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Happy Birthday, Luke

November 22, 2015

Today our oldest son, Luke, turns 30 years old. Happy Birthday!

Dear Luke:
I remember the first time I heard you sing — of course, we had sung kids’ songs together many times, but you were really singing . . . In was the summer of 1998 on family vacation, and you were in the back seat belting out the words to Chris Rice’s “Deep Enough to Dream.” Everyone stopped singing to hear the wonderful voice God had given this adolescent, and we all marveled.

James_LukeOn your 30th birthday, I want to talk about the deep, unspoken dreams that I have had for you. Now having three amazing sons of your own, you are in a better position to understand the dreams I have had for my firstborn son. In and around all the laughter, teasing, and immense fun we have together, my dream for you has only been for you to worship God sincerely, love our family loyally, and stand with me personally.

I really must praise the Lord that you continue to surpass my dream for you in each of these. Your passion for worship appeared while you were in high school, first fiddling with a guitar on Monday night dinners when Andi came over. The voice and guitar were put to great use for many unseen years in children’s church and youth group, refining your heart and preparing you to stand before His church. It has been awesome to see the Lord grow you beyond worship leader, to leader of worship leaders, visionary and tireless servant for Vertical Church Band, and cheerleader for other worship leaders across our fellowship of churches and beyond. Your mother cried tears of joy as she read the book your amazing wife Kristen put together from friends, coworkers, and neighbors who have been impacted by your testimony of faith — you truly love God “with a pure heart and sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5).

I don’t see how you could be more loyal to our family. In the toughest of times, with cancer, crisis, or catastrophe, in every season you have been faithful to your siblings and your parents, and our extended family on both sides. Read More

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