• Ephesians 2:10
    "For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

A Mountain of Gratitude

April 1 2024

When I became the pastor of Good Works Christian Ministries, my wife along with other members in the church made sure I was honored at least a couple of times a year. My birthday was one of those times. My immediate family was good about celebrating my birthday and Father’s Day. They always presented me with gifts and took me out for a wonderful dinner. Prior to that, I never had a birthday celebration of any type.

My parents never gave any of us a birthday party and all I remember in my younger years was just a birthday greeting. That is not a criticism, but it was just the way things were in my family. When I got married, my wife insisted on our children being celebrated on their birthdays. They either had friends to come over or they met at a venue where they could enjoy themselves.

This year a committee was formed and they gave me a birthday celebration that was absolutely amazing. I had been wondering if my wife was still alive, what she would do for my 70th birthday. I knew it would be grand. I was celebrated the entire month. I had no part in the planning. I was told to just show up and leave the rest up to the committee. That’s exactly what I did and it was awesome!!

The first Sunday of the month long celebration, when I walked into the church and saw the decorations, I was awestruck. They were beautiful! I should have known that something special was about to happen because when I arrived at church, all of my children were already there and waiting. They don’t usually arrive thirty minutes ahead of the service. They shouted “surprise”!! And I certainly was. There was a display on the pulpit that was absolutely breathtaking. It included the number 70 and the backdrop contained an image of a man in a black tuxedo that represented elegance in the highest degree. The vestibule housed an array of balloons with Happy Birthday in lights in the center. All I could say was wow!!

Each Sunday thereafter, I was blessed to hear a different guest speaker who spoke on “Godly Wisdom”. I was truly instructed in the Word and inspired by each speaker. There were dancers, vocalists and a saxophonist. At the end of each church service, one of the members came up to eulogize me. I was touched by the gracious words spoken. I was both honored and humbled by their expressions of love. I could tell their comments were original and heartfelt. Also at the end of each service I had the pleasure of taking pictures with each guest. Not many people shied away from the picture taking. Some even opted for multiple shots.

On the actual night of my birthday, I was honored with a surprise birthday celebration at a restaurant. My immediate family, siblings (including my two sister in laws), nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, friends and church members were all in attendance. We were entertained by a great saxophonist and comedian who had us laughing so hard, our faces were hurting.

My closing remarks focused on my deceased wife and my new normal. I know it has been almost three years since she passed, but I miss her every single day. I was married to an angel who God sent to bless my life. I hate she wasn’t here to celebrate with us, but I am thankful for the 42 years of marriage.

Throughout the Bible, God honors and rewards people who have been faithful. He stores up blessings for them and at the appropriate time, they are dispensed in a magnificent way. He wants us to know that He has never forgotten us and remembers our good deeds.

I can’t say enough about how special I have been made to feel over the past thirty days or so. I am incredibly blessed and honored and have a mountain of gratitude for the wonderful things that were done. All of the people who came to visit at church, the scores of phone calls, gifts, text messages and comments on Facebook blessed my soul.

This is a birthday celebration that I will never forget as long as I live. It created some very special memories for me. Just to know that God had this time set aside for me even before my actual birth leaves me speechless.

God is truly amazing. His unfailing love and kindness overwhelms me. I have done nothing to deserve His mercy or His grace, but yet He keeps pouring them out in unfathomable measures.

I believe I have several more years ahead of me and an unfinished assignment. My goal is to continue to be an effective ambassador for His kingdom. The God we serve is great and there is nobody like Him!! I pray I never frustrate His grace or grieve His Spirit.

He is the air that we breathe!

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