Today, I turn 49 years old. Yesterday, close to the Appalachian Trail, I was meditating once again on the prodigal son, particularly the one who stayed at home. Just like him, there was a day that I was a “spoiled brat”. However, I realize staying at home was not a bad thing. And one can be “spoiled” as they enjoy all the favor displayed from the Father, without becoming a “brat”. As one who will enter into the countdown of his 50th year tomorrow, I reflected on all the benefits of staying at “home” as I learned to fall in love with the Father.
I can say I am spoiled because…I have been trained by some incredible mentors: Pastor(s) Alley, Loner,Brodie, Hyles, Young, Capaci, and Kingsbury. And not only these, but numerous Sunday School teachers from Timberlake Baptist Church as I grew up.
I can say I am spoiled because…I have been blessed to have both of my parents for 49 years. They have taught me hard work, faithfulness to God, and the importance of Biblical marriage, along with hundreds of other things that I am reminded of as I continue to live life. Family has always been close to me. Thank you, Aunts and Uncles, Cousins, and kin for all of the love you have shown through the years.
I can say I am spoiled because…I have an awesome brother and sister. I cannot imagine having any better ones. Their love for my family and me never goes unnoticed. They both master at doing the little things that matter the most. I have watched them rebound through many toils and trials, then turn to help others in need.
I can say I am spoiled because…I have three awesome children. They love their dad. They seek his advice and listen to his words. They each have grown in their God given talents and I believe have fixed their hearts to use them to further kingdom work. I am currently on vacation with them and having the time of our lives. We are making memories that will never be forgotten.
I can say I am spoiled because…I have an incredible wife that was handpicked for me by my Heavenly Father. She completes me in ways beyond numbering. She is submissive and allows me to lead, while giving advice that is far above rubies or diamonds. She is my very best friend! She is the one that allows no secrets to stay between us. She is a wonderful mother. She is a wonderful ministry partner.
I can say I am spoiled because…I have terrific in-laws. My father and mother-in-law have always been supportive of our marriage and our children. They have expressed their love in so many ways to all of us and we relish in every thought of them. They love the Lord and seek to serve Him.
I can say I am spoiled because…I have some incredibly close friends. Jeff Johnson has been that friend that has stuck “closer than a brother”. The men I get to work with in the ministry of RU have become confidants and close friends – Steve, Barry,Crabb,Tony, Mitch, Ryan, Jay, James, Andrew, Benji, Dave, just to name a few.
I can say I am spoiled because…I have a dedicated, real, Holy Spirit-led pastor in Paul Kingsbury. Serving with the team of Pastor Outler, Haese, and the staff at RU is rewarding each and every day. To watch God enlarge our coast is humbling and exciting.
I am sure I could write more, however, I have to tell you the real hero of my story …
I can say I am spoiled because…for 49 years, I have grown up under rules and regulations that eventually showed me of my need for the Savior. I realized I could not love God with all my heart, soul, and mind and my neighbor as myself. I needed a Savior who was willing and able to forgive me of all my trespasses and sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I have a Savior who was willing to impute His righteousness to my account. I have a Savior who has loaded me with benefits daily. I have a Savior who delights in making “me” His favorite.
Yes, I am spoiled! Yes, it pays to “stay home”…to eat at the Fathers table…to enjoy His commands…to desire His desires…to welcome home the younger “sons” who left home.
If you are jealous, you shouldn’t be. He wants to favor you, too.
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