In celebration of another birthday, I would like to rerun a column I wrote in January 2007 (with a slight revision on the age). I hope you are blessed by these reminders, too.

On the occasion of my birthday, I would like to thank You, my heavenly Father, for loving me every single day of the 44 years You have given me so far. You have always loved me. You knew me before I was born, and You had a plan and a purpose in place for my life right from the start (Jeremiah 29:11). All the days ordained for me have been written in Your book since before I was born (Psalm 139:16).

You love me unconditionally. And I am never alone because You promised to never leave me nor forsake me (Joshua 1:5). Even when others let me down, You will always be there with only my best interest in mind. I can look back over my life and see that the times I felt alone were because I forgot to look at You. You have always been there, waiting for me to turn my gaze back to You.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). When I don't know how I can go on because I haven't got the strength, You give me Your strength (Isaiah 40:29). In fact, when I am the weakest, You are the strongest - just to prove to me that I cannot do anything without You ( 2 Corinthians 12:10). And I wouldn't want to (John 15:5).

I can talk to You anytime and You are never too busy for me. All I have to do is call Your name "Jesus!" I don't need to wait until the perfect time or a certain situation, and often I find myself talking to You throughout my day. It is incredible that You know exactly what is on my heart before I even speak a word (Isaiah 65:24).

You desire to speak to me, too. You desire intimate moments with me. When I am still is when I hear You the best (Psalm 46:10). And sometimes just being in Your presence is all that I want - not a word from either one of us, just the joy of basking in Your company. That desire is a difficult thing to understand in our busy and complicated world - and yet the more often I am still before You and sit at Your feet, the more I crave nothing but that (Luke 10:39).

Your instructions are very simple. You are never complicated. I am to love You with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). When I fix my eyes on You, the rest of the world fades away (Colossians 3:2). I know that when I start to worry about something it is because I have taken my focus off of You. Learning to trust You completely has been a gradual process, and how wonderful is has been to discover that You truly are the one in control so I do not have to be nor pretend to be.

You are so gentle as You lead me (Matthew 11:29). There is no harsh reprimand when I mess up, only absolute and total forgiveness when I come to You and confess (1 John 1:9). And then You forget about whatever it was (Psalm 103:10-12). Unlike people, You never bring up the past after I have told You I am sorry, although You may bring me gentle reminders when I am tempted to blow it because You truly desire for me to be more and more like You, holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4).

You do not change (James 1:17). I never have to question Your motives from one day to the next.

You loved me enough to send Your only Son to die for me. In John 3:16 where it says, "God so loved the world..." that includes me! God so loved Lisa... You really want me to be with You forever and have made the way so simple.

You have chosen me (John 15:16). You have called me Your own and have placed me like a seal over Your heart (Song of Songs 8:6). How can I help but be totally captivated with that knowledge! You are my God and I belong to You. Even if You never do another thing for me the rest of my life, still I will love You. Just knowing how much You love me is more than enough to sustain me until that day arrives when I have eternity to spend in Your presence. I am so blessed. I am forever grateful. I love You!

Lisa Jisa and her family have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000. She can be reached at

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