I Wish You Enough

passenger jet

Bob Perks tells of seeing a father and his daughter saying goodbye in an airport. The daughter’s flight departure was announced and they hugged each other as she was about to pass through the security gate. Bob heard the father say, “I love you. I wish you enough.” The daughter replied, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love has been all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too.”

The father approached Bob and asked, “Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes, I have,” Bob replied. “I remember expressing to my Dad my love and appreciation for all he had done for me. It was my last opportunity to tell him” Bob then asked, “Why is this a forever goodbye?”

The father replied, “I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip she makes back will be for my funeral.”

Bob continued by asking the father, “When you were saying goodbye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ What does that mean?’

The father answered, “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone. When we said, ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.” 

The father then added from memory:

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude right. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish you enough ‘Hello’s’ to get you through your final goodbye.”

The father both smiled and cried as he walked away.

Too often we live with our cup almost empty, even when spiritually we are kings and queens since God has made us His children. We scrimp by on the bare necessities when His divine promises give us for even more than enough.

Think of II Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” And Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” Gaze upon these words: “all, abound, always, all sufficiency, abundance, exceedingly, abundantly, above all.”

More than ever we must discover that God is not only necessary, He is enough!

Have we ever said to someone, “I wish you enough.”? Such encouragement can lift them beyond their troubles to embrace the blessings that will carry them through the difficult steps in their journey.

Let’s start today! I wish you enough!

Till next time,
-Don Johnson, Kirby Pines Chaplain 


In 1933 James Hilton wrote his intriguing novel, “Lost Horizon.” It was a remarkable story about Shangri-la, a legendary place of a mystical lamasery in the Hulan Mountains of Tibet.

In the novel a British diplomat, Hugh Conway, escaping his post in a dangerous part of India, was a passenger on a plane that was hijacked and crashed in the mountains. At the crash a Chinese man named Chang led Conway and three other passengers on a mysterious path through the snow covered mountains to an unbelievable lush and green valley called Shangri-la. Surprised, but delighted, Hugh Conway and his fellow travelers comfortably settled in this remarkable place. In almost every way it was a perfect environment, a Paradise beyond description.

However, a shocking reality was soon discovered. All those in Shangri-la lived long beyond normal age. They aged extremely slowly. It was hard to tell how long the people had been around because they looked so young. There was one strange circumstance to this longevity of life in Shangri-la. If anyone chose to leave this paradise, their real age quickly overwhelmed them and they died soon after their departure.

A French friar, Perrault, who had supposedly come to the place in 1719 and became the head Lama, was now (in 1930) looking for a successor. Conway was the chosen one and was given charge of Shangri-la as its new lama.

One of Conway’s associates, Charles Mallinson, felt this paradise was more a curse than a blessing. He wanted to leave and pushed Hugh to guide him out through the secret mountain passage. Hugh, joined by one of the beautiful, young looking women, Lo-Tsen, agreed to lead Mallinson out. 

Conway was stricken with amnesia and was hospitalized in China. When his memory returned, he told his story to a writer, Rutherford, who gave his manuscript to a narrator and the unbelievable story was told. The writer saw Conway leaving China and believed he was going in search of that special mountain trail that would take him back to Shangri-la. 

In 1937 Frank Capra made a movie of Hilton’s “Lost Horizon” starring Ronald Coleman, Jane Wyatt and Edward Everett Horton. It was filmed, not in the mountains of Tibet, but in Sherwood Forest and Palm Springs, California.

Hilton captured something that many look for. There is a belief and longing for a “Paradise.” Somewhere there must be a place better than the present one of trouble and turmoil. We never stop looking for a solution that will reverse aging and all its attendant issues. Beyond the cold and rugged path there must be a warm, lush valley where all is perfect. 

