Thoughts on turning 40
On August 11, 1971 (40 years ago tomorrow), I was born at Virginia Baptist Hospital in Lynchburg, VA. I'm told that my entry into the world took only 45 minutes and that my mom wasn't even checked into the hospital when I arrived. It's been pretty busy ever since.
I'm not sure how you're supposed to feel turning 40. I suppose it is a good time to reflect on life a bit. For me, I don't have any regrets. Of course, I have regrets about sin, failures, hurting the ones I love, etc., but I have no regrets about the meaning and purpose for my life. About 30 years ago, I encountered Christ in a saving way and began a salvation journey of following and striving to become more like him. So, the bar has always been high for spiritual goals and I've never been bored. As I reflect on my 40 years I feel very content and thankful, especially for:
Tomorrow, I don't plan on doing anything radically different. Since I'm 40, join me in worshiping the Lord through the words of Psalm 40, which are also put nicely to music by U2 below.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. 4 Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! 5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.
6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me: 8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord. 10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! 12 For evils have encompassed me beyond number;
my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head;
my heart fails me.
13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me! 14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! 15 Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”
16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation
say continually, “Great is the Lord!” 17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!
This past Sunday, I was honored to teach at my home church Bedrock Community Church as part of our summer heroes series. It was a blessing to deal with one of my favorite characters in the Scripture Abraham and teach from my life verses, Genesis 12:1-3 (ESV):
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
While asserting that the Bible is not really a book about heroes but broken people that God uses, the big questions I posed were: Who was Abraham? How was he involved in the mission of God? How did God bless Abraham? Why? What is God's blessing? And how has God blessed us so that we might be a blessing to the nations?
It was a fun message because it begins with a clip of Brett Favre's greatest game and because I got to preach in the national soccer jersey of Bosnia-Herzigovina. To "tune in" to the message, just click here.