Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Gift of Presence

What a wonderful Christmas holiday season!  We have enjoyed programs, parties, and special times with family and friends.  It was a joy to attend and celebrate Lori’s (Chad’s wife) graduation from nursing school.  Another highlight was seeing David’s preschool Christmas music program.  Yes, we are already head over heels in love with this precious grandson and his mother.  God has richly blessed the Bertrand family with the addition of Lori and David this year.  With Scott and Abby living overseas, it makes the times our family can all be together very dear to me and makes the times with Brad and Melinda, Chad, Lori, and David even sweeter.  Once again, I am thankful for technology that helps us keep in touch.  So whether it’s a holiday or not, whenever everyone is present and accounted for is a special day in my book. 
Something I am constantly reminded of is that it is the people that make each of the events special.  It’s not necessarily a certain party, concert, or a specific date that defines its importance, but rather the relationships and presence of the ones we hold dear to our hearts. 
On December 27th, Larry and I celebrated 38 years of marriage.  God truly gave me more than I ever could have ever asked or imagined when he blessed me with Larry as my husband.  He is definitely a gift of presence in my life whether it’s little events, big ones, in sickness or in health.  Larry took to heart what Paul said in Ephesians that a man is to love his wife like Jesus loved the church. And he continues to bless me with his servant heart.
 As much as I love the presence of my family, extended family and friends, it is not possible for them to be with me 24 hours a day; but God can.  And because of Jesus, God has promised me His presence every second of every day for now and all eternity.  When I remember and act on that, it makes a big difference in my priorities and my day. 
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” —which means, “God with us.”  Matthew 1:23
“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Ultimate Gift

Over the next few days, as we celebrate Christmas with family and friends, we will have the opportunity to give and receive gifts.  If I have a gift under the tree for someone, but they never take it, open it, use it, or take it with them, they can’t truly say that it is theirs.  When a present is given to someone, it must be accepted and received before it belongs to the recipient.   In a way, that is a picture of God’s gift of salvation.  God offers each of us the gift of his son Jesus to be our Lord and Savior.  In turn, each person must individually accept God’s gift for that relationship to belong to them.  And the great thing is God’s gift of salvation isn’t just given at Christmas time, but any time someone wants to receive it.

Thank you, God, for giving us the very best gift of all…your Son Jesus…our Lord and Savior.  In gratitude, may our lives be a blessing to you and make a difference for your Kingdom as we celebrate and remember the Reason for the Season.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.  Acts 4:12

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.
I John 4:9-15

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reservation Confirmed

Whenever traveling, it’s good to have plans for a place to stay, whether it’s with family, friends, or a hotel.  It’s also comforting to know that our reservation has been confirmed, especially if the arrival time is uncertain.  There have been times when we needed to travel as far as we could for a day and then try to locate a hotel.  I much prefer the confirmation route rather than going from place to place to try to locate a place to stay.
Sometimes we get to be the ones who offer lodging when someone is traveling or needs a place to stay.  When Hurricane Ike hit the Houston area, in September of 2008, many who live in our area were without electricity for weeks and needed to go to hotels or make other arrangements while they waited for the power to be restored.  Some houses were without electricity for 2 weeks or longer.  We were fortunate in that our home and the others in our neighborhood only lost power for about 10 hours in the early morning hours of the day that the hurricane made landfall.  Since we had electricity, we opened our home to others who were without.  Some stayed for a day or two while others were here for over a week.
Reservations and having a place to stay can definitely be helpful when planning a trip or when unexpected events occur.  They can be a blessing whether you are the one receiving them or providing them.
Just like the innkeeper in Bethlehem, each day I have the choice to make room for Jesus in my life.  That’s one reservation I want to make permanent.  And I’m most grateful that Jesus has already made my reservation and confirmed my room so I can spend eternity with him in Heaven.
In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  John 14:2-3

