Category Archives: Relationships

A New Beginning

Bryan entered glory and went to be present with Christ on August 26, 2016. (You may read his obituary here.) The ministry of GLOW will continue, and we thank you for your on-going interest and support.
He wrote the following letter to be read at his celebration of life service. As Bryan begins his life in glory, these are the words he wants you to hear from him. ~ Marcia

Thank you all for being a part of my life.  Thank you for making it a richer experience by the way you modeled compassion, integrity, respect, and loving concern.

I am grateful for you joining in me in bringing practical love and hope of Jesus to the poorest of poor by partnering in the global missions of Go Light Our World, and for your teamwork in advancing great causes at work, changing the world for people.  You are the light of the world.

Thank you for challenging me in areas of truth and discernment, for sometimes being my teachers and role models, and for your encouragement. Thank you for sharing your joys and making me laugh.

Thank you too for sharing your sorrows and tender tears and for talking about things that really matter.  I’m thankful for when you visited me when I was sick, for doing yard work I was unable to do, and for your prayers.  Thank you for being a good friend.

I hope you will remember the purpose and passion for life we shared, and the love and respect that bound us together.  I know my life was an imperfect testimony to God’s love, but I hope you will carry with you some memory that encourages you when you’re feeling sad, something that brings a smile to your face, something that reminds you to live your life with God’s purpose and passion.  Remember how very much Jesus loves you and wants to draw you close to him.  Be gentle with each other and love one another.

To my dear friends who haven’t yet made a decision about Jesus, I respect you deeply and encourage you to give Jesus a chance to reveal himself in your life.  Read the gospel of John. Ask a Christian friend to read it with you.  Ask God how you should respond to his invitation to accept his free gift of salvation and grace.

Actually, this is my hope for all of you.  Give Jesus a chance to really transform your life into something new and powerful.  Be real with God.

I thank God for each of you and ask his great mercy to comfort, strengthen and guide you to a great life.  Thank you for being part of my life.  I look forward to seeing you again in heaven.

My confidence in going to heaven is not by the great quests pursued in work, not in my character, or faithful endurance through suffering.  It is not by gifts to the church, not by philosophy or education, nor by any means.

My confidence is in the promise of God to rescue and redeem everyone who believes in the name of his Son Jesus.  It’s by his grace alone, not by works lest we should boast.  We are saved by his amazing grace, created for his workmanship and his glory.

In the meantime, I will be eternally grateful for any kindness, compassion and encouragement you show to my beloved wife, my magnificent children and grandchildren.

Live well my friends.  Don’t waste your life.  Be happy and laugh often. Enjoy the life that God desires for you.  Enjoy him.

Do not fear

Do not fear.

We are told this 365 times in the Bible, once for every day of the year. Why do you suppose that is? God always reveals to us what is important for us and what is essential for living vital and abundant lives. We can presume this phrase is used so frequently because it’s an attitude of our heart and our mind that prevails over our lives. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like fear. It seems more like anxiety or stress or worry or a certain preoccupation. It manifests itself When we become impatient with others, ourselves, or even God. But what it really is, if we take off the final mask, is fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of feeling inadequate and useless. Fear that God’s promises aren’t really true, fear of being alone.

Whatever it is, God’s response is always, “Do not fear.” Do not fear, I am with you. Do not fear, I will never leave you. Do not fear, my grace is sufficient for all your needs. Do not fear, all things do work out for good  for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.

“Do not fear” always  requires trust. We can trust ourselves, someone else, in accomplishments or in things and accumulations. But ultimately “do not fear” means trusting God for what he says is true, for what he has done, for what he is doing now that we cannot see, and for how he will ultimately prevail over every circumstance in our lives. Consider Isaiah 43:1–3:

” but now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel:

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

Maybe you’re one who finds it easy to memorize entire passages like this one.  Often, for me, I need to break this down into smaller bits that I can grasp.  I connect these like train cars, connected together to the Power of the engine that can pull the true weight of the message I need  to carry from my head to my heart.  The “cars” in this passage are found in the operative words “I have redeemed you,” “I have summoned you by name. These are connected with “you are mine,” and “I will be with you.” The “engine” in this analogy is of course, God’s faithfulness, unending love, and amazing grace.  So I repeat these phrases over and over in my mind and on my lips:

I have redeemed you,

I have summoned you by name,

You are mine.

