Posted in Writings & Poems

Weekly Writing Challenge: Moved by Music


eaBlog1r the top of my list for things to be thankful for is music.  Music is something that can help pull me out of a sadness or bring back memories, some precious, some just from days gone.  Music helped with healing after our son died.  For one son, it was definitely his outlet, sometimes til 2 or 3 in the morning he’d escape into music, teaching himself how to play the guitar, singing and writing music.  Now that he’s not living at home, I really miss his music. One special song for that season in our lives, and the first time Jayson sang a solo was “Blessed be Your Name” which he sang at a Mother/Daughter program the first Mother’s Day after Matthew was gone. The line,

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

I remember very clearly after my mom’s memorial service in the spring of 2004, and we were just leaving my hometown, and my husband was getting gas in the car, and I found a Christian radio station, and heard, for the first time, Selah singing “You Raise Me Up” and just being assured that God will raise me up to walk on those stormy seas, but the part, that still gives me the chills is the line, 

But when You come and I am filled with wonder
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

I am so thankful for those glimpses of eternity through music we can be reminded of.   Of course, there’s other songs that brings smiles, like “You are My Sunshine” along with “When I am Afraid I Will Trust in You” by Steve Green which I sang often to Jessica during her 10 weeks in ICU as a baby.  “Just As I Am” brings me back to my home church, my dear home pastor and his dear wife their dedication to carrying for souls, including mine.  “Give Us Clean Hands” reminds me of the first time my daughter and her then boyfriend (now husband) sang a duet in church.

Music can certainly soothe our souls, make us cry, laugh, remember and sometimes take us away to far away places to forget for the time being.  I love praise music.  I like having CD’s or the Christian radio station on throughout the day.  And I love worshipful music – and again, the glimpses of eternity of our never ending worship to Jesus.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Moved by Music

Posted in Faith, Matthew, Writings & Poems

Five Minute Friday & 31 Days: “VOICE” {Day 26}


start . . . 

I do not know why, but as soon as I read Friday’s word, voice, the words from an older praise song, My Tribute, which is one of my very favorites,  popped into my mind:  

How can I say thanks
For the things you have done for me
Things so undeserved
Yet You gave to prove your love for me
 of a million angels
Could not express my gratitude
All that I am and ever hope to be
I owe it all to thee

To God be the glory,
to God be the glory

To God be the glory,
For the things He has done
With His blood He has saved me

With His power He has raised me
To God be the glory,
For the things He has done

With Thanksgiving coming, and the continued counting of gifts and blessings, isn’t this the perfect song?  I wish I’d hear it more!

And just picking out that word, voice – imagine, someday we will hear millions of voices, singing praises to God!  I do not think we can come anywhere near comprehending that glorious sound!  And yet, the voice that our souls all long to hear is His voice!  Oh to hear Jesus’ voice say,Well done, good and faithful servant!”  Yet, we can hear His voice, if we only, be still and and listen for that still small voice.  

So what might God be telling us?

 Be still.
Listen for My voice.
I have much to tell you.
Much to calm you with.

“Woman, Just Believe Me”

Combining two meme’s today –
31 Days for this month and
Joining Lisa-Jo and her Five Minute Friday.
” five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right “

Posted in Writings & Poems

Writing Contest for Orphans

From Fiction to Real Life,
Author Changes Orphans’ Lives with Education

Author Tom Davis and Children’s HopeChest sponsor the
Scared $1 Million Education Fund and Writing Contest

I shall live in hope of getting what I seek another day. ~ Swazi proverb

The number one need in Swaziland, Africa, is not what you think.  It’s true: Swazi people face the realities of poverty and disease and have great, pressing needs which must be met.  But meeting these needs alone will not give children what they need to overcome their circumstances and to change their world—this can only happen through education.

scaredIn his new release, Scared: A Novel on the Edge of the World (David C Cook, June 2009), author Tom Davis tells the story of Adanna, a young Swazi girl, and a jaded U.S. photojournalist on assignment in her country.  Based on his experience working with orphaned children in Swaziland, Davis reveals the power of words to change lives—and the power of God to bring light and new life, even to the darkest of places.

