February 2021 - In This Issue:
Every February 14 lovers from around the world exchange chocolates, flowers, and lavish gifts to celebrate the most romantic day of the year: Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day was voted the best day of the year to propose, more than any other day with as many as 6 million couples getting engaged on February 14.

Valentine's Day was named after its patron saint, St. Valentine. Legend has it that Valentine was killed for attempting to help Christians escape prison in Rome.
While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl - who may have been the jailor's daughter - who visited him during his confinement.
Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today.

According to the National Retail Foundation, Americans spend a record-breaking $27.4 billion on Valentine's Day — including $2.4 billion on candy alone!

According to Hallmark, a whopping 145 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged every February 14 (and that's not including all those kids' valentines exchanged in classrooms!). This makes Valentine's Day the second biggest holiday for exchanging greeting cards, after Christmas. Teachers receive the most Valentine's Day cards annually, followed by children, mothers and wives.

According to the National Retail Federation, more money is spent on jewelry at Valentines than candy and flowers; a whopping $5.8 billion in 2020! The second most-paid-for gift on Valentine's Day 2020 was an evening out with $4.3 billion, followed by clothing, candy and then flowers.

More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold each year which equals to 58 million pounds of chocolate!

Valentine’s Day is a time when love is in the air and feelings of happiness and bliss are everywhere, or at least we would like to think so. But the truth is all the cards, candy and flowers in the world can’t heal broken hearts.
The world is filled with broken hearted people. It is a world in desperate need of a Savior, Jesus Christ is the healer of broken hearts.

Luke 4:18 a
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted…

Jesus came to this world to redeem lost mankind, He is always looking for those who are broken and in need.
If you were in a crowd of a thousand people and everyone was jumping for joy and you were the only one broken and weeping, you would be the one that He would seek out. He comes near to those of a broken heart and a crushed spirit.

The fact is, we live in a world filled with broken, hurting and wounded people. You don’t have to look very far before you find someone who is suffering.

During the Vietnam War there was a nurse that gained attention by going into the battlefield and dragging wounded soldiers to safety. She was often reprimanded by doctors and one day she was seen by an officer who rebuked her. He said, “What are you doing on the battlefield?” She said without hesitation, “I’m looking for the wounded, that’s what I’m here for”!

You are not abandoned or forsaken, the Lord is looking for you. He's looking for the wounded and the brokenhearted.
More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold each year which equals to 58 million pounds of chocolate!

"Sanctity of Human Life", was recognized on Sunday, January 17 during the morning service.
Our children and teens marched in to the song, "Jesus Loves Me" and quoted bible verses.

We appreciate our kids and teens for standing in the gap for the unborn.

We are grateful for Abby Salsedo and Melisa Pate for working with our children week after week.
The children learned about Jesus healing the man with leprosy in Kid'z Church.
A woman woke up one morning, turned to her husband and said, “Honey, I just had a dream that you bought me a new gold necklace. What do you think it means?”
He answered, “I don’t know, but Valentine’s Day is coming soon. Then you’ll know.”
A few nights later, she again woke up after having a dream. She said, “This time, I dreamed you gave me a pearl necklace. What do you think it means?”
“You’ll know on Valentines’ Day,” he replied.
The morning of Valentine’s Day, she again woke up telling him about her dream: “This time I dreamed that you brought me a diamond necklace. What do you think it means?”
“Honey, be patient,” he said. “You’ll know tonight.”
That evening, the husband came home with a package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it–and found a book titled, "The Meaning of Dreams".

In heaven I am told the streets are made of gold,
Oh, what a happy place to call my home.
United there will be,
We'll shout the victory.
Press on it won't be very long.



Press on it won't be very long, (not long)
Until we reach that land of song.
In heaven some sweet day I’m going there to stay.
Press on it won't be very long.
On Saturday, 2/20, Matt Higgs, Minister of Music from Sunset Avenue COG in Asheboro, N.C. will be coming to Matthews COG to hold a music workshop with the adult choir.

Matt is a talented and passionate man of God who is looking forward to working with our choir and musicians.

It will be a day of learning, renewal, and rejuvenation.
Men's Day 2021
We were delighted to have WNC State Evangelism Director, Matt Gunter and his wife Tracy with us on "Men's Day".

Bishop Gunter brought an on-time message that brought encouragement and comfort.
We are thankful for the outstanding job he is doing in Western North Carolina.
Sunday evening, four of our men spoke from I Kings 2:2 b ESV "Be strong, and show yourself a man." 
All four did an outstanding job expounding on the Word of God.
Randy Privette spoke on, "Be strong and show yourself a man by serving God even when it’s hard."
Kevin Cooper spoke on, "Be strong and show yourself a man by fighting against evil."
Rob Gibson spoke on, "Be strong and show yourself a man by standing up for the less fortunate and those who are being hurt."
Stan Widener spoke on, "Be strong and show yourself a man by being a man."

A number of years ago researchers performed an experiment to see the affect hope has on those undergoing hardship. Two sets of laboratory rats were placed in separate tubs of water. The researchers left one set in the water, and found that within an hour they had all drowned. The other rats were periodically lifted out of the water and then returned. When that happened, the second set of rats swam for over 24 hours. Why? Not because they were given a rest, but because they suddenly had hope! Those animals somehow hoped that if they could stay afloat just a little longer, someone would reach down and rescue them.
If hope holds such power for unthinking rodents, how much greater should its effect be on our lives.

We are looking for an associate minister, possibly someone retired and looking for a place to continue to use your gifts without the pressure of pastoring. Maybe someone who is simply looking for place to serve. We will be glad to discuss compensation. Contact the pastor if interested: rdbrackett@matthewscog.org
We are pleased to announce that on Sunday morning, February 21, Dr. Tom Tatum will be our guest speaker.
Dr. Tatum grew up in Alcoa, TN. where he was saved at the age of 9 and received his calling to ministry as a sophomore at Lee College. He earned his Bachelor's degree from Lee College, a Master of Divinity from the Church of God School of Theology and a Doctor of Ministry from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.

He has pastored 3 churches, served as an Evangelist and has served the Church of God in the field of Education since 1993.

Dr. Tom & Betty Tatum
Mark your calendars now for Sunday February 28 at 6:30 p.m.

You don’t want to miss this soul stirring drama!

Jesus is coming and He is coming soon, are you ready?
Matthews Church of God
517 E John St.
Matthews, NC 28105