So what did we do? Well, first we had dinner at McDonald's. I know, I know . . . a meal at Mickey-D's is barely a meal, let alone a special meal. Even so, I always appreciate eating in a place where I can enjoy my family and not worry that my daughter's unmuffled exuberance is bothering other patrons. If you expected a quiet meal at McDonald's, then you're the idiot and I'm not going to worry about offending you. As we were ordering I noticed that our local McD's was training two new cashiers, and apparently the complexity of the electronic till was a bit overwhelming. So both fast and food were a tad euphemistic for our experience. But as I say, I enjoyed being with my family. Even Krystal's could be an enjoyable meal with my wife and daughter, though I hope never to have to eat those words!
Afterward we dropped my daughter off with some friends; my wife arranged for someone else to take her to dance and for another friend to pick her up and spend the night. So we had the house to ourselves that night. As a surprise, my wife took me to a Chris Tomlin concert; I think he was performing in Knoxville especially in celebration of my birthday. Israel Houghton and New Breed opened; they did an amazing job presenting their music as well as Israel's testimony. Musically, Houghton and New Breed create an interesting mix of Gospel, Urban, Jazz, and Pop influences; they were a lot of fun to watch and amazing to listen to.
Tomlin also provided an entertaining performance, though his was more showy and less musically impressive. I'm not the biggest Chris Tomlin fan, by any means, but I really did enjoy the show. I couldn't help, however, but notice the facial similarities between Tomlin and a certain actor who famously drove 88 mph in a suburban mall parking lot; I provide this picture and ask you to decide for yourself. We had to leave the concert early; I spent the whole day getting progressively sicker, and by the time we left I was shivering uncontrollably and could barely talk. I felt bad for ruining my wife's birthday gift to me, but she was a great sport. She took wonderful care of me, bringing me the appropriate medicines, some chicken noodle soup, and a package of crackers.
So it was a good birthday, though so far I haven't enjoyed being #@&!$/-#?^ years old. Oh . . . one last thing. In my opinion Tomlin did a little too much talking (perhaps we wouldn't have had to leave early if he had been a little more forthcoming with the music). But much of his talk concerned a new project he's involved with called One Million Can. Among other goals, One Million Can is hoping to raise $150K to build five homes for children in Uganda (that's $30K for a home that can house eight children!). If God has provided for you during these difficult economic times such that you can be a part of his providing for others, I encourage you to see if One Million Can is worthy of your giving. If you are among those who are particularly struggling this year, please remember the young girls and boys whose lives have been devastated by war and poverty as you turn to your God and mine in prayer.
So . . . happy birthday to me. I'm still sick two days later, but I can't complain. I'm reasonably confident that I'll see my next birthday, and that I won't miss a single meal between now and then, except perhaps voluntarily. I am, among God's children, most richly blessed.