Adanna’s life story could be a blueprint for any of the thousands of Swazi kids Davis has met and worked with as CEO of Children’s HopeChest — a global orphan care organization.  These children are brimming with potential, but lack even a shred of opportunity.

Beyond meeting basic, practical needs, the mission and passion of Children’s HopeChest is to provide orphaned children the tools they need to become independent adults and mature people who can impact their communities and culture.  One of the best paths for reaching this goal is education.  With that in mind, Davis and Children’s HopeChest have developed the Scared $1 Million Education Fund and Writing Contest.

The writing contest will be launched with the release of Scared this June.  It is open to high-school aged orphans who are presently connected with HopeChest Carepoints in Swaziland.  Entries will be received in three categories: short story, poetry, and personal essay/memoir.  The grand prize for each category is a university scholarship, and runner-up submissions will receive other prizes appropriate to their culture and need.

How the Writing Contest Works

–           Children will submit their writing pieces (maximum of one per category).  Submission deadline is September 1, 2009.

–           A panel made up of Swazi teachers and HopeChest Carepoint staff will judge all entries and select the top ten from each category.

–           The top ten finalists in each category will be posted on the Scared website,, December 1, 2009.  People around the world are invited to log in and cast a vote for their favorites in each category.

–           Winners will be announced March 2010.

For more information about the contest, visit

Click here to watch the Scared book trailer!

For a limited time, the PDF version of the book is available for download if you tell three of your friends about the book. Click here for details!

Posted in Writings & Poems

Christ is supreme because . . .

(I found this powerful . . .)

Christ is supreme because . . .

He is God’s final revelation
He is the heir of all things
He is the creator of the world
He is the radiance of God’s glory
He is the exact imprint of God’s nature
He upholds the universe by the word of His power
He made purification for sins
He sits at the right hand of the Majesty
He is God enthroned forever with the scepter of uprightness
He is worshiped by angels
His rule will have no end
His joy is above all other things in the universe
He took on human flesh
He was crowned with glory and honor because of his suffering
He was the founder of our salvation
He was made perfect in all of his obedience by his suffering
He destroyed the one who had the power of death
He delivered us from the bondage of fear
He is a merciful and faithful high priest
He made propitiation for sins
He is sympathetic because of His own trials
He never sinned
He offered up loud cries and tears with reverent fear and God heard him
He became the source of eternal salvation
He holds His priesthood by virtue of an indestructible life
He appears in the presence of God on our behalf
He will come a second time to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever

By John Piper
© Desiring God
From sermon titled “How the Supremacy of Christ Creates Radical Christian Sacrifice.”

Posted in Faith, Family, Matthew, Writings & Poems

“A Pair of Shoes” ~ Remembering My Son

Just remembering & missing today . . . .


“A Pair of Shoes”

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are, might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes, you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some woman are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Author unknown
(if you know who the author is, please let me know so I can give proper credit)

Drawing by my daughter, ♥ Heather ♥

Posted in Choking Game, Family, Matthew, Writings & Poems

Meet my friend – who I wish wasn’t my friend

I would like to introduce you to my new friend,  Bobbi Jo.  You need to meet her.  Your children need to meet her.  Your school principal and family doctor need to meet her.  Your next door neighbor needs to meet her.   Yet, I still wish she was not my new friend.  We have a common bond, I so wish neither of us have.  But, if you don’t meet her, you or someone you care about dearly may have to join the same club we are in.  You do not want to join our club.  This club should not even exist.  Our club does not display pictures of ourselves.  It displays pictures of teenagers and young children who died playing a game.  But, it’s really not a game.  How can you call it a game if it kills?  It’s the choking game.  Her son, Kris, only 15 years old, died barely 5 weeks ago. Bobbi Jo is just one of numerous moms I’ve met in the last four years.  She is just the newest member in our club.

