Turning the Big Seven-0!

by The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis

—This is the hard Copy of the YouTube video—

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12[1])

Well, another baby boomer turned 70 this month— yours truly. I’m officially an old cheese-cutter. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, I’m one 70_year_old_birthday_gift_ideas_black_capof about 330 baby boomers that turn 70 every hour. I don’t remember what time I was born. I was a bet young at the moment and couldn’t tell time.

“The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune.” — Old Irish Saying

However, I’m not the only boomer hitting the big seven-o. This year people like President Donald Trump, President George W. Bush, alone with Dolly Parton, Diane Keaton, Suzanne Somers [Suzanne Somers?! No way! Not Chrissie!], Reggie Jackson, Cher, Jimmy Buffett and Rocky himself—Sylvester Stallone turn that corner in life’s road. Also turning 70 this year is Al Pacino, Ringo Starr, Chuck Norris, Tina Turner, Nick Nolte, James Caan and little ol’ me.   There’s a new book out entitled, 70 Things to Do When You Turn 70. I thought about reading it but I don’t think I’ll have enough to time complete all 70 things by the time the Lord calls me home. Besides, it sounds like too much work. I guess us    70-ish folks can all be encouraged when we hear that according to a new study 70 is now the new 50. [Or is the other way around?]

What do I think about turning 70, you may ask? Well since you asked, I don’t feel any differently than I did last August 25th. It’s hard to tell. It’s a new experience for me. I’ve never been this old before. I suppose a better question is, “What have I learned in the past 70 years?”

One of the great paradoxes of getting older is this; The more I learn the less I know. You see, getting order does not necessarily mean getting wiser. One sign that you are getting wiser is that you immediately grasp the meaning when I say, “The more I learn the less I know”.

What have I learned? Let me hit some high points.

I learned early on that Jesus is real; that he willingly chose to come to this planet and that he willingly gave up his life to give us a new life filled live purpose and hope. I learned that immeasurable blessings are ours if we repent and surrender our lives to him.

I’ve learned that God actually loves me, yes… me! And His love is steadfast and unshakable.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his  Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

I’ve learned that God is good and he’s good all the time. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know [and remember GK] that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” If God is good that means whatever happens he is lovingly commandeering the events in my life, good or bad, and turning them to my benefit.

In the past when something unpleasant happened to me I would say, “Here we go again!” However, over the years, as I got closer to God and my faith in him deepened, I developed a revised version of that expression. When hard times come I now say, “Well… here we grow again.”

Next, I’ve learned that real love has legs on it. The sad truth is that not everyone who says they love you actually does. There’s a big difference between saying you love someone and showing it every day, in every way, through thick and thin, that you do love them.

“A friend loves at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17a)

I’ve learned the importance of kindness! It seems to be a rare commodity these days. Yet, it’s one of the main characteristics of a true Christian. No one was kinder than Jesus when he was on this planet. The Apostle Peter said of Jesus that he “went around doing good…” (Acts 10:38)

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

I’ve learned that treating people with respect and kindness costs you nothing but gains much. A joke for a waiter or waitress along with a healthy tip expresses more of the kindness and love of Jesus than a Christian tract and no tip ever will.

“He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.” (Proverbs 22:11)

I’ve learned that true friends are a precious gift from God and should be greatly treasured. We should not let a day go by without expressing our love and appreciation to them.

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Philippians 1:3)

I’ve learned that a real friend has no hidden agenda. He loves me, prays for me, and wants what best from me.

“Wounds from a friend can be trusted…” (Proverbs 27:6)

I’m learned early in my life that not everyone likes me and that some actually hate me. I know that’s hard to swallow considering how loveable I am but true nonetheless. This is especially true for followers of Christ. We’re not part of this world’s twisted sin-sick system. Consequently, many hate us because we love Christ. However, the flip-side of the coin is that a vast worldwide family of true Christians loves us because we love Christ.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” — Jesus (Matthew 5:11-12)

I’ve learned that people, even Christians, are fallible and that I should be patient with them and hope that they will be patient with me.

And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

I’ve learned that God is not religious. Jesus did not come to this planet to start a new religion called “Christianity”. No, God is not religious. He’s relational! Jesus came to break the bonds of sin and religion and opened the door for us to approach God directly. Consequently, anyone through Jesus can have a personal relationship with Father God.

“You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” — Jesus (John 15:14-15)

I’ve learned that life is less stressful when you discover how to make adjustments. Life is not fair is a big understatement. You don’t always get what you want and things don’t always go the way you want. So, we learn to pray for wisdom so that we can tell the deference between the different potholes on life’s highway. Ask God to help you to recognize the potholes you can personally fill from the ones that only God can fill. In addition, ask him to help you to learn to accept the fact that some potholes will never be filled. That’s just life.

I’ve learned that God has no plan “B”. The Sovereign Lord doesn’t need another plan to fall back on. When life sucker punchers me, God’s not pacing back and forth in front of his Throne, wringing his hands, wondering what to do. God’s not surprised by anything. In fact, nothing happens in my life until it first filters through the permissive will of God. Therefore, even the woefully painful things that happen to me are commandeered by my loving Lord to be used toward my best interest.

I’ve learned that laughter is the best medicine for stress and sorrow; that the joy of the Lord often burst out in hilarity. I remember one time when I was facing unbearable turmoil.  My heart was breaking and confusion was abounding. So to fight off the despair I was facing, I played the Russ Taff song entitled “I still Believe”.

I wanna give out
I wanna give in
This is our crime
This is our sin

But I still believe
I still believe
Through the pain
And through the grief

Through the lies
And through the storms
Through the cries
And through the wars

I still believe[2]

I put it on repeat and, after about the fifth time of the song playing, I soon began to burst forth in unabated praise! I was singing at the top of my voice and dancing before the Lord. Soon, I found myself laughing so hard that I ended up rolling on the floor. The painful situation hadn’t changed, but my spirit was strengthened to the point that I could better deal with it.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)

This is a short list of all the things I’ve learned in the past 70 years. Of course I leaned so much more than what I shared with you. What have you learn in your life? Let me know.

[1] Unless otherwise indicated all scripture references come from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[2] I still Believe Words and music by Michael Been and J. Goodwin 1986 Neeb/Tarka Music/Ascap, Tileface Music (BMI)

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