Last week, I shared the exciting news about how my wife, Carmen, and I are expecting the arrival of our baby boy this July. I also mentioned how we had announced it to everyone on Facebook two weeks ago. However, I didn't really have the chance to go into detail about how we announced it on Facebook exactly.

Previously, we had seen many photos of people sharing their big news by writing a message on a letter board. We thought it would be fun to do something similar but with a little bit of a twist.

Since our dog Skipper has pretty much been like our child for the past seven years, we wanted to include him in some way. So we took a photo of him sitting on the couch with a letter board beside him. On the letter board, it said, "I'm getting a little brother! Baby Hall due July 2020."

It took us about 50 different snaps of the camera to get everything to look right, but we finally ended up with one that we thought was worthy enough to post online.

That particular day also happened to be the last day of Finger Lickin' Chicken Week here in Corbin. So after we posted Skipper's big announcement, we drove down to Bubby's BBQ to try out their Chicken Week special.

By the time we were finished eating, we were blown away by the fact that we already had around 150 likes on our photo as well as about 50 congratulatory comments. We were certainly overjoyed by the response and it made our big news even more special.

But of course, among all of those thoughtful comments there had to be one rotten apple in the bunch. Someone just had to go out of their way to let us know they didn't like our photo of Skipper. They thought it was wrong to insinuate that a dog could be the older brother of a human baby.

So in just a quick response to that person -- thanks, but I promise you we understand how science works. We didn't just fall off the turnip truck. Even though the letter board said, "I'm getting a little brother," we comprehend that our dog won't biologically be the older brother of our baby.

But since Skipper, like many other pets out there I'm sure, feels like family to us, we thought his photo would be a fun and light-hearted way to make our announcement.

To everyone else, I just want to strongly suggest this: Do not be THAT person. Don't go out of your way just to be rude for absolutely no reason at all.

I won't mention that person by name as I didn't even know them at all before that day. I actually still don't even know them now. The only two things I know about them is that they went to school with my wife, and that they don't mind being a jerk during someone's happy and once-in-a-lifetime moment.

Of course, it probably sounds like I'm angry and bitter because of those comments. I'm actually not. By now I'm definitely used to seeing rude comments online. I am much more appreciative and thankful for all of the nice things people said compared to my feelings about that one negative remark.

I just wanted to mention all of this as a reminder that you only get one chance to make a first impression, and sometimes you only get one chance to make an impression period. As Christians, we don't want our first or only impressions on people to be that we are jerks. The impression we make on others should reflect the joy and the love we have by being a born again child of God.

Ephesians 4:29 says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."

Over the course of our lives, we'll have countless interactions with people as they come and go. For some of them, we might get to spend several months and years together. But others we come in contact with we might only get to know for a matter of a few minutes or a few hours.

No matter how long it is though, they will form some impression of you that could stick with them for years if not forever. So it should be our goal that when someone thinks of us, they remember the joy we had of being saved by God's grace. When someone thinks of us, they should want what we have which is a relationship with our Lord and Savior.

Brad Hall is the nighttime editor at the Times-Tribune. He can be contacted at bhall@thetimestribune.com.

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