My 72nd

I don’t comment on my birthday every year, but I do want to take some time today to reflect on God’s blessings as I consider my 72nd birthday. First and foremost, I am grateful to the Lord for His unfailing love and compassion toward me. I have had highs and lows spiritually in my life, and at one time I almost succeeded in walking away from Him. Yet He never gave up on me. This particular Scripture rings true on this birthday.

When one recognizes the love of God and the forgiveness He offers, and one has a deep understanding that the forgiveness is undeserved, the only proper response is humility and an eternal gratitude.

Look at those two very young people cutting their wedding cake. The year was 1972. Last year, Jan and I celebrated 50 years of marriage. That doesn’t seem too common anymore for a marriage to last so long. Yet, by God’s grace, ours has. Our journey has taken us from Indiana to Virginia, back to Indiana, back to Virginia, and now in Florida for the past 17 years.

Fifty years, two children, and seven grandchildren later, we have reasons for gratitude. I’m not saying those years were all grand, but I am saying that the Lord has brought us through every challenge and transition.

Jan began her career as a nurse, then switched to a computer degree where she directed a university computer department and then excelled at authoring and editing technical books for software programs. My career also included a change. My first degree—radio, television, and film production—gave me some experience in mass communications. For a few years, I had my own radio program playing Christian music and learning how to speak to an audience. Then when our church began a Christian school, I was chosen to be the headmaster, a task that led to a desire to get an advanced degree.

I already had a history minor in my undergraduate days and had taken so many history courses that I was able to move directly into a master’s program. Completing that in one year, I then moved the family to Northern Virginia where I received a doctorate in history at American University in D.C. I have been involved in higher education ever since.

Four universities later, I have published 5 books (a 6th is on its way later this year), have developed lifelong relationships with colleagues and students, and am now embarked on a path that allows me to develop adult courses at my church while continuing to teach part-time at a university. My research and teaching emphasis in the last decade has shifted from politics to a deeper understanding of the Christian life, primarily through an in-depth study of C. S. Lewis and others associated with him.

This rather concise synopsis of my adult life is offered as a thank you to God. When one reaches the age where I now find myself, one does think more seriously about how much longer one can continue doing the Lord’s work here on earth. Heaven beckons—and I yearn for that—yet I sense He is not done with me yet. As long as my health holds out and my mind doesn’t desert me completely, I will teach, write, and do whatever I can to help others find their way to Him and/or help them go deeper with Him.

So, I’m 72. I look forward to whatever else the Lord has in store in the coming years.