I will be with you.

Repeat this several times out loud. Shut out the rest of the world for even a minute or two. Let truth replace lies. As you keep meditating on these fundamental truths, can you sense the power, not of repeated chants, but the power of the one who first spoke them into being when he created you?  We can perseverate on problems or meditate on the solutions to our cares. It’s a choice we make hundreds of times a day,  to focus on our problems or to turn our eyes upon Jesus.

What ever the problems that beset us we can say to ourselves “do not fear” because we who believe in Jesus belong to the king of kings, to the lord God Almighty.

Finding peace

When you read, do certain words or phrases seem to jump out at you?

I wonder, what words speak to you in this passage from Isaiah 26:3–4?

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they
trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is
the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26.3-4

Immediately I see the word peace and not just peace but perfect peace. Perfect peace is only that which comes from God. In Philippians 4:6–7, it is the peace that surpasses all understanding. It’s not the peace that’s found in the world,  God’s perfect peace speaks to you in the depths of your soul. It’s the peace you seek when nothing else can.

Where is this peace found? In minds that are steadfastly focused on what is true, what never changes, God’s word.

How  can I have such a steadfast mind? By trusting in God alone because he never changes, his word never changes, his character never changes, his promises are always true and he never fails.

We learn to trust in a lot of things, most of them temporary, most of them conditional. But God’s word and promise is forever and never changes, it’s unconditionally offered to all who call on the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the one true son of God.

We learn to trust in anything or anyone for big things by first trusting them  in small ways.  We learn to trust God for the deepest sorrows of our life, the greatest pains that we endure, by first trusting him when things are good, when life seems to be going “my way.” Gradually as  I have come to experience his word and promise to be faithful in small things it’s easier to trust him for greater things. After isn’t the opposite also true. Having trusted God for my eternal salvation, can I not trust him for this tempora problem that  confronts me?

Throughout Scripture God is described as the eternal rock,  the firm foundation,  solid rock the strong refuge the tall tower to which we can run to find refuge and safety.

My friend are you looking for peace  in your life? Turn to God and keep turning to God trust him for one thing and then another. Believe that he hears you even when he seems to be silent, when he says “I see you where you are, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”

Develop a  steadfast mind by continuing to trust that his word is true even when it doesn’t seem to be.

Sometime he calms the storm. Sometimes he comes the sailor in the middle of the storm.

Find the peace find the peace you’ve always wanted in the place it’s always been.  .  . In Jesus, in you.

From where does your help come?

Where do you turn when the chips are down? When all seems to be unrelenting sorrow and pain? When prayers for relief go unanswered and real hope seems distant?

Hopefully, we turn to God, the author of our joy, the giver of all good things we enjoy when “times are good.” Where else could we turn? Does our fame or reputation soothe our pain? Can you purchase relief from your bank account? Not even a mountain of good deeds protects us from the sorrows that we sometimes must bear. Not even a truck load of prayer letters to God.

We ask for relief but none comes. The psalmist looked to the mountains and acknowledges his help comes from the Lord. (Psalm 121) He writes of God’s faithfulness to watch over us – the same God who sees us where we are, who has written our name on the palms of his hands, who created us and knows us, who catches every tear in a bottle, who doesn’t waste pain.

He is the great compassionate God to whom we turn, who will one day heal us perfectly and completely but for now stays by us in the midst of our pain. He is the God of the mountain from which all wisdom comes, the mountain where Jesus alone is revealed as the Lord and Savior of our souls. He is the mountain of mystery and power, the giver of faith at itself can move mountains of despair.

Job knew this God and turned to him although nothing would move his mountain of pain and sorrow. In chapter 30 he writes,

6 “And now my life ebbs away;
days of suffering grip me.
17 Night pierces my bones;
my gnawing pains never rest.

