Missed Out Again

At this time each year, most of Australia celebrates the Queen’s Birthday with a day off work. It’s also the time that the Queen’s Birthday honours list is announced. This year almost 900 Australians have been recognised for their contributions to the community in a variety of fields. As well as the many famous names on the list, there are many who have just been working behind the scenes to make their community and the world a better and more interesting place.

Another thing that happens each year at this time is that people feign surprise that they’re not on the list. Many joke about missing out again or searching the names on the list only to find they haven’t been included.

The truth is, most of us will never receive recognition from the Queen.

While we may be making a difference in our own way, most of us won’t be receiving any kind of letter or medal from Her Majesty with her congratulations and thanks.

So where do we get our recognition?

I have to admit that while I think it would be a great honour, I’m not particularly concerned that I’m not on the list. The things I do for the benefit of others are not done to receive recognition, but if that recognition comes, I’m happy for it to come from people less royal. A simple thanks from those who receive kindness is often enough, even though the kindness is not done for any return whatsoever.

I always appreciate it when those close to me – family, friends, colleagues – recognise any efforts I may make. I don’t need to see my name in lights but an occasional word or two that lets me know I’m on the right track is always appreciated.

So who is it for you?

Where do you want to find recognition? Who do you want noticing the efforts you make at work, in the community or even at home? Is there a significant person in your life whose words bring affirmation?

Sometimes the affirmation and encouragement we yearn for never arrives. Maybe it’s not the Queen’s list on which you’d like to see your name appear but someone closer to home. Is there someone from whom you’d love to hear the words, “well done”?

Life can be difficult when we yearn for the kind of approval that never comes. Often it can be a parent or another significant person in our lives who has never taken the time to put their hand on a shoulder to speak words of kindness and recognition.

Thankfully, we don’t have to receive recognition to continue doing good. There is a kind of recognition that far outweighs any earthly honours list. That recognition doesn’t just come with a medal and a title but with an imperishable inheritance.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. – Colossians 3:23-24

While having people see our work and encourage us is often welcome and helpful, if we choose to follow Jesus and get involved in his kingdom work, there’s something far greater at stake. If you aren’t receiving recognition from the Queen or from those closer to you, don’t give up. Your labours are not in vain.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galations 6:9

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Well … that was a surprise

party

To be honest, I was more surprised than anyone. I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t really think I’d hit 30, let alone 52. Not due to any sickness or disease, rather that in my late teens and early twenties I really couldn’t imagine what could possibly lay beyond the age of 30 for me. I certainly wasn’t going to do anything to hasten my demise, I just had an underdeveloped sense of imagination.

I am more than pleased I got over that idea. I now have more than enough plans and dreams to last me until about 120. Whether I’ll last that long or not is still up for debate.

I reached the age of 52 yesterday. I celebrated the milestone with my amazing wife and incredible children, with birthday greetings from friends and family around the world. I’m truly blessed.

While I’m not particularly thrilled about the toll ageing takes on us all, it’s not all bad. At least the fact that my eyes don’t work as well as they once did means I can’t see how old I’m looking.

You may have noticed that I don’t get to write here as much as I once did. I’d like to say that I’ll put up more posts in the coming days and weeks but while that’s my desire, life often gets in the way and that’s not such a bad thing. I do hope to write here a lot more because I enjoy it so much but we’ll wait and see what happens.

If you’d like to find a way to say happy birthday for yesterday from wherever you are in the world here are a few suggestions.

Like My Blog On Facebook

I’d love to stay connected with you on Facebook. This blog, RodneyOlsen.net, has a public Facebook page that makes staying in touch really easy. It’s simply just a place to share stuff on Facebook such as blog posts and more regular posts. Just head to the Facebook page and click ‘like’.

Share My Posts

Whenever you drop in to my blog, please, please, please feel free to use the little buttons at the bottom of each post to share my posts via Facebook, Twitter or whatever other service you’re using. Hey, you can even click the email button to send a copy to your friends. When you share my posts in any, or all, of these ways, more people visit my blog and I smile a lot. Really I do. If you use StumbleUpon I would especially love you to Stumble my posts. You’re more than welcome to spend a few minutes going back over my posts and sharing a few.

