Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Staying Connected
February 7 – February 13
Scripture Passage: And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”   I Corinthians 13:13
Dear Friends, 
     I have been in love most of my life. It all began when I was born with a special love relationship for my momma. I wanted to spend every waking moment with her. I went from being held in her arms, to sitting on her knees, to playing at her feet. There was no other girl or woman that could take her place in my heart. She was the love of my life and the focus of all my attention. Then came Donna Kay. She was my playmate when I went to visit my Mamaw Leonard. Donna Kay had long black hair, skinny legs and a contagious smile. She was my girlfriend and we were going to get married and have six kids. (I was just five years old, but we were planning for the future.) Our families grew apart and because of that we lost touch with each other. I never knew what happened to her until mom sent me her obituary from the newspaper. She had a family, got divorced and died of kidney disease. She was as beautiful in the picture as I remembered her from my childhood. I started the first grade at Surgoinsville Elementary School and fell in love with my first red head. Sharon was feisty, mischievous, and sassy and I liked it. We would sneak around so we could whisper during nap time. We were such rebels. I am pretty sure we both got spankings from the teacher because such things were not allowed. When the second grade came around we were put in different classes, (I think that was intentional) and the budding romance was nipped in the bud. Sharon later became a drug addict and died from complications of an overdose. When I heard about her death, I went and visited her mom and dad because she still held a special place in my heart.
     I got away from my love of girls during my stint as a superhero and sports celebrity, then my fifth grade began and Anita moved to our school. I am pretty sure she moved to Surgoinsville from Heaven. She was pretty, sweet and very smart. She never knew I loved her, but I am sure it was true love because she was all I could think about. She made straight A’s so I had to make straight A’s too. When we graduated many years later she beat me out for Salutatorian by less than one point. Anita ended up marrying a man older than we were, had a family and the last account I had of her was still married to the same man and living in our home town of Surgoinsville. During my Senior year of high school, I had another Anita that I loved. She was in the band with me, the star of the basketball team and lived in my neighborhood. We enjoyed going to the movies with our friends on Friday night, sleigh riding in the winter time, camping trips with our friends and even the Senior prom together. She and I were very shy when it came to discussing our feelings, so I am not sure either one of us really knew what the other was thinking. I went away to college and she had another year to finish high school, so we grew apart and went our separate ways.  I still see her occasionally when I am back home. She has a daughter that looks exactly like she did when we were that age. I hope she has the same sweet disposition as her mom. 
     In the winter of 1979/80 I came home for Christmas break and was invited to a Christmas party by a family I went to church with. We had been in the band together, went to church together and I helped her dad put up hay and tobacco. I had really never paid her much attention before, but that night was magical. She was young and very pretty, but the best part was that she was fun to be around. She was as easy going and laid back as I was wired.   While the music played, I got my first kiss – and the rest is history. That was thirty-six years ago and we are still together. “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” Everything! The only thing that has changed is the depth of my love for her. What started out as infatuation has matured into a life- long friendship and romance. My prayer for you this Valentine’s Day week is that before you die you will have experienced the type of love I have enjoyed with my companion all these years. May the love of God lead you into greater depths of understanding about what true love really is. 
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny