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It was my sixth birthday; I felt so special. We had a party with hats, pretty plates, special punch and a great big birthday cake. All my friends came, that was good. All my friends came with presents, that was better. I made my wish, blew out the candles and smiled. I felt invincible on August 27, 1965, like everything would always go my way.

I was not quite thirteen. We lived on the plains of West Texas, where the wind howled, rattlesnakes slithered, and everyone worked hard. One afternoon, I was helping a farmer move his equipment from one section of land to another. He drove the tractor, I drove his bright red, new Chevrolet pickup.

I put my foot on the accelerator trying to catch up to him, the wheels turned sharply when the front end hit a sandbar in the middle of the dirt road, the pickup went from one side of the road to the other until, finally, I lost control. It crashed into the bar ditch through a barb wired fence onto a nearby field. The impact thrust me through the windshield leaving me bleeding, dirty and disoriented. I didn't feel invincible.

Most days, I'm not the birthday boy. People don't bring presents and there are no candles to blow out. Neither do I go crashing through the windshield of the boss' pickup.

Today is somewhere between those experiences. Not everything will go right, but neither will everything go wrong.

We are not better because of the sum of our good experiences, nor are we worse because of our negative ones. Life is full of both. How we handle prosperity and adversity shows everyone who we really are. Our attitude determines our happiness.

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Phil 4:11

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365 Days includes Volumes 1-4
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Impact Preaching: A Case for the
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