|Jordan with his birthday cake made like a root beer float--complete with straw!|
We recently celebrated a very joyful and blessed time as Jordan turned 20 years old! It is amazing that it has really been 20 years since we first set eyes upon him after he was delivered safely into this world by the hand of God at 11:41 A.M. on June 21, 1994. Jordan has been a gift from the Lord and it has been a great privilege, as well as a tremendous responsibility, to be his parents entrusted to train him according to the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Happy 20th birthday, our son! Our hearts are filled with gratitude to God Almighty for bringing you into this family and we have great hope for the future that our Lord has planned for you. We pray for God's hand of blessing to be upon you and we are excited about the good works that God has before ordained for you to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10). We are petitioning that the Lord will use your recently opened historical poster and postcard business for the building up of His church and for bringing honor and glory to the King of kings.
As we look back on the 20 years that we have had you as a part of our family, we thank the Lord for this time. You have added a great deal to our home with your interests in history, geography, and theology. God has indeed given you many gifts and talents, which have become more and more evident as the days, months, and years have progressed. We have many fond memories of watching you develop into manhood and consider it a great treasure that God has allowed us to be your parents. As our mind scans through the years from your birth until today, there is indeed a joyful pantheon of times, places, and events involving you. From your probing questions to your sharp wit to your well-studied responses, we have benefitted from them all. For the ways in which God has used you in our family, we are indeed very thankful.
As we look ahead to the future, we are excited since we know that the Lord is in control of all things and will be working things for His glory and for your good. If you will faithfully serve the Lord all of your days, you will be blessed. With that in mind, we charge you with growing and developing the following character qualities in greater and greater measure:
- Godliness - This quality is absolutely foundational for living a life that is pleasing to the Lord and will be the bedrock upon which the remaining characteristics will be built. In 1 Timothy 4:8, we read that "godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." (emphasis added)
- Humility - The Bible teaches that God will oppose the proud, but give grace to the humble (James 4:6). Pride is an ugly dragon that must be slain in order to have God's grace upon you. Battle diligently against the attacks of this formidable adversary.
- Servanthood - Just as Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45), you too should live a life of service to others. Those that live for themselves are those that are the most miserable, but those who are willing to serve will be the most joyful and fulfilled. Be among those who serve with enthusiasm and gladness.
- Wisdom - The book of Proverbs is consistently brimming over with the importance of gaining in wisdom. It is this attribute that is more valuable than rubies (Proverbs 8:11) and is referred to as the principal thing (Proverbs 4:7). It is wisdom that results in proper application of the teaching of Scripture to the life situations that you face day by day.
- Love - With Christ as your model, you should show a love for God and a love for others. Your love for God should be shown by your obedience to Him (John 14:15) and your delight in His commandments (Psalm 119:47). Your love for others should extend not only to those that you like, but also to your enemies (Matthew 5:44). That kind of love should keep you dependent upon God, Who is the Only One that can supply something that is so counter to our own sinful nature.
May this brief list of character qualities be a help to you in encouraging you in a path of righteousness and may you live a joyful, productive, and consistent life that will cause others to glorify God based on your good works (Matthew 5:16).
Happy Birthday, Jordan! We love you dearly!
Dad and Mom