Another birthday and now I am officially “into” my 40’s…I love it. What a great year and who says you can’t teach old dog’s new tricks. While a single year may have past I believe that I have learned more, grew more and understand more about myself and my walk with God than I ever have before. Catching stride with God and learning to walk even closer is not an easy thing to accomplish. My walk has grown on the heels of adversity. Adversity in our fellowship, adversity in our economy and changes in my personal discipleship of family. All that said, it makes for a great opportunity to lead where I am at, love more and watch God do the things around me that I could not accomplish on my own.
The fruit of such a walk by many looks like this: A church and community of believers more committed to seeing past differences and walking together as we serve the world. A new level of leaning on God in everything we do and emotional healing for so many. Finally a “Tree of Life” fellowship dedicated to the non-religious pursuit of Jesus and aiding others to stand when many would otherwise fall. New wine skins in 2009!
Adversity in our economy the likes of which our country hasn’t seen since the great depression. Mine was a great spot to be in as a business owner and elder of a church that had to take a step back to go forward. The lesson learned, and I share this with utmost humility, This is not God’s recession! While profits at work have been down they still have been and I have been able to give more, do more and worship more as God took the wheel of my life many times over. At the heart of my business I have learned that profit may be our lifeblood but people will always be our passion. http://www.newmanmagazine.com/e-magazine/022108/the-ceo-evangelist.php. (Even in the worst economy of my life I still mean every word I wrote in this article a few years ago.) If nothing else my year marks a year of deepening conviction and growing faith.
Finally change in my personnel discipleship of my family. We left our beloved Christian school (Trinity Christian School) to pursue a new model of family discipleship which, at its core, includes home education. The experience has been so rich and so filled with God – words alone cannot express my new found hope for the future. I see my role as dad way different, my time better spent and my ministry focused inwards towards family to multiply exponentially outward towards community. The fruit has been a family transformed by the very Word of God and we have ALL really learned to love to learn. I had the privilege of baptizing my son as he made a personal commitment to the Lord. I also saw my girls grow exponentially and begin to reach others as their light shines brighter from the inside than ever before. My wife and I are constantly growing closer to each other and although 14 years have gone bye in our marriage I can honestly say I love her more today than the day we committed our lives to each other. Just this morning I was reading the introduction of John and Staci Eldredge’s book Love and War. It ended simply by reminding me that in marriage there is hope – and it is worth it!
So on this birthday I can honestly say I need no gifts, no cards and no new incredible sound systems for my home entertainment center. Nope, all I need has been provided in my humble walk with God. I am so thankful to be able to keep my head up and be filled with such hope. I am so thankful to be part of a vibrant and real community of believers and to have found my stride in the leadership of my family and career. I pray that God continue to press in on me, challenge me and make me a better man this next and 43rd year of LIFE.
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