Today is my birthday. I am 54-years-young. Yes, I am experiencing the normal aches and pains of a man of my “stature,” but I don’t think about birthdays as the passing of years – I think of them as growing in happiness. Let me explain. So far this morning I have been blessed with the love of my wife who has wished me the happiest of birthdays. I have had the blessing of FaceTime with my daughters, granddaughters, and ONE son-in-law. Rob, where you at? I have been bombarded on Facebook and e-mail with birthday wishes from people that have been part of every stage in my life. My sister who has known me since birth. Friends from my school years that have reminded me that while time passes and memories fade, friendships can last a lifetime. Church members from years gone by to present day who continue to show their love to me. I have experienced the joy of sharing God’s Word with a group of friends at our Mental Health organization in the city of Decatur who love and encourage me more than they will ever know. As I have told you before, they think that I am better than television. I had the privilege of sharing the gospel with a man who is seeking to know all the Bible has to say about salvation. On Sunday, our children at church gave me one of the most precious gifts I have ever received
, and an anonymous donor left chocolate cupcakes at my office door. Simple but powerful expressions of love for which I am extremely grateful. But most importantly, in recent days I have been reminded by my Heavenly Father how much He loves me and that no matter what this old world throws at me because He is in me and I am in Him, nothing and no one can defeat me. I am secure in His hands.
I just want to express to all who read this that I am blessed. God has blessed my ministry at Southside and every church I have served. He has blessed my life with so many good things that I could never possible deserve. He has blessed my family in ways that I cannot begin to enumerate. As I watched the movie The Insanity of God last night, I realized exactly what this all means. Like the millions of persecuted Christians around the world who have suffered far worse than anything I have ever experienced — beaten, tortured, imprisoned, and even killed — I consider my light and temporary trials in this life to be a privilege. A blessing. A happiness that just adds to the joy of walking by faith with my Savior. I say as Dmitri said in the movie, “Jesus Christ is worth my life and my family” – no matter what that might mean.