Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Thoughts on a birthday...

I think it must be because I am getting older (56), or maybe because I look lots older, but I have had more people this year ask me about my birthday, growing older, or aging. So let me share a few thoughts about adding another year to my ledger.

...I just don't think about age. Even tho some of my friends had mentioned it yesterday, I still managed to forget it was my b'day till Marsha reminded me. I just don't see the benefit of pondering the difference of adding a year. In fact, odds are that this year I will tell someone I am 55, or 57. I just don't think it matters.

...I really do think age is a state of mind. I am aware that over 60% of my life or more may be in the past. Yet I still am excited about the Lord will do in my life and ministry. I don't envision a time when I slow down.

...I am, however, more conscious to value the special relationships in my life - and to let them know that I value them.

... I am more conscious to prioritize things now. I focus on putting time in on the things and people that matter.

... There is a great advantage to looking as old as I do (and I have looked this way for a long time). When you look old early, you don't have to worry about looking older with each passing year. In fact, every year you look better for your age. In another ten years I will look my age and in another twenty I'll look good for my age, and in another thirty I'll look young for my age.

... Today reminds me to live in the moment, to seize the opportunities God places before me, and embrace the joy of the Lord. I don't waste time on the past and God controls the future.

... I am glad that growing older has let me become a better son, husband, father, "pops", and friend.

... I am conscious today that I have earned every wrinkle. It is not the age - it is the mileage. And I have learned much from the journey. A life spent loving Jesus, battling Satan, and telling others the good news of salvation has helped me know how to lead others as a shepherd.

Finally, this is a great day. God has blessed me beyond measure, Mimi still loves me, my children are faithful, my grandkids are a joy, my parents (both sets) are still role models, and I have more really good friends than anyone I know.

Thanks God and whatever years are left I gladly give to you.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


What about re-baptism...

A couple of you asked me about re-baptism after the blogs of a few weeks ago. So let me share a few of my thoughts.

First of all, I question the use of the term "re-baptize". I know what is meant by it, but that is like saying "re-die". A person either died with Jesus or he did not. If not, then all that happened was that someone got wet all over. So what would make someone want to be baptized when they went thru the process once before?

The most common reason I hear is they didn't really commit the first time. If that is truly the case, then certainly be baptized. It really is a response of faith and commitment. It may be that you remember doing it just because your parents, or a preacher, pushed you into it. It may be that you did it just because it was the thing to do and you really did not even think about it.

However, do not confuse guilt with lack of commitment. I sometimes talk to people who have engaged in a lifestyle that was not compatible with their Christian commitment. The guilt is sometimes so intense they want to start over from scratch and do it right. Perhaps what is really needed is a lesson on grace and forgiveness. When I was baptized into Christ, it put me into a relationship. Sin, struggles, and weakness do not invalidate the relationship.

I also encourage people not to confuse spiritual growth with a lack of commitment. Often those of us baptized at a younger age look back and think we had no clue about what it meant to die with Christ. I certainly understood more at 20 than 10. I had a much better understanding at 30 about what Jesus wanted and by 40 I realized how little I really knew about Jesus. At 50, I began to have a clue and I hope by 60 I can begin getting a handle on it. By 70 I am sure I will start to really understand and by 80 may know how to live the way I want to. By 90 I probably will have gone home. I know I'll get it then. But I am not going to be baptized every decade as I grow and mature.

I clearly remember being on fire and totally committed to Jesus the day I gave my life to him. Did I really know what was ahead? Of course not. But that decision has been the most consistent truth in my life...even when I was not consistent in following it.

By the way, I do "re-baptize" those who ask. We discuss some of these ideas and then I do what they feel appropriate. After all, it is between them and God.

So what has been your experience with this subject? Either personally or in spiritual counseling with others.

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