I Am Full!

This is a full week—even fuller in these parts than in most places. This week has been chock-full of undeserved blessings for me, and I’ve taken a few minutes to rehearse them for my own benefit and the benefit of a few friends who may eavesdrop as I talk to myself.

1. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with my in-laws, a couple who served for years as godly members of Baptist churches in NJ, then spent nearly the first decade of their retirement on the mission field. We’ll be enjoying time with my parents in January, and they, too, are a godly example. I thank the Lord for my godly heritage, and for grandparents, aunts, and uncles that labor with us to raise godly children!

Even more importantly, I’ve never been more aware of the wonder of the incarnation than I have been this year. Christ’s poverty for our riches, seen in every facet of His earthly ministry, is awe-inspiring. What a Savior! I’ll repeat just a portion of my meditation on that grand topic here:

A dirty barn His nursery room,
And at His death a borrowed tomb:
Jesus, though rich, became poor.
From heav’nly joys to earthly tears,
From seraphs’ praise to sinners’ jeers:
Jesus, though rich, became poor.

2. Today is the 4th birthday of my 4th daughter, Gracie Ruth.

Gracie Ruth

She’s a particular joy to our family, and it is our fervent prayer that she will come to know our Savior as her own. She and the rest of my girls are so special to me that it sometimes hurts. The goodness of God in giving them to me is amazing. And speaking as a father, the grace of God in sending sacrificing His only and beloved Son for my salvation, in forsaking Him that He might receive me, and in crushing Him that He might bless me—that’s an unspeakable gift. Who is like the Lord?!

3. Saturday is my 12th anniversary. These years with Lori have been a special gift of God to me. She has the quality which 1 Peter 3:4 says our Lord values in Christian ladies: a meek and quiet spirit. She’s selfless and kind. She’s a great listener, a better wife and (if possible) an even better mother. Perhaps the greatest compliment I can give her is this: she’s like my mom. And besides all that, she’s genuinely beautiful. She is, as Proverbs 18:22 says, an evidence of God’s grace to me.

4. Sunday is my 36th birthday. Among other things, that means that I’m no longer a young fundamentalist. Yes! :) God’s patience with me during my 36 years is a source of wonder to me. His intervention to save me from sin and to perpetually spare me from my own folly is nothing short of mercy. His working to accomplish something—anything!—with the life of one so bent against His will is nothing short of grace. I thank the Lord for giving me life (both physical and spiritual), for my godly parents and brothers, for a host of godly friends, and for the countless ways he has poured His blessings upon me for these relatively short years! And I praise Him for drawing me closer in to Himself in the last year than was true of any of the previous 35! I’m growing, slowly but surely, which is both humbling and encouraging.

5. Earlier this week we learned that our prayers had been answered and that TCBC was being blessed with a $100,000 gift toward our building fund. The human giver has indicated a desire to help us even more as we proceed with our building project. Pray with us for that—it’s over 9 years in coming! The Giver of every good and perfect gift is generous, indeed.

6. Speaking of TCBC, one of God’s most generous gifts to me is letting me serve this part of His body. God has been working here for the last 9-plus years, and it just keeps getting better. 2007 saw the ministry of two deacons who were saved and discipled here; we saw people delighting in the Gospel and in fervent worship; we saw godly elders teaching faithfully and helping to oversee the flock Christ purchased with His own blood; we saw people caring for each other and bearing each other’s burdens, especially in a year in which we saw what felt like more than our share of untimely deaths. High on the list of blessings at TCBC is Joe Tyrpak, our assistant pastor of 2.5 years. He has caused me to grow in a number of ways, particularly by pushing me to meditate on and preach the gospel more than I had heretofore during my Christian life. He’s a great teammate, and I’m humbled and blessed to have him serve with me!

The people who comprise TCBC are my family, my best friends, and one of my great sources of joy. Their care for me, both officially and with surprise nights out and gifts and notes, is amazing. Their appreciation of my ministry, frail as it may be, is humbling. I delight in co-laboring with them, and I have to believe that this is the sort of relationship God intends churches and pastors to enjoy. I’m uniquely and undeservedly blessed to be working in this part of our Master’s field.

In conclusion, God’s many blessings to me—and these are but a sampling—leave me with the response of David upon hearing the Davidic Covenant in 2 Samuel 7:18 and following: “Who am I, that God should deal so with me? Especially because He knows me?!” I exalt Him, fully aware that His kindness to me says much about His character and nothing about mine. Glory to God! There is none like Him!

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2 Responses

  1. welcome to the fellowship of old dudes…

    It’s all downhill from here!

    Just kidding, remember Pr 20.29

    KJV Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.

    And Pr 16.31

    KJV Proverbs 16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

    Regards
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  2. “Old dudes”? Thirty-six isn’t old–I don’t even remember what being 36 was like! ;)

    Neat post, Pastor Anderson! I pray that God will richly bless you in this next year with much spiritual fruit that will abound to His glory.

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