John 14:1-3 is a biblical description of our coming Paradise. From the mouth of Christ come the words, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. And I go and prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

John speaks of this in Revelation 21, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 

Paradise was lost through original sin in Eden’s Garden. Paradise was regained in Gethsemane’s Garden 20 Centuries ago as the Lord made His choice of “not my will but Thine be done,” walked up Golgotha’s Hill to be crucified, rose again in validation of His Great Love so we could find our “Lost Horizon.” To many this is the “Lost Horizon.” But it can be found. Change can come. We can take the step today. It can happen now!

Till next time,
-Don Johnson, Kirby Pines Chaplain 

Touching First Base

October 10, 1924, the World Series of Baseball featured the Washington Senators against the New York Giants. Each team had won three games. It was the bottom of the ninth inning in the seventh and final game of the series.

The first two batters for New York struck out. Tied at three runs each the third batter swung hard at a fast curve ball and missed. The second pitch was also missed. Deadly silence filled the ball park. All seemed lost! The series would go into extra innings. The third pitch came to the plate and was hit hard and long. The crowd was on its feet. It seemed like a homerun but the ball hit a light pole and bounced back into fair play.

The batter would probably only have a triple but the third base coach signaled him to try for home. The outfielder picked up the ball and threw it to the short stop who then turned and quickly threw it to the catcher. The runner pushed with all his strength to make home plate before the catcher caught the ball. In the cloud of dust at home plate it looked like the runner touched home plate just a second before the ball was in the catcher’s mitt. The umpire rushed to confer with the other judges and then gave a signal that the runner was “out.” Mayhem erupted.

Cries of “Kill The Umpire” filled the park. It seemed there might be a riot. 

Then the umpire spoke into the park microphone and said, “The runner is out because he didn’t touch first base!” In his haste the runner failed to step on first base. 

Three more innings were played and in the twelfth, Washington scored and won the series, becoming the 1924 World Champions. 

Evangelist Angel Martinez often told this story as an illustration of true Christianity. He likened “First Base” to “Salvation.” That’s where we have to start. Knowing God personally is the beginning of an eternal relationship. “Second Base” was “Church Membership.” Affiliating with other Christians in a growing context of learning and fellowship is essential. Angel said “Third Base” was “Service.” Not only what we get, but what we give is vastly important. In our service to God, there is “so much to do, so few to do it, and so little time to make it happen.” And lastly, “Home Plate” is a focus on “Heaven.” The future is bright. The provisions are great. The time ahead is enormous. 

As in the 1924 World Series story if we miss touching First Base we’re out! Nothing else will matter. John Henry Newman said, “Fear not that your life shall come to an end, but rather that it shall never have a beginning.” So true! For all of us our life will have an end, whether sooner or later. But for some of us we never begin life. We never touch “First Base.” In haste we think we can make it without “Salvation.” This was the purpose of Christ’s Coming 2,000 years ago. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:17) “…the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” (John 6:37) 

To think we can make Home Plate and Heaven while skipping First Base is insane. Just as there are rules in sports there are also rules in life. It’s not just our breaking the rules, the rules will break us. 

“First Base” can be touched today. Our relationship with God can start now! It’s not what we might do for God, no matter how long or hard we try. It’s receiving what He has done for us through Christ’s Death and Resurrection. 

Remember the words of Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him…” God is knocking and calling. Open up today. 

Till next time,
-Don Johnson, Kirby Pines Chaplain 

Finish the Race

Track Runner in Race
Olympian, Derek Redmond being helped across the finish line by his father, Jim

July 23 – August 8 the 2021 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo, Japan, with over 11,200 athletes worldwide expected to participate. As in any sports endeavor the focus will be on those who win. 

Let’s think back to the 1992 Olympic Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain, and consider an athlete who didn’t win but will be remembered in one of the greatest sports stories of all time. 

Derek Redmond, a British runner, had shattered his country’s 400-meter record when only 19. In the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, Derek suffered an Achilles tendon injury just 10 minutes before the 400-meter race and went through numerous surgeries the next year. Now, in Barcelona, it was Derek’s time. He desperately wanted to win…not just the gold medal but any medal he could get.

