Vacancy Pastor's Monthly Message for January 2018

The Advantages of Age by Rev. Joe Ardy, JtVP

A recent birthday caused me to think of how many blessings God has given me in my life. So far,24,202 days of life is the count (as of 12/31/17). Wow – that is amazing! So many days in which God has poured out blessing after blessing, like breath after breath (960 an hour, 23,040 per day on average), heart beat after heart beat (some 80 per hour, 115,000 a day), food day after day, love and family, pets (horse and dog) musical talent and varied amazing experiences (19 states on a motorcycle!), and the joy of proclaiming truth from His Word (thousands of sermons and Bible classes), and the list goes on and on. It makes me think of the passage in Psalm 90:10-12:

“The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” One advantage of age is, while I know that the days before me are quite a bit less than those behind me, I have had a great life. If I go home to the Lord today, there is a long list of joyous experiences with incredible people that I will thank God for forever. (Like being ‘Just the Vacancy Pastor’ of Grace Lutheran Church). And, yes, they are secondary to the salvation won for me (and you) by Jesus, the Christ, but they are also how I got to know of His love in constant and varied ways, and by His using a great number of people in His loving ways to bless and/or work with me in all kinds of ways. God is so good all the time!

If you would take the time, Grace congregation could compile a list of God’s blessings that would stagger a person to just read them. So many years of God at work in so many people of all ages. And, the website could use a history page, so would somebody please volunteer to take on this project? Some people would like to be an age of their life in the past, but I am not one of them. As I look back I see the good, but also the sins and poor decisions, and I am so thankful to not only be forgiven for those, but also to not have to go through those times again. And, I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and on into the future. Thank you, God, for so many days of life! This man Joe, and the Grace congregation, have an amazing future in Your hands and timing.

Serving Him and you,

Rev. Joe Ardy, Just the Vacancy Pastor