A “Ralk” Through the Ages
Here in Pretoria, house numbers are marked in big black and white numbers on the curbs of the streets.
A couple of weeks ago, while out for what I call my morning “ralk” (run and walk), I found myself observing the numbers on the curb and reminiscing about the ones that reminded me of significant age milestones in my personal life. So, this morning, I took a “ralk” through the ages, taking pictures of some of those age milestones. Today’s blog consist of why the ages pictured are of such significance.
At age 20, while in my second year of bible college, I was confronted with the untimely death of my dear mother and father – Les and Katherine Mann. This outstanding couple that I had the privilege of knowing as Dad and Mom, were taken from this world far too soon through the horror of a tragic car accident. To this day, my memories of them and their godly influence in my life remain.
What a year 21 was. I graduated from bible college and was invited to begin my ministry journey at Trinity Church in Oshawa, Ontario. Wallace Johnson, a seasoned minister, invited me, a rookie, to come and lead the youth of that historic church. Thank God for men who are willing to mentor and give a chance for “young buck” minister’s, like I was, to get their start in ministry. To this day, one of my adult youth leaders and her husband, writes, updates, and sends pictures of people who I had the privilege of leading and loving in my first pastoral posting. She still makes great chocolate chip cookies too!
Next to my relationship with Jesus, the age of 23 sealed the most significant relationship of my life. That was the year that I married the love of my life, Marie-José (MJ). The month of May, 2016, will mark thirty-three years of marriage to a lady who to this day, looks as beautiful as the day I first laid eyes on her. In public, I stand beside her with a sense of pride, declaring to the world that she is mine! In private, MJ is as sound, integral, genuine and loving as anyone I know.
I will never forget the age of 36. It was the year that one of the oldest churches in Canada took the risk of inviting the youngest man in its history to come and lead its congregation into the future. For thirteen years, MJ and I had the privilege of pastoring one of the finest congregations in Canada. To this day the people of Evangel, and our time there, stand out as some of the most significant moments in our ministry.
50 is the age that I will always remember as one of the most amazing transitions and adjustments in my life time. It was the year that MJ and I felt called to international missions and had the privilege of becoming global workers with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. To this very moment, we have not had one regret. What a privilege to pour into leaders across Africa and around the world.
Now, I am about to turn 57. This will be the year that I fulfil a dream that has been in the making ever since the day I starting blogging. Presently, I am in the midst of co-writing my first book called “The Six Pillars of Integrity”. Bill Pipke, my ministry partner, and myself, are putting travel on hold for the first quarter of 2016, in order to write a book/leadership manual that will eventually find its way into the hands of hundreds of thousands of people in Africa and around the world. CLI (Commissioning a Lifestyle of Integrity), will launch a movement of integrity starting in the Fall of 2016. Our strong conviction of the need for integrity, and the passionate vision to see at least one million people commit to a lifestyle of integrity over a seven year period in every country that CLI impacts, is the force behind this manual. The movement will begin in Kenya, Liberia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
As I look into the future, it is my prayer that the feet you see in this picture, will still be “ralking” at 65. Not only do I want to keep my physical body strong, I pray that my walk with Jesus will be stronger than it is today. At 65 and beyond, I want to be able to continue to claim my personal mission statement that has ordered my steps for the last number of years. It is crafted from one of my hallmark passages of Scripture, Colossians 1:10-12.
“I purpose to live a life worthy of the Lord, with the desire to please him in every way. Bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power so that I may have great endurance and patience. Joyfully giving thanks to the Father.”
Until next time…