Friday, August 28, 2015

My Birthday Celebration(s)

Today is my birthday. (08/27) YES!  I love birthday celebrations.  In fact, I just got off the phone with my dear friend, Nancy….an “old” college friend.  What a joy to reconnect, every year on our birthdays. 

Birthday celebrations were paramount in my family-of-origin, setting the pattern for me for the rest of my life.  And since this is one of those “banner” years (70, gasp!!!!), I have had a lot of time to perfect the practice of celebrating birthdays….not just mine but also those of friends and family.

There are so many different ways to acknowledge this special day... big parties and intimate gatherings.  I’ve received cards in the mail, gifts and many wonderful birthday greetings through social media.  

Today is just simply…. a lovely day.  Here in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) the fall season begins to show itself about this time of August.  Today it’s pleasantly warm, and the leaves are just beginning to leave behind the greens of summer and drift toward the reds, yellows, browns and golds of fall.  We have our adorable 5 ½ year old grandson with us and we are looking at the world through his eyes.  What could be a more special way to “celebrate” this significant birthday? 

Grandpa (known as Cha-Cha, a name given to Charlie years ago by Henry’s mama) and Henry rode their bikes to our nearby park, which also borders on a bay that comes in from Lake Michigan.  This may be their last opportunity to enjoy the play equipment and do a little fishing.   Tonight we are taking him with us out to dinner at a local restaurant.  (His mom and dad have done a great job of teaching him manners and how to adapt to life with adults).

As fun as it is to engage in all of this celebratory stuff…..the “birthday” that has eternal significance is the moment I was born again into the family of God.

As an aside, that term “born again” was not a part of my vocabulary growing up.  It wasn’t something we learned about in the church of my youth.  But as an adult, as I began to have a hunger for God’s Truth, my Bible studies led me to the Truth of what “born again” actually means.

There are several places in the Bible where we can read about being “born again”: John 3:3 & 7 and 1 Peter 1:23, for example.  Jesus is very clear that “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

When we acknowledge our sin, understanding our sin will keep us separated from God (Romans 6:23); when we profess faith in Jesus Christ as being the only way to have a relationship with God (John 14:6); when we acknowledge our need for Jesus to save us from our sins (Romans 10:9); then we can have the assurance that we ARE, in fact, born again into God’s family (1 John 1:9).

All of us have a story to tell and it is part of the larger narrative of God.  We all have a physical birthday….mine was August 27, 1945.  A young couple (Helen and Clarence Moore) excitedly brought me into this world.  But to be born again into the family of God requires a personal choice.  Have you made that choice?  If not, or if you are not certain, just bring it to the Lord in prayer.  Whatever words you use, if your heart authentically seeks forgiveness and acceptance of Jesus as Savior, God will hear and you can have the assurance that you are His child….for eternity!

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