Tuesday, November 8, 2016

On the 40th Anniversary of My Birth

I turn 40 today. I have lived in 5 decades and 2 centuries. I have learned quite a bit, most of all knowing how much I don't know. I have been part of some incredible things, and been humbled beyond all imagination. I have had my heart so filled with love and joy I thought I would burst and had my heart shattered into billions of tiny pieces like it was frozen in liquid nitrogen and smashed with a 40 pound sledge. I've gain and lost friends, loved and lost and been the hero and the villain.

Through it all, I have learned a few things. First off, what you do is important, but who you are is not limited to what you do. There are many who will condemn you forever for one mistake. God doesn't do that. If the modern day Pharisees were in charge, Moses, David, Peter, Paul, none of those men would be allowed to do anything because of mistakes they made. They would be "unqualified" for ministry. That isn't the economy God operates in. He uses murderers, adulterers, quitters, hypocrites, sinners to do His work to give Himself the glory. I think part of the reason that the church lacks so much power is because we are using the power of the "qualified" individuals and not using the losers. God uses losers and I want to be one of God's losers.

I have learned that good friends stay good friends. If you leave a job or change churches or move away, some friends will fade away. They were friends for a season. You need to have some of these friends who last your whole life, regardless of the separating factors. Also, if you can find a friend like this who has a beautiful sister, marry her. Worked out great for me!

Get a dog. As I write, Scrappy is laying next to me, snuggled up. He is a great dog. My other dog, Rowdy is outside because he lives us to his name, but he's just a puppy. I'll let him in when I'm done. There is something special about having a dog, they are the greatest companion. Don't get a pet store dog either, get a rescue dog from the pound or the Humane society. Scrappy is from a local rescue program here in Sioux City, and he is an awesome dog.

Read, especially your Bible. Read it. Listen to it and listen to preaching and study your Bible and take classes and talk about it and read it more. It will fix your life. Some things in the Bible are easier to understand than others, but that is why we study and listen and get tool and resources like commentaries. Nothing will impact your life like God's word, so spend some time there. It really has the cure for everything in it, and the answers to the most important questions. The meaning of life, who you are and where we came from, all in there.

I am sure there are thousands of other things I could share that I've learned. Love your spouse and love on your kids. Help people, share and let others help you. Get involved, do some stuff, help a friend, help a neighbor, help a stranger. Lots of stuff that is good advice and cliche, but more than anything, make sure you pray. Do something every day that is positive. If you feel depressed, struggle with the depression, don't just suffer from it. If you have conviction, change your behavior. Hope you are blessed and well. I love you all.

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