Thank you for reading my letter. Remember as I am a servant of Jesus Christ I am already perfect in the heavenly perspective (deeply pure in Christ and loved by Father God) and a “piece of work” and a “work in progress” in the human perspective (yet deeply pure in Christ and loved by Father God). Don’t forget that is your identity as well in our precious Triune God!
Thank you for being on the journey in Jesus with me. I am blessed and honored to know you as a man/woman of God. As you face cultural trends, global mindsets, technological advances, philosophical/theological challenges and personal suffering that I could never dream of…never give up! When you fail and fall flat on your face allow Abba God’s love, Jesus Christ’s grace and Holy Spirit’s comfort to wash you and cleanse and pick you up. Be real with fellow Jesus followers and fellow non-Jesus followers about your failures and the Lord picking you up and still loving you. Authenticity is God’s design and goes further than facades in breaking down walls, in kingdom advances and in building bridges with non-Jesus followers.
Stand, walk, move, rely upon, fully depend on and live out the written Word of God which is our resource/anchor/North Star for eternal/absolute/life-changing Truth. Alongside of that remember to cherish and live in relationship with fellow Jesus followers. Self-made, prideful, maverick-like Christians are very lonely people.
Be alert to people, including yourself, being known for the lists of do’s and don’ts. It leads to licentious living or Pharisaical living. Both are ungodly. Life…true freedom… godliness …love …power …sound thinking are found completely in the Son, the Loving Savior.
Remember, when “the sin” (addiction) trips you up…seek help from godly people—friend, therapist, spouse, mentor, disciples. Please do not try to hide your sin/addiction like I did. It will “eat you up” inside and that can be destructive. By God’s grace bring it out into the light. Please look for a Celebrate Recovery ministry, Living Waters ministry or another “faith in Jesus” recovery ministry of which to be a part. Being in an accountability relationships with other men was used and are being used by God in my life to protect and rescue my testimony, my marriage, my pastoral ministry and my life. Two godly psychologists have been tenderly and powerfully involved in my journey with Jesus.
Treasure your family deeply. They are the heart of your testimony. Your children and grandchildren (if God so blesses) are an integral part of your legacy. They always help me “not take myself too seriously”! They make me laugh and cry and pull me off my pedestal.
Remember your love, power, judgment and influence will continue to come from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit…not your bucks, brains, brawn and beauty!
Please be a loving witness and an advocate for people who are often forgotten or judged by Christians: poor, different-looking people, those who’ve made wrong choices, the abused, rich, children, teenagers, “edgey-looking” people, other ethnicities/races and disenfranchised people.
Remember to learn from people who are different than you are!
I look forward being in our eternal, future home with you…together…with our Savior and Sovereign Lord!
I Love You!