Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Every Day is a Birthday

I don’t remember a birthday when there was so much to celebrate. Of course I’ve probably said that almost every year – because “God is good…all the time.” There have been years when I’ve celebrated God’s healing and being given a new lease on life…again. Many years I’ve praised God for a new revelation for His church, New Venture, as we begin a new year. My son was even born in January, about a week before my birthday. All these “good gifts from above” (James 1:17) are things I don’t take for granted – and as “bday time” lines up with the beginning of the year, it’s a great time to thank God … and celebrate His gifts.

This year is no exception. For our church, it’s the Year of Venturing Out and, ever since the call went out a couple weeks ago for people to “get out of that La-Z boy” and “start something,” I can’t turn around without bumping into a story about God meeting needs.

The Worship Team’s CD is about to release. God has expanded our REACH thanks to national headlines and New Venture Press Publication Take a Knee and Win ( We’re going to end up ahead of our one-year goal of LiveStreaming in 50 countries. Marriage and Teen Purity conferences are coming up this month. And 7 new ministries have started in the last 2 weeks alone.
That’s not counting “the regulars” (everything God has been doing all along) – Men’s, Women’s, Young Adults and Seniors groups all growing as healthy things do; sports, arts, community service, an Action Sports Park welcoming sponsors and riders from all over the state, and somewhere in the background of all of this, is a staff who truly loves one another, loves God, and remembers to “take Him seriously and not ourselves.”
We had a young man visit recently for the first time who had a rare heart condition. We happened to play the viral video of Ben Breedlove – the teen who recorded an incredible message about Heaven that’s been viewed by millions…just before he passed away on Christmas day 2011. Moved by this testimony, the young man visiting gave His life to Christ and I had the opportunity to pray with him, just before he collapsed in our parking lot and was taken to ICU. He’s still facing tough challenges, but at least in His weakness, he now knows God’s strength.

I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life than being around the great stories God allows here at New Venture. I can’t imagine either, any more special ways to enjoy this week. The staff blessed me with a great gift to celebrate the Year of Venturing Out; my family and I enjoyed a great dinner during a night out together; I even got to end my actual birthday with a packed-out Connections Café, singing Happy Bday, after a warm and quiet hour in the Word together. But it was something one of our pastors said during devotions that morning that stuck with me the most.  He mentioned the most important “birthdays” around here are those who raise their hands every weekend to say ‘yes’ to the Lord and celebrate the first day of their new – and eternal – life.
My joy is wishing “happy birthday” to any and all who have come to know Him, and continuing to invite anyone who hasn’t.. He stands and knocks, and if you haven’t opened that door…right now is a good time. Maybe today is your “spiritual” birthday – or your chance to help someone else celebrate theirs.


  1. Happy bday from whole church Pastor! Thx for helping so many of us find our second bdays. Exciting times @ NV!!! Can't wait to Venture Out all year.

  2. Can't wait for next Quiet Place .....becoming my fave time a'tha week.