Genesis 1:26 (New International Version)
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
One hour old
Today is the big day. By God’s grand and glorious mercy, I turned 50 years old today. I am truly thankful that He has blessed me with so many years. It’s another testimony of His mercy and grace toward me in not giving me what I deserve, but showing me grace and kindness instead. As I look at the last 50 years I thought I would list some of the highlights.
1. My parents – without them I wouldn’t be here. They have loved me and guided me my whole life. They gave me the proverbial “roots and wings” needed to become a happy, functional adult and parent to my own children. They grounded in the Word of God and instilled in me a sense of wonder in the world, both physical and spiritual.
2. My Wife. God raised up a wonderful woman for me. She is not perfect, but we are a great fit, perfect compliments to each other. We make a great team. Where I am weak,s he is strong and vice versa. I love her with all my heart.
3. My children. Every day they amaze and delight me. Sometimes they frustrate me. They are an awesome responsibility and gift from God. I am their biggest fan, in everything they do. I support them in following whatever dreams God gives them.
4. My brothers. What a great gift that they are not only part of my family, but also some of my very best friends.
5. First Presbyterian Church, the church I grew up in. The foundation of my faith was formed there, and I am thankful for all those there that helped lead and guide me.
6. Music. Keith Green, Michael W Smith, Carman, Leon Patillo some of the many that have helped fire me up, or calm me down.
7. Flowers. I love their colors, their scents, their variety.
8. Diet Mountain Dew
9. The student ministry at Killarney. What a joy to be able to make a difference in the lives of young people.
10. Woodworking. The joy of creating things out of wood has always been a relaxing thing for me.
11. Moody Bible Institute. Three of the best years of my life. Living in the dorm, going to classes serving in different areas in Chicago.
12. The Word Heard Round the World. The Bible blog God has allowed me to be the author of. I am thankful for the chance to reach out to 146 different countries with God’s word.
13. Computers. What a wonderful tool for communication. What a helpful instrument for organization. A modern marvel – probably the most revolutionary invention of my 50 years.
14. Cameras. Film then digital. How else could you so perfectly capture a memory?
15. Trees. They provide oxygen for us to breath. They provide shade on a hot summer day. They provide shelter for lots of nature’s little creatures. They provide wood for my many woodworking projects.
16. Chocolate. Dark, white, milk – I love it in all of it’s many varieties.
17. Hugs. They speak when words cannot. They bring joy to family and friends.
18. Christmas. A time to celebrate the giving and receiving of God’s greatest gift to us by giving and receiving gifts from those we love most. So many of my favorite things are wrapped up in the traditions of Christmas that I cannot help but love it!
19. Sunsets and sunrises. Notice Sunsets are first. I would much rather stay up for the sunset then get up early for the sunrise. There is just something magical about them, I can never see one and not be moved.
20. The night sky. I love to see the moon and the stars. I love to watch for shooting stars.
21. Campfires/fireplace. The perfect way to enjoy the company of family and/or good friends. Often involves marshmallows and my favorite s’mores.
22. Camping. Many great camping trips with my church growing up was a great way to reconnect with nature and enjoy being in God’s creation.
23. My pets. The list is endless, From Cinder my first dog through Diamond our currnet dog and the many dogs in-between, not to mention the rabbits, cats, turtles and fish. They add another dimension of caring to my life.
24. Family Vacations. The Rocky Mountains, the Smokey Mountains, Daytona Beach or a Cruise and great times of family fun.
25. Full time youth pastor. What a blessing to serve our Lord as a youth pastor to the young people that God brought into the church.
26. Mission trips. Mexico to help build a school, West Virginia to build a church each include music, drama and puppets.
27. Freedom and the U.S.A. Sometimes I complain about our government and taxes and the way our country is run, but I have to be thankful that I can complain without fear of retribution. I can worship where and how I want to, and send my children to school where they get a good education. To have been born in and to live in a land of freedom and abundance is something I should never take for granted.
28. Doctors. I’m thankful for the ability and wisdom God has given men to be able to help bring healing to our bodies.
29. Emails and letters from friends. It means someone has taken time out their own busy life for me.
30. Water. I can swim in it, bathe in it, clean my clothes and my dishes in it. I can drink it and be refreshed by it. I can freeze it and use it to cool myself down or sooth my aches and pains.
31. Piano. Thankful for the gift God gave me to be able to play the piano.
32. Singing praises at church. What a joy to join voices together at church raising praises to my Lord.
33. The local grocery store. With an endless supply of food to feed my family.
34. Home-grown tomatoes. How we loved growing our own tomatoes while in Michigan.
35. Watching my 2 boys play sports. It doesn’t matter what they are doing. I simply love watching them learn and master a skill. Baseball, Basketball, tennis, weightlifting, etc.
36. Clear Safety Bags. The ability to reach one of my wife’s dreams to be able to supply clear backpack, clear purse or Clear totes to those that need them.
37. Giordano's Pizza. My favorite treat from my college years, and it followed me to Florida.
38. My iPod. I love having music and audio books with me at any time.
39. Caller ID. I don’t have to talk to those pesky tele-marketers.
40. Cell phones. It gives me much peace of mind to know I can always reach my wife or children.
41. Snow days. Snow days growing up in Michigan meant a day at the sled hill. They were few and far between but much loved.
42. Eating out. Spending time eating with family or friends.
43. Worship. Food for my soul.
44. Homemade Ice-cream. Perfect for any occasion. Great for holidays and birthdays.
45. Bible. I am thankful for the Word of God that I have that I can read every day to help guide my life.
46. House. I’m thankful for the house that we have and the many things we have done to make it our own.
47. Prayer. Quiet, contemplative, comforting, reassuring. Sometimes I talk to God, sometimes I listen for His response.
48. Church. Killarney Baptist church. My support group helping me get through many situations through prayer.
49. Service. Being able to serve my Lord. The ways in which I give back for all that He has given to me.
50. God. Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, Comforter, Guide, Friend. All I have comes from Him, all I do should be for Him. Without Him, the rest of my list is pretty pointless. I live by His amazing grace.
Dear Lord I thank You today for the 50 years You have given me. Thanks for the many blessing You have given me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.