Twenty-Four Lessons I’ve Learned in Twenty-Four Years

photoI turned twenty-four today and I honestly do not know how I got here. I remember when I was four and lost my dad. I remember when I was fourteen and became a follower of Christ. I remember both graduating from high school and also walking the stage at college. Time has come and time has gone. Over my brief life, I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two. Below are twenty-four things I’ve learned over my years.

  1. I am a profound sinner but Christ is a great Savior. The most wicked heart I know is my own but the most gracious heart I know is God’s. Each breath is grace and meant to be returned to the One who gave it.
  2. We cannot make it own our own and we are the product of those who have loved us each day. My mom, my sister, my brother, my stepdad, my grandmother, my friends, my elder, and so many more have sheltered me with their affection and made me strong with their devotion.
  3. All of life is sacramental—especially mornings where you get to sleep in, fix a cup of coffee, and enjoy your devotions without interruption.
  4. Every sunset is different and creates in me a sense of longing. I like C.S. Lewis just want to know where the longing comes from. It is therapeutic to go sit by a lake and say goodbye to the sun for a few hours.
  5. There is not a maverick molecule, rogue dust mote, or autonomous atom in the universe. Each moment, each person, and each thing are guided by a Sovereign hand.
  6. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians because these Christians are talking where they should be listening.” It took me a while to realize I was supposed to actively listen to the other person while they were talking instead of merely preparing my next sentence.
  7. Anything worth saying is worth saying correctly. “Good English, well spoken and well written, will open more doors than a college degree. Bad English will slam doors you didn’t even know existed.”
  8. If there’s ever a doubt, it is always right to step up and get involved. So much injustice happens because we think to ourselves that we have no right to get in someone’s business. I’m glad Christ got into our business.
  9. Social media does not beat late night conversations in a dorm room, over a meal, or around a fire.
  10. photoFaithfulness to the Gospel is more important than the preservation of your life.
  11. It is always best to speak authentically and openly from the heart to those who are dear to your heart. Why waste time with small talk?
  12. There’s nothing wrong with a heart that beats faster at the sight of young love.
  13. The Christian life is not 50/50 with Jesus giving half and me mustering up the other. It is all Jesus from start to finish. It is also messy.
  14. A cup of coffee in the morning helps me to be a better Christian.
  15. I use to say I preferred funerals to weddings because there was no semblance of hypocrisy. Funerals were both raw and real. I have since repented of such wild immaturity. Death is both a shyster and an enemy.
  16. An ounce of humility is worth more than a pound of knowledge.
  17. Each and every moment you have with another is an opportunity to draw them closer or further away from Christ. We must diligently shepherd our moments.
  18. We ought to go where our best prayers take us and we should give our lives to what keeps us up at night. If it breaks your heart, run straight in that direction until you make a difference.
  19. 945502_10201358811796447_616656114_nA glass of wine with a good book can calm the soul and heal the body. Don’t let the fundies know you’re free in Christ.
  20. At the end of the day, the measure of a good minister will always be his love for God and his love for people. The Word of God is the only foundation for a lasting ministry.
  21. Real truth, real beauty, and real goodness exist even if fake people deny it.
  22. The resurrection was the cosmic game-changer where everything that was marred will be made new. What God did to Jesus on the third day, he will do to all creation in his time.
  23. The blessings of God are always connected to the purposes of God. We are blessed to bless others.
  24. Jesus died for me. He really was alive and then he really died. It is not a fairy tale or a myth. It is history and it matters. Ponder this thought and become aflame with divine love.

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