A Birthday Message

Philippians 1:18 (The Message)
 And I'm going to keep that celebration going because I know how it's going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done.

Birthdays, time to celebrate.  Its not about birthday balloons and party hats.  Its not about the cake.  And its certainly not about the wrinkles or gray hairs that magically appear. Its a celebration, because we know how the end of the story turns out.

I had planned to take some time on my birthday to blog the important events in the past year of my life.  My quiet time this morning lead me to Philippians 1 in the Message Bible.  A verse about celebration, and a verse that sums up the work of God in my life the past year.

Attitude is important.  In the midst of great trial, Paul and Timothy take time to reflect on the great work done in Philippi instead of getting eaten up with their current circumstances.  Its really easy to get wrapped up in the things going wrong in our lives and not focusing on what is going right.  Insignificant trials cause us to lose focus of blessings, and more importantly, the fact we know victory is at the end.  Our attitude not only helps us survive the trials, its an example to others.  We can choose to rise above or wallow within.

Love one another.  We weren't put on earth for our benefit, and the world does not revolve around our lives.  We are part of God's plan, to share his love.  I know he has called me boldly to this task and I treasure the opportunity he has given me to share his work in my life through my writing.  Its humbling to see more than 1,000 visits to my little site from countries all across the world, and to have the opportunity to have one of my posts picked up by a national Christian company's blog site.  I pray he will continue to strengthen my role in sharing the message of his love.

Be content in your circumstances.  Paul and Timothy used their time in prison to win souls.  More times than not, we find ourselves in a place we don't want to be.  We have to realize that sometimes that's exactly where God needs us to be, and we can be prosperous there.  God's plan for our lives takes us to places that challenge us to reach higher, look farther and conquer greater mountains that we would ever do if we set our own goals in life.

The Power of Encouragement.  Words aren't just random letters on a page.  They are purposefully chosen for their meaning.  They have the power to alter history, to change a person's life forever.  Its the prayers and the response of the people that give Paul and Timothy the will continue, fruitfully and full of vigor, in spite of everything around them.  We need the encouragement of others to do our best work, and even more importantly, we need to be encouragers to those around us.  Imagine the world full of encouragers and the power we would have against whatever obstacles we face!

The End.  Life is hard.  We are constantly at war every day against things that want to tear us down.  But we know something they don't...that the battle has been won, and even if its hard and long, we will be victorious!

Not for one minute do I take my time on this earth for granted.  Each birthday is special, a gift from God, to celebrate with ones I love.  Now where's that birthday cake?



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