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Gifts from the Heart

I enjoy making gifts or shopping for just the right present to give for Christmas.  Growing up, Mom would take us shopping, in shifts, to get presents for our siblings, Dad, friends, and the school gift exchange.  With five children, this was no small task.  Then Dad would take us to shop for Mom. 
The best gifts were always the ones given from the heart.  The year Vicki, Robin, and I were in junior high, our younger brother, who had just turned 7, wanted to get us cork grease for Christmas.  Mom told him that she had pretty sweaters that he could give us, but he insisted on the cork grease.  With all three of us playing the clarinet, he had heard on several occasions that we were running low or were out of cork grease and needed more.  Terry finally told her that she could put the sweaters in the box, but he was giving us the cork grease for his present.  In her wisdom, Mom mentioned that we might want to be really excited when we opened the gift from Terry.  He was most pleased and proud of himself on Christmas because he knew he had given us the best gift…and he had because it was something we needed and it was given from the heart.
The year I was 15 was the year that Christmas giving changed for me.  Through the years, Mom and Dad modeled hearts of gratitude and giving and not just at Christmas time.  That year, the five of us kids decided that we were going to surprise Mom and Dad for Christmas.  All five of us collected our money, and then spent hours and days making out a shopping list.  That was long before the day of cell phones so we needed to know all the details, sizes, and ideas before going to the stores.  Since I had my driver’s license, I would do the shopping.  It is still amazing to me that we kept it all a secret.
Christmas morning arrived.  We got up early so we could sneak in the living room to leave Santa for Mom and Dad.  I was more excited about our parents finding their surprises than I was to see the gifts I had received.  That morning all five of us kids took our turn going to the bathroom, and flushing, in hopes of waking our parents.  Finally we heard Daddy say, “I think they’re ready for us to get up.”  Their shock and surprise, and even Mom’s tears, were the best gifts.  That was the year, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” took hold of my heart for good…for family, friends, and missions.
And God loved us so much that he gave the best heart gift of all when he sent Jesus to be our Savior.
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  2 Corinthians 9:7
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.  I John 3:23
 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  I John 4:9-10
“In everything I’ve done, I have demonstrated to you how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You’re far happier giving than getting.’”   Acts 20:35 (The Message)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Keeping the Goal in Mind

The past few months, I have been in the process of letting my bangs grow out.  Even though I have had bangs most of my life, I decided I was ready to try something different.  It has been a growth in process.  Several times during these first few months I have questioned whether if it was worth the hassle as the hair was not quite long enough to pull to the side but was too long to keep out of my eyes and off my face.  I’ve even contemplated cutting them shorter again but realized that if I wanted to grow them out later I would have to go through the same process again.  I can tell there is progress because the hair is longer than it was before.  Keeping the goal in mind helps me tolerate the inconvenience right now.

Friday afternoon I went for some lab work.  Since I had already written most of the blog for the week, I thought it was ironic that the first thing the two nurses said when they saw me was, “Your hair is different.”  You can tell you have been to a lab too many times when they remember what your hairstyle looks like.  That quickly turned to a time of thankfulness and rejoicing because it has been months, the amount of time I have been growing out my bangs, since I last needed their services.

In the grand scheme of life, I realize that it really doesn’t matter whether I have bangs or grow them out, but I think the lessons I’m thinking about in the process are important.
* It’s best to concentrate on the benefits of the end result rather than dwell on the inconveniences of the present circumstances.

* To make progress, it’s important to persevere toward the goal rather than opt to go back to the other way just because it is easier for the moment. 

* Sometimes hairspray, clips, new ideas, or other tactics need to be added to a situation to make it better.

* Remembering where you started and noticing progress along the way can encourage you to stick with a project.

* One bad hair day doesn’t determine your worth or destiny.

* When hair or other distractions cover your eyes or cloud your thoughts or heart, it’s best to brush them aside so you can see clearly.

* Knowing and remembering that my final goal is spending eternity with Jesus in Heaven should make a difference in the way I see and respond to life each day.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9

 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:12-14

 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”  2 Corinthians 9:8


Saturday, November 24, 2012

With Thanksgiving

“Not what we say about our blessings but how we use them is the true measure of thanksgiving.”   W. T. Purkiser

The past two months have been among some of the first times that I consciously remember praying for and thanking God for delivery trucks and their drivers.  Along with Abby, we have waited for trucks to make deliveries so papers could be sent to yet another location to be signed, stamped, verified, and sealed to complete the documentation for Mary to be adopted.  Since Abby was leaving on Tuesday to fly home, it was important for the last set of papers to arrive on Monday so she could compile all of the documents and send the completed paperwork to its final destination.  I’m sure the mail carrier was a little surprised at the joyful response and appreciation she received when we opened the door and she handed the envelope to Abby on Monday morning.  When Abby explained what was in the packet, the lady offered her congratulations and left with a smile on her face.