20 “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer;
I stand up, but you merely look at me.
21 You turn on me ruthlessly;
with the might of your hand you attack me.
22 You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;
you toss me about in the storm.
23 I know you will bring me down to death,
to the place appointed for all the living.”

Job, whom God loved did find instant relief from his grief and pain. Yet in his pain he also found honesty and transparency with God. In Job 13:15, he says “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”

“And yet…”

Two words that turn around our point of view, from despair to trust and hope.

“Lord I don’t understand…and yet I will trust you.”

“Lord it hurts so much and it doesn’t go away…and yet I will praise you because your ways are higher than mine.. Thank you that you never go away, but always stay with me.”

In times of sorrow and pain and also in the celebration of life’s goodness,  let’s remember to hold hands as we climbed a mountain of God from our help comes.


Sticky notes

A friend wrote to me recently saying she’s had a sticky note on her computer for the last 3 1/2 years to remind her to pray each day for Marcia and me and for the Go Light Our World (GLOW) ministries across the world. Wow! What a faithful prayer warrior to intentionally carve out time each day to support us in a way that releases God’s power. And what a humbling thought that God invites you and me, broken vessels, to carry his blessings to others. My friend said about her brightly colored sticky note:

“Every once in a while it gets pretty tattered looking and I replace it. Right now, it’s starting to look tattered again and it’s reminding me that my faith has become a bit tattered lately…and I’m not facing a trial even remotely close to the trials of you and your loved ones. But, I’m also humbled and thankful that as easily as I can make a new sticky note reminder to pray for you, I can also, once again, take my tattered faith to our Lord Jesus. He can restore to me the joy of my salvation (Psalm 51:12), He can help my sometimes shaky belief (Mark 9:24) and He can encourage me in the most simple yet intricate ways through His people (Hebrews 10:24).”

She goes on to encourage us and remind us of this truth;

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

I love her comment: “I can also, once again, take my tattered faith to our Lord Jesus.” That is SO true! Our faith does at time seem tattered and torn. Troubles beset us and unanswered questions and prayers nag at us like a dripping faucet where refreshing water is intended to flow. Like the psalmist, we feel we are in a “dry and thirsty land.”

Sometimes my prayers seem so inadequate. Usually, when this happens, I struggle to remember verses that speak God’s truth an I pray those back to God. When you want wisdom, go to that place where true wisdom is found! Sometimes, I simply take my seemingly tattered faith and give it to God just as it is, yet reminding him “I don’t want to stay here.” I want to draw closer to him and to feel the warmth of his love and joy.

Have you ever found yourself in a tiff with someone you love and care about, usually over something that doesn’t matter, and often due to a misunderstanding. And then you realize, “I can keep going the miserable direction I’m going” or “I can go away and pout for a while,” OR I can choose to say: “I love you deeply. I’m sorry we’re having this temporary time of poorly expressing that love. I want it to get back to the love and joy we both know.”

That’s the way God designed our lives. When we run into dry and tattered spots in our faith and relationships, he calls us to come closer to him, to put up a fresh new sticky note reminding us in one way or another that “The only thing that counts is faith, expressing itself through love.” We need reminders to encourage one another, to stay focused on the goal, and to run the race with perseverance.

Just as we continue to ask for a healing miracle that would allow us more ministry time together, we also seek the miracle of God using our tattered faith to actually advance the gospel of Jesus.

I think the Lord is honored when we are honest about a dry faith. He is always faithful to bring the well of living water.

Invited to the celebration


Having enjoyed a relaxing picnic on the deck, we find such simple joy in listening to the birds pronounce their greetings on the day. What a privilege it is to be invited into the celebration of God’s goodness among his creation at Thayerapy Gardens, or any place you can get away from the daily grind. The simple joy of being quiet in this too busy world easily evades us. So many other demands beckon us to “get something done.” What if what needs getting done is the restoring of your noisy soul? Such joy and contentment comes only by intentional invitation, only by sacrificing some lesser thing on the altar of living in order to enjoy another more fully.

