Grace Christian Huynh
“For You have possessed my inward parts;
You wove me in the womb of my mother.
I will thank You, for with awesome ways I am distinguished;
Your works are marvelous, and my soul knows it very well.
My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret;
when I was woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my embryo; and in Your book
all my members were written the days they were formed,
and not one was yet among them.”
I just turned 16 this month and I was blessed to be able to celebrate it with my friends and family. Unlike in the past, I was able to set up a birthday party and invite my closest friends. My party was at a nice frozen yogurt place and then we went to the movies after that. We had some ice cream, pizza, popcorn, and we got to eat my panda cake!
What is the Greatest Birthday Gift?
However, before I get into detail about my birthday party, I want to get to the important part first. What is the greatest birthday gift? Could it be a car? That is a nice gift, but it is not the greatest. Could it be a diamond ring? That is very nice, but that is not the greatest either. So what is it? What could possibly out-do a car and diamond ring? Well, you could not make any use of those things if you did not exist. If humans did not exist, then those material things would not have existed as well. Every day of our lives is a chance to get to know Jesus. The Lord said, “For what will a man be benefited if he should gain the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give as an exchange for his soul” (Matthew 16:26)? The greatest gift is life, not just life on Earth, but eternal life as well. God molded us and breathed life into us. He knew who you were and who you were going to be before you were even born. We live because of Him, so wouldn’t it make sense to live for Him? Although God is the Creator of all things, not only should we thank God for creating us, but also to thank the dads and moms who take care to raise us and love us. Without them, you could not have been born either.
“For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14: 7-8).
To be thankful to be alive, you have to value your life. What does it mean to value life? It means to live for God. It means to be wise in everything you say and do, so pray before you do something for God, to be sure if it is what God wants. Living for God does not mean to make your life as luxurious as possible, spending money for things you want, nor does it mean to live with only your health in mind. Let God:
“…teach us to number our days, so that we may bring a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
The reason we live is to worship God. From what you say to how you spend your time and money, everything must lead to God because our body is the temple of God. It belongs to God the moment you accept Jesus into your life. We must live up to the example of how a true Christian lives. Many “Christians” in the world do not live the way they are supposed to. What are other people supposed to think about that? Setting an example for others and how you serve God is a way to lead someone to God.
“Then whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things to the glory of God. Be without offense both to Jews and Greeks, and to the assembly of God. Even as I also please all in all things, not seeking my own advantage, but that of the many, that they may be saved” (I Corinthians 10:31-33).
How God Provided For My Birthday
Since the day my parents started their ministry, we were careful about how we spent our money and cut out excessive activities like big vacations or going out to shop for new clothes or even eating out. Before, my mom and dad would take my brother and me to Disney World every year, and it was expensive. Then when I turned six and my brother was about four years old, my parents started the ministry and stopped spending money on those things. From then on, for my brother’s birthday and mine, my parents would give us a small gift.
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss because of Christ. But, no, rather I also count all things to be loss because of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them to be trash, that I might gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8).
Every year, my aunts and uncle, and one of my parents’ Christian friends sent me money for my birthday. However, this year my mother’s customers, our landlord and a couple of my parents’ Christian friends suddenly had given me money just for me to have.They did not know that my birthday was coming up but God touched their hearts and they wanted to give it to me. I was very thankful for the money, but I honestly did not know what to spend the money on. Then my mom told me that it was my reward from God. It was a reward for all of the years that I did not complain for not getting what I wanted and because I served God by posting my own writing on my parents’ website. Therefore, since my 16th birthday was coming up, my parents decided give me a small party, because I had not had one for more than 10 years and because I really wanted one. God provided more than what I needed this year!
“Each one as he purposes in his heart, not out of grief or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace to abound toward you, that in everything, always having all self sufficiency, you may abound to every good work” (II Corinthians 9:7-8).
So what is so important about the 16th birthday, otherwise known as the Sweet 16 in America? It has a symbolic meaning of being mature and stepping into adulthood. It does not mean that one is independent yet, but it means that one is not a child. Many different countries have something similar to the 16th birthday, like in Mexico, they celebrate the 15th birthday.
It has been 10 years since my parents started serving God. That was 10 years of no big vacations or birthday parties or getting what I wanted. I was patient nevertheless and I never got mad because I understood that my parents put God first before anything else. I was content because I knew I did not actually need it. I actually did not mind not having a birthday party or going shopping for new clothes.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we have brought nothing into the world, and it is plain that neither can we carry anything out. But having food and clothing, we will be satisfied with these” (I Timothy 6:6-8).
Most of the clothes I have now are hand-me-downs from friends and family. I did not even have to buy my birthday dress because God had already prepared it for me. Before I moved, I lived in Arizona. One of the members of the Church that my father preached at bought me a couple dresses. They were a little big at the time because I was 13. Now that I am 16, they fit me well. God had prepared my dress so that I would not have to go out and spend money to buy one!
“Then do not be anxious, saying, What may we eat? Or, what may we drink? Or, what may clothe us? For after all these things the nations seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Then do not be anxious for tomorrow. For the morrow will be anxious of itself. Sufficient to each day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:31-34)?
My Thanks to God and His People
I thank God for giving me life in this world. I am very blessed to be born and raised in the United States. This land has many freedoms and rights unlike most countries. I thank God for every breath that I take and for everything that He has provided for my family and me. I am very thankful that Jesus came to die for our sins so that I could be here today and that He is using me to preach the Word of God.
“O God, You have taught me from my youth; and until now I have declared Your wonders” (Psalm 71:17).
Thank you to all of my friends and thank you to all of you that supported my parents and me all these years! Thank you to my brother for being there with me even though I annoy him sometimes. We will support each other until the very end. Paul taught us, “suffer hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (II Timothy 2:3). Thank you to my relatives and thank you to dad and mom for doing all you can for me these past 16 years. I appreciate it with all my heart! Finally, I would like to thank Kristy’s Kreations for making my cake just the way I wanted!
I would like to conclude by using this poem as my praise to God.
The Great Molder
In the beginning, the Great Molder created me
Inside my mother’s womb… every little piece.
He is marvelous. Everyone can see
The way He molded me into a perfect baby!
As time went by, He gave me beauty,
A smile to make our world alive,
A heart filled with love from on High
And life full of lasting hope… it shines!
When I failed, He led me to see the right,
He cleaned my soul and forgave my past way of living.
He brought me back to His Home with care,
And gave me more strength to stay away from sin.
He molds me to be like Him everyday,
So I can love the ones I could not love before,
I can care for people I’ve just met on my way,
And do good things for Him more and more!
Praise the Lord, for He is the Great Molder of all.
His power, His love, His wisdom are above all!
He changed me from a sinner to His follower,
Who can provide things for the world, much better…
I’m proud to say, He is my Godly Father,
He shaped me to be His daughter!
He can do the same for you, my friends!
Trust in Jesus… let Him renew you again! 
Grace Christian Huynh
Note: All Bible verses were quoted from Literal Translation of the Holy Bible.
 Durene Ngo, Source: www.vietchristian.com