Seventeen years of humor, creativity, affection, and serving.
These are the things you have willingly, and often, given to our family, and we are better because of it!
You are a natural leader, Luke.
You are strong, confident, logical, and undeterred by any obstacle.
You are a problem solver. Quick to see what needs to be done and always ready with a solution.
You lead with grace, listening to the opinions of others and considering the best options after stepping back to observe, ponder, and draw conclusions based on facts.
You seek out men who are older, more mature, more experienced, and who have walked with God far longer than you have to speak truth, share wisdom, and challenge you as a man and a child of God.
And son, this is important.
Natural leaders can rely on Self more often than the Savior because they are capable. Trusted. Sought out. Admired. But Scripture warns against reliance on Self and is quite clear that any gift, strength, skill we possess is a gift from God, not a result of our own doing or our own greatness.
I challenge you to read and memorize the passages of Scripture that speak of humility, for as you grow in maturity, leadership, and wisdom, the enemy will feed your ego, whispering lies in your ear that you are your greatest asset, and you will find yourself a human lawnmower like your brother Nebuchadnezzar.
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Surround yourself with men who will push you toward Christ.
Surround yourself with men who love God more than you do.
Surround yourself with men who will challenge your thinking.
Surround yourself with men who respect you but are not intimidated by you.
Learn from them.
Listen to them.
Let them see you, the real you, and then sharpen you with the iron of biblical friendship.
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you,
with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time
He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion,
seeking someone to devour. I Peter 5:5-8
You are a blessing and a joy to our family, Luke Samuel, and I cannot imagine life without you!
Happy Birthday, son.
I love you.