LAST YEAR a group of you lead by Amy K, ambushed/surprised me totally with a wonderful birthday dinner. For a person that has not celebrated a birthday in years, it was touching in so many ways. My mother who was here that evening was able to partake in all of your generosity and experience your love. I still look at the pictures. In one year, already some of the faces from that evening are no longer in Dallas and have been called elsewhere. Sigh! Thus a great reminder for all of us to make the best of each day and to love one another.
Thank you Amy for initiating a highlight of my life and making B-Day 2014 so memorable.
THIS YEAR, I went back to treating my birthday like the prior years. “NBD”. My birthday fell on a Sunday and I was out of town in Las Vegas. Most of the time when the weekend comes, I am back in Dallas. A couple recommended that I attend Calvary Chapel in Las Vegas that Sunday. They had never been there either, but they attend a different chapter in CA. When I walked into the gym/worship center, I was greeted by no less than 5-6 people. (Not all at the same time, but at various locations as I sought a place to sit.) They were “super” greeters. They put any semblance of hospitality/greeting of mine to total shame. Nothing was forced. They were sincere, natural, and joyous at being the best co-host they could be of our heavenly father. I just kept saying wow to myself as I sat there in preparation for worship. The worship set was preparatory in all the right ways, and it was all finished off with a message from Pastor Derek Neider on 2 Cor 3. God’s spoke powerfully and impact-fully through him. As I walked towards the exit, once more, I was greeted by so many. I could not help but be touched deeply. I recognized one of the greeters as one that had greeted me also on the way in. I stopped shook his hand, and said that their church just made me feel so at home, and that he was such a great representative/ambassador for Him. As I spoke, I was getting misty eyed. He in turn looked straight at me and said “It’s all about Jesus”. He in turn started being misty eyed, he continued and said “you have no idea how much Jesus means to me.”. In one simple sentence, he delivered truth of how Jesus impacts him to love and good deeds, and he shared love for a fellow sojourner. I felt so much love and so at home as a new visitor.
Thank you Chester, the rest of the greeting team, and the leadership team at Calvary Chapel LV (Spring Valley Locale) for another highlight of my life and for making B-day 2015 so memorable.