Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Half a Century

Most of my classmates have already done it. My wife has already done it. My best friend, too.

I turned 50 years old today.

Half a century.

Egads! (as my Uncle Bill always used to say)

I didn't really want to, but I didn't have much choice in the matter.

3 months old

Mostly, I'm very happy where I am at 50 years old.  I'm in a very happy marriage and we have two stunningly beautiful godly daughters.  I'm the pastor of a thriving church. I drive a  Jeep AND a convertible (just not at the same time). I have a mortgage-free home!

The parts that I'm not too happy about are: I can't get any publisher interested in my novel; I'm over-weight and out of shape; my eyes are bad, and I have less money now than I did when I was 40.

My best friend, Martin Whipple and me at Little Friend Kindergarten in 1969

I have lived 18,300 days.

By God's grace, most of them have been excellent days!  God is so very good to me. Better than I deserve, actually.

First trip to the Great Wall in 1990

I saw on the news last week, where someone had joined the Senior PGA Tour this year. He had turned 50 two weeks prior.


Sally joined AARP when she turned 50, so I've already been a member for two years. And don't be fooled, I whip out that AARP card at every restaurant, hoping for their discount!

Wedding Day 1992
 Audrey will fly out of our nest in a month. She starts her freshman year at Oklahoma Baptist University August 16.  Emily will start driver's ed in two months.

Many of my classmates are already grandparents. I didn't have my first child until I was 32.

Our last prayer card as missionaries in West Africa 2002

In my 50 years, I've lived in 28 different houses or apartments, not including the hotels and other temporary housing that we used as missionaries. I've visited 29 different countries on 4 continents and have lived in 6 different countries on 3 different continents. I've officially studied (and passed basic proficiency exams) in 6 foreign languages, although I'm sure I couldn't pass those same tests now.

Tibet 2004
 I've been to the uttermost parts of the earth - and back again.

I have friends LITERALLY all around the world.

Preaching in Ukraine in 2011
I consider myself to be rich. Not with with material possessions or monetary wealth, but with the blessings of family and friends. I may not be where I thought I would be 20 or 30 years ago, but I wouldn't change a thing.

I love my wife. I love my children. I love my church.

Sally and me at the Western Wall in Jerusalem - December 2013

God has blessed me abundantly! If there is  anything good, anything noble at all in my life, it is because God has blessed me with it.

Thank you, Father, for making me the richest man on earth!