My Birthday Manifesto
This is my 100th post.
It lands on my 55th birthday.
God was so kind.
I have had a series of difficult years leading up to today. No tragedies have occurred, but I have been pressed down from every angle in unrelenting fashion with no ability to come up for air in any direction. Sounds like a sad thing, but miraculously, the outcome has been incredibly positive. Rather than becoming discouraged and curling up in the fetal position in quitting fashion,
a newfound resolve has been welling up within me.
At times I have wanted to scream from the mountaintops, “Hey world, God will win, you watch! He will reign victorious in my family, in me, and He will use my life for His eternal story no matter how small or broken my life may seem!” Such faith is not based on anything I have done, will do, or can do. My faith is based on God’s faithfulness to never let His children who are walking with Him to be forsaken.
One day recently, the emotion poured out of me in the form of a manifesto, a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.
Today, this is my heart.
This is my fresh start every morning.
This is my hope for every minute.
Some of my family and friends may be tempted to disregard my manifesto because they know how much I fall short on the outside, or they think I do. However, I am not proclaiming a finished work today.
I am proclaiming what I am striving to become and what God is able to do in and through me if I stand firm in His truth.
As Philippians 3:13, 14 states, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
I trust that God launched me into history at exactly the right moment and in the perfect place on the globe for my best role in His story. It is a privilege to represent my King on this earth, and to read this aloud today on the worldwide web to celebrate my birthday.
Born: 07/07/61, 4:08 P.M.
55 Today: 07/07/16, 4:08 P.M.
Unashamed: I am unabashedly in love with Jesus Christ and trust the Holy Spirit inside of me to reflect God’s nature to a watching world every moment of every day. I want all people in my life to feel valued and treated with respect and honor. It is God’s job to draw people to Himself and I will gladly play any part in that drawing that He asks.
Confident: I exude confidence and courage because in Him alone I have all I need and if I need something else from anyone on the globe He will supply it for me because He loves me passionately and meets all of my needs.
Cheerful: I can smile in any given moment because I have the joy of my salvation.
Pure: I hate sin. I forgive it in others and make sure it has no room in me. If sin shows up in me I deal with it quickly and assuredly because Jesus already paid for it.
Content: God has asked for one gritty blink of a life to give me a perfect eternity with Him forever. Nothing that He asks me to do is unfair, long, unjust or too difficult. I will not complain.
Faith: I live by faith, which means I live in such a way that if God does not show up, I am in trouble.
Kingdom Lifestyle: I live a simple, low-maintenance life that allows for maximum ability to have relationships with people. Because I live first and foremost for the kingdom of God — not here — people are my highest concern. I dress conservatively, but also currently, in order to reach the generation I am asked to reach – this generation. In order to maintain maximum time and money for people, my material possessions are not excessive – enough to entertain people and reflect hospitality, but not so much that I create barriers or infringe unnecessary strain on my time or budget. In order to live this short life serving God as long as possible, my eating is simple (nutritious, economical, not labor intensive) and I aim to stay fit. People are welcome at my table and my house does not have to be spotless for me to be hospitable.
Soldier: I am a member of a global, heavenly team that makes up the family of God. I will not compromise the success of the team by undermining, competing or comparing myself, but will only encourage, support, link arms with, pray for, meet with, worship with and encourage other citizens of heaven.
Sold-out: Retirement is not in my vocabulary and I have asked the Lord to let me leave this earth serving Him wholeheartedly. I want to leverage this short life maximally for heaven, to take as many people with me as I can, and to invest heavily in strengthening the body of Christ here on earth. We are not a weak, soft and ineffective people but are to be a strong, resilient, highly visible, unstoppable, gorgeous force for God on this planet until God shuts the curtain on this segment of history and establishes heaven on a restored earth for all of eternity. Then – and only then – I will live happily ever after.
If at the end of my life this manifesto can be read as an accurate reflection of me, then God will have answered my prayers and I will have lived my life well.
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