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Our oldest child turns 26 today which blows my mind. Everyone told me when our children were young that the time would go by in the blink of an eye, and like every parent, I didn’t believe it. I still remember the moment we were leaving the hospital with our son and it felt so wrong. How could they let me take home this child. We didn’t know what we were doing. What if we messed up big time? Come to find out, we did. Over and over again. That’s what good parents do. Our hearts were in the right place and we were constantly seeking God’s help in rearing all of our children to not only become good people in this world but to understand what it means to relate to God. I have been a pastor for 30 years and I am still trying to figure that out myself. Like everyone else, it is two steps forward and one step back. If we think our responsibility as parents was tough, consider Mary and Joseph. They were told they were going to have the privilege and responsibility of rearing the Messiah! This young couple needed wisdom to make right decisions. For them, and for every parent, that only comes by staying close to God. Mary and Joseph made mistakes as parents, just like every other parent. We all try to do our best, but we are flawed people who will never get it all right. Our task is to help our children understand how to navigate life with wisdom that comes from God and to seek to live with purpose and fulfill the calling that God has on their lives. Only they can know that. It is so hard, and yet so fulfilling when we take off the proverbial training wheels or cut the apron strings and watch them fly. Would I like to go back in time and do things over again? Absolutely! But we don’t get to do that. The good thing is that I am still a parent and can still have an influence in my children’s lives, and the best way that I can do that is for me to stay close to God. I still mess up, but I mess up less when my relationship with my Heavenly Father is going well. Happy Birthday, Josh!

Follower of Jesus — Husband — Father — Pastor