My parents tell me that as soon as I was born on November 3, 1958 they dedicated me to the Lord in prayer. From my earliest memories I had an awareness of my great sinfulness. Through the diligent teaching of my parents and the work of the Spirit in my life I began to have a tug on my heart toward the Lord just about five years later. In a child-like faith I called on the Lord in prayer to forgive me of my sins and make me his child. My parents dedicated me to Christ when I was an infant and raised me to serve the Lord. When I was small I dedicated myself to Christ and to His service. On Christmas Day, when I was eight years old, I was baptized at Highway Byway Baptist Church somewhere near Midland, Michigan in a baptistery filled with ice-cold spring water. My Dad was supplying the pulpit there that Sunday.
My dad taught me how to explain the gospel to others. It was when I was eight that I began to explain the gospel to my friends. Some of them made professions of faith. I was eight when I explained the gospel to a college student at Xavier University and he professed faith in Christ. As the years passed, my desire and resolve to be used of the Lord grew stronger. When I was fourteen I taught vacation Bible School, I preached in a rest home, and I was a “Bus Captain” visiting homes every Saturday to invite children to ride the bus to Sunday School. It was about that time I began to desire to be a pastor one day and I sensed that might be the direction of my life. The Christians around me affirmed that calling. I was a camp counselor every year. I preached whenever I could. I read books about the Bible, Christian work, the pastorate and preaching.
The August after my Junior Year of high school I was asked to pastor a small country church near Ft. Recovery, Ohio. I pastored there until I left for Moody Bible Institute the next fall.
Almost thirty years ago, in the wise providence of God, He sent Lois into my life. He had been at work in her life since she was a little girl. He saved her when she was thirteen. We met in 1978 and married a year later. God has given us eight children. We have consecrated our marriage and our children to the Lord.
We have served the Lord together in Christian ministry for thirty years. God has sustained us and used us in spite of our failures and our sin. He has provided for us over and over again. He has guided us in the most remarkable ways – miraculous ways. God is kind and merciful. We have eight children. All of them know and love the Lord. Two of our boys are serving the Lord in ministry so far.
Today I turned fifty years old. The moment I woke up, before I even got out of bed, I consecrated myself to Christ afresh. I dedicated whatever years I have left to his service. That is all I want to do with everything I have within me, with every day that I have left of my life. Until I die or the Lord Jesus returns, I consecrate my tongue, my pen, my life and my family to Him.
The older I get the more aware I am of my own sinfulness and hopelessness outside of Christ. With each year that passes I am more deeply aware of the beauty of Jesus. I love Him more today than I ever have before. I am more determined to serve him in love than ever I have been before.
I will speak. I will preach. I will write. I will sing. I will labor in the harvest with a song in my heart as long as I have one breath left in me. I will love Lois and our children and our grandchildren in order to prepare them and help them to honor our worthy and wonderful Lord Jesus Christ with their lives. That is how I am going to spend whatever years I have left on earth.
Jesus, this morning, the first day as a fifty-year-old, I want to tell you again how much I adore you. I consecrate myself to you again to bless your name with my lips and honor you with my life. Help me make my life a continual sacrifice of praise to you. Help me influence others to trust you and love you. I devote myself to making you known in Taylor, in the Downriver Communities, in Michigan, and wherever you give me any influence for you.. I will use my pen and my words to honor you from right here to everywhere in the world that I can. O, how I love you. How I adore you. You are my life! -Amen
November 3, 2008