Happy 35th Family Birthday!
By Maria       Maria #667 CM/FM 3477 12/03

Happy birthday, dear Family!

       1. This year we're celebrating our 35th Family Birthday!--Thanks to our wonderful Husband for starting it all, thanks to Dad for his faith and vision and willingness to obey the Lord's call, and thanks to each one of you modern-day revolutionaries and disciples who make up our wonderful Family and daily give your lives to serve Jesus and others! We have so much to be thankful for, a tremendous amount to celebrate, and an abundance of blessings to praise our great and marvelous Savior and Lover for!
       2. Along with it being the Family's 35th Birthday, 2004 also marks the tenth anniversary of Dad's glorious graduation, when he was promoted to his job of leading, guiding, and assisting us from the heavenly realm. Dad gave his life on Earth for the Family, and ever since 1994 when our Husband saw fit to call him to his new mission in Heaven, he's continued to give his life for the Family, helping, guiding and directing us from his vantage point in Heaven. Peter and I are so thankful, as I'm sure you are too, that Dad continues to play a very active, vital role in the leadership of the Family!
       3. Dad never liked to take the credit to himself for anything. As you know, he was always pointing us to the Lord, to the One he testified was doing the work through him. Then after praising and thanking the Lord for everything, the next most important thing to him was appreciating and giving credit to others. That's the way Dad worked and lived on Earth, and it hasn't changed since he's been in Heaven. It's just like our loving Dad to pass on the credit and appreciation, and this year is no different. For our Family Birthday celebration he has given us a little birthday message--filled with praise and appreciation to our dear Lover, as well as to each of you, dear Family!
       4. I'll turn the floor over to Dad in just a minute, but before I do, let me say that Peter and I love you dearly, too! You're our wonderful, precious Family! I don't think there is a day that goes by that we don't specifically praise and thank Jesus for you--for your love, faith, dedication, obedience, loyalty, perseverance, and continued determination. As Dad lived his life for you, it is also our honor and privilege to serve you each and every day. And right now, during these birthday days, we're sending you an extra special amount of love and appreciation through our prayers and praises for you.
       5. We're claiming the keys as you take some time off to rest and relax and be refilled, that Jesus will make it personally gratifying and special for each of you--blessing each of you during this Family Birthday celebration with the things you need and desire the most in your life at this time. We love you, and we wouldn't be a Family without you!
       Praising our Husband for all He has done, is doing, and will yet do,
       Yours in His greatest love and care, Mama


(Dad sings:)
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday, dear Family,
Happy Birthday to you!