Tomorrow will be four years our son, Matthew,  died in an accident in our home.  I’d like to skip over the “accident” which some would like me to refer to it as.    I really don’t want our son remembered for only how he died. cheesecakeI want him remembered for his love for Jesus, for the cheese cakes he made  from scratch for my pregnancy cravings.  I want him remembered for sharing Jesus with an elderly man he wanted to make sure would go to  heaven and the Christian faith rings he wore, hoping others would ask him what they meant.   But, I cannot skip over his death.  I will when I don’t read of more deaths like his.  I will when the awareness is there just like it is about drugs, sex and drinking.  Our son did something dumb, like many kids (and adults) do.  This choking game took his life. This game is also known as “Blackout, Fainting Game, Space Monkey, Dream Game, Suffocation, Roulette, Passout, Flatliner, California High, Airplaning, Space Monkey, American Dream, Funky Chicken, Tingling, Gasp.” (info from G.A.S.P – Games Adolescents Shouldn’t Play)

On WKOW 2, Madison, Wisconsin’s TV station website, it states facts all parents need to know:

  • It’s a game that kills anywhere from 250 to 1000 people each year around the world. [I believe the reason there is such a variable in how many is because many deaths are ruled suicide rather than from the choking game]
  • In a recent survey of kids in the US, 75 percent said they’re familiar with the choking game.
  • Deputy Holmes says the choking game is often referred to as the good kids game, because the kids who play it, are not necessarily the kids you would associate with risky behaviors like doing drugs and drinking alcohol.

Though my heart does not ache as it did four years ago, brokenheartMatthew’s death is still like an amputation that will always sting, the wound reopening, and his absence visible to those that loved him.   Please talk to your kids. If you homeschool, it does not mean that your kids won’t learn of this.  Talk to your kid’s friend’s parents.  Bring awareness of this to your school principal, to your pastor, your youth leaders, boy scouts, camp directors, etc. We thought we had our kids sheltered, but evilness still sneeks in.

Please don’t feel sorry for me, and tell me I am strong. Instead, share with the people you love, then tell me that a life was saved because of Matthew’s death.  Tell me another soul has a chance to come to know Jesus because he/she stopped this game.  Tell me, so on our cloudy days when our hearts weep again I am reminded that, It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus“.

To learn how to get involved with sharing about the deadly choking game with your family and community, please visit G.A.S.P – Games Adolescents Shouldn’t Play.

♥   ~ ♥   ~

In Memory of our Son ~ Matthew’s Story

♥   ~ ♥   ~

Posted in Family, Writings & Poems

Holidays at the Cafe ~ Day of Gratitude


ow can I even begin sharing all the things I am thankful for?   Right at the top is my salvation and knowing I am a child of the King, purified by His blood, and have a room in heaven waiting for me.  Could I ask for more?  I am so thankful for my husband of 23 years, that we have made it through the roughest valleys and still love each other.  I am thankful for a dozen children I am so blessed with, even though two of these will not be joining at our Thanksgiving table but feast at His table.  I look at the ten blessings filling our home every day, with laughter, squablings, loud music, dirty clothes, dress-up clothes, schoolbooks, diligent journal writers, artists, never filled stomachs asking what there is to eat moments after a large meal, Bible readers and verse memorizers.  Life is full in our home.  For this too, I am I am filled with gratitude.

But as I write this, I know there are hurting hearts.  Personally, I have several friends who have or are going through deep valleys, with the loss of a baby, loss of a spouse, a baby that has serious eye problems, health problems, severed friendships, lonliness, and just looking for things to be thankful for.  I am reading a book by a local author that has really blessed me with her openness and honesty.  I would like to share some excerpts that I am hoping will give anyone passing by here a measure of gratitude, no matter where you are. 

coldtangerines“There are things that explode in our lives and we call them curses, and then one day, a year later or ten years later, we realize that they are actually something else.  They are the very most precious kind of blessings.” (p.176)

“When we stood in a circle to pray and close our night together, we held hands and thanked God for the darkness, and for the way the darkness had become light, and in that moment we practiced Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for the uncomplicated happiness of babies and friendship, and for the complicated joys that come from loss, from failure, from reaching the bottom and pushing back up to the light.  That’s a Happy Thanksgiving.” (p. 213)

From Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist

I am hoping this gives you encouragement, even if there is a dark cloud over your day.  Joy will come again.