Would you think it strange to experience such beauty and peace in the battle cries of cancer? Or any other great burden that presses against your own life? It needn’t be strange. But it seldom comes by accident. Whether it is 60 seconds of relaxation breathing at your desk, a five-minute walk outside, a mini adventure of a back roads day trip, or an all out getaway vacation, the decision to introduce peace and quiet into an otherwise noisy day is yours – and mine – for the choosing.

It comes at the cost of so little and offers to you the treasures of the world to be still and wonder at the goodness of the life God has given you – this life, the new beginning this day offers, this moment, this very breath that satisfies your lungs and speaks such peace to your mind.

I wonder when we think ourselves too busy to rest, that we put ourselves in danger of being too busy to live. In my masters studies I discovered the difference between “wreckreation” and recreation. The former is the often exhausting outpouring of energies into pursuits that leave us wanting a real vacation when we’re done. Recreation, as God designed it, offers the opportunity to re-create, rebuild, restore, and recharge ourselves. It turns our inner focus to an outward view that expands our perspective. Maybe you’ve discovered this when you decided to “walk away” from a problem only to find the solution that evaded you now readily revealed.

It’s in such quietness of the mind that God invites us to draw near to him, to sit awhile on his deck and share in the goodness that he freely offers you. Jesus himself invites us: “Come to me all of you who are burdened and I will give you rest.”

There’s so much to do and to be accomplished in this short life. Perhaps one of the most important is to accept the invitation to the celebration of God’s goodness in you, and around you in others.



Learning to die – Learning to live

Learning to die is such a curious thing.

On the one hand it is so foreign, even distasteful to us, we are usually afraid to approach the subject. We’ve never been to this place before and suddenly, ready or not,  here we are. Fear of the unknown sets in like an ominous fog that swallows up everything it encompasses.

On the other hand, death is indeed a natural part of the circle of life.  And we have been to this place before, in fact many times.

We learned to die to our way of living in the womb to the completely unknown and foreign world of breathing air. I wonder what grief a baby faces when they make that most amazing and painful transition from darkness to light, from a world of moistness to dry air, from relative quiet to a cacophony  of noise, light, and multiple sensations.

We learned, each of us, to die from being a baby to becoming a young child, from laying on our backs to crawling to walking and running. We died to our pacifier, blankie, and baby bed to more intricate toys and the “big boy (or girl) bed.” From the delight of childhood to the angst of teenage life. We died to high school and graduated to college, and from college we graduated to the completely new life of work and marriage and families. And so we all face the “final” death and graduate to a new life.

Oh for sure, this “real” death, the end of all life as we know it is indeed something quite different from these other life transitions and it does bring on such a frightful array of emotions. At least with previous “graduations,” we had others to assure us it will be okay. We learned from their experiences as they recalled to us what it was like when they were there. Wouldn’t you have loved to visit with Lazarus after Jesus raised him from the dead?! “Tell us Lazarus, what was it like?”

We call dearth “the final event.” But death is not the end. It’s turning the page of one chapter to the beginning of the next and final chapter of the story of life. Like leaving school, it’s our graduation to an exciting new life of unimaginable wonder and joy.* And we do have someone to guide us and teach us to navigate this narrow and seemingly perilous path. Much more than our guide, Jesus delivers us through this amazing gateway to our wondrous new forever-joyful life that awaits us on the other side. We can believe and trust him because his promises are  always and faithfully true. And if in my clearly imperfect life I can trust him, so can you trust him to guide you as your Lord and Savior through this life and death to the life ever after.?

Yes, God created us with an immensely strong desire experience life and we naturally grieve losing all we have known, all we’ve seen, heard, touched, tasted, and experienced. Of course we grieve being separated if even temporarily from those we love and cherish. We grieve the loss of physical and emotional comfort, the joy of being strong and being able to choose the many options the menu of life offers.

And yet our truly one great hope is in achieving the prize of our highest dreams, to graduate to heaven, our forever home of peace and joy.

It’s in embracing this choice of learning to die that we truly learn to live well.

*Footnote: I speak here of the transition from death to a wonderful and eternal life of “no more sorrow and no more pain that is freely offered by Jesus to any who follow him. There is, we are clearly told in God’s Word, the BIble, another death that leads to eternal pain and suffering and the lonely and forever separation from God and everyone we ever loved. Jesus says the choice is ours. “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. I Am the resurrection and the life.” While I respect the right of each person to make their own choice, I sincerely invite you to give Jesus a chance to be real in your life.

