Today is my birthday. I began my journey in this life 33 years ago at Washington Regional Hospital in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
33 years has gone by fast. I have a lot of memories today.
I remember my first day of kindergarten.
I remember telling my parents I needed to talk to them alone after church, going into their room, getting down on my knees next to their bed and praying for salvation.
I remember Mrs. Simmons' third grade class and making a construction paper telephone one rainy school day.
I remember Laurie Vaughn who told the principal I was cussing on the school bus when I told her she was going to hell if she didn't 'get saved.'
I remember going fishing with grandpa and grandma. I remember being at the hospital the night grandpa died. The morning of his funeral we ate at McDonalds. It was Christmas Eve.
I remember the night I knew I wanted to commit my life to full-time vocational ministry.
I remember the last fight my parents had and a few days later a deputy sheriff sitting in the driveway of our trailerhouse to serve my dad papers.
I remembering wrecking my mom's 1987 Honda Accord she dearly loved.
I remember driving by myself and staying with some friends in Sheridan, Arkansas so I could check out Ouachita Baptist University.
I remember the very last day of high school having a small water gun I used to squirt Jason Martin with confiscated by the principle- one of my most openly rebellious and definant acts I ever committed as a high school student.
I remember packing up my car and my mom's car and loading up me, mom, my brother and sister to move to Arkadelphia.
I remember the first time I went to the MBSF Center in Arkadelphia. I remember playing some intense foosball games there.
I remember playing cards at the Quad in Arkadelphia.
I remember walking the railroad trussell looking for the Gurdon Light.
I remember my first real youth ministry job and how lousy I was.
I remember late nights at the DeGray Dam Spillway.
I remember my junior year of college meeting Sarah in the Garrison Center at Henderson State University.
I remember deciding to give up on ever having a serious girlfriend, right before I started dating Sarah.
I remember the day I met her parents, sister and her future husband... and the story Amanda told about a $10 refund from the registrar.
I remember Reunion Tower in Dallas where I asked Sarah to marry me.
I remember looking at her as she walked down the aisle on January 2, 1999 and being totally stunned and wowed. For the record, I still am.
I remember sitting in the middle of OBU campus the day before graduation just to soak it in before I left for the last time.
I remember moving to Texas, trusting God by faith.
I remember becoming the interim pastor of Longview Missionary Baptist Church and the sermon I preached that first Sunday- Depending on God.
I remember coming home on a Wednesday night and Sarah telling me we were going to have a baby. I remember the delivery and seeing my baby girl for the first time.
I remember the day of my seminary graduation and the family and friends who were there with me.
I remember going to the hosptial and waiting for what seemed like forever before they called me into the delivery room where my son was to be delivered.
I remember so many good, wonderful, blessed, happy, joyous things.
I am grateful to God for 33 years.
I will remember today. Today was a good birthday. It started with Sarah screaming "The oven is on fire!" And it was- the heating coil shorted out and was arcing. It looked like a fuse slowly burning. This is my first birthday to have fireworks and firetrucks. We took some family pictures that turned out great. I was able to minister to and pray with several church members. I spent a little time studying Scripture. We had birthday dinner at Carino's where I had Italian Chili and Chicken Scaloppini. We went to Lifeway where I spend a gift card and then to Target for some Christmas shopping. We then made it home for birthday cake. It has been a very good day.
I don't know how many more years I have left on this earth. For whatever God gives me, I will be grateful. I pray that I will devote and use my life for His Glory and His Kingdom work. May he be pleased to use me as He sees fit.
I am so thankful for how He has blessed me and shown kindness to me. I deserve none of it and deserve nothing more. But, knowing the Lord like I do, I know He will continually bless. And for that, I am continually and eternally thankful to Him.