Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Today is my 28th Birthday!  Of course, I would rather be home with my family and friends celebrating it there instead of here in Afghanistan.  However, only about 5 more days to go and I will be in the process of heading back home for R&R to be with my family!

I was reading some of 1 Corinthians today and these verses stood out to me in light of my birthday, chapter 1 verses 26-31:

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that just as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord."

It is by God's grace and mercy that I am here to celebrate another wonderful year of life.  More importantly, that I am able to continue to grow closer to Him with the Holy Spirit working me through my salvation.  I fear God's judgement, because I am a wretched sinner, and have to give an account for my family and my sins and actions.  Only through Jesus' blood am I confident in His forgiveness and grace.

While separated over here I am learning a lot more about trust and faith.  God is also teaching me more in humility through the people and circumstances I deal with over here.

A good friend directed me to this familiar verse in Philippians chapter 1 verses 3-6:

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.      

What an interesting year this last one has been.  I now embark on the next new year.  The first half of which is going to be anything from the ordinary back home since that is about how much time I have left in this deployment.

Here is a picture of me today, on my birthday, with the 'It's My Birthday' ribbon on that my mom sent me.

Yesterday, as I was walking back from my office to my room, I noticed a giant rainbow from the NE.  It had rained not too long before I had left.  I felt some of the final rain drops as the rain clouds were just about past, and you could see them sweeping by in the distance with more rain.  This is the first rainbow I've seen over here.  I am always reminded of what God did as a covenant promise in the sign of a rainbow in the story of Noah written in Genesis 9.  It's a beautiful sign.

Left side of the rainbow

Right side of the rainbow.

I couldn't capture the whole thing since I didn't have far or wide enough of an angle to get it all on one shot, but it was a complete rainbow left to right.

Smoking my birthday celebratory cigar

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