Father, Thank You For THIS Day

Dear Father,

I want to thank you for THIS day. For on this day, thirty-two years ago, in Lynchburg, Va, you brought into this world a little baby girl. That little girl immediately and joyfully changed the lives of her parents in an instant. And most amazingly, on that day, you brought life to this little girl, a daughter of Yours. For on that day You brought into this world one whose name you had written from before the foundation of the world in the Lamb's Book of Life. Oh, Lord, how amazing is it to think that You not only knew her name would be there from eternity past, but You planned her name to be there from eternity past, for indeed You wrote it there. For this was one for whom Your Son would die and give His life for her sins. And in just a few short years later, her second birth would take place and she became a new creature. Oh, Lord that is the most amazing thing for which I am thankful for on THIS day.

But, Lord, if you would allow me a moment of personal reflection about THIS day, I would be so thankful. For on THIS day, thirty-two years ago, You brought this little girl to life. And in another state, there was a three year old little boy. The two knew nothing of each other, but one day the would. For many years later, in Your kind providence, they would meet and remarkably they would marry. For there were many things that could have kept them apart. For that matter, a simple strong wind could have blown a little piece of paper off of her car windshield that would have brought their lives down different paths. But that would not happen because You meant for these two to be together. And so remarkably, they would marry. These two would become one.

And she would change his life forever. She would make him so much better because You had fashioned her to be perfectly suited for him. Oh, how much joy she has brought to him. Oh, what love she gives to him. Oh, what sacrifice she makes for him. And the most beautiful thing about all that she does for him is that ultimately it is not about him, but about You. For she loves You so much that she loves him so much.

Not only would she change his life forever, but she would change the lives of two little girls and one little boy forever. For she would become the most amazing mother to them. She would sacrifice for them and love them more than they could ever imagine.

The world did not know what kindness and grace you were showing to so many people on that day thirty-two years ago today. It went unnoticed. But, oh Lord, now today there is no way that it can go unnoticed. For she has forever changed that man and those three little one's lives. And so, Lord, on this her birthday, on the day when she receives gifts from those who love her, there is no way to not notice the great gift you have given to us in her.

And so, Lord, on this day, I thank you for that little girl, who has now grown up to be the most amazing woman, wife, mother imaginable. Lord, on THIS day, I thank you for that little girl now all grown up, my wife, Holly Hinton Blinson. I love you Lord and thank you for your kindness of allowing me to love her and to be loved by her. Give her this day the desires of her heart!


'The Moment of the Upturned Face'

Roger Ellsworth speaks of what he calls the "moment of the upturned face" in his chapter of Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, entitled "Preach the Word."

He describes it as the following:

This is what I call 'the moment of the upturned face.' I noticed it each time I take my place at my pulpit--that wonderful and awful moment when the people look up at me with anticipation. It is wonderful because the people are telling me that they are ready to listen to God's message for the hour. It is awful because it makes me conscious of my enormous responsibility.

There toward the back is the face of that one who often attends but does not yet know Christ and , immediately in front of him, the face of that one who is grieving over the loss of a loved one. Over there is the face of that teenager who is trying to determine what really matters. Halfway back on my right is the face of that person who has never been to church before but has come just this one time to see what it is all about. And there in front is that faithful member who is trying to find strength to go on.

All week long these people have heard what the myriad voices of our society have to say. Now they have come to church to find out what God says. I stand there with them looking at me and I tremble as I realize that I stand between heaven and earth. I breathe a prayer for God to help me and I begin. With God's help, the sermon takes life and those faces continue to be upturned. Some begin to nod in agreement and some begin to shine. And, as I leave my pulpit, I am aware that this was God's message and His moment. I know these people have heard from heaven, and I thank God that He made me a preacher.

Thank you, Lord.