A very special part of my family childhood memories was the celebration of birthdays. I always loved birthdays because my family always made them special. The ‘birthday bird’, or the one whose birthday we were observing, was always treated like the most important person in the world for that day. When I was in grade school, I read a story about a family that celebrated birthdays by giving the birthday bird the privilege of choosing whatever they wanted for dinner. I told my mom about this story
In my last post I shared with you all some of my fondest Olympic memories, namely, the various athletes that made an impression on me. Being a musician, I also love hearing the Olympic Fanfare theme song, as well as the music which was introduced at the 1980 Los Angeles Games.
This morning, I was thinking about the various athletes who take part in the various sports at the Olympics and I began to relate their gifts and talents with the Christian life and the gifts and talents that God has given to each of His children as the collective Body of Christ.
It reminds me of Psalm 139:14 that says that each one of us is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. I watch in wonder as these men and women do such extraordinary feats with their physical bodies and I thank God that He, in His wisdom and love, created the human body to be able to accomplish such things.
Another facet of the games that is so special to me is at the end of the games when so much time is spent rolling the credits in order to recognize all of the men and women who not only make the Olympic games happen with the athletes, but all of the technical people who make it possible for us to witness the events in our own homes all around the world! Just think of all of the sound technicians, camera men/women and all of the talented people who do jobs that I would have never even thought of…all contributing their skills and talents so that, for these 2 weeks, we can enjoy all of the action, as these athletes compete. It’s totally mind-boggling!
Guess what? You and I have different and various gifts and talents, too! What an adventure it is to try different things in order to find out what we’re good at and what our specialty is. We may be an ‘athlete’ or we may be a ‘behind the scenes’ person, but each one of us is so important to the success of the great adventure known as life. God gave you and me a special gift (or gifts) to use to glorify Him and to serve and benefit others. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Let each one of us go to God and ask Him to show us what our specialty is and ask Him to show us how to go for His Gold!
Black Friday is the name given to the shopping day after Thanksgiving. Wow…have things ever changed since the 1960s – 1980s. Back in my early adult years, the shopping day after Thanksgiving was simply called the first shopping day of the Christmas Season! I have very fond memories of those days…a part of my “family traditions and experiences” times in my life.
You see, back in those days, my Grandparents on my Dad’s side (that would be grandmamma and Grandpapa Jones) would come in to Houston from Fort Worth (have you seen my Fort Worth posts?) to spend Thanksgiving with us. We would all enjoy a wonderful and festive Thanksgiving Day meal and usually watch a football game or two, back in the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers days!
The next day was shopping day for the Jones girls…Grandmama, Mom and me. We made a day of it, leaving around 9:30-10:00 a.m. and driving out to either Almeda Mall or the Galleria. It was a time of looking around, enjoying the Christmas decorations, people watching, shopping for those first gifts of the season and just overall having a great time. We would see quite a few people out there, but there was never a parking problem nor a crowd problem. We would spend most of the day at the mall and finally come back home around 6:00 p.m. and begin to warm up the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner…so, we would actually have our turkey dinner 2 nights in a row!
In this day and age, from what I’ve heard on T.V. and read online, the day after Thanksgiving is now referred to as Black Friday and is a madhouse. In many places, it has actually turned into a day of violence as shoppers fight to get their share of the latest gifts. It doesn’t sound like the 21st century shopping experience is any fun now days.
I much prefer the simpler times and simpler gift giving traditions. There are people I know who actually make baked goods to give to friends for Christmas…something that they made…put a lot of thought and love into. I enjoy the store-bought gifts, too, but given with love by loved ones for the right reason.
Remember, friends, the Reason for the Season!
After I had been in the recovery room for what seemed like days, the doctors finally decided that I was ready to be moved to a private room where I could begin the convalescing process…