Here are the life goals I wrote when I was in the 4th grade:
1. Teach as much people about God.
2. Learn as much as I can about talking in front of other people.
3. Raise a good family.
4. Try to learn as much Scripture as I can.
I already gave the back-story of my 4th grade life goals HERE and explained the present significance of the first two. Now I want to explain the last two.
I want to raise a good family.
Again, it is amazing to me how the importance of family has developed as a significant theme in my life. It started with my own family. I grew up believing and experiencing that family is important.
My conviction deepened as I spent many years in youth ministry. I observed the spiritual maturity of young people and the fragmentation of the family unit. Many families were not unified and many parents were not taking any responsibility in training their children in the Lord. A desire was born in me to minister to the whole family, and especially parents, equipping them to disciple their children.
Then Dana and I started our own family. Wow, what a privilege and responsibility! We quickly came to the conclusion that the general attitude of our culture was not the way God views children. Children are a blessing, not a liability, an expense, or a burden. Having children and passing faith to them is a central part of God’s program. While we are not opposed to birth control, we have taken that program pretty seriously and now have nine children. Our calling now is to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, teaching them to love God.
We also have had the privilege of helping to start a family integrated church in Boone, NC. A family integrated church is one in which there are no nurseries or classes for children to go to. The whole family worships together all morning. It hasn’t always been easy, and it certainly isn’t always quiet, but we love worshipping and learning together! The children get to be observers and real participants in the function of the church family and the parents are given the primary responsibility of leading and teaching their children.
I want to learn as much Scripture as I can.
My parents taught me to memorize and study God’s Word. My Dad taught me to teach God’s Word. My second master’s degree and Ph.D. are in Biblical Studies with a focus in New Testament. I love memorizing, studying, and teaching the Scripture. And there is still so much to learn!
God’s Word is how we learn the truth that sets us free. That is the entire purpose of my ministry:
I hope you can see now why this little paper, written 32 years ago, is so amazing to me. Not long after I gave my life Christ, he began to put in my heart his own desires for me.
“Not that I have already attained all this,
or have already been made perfect,
but I press on to take hold of that
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”