The Reality of a Fallen World

For my younger readers, I have something to share with you for your benefit, your growth, your maturity.

Life is filled with tremendous challenges. If you have been spared to this point, thank God for his mercy. But even if you have been spared, should you have the blessing of many more years, there will be a load to carry.  This is one of life’s great lessons for the aged; the curse is real, not only in a spiritual sense, but in a very personal, very visceral sense as well.

As I have observed my own mother’s decline over the years into dementia (and she is still quite lucid and happy these days), I recognize some of the stone and stubble landscape that Dr. Groothuis describes in the linked article.

Please, young Christian, take the time to read what Dr. Groothuis has written and consider the depths of the merciful care of God. This is not a pure “thought exercise”, for it will be lived out by you and your loved ones in the years to come.

Bediviled by My Wife’s Dementia by Douglas Groothuis.

A Lasting Legacy: Thoughts On Approach to 50

Written a couple of months ago.

“I want to leave a lasting legacy.”

I am less than two months from turning 50. It feels odd to say it. “50.”  I certainly don’t “feel 50”, whatever it’s supposed to feel like. I count my blessings in that, and in uncountable other ways.  Get it?  “Counting the uncountable”? I have always liked words and playing with them.  Those who know me know that I get a special joy in language, although sometimes it comes out in horrible puns.

I have been blessed with such a good life to this point. I had parents who loved, cared, and nurtured me. I have had relatively few physical maladies. I have been blessed with a great family. The churches I have been a part of over the years have proven to be blessings from God as well. Pastors who have shaped, challenged, and befriended me; preaching God’s Word to poor, needy people like myself. Friends who have stood by me when the water was deep and the current strong.

I know what it means to have a spouse who stands by my side in all situations, “for better or for worse”, which is a blessing beyond words. I also know the special joys of being a grandfather. I do not mention all of these blessings as a boast. I know better. Rather, this is an opportunity for me to express my thankfulness in words to the Lord who has been beyond gracious, beyond merciful to me.

Above all of these blessings, God has been gracious beyond measure to call me to His Son. I have known the One and Only Savior. He never leaves me, never forsakes me, never turns His back on me. He helps me in a million million ways every single day. He forgives my sin, chastens my rebellious heart, renews my mind that is so easily distracted by the world’s trinkets. He sticks closer than a brother. He shares His inheritance with me. He reveals joy unspeakable, hope unshakable, love immeasurable. Eternity is in His hand and He shares it freely with His children, that we might know Him better, praise Him constantly, and know ever-increasing joy in Him as the ages roll on.