Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

You just have to love the grandkids! They are so full of life. It never ceases to amaze me at how much they can mess up (I mean play with) in a short period of time. It seems like they can get so much going in one area then off they go to another spot.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a real stickler about order. As long as all the pictures are hanging straight on the walls, the chairs are where they’re supposed to be, doors are shut, the toys are picked up and ------. Okay, so I do like things in order. I really just want the house to still be standing when they leave!

My grandkids range from 20 years down to 17 months. Trae, Caitlyn, Camryn, Scout and Lance are older while the other 7 are all under 10. It is amazing the differences that come out in each one of them. But that is what makes each one of them so special.

Timothy has been around for a few days now and has given us an opportunity to catch up a bit with him. Being 9 he still likes to do a lot of the ‘kid’ stuff, but he is growing out of some of that as well. It won’t be long until this time will be a memory.

But there is something that just came to me the other day. Vicki and Timothy were going to run out for a bit. Timothy came over, gave me a hug and said, “I love you, Papa!” Of course, I told him that I loved him too.

When the grandkids are getting ready to leave, they come over, give me a hug and say, “I love you, Papa!” Of course, they do the same for Memaw. It is always a great time as they hug us and tell us that they love us.

But there are times when things happen out of nowhere. The other day Timothy just came up to me, hugged me and said, “I love you, Papa.” It reminded me of the times when it happened with the other grandkids. We might have been in the backyard, in the studio or in the house. But out of nowhere it happened.

Of course when the girls do, we have a tendency not to think about it that much. Yet when a boy does it, things just seem to hit you. Sutton will come up, lay his head on my chest and say, “Oh, I love you, Papa!” for no apparent reason except to say he loves me. I’m telling you that gives you a really good feeling when you get that hug and those special words – “I love you.”

In eternity past, God looked upon mankind and said – “I love you” – then sent His Son into this world. John 3:16 tells us -- “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

That love has to be received by each of us. When any of the grandkids give me a hug and tell me they love me, I hug them back and tell them I love them. I receive their love and then extend my love to them. It is just a natural thing for us to do.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:2 – “and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” It is the love that has been extended to us through Christ that we need to extend to those we encounter.

Whenever one of my grandkids tells me or shows me that they love me, my heart feels so blessed. When it comes in that unexpected moment, it is awesome. When they say – ‘Papa’ – to let me know they are sharing that love with me, it is totally awesome.

So today, why don’t you just let someone know how much you care for them and let them know you love them? It will do your heart good and will surely bless theirs.

JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, there IS something about that name!!

Christ only, always,

Bro. Paul