I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who made my 70th birthday so beautiful and not so painful.   As many of you know from your own experience, certain birthdays are significant.  Seventy always seemed significant because it meant you were officially OLD. Now that I am part of the “70 Club”, I do acknowledge that 70 is OLD.  Old, however, does not mean FINISHED!  I know there is still more work to do for the kingdom.

For me, the most meaningful part of the celebration was feeling the love from everyone.  It felt like love was in the air.  It was a great to see old friends and new friends.  The room was filled with memories and fun.  As in any celebration, I was also aware of those who were not there…loved ones who were in heaven.  I missed my mom and dad, Spencer, and many others from our church family who are in heaven.

I am grateful to the committee who put the event together.  I am grateful to the under-writers who paid for the event so the rest of us could enjoy it.  I am grateful for everyone who took the time to come and celebrate with us.  I am very grateful that some of my family could be with us and celebrate.

The love we receive from those around us in simply a reminder of God’s amazing love for us.  God’s love is not reflected in the fact that we have a painless life.  It is reflected in the fact that despite the hardships, God redeems us, cares for us, and points us to heaven.  My life has been filled with incredible highs and some very deep lows.  Through it all, God has never abandoned me.

Thank you for making 70 a beautiful number.  Thank you for your love.

As our nation celebrates the Fourth of July, I honor all those who have served our country and those who have made our freedom possible.  May God bless our community and may God bless our nation.