       6. I love you! I'm singing this to each and every one of you! After all, you're all my children and I'm proud of you! I'm thankful for each one of you and what it's cost you, and is continuing to cost you, to be called one of His and one of mine. It's been quite a year, and I know it's cost every one of you something this past year, but the Lord has great rewards in store for you in return. He has so few who do what you do, giving Him your all on a daily basis. You truly are one in a million. Each one of you has been handpicked and chosen out of millions of others to serve the Lord in this very special and called-out Endtime army, at this very special period in history--the time the prophets of old used to dream about!
       7. There's no time like a birthday for renewing your appreciation for your loved ones around you, and this birthday's no different. The Lord and I certainly appreciate every one of you, as do Mama and Peter. We appreciate your love, your continued loyalty and devotion to His cause, and we especially appreciate the personal sacrifices each of you have had to make over the years--including the last year--in continuing to take up your cross daily and follow Him.
       8. In appreciation for each of you, the Lord said He wanted this birthday to be a celebration of our love-–our great love for Him and our love for each other! So let's praise and celebrate that love! Let's celebrate our love for the Lord, His love for us, and our love for each other--our One Wife Family! Let's celebrate our love for the Lord by spending extra time this Family Birthday loving Him and making love to Him in the spirit! Let's show Him how much we love Him, and give Him our praises and committed hearts and spirits once again as we launch into this new year.
       9. Let's make this a birthday to remember by giving Him our love and praises, as well as our heartfelt appreciation! Our Husband and His Spirit dwell in our praises and in our appreciation, so actively show Him your appreciation by getting stirred up and passionate and excited about Him and His love and this wonderful Family He's placed us in! And then show Him how much you love and appreciate Him by loving and appreciating your neighbor–-your mates, your brothers and sisters! Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord!
       10. That's one of the things the Lord laid on my heart to remind you of this birthday.--Nothing new, no new spiritual revelation, but one of those fundamental truths that I felt was important enough to remind you of as you all begin this new year. I think sometimes we allow familiarity to steal away the reality of the great possession we are blessed with in having each other and in being part of this wonderful Family. We are unique! But Lord help us, we get familiar, and we get spoiled.
       11. It's so easy to lose sight of what we have in the routine and battles of daily life, and in the familiarity of seeing the same faces. But I can tell you this: Some of those who have left us can testify that they miss the love and fellowship! Even some who won't admit to missing much else will still admit they miss the camaraderie of spirit, the depth of communication, and the strength and bond the Lord's given us in the spirit. Believe me, nowhere else will you find such love and depth of understanding as you'll find with your brothers and sisters in the folds of David.
       12. I think each one of you can testify to a moment--or maybe many special moments or times over the years--when a brother or sister was there for you when you needed it. They were Jesus for you, and you knew it, you felt it. You're surrounded by so much of Jesus in every way--not just by being surrounded by loving brothers and sisters, but everything in your life and Homes is a testament to the great love of our Husband! Your whole Home is a testimony to His love and supply‚ His many miracles, and His unfailing care and protection. And then on top of that, He's opened the windows of Heaven and given us untold riches through His Word, as well as the innumerable treasures and gifts of the Spirit!
       13. When you stop to think about it and count all of the Lord's blessings, they really are without number! There is no end to our blessings; they are beyond measure, beyond counting. But my question for each one of you is: How long has it been since you took some time aside for some quiet reflection with the Lord and really thought about all your blessings, and what your life would be like without those blessings? And I don't mean just counting off your blessings rote-style‚ I mean really thinking about each one, really reflecting on what you have, and what your life would be like without them.
       14. They say a sure cure for renewing your thankfulness for what you have is to think about how you would feel if everything you have right now was suddenly taken away from you, then given back to you. I dare say it's been awhile for most everybody. But, you know, it's when you lose sight of some of these simple truths–-these basic fundamentals--and when you become complacent and familiar with what you have, that things start getting a little off kilter in your spiritual life.
       15. I would almost go so far as to say that familiarity is a sin, because it's so dangerous spiritually. It's part of man's sinful human nature, but the Enemy loves to use it amongst the Lord's children in order to get them complacent and selfish in spirit, settled down in spirit, comfortable in spirit, and so familiar with the things of the spirit--the Lord's Words, and even the Lord Himself--that they start taking these things for granted.
       16. Taking things for granted is very dangerous, beloved. That's when your spiritual eyes can become desensitized to the spiritual warfare. You get spiritually dull, self-assured, overconfident and cocky, and you start seeing things out of focus and out of perspective. Things that aren't so important start taking on more importance in your life than they should; meanwhile the things of real value and importance are downplayed and left by the wayside. Lord help us!
       17. Any form of familiarity is potentially dangerous, of course--whether it's between husband and wife or sister and brother--but spiritual familiarity with the Lord and His Words is particularly dangerous. And remember, to whom much has been given-–and that's us--of the same shall much be required!
       18. So if you want to make the Lord and me especially happy this birthday, promise me you'll take the time to sit down somewhere quiet away from things and think about your life. Take stock of things. Take stock of your heart, and your spirit, and of whether you're really giving the Lord your very best shot-–your all. Have a "green shirt" time with your own spirit. Ask yourself and the Lord how you're doing as a disciple and if you've become spiritually familiar or complacent in any way. Now, that can mean familiar with those around you or with your blessings, or it can mean familiar with the Lord or His Words to the point that you don't take His Words or instruction so seriously anymore, and disobedience has become the fruit of your familiarity.
       19. Then take some time to think about your brothers and sisters around you. Look at them with the eyes of love--through the Lord's eyes--and think of what it has cost each one to be a part of this great Endtime army. Think about all they've had to sacrifice, and continue to sacrifice‚ to serve alongside you.
       20. If you're one of the first generation, it may help you to go back in time to when you first joined the Revolution and remember how happy and thankful you were for salvation, for the Family, and for the revolutionary life of faith and freedom from the System He gave you. How's your fire and fervor for Him and your appreciation and thankfulness level doing now, as compared to then? There's one time when I would encourage you to look back, and that's to remember the joy of your salvation and from whence you came.
       21. You'll always have the Lord, of course. You'll always have His Word--even if it's just what you've committed to memory--and the gifts of the Spirit, like the keys of the Kingdom. But you might not always have the blessing and freedom of being able to live together so openly in communal Homes with so many of your brothers and sisters. Living together and fellowshipping as freely as you do in this time of peace is a great blessing from the Lord, one that may not be so available in the coming dark days. So make the most of it and appreciate it! In the future there may not be as many opportunities for fellowship, but your spiritual unity--which is a tremendously powerful spiritual force and weapon against the Enemy--will need to be stronger than ever, and these are the days of strengthening those bonds of unity as a Family!
       22. You only need to ask any of your brothers and sisters who have suffered persecution for their faith to find out just how thankful they are for the unity and strength we have in each other. They'll tell you, because they've experienced it firsthand. Unfortunately, it's usually not until you experience going without something that you realize its true value and worth. Let this not be said of you--the children of David--that you failed to appreciate the great strength we have in our oneness in Him and His love. Amen?

