Saturday, March 31, 2012

Happy Born Day to Kai Livngston

Today is my firstborn, Kai Livingston's, 9th Birthday. I remember the first day I laid eyes on him. It was a Monday morning. I was only 23 years of age. Fresh out of college, new to seminary life, and a full-time minister of Christian Education at a local congregation in Houston...I had NO idea how to be a Father, much less a 'Daddy'! I was so proud of my wife, D'Ani. I was in such disillusion for 9 months. I had always had the ideal of being 'ready' when I grew and had children. I had dreamt of having a house with a nice picket fence (paid for), with a few cars (almost paid for), finished with seminary, and a hefty cushion in the time our family came along. None of that ringed true. As a result, I felt a strong sense of human inadequacy. Looking back, I should have relied more upon the providential hand of God at work in D\'Ani and I\'s life. This took us by surprise (with a little assistance of our own!) but it had not caught God by surprise. Someone has said that a surprise is God\'s way of remaining anonymous.

But....when I held Kai in my arms, and looked in his eyes....I fell so deeply in love. How could God entrust me with such a small, precious gift. Though I may not have known how to be a Daddy, Kai makes it so very simple because he is such a great son. Do we have challenges? Of course...there is 3rd Grade Math! But I believe in him, as much as he believes in Dee and I as his parents, being there for him. When I held him in my arms, I was so afraid of what lay ahead...but...God has been so faithful. god has done to me as I always say to each of my boys, "I got you".

I love you, Kai. I'm excited about the young man God will grow you to become. I look forward to seeing you go further and climb higher than Daddy ever could. I love you always!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Present Salvation

A Present Salvation

Creator and Redeemer God,

Author of all existence, source of all blessedness,
I adore thee for making me capable of knowing thee,
for giving me reason and conscience,
for leading me to desire thee;

I praise thee for the revelation of thyself in the gospel,
for thy heart as a dwelling place of pity,
for thy thoughts of peace towards me,
for thy patience and thy graciousness,
for the vastness of thy mercy.

Thou hast moved my conscience to know how
the guilty can be pardoned,
the unholy sanctified,
the poor enriched.

May I be always amongst those who not only hear but know thee,
who walk with and rejoice in thee,
who take thee at thy word and find life there.

Keep me always longing for a present salvation
in Holy Spirit comforts and rejoicings,
for spiritual graces and blessings,
for help to value my duties as well as my privileges.

May I cherish simplicity and godly sincerity of character.

Help me to be in reality before thee
as in appearance I am before men,
to be religious before I profess religion,
to leave the world before I enter the church,
to set my affections on things above,
to shun forbidden follies and vanities,
to be a dispenser as well as a partaker of grace,
to be prepared to bear evil as well as to do good.

O God, make me worthy of this calling,
that the name of Jesus may be glorified in me
and I in him.

-The Valley of Vision