Posts Tagged ‘birthday reflections’

Still numbering my days: A birthday celebration

June 17, 2021

Each morning I begin my day with a  time of prayer and meditation, thinking about the goodness of God and His mercy that have brought me thus far along my journey of faith.  Today, June 17, 2021, is especially significant as I celebrate my 78th birthday. My heart overflows with gratitude to God, my gracious heavenly Father, for all that He has done. Many times on such occasions, I compose a psalm of praise to the Lord as an expression of gratitude in celebration of being alive to see another year and to enjoy the bounty of God’s love. Rejoice and celebrate with me as I am

Still Numbering My Days

The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:10-12 (NKJV)

On the brink of the cherished four score years,

If the Lord tarries and if  the Lord will,

I press toward the mark, learning to be still–

Watching, waiting as Christ’s appearing nears,

Yearning to see what Father has in store

Beyond all I could ever think or ask for.

Looking ahead, I cannot hold back the tears.

With more than a portion of health and strength,

I have tasted His boundless love,

Flowing from the heart of the Father above

Beyond the breadth and depth and height and length.

I yearn to hear, “Faithful servant, well done.

Enter in the joy of the Lord, my son,”

On the brink of the cherished four score years.

We close with a musical rendering of the essence of Psalm 90 by Marty Goetz:

Reflections on My 77th Birthday

June 17, 2019

Today, June 17, 2019, marks another doubly lovely “Good News Day” for Dr. J as we celebrate my 77th birthday. E.W. Bullinger in his extensive study Numbers in Scripture: Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance, speaks of “seven” as the great number of “spiritual perfection.” He goes on to note that the number seventy is also another combination of two perfect numbers, seven and ten. We see something of the significance of their sum when Bullinger mentions that “seventeen” stands out very prominently as a noteworthy number which is not a multiple of any other number, and therefore, it has no factors. Hence, it is called one of the prime (or indivisible) numbers. What is more, it is the seventh in the list of the prime numbers. When seven is multiplied by ten, the product reveals the importance of each in an intensified form, emphasizing both spirit and order.

In the past, I would observe my birthday with a time to reflect and celebrate the goodness of God in sparing my life to see another year. I rejoice with an overwhelming sense of gratitude to God. To say that I have been blessed, not just this past year, but over the past 77 years, is quite the understatement. How grateful I am for all that God has done for me. At such a time as this, I recall the opening verses of Psalm 103, one of my all-time favorites:

[A Psalm] of David—Amplified Bible

1 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits—
3 Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy;
5 Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!

Most often in my waxing reflective, I also wax poetic and compose a psalm of celebration. This morning I noticed a framed quotation hanging on the wall, and it inspired this response:

Still the Student Teacher

To learn and never be filled is wisdom;
To teach and never be weary is love.
Anonymous

Reflecting with joy unspeakable, my heart overflows
As I read the lines of a plaque given decades ago.
The author of such profound words I do not know,
But I marvel they so mirror the desires of my heart
Given by the Lord as I continue to learn and to grow
In Christ, as I follow in his steps, walking in the light
Along the path of wisdom, while numbering all my days.
Once more, I strive to comprehend my new identity,
Unfolding as a scroll from faith to faith, glory to glory
And victory to victory with each breath-taking sunrise.
I am grateful for the bounty of seventy-seven years
As I enter the threshold of another new season.
Fueled by this passion to learn and to teach and serve even more,
I am still watching, waiting to see what God has in store.

We close as Family Radio Broadcasting offers a musical reminder: “Teach Us to Number our Days.”

Birthday reflections: More than a conqueror

June 17, 2016

 

 

 

 

Romans 8--37

On June 17, 2016 I reflect with gratitude to God for another year, and as is my tradition, I compose a poem of celebration on my birthday. Now that I think about it, this tradition began on my 21st birthday, even before I knew that I was a poet at heart when I penned these lines:

Upon Turning Twenty-one

The day came and went,

and I felt no different,

a day like any other,

Yet why so much significance?

This day should mean so much to me,

but I felt as I did at seventeen.

Was I then a man,

or am I yet to be?

I preface the new piece with recollections of a teaching that I shared completely in Spanish when learning the language at the time. In an effort to learn the language, I attended a Bible fellowship conducted entirely in Spanish. After several weeks, I was asked to prepare and deliver a 10-minute teaching totally in Spanish. I recall that I selected Romans 8:37 from the Reina-Valera Bible:

Romanos 8:37:

37 Antes, en todas estas cosas somos más que vencedores por medio de aquel que nos amó.

In light of my birthday poem which uses Romans 8:37 as its epigraph or introduction, I recognize the truth that Word never returns void:

Isaiah 55:11

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Romans 8:37 is the epigraph or introduction for the poem that expresses my new identity in light of a recent post that discusses the Word for the Day, “Survivor,” and my subsequent discovery of what the term really means 16 years after receiving my diagnosis of prostate cancer 16 years ago.

Not Just a Survivor                     

Celebrating my 74th birthday

June 17, 2016

 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors

and gain an overwhelming victory through Him

who loved us [so much that He died for us].

Romans 8:37 (AMP)

 

Not just a survivor, more than a conqueror,

Defying the odds as a brave conquistador.

Despite intense pressure I learn to rest in grace,

More than enough to withstand the daily tests I face,

Not merely to survive but to thrive even more.

 

A mighty warrior, triumphant super victor

With a cause, prepared not to die but to live for.

At times I fell behind but fought to keep the pace:

Not just a survivor.

 

To fulfill all the will of God and then to soar

To heights sublime where I have never been before.

Overcomer, bearing light in the darkest place,

I still fight the good fight, as I finish my race,

Moving forward, seeking to find the next open door:

Not just a survivor.

 

The perfect music to complement my celebration is “More than Conquerors” by the Rend Collection: