Thursday, June 04, 2009

J is truly talented at sending surprising and touching gifts. For my birthday, she send a green bandanna, which just happens to be the PERFECT shade of green, and a NASCAR photo book with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. on the cover. I have had plenty of teasing about watching cars go around in circles, so that photo book cracked me up!

I essentially gave myself a birthday party at the noon bible study without telling them that it was my birthday. We had pinwheel sandwiches, strawberries and grapes, basil-fresh-mozzarella-cheese-lemon-garlic-sea-salt salad, and Pastor D's wife's Amazing Mint Chocolate Brownies (the recipe I posted yesterday). The best part is that she baked a tray for lunch and baked a second one for me to take home.

When I told my boss about the second tray, she thought I should bring them back to the office to share with everyone. Perish the thought! Pastor D came to the rescue by packing the extra tray in a cooler with ice packs so they would stay fresh in my car beneath the hot summer sun until I could take them home. Now that is an act of pastoral care I thoroughly welcomed! Thanks to his wife's labor of love, I have five containers of brownies residing in my freezer. If I am disciplined enough, they should at least last through the end of my birthday month!

Bible study was great; we plowed through a few more verses of Psalm 18. One of the points that struck me is just how it is that God can delight in us. That He does take delight is marvelous and ought to be savored in thought. But what came to mind is how He can take delight in sinful creatures. God sees us through Christ's death on the cross; He sees us washed clean of our sin. If He didn't see us that way, He could not take delight. So, the verse is essentially confirming that we are clean in His eyes despite our nature.

Studying the bible with Pastor D and the kindest folk I have ever come across was a most spectacular way to spent part of my birthday. They didn't even mind the bit where Pastor D asked us what our thoughts were on the next verse and I accidentally blurted out how wonderful the brownies were. I had just taken my first bite and was overwhelmed by pleasure. They understood because they had eaten them, too. [I ate more pinwheel sandwiches than anyone else so I was late in getting to dessert.] But even if they had not, they would have just taken the moment to share in my joy, silly as it was, before turning back to our study. Seriously, I am learning almost as much from them as I am from our study!

Before joining me at the office to go to bible study, K stopped by and left a note on my refrigerator with instructions to look inside the freezer. Her gift to me? Five of her sumptuous chicken cordon bleu. She makes them by hand, wraps them in foil, puts instructions on how to cook them on masking tape (so I don't have to keep calling her) and freezes them for me. Such love!

Throughout the day, I collected 11 birthday songs. And then last night Cousin D called and walked me through his experiences around all those wonderful photographs he took in Vietnam. That was a very special kind of gift.

All in all, yesterday was a very good day!

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