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Monday, January 16, 2023

Epiphany 2023

Wow, time flies! January 6th was over a week ago... we had our little traditional home-grown Epiphany celebration, and I haven't talked about what my family received. I try to talk about this every year, not because I want to have something to talk about, but because I hope to inspire others to do something similar for their families. I've seen it become very meaningful to my wife and kids.

This year I gave my daughter a mustard seed coin similar to the one on the right. She is in 9th grade this year, just starting high school, and she is also a pretty fantastic musician, able to play several instruments at performance level and noodle around on several more. I felt like she needed to know not only that faith in God is a seed that can cause great things to grow, but that the seed of practice and hard work that you put into school assignments and practicing music can grow into something amazing as well! It's difficult to see in the picture, but there is an actual mustard seed in the middle of the coin. The one I gave her is I believe something like an inch in diameter, and it came with a card something like this one. (It may actually be the same one, but I didn't get it from Amazon.)

I did, however, give my son something I found on Amazon! This spring, after a short break, he's getting back into college to finish up a degree in biological sciences. I got him this keychain to remind him that he has great things in his future, and his family is always behind him as he works toward his goals. You can see the keychain has several charms that are science related. Interestingly, one of my wife's nephews gave him a gift of a keychain several days later - this keychain is music-themed (it may be this one). My son is also a terrific musician, a trumpet player and he is also teaching himself to play electric bass. I told him it seems like God is telling him that there are two sides to his personality, the scientific and the artistic, and he needs to nourish both of them to grow into the person God has made and called him to be!

I'm a big book guy. If you ever need to give me a gift, a book is a pretty good bet (in fact, my wife got me this book by Bono of U2 for Christmas, and I've been loving reading it!) She, on the other hand, is not much of a book reader. Fortunately, the book I gave her is not a book to read... it's a book to write! Last year she started writing a memoir, telling stories of her life that she has told over and over to friends. When she told me she was doing that, immediately I knew she needed to do it and finish it. It's in her mental DNA to talk about her past, and when she told me she was writing a biography I knew that anointing was for that purpose. You know, when God has a nail that needs striking, He makes a hammer - I believe the thing you gravitate to naturally (outside of sin, of course!) is the thing you do well because it's the purpose God created you for. She worked pretty hard on it for a while, but then she lost her way a little bit. This book has page after blank, lined page, and at the top of every page is a question to answer about your life. It's the perfect inspiration to get juices flowing to write! I'm hoping she'll use it to get back on track and create a book that will be meaningful and help people!

If you're inspired and you read this in the middle of January when I'm writing it, or in the middle of July or any other time that's nowhere near Epiphany, you have two choices. You can wait for Three Kings Day to roll back around and start a new tradition for your loved ones. OR: you can start your tradition right now! Ask God for ideas of things to give to people that will "stir them up to good works" as it says in Hebrews 10:24. Do it now! Why wait? Then mark your calendar, and do it again next January 6th! Join me in a new take on an old traditional holiday!

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