Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time to Celebrate!

A birthday. An excellent time for celebrating. And this wasn't just any occasion, it was our Golden Retriever's fifth birthday. Yes, we actually celebrate our dogs' birthdays! This year we donned our party hats, (the dogs joining right in!) sang Happy Birthday, and spoiled both retrievers with a hot dog and hamburger grilled to perfection.

A romp in the front yard, affectionately referred to as the 'green space,' followed by a long walk, rounded out the birthday festivities. The perfect party, complete with pictures to enjoy for years to come.

I'm glad the Lord gives us lots of reasons to celebrate. Have you ever noticed the many feast days and celebrations included in the Old Testament? Believe it or not, there were 19 days that were observed by the Israelites as holidays. The Lord Himself implementing every one of them.

If you take a closer look, seven feasts were celebrated at various times, totaling 19 days. The feasts were times of worship that included both confession and celebration. I like the way my study Bible describes these holidays, " Israel's national holidays, the balance seems heavily tipped in favor of celebration - five joyous occasions to two solemn occasions. The God of the Bible encourages joy! God does not intend for religion to be only meditation and introspection. He also wants us to celebrate. Serious reflection and immediate confession of sin is essential, of course. But this should be balanced by celebrating who God is and what he has done for his people," (Life Application Study Bible, KJV, Tyndale, italics mine).

Today we have the privilege of celebrating some national holidays as well; Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Holidays that give us the opportunity to focus on the greatness of our God and His amazing provision. Christmas heralds the miraculous birth of Jesus, fully God and fully man. We celebrate His life's purpose at Easter when we remember His death on the cross, His burial and resurrection. The perfect man who offered His life to pay our sin debt. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life," (John 3:16, KJV).

And then there are birthdays - a celebration of the precious life God gives. They're the icing on the cake in my opinion. Each day is a blessing from the Lord. An opportunity to live for Him while pointing others to Him. The Apostle Paul puts it like this, "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you," (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Today is a good day to celebrate!

Is there joy in your life? Do you take time to celebrate who God is and what He's done for you? If not, take a step away from the mundane and re-focus on the wonders of the Lord!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for giving me a reason to celebrate. When I focus on all You are and all You've done for me, I've got every reason to rejoice. To You be the glory. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. Happy birthday to your beautiful dog, Maria! Everyday is an occasion to celebrate life and the joy that God gives, offering thanks for all God has done. Birthdays are especially time to celebrate life and joy!

  2. Connie - So good to see you! I'll pass along your birthday wishes to Precious (our Golden). You're right about everyday being a day to celebrate life and the joy God gives! He's so good!! Have a beautiful week enjoying the blessings of our great God!

  3. Hi, Maria:
    Now that we have children, my husband and I integrate the preciousness of life into our kids' birthday celebrations. It isn't merely about the gifts, which is what most birthdays and holidays have become about. We try to emphasize our family unit, God and His blessings upon us in terms our preschoolers can understand.

    Celebrating a pet's birthday--party hat and all!--is a cute idea I think our children would love. We'll probably get a dog in a few years and will keep that in mind.

    Thank you for your post.

  4. Yay Maria! Thanks for finding me. I love to meet another sister-in-Christ on blogger! I appreciate the follow and I will return the favor.

    I love to celebrate though I have never bought hats for our pets. hee hee

    Have a super blessed evening!

  5. Again a wonderful post! how nice that you celebrate your dog's birthday!

  6. Janette - Thanks for stopping by! Great to hear how you take the time to emphasize God and His blessings, and your family when you celebrate! It's so important! You'll enjoy the blessings of pet ownership too! I've learned so much from my pets! God bless you! :)

    Beth in NC - Welcome to Life Lessons! So glad you stopped by! And thanks for the follow. I borrowed the party hat idea from Beth Moore, who celebrates her pets birthdays with hats, cake and gifts - I drew the line at hats and hamburgers this year! Look forward to getting to know you. Blessings to you!

    Terri - Great to see you, my friend! I always love having you stop by! Yes, we're a bit strange and take every opportunity to celebrate - even if it's a pet's birthday! I guess we're just big kids at heart...Have a wonderful week. Hugs and blessings!

  7. Thanks so much for your post. Your blog is always so inspiring!

  8. Marji - Great to see you! Thanks for your sweet words of encouragement! I look forward to heading over to your site. Have a wonderful week full of God's blessings! :)

  9. I have used that same scripture in my post this week, it is God's will that we are joyful! Great post Maria, thanks for sharing your heart.

  10. Marja - I love it when that happens! Look forward to stopping by your site today! How is the traveling going? Would love an update on your non-profit! God bless you my friend! Hugs!

  11. Happy Birthday to your gorgeous dog! I can see how much he is loved in your house!! And thanks for the reminder that God himself calls His people to celebrate and remember Him. Your blog always lifts and inspires me dear Maria. Keep up the great work!

  12. Love what you said about feasts. I can't blame you especially since you have such a gorgeous garden and beautiful dog. Happy birthday.