Dear Phoenix (age 6), Judah (almost 6), and Decker (age 3),
Following Jesus has been an important part of my life since I was your age. My grandpa was a pastor who prayed for me and modeled a compelling faith for me.
As you grow into men, I pray the following for you:
- That you will always know, no matter what, that God loves you, believes in you, and is proud of you
- That you will always know, no matter what, that you are God’s beloved son and that he will never give up on you
- That you will always live in the power and joy of God’s forgiveness given to you through Jesus
- That you will hear the call of Jesus, first given to you in your baptism, to follow him into good, compelling, honorable, noble manhood
- That you will discover and use your unique God-given gifts and talents in the cause of Christ—which is to bring grace to the world
- That you will use and develop the amazing gift of your brain by studying hard and learning all you can, using your growing knowledge wisely
- That you will learn the importance of good work, fun play, and deep rest
- That you will commit yourself to taking care of yourself physically
- That you will choose your friends wisely—and choose friends who bring out the best in you as you bring out the best in them
- That you would learn to respect yourself and treat others with respect as well
- That, should you marry, you will marry a woman who shares your faith and heart; that you will treat her as your equal, with dignity and respect…and that your marriage, like my marriage to grandma, will be filled with a life-time of joy
- That God will even now begin to prepare the heart of your future wife for a lifetime partnership with you (and she may or may not yet be alive!)
- That you will stay connected to a compelling faith community, serve and support the pastor and staff, and do your part in carrying out its mission (unless of course God calls you to be a pastor—then may you enjoy pastoral ministry as much as I have!)
- That you will grow to be a man of lavish generosity
- That I will live up to this invitation from my heart to yours: Follow me, as I follow Jesus.
I love you guys.