Thursday, January 01, 2009


I'm in Southern California bringing in the New Year with family and friends.  Southern California is my old 'stomping grounds'.  This is where I grew up, went to grade school, to high school, met my wife, met Jesus, was baptized, where all of my children were born, raised and became Christ followers themselves.  Southern California is where many 'firsts' happened for me.  
Southern California is where I took my first breath, received my first spanking, was first sent to the principles office.  It was here that I got into my first fist fight, where I first kissed a girl, where I received my first pay check, where I was first fired and where I first fired someone.  It was here that I preached my first sermon, where I first officiated at a funeral and did my first wedding.  
It is in Southern California that I surfed my first wave, got my first sunburn, bought my first car (a 1964 VW Bug), got my first traffic ticket, saw my first concert, bought my first TV, skied the first time and where I first broke a bone.  We all have experienced many firsts in our lives.  They are each significant and foundational.  As I sit here in "It's A Grind" on Candlewood Blvd. in Lakewood California, many of my firsts flood my mind.  But all of these firsts draw me a conclusion.
First experiences lay a foundation to be built upon.  2009 will also bring many firsts and I pray the firsts that I experience in the next 365 days will lay a foundation for myself and others.  I pray that 2009 will bring in a greater focus on Christ in my life and a greater focus on being others centered and more generous.  I pray that this will be the first year that I am last and that this attitude will last the whole year and beyond.  
Be faithful, fruitful and finish well in 2009.

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