This month, Phil reflects on many of the things he is grateful for from this past year!
Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
John 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
By the time you receive this letter I will be in Huntsville getting a full knee replacement. I used to jokingly remark, “I am planning to stay young until I am 40, and when I get 80 I will think about being middle aged.” However I did not realize that the Lord had other plans … and so did my body! A lot of wear and tear from athletics, personal training and an active lifestyle has completely worn out the cartilage in my knee and so I go to have it replaced.
So many of you have faced much more difficult circumstances. It could be the death of a loved one, the threat of cancer, wayward friends or children. It could be addiction or depression. The list could go on and on. But when you go through or anticipate something like this so called “minor operation” it gives you “pause”. You begin to set new goals, reflect, and evaluate. You become even more grateful for the years God has given you and the blessings He has bestowed upon you.
I am grateful to my family, for my wife and children that love me and love what I do. One of the goals that Anne and I had was that our children would see the ministry not as a hindrance, but as a job to be esteemed. It might even be a possible vocation for them. They are not officially in “the ministry” per se, but have pursued their own ministries in how God has gifted them.
I am very thankful for my friends. Anyone who has two or three friends they could call in the middle of the night and they would drop everything for you- that is incredible. I believe that I have more than my share of friends that I could call on at any time. What a blessing! Friendship is the sweetest influence. As C. S. Lewis says, “If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man about a place to live, I think I should say, ‘Sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends.’”
I am very grateful for the Board that God has given me at YBL. They are wise, committed, they love this ministry and they love me. You don’t know what a great asset that is for me and the direction of this ministry. Along with them are my Discipleship Leaders. God has brought us so much closer than we ever have been in the past. These men are committed to imparting their life into other men and seeing them finish well. The Discipleship Members which God has entrusted to YBL, as well as the men who attend our banquets, are all blessings to me.
God has also given me an extremely supportive staff. We are working together and with the same heart to see God do wonderful things for his Kingdom.
It is important that I be more intentional in the years God has left for me. I hope during my recovery to re-evaluate my goals and trust God for bigger miracles. I want to look further out in the future; five and ten years and even beyond. Where does God want YBL and me to be over the next decade and for the future? Please pray for this process.
We just finished our Golf Marathon and are preparing for our Summer Series. We are presently in a significant growth spurt. Pray for decisions as we move forward. We desire to be faithful and see that the needs of every person are met.
Thank you my friends, my supporters, and my prayer warriors. I do ask that you pray for me to have a quick recovery and to be fully restored. I want to attack the next few years for God’s glory. Pray I can bring many others with me. Plus I need wisdom.