Birthday Reflections

How did September 15 come around so fast again? I turned 58 today.

Ever since my battle with cancer in 2005, I have marked each birthday with a little phrase or ditty to commemorate God’s mercy to me in giving length of days.

  • 53 and cancer free
  • 54 and ready for more
  • 55 and staying alive (with apologies to the US government)
  • 56 and up to the same ole tricks
  • 57 and not ready for heaven

And now, drum roll please, though my wife already gave it away on Facebook . . .

  • 58 and feeling great!

Oh the mercy of God after even odds in ’05 of survival of head and neck cancer that I would turn 58 and feel better than I can ever remember in my adult life. I am extremely grateful.

This morning I met as always on alternate Wednesdays with three young men that I treasure and seek to invest in for their spiritual well-being. We are reading through J. C. Ryle’s classic, Holiness.

Our chapter discussion closed this way – Ryle’s summary applications from his treatment of Revelation 2 & 3and the letters to the churches. It reflects my aspirations for another year and however long the Lord allows me to live and serve Him:

Let us rather covet the best gifts. Let us aim at eminent holiness Let us endeavor to be like Smyrna and Philadelphia. Let us hold fast what we have already, and continually seek to have more. Let us labor to be unmistakable Christians. Let it not be our distinctive character, that we are men of science, or men of literary attainments, or men of the world, or men of pleasure, or men of business, but ‘men of God’. Let us so live that all may see that to us the things of God are the first things, and the glory of God the first aim in our lives, to follow Christ our grand object in time present, to be with Christ our grand desire in time to come. Let us live in this way, and we shall be happy. Let us live in this way, and we shall do good to the world. Let us live in this way, and we shall leave good evidence behind us when we are buried. Let us live in this way, and the Spirit’s word to the churches will not have been spoken to us in vain.

O to leave good evidence behind when I am buried.

To live is Christ, to die is gain (Phil. 1:21).

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