In the semifinal 400-meter race, if Derek was among the top four runners to finish, it would qualify him for the Olympic final. He broke from the pack to seize the lead. Surely he would make the final race. Down the backstretch only 175 yards from the finish line Derek’s hamstring snapped. He could no longer run but began hopping on one leg, slowly and painfully. He then fell to the ground. As tears streamed from his eyes he said to himself, “I’m out of the Olympics—again.” A medical team reached Derek with a stretcher but he replied, “There’s no way I’m getting on that stretcher. I’m going to finish my race.” 

In a stadium filled with 65,000, from Section 131, Row 22, Seat 25, Derek’s father, Jim, who always attended the sports events with him, was crying, “Oh, no.” He began to run down the stadium steps, jumping over the guard rail and pushing aside security guards who were trying to stop him. Jim and his son had agreed, that no matter what happened, Derek must finish the race. 

Derek had stood up and was again hobbling forward. Jim reached him, put his arm around his son, placed Derek’s arm around his shoulders as Derek said, “Get me to lane five, Dad, I want to finish the race.” 

The stadium crowd, and millions watching worldwide by television, stood to its feet in thunderous applause as everyone watched a father and his son struggle toward the finish line. The race was already over, but with loving support and challenging commitment the two pushed ahead. Just a short distance from the finish line, the father released Derek to cross on his own. 

Derek didn’t win….or did he? Such deep love and focus are seldom seen. 

What can be learned from the Derek and Jim Redmond saga? 

So often our goals seem shattered! Our obstacles are too great! Our pain is insurmountable and our focus blurred! Who cares if we finish the race? 

That’s when the Father, who is always with us in every circumstance of life, steps in. He places his strong arms around us and gives us His shoulders to lean on. He walks with us through the pain and tears. He gives us the support and strength to continue and He enables us to finish the race. 

We cannot continue to lay down in our failure! We cannot let others carry us off the track! We cannot just run the race; we must finish it! 

What a love story. Let’s strive to be like Paul as expressed in II Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” 

Till next time,
-Don Johnson, Kirby Pines Chaplain 

A Time to Remember

George Washington

On March 11, 1782, George Washington stated these words: “I’m sure there never was a people who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs than those of the United States.”

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson in his farewell address on March 4, 1837, declared: “Providence has bestowed on this favored land blessings without number, and has chosen you as the guardians of freedom, to preserve it for the benefit of the human race. May He who holds the destinies of nations make you worthy of the favors He has bestowed and enable you, with pure hearts and pure hands and sleepless vigilance, to guard and defend to the end of time the great charge He has committed to your keeping.” 

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry, great Revolutionary leader gave this powerful challenge on March 23, 1773: “It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” 

As we embrace America’s 245th Liberty Celebration we must remember the strong foundations upon which the nation’s first patriots stood. Let’s renew our loving commitment to “the stars and stripes forever” as we broadly wave our tri-colored flag. Let’s afresh embrace our unbeatable Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. Let’s proudly repeat our “one nation under God” Pledge of Allegiance. 

If we fail to remember, our present will be infinitely less enjoyable and our future sadly less enduring. Proverbs 14:34 still holds, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” We must continue to have as our motto “In God We Trust.” Perhaps we are closer again to Patrick Henry’s time when it’s liberty or death! May the Lord strengthen us to choose wisely. 

Till next time,
-Don Johnson, Kirby Pines Chaplain 

His Name is Wonderful

Audrey Meier, widely known for her talents as a musician and songwriter, living and ministering out of Los Angeles, California, wrote a short but very powerful song titled “His Name Is Wonderful.” Her lyrics stated briefly but pointedly a unique quality of God. She wrote:

His Name is Wonderful,
His Name is Wonderful, 
His Name is Wonderful,
Jesus, my Lord.

