It is with great joy that we celebrate Amara's 12th birthday! Over the past year, Amara has really grown up and is becoming a lovely young lady. It is a blessing to be able to train Amara in the ways of the Lord and to see her grow and learn.
Happy birthday! We are indeed very grateful to the Lord that He has given you as a gift to our family and we praise God for allowing us the privilege of raising you as our dear daughter. We have many joyful memories of the past with you and we look forward to the future knowing that the Lord has a plan and a purpose which includes giving you good works to accomplish that He has prepared in advance for you to do (Ephesians 2:10). We love you, Amara, and we are committed to parenting you according to the truth of the Bible.
This year, we offer to you both a challenge and an encouragement in the following areas:
- Gratitude - In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we read the following words: "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." What powerful words that God has given to us by giving us direct insight into His will. Remember that as you show and cultivate a heart of gratitude, you will be walking in a way that is consistent with God's will.
- Humility - The Bible teaches us the dangers of pride and the blessings of humility. This principle is so important that God Himself will be opposing those that are prideful and giving grace to those that are humble. Therefore, our encouragement to you is to follow the biblical admonition to "be clothed with humility." (1 Peter 5:5)
- Diligence - It is of critical importance that you be working hard and that you have an affection for work. Without diligence, what you do will be of limited effectiveness and will have limited lasting impact. The Bible teaches that we should observe the ways of the ant and emulate the model of diligence. In Proverbs 6:6-8, we read: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest." Notice how the diligence of the ant is not based on having someone or something else to prod it along. Learn from the ant, follow after her ways, and you will be wise.
- Servanthood - Service to others is a great gift that you can give to them and can provide you with joy and fulfillment unlike other activities. View it as a privilege to serve others and look for opportunities to be able to bless those around you in this way. If you keep your eyes open and have a heart to serve, you will be able to have many different ways that you can be a servant--not only in the future, but also right now. Galatians 5:13 says: "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another."
If you strive to grow in each of these areas and commit them to the Lord asking for His help, you will become more godly and righteous with each passing day. In this growth, you will be blessed and you will have a great influence on others, spurring them on toward love and good deeds through your example.
Happy birthday, Amara! We love you very much!
Dad and Mom