Everlasting Love

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. Saturday, February 14 is a day set aside to recognize and celebrate the loved ones in our lives. A time to think of couples with romantic connections. Couples such as:

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Tony and Maria
  • Bugs and Elmer
  • Edward Leedskalnin and Agnes Scuffs

Who?

From 1923 to 1951, Ed Leedskalnin single-handedly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock using nothing but home made tools to complete his masterpiece.

When Ed was 26-years-old, he met and fell in love with 16-year-old Agnes. The day before their wedding, Agnes changed her mind. She told her betrothed she no longer wanted to marry him.

Devastated, Ed left his homeland of Latvia and set sail for America. He eventually ended up near Miami, Florida where there was an abundance of coral which had turned into rock.

Using his stone masonry skills, Ed created a coral castle for the love of his life in hopes it would convince Agnes of his everlasting love and prompt her to live with him forever.

Although the castle was completed, and still stands as a monument to his devotion, Agnes never did marry Ed.

How sad.

While some called the man crazy, he preferred the title, eccentric.

Everything inside Ed’s castle was made of coral stone or items he picked up from junkyards. Chairs, stairs, gates, self-heating bath, tower, even a heart shaped table with a potted plant so Agnes would always have flowers.

 

A sign above a bell at the entrance to his castle informed visitors they were to ring twice if they wanted admittance. Should they fail to follow Ed’s instructions, he either ignored them or told them, “Go away. You can’t follow directions and you might break something.”

When I first learned of Ed and his coral castle years ago while we lived in Florida, I drew a comparison to another man who sacrificed much for his love. A person who wanted to spend eternity with his Bride.

Jesus.

Jesus left his home in heaven and traveled this land we call Earth to prove how much he loves us and to woo us to himself. To show just how great his love for us was, and is, Christ suffered much. Even to the point of death on the cross of Calvary. All to make a way for us to live with him forever.

After his death and resurrection Jesus returned home. That’s where he is now. Preparing a castle just for us. One that has lots of special rooms and furnishings. One made by the scars of his own hands.

Just like Agnes rejected Ed’s love, many reject Jesus’ perfect love. They don’t want him to be part of their life.

How sad.

They think the whole idea of someone dying for them, paying the price for their sins so they can be forgiven and be a part of the Kingdom of God is crazy. Insane. Far beyond eccentric.

There’s a sign placed above the entrance to heaven, too, you know. It says we have to follow the rules if we expect admittance. Just like Ed’s rule, God’s rule is pretty simple.

Accept his son as Savior and Lord.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Long ago the Lord said to Israel:  “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Holding Onto Jesus

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Comfort can be found in difficult times when we are assured of another’s presence, wouldn’t you agree?

As a child, just knowing a trusted adult was within arm’s reach or hollering distance often was enough to take care of whatever troubles seemed to be threatening. Knowing there was someone bigger than us who had our best interest at heart and had the power to deal with whatever Bogey Man was out there was enough.

When I was in sixth grade an intruder made its way down our chimney. It flew straight through the living room, turned right and ascended up the stairs. It took another right and ended up in my room where I lay in my bed, reading the latest Nancy Drew mystery before I fell asleep.

At first I wasn’t sure what flapped its wings within inches of my head. Maybe a bird attracted to my bedside lamp? On the second fly-by, I knew.

I threw the covers over my head and screamed, “There’s a bat in my room! There’s a bat in my room!” over and over while the monster beat its wings around me.

Within minutes my father appeared at the top of the stairs. He glanced into my room and said, “There isn’t a man in your room.” Which is what he thought I’d screamed.

As soon as the words left his lips, the denizen of the night buzzed Dad’s head. Turning  toward the stairs, my father assured me he’d be right back. He instructed me to stay absolutely still and quiet then ran downstairs, grabbed the broom, and charged back into my room.

It took several attempts before Dad finally managed to beat the bat senseless enough to take it outside. On the side of my bed of all places.

Sorry if such a thought upsets any of you.

I knew enough about Dracula and blood sucking vampire bats to know my dad had just saved my life, and I didn’t really worry too much — only a little bit — about the bat’s imminent demise.

Yes, children like to be assured someone will come to their rescue when they scream out for help, but you know what? Adults want that same assurance.

Is that not so?

While it is oh so nice to have people we can rely on help us in our times of distress, our ultimate help is found in Jesus Christ alone.

When our hearts are breaking, Jesus is the Comforter who holds us and wipes away our tears until our hearts have mended.

When our pain seems unending, Jesus is the Great Physician who gives us the strength to keep going one step at a time.

When the events of life make us fearful and threaten to pull us under, Jesus is our Peace amid the storm. He’s in our boat with us. He won’t abandon ship.

Jesus is a ready help in our times of trouble. He has our best interest at heart. He is the omnipotent all-powerful one who overcame death and rose again after being buried in the ground for three days. Nothing is too hard for him.

We can rest in the knowledge Jesus is within reach. He will never leave or forsake us.

When life feels a little unsettled and unsure, and creatures of the night flap around our heads, we have a source of comfort available to us in Jesus.

Like a father taking his mighty broom to the things that fly through our lives and threaten to harm us, Jesus’ love will protect and keep us safe.

Any tales of terror you’ve been saved from you’d care to share?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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