I have taken a break from writing my blog.  It was a sabbatical from writing, a hiatus and time-out.  For the last few weeks I have come to realize how much I missed my blogging.  So when does one take up the pen or keyboard again?  How about on your Birthday?  Seems as good of time as any.  So here goes…

At the beginning of the year I set some goals for myself.  I have been doing some assessing as to where I am at this point of the year.  On two or three I have completed or nearly completed them.  On one or two I am about where I need to be.  On one, I am nowhere near where I should be by the middle of August.  So today, I did what any one would do in my situation I took the day off!

I want to talk to you about Four gifts that I have discovered, really rediscovered.  These gifts far out weigh goals, and plans and projects.  I have mostly been aware, but the awareness came to be in the most unusual place, a  park bench in Nashville, Indiana.  I was sitting there while I let my wife browse through a couple of stores.   You see I am a kind person.  On my Birthday I reflected on four great gifts that I have been given.


1     The gift of eternal life in Jesus.  I know I don’t deserve it, I cannot earn it.  In spite of faults and blind spots, Jesus loves me!  I bask in His love for me.  I have been a follower of Christ for 45 years.  I have had my ups and downs, but He has been there all the way.  As I celebrate more Birthdays, I am more aware that the best things in life are eternal.  Things of value.  Knowing Christ is the greatest gift one could receive.


2     The gift of family.  The folks who helped raise me, and assorted other relatives who helped to mold and shape me.  The greatest wife in the world, Susanne who is an amazing women, she has been all along the way.  I am thankful for my son Bennett he has become a wonderful young man and makes us proud everyday to be his parent.  I have adopted kids and grandkids scattered everywhere.  Though we may not be related by blood, you have no the less had an impact on my life.  I want my family to know, that as I reflect on this day, you are truly an awesome gift to me.


3     The gift of the call.  I was called into ministry while a student at Olivet Nazarene University.  I have pastored in Texas, Indiana and Michigan.  I have been allowed to step into the lives of so many wonderful people.  They have made a difference in my life.  I am thankful that for reasons known only to Him that the Lord call me into his service.  I was reminded today what a wonderful gift has been given to me.


4     The gift of friends.  Today I have heard from around the world.  I have heard from a few folks who knew me way back in Sunday School.  I have heard from relatives and acquaintances from across the years.  I have heard from at least three people in each church I pastored.  I have heard from colleagues and pastors and so many, many wonderful people.  I think I agree with the angel Clarence from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” who said to George Bailey, “you see George you really have a wonderful life.”

As more and more Birthdays accumulate you realize jobs and money and prestige are not truly important, Christ, family and friends, are what really matters.

I can say today,  I really do have a wonderful life.

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