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"HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR FAMILY!"--By Father David       DFO868       27 January 1980
--How Should We Celebrate Our Birthday?

       1. WE'VE JUST FINISHED CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR'S DAY, both commemorating the birthday of our Lord & the Birthday of Christianity 1,980 years ago! Nearly everybody celebrates birthdays, anniversaries & dates of special events of the past, & we as Christians celebrate the Lord's Birthday with Christmas & New Year's Day, & also His Resurrection on Easter Day, etc., & I think this is good.

       2. NATIONS POLITICAL GROUPS, RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS & EVEN MAGAZINES CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARIES, & I've been thinking Our Family should have an Anniversary Celebration of some kind to remember the birth of our Family each year, & especially rejoice in the day that the Lord created us for His glory! But what should it be?--What day should it be?

       3. WHEN DID OUR PARTICULAR CHRISTIAN FAMILY FELLOWSHIP; BEGIN? What day was it born? Well, let's see now-was it back at the Light club in Huntington Beach in 1968 when we first started working with the hippies & taking them into our homes & hearts? No, not really--my little family was taking others into our homes & hearts & creating a larger Family long before that! Well then,

       4. WAS IT WHEN WE STARTED OUR FIRST LITTLE SOUL CLINIC SCHOOL for witnesses in Miami, Florida, 'way back in 1954?--No, my four little ones were out witnessing & preaching the Gospel & winning souls even before that! But they were born on four different days, so how could we choose one?

       5. THEN SUDDENLY IT CAME TO ME: "THIS FAMILY BEGAN WITH YOU!--Therefore, it was born when you were born, on your Birthday-February 18! But I thought, "But Lord, wasn't our Family really born on Your Birthday, so shouldn't we celebrate our Family's Birthday on Christmas & New Year's Day?" but just as clearly the Scripture came to me:

       6. "I AM THE VINE YE ARE THE BRANCHES!" (Jn.15:5.) Truly, Jesus began it all Christianity & our greater worldwide Family fellowship of multitudes of millions of Christians of every Christian faith around the world! But we like each group of them, are a special individual branch of that great Christian family begun by Jesus the Vine.

       7. SO WE HAVE A RIGHT TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTH & BUDDING OF OUR PARTICULAR BRANCH OF CHRISTIANS, the one which first became known as an Evangelistic Party, then Teens for Christ, then Children of God, then the Family of Love & now just The Family! Hallelujah!

       8. SO WHEN WAS OUR BRANCH BORN? When did it begin to bud? Well of course, as the Lord clearly showed me, when I was born! It really began with me & when I began to bud way back yonder many years ago on February 18th in my mother's own bed in that tiny little cabin in the USA!

       9. SO HERE'S OUR ANNIVERSARY, Family, if you want to celebrate one! We were really born many years ago on my Birthday, February 18th! I came along with the peace after the war, & we've been trying to bring peace to this old war-weary world ever since, the peace & happiness & joy of the Love of Jesus Christ in our hearts! Praise the Lord! Thank You, Jesus!--Amen?

       10. SO IF YOU WANT TO CELEBRATE OUR FAMILY'S BIRTHDAY WITH A BIRTHDAY PARTY, you are welcome to celebrate it on mine, February the 18th!--My favourite is ice-cream with chocolate cake & candles!--Ha!--(You should be able to indulge at least once a year!--Amen?) But that's a lot of candles, so only one will do. (--Save the rest for the Crash!) Sing "Happy Birthday, Dear Family!" & pray our Family Birthday Prayer together:

       Let sunshine & gladness be given!--
       And may the dear Father prepare you on Earth
       For a happy birthday in Heaven!"

Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus! Amen!--Are you ready for that one?--It looks like it won't be long now! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus! PTL!

       12. GOD BLESS YOU ALL & KEEP YOU BUSY FOR HIM until we celebrate not our Birthday but our Wedding with Him, when He comes to take us, His Bride to our Marriage Feast of the Lamb in Heaven! (1Thes.4:16-18; Rev.1:7; Mat.24:29-31; Rev.19:7-9.) Praise God forever! Hal! TYJ!--I love you!

       13. LET'S HAVE A HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOVE FEAST! Everybody kiss & hug & love everybody, & tell them how much you love them, & make up & make out! Have a Happy Birthday!--And may you have a very happy New Year in His thrilling, exciting, rewarding loving Family service for Him & others! GBAKYAMYAB!--In Jesus' name!--Amen!--Dad

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