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Editor’s journey

Outback surprise

SPRINGFIELD, MO. — A few years ago, my wife, Doree, phoned me at work and asked me to meet her for dinner at Outback Steakhouse.

Before I had a chance to look at the menu, she broke the news: “I’m pregnant.”

My breathing stopped.

“Are you sure?” I stammered.

She grinned and nodded. “Yes, it was confirmed by the doctor.”

I took a deep breath and smiled back. But I was in shock. This wasn’t supposed to happen to us. We already had three daughters. I was 41 — I was sure I had changed my last diaper.

As Doree blushed with excitement, images flashed through my mind: playpens, rattles, car seats, cribs, baby showers, high chairs and more.

Elated and nervous at the same time, I could hardly touch my meal, which eventually went home in a doggie bag.

But as the months passed, my excitement and anticipation grew. It was apparent this unexpected child was a special gift from God.

I’m so thankful today we have Haly-Jay. She’s brought such happiness to our home. Every time I look into her blue eyes, I’m reminded that God demonstrated His love to us by giving us another daughter.

More than 2,000 years ago, God sent another Child. He sent His Son Jesus Christ, the greatest gift the world had ever known. Born in a manger, Jesus came to offer us peace, joy and the hope of salvation.

Unfortunately, some people view Jesus as an inconvenience rather than a Savior. They can’t bring themselves to believe He died on a cross for their sins so they can receive the gift of eternal life. But that’s because they haven’t met Him. They haven’t tried to talk to Him. They haven’t learned more about Him by reading the Bible.

I hope that some who read this magazine will talk to Jesus for the first time — because He’s listening. He wants to have a relationship with each person. If you haven’t begun a relationship with Jesus, let me encourage you to follow the ABCs of salvation.

This could be the greatest Christmas you’ve ever had — because you’ll discover that we celebrate more than the birth of a baby. We celebrate the birth of a Savior who came to give us eternal life.

— Hal Donaldson

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