Monday afternoon, after scanning the papers, checking and double checking everything, Abby and her sister took the completed set of papers to be shipped.  How appropriate that Scott and Abby received word that on Thanksgiving Day the papers arrived, as well as a box of gifts they had sent for Mary.

What a wonderful time of the year to remember and acknowledge our blessings and thank God for his continual provision and love for us.  One of my favorite parts of this season is the time we spend with family.  What a blessing to have Abby with us during these days.  And because of technology, we have been able to “see” Scott and talk with him.  We were able to spend Sunday with the Schoeffler side of the family and Thanksgiving Day with the Bertrands.  Both homes were full of fun, laughter, food, and lots of visiting.  I’m grateful that both sides of our family shared the day with four generations.

During this holiday season, I hope I will take the time to be appreciative of little and big things alike and will be able to adequately express that gratitude.  Because of God’s continual love and blessings, I pray that my words, actions, deeds, and the way I choose to spend my time will be a true measure of my thanksgiving.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.  Psalm 34:8

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.  2 Corinthians 4:15
 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  Psalm 100:4

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Listening For His Voice

The past few weeks, Scott and Abby have been able to send two care packages to their little girl.  Mary now has pictures of her family, toys, a special blanket made for her by my sister, and other special items from her future parents.  I love that she now has two recordable books, one that Abby read to her and one that has Scott’s voice reading to her.  If Mary only heard the books read to her one time, it would be much harder for her to distinguish Abby and Scott’s voices when she hears them in person, but the people in the orphanage are letting her hear the books, over and over again.  Hopefully, when they are able to meet, their daughter will recognize their voices.  I can just imagine how her little face will light up when she hears them speak to her in person because those are voices she has heard several times.  What joy that will bring to all of their hearts.

 How much our Heavenly Father must delight in his children when they recognize his voice, listen to what he is saying, and willingly trust and obey what he is asking them to do.  The more we listen, the easier it will be to distinguish his voice over the others that are around us.  And when He speaks, I want to make sure I listen, respond in obedience, and bring him much delight.

The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”   I Samuel 3:10
 But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.  I Samuel 15:22
 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17
 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  John 10:27

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Being Prepared

Whether it’s a hurricane that hits along the East Coast, Florida, or the Gulf Coast, “Sandy” has reminded us once again of how important it is to be prepared and ready for an upcoming storm or hurricane.  Unlike tornados and earthquakes, hurricanes usually give you at least a few days of warning so you can make preparations for food supply, water, candles, lanterns, batteries, clothing, medicine, and some sort of communication device.  Sometimes homes need to be boarded up and other items secured for safety reasons and in hopes of protecting property from as little damage as possible.  In some cases, evacuations are necessary.  Although it is time consuming and inconvenient, it allows people the opportunity to leave safely before the storm hits.

Once again, it has been amazing to see the amount of support that occurs during times like this.  From money, supplies, food, emergency personnel, and volunteers it has seemed like another overwhelming response to a difficult situation.  The electric companies, from other states, even had their trucks and people headed to the east coast before the storm ever hit.  That must have been a very welcome sight.
Although warnings for hurricanes are given a few days or a week before it makes landfall, there are other times in life where there might not be advanced notice of an occurrence.   We each have a certain number of days to live on this earth.  Since we don’t know the exact amount of time, it is important to be prepared to live every day to its fullest.  We also know that Jesus is coming again at a time that no one knows so we need to stay prepared and be ready at all times.  It’s wise to make preparations for a hurricane and it’s also important to be ready, and make sure others have the opportunity to be prepared and ready, for Jesus’ return.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.  Psalm 90:12

36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.  Matthew 24: 36, 43-44

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A New Phone

Recently, the contract for my cell phone was up for renewal.  I’m not sure if it is standard practice for the company to notify all of their customers or if they just send me a notice that states that it is possible to upgrade my phone.  I still have one of the small flip phones and it has served its purpose well.

For years now, Larry has tried to interest me in an iPhone.  I didn’t think it was necessary since I usually only have the phone when I am out.  The phone is turned on when I leave to go somewhere and is usually turned off when I arrive.  When the phone was new, I didn’t even need to charge it for a few months.  It still does not need to be charged very often.  Knowing this background might help you understand Larry’s surprise at my recent request.

