Yesterday's blood drive was a success although we received half of the donations from last year. Last year's blood drive netted 457 donors. Thursday's blood drive had a total of 200 donors. With the flu season underway, stomach virus and strep throat running rampant, we knew the numbers would be down. But the 200 that showed up were shown a good time and more importantly, 600 people could potentially benefit from it (one pint of blood can save the lives of 3 people). Marshall and I had a blast visiting with the volunteers and signing their new t-shirts. I saw co-workers come in together, mothers and daughters donate, husbands and wives, and people of every color and socio-economic background...and there were more first time blood donors yesterday than at any time! Here are a couple of pictures of Marshall and me just before he donated on WLBT and another one afterwards, where he's all smiles.
As a middle schooler, I remember hating Valentines Day. Each year, a club within our school would sell carnations to help raise funds for various projects. Someone from the club would come to our classroom every morning for a week and take orders. I would see the guys in my classroom go to the front of the room, talk with the club member, give them money for their carnation purchase and wish that maybe someone was ordering a flower for me. Then on delivery day, the club would bring the flowers to our classroom. Every year, I watched as girls in my class walked away with arm loads of red, white and pink carnations. At recess and at lunch, it was always the question of the day: "Who did you get a Valentine from?" And every year, I walked away empty handed.
Who gave the first Valentines gift? I would say it would have to be God. God sent His Son, Jesus, from heaven in the form of a baby as a gift to the world. Can you imagine giving up your only child to someone you love and you hoped they love your child as much as you do? That's a sobering thought. Romans 5:8 says it all, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Giving a Valentines gift to someone you love is not fun if they don't love you. Its a waste of time and emotional energy.
Have you been loving Him back by loving His Son? Are you wasting His Valentines gift to you?