Another Birthday

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:3-4 ESV). My story is long; after all, it does span 68 years! However, I want to follow yesterday’s devotional with some details today in the hope that it will give you some encouragement to recognize and celebrate the grace God continues to pour out giving you “the desires of your heart.” I dug through some pictures from my senior year in high school and found one that I thought might be a great enough contrast that it would get your attention. The hopes and dreams I had in that year revolved around a single goal. I pointed myself toward a college degree at Texas A&M University and a career in the aerospace industry. Believe me when I tell you that being a preacher was not even within the remote vicinity of my thoughts. Little did I know that God’s purpose for me had nothing to do with that! Just two years after this photo was taken I would respond to the calling of God and my faith would take me in a completely different direction. I became a Christian, met Mary, became engaged, and was called into vocational ministry. Now, there are many details to that progression, but those details do not lessen the whirlwind of my life that began in April, 1969. So many things happened so quickly. I finished my undergraduate degree and went to seminary, finishing that degree and beginning my career in the ministry. Our dream and prayer was to pastor a small church and have a ministry of counseling in Tennessee. Specifically we wanted to live in the area between Nashville and Gatlinburg. Well, that desire would take forty years to be realized. And, there were many twists and turns in that journey that often made me feel as if it would never materialize. But it did. Mary and I found ourselves in Middle Tennessee, pastoring Santa Fe Baptist Church and having founded Grace Restoration Ministries. The dream was to be short-lived. Five years would pass and we would make another move. We returned to Texas. Don’t misunderstand; we love being back home. Our family is here; but, that was never the dream. At least it wasn’t the dream I knew about. God had something better for us. He gave it to us when we moved home. We miss our friends from Tennessee; but, we have old friends here and family is our focus. God knew the real dream. The wonder of that truth is that the journey is not yet complete. There is even more waiting for me. I still have an eternity to experience the greatness of God’s blessing. Yes, as I wrote yesterday, there are days that are still very challenging; however, knowing that the Lord gives me more than I can imagine or know sustains me through them all. When I remember that, nothing is too much to face. I will overcome all these things through Him! You can...

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