       23. (Dad prays:) Thank You, dear Love, for these, Your children. Thank You for the miracles and souls and victories You've wrought through each one this past year. We give You all the glory and praise and honor! We thank You for making us a Family, and for giving us something to live for! Thank You for calling us out of the world to be a part of Your revolutionary Endtime army!
       24. Please infuse in each one the gifts and keys of renewed faith, renewed courage, and renewed strength and resolve to fight on for You no matter what the cost! We ask that You'll rekindle the fires of revolution and discipleship within the hearts of each one as they recommit their lives to You this coming year. We claim the power of the keys to be manifested in each one's life as they actively wield and use these powerful spiritual weapons at their disposal! And as they do, I claim that the Family will rock the world for You--that 2004 will be the greatest of all years! Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord!

       25. I love you! You're a Family to be proud of! I'm honored to serve our King and Savior and Husband alongside you. I'm honored to serve alongside you who are dedicated to fighting this great battle and to keep on fighting through yet another year. It's your dedication, your looking to Him, and your calling on the keys and using their power that will win this battle!
       26. Now let's celebrate our love, amen? Just don't forget to take some time to sit down with the Lord and talk to Him heart to heart, and let Him talk to you! It's very important that you do that during this time. Amen? Thank you for letting Him use you, and thanks for letting Him love others through you! God bless and keep you all! (End of message from Dad.)

Summary of to-dos from Dad's message:

       * Praise and celebrate Jesus, His love for you, and your love for others.
       * Spend extra time loving the Lord. Give Him your praises and committed heart and spirit.
       * Ask yourself: How long has it been since I took some time aside for some quiet reflection with the Lord and really thought about all my blessings, and what my life would be like without those blessings?
       * Think about how you would feel if everything you have right now was suddenly taken away from you, then given back to you.
       * Take stock of your heart, and your spirit, and of whether you're really giving the Lord your very best shot--your all.
       * Ask yourself and the Lord how you're doing as a disciple, and if you've become spiritually familiar or complacent in any way--whether with those around you, your blessings, or the Lord or His Words.
       * Love and appreciate your mates, brothers, and sisters. Think of what it's cost each one to be a part of this great Endtime army.
       * Talk to Jesus heart to heart, and let Him talk to you.

Copyright © 2004 by The Family

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