Ten years ago I looked like Rambo, or Briggs
from Lethal Weapon (no that’s not a wig!).

I was the masked hypocrite guilty of pornea,
filled with curses, bitterness, and prayer,
seeking my glory as the chief end of all things,
a creature at the center of concentric rings,
none with room for the King of Kings.

Christ died for my wickedness-
wickedness that came about by the acting of my soul and body and members!

O Lord, You saw me in my blood, and said, “Live!”
You set me to seek Your will and give
more attention to my soul and sin.
Though I didn’t know it then, You were drawing me in.
O Lord, You have won me, and I don’t know when.

Within my soul new life had limbs-
faith and love, repentance from sins;
lacking understanding, feeble but walking,
drinking at the word of God constantly.
I was Your child, Father, and You loved me!

How simple and fair, yet ironic to the core:
You made me Your heir- a wretched whore!
And didn’t the lion roar after my soul
when once You bid him let me go!
He desired to have me, and you said, “No.”

Yet he would come after me again and again,
my soul longed for assurance, not one time, but ten!

During this time I lost touch with reality,
and in my loneliness tasted of insanity.
How my heart would ache from blaspheme!
Intrusive thoughts, are they mine, or not?
Am I the evil author? Is this what I have wrought?

My days and nights have almost killed me.
Pensive isolation produced sadness in me.
Your servants Spurgeon, Bunyan, and Whitefield
helped put in perspective how I should feel,
but in this area I still have to grow a great deal.

I began looking for work at Hope Mission
since I sensed a call to the work of missions.
I served for a wife named Chelsie Blades,
for a whole year and a half I gave chase!
And she gave in when I waited,
but thank You Lord it wasn’t like Jacob!

Thank you Father for providing a wife to help me.
A lot of loneliness was avoided through Chelsie.
You taught me my selfishness almost instantly,
and also how in many things I thought unbiblically.

By the loving encouragement/ half rebuke of Cliff
our views totally changed on having kids.
By Your amazing grace and divine provision,
You gave us Naphtali Layn to showcase Your wisdom.
Two years later you gave us Chloe Layn too,
and then Autumn Layn before Chloe passed two!

Thank You Father for these cute little treasures
I would have never had the honor and pleasure
of meeting and raising in Your discipline and instruction,
had I remained faithless and selfishly disgusting!
Thank You for every God centered discussion!

What thanks can I render for leading us so happily
to the greatest duty and grace we can do as a family!
We worship together, I hear them praise You,
they tell of Your wonderful works and thank You
for the cross of Jesus to save His people from their sins!
And by the grace of God- one has come to faith in Him!

I know that though it was and is the hardest thing for me,
I thank You for Cambodia though I don’t see everything.
I don’t know what it is ultimately to be,
I don’t totally know why I’m me.
But in Christ is where I find my identity.

In Christ I have received a great ministry,
first is my family, and second is LBC.
May all that I think and say and write and do
be to point to give glory and praise to You!
I am Your slave, Lord, going forward,
and by Your grace I’ll press toward
the goal for the prize of the upward
call of God in Christ Jesus.
Let those of us who are mature think like this!

Soli Deo Gloria!

”Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
Jude 24-25