1st Century … 21st Century

Welcome back to our New Beginnings series.

Two take aways, so far …

  1. Let your “beloveds” know how much you love them. (Find it Here)

2. The value of penning words of encouragement, love, and thanksgiving. (Find it Here)

Today, we take a 2020 real-life diversion …

I had not even finished editing the last two posts when a surprise life event happened to me … strikingly similar to these posts.

Second Saturday in January, our whole family found its way to a scarce (maybe I should say “sacred”, as auto-correct suggested) few hours together. I’m not complaining … I am forever grateful!! It’s every mother’s dream to have everyone together. At least, I think so.

I thought we were celebrating Christmas. We did … to completion, I thought. Then, my daughter walked in with a very lovely wrapped gold box and sparkly bow! I thought gift giving was done…

She sat it down in front of me. Staring at her, knowing she had already gifted me plenty, I said, “What is this?”

“Happy Birthday!” the room exploded in chorus.

“You thought this was Christmas, but we are celebrating you, today!”

Of course, tears flowed. In a few days, I would enter a new decade. With everyone “in the house,” they made a secret family decision to turn our day into a birthday party! I was shocked and surprised!

Open the box!!”

As I opened the exquisitely wrapped box from the top, I could see a glass box inside.

“What Is it?”

“Pull it out!”

As I gingerly lifted the contents … the rather large glass box with gold edges revealed this …


A glass gold box filled with LETTERS … TO ME!!

My children gathered letters from friends and family to celebrate entering my sixth decade. (Just an aside, I have no concept of this number being reality. I still feel like, maybe, 18 – 20 inside😉)



This irony is not lost on me. They had no clue what I was writing. I no clue what they were planning, but our worlds collided, as often is with loved ones.

We stood at the same place … writing letters to and from “beloveds”.

A box full of the most treasured words on earth …

sentiments and greetings from loved ones near and far!

Priceless … truly priceless! 

I’ve been pondering this “coincidence” ever since…

Paul’s letters of love were an encouragement to struggling Christians, new in faith; brothers and sisters in Christ. They must have been un-scrolled like gold boxes with sparkling bows. Arriving with surprise, causing excitement and evoking heartfelt love and admiration. They gushed with sentiments, affirmation, and instruction.

As Philemon opened this private letter from Paul, surely he felt special … Loved. Every word written and bathed in love to him from his spiritual father. His words were paramount and welcomed … a priceless gift: prompted by God for the very moments he needed them most.

Do I believe God orchestrates such things? Yes!

I know, the words he prompted my family and friends to write me, will encourage my heart, in moments this year, that needs them most … not one letter wasted.

Today, I feel like a “beloved” … Like Philemon! 

Many important people took the time to speak cherished words to me!

I will treasure them in safe keeping …

just as God preserved Paul’s letter/treasured words for us!


I plan on savoring my letters in the months ahead, perhaps, rereading from time to time, maybe the whole year long and in subsequent years. Just as we reread God’s words preserved for us … Philemon being one of those letters.

I hope, today, you know you are a “beloved” sister or brother!

I hope you do not spend one more day of 2020 without acknowledging to someone that they are your beloved. 

Hearing those words could bring streams of living water to some very parched earth!


Next week, we’ll continue with verse 8 of Philemon’s letter from Paul. I look forward to meeting you there.




Feeling like Philemon,

Feel free to share with a friend(s).

“Subscribe” on the right or below to have all posts delivered to your email inbox.





4 thoughts on “1st Century … 21st Century

  1. So overjoyed to hear how your special day went. Myrtha and I knew it was going to happen and prayed that it would be one of the most cherished days you’d ever had. “Wonderful”… You are beloved to many of us in our family of God. Loved beyond words.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.