Yes, today is my birthday (May 14, 1967). And yes, it is strange to write “Happy Birthday,” to me. But hang with me for a moment. As I celebrate this birthday, there is an extra special reason to celebrate the life that God has given me. And it is simply this – maybe for the first time in the 51 years that I have been alive, I am actually BEING and DOING what He created me for in the first place (being a follower of Christ who is helping others follow Christ). If that doesn’t deserve a “Happy Birthday,” but even more, “Praise the Lord,” I don’t know what does!
Meeting with numerous people over the past few weeks (I have been blessed to share the vision and purpose of NLGM and why I am so excited to be a part of all of this), it has made me aware of how truly blessed I am. Not only do I get to spend my days following Jesus, but I now get to invest my days in intentionally helping other people who live all over the world to follow Jesus!
Some of these people are individuals I have met while prayerwalking and gospeling on the streets of downtown Martinsburg, just a few miles from where I live. Others are folks I have fallen in love while working beside School for Life in the remote area of McDowell County, WV (Appalachia Region). And still others are those I have been blessed to share the new life that Jesus offers to all who live in places like Villahermosa, Mexico, Chiclayo, Peru, LaPaz, Bolivia, San Salvador, El Salvador, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Cape Verde, Africa. I am blessed beyond words because I am a follower of Jesus Christ who is getting to help other people follow Christ where I live, in areas of my own nation where people have been forgotten, and to many different people groups of this world.
As I celebrate my birthday today, what I truly want to celebrate is this: Jesus has so radically changed me (for the good) that I want others all over the world to experience Him, too! After all, isn’t this part of why He rescued me? To now be His representative? Even ambassador to the world?
17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come! 18 And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!” 21 God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NET)
Yes, it is a “Happy Birthday, to me!” And it is all because of Jesus!
Gary – AKA, Follower of Jesus
P.S. Would you like to join me on this journey? If so, let’s talk! I would love to share with you how to be a follower of Christ who helps others follow Christ. There are also opportunities to partner together to see this world changed…one step at a time. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me buy you a cup of coffee.