He is the Mighty King,
Master of Everything,
His Name is Wonderful
Jesus, my Lord.

He’s the Great Shepherd,
The Rock of all ages,
Almighty God is He. 

Bow down before Him,
Love and adore Him,
His Name is Wonderful,
Jesus, my Lord.

In 1970 at a Christian Booksellers Convention in Philadelphia this song’s writer was featured at a publishing booth. A senior lady nearly 80 years of age pushed into the Convention just before it opened. She was not a bookstore owner nor did she have any business to transact, but asked to be taken to Audrey’s booth. The lady stood before songwriter Meier and told her story. 

She and her husband spent much of their lives singing together at nursing homes, hospitals and retirement centers. He would sing melody and she would add her alto part. Her husband had become ill and was hospitalized, waiting for exploratory surgery. The situation was critical.

The lady was called to the hospital at her husband’s request. He wanted to sing one more song with her since his time was short. Their favorite song was the one written by Audrey in 1959, “His Name Is Wonderful.”

They sweetly sang together. When they reached the line “Bow down before Him” she realized she was singing alone. He had slipped away to the One about Whom he was singing.

The elderly woman wanted Audrey to know what had happened and wished to thank her for writing such a meaningful song.

Often we do not know the impact of something we have done has on others. Those who have found value in even the littlest of our actions or accomplishments may tell us long after the blessing has come. Sometimes we may never know. But the One for Whom we live will tell us, even on the other side. 

It is expressed in Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

And never forget the encouragement of I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, Always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Till next time,
-Don Johnson, Kirby Pines Chaplain 

What is Real Value?

Mike Glenn has some interesting thoughts about the difference between the labeled price and the true value of things. He talks about the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s story of thieves who broke into a jewelry store yet didn’t steal any thing. They simply rearranged the price tags on the items in the store. Expensive jewelry was labeled with a cheap price while decorative costume jewelry had a very high price tag. The next morning many pieces were sold as customers paid almost nothing for rich and valuable items while others paid a high price for junk jewelry. All of this happened before the mistaken price tags were discovered.

The story may well be descriptive of what has happened to our world today. Someone has switched the price tags. It started in a Garden long, long ago. Caught up in the rearranged order of our world we pay too much for junk, and often ignore things really valuable because they have been mislabeled with a cheap price.

Fame, often obtained infamously, possessions, wealth and a host of other things are set before us as a golden chalice for our life. We dream that what we have or do are the most important issues in our experience. We embrace the misplaced price tags till we reach disappointment, disillusionment, and maybe even despair. The value of life and family are treated as no longer relevant in this new day. Integrity and unselfishness are no longer virtues to be sought after.

Mike Glenn says, “Nowhere is this switching of price tags more evident than in the area of self-esteem. In our culture people are valued for how they look, what they can do or even what they have, but rarely for who they are. In our world you have to be beautiful by mathematical standards…and entertaining (not talented but entertaining)…and if you are not, the world has no place for you. If you can’t make the Top 100 in the world on some list, you are nothing.”

Too many finally reach the top of the ladder of success only to find they have leaned the ladder against the wrong wall.

Adrian Rogers said, “What is the value of a thing but the price it will bring in eternity!” One might possess an expensive car but use it only selfishly. Its value diminishes until at last it’s worthless. But if it’s used to make us aware of and then to provide help for pressing social needs all around…or used to transport us to areas of spiritual challenge and growth…or assist others in finding the true value of their life, then its value rises far beyond its price. What will be the true evaluation of anything if it does not count for eternity!

The words of Mark 8:35-36 can help us with the balance between price and value. “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” We can’t afford to still be blinded by gain and loss. Our greatest gain means nothing if we face our greatest loss unprepared.

Now is the best time to look at the price tags! Have they been rearranged? Do they need to be straightened out? Let’s stop giving our all for junk! Let’s place our focus and importance on the things that are really worthwhile! Start making a list of what’s truly valuable. We can begin today. 

