Yesterday you turned 40 years old. That must feel strange to think you’re half way to eighty! Life seems to go by so fast. As they say, “The days are long but the years are short.” And they just seem to be getting shorter all the time.
When I was thinking about what I would share tonight there were many things that came to my mind. Your amazing gifting as a Pastor, the Christ-like love with which you treat everyone, your laugh that fills a room, the way in which you reach out to anyone in need no matter what that need may be. I have watched you hold crying children in your arms, nurse drug addicts back to health, stop to give a ride to people stranded on the side of the road with a broken down vehicle, spend countless hours counseling hurting people, bring a smile to the face of a patient recovering in the hospital, and spend hours, weeks, days, and years studying God’s Word so that you might preach the truth with clarity, understanding, and faithfulness. These are just a few of the things that come to mind. You have truly surrendered your life to the service of God our King.
These are all amazing things about you, but what I love most is your desire to have the heart of your children. For as long as I can remember you have told me that I could talk to you about anything and everything. You always told me to not be afraid because you loved me and wanted to protect me. You have proven this again and again with hugs, telling me that I’m beautiful, kissing me on the cheek, holding my hand, late night talks, and making me laugh when I need it.
Thank you. As we got older you started to chat with Anna and I about what character qualities we appreciated in the young boys around us. I laugh to think about how you endured those bouts of crying, while trying to explain that we weren’t in trouble and that you weren’t asking if we liked anyone. You simply wanted to teach us from an early age, what a godly character looked like.
You have cultivated and cared for us as we grew. Seeking to meet each of our needs. My heart has never had to search for love and protection because it has always been right there with you and mom. You still have my heart and I will love you until my dying breath.
Being the eldest of your children I know you are not perfect and I have watched you struggle at different seasons to find a balance between ministry time and family time. But you always pull through. No matter what storms came our way you always fought to keep the hearts of your children.
Ministry isn’t easy and the sacrifice is great, but I am so thankful that with your calling, you strove for balance. You didn’t shut us out of the work and yet you protected us and insulated us from the things we didn’t need to know.
I believe that you have cultivated a love for God and a love for people in each and every one of us.
So thank you for all that you’ve done and all that you are! I love you daddy and Happy birthday.