33 of my Favorite Birthday Salutations

I turned 33 today, so I thought I’d share my 33 favorite messages from FB, Twitter, and text messaging. Birthday salutations mean a lot to people so I thought that I’d say thanks to 33 of my favorites. If you didn’t make the cut this year, see ya next August 25.


Pictures add a bit of style points to the birthday salutation.

Al Schoonover, Barb Lenz, and Mom put these up:image image image





























The first post on FB came from Ukraine, Pastor Ignatenko Vadim, – “Happy birthday, and God’s blessings to you, Joe!”

Ukrainians have a way of sharing awesome birthday wishes, check out this one from my friend Valentina from Kiev – “I want to wish to you AWESOME productive and successful year, full of challenges (good ones), smiles, adventures, trips, family, love, great friends.”

Ryan Wallace sent me one last night. It was great because he used Hebrew, “mazoltoph.” It sure beats his usual, “Have a good one,” without the words Happy Birthday. Way to evolve, R Dub.

There have been apologetic ones. Rick Bartlett saw me at the Chiropractor before he knew it was my birthday and said, later, “Can’t believe I didn’t say Happy Birthday when I saw you this AM. Sorry and hope you have a great day!” He appears to be giving me a book to smooth it over.

Jenny Bradley, always with the flair of theology and humor, said, “I can’t think what birthday is in Greek. But have a happy one.”

A couple of folks used my given nickname in their salutation. BJJ coach extraordinaire Jake Fox said, “Happy Birthday Rev!” while Andy Williamson used an oldie but always a goodie, “Happy Birthday big BABY!” Long story…

My cousin Jessica Martin put two “Happys” in her salutation. We can always use a few more “happys,” right?

Mr. Mike Strong was, and is always, pragmatic, “Joe, it’s your birthday! Happy Birthday!!!”

Dr. Steve Marsh went late-90’s, chat style, using all lowercase in his message.

My new friend Chef O, on the other hand, used all uppercase letters.

Two of the funniest dudes I know, Kyle W. Croak and Terry Johnson, had the same message, “Happy Birthday, man.”

Megan Wohler took the extra time to say happy birthday to “Dr. Joe Skillen.” A little respect goes a long way… Brad Glanville said that at church yesterday, too.

Christy Bosma and Dabria VanGieson posted on FB at the same time with the exact same message, “Happy Birthday Joe! Have a great day!” Dabria added another “!” at the end of her message, though. Advantage: Dabria.

Tim Gibson, who is older than me, called me “OLD man.” I think that how my body feels today would suggest that he has a point.

My friend Aaron Coleman killed two birds with one stone, thanking me for a couple of audio sermons that I sent him as he wished me happy birthday. I ain’t mad at him. Andrew Young did the same thing, asking if the Starbucks that I go to would allow him to advertise for his studio. Hey everyone, go to Andrew Young with Potentials Music for voice and piano lessons!

A lot of folks said, “have a great day!” Kristy Jackson, on the other hand, used “fabulous” in her greeting. Great is… great. Fabulous, however, seemed have a bit more pop in it today, for some reason.

Hank Blase is an attorney and he said that I should take time to do something fun on my day. I’m sure that he could find a way to say it is illegal to do otherwise.

In that light, Debby Rogers said that I should party like a rock star, meaning, “have a great time with your family and friends while counting your blessings more than naming your sorrows.” Well played, Debby.

The cool thing about FB posting one’s birthday is that it allows me to feel connected to others that I haven’t heard from in a bit. Thanks for connecting DeWayne Sykes, Amanda Carrillo,  Bradley Haddock, and Alan Williams. The list could go on and on with this one.

These were birthday salutations that I received before 10am today. I know that a pile of them will come in the rest of the day, too. I am so blessed. This is not counting the impromptu singing at church yesterday or the fantastic time at my friends Steve and Lori Cloud’s home last night. I get to celebrate with my family next weekend… two weekends worth of birthday stuff. Amazing.


My 3 favorite salutations, though, were art projects from my kids, Avery and Ezra, and a sweet card from my wife, Ginger. I got to take Avery to school today and, before she burst into the classroom, she gave me a big hug and kiss and wished me happy birthday. Her teacher saw her do this and raved about how sweet Avery is.

That’s right, Ginger and I have great kids, an awesome family, great friends, and a full life.

St. Irenaeus once said, “The glory of God is the human, fully alive.” Birthdays allow us to capture a piece of what that type of life looks like. So, for all of the kindness that everyone has shown to me, I pray that it would return to you all.



Published by joeskillen

I'm a husband, dad of 2, Pastor at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita, KS.

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