Older or Bolder?

addtext_com_MTI1MjA2NDM2NDkMy brother turned seventy today. It’s hard to believe that I now have four siblings who are in their seventies. All eight of us are still alive, and we have all lived longer than our mother.

It just doesn’t seem possible that so much time has passed since we lived on 14 Milton Road. We were so utterly poor, and we made our own games, and crazy they were. Eight kids who played hide and seek, and would hide the smallest kids in the oven! Eight kids who would swim in a ditch filled with filthy water after a rain storm, water containing poison that had been sprayed to kill mosquitoes. Eight kids who jimmied a board out of the floor of the bedroom where all eight of us slept. We then would sneak through that hole and go outside to play in the dark. It’s a wonder any of us turned twenty, much less seventy!

Sometimes, I think we forget how blessed we are for each day that God allows us to wake up, and breathe the oxygen He created. It is not an accident or happenstance, that you  are alive on the earth today. God could have called us home long ago.
I will be sixty-four years old next week, and I thank God for every year He has given me. I’ve always known life was a gift from God, and after losing our son Bryan who was thirty-six, I never take life for granted anymore. It is truly a gift from God, and God has us here for a reason.

I especially want to speak to the women for a moment. Don’t buy into the ridiculous cultural mindset that the older you get, the less important you are in society. I mean if you have wrinkles, gray hair and fallen body parts, you just aren’t relative. Society might make you feel that way, but God does not! God has your days numbered, and has you here on purpose, for purpose. If ever we have needed women who could pass on common sense and biblical wisdom, it’s today!

Yep, I am about to be the ancient age of sixty-four, but I plan to keep doing things that will count for eternity. I plan to invest in the Kingdom, the lives of others, and especially the lives of my grandchildren. I want to pass down some things, but more than anything I want to pass down things that matter most.

I “ain’t” getting older, I’m getting bolder!

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. – Proverbs 16:31; The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright. – Psalm 92:12-15

Pride and Ego Are Not My Friends

As “Lillian” approached me after a prayer meeting, I was excited by her question.  “I am pridean officer in an organization, and we were wondering if we could schedule you to speak for us next month.”  I was so ecstatic.  It was early in my days of travel ministry and each invitation thrilled my soul!  Then Lillian followed her question with explanation.  She said that they were disappointed that the speaker they wanted could not come and now they were desperate, and they thought of me.  I was their “desperation” choice!  I was their “second” choice!

After the conversation, I asked Lillian to give me that day to pray about it, and I would get back with her.  The truth is I wanted the day to seethe about being their desperation choice.  How dare they!  I wanted the day to beautifully craft my words to tell them, “NO!”   I was about to let my pride make my decision.  Ego had stepped up to be my walking partner that day.

As I complained to God, I mean prayed to God, He spoke these words to me, “Have you ever thought that you were my first choice to be there?  Have you given thought that I orchestrated it for you to be the speaker rather than their “first” choice?”  I was about to let pride make my decision.  Ego was quickly becoming my best friend.

How often does God have a plan, and we miss it, because we let pride and ego stand in the way?    Maybe it’s a speaking engagement.  Maybe it’s marriage enrichment.  Maybe it’s a relationship thing.  Maybe it’s … you fill in the blank.

I did speak at the event. God did move at the event.  Thank God that I did not let pride make the decision.  Ego and I parted ways that day.

Pride and ego are not my friends, and they are not your friends either!

“O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8