Another Celebration

In my family, we continue our holiday celebrations well into January. No we don’t enjoy the Twelve Days of Christmas or observe Orthodox Christmas. We have birthday celebrations.


birthdayToday is my youngest granddaughter’s birthday! It’s hard to believe that our little “L” is 1. But she is and I can’t wait to have her first birthday party…princess décor and all.


Monday is my birthday, so we will yet again have another celebration. My husband’s birthday is later in the month, so again, we’ll pull out the old birthday hat and sing and rejoice.


The other family birthdays are a little more spaced through the year, but it seems once October 8 rolls around, we are in party/celebration mode for months.


I was asked to recall my spiritual birthday a couple of times this week. I’ve recalled that moment many times through my life, but I was asked this week to make the connection between my baptism and the place I was baptized.


I must admit, it showed me a significant piece. I was baptized at a small camp in Upstate New York at 10 years of age. I enjoyed camp up until then, but afterwards, I loved going to camp (and I’m not the outdoorsy kind of girl).


Through the years I’ve had a bond with Mountainview that I never put my finger on before. But now I know. It was (and still is) my spiritual birthplace. It’s no wonder there deep emotion about that acreage on a mountainside.


Perhaps you don’t have the same pull toward the place you gave your life to Jesus, but perhaps you’ve never thought of it before. About how in a specific place your life changed forever.


We see in the Old Testament that when a locale was special, a marker was placed to remember the place. Some were altars; some were a pile of rocks. But those specific spots were given special significance.


I’ve come to understand the importance of remembering specific places and what significant events happened in those places. It helps me to remember what I need to remember. A deeper relationship with Jesus. The moment I gave up a sinful act. The sharing of God’s message with another. These are just a few…there have been plenty through my life.


I’ve come to understand the importance of Old Testament altars. They were a place of worship. They were a place of sacrifice. They were a place of new beginnings.


Exactly what happens when we offer our lives to Jesus.


In Romans 12, Paul shares how we are to be living sacrifices. We are to place all that we are on the altar and give it to God. “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1 – NIV) That is exactly what we do at the time of baptism.


However, it doesn’t end here. In order to live holy and pleasing lives, we need to know how to do so. Colossians 3 gives us a whole chapter of ways to live holy lives.


So, do you recall the place you gave your life to Jesus and were obedient to Him through baptism? How do you feel about that place? I’m sure if you think about it, you have a connection to that specific place.


If you haven’t given your life to Jesus, why not make the commitment today? There’s no better time to be with Jesus than the present.


I look forward to our little gathering later today to celebrate another first birthday. Right here in this place.


Grace and peace be yours in abundance,



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