Comment On My Posts

Don’t just think it …. say it. I love it when people leave comments on my posts. Your comments make me smile big time.

These few things are a real encouragement for me to keep blogging so if you’ve got a few moments I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.

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What’s Christmas Really About?

gifts

While you’re unwrapping your gifts this Christmas I wanted to take a few moments to unwrap the real Christmas story.

We all enjoy giving and receiving gifts on Christmas Day but it’s important that we take time to remember what Christmas is really all about. It’s more than just the gifts and the jolly man in the red suit. It’s more than a ‘feeling’ or ‘spirit’ that makes us feel warm inside. It’s more than time with family enjoying good food and good times.

While it’s generally accepted that the 25th of December isn’t the actual date that Jesus was born, it’s the day that has been chosen for celebrating Jesus’ birthday. That means Christmas is really a big birthday party.

So why should we be invited to the birthday party? Jesus was born around 2000 years ago. Why do we still celebrate his birth?

Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God. In fact, and this is where it gets tricky, according to the Bible, Jesus is actually God in human form so this is no ordinary birthday.

Here’s a little bit of the Christmas story from the Bible. This account is from a book of the Bible written by a guy named Luke.

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no vacancy for them.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.’

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.’
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’

They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Aha! So that’s where the manger and the shepherds come in.

That’s pretty much the story of Christmas. God living among the people he created. It’s an amazing thought but it’s even more amazing when you thread the whole story of Jesus’ life together. After all, usually when we celebrate someone’s birthday we don’t just remember the day they were born, we celebrate who that person has become and what they’ve brought to the world.

If we’re still celebrating the life of someone born around 2000 years ago, we’ve got to assume that they lived a remarkable life. If you want to find out more about the remarkable life of Jesus, I’d encourage you to grab a Bible in an easy to read translation and then read one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) to find out about Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection.

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Go Ahead, Make My Day

birthday

50 isn’t such a big number … until you have to start writing it on forms that ask for your age. Today I clock up half a century of living. I’m very privileged to be doing so while enjoying some ‘time out’ with my amazing family.

I’m wondering if on this day I can take the liberty of asking you to do a few things that will make my one day a year very special, while costing you ….. nothing. Well, maybe a little time but these ideas won’t put a dent in your wallet.

Like My Facebook Page

First of all, I’d love to connect with a lot more people on Facebook. I have a public Facebook page that makes that really easy. It’s what Facebook calls a ‘fan page’ but I’m not that much of an egotist that I want you to declare yourself as my ‘fan’. It’s simply just an easy way to share stuff on Facebook. Just head to my Facebook page and click ‘like’.

Share My Posts

Whenever you drop in to my blog, please, please, please feel free to use the little buttons at the bottom of each post to share my posts via Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Tumblr or Reddit. Hey, you can even click the email button to send a copy to your friends. When you share my posts in any, or all, of these ways, more people visit my blog and I smile a lot. Really I do. If you use StumbleUpon I would especially love you to Stumble my posts. You’re more than welcome to spend a few minutes going back over my recent posts and sharing a few.

Comment On My Posts

Don’t just think it …. say it. I love it when people leave comments on my posts. I don’t necessarily mena just this post. Find a post or two that you’ve enjoyed or even something you disagree with and leave a comment or three. Your comments make me smile big time.

Subscribe By Email

Did you know that you can read RodneyOlsen.net via email each day? Instead of having to visit my blog each day, it can visit you. Just click here, enter your email address, and you’ll never miss a post. You’ll get one email a day if I’ve posted on that day. It’s completely free and you can unsubscribe at any time so why not give it a go?

Thank You

So there you are. If you’d like to, and only if you’d like to, you can make me extra happy by following a few of the ideas above.

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Happy Birthday Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan turns 71 today.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Happy Birthday Bob Dylan? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks. 🙂