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it”.
– Mark:35

Till next time, Don Johnson, Kirby Pines Chaplain 

The Greatest Victory

On June 18, 1815, at Waterloo, a small town near Brussels, Belgium, two armies fought fiercely in a battle that would shape history. French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte attacked the allied forces of Belgium, Britain, Hanover and the Netherlands under the command of England’s Duke of Wellington. 

The opposing armies were nearly equal in number, though Napoleon had superior artillery and cavalry. Because of heavy rains the day before, Napoleon delayed his attack until noon. This gave time for Prussian soldiers to arrive to reinforce Wellington. 

People in England were eagerly awaiting news of the outcome of this momentous battle. The message came by signal across the English channel, one letter at a time. ”W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D.” Then a thick fog closed in and nothing more could be seen. Throughout England everyone was devastated at the thought their great Wellington had lost. 

Then the fog lifted and the message came again.“W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D T-H-E E-N-E-M-Y.” Church bells rang and people rejoiced as news of the victory spread. 

A similar thing happened 20 Centuries ago. On a scull-shaped hill called Calvary, Jesus was crucified and died. Taken from the cross, He was buried in Joseph’s cave tomb nearby. With a heavy stone rolled over the entrance and Roman guards blocking any intrusion, a sad message spread everywhere. 

“J-E-S-U-S D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D.” The confusion was thicker than the fog that spread over the English channel. Gloom was the prevalent feeling. How could this have happened? Jesus had been so special, and had promised so much! Friday turned to Saturday. And then came Sunday. Another message was spelled out. J-E-S-U-S D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D T-H-E E-N-E-M-Y.” First His disciples, and then hundreds of others saw Him alive again. The darkness of defeat was illuminated by the brilliance of the Resurrection. 

Christ Jesus is Risen. He is not the vanquished but the Victor. He who was condemned is the Conqueror. Out of the gore of the cross came the Glory of the Risen Redeemer. All that would have come against us, came against Him. And He won! Forever He has won! The real message of this time is: “J-E-S-U-S D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D T-H-E E-N-E-M-Y.” 

From the Garden of Eden long, long ago where Paradise was lost, to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed “Not My will, but Yours be done”, then on to Golgotha and the empty tomb, Paradise was regained, mankind was redeemed, victory was won! 

Christ’s Resurrection, though not believed by many, is the most well documented event of history. His promises were kept! His power was demonstratively shown! And because of His great victory we can live victoriously each day. Christ lives to live in us. It’s a spiritual but wondrously personal reality. As scripture says, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God. He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore my beloved brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 

– I Corinthians 15:56-58 

Till next time, Don Johnson, KP Chaplain

The Messiah

George Frederick Handel

George Frederick Handel, a German composer who adopted the United Kingdom as his home, was well-known and loved, drawing large crowds everywhere. When his oratorio, Messiah, was premiered on April 13, 1742 in Dublin the audience was asked to leave their hoop skirts and swords at home to prevent overcrowding the music hall. Messiah has inspired millions since it was first presented 274 years ago. It ranks as one of the highest musical masterpieces of all time. Handel lived long enough to see his oratorio become a cherished tradition and popular work. He was especially pleased to see it performed to raise money for benevolent causes.

Amazingly Handel wrote the Messiah music and lyrics in only 24 days. It contains a quarter of a million notes. Miles Hoffman, NPR music commentator, observed that Handel working ten hours a day for the over three weeks would have written 15 notes per minute to create Messiah. Handel said the music came to him in rapid succession. This was at a time when he was struggling with his eyesight, was partially paralyzed on his right side and was facing the threat of a debtor’s prison due to large financial bills. May we always remember that great things can come out of difficult times.

