prefect of Rome, to the emperor Claudius Gothicus (Claudius II) himself. Claudius took a liking to him until Valentinus tried to convince Claudius to embrace Christianity, whereupon Claudius refused and condemned Valentinus to death, commanding that Valentinus either renounce his faith or he would be beaten with clubs, and beheaded. Valentinus refused and Claudius' command was executed outside the Flaminian Gate February 14, 269.

Valentine's day is originally about remembering someone who was Valiant. 
What does Valiant mean?




courageous, intrepid, or stout-hearted; brave
marked by bravery or courage: a valiant deed
I think Valentine is an awesome of example of a guy who lived by who he was: Valiant. And we need more people like him because Valentine was emulating Jesus. 


1 Corinthians 13 New Living Translation (NLT)

Love Is the Greatest

13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

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.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Names have power and meaning. 

Something I think is very special about our names we have been given, is that even how when we pass away and are given new, heavenly bodies- one of the very few things we carry over from this life to the next are our names. They are written in the Book of Life and describe us, who we are- our personal identity. 

So much of our own personal identity is daily displayed in how we treat each other- how we live and interact in our community. Whether it's inter family- or church- hanging out- holidays- whatever.

After I first really started investigating Christianity, one of the things I really came to rest on was who God made me as. Our identities are something special. And hidden within them are our gifts- talents abilities- who we are and how we are. And I like to think of our gifts wrapped up in our own identities as subtle foreshadowing for how God is calling us each day to follow him. 

But all of this doesn't matter if we're not kind. If we aren't loving. And I think we can be proud to say we are apart of Payson Christian Church (146 years old!) which has been built on an ongoing legacy of people who know Jesus. Who have their gifts wrapped up in their identity, playing out each day as their character is shown through their love.

Each day, simply built on another, is our chance to build something lasting for the Kingdom of Heaven- from churches to people. Do you know what your name means? What sorts of gifts are hidden away in your identity? How can you be more loving through your own strength of character? 

Like what you read? Join in with your own insights, stories and art- send them to Thanks and God bless -Ryan

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