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Saturday, October 31, 2015

18 Jars of Marmalade

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13: 34-35 (ESV)
It’s the very last day of October. The gold and crimson leaves are falling in the autumn wind creating a warm, multi-colored blanket on the lawn. October has also been pastor-appreciation month. How does one show appreciation to their pastor — or their spouse, friends and other family members? - By using the 3-L’s in their interactions: Listen, Laugh and Love.

“I’d like orange marmalade with that,” my husband Bill said to the waitress one Saturday morning as she put a plate of toast in front of him.

“We don’t have any,” she apologized.

Bill meets twice a month for an early Saturday morning breakfast with a few men from our church. As he went to the counter to pay that jam-less morning, he noticed some marmalade on a shelf. “There’s some right there,” he pointed out. The men laughed at his insistent reaction and remembered his disappointed but fun attitude.

As the people planned ways to show their appreciation during October the congregation showed their thanks by using those 3-L’s. They had heard and remembered Bill’s lament over the lack of orange marmalade on a previous Saturday morning. They all enjoyed the fun of the allusive sweet orange rind and they showed their love on the first Sunday of October. Families in our small country church brought in jars of orange marmalade, eighteen in total, and blessed him with a … citric jelly jar shower!

Use the 3-L’s to develop other solid relationships. (1) Listen – Many people believe that no one hears them. Be the very best listener you can be. (2) Laugh until all the lines in your face go up. There are very few things in this life that merit an argument. Laugh with, not at others. Buddy, don’t bully. Then, (3) love freely, asking for nothing in return. Love one another as Jesus loved His disciples. Those who don’t know Him will see His light reflected in our love. Love enough to fill eighteen jars to the brim … and running over until it sweetens all those around us. Let us pray:

“Our father God, you sent love to earth in the embodiment of your son, Jesus. He asked us to love one another and to share that love with others beyond our group. As the wind chills, we will be coming into the blessed season of Jesus’ birth, when we share love freely. Let today be the day that I decide to listen, laugh and love with others every day, not just during selected months of the year, whether that be October or December. I admit I want my own needs met. Forgive me when I’m too busy to see the needs of those around me. May I spread enough love to fill eighteen jars to over-flowing. In the name of your son, my savior and redeemer, Jesus I pray. Amen”
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

A big thank you to the 631 readers who signed up to try to win one of ten copies of my newest book, News at Eleven – A Novel, at Goodreads.
Another big thanks to those who came to Mt Etna’s Bazaar last Saturday. It was great meeting so many readers!

I will sign all six novels at the following upcoming book-signings.
11/07/15             Whitley County Historical Museum Author Fair – Time: 1-4pm. Columbia City, IN
11/14/15             Allen County Public Library – Author Fair – Time: 1-4pm. Main Library – Fort Wayne, IN. I also speak on the second panel, “Write On! – Steps to Fabulous Fiction”

All books are also available on

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