Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Cold Birthday

Well, these last couple of days have been very interesting. We were overcome by an ice-storm, such as we have not seen since I have lived in Missouri (1987). As I watched the reports coming in from surrounding areas, I found that we were very blessed to have electricity. We had to cancel services yesterday as a result of the extreme conditions and so I spent some much needed time with my family.

Today I turned 38. What a blessing. I have determined to take a different approach toward aging than many of my peers. I have decided that I will embrace each year with its unique challenges and adventures trusting that God will give me the strength to do all that I need to in obedience to Him. How great it would be at age eighty-five to be able to say in the spirit of Caleb, "Give me that mountain!"

I do find that as I get older, sometimes it becomes much easier to be cynical. In fact, it's kind of fun at times. But I pray that the Lord will help me to never lose my heart for the lost or my love for His body. That he will protect me from growing bitter when I see Christian brothers/sisters acting in ways that are more akin to the carnal mindset of the world. And that when I do notice such behavior and attitudes, that I will have the sensitivity and wisdom to look at my own flaws and remember that we all need a Savior.

I pray that, should the Lord tarry, in the next 38 years I will finish both of my Masters degrees and perhaps even that long desired Ph.D.. I would like to finally be able to take my wife to the Florida Keys (hopefully that won't take 38 years). I would very much like to help impact this generation with a growing passion for God and a deep desire to, in the words of William Carey, "Attempt great things for God and expect great things from God." Our state has 250,000 college students in 198 degree ganting institutions. And most of them know little or nothing about the Jesus of the Bible. I want to be a part of reaching them. And not just evangelizing them, but training them to be leaders in the faith.

Well, I just thought I would pass along some thoughts as I reflect upon where I am in life's journey and anticipate where I am headed. I pray that the Lord blesses you with the fulness of the vision He has granted you until the day we see Him together in glory. Amen!


Jodie Ferise said...

Happy birthday, Tom! I can honestly tell you that I have NEVER posted a comment on a BLOG before... but this seems like an appropriate place to start. Hope you have a fabulous (albeit frigid) day! Love you!

Anonymous said...

I can appreciate your circumstances. I'll turn 44 next month and the weather here in Florida was in the low 80's yesterday. We all have our crosses to bear. When you get closer to my age you will realize that you should measure every day as a voctory and opportunity, not just every birthday.

Rev. said...

Happy 38th Birthday, brother!

Rev. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Micah said...


From one Missouri pastor to another, welcome to the blog world! We're glad to have you join the fray. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Psalm 67

Ron said...

Hey Bro (biological and spiritual),

I have to agree with our older brother (no surprise there), the older I get, the more I measure by days and weeks, years are longer-term than I have confidence for.

I love you Tom. I'm so very proud of you. My love to my two nieces and nephews, as well as your bride, my sis-in-law.

If it's any comfort, it's cold and rainy in England, per usual. :)

By the by, at 38 you're still a puppy!

Tom Willoughby said...

Thanks Jodie. Great to hear from you again. Tell Todd I said Hello.

Tom Willoughby said...

Thanks for the wisdom, Rod. By the way, how's the weather in Florida? I'm getting sun burnt with all the ice around here. :(

Tom Willoughby said...

Thanks James, or do you go by Jim?

Tom Willoughby said...

Micah, I meant to e-mail you and tell that I had started a blog. Thanks for dropping in. I look forward to your insights.

Keep warm up there in the land of the bright white igloos.

Tom Willoughby said...

Hey Ron, have a safe trip to England. Stop in here whenever you get the chance.

Rev. said...

You're welcome, Tom! Hope it was a wonderful one for you.

Although my Grandma still calls me "Jimmy," I've been going by "James" for a very long time. ;)