It was the first week in October.  After dinner, Larry was seated in his favorite chair with a cup of coffee and a little square of dark chocolate.  After a while, I told him that I thought it was time for me to purchase an iPhone.  With Scott and Abby living overseas, it would be beneficial to have the “Tango App” to be able to talk with them and see them at the same time.  That way we wouldn’t be dependent on having to be connected to the computer to talk.  With grandkids that would be an added bonus.  Besides, I didn’t want Larry to have to stop whatever he was doing to forward grandchildren pictures to my e-mail when he received them.  (When looking at pictures on his phone recently, I noticed that he had two extra pictures that I didn’t have.)
Needless to say, Larry was speechless.  He just kept looking at me, shaking his head, and not saying anything.  Finally he said, “Did you hear what you just said?”  I smiled and didn’t say anything else and neither did he.  The next day he called from the store and said, “Do you want a white phone or a black one?”  Before long, the order was confirmed by e-mail.
I immediately sent the boys an e-mail and told them to be sure to sit down before reading the rest of my message and then wrote about Larry ordering the phone.  Their responses were great as well.
Scott:  I think this might actually be the most surprising news this week—and we've had some pretty surprising news this week!”  (They had just received word from the orphanage that they had been matched with a precious little girl.)
Brad:  “I order mine in 8 days.” 

Chad:  “I’ll trade you!” 

Even though I have used Larry’s phone throughout the years, I still have much to learn.  Thank goodness Larry knew how to set everything up on the phone.  Of course, one of the first things I wanted to do was add pictures.  Brad has already sent me the link to where I can take classes and Chad has answered questions and offered suggestions.  Scott wanted to be sure we added Tango so I can talk with Abby and him.  This is definitely a group effort. 

Some things I have thought about during this process:

* It’s good to have family and friends to help out on life’s journey…even for cell phones.

* While pictures on the phone remind me of special people and events, I am grateful that I don’t have to be dependent on that to remind me of God’s provisions.
* It was important to me to have a protective case for the phone before I started using it so it had a better chance of it not being scratched or damaged.  It’s also important for me to make sure I am being wise about protecting my life from the things that could be destructive to it.
* With the new phone, I am going to have to make the effort to learn what it can do so I can get the most benefit from it.  I also need to be constantly learning and growing to reach my potential.

* I have now charged the new phone three nights in a row, which means it is staying on all day.  Now I need to be as intentional about powering up my life with prayer, Bible study, ministry, and worship.
* I’ve also wondered about how many times God has had to patiently wait for me to ask for His will and provision.  It’s one thing to hold out for a phone, but I don’t want God to say, “I’m glad you finally asked.  I have wanted to provide that for you and bless you with that for a long time.”

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.  Jeremiah 33:3

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Waiting in Line

Larry and I went to a polling location near our house on Wednesday in order to take advantage of early voting.  The weather was nice and there was even a breeze as we waited in line for 45 minutes for the opportunity to cast our ballots.
I am grateful that:
 …I am a citizen of the United States of America.
…there was a line at the polling station because so many people were voting.  
…even though most people had never met, they were speaking respectfully to others in line.
…there were people from different ethnicities, age groups, and backgrounds.
…we were able to vote without any threats or violence.
In gratitude I will:
…pray for my country.
…pray for our elected officials.
…make sure I am part of the solution for our country and not part of the problem.
…point others to Jesus who is the only one who can give true freedom and peace for our lives, country and world.
…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior.  I Timothy 2:1-3

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Family and Football

Since I am a third generation Texas Techsan, I have grown up cheering for Texas Tech.  My grandparents lived in Lubbock, so Mom and Dad would go to the games sometimes when we were there visiting and even went to other games when they were played close to Houston.  We grew up listening to games on the radio, watching games on television, and reading the write-ups in the newspaper.  Even though I don’t know much about specific plays and all the details that go with football, I still enjoy the game and seeing the Red Raiders win.
During my freshman year at Tech, I vividly remember the week that Texas Tech played Texas.  For the first time that I could recall, I was in a dilemma over a football game.  You see, my cousin, Rick Nabors, played safety for the University of Texas.  All week long I went back and forth about my feelings about the game.  I remember finally deciding that it mattered more that Rick, who is family, have a good game than for Texas Tech to necessarily win.  After that week, I knew it would be all Tech again.  For the record, I did remember that Rick had a great game, but I had to look up on the internet to see who actually won.  And in 1970, Rick and the Longhorns went on to have a 10-1 record.  So he definitely not only had a good game but a great season as well.