P.S. Though I enjoyed reading this book, I must give a caution with it.  I appreciated the author’s honesty and openness, however, I did find it not quite theologically correct, possibly leaning towards the new-agey movement.  For me it lacked “God” in a lot of her finding answers and peace – though it was not void of God. Rarely was Scripture used. I found it read somewhat like a journal (which is not bad).  I did glean touching and shared emotions with the author.

Posted in Books, Family, REVIEW, Writings & Poems

Book Review: In Faithfulness He Afflicted Me

It really is a very difficult and awkward thing to try to comfort a hurting person, especially if you’ve never experienced their particular sort of pain. I know that I’ve said the wrong things before to others who were hurt, but since I’ve experienced three painful losses, I’ve also encountered my share of less than helpful words . . . As I think back to the comments made, I don’t feel the same way about them now . . . I was hurting so desperately that I didn’t have the strength to understand the heart behind the comments or forgive the words that were carelessly chosen.

 Lynnette Kraft,
In Faithfulness, He Afflicted Me


ynnette’s desire in writing this book, In Faithfulness, He Afflicted Me was to encourage others to trust in her faithful and loving Creator, and to see how their trials and heartaches can be used for God’s glory, bringing joy and a beautiful outcome.  In just sharing the quote above, you do not know what losses she has gone through. Even if you have not gone through a loss or dark days in your life, you know others around you have.  I invite you to read Lynnette’s book to help increase your faith and know how to encourage and walk along side others.  

I first met Lynnette when our daughter, Jessica, had her open heart surgeries through an e-mail list for parents with children with heart defects (PDHeart). Lynnette was pregnant with her daughter, Anna, knowing she could possibly go through the same ordeal as we did.  Our daughter spent 10 weeks in ICU with two open heart surgeries and two weeks after we brought her home, our next daughter, Angela Hope was stillborn at 36 weeks.  Lynnette’s life journey is very similar and I so appreciate her sharing her story.  

Lynnette is a blessed mom with nine children, but knows the heartache of saying good-bye to three of these precious gifts.  Two of them were baby boys she only had a matter of days.  Her precious daughter, Anna died at the young age of 6, in November of 2004, just a matter of weeks before our 16 year old son died.  The six years of her life besides her surgeries were rather uneventful, so her death was quite unexpected.

To be honest reading through the first chapter of In Faithfulness, He Afflicted Me was most painful.  It’s still one of my first fears, when I am not giving her over to the Lord, of losing another child, especially Jessica who though is doing well . . . we just never know.  I wept with Lynnette knowing her pain AND her peace. I see how the afflictions God has allowed her to go through is reminiscent of what Job said (Job 23:10-11):

But He knows the way that I take;
when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
My feet have closely followed his steps;
I have kept to his way without turning asid

Lynnette’s story is real – of real life – of real pain.  Whether you have lost a child or not, I invite you to read her book.  A chapter of your life may be breast cancer, a divorce, loss of a job or a child with severe disabilities.  You will see God shinning through Lynnette from grief to joy and most of all victory!  

What do I consider a victory in heartache? Victory is when you can forge ahead with a feeling of excitement for the future, not just tolerating it or being okay with it, but truly anticipating great things.  I began to realize that not only had God worked, but He would continue to do so.

Posted in Family, Writings & Poems

Blog Action Day 08 – Poverty

Earlier  today I shared about my coupon savings and even free food items with using Savings Angel.  After visiting a few of my favorite blogs today, I see that today is “Blog Action Day” an event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. This year’s topic (today) is poverty.   

Though we have gone through very rough times (several job lay-offs, working from home solely, medical issues and two deaths), wondering how we’d make ends meet, we have never had an empty refrigerator, or empty cupboards.  We might not always have on the shelf what we want, but there has always been food.  I’ve been so excited in building up our pantry some, excited to get greatly discounted, nearly free and free food, but reading some of the blogs today that are part of the Blog Action Day has made me stop to think.  I cannot imagine my children running out into the streets begging for food or going through trash cans just for a morsel to eat.  I’ve not had my children cry for hours days that they are hungry.  How heartbreaking to even think of!  Instead, an hour after a meal, they are hungry, asking for a snack, which many times they get! 

