“How well God must like you- you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road, you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College. Instead you thrill to God’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
Where to begin… I am surrounded by goodness. I have got some great, great people in my life. The One who has called me is indeed faithful.
I am turning yet another year older, time seriously flies. I have been thinking about my last birthday -my 21st- spent in New Zealand on Faith Week. I have never been so attentive to God’s voice as I was during that particular week of my life and I think He is trying to communicate something with me about that time. I knew no distractions, I was on the road, on foot, with nothing, literally nothing. God promised me a year of growth and learning and expanding my relationship with Him in ways I could never imagine or dream of. He did just that. So now, I am sitting in my bed about to fall asleep on this lovely birthday-eve and I am realizing all of these wonderful and abundant blessings He has handed me. I am seeing all of these promises fulfilled.
Tonight began with a superb dinner with the Kuiper + Ywam family. I feel so fortunate to be so close to these wonderful people. Their wealth in love and loving others exudes with joy and transmits to those around them. I am just so well cared for around here it blows me away.
After that we headed over to the Barth House for a semi-surprise birthday party on the rooftop of Matt’s store- overlooking Wealthy Street. Truly magical. As I was climbing out of the window onto the roof I was immediately serenaded with ‘Happy Birthday’ and greeted by many familiar and loved faces. I was totally smitten with the situation I found myself in. I could never re-create that moment with words but the lighting was just right, the sun had just gone down, the breeze was slight, the smiling, singing faces seemed to radiate with joy and as I looked around at everyone I was totally overcome with bliss and gratefulness. It was a very fanciful evening.
On top of all of that (and this isn’t even the end) I was given a new bike, an original painting, tropical dots, and a few items of vintage clothing. Like I said, so well cared for.
And then… we were all gathered around talking, sharing stories, enjoying each other’s company and Jaclyn initiated a time of prayer for me- so good. I feel it is so important to be prayed over and for on your birthday- what a huge day of symbolism, emergence, family, spirituality. So a few prayed out over me claiming my inheritance as a Child of God and thanking Him for His gifts and so on. All the while I just felt God telling me that this year, my 23rd year of life, is going to be a year of New Life, Imaginative Existence. Along with that I just feel so restored.
What a good night.
To cap it off- Jaclyn gave me two verses… Psalm 1, which I opened up this blog with, and 1 Peter 1:3-9 which I want to share with you in two different versions of the Bible.
(TNIV) Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
(The Message) What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven- and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all- life healed and whole. I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him- with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.
See what I mean- New Life! (All of this and it isn’t even really my birthday yet, blessed beyond belief.)