Love Letters

Love Letters

Jan 22, 2015

Love Letters

President’s Page by Bill Probasco










February is a great time of year. There are many great things that occur during this month to which I can really look forward: my family celebrates several birthdays this month, including my own on Groundhog’s Day; there’s the Super Bowl; Valentine’s Day; and Presidents’ Day.

I enjoy Presidents’ Weekend, since there are often programs on TV dealing with Presidential history, a subject I enjoy. Having read several books dealing with many US Presidents, I still find something new this time of year. But one fact that always has impressed me was the surprisingly tender-heart of one president very much in love with a woman. No, I’m not talking about rumor, innuendo, or gossip about some President’s hidden secrets. I’m actually talking about a US President who throughout his life kept up an amazing correspondence of love letters to his fiancée, and later wife. The real surprise is that it was our 2nd President, John Adams. Throughout the American Revolution, Adams was apart from his dear Abigail, either serving in Philadelphia or representing our fledgling nation in France and the Netherlands. Whenever possible, he and Abigail would write. Throughout their lifetime, they would write nearly 1,200 letters to each other. If only they had been born in the texting age! You see, the interesting thing is, John Adams was not known for his charm and sweet disposition. Many that met him found him to be abrasive and a bit of an elitist. He and Benjamin Franklin went to Paris during the Revolution to ask for support, and Adams clashed so badly with Franklin, and French society, he was moved to a new assignment. He would be the only single term president of our first five. Despite his difficulty at getting along with others, he helped forge a new nation and always had Abigail on his side. Often she couldn’t be at his side, but she was always on his side. He could turn to her for comfort. The words they wrote were intended for each other, but as time has worn on, these letters have become public record and show their deep love and respect for each other.

One biblical parallel might be made through the Apostle Paul. He would travel alone or with just a handful of people, typically not with close loved ones during his journeys. He didn’t particularly get along with everyone he met (such as Peter), and on more than one occasion he was either thrown at with stones or thrown into prison. It was during these times that Paul shared his love (often tough love). He wrote to churches and individuals, sharing with them, caring about them, shepherding them, and trying to straighten out doctrinal issues in some locations. (Imagine what he could have done with Instant Messaging…!) Paul may never have intended for his letters to become so wide-read and quoted, but through his witness long, long ago, we are blessed by his teaching with early Christians. If not for Paul’s steadfast efforts, we couldn’t quote the Roman Road; we wouldn’t have half of the New Testament; we wouldn’t have a strong Christian example who had to overcome a thorn of the flesh; and where would we be during weddings without 2 Corinthians 13? Today, verses from this “Love Chapter” have been translated into hundreds of languages. Consequently, millions of “Gentiles” have learned about Jesus’ atoning sacrifice.

In our modern age, I imagine most of us have sent more texts and e-mails than actual hand-written letters. Time marches on, and we change and adapt. Who are we reaching out to with a text, e-mail, or old-fashioned handwritten “love” letter? Can people look beyond your less desirable tendencies and hear a life-changing message about God’s love? Written any good Valentines lately? God has, but it might need to be delivered by you. Now our world is all about texting, social media, e-mail, blogs, etc. I don’t know how long things we write today will continue to make an impact, but we can learn a valuable lesson from John Adams and the Apostle Paul. While expressing our love — and that of our Savior — to those we care about, we might just set an example for someone in years or even generations to come. Sort of a Valentine that keeps on giving…

So, let me say to you, my fellow Seventh Day Baptists, I love you all. Thank you for your prayers of support for a “Steadfast” year for me — and the denomination. I pray that all of you will feel your faith grow, like a tree planted by the water (Psalm 1:3). God loves you more than you can ever know…and He always will. He told me. And He asked me to write this letter to you…this steadfast Valentine!

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