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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Birthday Thoughts

Ok, so today I turn 30. I'm not sure what time it happens (thankfully, my mother has never been the type to call me at the exact moment of my birth and give me all the gory details). But here's what's been running through my mind this morning.

Jesus was this age when He began His public ministry. In many ways that's humbling for me. It makes me wonder just what I've been doing for the last 8 years. Jesus was 30, I started at 22. Does anyone else think this seems a little odd?

But it also really raises the bar to me. I'm quite aware that many of the people I have the privilege to minister with are the same age as my parents. I don't really see 30 as some milestone that means I'm old. If I live to 50, I'm over half way there. If I live to 80, I still have a decade before I reach the midpoint. Either way, it's past time to leave those childish things behind.

Somewhere along the way, however, I became a man. Obviously, it had nothing to do with birthdates, but somewhere adulthood over took me. I'm not sure if it is fatherhood, ministry, God's gracious continued santification, or difficult trials we have been through in the last couple years, but God somehow turned me into a man.

This will seem silly to you I'm sure, but I realized this the other day. About five years ago, my dad bought me a pocket knife. Having never really been in touch with my hunter-gatherer side, I've not really been around guns and knives that much. I brought the knife home and set it in my desk. It sat there until about two weeks ago. I was cleaning out that desk when I came accross the knife again. I opened it up, took a look at it and slid it into my pocket. (After closing it again, of course.)

A pocket knife always seemed like something a man should have. As a child, I wasn't allowed to carry a knife (for fear I would come home with a detached limb). When I had need of a knife, I always ran to see dad. Any time I tried to carry a knife before, I just felt like I was trying to pretend to be a man. But somewhere in all the years, the knife became natural. Now I carry it and find myself using it all the time. I've already thought about Christmas and birthday presents that the kids will need to see my knife to cut the excessive tape Charity always uses. I remember all these scenarios where I needed dad's knife and wonder if the kids will come to me for the same reasons.

In a way, I feel like the knife is a very small way that I've become like my dad. I'm praying God is making me more like him in much more significant ways.


  • At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just for the record it was 6:15 am. when you and I met for the first time face to face thirty years ago today. I guess that means aside from the doctor I have known you the longest.......
    If I had a dime for every time I said "Did you brush your teeth yet?, Did you make your bed? Is your homework finished and most importantly... did you put the lid down?????"I would be a Chris Gates.
    But I am far richer to see the man and father you have become.

  • At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here's something to look forward to:

    I told Rach that when you get home she can sing "Happy Birthday" to you, Arial style. :-) Just wanted to ward you . . .


  • At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dude, your mom just totally emasculated you without even using the pocket knife. So much for the whole "being a man" thing. (sorry, ma)

    I would highly recommend the book, "The Making of a Leader" by J. Robert Clinton. (Navpress) He's got the explanation I've ever read on how ministry in your 30s is different than ministry in your 40s and what lessons a young man needs to learn versus the lessons that older men deal with. BTW, My birthday is Jan. 30. I turned 45. I feel like that's middle age and its all downhill from here.

  • At 4:25 PM, Blogger Kate said…


    and my dad wakes me up at 12:01...

  • At 4:55 PM, Anonymous brian said…

    Happy Birthday, Danny. Glad that our paths have crossed, your a good friend. I turn 32 next week, feeling older, man, but it's a good thing.

  • At 9:24 AM, Blogger jason said…

    I would sing you happy birthday.... but I can't seem to find the notes. Happy Birthday...belated.

  • At 3:35 PM, Anonymous matt said…

    happy birthday

  • At 4:29 PM, Blogger marissa finch said…

    your truck looks so pretty now danny! Wow, lindsey and i did a great job eh? I'm sure it will still be on there for the big game on sunday so the whole church can stand in awe of the beauty of the artwork (especially mr. dearing..haha) lindsey and i were/are expecting revenge of some sort, but we decided that you are a pastor and you arent allowed to take revenge because you'd be breaking a very important commandment:)

  • At 11:24 AM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…


    Happy Birthday. It's awesome to see God's work in your life and heart. Thanks for sharing your heart and soul thoughts on the blog too. It's fun and inspiring to hear all that is going on.

    30 was the best year of my life.

    Right up there with 17, 26, and of course, 22.

    18 was pretty great too, now that I remember it.

    31 has been a blast, more than I imagined.

    I don't feel old at 31.8, so I hope you don't either, and feel like some tremendous days are ahead.

    Love you brother,

  • At 3:24 PM, Blogger Lyndie said…

    my dad carries a knife. i think it is a very fatherly thing to do, but it still makes me cringe a little when he eagerly fishes it out at every opportunity. please, be careful with sharp objects. and remember, impaled objects should remain so until removed by a medical professional. (it just annoys me when people in movies ignore this rule.)

  • At 3:13 PM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…



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