• 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."

Turning 70

March 1 2024

In a few days, I’ll be celebrating my 70th birthday; a very significant milestone in my life. In my youth, a 70 year old person was considered ancient. At 70, I’m well aware that I’m entering what I consider the fourth quarter of one’s life. Fortunately, I’m grateful to say that I’m still full of vitality and am leading a very active life. My younger brother, who is five years my junior, asked about the time I met Moses, the Deliverer of the Israelites. I just laugh and remind him I am not quite ancient enough for that.

As I reflect back over the years, I can honestly say God has been good to me. He has kept me and has protected me even when I showed behavior that bordered on recklessness. God’s grace is truly amazing. I believe it was the prayers of my mother, and later those of my wife, which kept me alive.

My wonderful parents watched over us and did their best to guide us through life’s journey. My dad, my hero, embodied unfailing love for our family, he was devoted to our mother, he had an incredible work ethic, and unwavering integrity. Tirelessly, he balanced a full-time day job with a part-time night job for over 40 years. I never heard him complain about being tired or overworked. Add to that, he did routine yard maintenance and washed the car weekly. Truly, he was a working machine!!

I started working at the age of eight. I think I was trying to imitate my father. I secured a paper route and kept it until I started high school. I got up at 5:30 A.M. every morning to deliver those papers to the subscribers. Then I got a job working as a dishwasher in a restaurant in the evenings after school. Once I got involved in sports, I only worked on the weekends. I spent a lot of time working as a child because I wanted my own money. I played outside a lot too, but not as much as my friends who did not work.

Upon graduating high school, I was awarded an academic scholarship and went away to college. Although I was ready to leave the nest and become a man, going to school a thousand miles away made me home sick. I wanted to come back and attend college in Atlanta, but my father told me that was not an option. I had no choice, but to stick it out and stick it out I did.

After college, I started my career. I was eager to work, but it was challenging finding a good job making decent money. I took a position at a finance company for a couple of years working in their management trainee program. I successfully completed the program, but then decided I did not want to relocate to another city where I would manage my own operation. So I left the company and went to work for a bank in their mortgage division. That’s when my career started to take off.

I met my wife while working for the finance company. We fell in love and got married. This was one of the greatest highlights of my life. She would become my best friend and confidant. Oh, how I miss her!! We had three wonderful children and three grandchildren as part of our union. I give my wife most of the credit for creating a strong family bond that has kept us closely knit together. We spend time together, support each other, celebrate successes and we don’t allow anything to separate us!

My wife was the individual who introduced me to Christ. Seven years after her conversion, we started our walk together as a Christian couple. Our love for one another and God deepened. Twenty years later, with the leading of the Holy Spirit we became the founders of Good Works Christian Ministries. This was another great highlight of my life, becoming a pastor and leading a relatively small church through some rather turbulent times. A time when we as a country were experiencing a significant cultural transition.

Through this church my faith grew. I saw God at work on so many levels. I met a lot of new friends and my family extended far beyond my biological family. It was worth it to step out on faith. I have truly seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

I would be remiss if I did not mention how God has blessed me with many good friends. I have relationships with people that have lasted for decades. They must be special to tolerate me for all those years. They have supported me in so many different ways and I sincerely love them.

People ask me if I had to do it all over again, what would I do differently. My answer is I would not repeat the same reckless behavior and I would spend more time traveling and seeing the world. Other than those things, I wouldn’t change a lot. The challenges and adversities I faced made me who I am today. God has had His hand on me my entire life. I can see it and know that I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am if He had not marked me and lavishly loved me.

I am grateful for these 70 years. They went by pretty fast, especially the years between 20 and 40. I don’t know how many years I have remaining, but Lord you have been good to me and my family. Your love has overtaken my heart. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.

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