Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Filled with joyful gratitude

Maybe you, like I, have sometimes wondered "who will be at my funeral?".  'Tis a silly thought, yet it is rooted in the question we all have:  "Do I truly matter?"?

I got my answer yesterday and today (May 25/26 2015).

For you see, I love my birthday, and I try to celebrate it with glee.  That I did this year.

And on this, by 71st birthday I received more than one hundred and thirty greetings: "phone calls, traditional birthday cards, e-cards, and Facebook messages -  they came flooding in.

Thank you one and all.  Your greetings have filled me with a joyful gratitude -  and a consistent "smile with teary eyes". You are telling me something which will not have to wait for my funeral.  "Yes, I truly matter".

Early this morning (6:00 a.m.) as I walked with Penne I, as I usually do, gave thanks to God for yesterday, and for the gift of life today.

Then I realised that God's grace and mercy have been with me for 71 years.  As and old gospel hymn puts it "I've found a friend, oh such a friend, he loved me 'ere I knew him"

But it's not only God's grace.  It is also the love of family and friends which has sustained, corrected and encouraged me  for all these years  (and for many more to come!)

This morning I was blessed to be able to preside and preach at a Communion service out at St, Margaret's Church on Clark Rd., Sarasota.  May 26th is my birthday, but it is also  (in church-land) the celebration of Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, who died on May 26th A.D. 605.

I am glad that my birthday coincides with one of the nicer of the church saints!

This evening I came to a formal end of my celebrations by having a lovely dinner with dear friends (Ron and Charlotte,  and  Jonathan and Andi [Andrea] ). at "Bangkok" an excellent Thai restaurant here in SRQ.

It doesn't  get any better than this.

Jonathan and Andi

jmp, Charlotte and Ron. (I wish that I could have  had a better smile!)

With the birthday balloon - a gift from Andi

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