By Dr. James L. Snyder

I was sitting on the back porch sipping an ice-cold tea with a splash of lemon when I received a text from a relative up north. I was enjoying a pleasant afternoon basking in the winter sun of Florida.

Getting a text is a strange thing, or it can be. If I do not respond right away, I can always claim that there is “something wrong with my cell phone and my texting isn’t working right today.” Then I can get back to that relative whenever it suits me. Or, as the case with some relatives, and you know who I mean, I can ignore it.

If you are a relative of mine and have not heard from me or had any of your text answered the simple answer is, I am not really ignoring you (ha ha ha) my cell phone is not working correctly.

This relative that texted me was complaining about how cold it was up north and even had the courtesy to send me a picture of their backyard just chock-full of some white substance known as snow.

The text read, “I bet you wish you were here to enjoy this?”

I think that relative would have lost that bet for sure. I love those snow scenes on postcards or in text messages like this one, but as to be personally involved with all of the frigid snow, do not bet on me!

Cold, after all, is a relative thing especially when the relatives are up north in the winter.

Up north, they complain when the temperature falls below 30.

Here in Florida I complain when the temperature falls below 70.

Whenever the temperature dips below that magical 70, I have to break out one of my sweaters. What an inconvenience for me to have to put on a sweater because it is just a little bit cool on the outside.

Then my relative sent me a picture of her standing in the snow looking like the abominable snowman. She had more clothes on than I actually own and have in my closet. I wonder how she walks around wearing all those clothes? How in the world does she ever sit down wearing all those clothes?

And what about that thing wrapped around her head? We have hats here in Florida but not quite like the one she was wearing. It looked like she was wearing some igloo.

Her invitation to come join her went completely unheeded by me.

No relationship is quite like that relationship that spans several hundred miles. You know the old saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” So, if you add distance to that absence you have the epitome of a wonderfully fond heart.

Many things separate us from one another. Sometimes that separation is voluntary and sometimes it isn’t.

The apostle Paul understood that nothing could separate him from God. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).


It does not matter how cold it is outside as long as inside there is a warm relationship with God bordering on fiery expectation.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail His web site is