Category Archives: Dear Jackson
Yesterday our oldest turned 9! I’ve started the practice of writing my family a letter at key moments in our lives. It’s an opportunity to leave a signature on their story and bless them concerning their futures. It gives me an opportunity to think and pray about their passions and desires and dream about how God may be shaping their lives. I also think about the weeds in their lives that I can pray away and with God’s help lead them out of. The idea came from a great book called Letters From Dad. Here is a portion of Hudson’s birthday letter for this year. I’ve shared a few of my letters to Jack and a portion of one of my Valentine’s Day letters to Heather in the past. Here’s a bit of Jack’s letter. He’s awesome!
Happy Birthday Jack Attack!!! At nine years old, I’m amazed at your maturity and desire to do the right thing. And I’m very proud because this year I’m not just your Dad, but your Christian brother, as you have now given your life to Jesus. It was awesome to be part of your baptism. I’m looking forward to growing In Christ On Mission For Others with you. I can’t help but believe that God has his hand on you and is going to use you in incredible ways. You have an incredible heart for people that shows in your ability to make friends with absolutely anyone, your inability to give up on and act negative toward a friend even when they hurt you, your desire to help those who are struggling instead of hang out with the more “popular” kids, your perceptiveness and discernment about peoples feelings and emotions. I pray that you never lose these qualities. I’m also praying that you develop the same enthusiasm you have toward friends and hanging out toward everything you pursue, including studies and chores. You’re growing into a real leader and with leadership comes great responsibility. This summer you ask a great question after your third wasp sting: “Why am I always the one that gets stung?” This summer it was because you were the one in the lead. The first one to go. I pray that you don’t lose heart and shrink away from leadership and responsibility as you get stung, but that God continues to develop these incredible gifts in you. I’m proud of you, I’m confident you’re going to be a great man, I’m blessed to be your Dad. Happy Birthday Jackson!!!
The Church Planter’s Kid
Born 8 days after the very first service of our church plant which started in an un-air conditioned fire station. Because his dad’s a church planter, until he was four we would drive past a fire station and he would yell “church” and when we drove by a steepled church building he would yell “space ship.” Because his dad’s a church planter, the first time we attended a church besides ours on Sunday, he asked where their fire truck was and why their chairs were so long. Because his dad’s a church planter, he likes to hang out in coffee shops and has great bedside manner in hospitals. Because his dad’s a church planter, he doesn’t have as much as many kids in our area, but never complains. Because his dad’s a church planter, he doesn’t know that you shouldn’t wear shorts to church or that you shouldn’t be close friends with people of another race or class.
HE TURNED SIX TODAY and I’m looking forward to seeing what God does in the future with this church planter’s kids. Happy Birthday Jack!!!!!
Dear Jackson: A New Chapter
A new chapter began in your life and mine this week: the beginning of your education. I’m confident you’re going to beat Kindergarten, just like you’ve beaten everything so far (including Dad at wrestling, Chutes and Ladders, and sweet talking Mom). I’m praying you’ll always have your hunger for learning and that I’ll remember that everything I do is teaching you something. I’m aware as I read the Old Testament, and as I see modern day families, that as your Father, I can be one of your biggest hindrances, or your most valuable asset. That’s why I’m committed to be an example worth following, to staying engaged in your life no matter how busy I am, to loving your Mom with all of my heart, and to teaching you all I know about being a Godly man. I’m looking forward to seeing what God does in our lives in the process. Love, Dad
Dear Jackson: Love God, Love Others
At four years old I love your enthusiasm for your friends. I’m praying that you’ll never lose that love for others and that light in your eyes when your best buddies enter the room. I’m praying that God will bring into your life those that you can trust, who will desire what’s best for you, and who will desire that you become all that God wants you to become. You’ll continue to find these kind of buddies at church. Church matters because friendships are strongest when they are bound together by a common love for Jesus and His mission for the world. I’ve seldom been let down in my life by those who had a genuine passion for Jesus and His mission. I have been let down by people that called themselves Jesus lovers, but had a self-centered mission instead of a Christ-centered mission. I’ve also let people down and lost my enthusiasm for others when I’ve allowed my self to be the issue, instead of Jesus and His desires. I’m praying that you’ll have wisdom to recognize these kinds of people and have the humility to admit when you stray yourself. I’ll strive to be this kind of friend to you always. Love, Dad