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    The Blessing of Friends

    The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.

    Hubert H. Humphrey
    My friend, Rob Shepherd, recently held a survey over at his blog.  In the survey, he asked readers to select their favorite Christmas movie.  My choice was easy.  My favorite Christmas movie is It’s A Wonderful Life.  If you haven’t seen the movie, what are you waiting for?  No, really.  Go see it!

    The movie tells the story of George Bailey.  After a series of events, he ends up staying in his hometown of Bedford Falls despite his desire to spread his wings and travel the world.  As the head of the Baily Building and Loan, George helps countless townspeople as they seek to own their own homes.

    SPOILER ALERT:

    About half way through the movie, George falls on tough times when his crazy uncle loses $8,000 of cash that was supposed to be deposited in the bank.  The loss sends George into a panic as he processes the potential prison sentence he may face for misappropriating funds.  At one point, George contemplates taking his own life.

    Things start to change when George’s guardian angel, Clarence, steps in to help.  Through a creative approach, he shows George what the world might look like if he had never been born.  George begins to realize how much he cherishes his life.

    When he finally comes to his senses, he returns home with a new attitude.  Upon arriving home, the townspeople flood his house with financial gifts to offset the lost $8,000.

    Clarence leaves George with a copy of Tom Sawyer with a note inside that reads:

    Dear George-:

    Remember no man is a failure who has friends.

    Thanks for the wings!

    Love,

    Clarence

    I love this movie!

    Yesterday, I was reminded of this truth in my own life.  I celebrated a birthday yesterday.  I’d like to say it was my 29th birthday (but it was really my 43rd birthday).

    You may recall that I am a huge numbers guy.  I love to count things.  For some reason, I started counting the number of birthday wishes I received yesterday.  When I went to bed last night, I counted over 150 different people who wished me Happy Birthday!

    I don’t state this to brag.  I mention it to reflect my appreciation for friends in my life.  I am blessed beyond measure by so many wonderful friendships.  Thank you!

    How have you been blessed by your friends?