So, I’ve been thinking, will you along with me, help?  How about going through our pantries, and putting a basket or box together for a needy family or food pantry?  If you are a coupon-clipper like me, how about putting together some of those items that were nearly free, or tithing 10% of our pantry, to donate to a needy family or food pantry?  What a teaching time this can be for our children, reminding them how God has provided for us and can use us to minister to other families.  Our local library is taking donations for the month of October towards library fines!  $1 comes off per canned item.  Our local post office also occassionally does food drives.  Thanksgiving is just over a month off.  We can never show our thankfulness too early or too much.   Will you join me?

Posted in Family, In Other Words, Writings & Poems

In ‘Other’ Words: Tuesday’s New Quote


aren will be hosting next Tuesday, on her blog,

    In Love W.I.T.H. Jesus

Think   and ponder on the quote she has chosen below and share about it on your blog on Tuesday.  Then, visit  Karen’s blog and leave the link to your blog and visit the other gals who have also written on it. 

Here’s the quote she has chosen:


“Problems can slow us down temporarily
but they don’t have the ability to stop us.
Only we have that power.”  

~Wayne Cordeiro~


Posted in Faith, Family, Writings & Poems

(UPDATED) Steven Curtis Chapman on Larry King Live (CNN) Today

Several friends have e-mailed me to let me know that Steven Curtis Chapman and possibly his family, will be on Larry King Live (CNN) today.  As many will know, Steven’s adopted and youngest daughter, Maria Sue, was killed in a tragic accident on the family’s driveway on May 21, 2008.  As they have walked through this shadow of death, they have shared it very publicly as well.  Steven’s well-known song “Cinderella” has been in the top ten, and now #1 for iTune’s Top Christian songs.  And since Maria’s death, Steven added a new verse to his song “Yours” which is powerful and touching:

I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow
So deep and dark that I could barely breathe
I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear
And questioned everything that I believe
But still even here
in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
As I can say in life or death
God we belong to you.
(By Steven Curtis Chapman)see his actual handwriting of the lyrics here

The new version of this song was just released August 1st, and it too is in the top 10 on iTune’s Christian Songs. 

So today, Steven Curtis Chapman is to be on Larry King Live.  Jim Houser, who works for/with SCC, is keeping a very open blog here, and says he will be attempting to blog beginning in the afternoon to share how it is going in LA with Larry King.  I will close this in sharing Jim Houser prayer he wrote on his blog today, regarding their desire for this show:

My prayer is the same tomorrow as it was today… God, would you please give the Chapmans strength and courage… and Your peace and Your words. If you do, I’m crazy enough to believe that the time on Larry King live in LA on Thursday could change someone’s day, and just might change their life. And May it be so. May it be so for many. May you get the glory. Asking my faith and the faith of my friends be encouraged and emboldened by what You’re doing. And that You’ll show us, in obvious ways even my eyes can’t miss, after this week all You’ve done already through this loss of Maria. And we’ll try to remember to give you the glory God. This is our desire, that You be honored. Amen.

 NEW:  Here’s an article from CNN’s website on the upcoming interview.

Posted in Contest, Education, Family, Writings & Poems

Homeschoolers Invited to Write for Subway


ou may recall about six weeks ago the buzz among homeschoolers was the lack of acceptance by Subway to allow homeschoolers to particiate with writing contest.  I wrote briefly on it here and yesterday I received a comment that Subway has revised this:

I wanted to let everyone know that Subway has revamped their Every Sandwich Tells a Story contest, reintroducing it as a Summer Special, running through August 31. They even took out a banner ad with Homeschooling Today magazine.

For all those who clamored about Subway excluding homeschoolers, now’s the time to show them that we will indeed participate when they include us. The registration form I saw asks for the Child’s School Name, so homeschoolers should make sure they enter something like Smith Family Homeschool, rather than Smith Academy.

