So today I turned 50…

On my 50th birthday I thought to reflect on the things in life that meant the most to me and the life lessons I have learned.  I wanted to write them down to remember, reflect and share.

Below is my top 10 list of the things that have meant the most to me from my first 50 years:

  1. Deciding to repent from my sins, ask Jesus in my heart and follow Him was the single best decision I have and will make in my life.   The life of a Christian is not easy, but we know it will only be for a little while until we spend the rest of it in Heaven in a new glorified body!
  2. My parents set good examples and instilled some good traits into me.  If there is any good in me is from the mercy of Jesus and my parents.  From mom I learned patience and kindness.  Dad taught me to work hard and be generous.  I am so thankful for the way they have showed love to me.
  3. We never talk about the pictures we took on the couch.  Life is full of such great adventures, but I have never experienced them from the couch.  I like to get out and experience – bike, hike, hunt, take pictures, cut wood, garden, swim, pick berries, smell flowers and get a sunburn.  (ok not good on the sunburn part, but it meant I was outside!)
  4. I tried things even if I was not certain I would succeed.  I have tried so many things in life that I didn’t know if I could do or accomplish.  I feel my only failures in life have come from not trying the things I wish I would have.  For example in the Army I went to Airborne school without a clue if I could do it at all, and guess what – I succeeded!  On the other hand; I was asked to go to Ranger school but I let my fear and circumstances get to me, so I did not even get to try to succeed (one of the biggest regrets in my life)
  5. I went on a foreign mission trip and loved it.  I was afraid of what my stomach would do in a foreign place, but God took care of me.
  6. I coached little league sports teams and had a blast.  I never knew what fun coaching would be till I tried it for the first time.  I didn’t always like dealing with parents, but working with the kids was so much fun.
  7. I have loved someone with all my heart.  God gave Cindy to me, and I am continually learning to love her with all I have.  Loving is not always easy.  I have failed her and continue to disappoint, but I am also trying  to learn to love as Jesus loved and that will only grow with time!  I am learning to love her the way she most feels loved and that is an adventure!
  8. Be a friend – I am really not a good friend at times.  I am faithful and will always be your friend if we have build a bond.  But I don’t call or visit my friends like I should.  I have been surrounded by some great friends in my life, but I just don’t take the time to spend time with them like I should.  Maybe that is something I can work on in the next 50 years.
  9. Spend time with family – well here again I do not spend time with my family like I should.  My sister and I get together almost every week, but that is because she pushes the issue – and I am thankful for that.  I have other family that I love dearly but I just don’t spend time with them like I want to.  But I enjoy my family – cousins, inlaws and outlaws.  We really do have a good time together.
  10. Serve Jesus according to my giftedness.  Here is the secret to a happy life – serve Jesus with the gifts and talents He has given me!  I find all the joy and fulfillment from listening to Him and obeying what He says to do.  There is no drug, drink, ride, or experience that can ever make me feel complete like serving Him – just as He made me!
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