Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Dr. John

I've been around long enough now to have lost a sense of perspective about the passing of time. Things that happened 15 years ago seem like yesterday and yesterday could have happened 15 minutes ago. I can only assume that the more years you have under your belt, the worse this becomes.

On Sunday I heard a story about a divorced woman who had been married in 1983 and I thought to myself, "She's already divorced? Marriage must not have lasted long." Turns out her sad separation came after 24 years of marriage. It's just that 1983 doesn't sound like it was that long ago.

I say that to say this: 74 years ago today my father was born. Now, 74 used to sound old to me, but now that Dad has reached it, it doesn't seem old at all. On the other hand, it doesn't seem possible for him to be that age either.

To say he's "healthy" may be misleading, but he is most certainly strong in muscle, common sense and will; three things he's been as long as I've known him. His joints hurt a little more, but he travels to far off worlds on a regular basis and works harder than anyone I know. His hair has turned white, but his mind is still sharp and curious. He's seen a lot of things, but he manages to keep things in perspective.

I've said this before, but it's worth repeating. I have two or three men whom I run to for advice on a consistent basis. They serve as my "spiritual fathers" if you will. As I look around my own circle of influence I'm reminded that not everyone has people like that in their lives. And those who count their biological fathers as one of those advisers are fewer still.

I'm proud to wear his name. I'm thankful to be his son. I love the way he loves my wife and my children. I appreciate his desire for me to learn from his successes and his mistakes. I only hope I can serve and influence a fraction of the number of people he has served and influenced.

And of course I pray that my children turn out as good as his have ; )

I love you Dad.

Happy Birthday, Dr. John.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Some things never change. I spoke with my High School Choir director today. It's been over 20 years since Ron McCommas and I have seen each other and probably 17 since we've spoken. But when he answered his phone today my mind was flooded with memories. His smooth baritone voice sounds exactly the same.

Ron is at least partly to blame for my love affair with music. His belief in my talents and his encouragement and guidance at a crucial time in my life gave me the desire and confidence to follow a musical path that I'm still traveling today. I'm thankful for him and so many others who took the time and sacrificed their energy to help mold me.

And then there are those inevitable changes. For those of you who may not have heard, I am resigning from my ministry position at the Lake Cities Church. April 26th will mark 5 years of ministry there and serve as our last Sunday at Lake Cities. I like the symmetry of that - 5 years nearly to the day.

God has been faithful and spoken clearly during those years. He said go and we went, now He's saying it's time for our family to begin a new season of life and we are excited about the possibilities. Please keep us in your prayers as we make this transition. Perhaps we'll even see some of you as we plan to take advantage of the freedom to take some weekend get aways.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend and remember He is Risen and He is sovereign!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Sweet and Sour Birthday

As usual, Stephanie awoke before me this morning and went for a run. I didn't even notice. However, about a half an hour later I realized someone else had crawled into my bed and was cuddled up very close to me.

You must understand that Rainey, my 7 year old daughter is my snuggler. She'll lay on the couch with me or sit on my lap and talk, read or watch TV. Her little sister Emily simply doesn't have the patience for it. Most of the time a quick hug or even a high five as she passes by is all I can hope for.

This morning however, I felt her small, warm body and cold feet next to me. Then I smelled that smell that all parents know and only parents can appreciate. It was the sweet and sour breath of a small child. Emily is only a couple of months past her third birthday. She has yet to develop the morning breath of an adult or even a 7 year old. I opened my eyes to find myself face to face with my beautiful little girl. Immediately, I felt confident that no matter what the rest of the day held, I'd already experienced its highlight.

This date in history however, will not be remembered for tender moments between a father and a daughter. No, April 2 is marked by events of much greater significance. Today my friends, is my mothers birthday.

If you've never met my mom, then I can only tell you that any attempt to describe her in this format would be wasted. It would take volumes or at least a lengthy talk over a good meal to even begin to get a sense of her essence. Now, she would disagree with me about this and argue that she is really a very simple person. But there is complexity in what she calls simple. Those of you who do know my mom can attest to this fact.

Let's just say that I am incredibly blessed to have been raised by this woman and to now count her among my friends and trusted advisers.

Happy birthday Rose. Consider this your child arising and calling you blessed!