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Donald Whitney tells us of his 10th birthday. He invited 8 friends. They played football and basketball, enjoyed hot dogs and hamburgers, then devoured ice cream and cake. “The climax was a gift from me to them. Nothing was too good for my friends. I was going to pay their way to the most exciting event in town- the high school basketball game. I can still see us spilling out of my parents station wagon with laughter and running up to the gymnasium. Standing at the window, paying for the tickets and surrounded by my friends- it was one of those golden moments in life. The picture in my mind was the perfect ending to a 10 year old boy’s birthday. Four friends on one side and four friends on the other, I would sit in the middle while we munched popcorn and cheered. Then it was all ruined. Once in the gym, all my friends scattered and I never saw them again the rest of the night. There was no thanks for the fun, the food, or the tickets. Without a word of gratitude or goodbye, they all left without looking back. So I spent the rest of my birthday in the bleachers by myself. As I recall, it was a miserable ballgame.” Whitney said, “I tell that story not to gain sympathy, but because it reminds me of the way we often treat God in worship.”

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