Tomorrow I will be 56 years old. First I don't know where the time has gone. It seems like yesterday I was young, daring, active and secure. Second, I don't know how many birthdays I have left; only God knows. He has fixed both my boundaries and my times. Third, my heart is heavy this morning - so I unburdened it to the Lord and on paper.
God amazes me. As I grow older He amazes me more and more. First, He created the heavens and their hosts and this earth with all the vegetation, animals, and human beings in six short (24) days. He seemed to be a God of action and moved quickly. Second, He has been administering His purpose for creation between 6 and 10 thousand years now. Is that slow or what? Yes, I know that "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise, as some count slowness, but God is patient toward all the elect [us], not wishing that any of the elect [any] should perish, but that all of the elect [all] should reach repentance." II Peter 3:9, (ESV)
Whether it has been a curse or a blessing I have the capacity to think and act quickly. It is easy for me to rapidly process information and make a decision and then act on that decision. Yes, there has been times I made a decision to quickly and have paid dearly for it. My point is, once I make a decision I am ready to roll, because that is how I roll! It is hard for me to wait around patiently for 6 - 10 thousand years, or really 5 years or so.
God has been using this past 5 years on the back-side of the desert to break me and train me. I have had ample time to read, meditate, pray, think, and to plan. I am an organizer and planner if nothing else. I have reams of plans, thoughts, goals, statements, lessons, and you name it. Here is how my education has gone.
The Lost Art of Disciple Making by Leroy Eims
The Church That Multiplies by Joel Comiskey
real-life discipleship by Jim Putman (no, I didn't forget to hit shift)
Ready? Edited by John M Bailey, Steve Canter, and Randy Ferguson
The Spirit-Driven Church by Timothy Robnett and Allen Quist
transforming church in Rural America by Shannon O'Dell
Radical by David Platt
I don't claim to be anything special. I have no unusual talents, educational triumphs, or even ministerial successes. But I have always been "radical" in my living. I have seemingly always tried to swim against the current. Here is my prayer:
Did you get that? Why did Muller start the orphanages? His primary purpose was not to care for orphans, he wanted to live in such a way that it would be evident to all who looked at his life - Christian and non-Christian alike - that God is indeed faithful to provide for his people. He risked his life trusting in the greatness of God, and the end of this life made much of the glory of God.