 Through the years, I have learned to cheer for other teams along the way, especially where family and dear friends are concerned.  So yes, I have been known to cheer for the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets, the Baylor Bears, and the Texas A&M Aggies along the way.  And now, with Lori being in the family, I’ll even add the University of Kentucky Wildcats.
It’s one thing to be willing to cheer for different sports teams, but it’s a whole new ball game when it comes to the “Game of Life”.  Being on God’s team is the one that I want to be on fulltime, with no choice of ever cheering for another, not even for one game.  That’s the team that I want to give my full devotion, time, energy, and affection.  And that’s the team we already know is going to win in the end!
58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.   I Corinthians 15:58
 13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.
I Corinthians 16:13-14

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's That Time of Year

Through the years, I have realized that I have a better chance of remembering information if I not only hear and see it, but also write it down.  With the holidays rapidly approaching, since “It’s That Time of Year”, this is an attempt to “write down” lessons to put into practice and be accountable for during these coming days.

 Things to remember…and apply…
The hurrier I go the behinder I get.
(Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll)
Take the time to do it right on the first attempt.
Don’t get so caught up doing good things that you don’t have the time or energy for the best things.
Maximum overload causes minimum effectiveness. 
(Patriarchs Bible Study - Beth Moore)
Saying “YES” for one thing means saying “NO” to someone or something else.  Weigh your choices wisely.         
Sometimes it’s good to just be still.
Most of all, remember and experience that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, winter, spring, summer or fall.
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:"
Ecclesiastes 3:1
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Best Dressed

The past few weeks, we have been studying the Sermon on the Mount in Bible Study.  The scriptures in Matthew 5-7 definitely have much to teach us about living a life that can make a difference for God’s Kingdom in our world.  When we read and discussed the “Golden Rule”, I was once again reminded of a situation that happened in college that was a living picture of that verse for me.
Back in my college days, girls wore either dresses or skirts for church.  On one particular Sunday morning, a girl came to church in jeans and a t-shirt.  Her father was a minister, in another town, so she had many looks that day with people knowing she knew the proper attire for church.  Fortunately, since there was a girl that came with her, also wearing jeans, I don’t think anyone made any comments to her that morning.  But the next night, at a campus visitation meeting at the church, several people gave her a hard time about her choice of “dress” on Sunday.  When the comments settled down, she stated that the girl she brought with her Sunday morning didn’t own a dress or skirt and she didn’t want her to feel out of place.
That example has caused me to pause and think on several occasions about my willingness to do the right thing even if others might not understand or I don’t have a chance to explain my choice.  Am I willing to be a little uncomfortable so that someone else isn’t?  I don’t know about you, but I think God thought my friend was the best dressed person at church that Sunday morning.
I Samuel 16:7
“…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Matthew 7:12
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
John 13:35
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Birthday and Some Firsts

Happy Birthday, Scott!

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.  I Samuel 1:27
1st birthday
First day of Kindergarten
First day of school at the University of Nottingham
In front of the Humanities Building
 where the Department of Theology and Religious Studies is housed.
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.  Psalm 127:3

Scott’s birthday is on Wednesday.  Although he has traveled to England on other occasions, this will be his first time to be there on his actual birthday.  It will also be the first time he is not with any family or longtime friends around to help him celebrate his special day.  Of course, I am sure I have probably thought more about that occurrence than he has.  Thus the trip down “Memory Lane”.    
What I do know is that on this birthday Scott will be at The University of Nottingham studying, attending classes, writing, and working toward a degree that he has prepared for and desired for many years.  Thanks to technology, he will receive birthday greetings and know that he is loved and treasured.  And I am confident that the God who was there the day Scott was born, and has been with him every day since, will also be with him Wednesday while he is far away from home.
Scott, I am so proud of you and the man you have become.  You continue to be a gift and blessing to our family.  God has used your desire to follow and obediently serve Him to encourage me to want to do the same.  So whether it’s your birthday or not,
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:3-6
11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
And "…Surely He is with you always, to the very end of the age."  Matthew 28:20

I love you!