Choose well, my friend. Choose Jesus.

Secret of the Stairs

We might imagine our life as a sequence of stairs,  like climbing the mountain of God.

Each stair Includes a riser and a platform. We have to take action to ascend and step up the riser and onto the next platform of our life. Once on the platform of the next step, we are filled with new insight and understanding that changes how we view things. It’s like the difference between peering through the trees to see a marvelous landscape and rising above the trees for a better view.

But each step also requires action, leaving a place of comfort to a new level.  If we get stuck on one step, becoming too comfortable with our lot in life, we will not move forward/upward. Our view will remain the same, and a deeper and more fulfilling understanding will not be ours to claim…unless we step up.

What causes us to get stuck?

  • Contentment. Being satisfied with lesser things. CS Lewis observed we become  “too easily pleased” and so content with ordinary life that we lose sight of the extraordinary. “Content to make mud pies in the street when could be enjoying a vacation at the seashore.”
  • Attachment. We have such attachment to earthly things and endearing hobbies, we have no time for meaningful relationships. We like our little treasures but who in the end of their time really wishes more of them?
  • A small world view. We see life with blinders that shut out the rest of the world. With our vision restricted to our family and close friends, we fail to see others in whose hands God has carefully placed some of the pieces if our own life puzzle.
  • A small view of God. Is he a small and distant God unrelated to your life story or is he the powerful and loving main character? Is he a God of anticipated hope who delights in  bringing blessings to your every new day? Or do you find him a hard taskmaster you’d rather ignore?
  • A lack of heavenly vision and aspiration. Being so earthly minded we become of little heavenly good. Keeping the vision of heaven alive opens our eyes to our earthly purpose. We realize that in changing the world for just one person we change the world entire.

What are we to do if we find ourselves stuck in the stairway of life?

Ask God to search our heart, to reveal to us what is always true and forever good. Remove the veil from things of little value that only waste our life.

Seek God’s Word – Listen to how he speaks to you, nudges you, and guides you with his truth and grace. Discover the real purpose for your life and the power to live passionately and victoriously despite your present circumstance. Be who you were meant to be

Give Jesus a chance to speak healing to your wounded soul and peace to your anxious heart.

Look for opportunities in your normal (or chaotic) day to worship him, celebrate his goodness, give thanks, and be intentional in blessing to others.

Reevaluate your priorities and life goals while there is still time. One of the saddest sentences in the world begins with the words. “I should have.” Live life large and generously.

One  wants to save as big a pile of money as they can with a treasure hoard of comforting memories; the other wants to give as much away as possible, living a life of faith and love that really counts. It’s the same with our time and energies.  Who wins in the end?

The stairway of life continues, calling us ever upward. Just how beautiful of a view do you want to have?


Where there’s a will there’s a way

Certainly, you’re familiar with this phrase, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

It speaks to the power of our will and intellect to persevere in trouble, to carry on , press forward, forge a way around an obstacle, go the distance, stay the course, stand firm, and to determinedly leave no stone left unturned in our quest for the discovery and achievement of our highest goals.

It’s called “free will” because God allows us to exercise this gift in the manner of our own choosing. I Wonder, does the idea of free will amaze or confound you, or both? Imagine the leader of an army suiting you up and equipping you for warfare and then saying, “You can fight for me or fight for the enemy…it’s your choice.” Or try to conjure up the image of a businessman who hires employees and tells them they are free to work for and give trade secrets to the competition. Imagine a major league ball pitcher who deliberately throws away a pitch allowing the other team to score the winning run. Absurd, isn’t it? It seems to us that giving us free will would be a horrible strategy to waging war, building a business, or winning the game.

