36 years and a few days ago, at 1:24pm (I’ve always been a bit of a later riser) I made my presence known to the world, and have been graciously afforded the opportunity to live this long.
Birthdays have never been a huge deal to me. I mean, I do celebrate, and I like being able to say that I’ve been around for as long as I have. Saturday, I was able to build some raised beds with my boys, was treated to a feast prepared by my beautiful bride, and received some wonderful gifts from generous family and friends. But, I don’t really need a whole lot of hoopla; I don’t find myself being either annoyingly effervescent about it, but I don’t find myself being forlorn over having grown another year older. Lord willing, I’m living to be 118, so I’m not even close to halfway, thus no reason to get to wound up. I don’t find myself in a deep contemplative mood on most birthdays (what does age mean, where am I going, what do I have left to accomplish, when am I going to die, etc) but this one, for some unknown reason, is a smidge different.
Perhaps it goes to back to a conversation I had with a local pastor (of a church I do not attend). I won’t bore you with all of the details, but the short version is that I was speaking with him about the dangers of age segregation in the church. He was not a fan, made that fact known in no uncertain terms, was on just barely this side of being caustic over it, then asked (in not so friendly, “I would like to hear your thoughts” terms) “what then are you for?” That was a helpful question, despite some of the antagonism. For those of you who may be concerned, we left the conversation peaceably and enjoying one another, but unable to see eye to eye on this issue.
Anywho, that question in its various forms has echoed through the halls and bedrooms of our home, in our vehicles, on walks, etc. The beautiful bride has been particularly helpful in repeating that question, and though there are definitely things we are against, we’d rather choose to identify ourselves with those things that we are FOR. I’ve thought about writing this post for a while, but couldn’t figure out a time to actually write it. I suppose my birthday (or at least near my birthday) is as good a time as any to lay this out.
Here we go, the things that we are FOR:
- The gospel – that Jesus Christ bore my sins and died in my place that I might have assurance of eternal life.
- The proclamation of the gospel – that we are charged by Scripture to make the gospel known and call men to repentance.
- The sufficiency of Scripture – that Scripture is infallible and inerrant, and gives us all we need for life and godliness.
- A literal 6 day creation – because if you can’t trust what Scripture says from its opening chapters, how much confidence can you have in the rest of its contents?
- The sanctity of human life – every life, from the unborn to the aged, is a beautiful creation and all measures should be taken to protect life.
- The local church – that God has ordained individual gatherings of believers for the purpose of glorifying Him and making Him known.
- Keeping families together during the public services of the church. We want our children to be with us, that we might worship alongside them, and they with us; that they can see the spectrum of sizes, ages, colors of those who would worship the King.
- Fathers have both the responsibility and privilege of leading their homes – shepherding their families and discipling them.
- Having lots of children. Children are gifts and blessings, and we will be glad to receive however many God will permit us to have, and if we end up not being able to produce any more of our own, we will adopt as many as we can as the Lord provides the means to do so.
- Home educating our children – and not just the academic side of it, but training them in skills, identifying their passions and talents, and equipping them to be disciple-making individuals.
- Books. Lots and lots of books. We like books.
- Eating in a sensible way that nourishes our bodies and appeals to our appetites. Lots of organic, natural food, and eating foods with ingredients my 6 year old can pronounce.
- Using food as medicine, and medicine as food. If we can find a home remedy or herbal/natural option, we’re probably going to use that first.
- Hospitality – gladly welcoming people into our home, sharing a meal with them, learning from them, praying for them, challenging them, encouraging them.
- Growing our own food as much as God would permit, supporting local farmers to fill in the gaps, and having our family be on a first name basis with cows they get their milk from (raise a glass to Saucy, Cinnbad, and Jessie!)
- Small government, lower taxes, and common sense leadership that would encourage people to fully live out all that is afforded to them in the Constitution.
- Trusting God in all things, for all things. When circumstances would seem to dictate fear, we will choose trust and joy and contentment.