Tag Archives: birthday

Wisdom Wednesday: How to Have a Merry Christmas

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Have you ever felt truly loved and known after receiving a particular gift?  Have you ever felt unloved and unknown even though given a gift?  While it’s true that some of the best gifts are handmade, the truly best gifts are those that are timely and fit who we are, because they were given out of love and according to knowledge and not simply out of duty or expectation.  One of the keys to loving is knowing.

“To be known is to be loved, and to be loved is to be known…”  —Chris Kinsley and Drew Francis in “The Woman at the Well”

3Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: 4And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  —Proverbs 24:3, 4

If wisdom is the right application of knowledge, then knowledge without application must be foolishness.  And even more foolish still is to have the knowledge available but never take advantage of it.

“Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back of an ass.”  —Japanese proverb

“[The] opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is apathy. Love and hate both engage the emotions. Apathy demonstrates a lack of concern.”  —BJ in The River Walk: Weeping and Laughing

When you fall in love, don’t you want to know everything about that person?  Don’t you want to spend as much time as possible with them?  Don’t you try to think of ways to make them smile?  In order to do that, you have to spend time with them and learn to know what would make them smile, right?

“Nothing is desired that is not known.”  —Latin proverb

“There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.”  —Russian proverb

“Lack of knowledge is darker than night.”  —Hausan proverb

With today being Christmas, Jesus’ birthday, people sometimes wonder what they can possibly give Him as a birthday present. The Westminster catechism based on several verses from the Bible says that the chief purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  Don’t you enjoy people who enjoy being with you?  Part of the reason Jesus became a man was so we could know and understand God better.  He came to demonstrate His love for us and invites us to live with Him.

“Come live with me and you’ll know me.”  —Spanish proverb

“Knowing about Him is a necessary precondition of trusting in Him, but the width of our knowledge about Him is no gauge of our knowledge of Him.”  —J.I. Packer

“Christianity is not an action; it is a reaction.  The Bible is not a list of requirements, but a list of results after experiencing God’s love.”  —Peter Haas, pastor in his sermon Pharisectomy Part 2 – Joy Driven Christianity

The apostle Paul, who had a list of religious credentials, wrote in his letter to the Philippians that he counted everything as loss and even as poop in comparison to really knowing Jesus.  Because Paul had had an encounter with Him and experienced His mercy, grace and love, Paul had a desire to know Him more.

Since Christmas is really about the birth of Christ, the best way to have a truly merry Christmas is to find peace with it. Usually the best way to find peace with something is to understand it, and to understand we first need to learn and gain knowledge. So the best gift we can give Jesus, as well as others and ourselves, is to seek to know Him.  And if we already know Him, seek to know Him more.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!


A Little Help From My Friends

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My granddaughter was too shy to blow out her candles, so she got a little help from her friends.  We all need friends.  Friends share in our joys and our sorrows.  They lighten our burdens and give us hope for tomorrows.

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 says, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?  And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

“I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.”  –Nancie J. Carmody, writer


From the Heart

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I recently received a birthday gift from a friend who does not have access to cards or pretty paper, but it is one of the best gifts I have ever received.  He wrote down a poem from memory that wasn’t sentimental and had nothing whatsoever to do with birthdays, but it brought a huge smile to my face and even made me laugh.  He’s a man’s man with a big heart.  This is what he wrote:

“To Rene!!!
Happy Birthday Young Girl

I don’t have access to a store that sells b-day cards, so I’ll send you a funny poem or rhyme I heard on TV!

There once was a man
Name Barney Fife
Who carried a pistol
And a knife
The pistol all rusty
The knife all dusty
Cause he never caught
A crook in his life!

Best I can do for a b-day card for you!  Hope you like it!  It sure makes me laugh!”

Yes, it did make me laugh, and I treasure it.

His gift reminded me of two things.  One is from The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring movie in which Sam expresses a tribute to the recently fallen wizard, Gandalf.  The elves were singing a hauntingly, beautiful lament, and he said, “I bet they don’t mention his fireworks.  There should be a verse about them.”  So he stood and proceeded to create a verse, “The finest rockets ever seen.  They burst in stars of blue and green.  Or after thunder, silver showers came falling like a rain of flowers.”  Then he discouragingly said, “Oh, that doesn’t do them justice by a long road.”

The second thing of which I was reminded is how the Bible expresses God’s perspective on gifts.  Like an earthly father and mother who appreciate even the smallest, heartfelt gifts from their children, God doesn’t expect perfect pitch when we sing songs of praise and thanksgiving to Him.  He doesn’t expect us to give hundreds or even thousands of dollars when we have only two copper coins, and He doesn’t expect a huge bouquet of flowers when all we have is a fistful of dandelions.  God loves a cheerful giver and a gift that comes from the heart.  (2 Cor. 9:7)


Happy Birthday, Chris

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My first-born son had an accident yesterday, and I’m so grateful he’s still here to celebrate his 25th birthday today.  Instead of losing his legs or even his life, he came away from the accident with a scraped ankle and a non-displaced fractured heel.  Even though he was in a lot of pain yesterday, he laughed and said, “Well, at least I’ll have the day off on my birthday.”  His foot is terribly swollen, and he’s still experiencing a lot of pain off and on, but he’s doing well today.  Prayers for a quick recovery would be much appreciated.

I am so thankful the Lord blessed me with Chris, when it seemed I might not be able to have children– then He blessed me with two more.  Chris is a very intelligent, soft-spoken, considerate young man with a dry, covert sense of humor and a tender heart.  He is becoming a strong, supportive man, as well as my friend.  Thank you, Lord, for Your mercy and grace in allowing me to be his mom and for watching over him, especially yesterday, and giving me another day with him.

Happy birthday, Chris.  Thank you for being a wonderful son.  I love you.


The Birthday Book

Yesterday was my granddaughter, Gracie’s, first birthday. My son and daughter-in-law hosted her birthday party at a local park. It was a beautiful day and a blessing to celebrate with family and friends! She received a lot of gifts, but the most meaningful was a book given to her by her daddy… my son. I’m so proud of the man he has become.

The Birthday Book
The book is a blank journal in which he has begun a tradition of writing a letter to her for each birthday.  For her first birthday he recorded some of her favorite things, her accomplishments, her characteristics, and an exhortation to always remember not only that he loves her and thinks she is beautiful, but God does, too, “and His opinion is what really matters”.  What a rare and precious gift.  Did I already say how proud I am of him?


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