Handel credits the completion of this work to one thing: JOY. He said his heart almost burst as he felt the joy of all he was hearing in his mind and heart. Weaving together unsurpassed music about Christ the Messiah he rose majestically to the masterpiece’s conclusion: “The Hallelujah Chorus.”

Legend says England’s King George II attended a performance of Messiah and when the final chorus was sung stood to his feet. Everyone else followed his example. Whether true or not the world still stands today when “The Hallelujah Chorus” is presented. Nothing is more appropriate. The masterpiece and all it stands for calls for such a response.

Nehemiah 8:10 declares, “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Hebrews 12:2 describes the Passion of crucifixion where the Lord “endured a cross and thought nothing of its shame because of the joy he knew would follow his suffering.” Psalm 16:11 shouts, “in your Presence is fullness of joy.” I Peter 1:8 proclaims “whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”

Many years ago a lady defined “Joy” for me with an acrostic. Using each letter to describe how joy could be found, her definition was “J” (Jesus), “O” (Others), “Y” (Yourself). If the letters are placed in any other order they will never spell “JOY.” The inspiration and enthusiasm Handel experienced can be ours today. As we look at Christ’s Birth, Death and Resurrection (the three divisions of Messiah) we can only be joyous, even exuberant? We may not have the gift and talent to create a masterpiece, but we can live with such depth and commitment that others will join us in a never ending “hallelujah chorus.”

Till next time, Don Johnson, KP Chaplain

Valentines, A Day of Love

Can you imagine 144 million cards given out on or before Valentine’s Day in America? It has become the second leading day in the entire year for such expression. Alfred Tennyson wrote, “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever”! What an amazing expression! It’s something many of us should say today.

But perhaps the greatest illustration of what this day is all about comes from a mid-nineteenth century English poet named Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She wrote a book in 1853 known as The Sonnets from the Portuguese in which she included a special love poem known as Sonnet 43. Andrew Spacey presents this amazing story the following way:

It was dedicated to her husband, poet Robert Browning.

The inspiration behind the work was Elizabeth’s love for the man who had, for all intents and purposes, rescued her from a quietly desperate, reclusive lifestyle she led in London, following the accidental death of her closest brother.

Dominated by her possessive father, Elizabeth spent most of her time alone n an upstairs room. She was a frail, sick woman who needed opium and laudanum in an effort to cure her pain.

Her only consolation was poetry and at this she was very successful. When Robert Browning read her work he was so impressed he wrote asking to meet her. The two eventually fell in love and decided to secretly elope to Italy in 1846, despite the father’s resistance and anger. He ended up disinheriting his daughter.

Elizabeth and Robert exchanged hundreds of love-letters over the two years from 1845-46. In them you get a clear idea of just how much they adored one another. Take this excerpt from Elizabeth in 1846, near the time of their elopement:

For I have none in the world who will hold me to make me live in it, except only you – I have come back for you alone…at your voice… and because you have use for me! I have come back to live a little for you. I love you – I bless God for you – you are too good for me, always I knew.

Elizabeth was close to 40 year of age when she broke free from the control of her father. You can imagine her pent up strength of feeling and sense of relief. She went on to give birth to a son and was happily married for sixteen years, until her death in 1861.

Here is the classic love poem Elizabeth wrote to Robert:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.

I wish I could have written that! Don’t you? It’s such a deep and beautiful way words can express what we feel but so often find hard to say. Let say these thoughts today. Let’s present to the one we love how deeply they had touched us and how broadly they have changed our lives!

In a spiritual dimension consider this:

“What would it be like to love a Being absolutely lovely – to be able to give our whole existence, every thought, every act, every desire to that Adored One – to know that He accepts it all, and loves us in return as God alone can love”? (F.P. Cobb) Jesus Christ is that Being absolutely lovely. He is worthy and accepting of our response to His love for us. “We love Him because He first loved us”. (I John 4:19)

In every way may this day be the best you’ve experienced!

Til next time, Don Johnson, Kirby Pines Chaplain