Lord your forgiveness is the sure and unchanging foundation of my faith. I thank you that you have made it available to me through my faith in your Son.

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Frankly Phyllis

Love Letter

If you don't get a valentine this year, you might borrow this idea from a 1935 song sung by Fats Waller, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and others:

I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter and make believe it came from you
I'm gonna write words oh so sweet
They're gonna knock me off my feet
A lot of kisses on the bottom, I'll be glad I got 'em.

I'm gonna smile and say, "I hope you're feeling better."
And close with love the way you do
I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter
And make believe it came from you!

It's a catchy tune you can't get out of your head once you know it! And if some of the leading love stories of 2009 are in your head, it could be a good idea to write yourself a letter, or at least a memo on "How Not To...!" One super star athlete backs into a fire hydrant the week after telling the press his personal life is low visibility "because we lead a pretty boring life." I believed him. Apparently it was anything but "boring," according to the press and a few women. A leading politician purportedly hiking to "find himself" confesses he found his soul mate across the world, breaking the trust and hearts of his family and supporters. Judging by media ratings and print sales, the world feeds on these "love gone wrong stories."

What's the draw for us? Do we care about these folks? Do our hearts ache for them? Do we feel less guilty about our own love-gone-astray stories when we learn sordid details of theirs? Granted, marketing is everything, and when someone we see or hear every time we turn around - who seems trustworthy and is outstanding at something - messes up, then we expect them to be beyond human.

As I was processing some of this "stuff," I noticed how many headlines and bylines and other lines hook us into love gone wrong. As if we don't have enough experience with that on a personal level! Some of us didn't get one single valentine in school when we used to make our own boxes and sit them on our desks, and some of us still wish we'd get a loving note or nod from someone we care about. That's why I do so many Woman to Woman® shows about relationship skills; there's always room for improvement.

And really, the best way to improve at love is to go to The Lover of your soul, of your very self which He created! And we got that message loud and clear from, of all places, Brit Hume, the polished, smooth, logical, and intensely focused newscaster we've watched for decades. Hume fascinates me because he doesn't get hysterical or too publicly impassioned for or against any issue or individual. He reports news with as many sides as he can cover, for the most part. But in this case, he drew on personal experience and spoke his heart, mind, and soul - and did so eloquently, in my opinion.

Bottom line: Hume and his peers were discussing predictions for 2010 on Fox News Sunday on January 3, and when the Tiger Woods scandal came up, Hume simply offered some heartfelt advice to Mr. Woods, not knowing of course if it would reach the man. But it did reach around the world on the web to garner criticism. Hume felt certain the athlete's game would return, but expressed deep concern about his shattered personal life. Had he stopped there, the criticism may have been cut off at the pass, but he finished his train of thought, which he had pondered, he later said, for "some time."

Recalling that Tiger is reportedly a Buddhist, Hume urged him to turn to Christianity to find forgiveness and redemption, which is unique to the Christian faith. In fact, he spoke directly to the world's most famous athlete: "Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world." Now Brit is not a man speaking platitudes, giving well-meaning advice, pontificating on his platform. These words came naturally from a heart that had been smashed to smithereens and mended by the Lord of Life Himself.

Brit Hume's 28-year-old son, Sandy, took his own life eleven years ago; he knows the desperate darkness of the soul. Hume said, "His death was devastating. I was shattered. Yet through all of that, I had this feeling that God would save me, that he would be there for me, that I was in his hands, and that I was going to be okay. It really happened." You can easily find and read the interview with Hume online, and I hope you do so. It addresses the criticism of Christ and Christianity in a world that gives a pass to other faith systems. It also reveals a highly committed follower of Christ in a newscaster who was willing to lay it on the line. I believe he did it in hopes Tiger would get the message about a God who loves him so much He will come to him in his dilemma, even save him from himself.

We're all hungry for love and find it in different ways. Some are good, healthy, and God-pleasing. Some can do us in and take others with us. God built into us a basic unrelenting need for love, and then He gave us a "need meter" in His Son, Jesus Christ, who proved His unending, all encompassing love by coming to earth, living a life of perfect love, dying on the cross, and rising again!

It turns out you don't have to sit right down and write yourself a letter after all! He did that, too - it's the Bible. When you read it, you'll get the message. Brit Hume did. Frankly, I'm opening mine right now for a love letter I know I need. Have you read yours lately?

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