Archive for February, 2008

Turning 40.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1, 2008 by gospel2live

Over the years, most of my friends have been older than me. Because we got married young and had kids early, we naturally wound up hanging with a crew that had kids the same age — mostly 6-10 years older than us. As a result, when I was in my early 30s, we would attend big 40th birthday parties where my friends were mercilessly treated because they were “so old.” Even at the time, I realized that by the time I turned 40, these same friends would be closing in on 50 and probably lose their enthusiasm for big 40th birthday parties! So, I think I might get off the hook! (Yes, that is a good thing, I think!)

Anyhow, there is a healthy aspect to examining our lives from time to time. For many of us, the new year is one such time. Birthdays are another — and in particular, birthdays that mark decades give us an opportunity to ponder the brevity of this life, and to examine what we have accomplished so far and what remains to be done if God grants us a normal span of years.

For me, I look at the fact that my firstborn is nearing his time to leave our home. I think this makes me feel older than the number of my birthday. As I evaluate this fact, I realize that our primary work with Sam is nearing completion. There are still a lot of things I’d like him to know and skills that I would like to pass on — however, I know that I only have a little time left for this process and I will have to trust that God will finish off the areas that I have not covered. By and large, I am excited to see his adaptation to the adult world and I am optimistic that he will have a significant influence for the Kingdom of God in the years to come.

I also look at the girls and thin that the next few years are critical. As they enter their teen years, I realize that I have unfinished work to do to prepare them to relate to men when it is their turn to leave. I see bright prospects for them to be able to take meaningful stands, develop godly character and to also have influential lives, but I am struck by the weight that falls on me as a dad to teach them how to relate to men. I am struck by the need for me to carve out time for them over the next few years so that they don’t seek out male attention in unhealthy ways.

For my marriage, next years birthday is probably even more of a milestone. Using an online day calander, I calculate that 2 days after my 41st birthday, I will have been married for half my life. I am amazed at the grace God has shown me in giving me a woman who would hang in there through all the turmoils that life has thrown at us. I honestly couldn’t blame her for giving up years ago. But I need to work at making the next part of our life more tolerable than the first 20 years. I am very aware of the ways that I ahve fallen short, and pray that God would grant me the ability to make significant improvements in the years to come.

Beyond these concerns, my ambitions seem to fade quickly. There are many things I’d like to experience or accomplish, but they fade in importance quickly under this type of examination. Perhaps part of that is realizing that all my work, my preaching and teaching, my activities and hobbies will not carry on beyond my death. As I think about where my legacy will be carried on, it will be in the generations of people who come from my marriage and the raising of my children. I was recently challenged by another pastor’s message to pray for a generation I cannot see. I realize that my impact and influence on the next century will come through my work in leading my family. So it is a bit daunting to realize that a huge portion of that work (whether done well or not!) is already behind me. Certainly, there will be ongoing relationship and influence for whatever years lie ahead, but a lot of that will be built on the foundations already laid.

So, for those who may read this who are just starting out, especially, I would challenge you to catch a glimpse of a time you cannot see. Then realize your opportunity to influence that time may be sitting in a high chair and driving you crazy right now. Worry less about their ability to have the American Dream, and inspire them to dream of their part in a bigger Kingdom — the Kingdom of God. Trust me, there is no greater rush than to see your chidren carrying forward a passion and joy in Jesus as they begin to become missionaries to the time you cannot see.

Schedule update!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1, 2008 by gospel2live

I haven’t been on here for awhile, but we’ll givei t another chance. Due to my attendance at the Bethlehem Pastor’s Conference next week, there will be no Marriage Bible Study on Tusday, Feb.5, 2008. Also, Thursday morning men’s study is also cancelled for Feb. 7, 2008.

Don’t forget the Super Bowl party on Sunday! Bring a snack to share and come watch the game, play games, or just hang out. All ages welcome.