For anyone who has known me for any length of time, you know I am kinda, sorta reserved about how much I put my family “out there.” It’s really not intentional or intended, it’s just that I don’t share much of their lives, their situations, or their boyhood in the public domain. Some of it is by choice; some is by request; and some of it is because Angela and I want them each to have an opportunity to live (even as they are all “P.Ks” = Pastor’s Kids). That in itself can be more challenging that what is even understood.
But I do want to take just a few moments here to report on how impacted and blessed I am to see and observe how God is moving, and working, and impressing our oldest two sons: Randol and Jacob. God has really been doing a major work in their lives during the past year and it has really blessed my heart to be able to witness it. I do want to say here, “Many thanks to all of you – all of you – who have spoke and worked in their lives in a supportive role to our Lord.” Surely the list is long, and I don’t want to leave anyone out. But from the bottom of my heart, “May God bless you for it!”
Now, any Dad would feel and react the same way, I am sure. It doesn’t only have this effect on a Dad who also happens to be a Pastor. However, in what I know, have seen, and have read about with many M.K.s and P.K.s (that is Missionary Kids and Pastor’s Kids, respectively), I am grateful for God’s welcomed presence in their lives and their response to His direction and purpose. No, they aren’t perfect. Yes, they have many things to work on and improve on. And from time to time, I still have to get in their face, and, as they say, “up in their business.” But in all transparency and honesty, they are further along in their journey than I was at their age.
They love the church and the community at Bridgeway. They are excited about what lies ahead and they are engaged in various ministries as much as they are able (Youth and Praise & Worship), and they are asking me about Missions consistently. They are sensitive to others; to the needs of others; and to those in troubled situations. They offer rides to kids who’s parents aren’t around and they give money (even what little they make and earn) to ministry, missionaries, and special situations.
I simply felt the Holy Spirit prompting me, today, to share this. It may be so I don’t forget. It could be to help spur them on. And it could related to giving encouragement to someone else. To me, beyond any classroom or athletic ability, and beyond any gifting or achievement, is their relationship with God, their connection to God’s Church, and their worldview and spiritual formation. I tell our boys, and reinforce to them as much as I am able, to keep God at the center of their lives, in everything and in every season. Even in the difficulties (and they/we have them); in the trials (and they/we sure have experienced those) – God will be God and He will draw us near to Himself if we will yield to Him. I believe Randol and Jacob are finding this to be true in school, on the field/court, with friends, at youth group, in dealing in their own ways with their brother’s illness over this 2.5 year journey, and in growing up and developing. Again, still much to learn and glean as they develop and grow to be men after God’s own heart. But the fact is: God’s not done with any of us. Right now, I am just thankful.
Randol and Jacob – your “old man” is proud of who you are becoming in our Lord Jesus Christ, and I just wanted to tell you (publicly). You can rant and rave for my “calling you out” here in this blog, but you can’t delete it :-) For you two and for all of the precious youth and teens: Continue to fan the flame of your faith, each day. Read Isaiah 55, v.6 and Jeremiah 29, v.11.
Thank you for reading…may God truly have His way with all of us! Future generations are loving the Lord, and to that we can say, “Amen!”
Joy, peace, and love…