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Neat Women Inc is an online community for women which offers information, insights, and humor to enrich the lives of all who call this neighborhood in the virtual world, their real "home away from home."

In order to provide as wide a range of useful/helpful material as possible, this columnist's corner will feature writers and topics as diverse and interesting as the women who stop by for a little refreshment (the type that refreshes the soul and enhances the spirit). We are grateful to those who would share their wisdom and wit with us! We hope you'll pull up a chair and visit for a few moments……

Love Is...
By Patricia Chadwick

"Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly notice when others do it wrong." 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (Amplified Bible)

Wow! This is the way REAL love acts. Who wouldn't want to be loved like that? But do I love that way? When I read these verses, I can't help but feel a little guilty. I love people, but I don't always show them love in the way I should.

~ I TRY to be patient, but often I'm not.

~ There are times when I am proud and haughty. Times I think that I am right and I should be listen to without question. At those times I can demand my own way.

~ I hate to admit it but I can be cranky, which can lead me to be selfish and rude; irritable and touchy (and no, my hormone fluctuations don't excuse me!)

~ *sigh* I can hold a grudge with the best of them. And I'm a good record keeper!

I may not always love like the model in 1 Corinthians 13, but I CAN! I need to keep these verses in my mind and heart and need to remind myself people with this kind of love -God's love- is a possibility.

Amy Carmichael loved like this. She was an ordinary woman with extraordinary love for people. She was born in Ireland in 1867, the first child to Christian parents, David and Catherine Carmichael. Amy grew up in a large family, seven children in all. Her parents were deeply devoted to Christ and raised their children to love and serve God.

During her formative years, Amy became a very determined and well-disciplined girl. Her father had taught her to be "tough", teaching her never to give in to a difficulty. Due to her father encouraging her "tomboy" spirit, Amy learned to deal with physical stress and strain and developed the determination and an obedience to spiritual principles that gave her the vitality she would need to serve God on the mission field. Because of living in a large family, she also developed a tender heart and was sensitive to the needs of others.

In 1895, Amy was commissioned by the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society to go to Dohnavur, India, where she served fifty-six years as God's devoted servant without a furlough.

A major part of her work there was devoted to rescuing children who had been dedicated by their families to be temple prostitutes. These children, mostly girls, had a horrible existence and Amy became deeply grieved for them. She became convinced that she must help these young ones wanting to escape their horrible life in the temples. While living in Dohnavur, India, with a band of women that had been converted to Christ, Amy founded the Dohnavur Fellowship, which became a haven for homeless children, especially those girls who had escaped from temple prostitution. She was even given "temple babies", infants that were born of the temple prostitutes, to raise in her "home". While the Dohnavur fellowship began mainly as a haven for girls, later a home for boys was also built.

The Dohnavur Fellowship became Amy's all-consuming ministry, which she gave her life to, never even taking a furlough back to Europe. She wrote 35 books detailing her life in India that have been widely read in Christian circles and have inspired many to follow their call to the mission field.

As you can see, Amy knew how to love! I truly believe love is a choice. You can choose to love with God's love and your relationships will thrive! Remember...practice makes perfect!

Patricia Chadwick is the creator of History's Women an online magazine highlighting the extraordinary achievements of women throughout history and recognizing the obstacles they've had to overcome in order to reach their goals. Visit her online at www.historyswomen.com and sign up for the FREE newsletter. Also visit her bookstore at www.pcpublications.org

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