Follow by Email

Monday, August 27, 2012

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…”

Legacy is important to me.  What is following me around while I’m alive and what trails behind me when I pass away is something I think about often. 

But I can’t talk about this passage as a participator until I first talk about it as a benefactor.  Here’s what I mean.

When I take a moment to look behind me, I’m blown away at the sheer goodness God has shown me over the years.  My life has been so good!  The family I was born into, the nation that I live in, the one city that I grew up in, the one school I went to from K-12, the siblings I have (1 brother and 2 sisters) that are all in ministry to this day, a Dad and Mom that have stayed together and raised us to be selfless servants of others, the provision of God in times of poverty growing up, the opportunity to live right on Lake Ontario and take in the most gorgeous sunsets on a weekly basis, the opportunity I was given at an early age to accept Christ as my Savior, the formative years of my life being trained to love God and love others, the protection of God in my adolescence when it would have been easy to fall to temptation, the abilities God gave me athletically to excel in sports, the great job at a fruit farm I started when I was 12 and worked at until I was 20, the home we grew up on in the country where I could enjoy the wonder of the woods, the blessing of never going without food and having a mom that could cook the backside off a steer.

Going to college and meeting a nucleus of friends that shaped my confidence in Christ, finding the girl of my dreams two months into my freshman year and marrying her 4 years later, graduating with a 4-year bachelors’ degree at college with very little debt because of gifts and grants that seemed to be unfairly dished out to me when others all around me seemed equally needy and qualified, being chosen to give my kidney to my younger sister after I graduated college…a kidney that is still working inside her almost 16 years later, being hired as a youth pastor right after my honeymoon and finding a loving community of faith in Bellefontaine to cut my teeth in ministry, having great friends in that church that shaped my longings and passions, moving to Michigan and joining a church plant in Lowell called Impact where I met an amazing band of Christ-followers to challenge me in the next leg of my spiritual journey…oh, I could go on and on, trust me.

I’ve been given no less than five cars in the last 15 years, one of them was a brand new 2008 Impala that I found in my driveway when I got home from church 4 years ago.  It had 8 miles on it!  I’ve often opened the mailbox to find an envelope filled with cash or a check coming just in the nick of time to meet an overwhelming need.  I have had opportunities to speak in front of thousands and thousands of people sharing my stories and motivating them with the compelling person and cause of Christ, I am actually paid to serve Jesus in the world…a privilege that is matchless bringing me joy that is boundless.  And I get to live this life with a beautiful wife and three lovely daughters the Lord has entrusted to us.  Even thinking about their births gets me choked up because we almost lost our youngest since she was born very premature, but God sheltered us from the storm and poured out his goodness and mercy on us by the bucket-loads.  Not only am I blessed with 3 charming little girls, but God has recently opened the door for us to adopt two young boys under 3 years old from Ethiopia by the names of Joshua and Caleb.  We would have never been able to afford it had we not been tipped off to a business man in Texas that offers one grant a year to a family who is wanting to adopt.  After Heidi filled out an application for the grant, they not only gave us the finances to adopt one, but told us that if we wanted to adopt two, they would pay for a second adoption as well.  Blessing upon blessing, heaped one upon the other like bails of hay in burgeoning barn.  Counting the blessings is impossible; I haven’t the room to recount the goodness and mercy that has followed me all the days of my life.

I am truly a benefactor.

But I also look at this passage and I see an opportunity to make a decision about what I want left in in my life's wake.  I can walk around and kick up the dust of discouragement and negativity really easily.  Wherever I go gloom and doom could follow my every footprint leaving a stained imprint on people’s souls.  My mom always used to say whenever we went to someone’s house, “Leave the place better than you found it”.  I’ve never forgotten that.  It seems like that phrase applies perfectly to the homestretch of this Psalm 23 passage. 

When you live, may it be mercy that you’re known for.  Forgiveness.  Second chances.  Grace to the ones you meet.  When you live, may it be goodness that motivates your every move, not pride or vain glory or selfish ambitions.  No, let your live be honest to goodness through and through.  When you walk out of a room may the aroma of goodness linger in your absence, mercy hovering in the air like the smell of fresh baked bread.  It’s possible to live in such a way that goodness and mercy are following you like the shadow of Peter healing people as he passed them by.
Goodness and mercy heal people.

And whether you know it or not, if you turned around and looked for it you’d see that there hasn’t been a day of your life that mercy and goodness haven’t been tracking you.  And these beautiful sightings are signs pointing us to the life we really, really want reminding us to give as we’ve received.

Where would I be without God’s goodness and mercy following my every step?
What kind of legacy could I leave if goodness and mercy flowed with my every step?

“Surely goodness and mercy have followed me.”


ninest123 said...

moncler, moncler, pandora jewelry, pandora jewelry, marc jacobs, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, sac louis vuitton pas cher, canada goose, moncler outlet, pandora charms, canada goose outlet, bottes ugg, moncler, canada goose uk, replica watches, hollister, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, swarovski, moncler, swarovski crystal, links of london, ugg boots uk, moncler, louis vuitton, doudoune canada goose, ugg pas cher, coach outlet, louis vuitton, moncler, canada goose, canada goose outlet, canada goose, thomas sabo, canada goose, pandora charms, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, wedding dresses, moncler

ninest123 said...

timberland boots, soccer shoes, nike roshe, asics running shoes, oakley, juicy couture outlet, beats by dre, new balance, jimmy choo shoes, vans, north face outlet, instyler, mcm handbags, abercrombie and fitch, baseball bats, hollister, karen millen, gucci, lancel, bottega veneta, valentino shoes, louboutin, reebok shoes, north face outlet, converse outlet, hollister, herve leger, juicy couture outlet, ralph lauren, ferragamo shoes, insanity workout, ghd, nike air max, mont blanc, chi flat iron, nfl jerseys, toms shoes, supra shoes, mac cosmetics, converse, babyliss, wedding dresses, celine handbags, ray ban, vans shoes, nike air max, montre pas cher, soccer jerseys, p90x workout, birkin bag

ninest123 said...

vans pas cher, michael kors outlet, mulberry, michael kors, sac guess, new balance pas cher, ugg boots, nike air max, true religion outlet, hogan, true religion jeans, burberry, hollister, hollister, oakley pas cher, true religion jeans, coach purses, michael kors outlet, timberland, ray ban uk, converse pas cher, north face, burberry outlet online, longchamp, michael kors, nike huarache, michael kors outlet, tn pas cher, ray ban pas cher, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, hermes, air force, lululemon, nike blazer, lacoste pas cher, michael kors, nike trainers, ralph lauren uk, nike air max, nike roshe, nike air max, michael kors, north face, vanessa bruno, ugg boots, true religion jeans, hollister pas cher, nike free run uk, abercrombie and fitch

ninest123 said...

polo ralph lauren outlet, nike air max, longchamp, uggs on sale, polo ralph lauren outlet, louboutin shoes, christian louboutin outlet, michael kors, cheap oakley sunglasses, burberry, louboutin outlet, air jordan pas cher, jordan shoes, prada outlet, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, gucci outlet, louboutin pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, ugg boots, replica watches, sac longchamp, coach outlet, tiffany and co, prada handbags, tory burch outlet, longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton, nike free, chanel handbags, nike outlet, longchamp outlet, replica handbags, coach outlet, nike air max, nike roshe run, ugg boots, tiffany jewelry, replica watches, nike free, kate spade outlet, ralph lauren pas cher, air max, kate spade handbags