Brenda Cannon Henley

Brenda Cannon Henley

Verse 6 of 1 Corinthians 13 is important when we are working on developing and strengthening the love we have for God and for each other. I have always loved the verse that says so clearly that we love Him because He first loved us. How true that is in earthly relationships, too. It is much easier to love someone who loved us first or loved us best. When you walk into a new situation, the mind quickly focuses on the first person who reached out to welcome you or to be your friend.

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We are down to a really hard attribute of love in our study of 1 Corinthians 13, often termed “the love chapter” in Scripture. We have discussed love, patience, kindness, generosity, humility, courtesy, and now this difficult one to practice or about which to write — being totally unselfish.

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I have enjoyed a delightful time really taking to heart the huge word “love” and trying to assimilate its wonderful qualities. I would like to think that this short four-letter word has made a difference in my life and that others can see and experience it in our day-to-day contact. I have learned several things from Professor Henry Drummond, who wrote the little gem “The Greatest Thing in the World,” where he avidly declares that love is indeed that. The edition I have is copyrighted in 1890, by James Pott and Co.

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I’ve wanted to write this column for many years, but have not had the unction or the freedom to sit down and do so. I decided several months ago that I would tackle my inner thoughts on mothers and sons and daughters while my health and mind were still up for the challenge. Let me add here before I delve in that I know all family dynamics are not the same.

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blackburncarter.com photo

I was sitting today in my favorite rocking chair on the big sun-washed deck literally doing nothing but looking out on the beautiful bay and thinking about how very pretty the water was shimmering and the fluffy white clouds that were bouncing in the sky. Every once in a while, my revelry would be disturbed or interrupted by a boat speeding by, heading under the bridge or to the marina for more gas or bait, a brightly colored jet ski stirring up the water in playful pursuit of another, or a few shore birds stopping to nibble on our oyster reefs.

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We began our study of the fruits of the Spirit as found in the Book of Galatians, Chapter 5, and covered love, joy, peace and started on long-suffering. Long-suffering has many meanings to many different people. Merriam Webster dictionary defines long-suffering as “patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship.” Another resource book defines it as “having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people (his long-suffering wife).”

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We have looked at love, joy, peace, and now we come to long-suffering. It always amazes me that when I am writing in any sort of order or with a defined outline of subjects I want to cover, the Lord sees to it that I have plenty of material. He did not fail this time.

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22 and 23).

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I am a planner, somewhat of an organizer, appreciate things done on time and in an efficient manner, and like to know where I am headed in my daily chores, in my work, in travel, having fun, and in life in general. As this year comes to a close and we are set to begin a new one, I have been giving thought to where I am in life and what I want accomplish in the coming months. I still have goals, plans and dreams at 74 years of age, and believe that as long as I am alive, I should be reaching for them with every ounce of my being.

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One thing that I have learned and learned well in these seven decades of living is that change always comes and most often when we least expect it, affecting our loved ones or us. We best learn early on to roll with the punches and take life as it comes.

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