Friday, December 07, 2007
The Eve of turning 35
Tommorrow I turn 35, here are some highlights of the first 35 years of my earthly realm so far.
1) I was a decision of my Mom's during my parent's divorce proceedings. They had already decided to divorce but my Mom thought that God wanted her to have one more child, so my Dad obliged. That's the story as I understand it. My Mom hid her pregnancy of me because the church folk knew the marriage was breaking up and as church folk do so well, they came down on her with judgment and condemnation. So she never saw a Doctor until she walked into the hospital in NE Philly in the snow late on December 7 in labor. She delivered me as a single mom at 5:00 a.m. on December 8 as the nurses and doctors from the night shift were finishing their philly cheesesteaks. I've always had a love affair w/ those cheesesteaks ever since. I was predominantly raised by a single Mom who worked all day and went to school at night to provide a life and opportunity for me and my brother and sister. She paid for my college education and everything else I ever needed growing up. We have had our differences, but that woman is a stud! Because she chose to persevere and provide, I got a chance in this life. Thanks Mom.
2) My growing up years were dominated by sports. They were my outlet for my anger and intense emotions. They were as well my identity, I was how I played. (Talk about a recipe for disaster) I had talent, but my real gifts were my mind and passion. There were always more talented players, but I was determined none would be smarter than me and none could match my passion. Most days I was right about that. But with that came my fatal flaw as an athlete, inconsistency. A streaky player in all the sports I played, always ended with quality stats but it was a roller coaster to get there. I played a little college baseball but largely gave up this entire identity to pursue other passions.
3) Ministry has always been a passion area for me since January of 1990, it was then that I became a follower of Jesus. At 17 I preached my first sermon and been in some form of ministry ever since. These past 17 years have been a whirlwind of activity in several contexts always trying to pursue the Kingdom and offer it to others. God has allowed me to travel to study, teach or be in mission to the following countries: Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Holland, Ukraine, India, Israel and Palestine. I absolutely love to travel and be on adventure or pilgrimmage, I hope to do it the rest of my life.
4) Relationships define me now. I belong to Abba God, he has my singular allegiance. I belong to my wife Nicki for going on 15 years now, she is an amazing support to me and my best friend and smokin' hot! I belong to my 3 kids, Ali, Megan and Zach, I am not home anywhere unless I am with them. I belong to Ordinary Community, my spiritual family, they spur on my Christ following. I belong to Elpida, a network family of other Christ Followers who are some of the most intimate friends I have ever had (you know who you are). I belong to Paul McGillivary and Glenn Johnson as my accountability brothers, they have full permission to speak into my life to say what needs to be said.
5) I have become a pretty decent teacher over the years with teen, young adult and older adult students all over the world now doing some pretty amazing things that I feel so blessed to have been a voice in their journey. Each teaching experience for me is another opportunity for me to learn and connect and spread a dangerous way of thinking, that is the virus known as the Kingdom of God coming straight from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.
Well, tomorrow I turn 35. Sounds good, bring it on! I still think I'm just getting started.
Peace to you to stop and notice the Kingdom around you today,