Jim Bob

I also visited the site, and found that it is geared for children ages P-K through 6th grade for those within the USA.    You can read all the details of the contest here

So, if your children are “bored” and can’t find anything to do, maybe warming up their pencils for a few hours will help with possible rewards and creativity!

Posted in Contest, Education, Family, Writings & Poems

Subway & Schoolastic Blocks Out Homeschoolers

(I wrote this post earlier in the week, saving it to post today. I received several e-mails today regarding the apology Subway has given to HSLDA. You can read it here.)


f you homeschool, you probably have read numerous times about the writing contest Subway & Schoolastic are having.  This is the disclaimer that removes homeschoolers:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Contest is open only to legal residents of the United States who are currently over the age of 18 and have children who attend elementary, private or parochial schools that serve grades PreK-6. No home schools will be accepted. (emphasis added) 

I may not be as irrate as some blogs and e-mails that I have received regarding it.  It certainly is a bummer that homeschoolers are specifically excluded.  However, it may be a lack of knowledge on their side.  The “grand prize” is $5,000 value of sports equipment.  Subway and Schoolastic may not realize what a large community homeschooling is, and that there are very large support groups.  In our area, the homeschool band and choir is well over 500 kids strong.  This is just ONE group of the over two million estimated homeschoolers that exist.  There are sports groups and also education classes.  Many of these larger groups could certainly benefit from the “grand prize” or she “Schoolastic Gift Basket”.   If a homeschooler was chosen as the winner, he/she could pick a church, school, local park, etc. to benefit from this prize if he/she is not part of a large homeschool support group.

So as homeschoolers, instead of being nasty about it, let’s “nicely” show the  disappointment for being excluded.  Possibly you belong to a large homeschool group that could benefit from the prizes, and you can share this with the  Subway President Frederick A. DeLuca by sending him an e-mail at: deluca_f@subway.comYou can also let your local Subway store(s) know your concerns as well.  Or, how about having our children enter anyway, making it quite clear they homeschool, yet, using the opportunity to use their “Sandwich Story Starters” to also share about homeschooling in a positive way.  This can be a teaching opportunity our children can learn through, realizing they are writing to share their abilities to those that do not necessarily appreciate homeschoolers, and though they will not win the prize, homeschools may win their interest and appreciation. 

Instead of boycotting, let’s show the Christ-likeness of homeschoolers, with a sweet spirit that encourages Subway corporation to see what homeschoolers are all about.

Posted in Faith, Writings & Poems

A Simple Birthday to Remember


n Bethlehem that day, God came not as a King, but as a simple, helpless Baby, made of flesh but still God.  

There stood a simple makeshift cradle – a manger, made of rough hand-sawed wood – which animals just hours before ate out of – certainly, not an ornate bassinet for a King. 

A new quilt or cotton receiving blanket were not prepared for this Baby.  Instead, only simple bedding made of hay padded the manger and plain simple cloths swaddled the Infant.

The background noise was not a CD or a TV playing – instead, animals were neighing, mooing and bahhhing, as they grazed – maybe pausing for a moment when the Savior was born.  

No phone calls were made from this simple birthing room.  No digital pictures were taken or a blog quickly updated to announce His birth. 

Yet, angels gloriously appeared to simple shepherds in a field for them to help spread the news.  These shepherds did not need GPS or a new electronic compass to find their way to the barn.  They followed a simple, bright star leading them to a humble place to worship the God-child. 

As the simple new mother, Mary, pondered all these things in her heart, what do we tuck away what God has given us or whispered in our ears?  Do we remember the simpleness of the way this Gift arrived for us or are we caught in the whirlwind of life forgetting why we celebrate this day?

May this day be a day of reflection, remembering the greatest birthday of all and the greatest Gift ever given. 

It was a simple pre-arranged birthday given and fulfilled by God, yet, an awesome, unmatchable, incomprehensible Gift, the Gift of God – Who gives us the gift of Life – with our simple faith in Him for eternal life.  John 3:16