Friday, May 18, 2012

My Half-Century

Today is my 50th birthday so I thought it was high time I started my blog. My brother Steve set this up for me months ago but I have found it difficult to break the ice. Here goes. 

Since I was a student 30 years ago I have made it a habit to get up early on my birthday to go for a walk and review my life and give thanks for all the ways the Lord has led me, for my parents, brothers, sister, friends, my wife Becky and my children, and especially all the godly influences on my life that have made me the person I am. This morning I walked the mile up Lock's Lane to the sea and then along Lock’s Common. It was beautiful. The grass just above the rocks has broken out in colour with a pink alpine type wild flower that I have not seen before. 

Ten years ago I wrote a letter entitled Forty Years of God’s Mercy and I have experienced more of his mercy in the ten years that have passed. It was tough leaving Nepal seven years ago and when we left we had no idea what the Lord had in store for us. There is something very final and grievous about selling up, giving away, and packing with a one way ticket in hand. And we haven’t been back since. But we stay connected and Philip and I hope to visit at the end of the year which we are very excited about. We are very thankful, though, for the way the Lord has led us here in Wales. We have been given grace to continue bringing up our children, we are members of a great church, and my work at WEST gives me a lot of encouragement. I get to use my gifts and I learn a lot from my students and colleagues. So what will the next ten years hold for me? My mission remains the same. I want to have the same attitude as Paul—“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13b-14). If you pray for me, please pray that for me. 

For a while at least this blog will take the place of our erstwhile prayer letter. My intention is to add to it from time to time so keep a look out.