But as we all know (though often argue against), God’s ways ARE higher than ours. His economy is different from ours. It fits in with his paradoxical view of the first being last and finding strength in weakness. He could have made us to be worship robots who were obliged to obey his every command. Maybe you’ve sometimes asked him to do to just that. “Take away my selfish thoughts or this persistent sin and MAKE me wholly yours, O Lord!” Instead he gives us the choice to go his way or our own. Whether it’s in choosing a president or choosing the bed where we lie down, God lets us “have it our way” if we insist on that course of action.

And what an incredible gift that is! The gift of free will also allows me the power to see things differently and rise above my circumstances. It gives me a new perspective. I didn’t get to choose whether or not cancer came to my door, but I do get to choose how I respond to it. You have the same choice. See a problem or see an opportunity,  not only to accomplish something or persevere through a tough situation. More than that, every problem is an opportunity to trust God.

We can choose to trust God or ignore him, follow his proven ways or venture off on our own prideful paths, find peace in all circumstances or choose to live in turmoil and anxiety. We can choose our own destiny including where we spend eternity and how much victory we want to experience in this life. We make hundreds of choices every single day that either affirm our faith in God and the good will he freely offers or to deny God’s purposeful and benevolent involvement in our lives – to “have it my way” or follow The Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Choose wisely, my friend. Give Jesus a chance to shape your will to look like his.

Missed oportunities

We were traveling down a road in a town we hadn’t visited before. Marcia drives most of the times these days while I try to navigate. Head down, following the GPS directions, I told her to turn LEFT at a place we should have turned RIGHT.  We missed the turn. Even though I had the sense we should have turned right, we kept going the way the device told me to go.  Usually the GPS works fine, but in this case, the lookup address was incorrect and the result was a delayed arrival. After stopping and asking for directions, we came to the spot where we missed the turn and – looking up – saw the small sign clearly showing the direction we should have turned in the first place.

It’s often like that, isn’t it? We get busy with our head down, focused on our personal agenda or to-do list we miss the clear signs that point us in the right direction. Persisting in the conviction that we must be right, we continue to go our own way rather than stopping to ask for directions from someone who knows better or at least has a better perspective.

Whether in navigating a driving route, running a business, raising a family, or living life in general, we need to know where we are going and how to get there. In addition we need to be diligent to keep focused so we don’t miss the signs and be willing to ask for direction if needed.

I read about a study conducted in Great Britain that concluded that on average, men drive 276 more miles per year than needed simply because they won’t stop to ask for directions, contributing to the missed opportunity of $3,100 lifetime fuel savings. I think you could buy a once-in-a-lifetime vacation for that amount of money. And then, think of the amount of wasted time, frustration, energy. While the study was of men’s driving habits “across the pond,” I suspect it applies to both men and women all over the world in how we miss opportunities clearly presented before us every day.

Recently, a very dear friend and I were observing how easy it is to get so busy we don’t pay adequate attention to even the important people in our lives. I think “keeping busy” is one of the devil’s cleverest schemes to distract our focus on what is really important in life. We fill our lives to the brim, leaving little if any margin to be concerned about others or even the direction our own life is taking. Nose to the grindstone and blinders on our eyes, we rush through our lives, missing the opportunities to share the important things of life with people we love and care about. Sometimes, we even get so busy with “ministry” that we can lose sight of the precious opportunities right before our eyes. Our conversations (if we have them at all) are easily focused on the weather, sports, hobbies, our common complaints.  I wonder, if you were to take the bucket of conversations you’ve had with friends and strangers over the last week and poured out into special vases just those conversations that were truly meaningful and encouraged others, how many bouquets of flowers could you nourish? Looking back, I can see missed opportunities in my own life  that compel me to live my remaining days differently.

There are so many opportunities we shouldn’t want to miss:

  • Sharing someone else’s “hidden” burden
  • Confessing the concerns of your own heavy heart
  • Neglecting to say “I love you,” “I forgive you,” “Please forgive me; I was wrong,” or “Thank you”
  • Encouraging and guiding someone who has lost their way or their passion for living
  • Building positive relationships with young people
  • Being too embarrassed or busy to share your reason for living – your faith

God, save me from being “too busy” that I forget to look up and see your majesty and goodness. Give me eyes that let me see others as you see them, full of compassion and hope and love. Help me to be intentional about loving them now, while time remains.