Friday, April 29, 2016

The little boy, now young man, who almost didn't make it past being a toddler

A kid in Air Jordan shorts can't be anything but confident.
Today we celebrate the 24th birthday of Taylor. It's a remarkable feat because he has come so far. Those who know Taylor might be surprised to learn that at the age of 2, as Sabo kids go he ranked right up there with the most difficult. There were days we weren't sure any of us would survive the Taylor toddler years. Yes, it's true. Just ask him. He will tell you.

Everything was a battle with Taylor when he was but a wee lad. He was just so particular. About everything. Rarely did he like the way his clothes fit and he would get this sour look on his face and grab at his pants, or stomp his feet, or whine and fuss. He was particular about what he would eat and prone to little fits about things in general. When his brothers would aggravate him, and boy would his brothers aggravate him, he would get so mad! He would grit his teeth and wrinkle up his nose and you could see the steam coming off his head -- which, by the way, it took him a while to grow a full head of hair -- and he would do this funny little thing.

When he got really mad and he needed to really lash out he would grit his teeth and kind of ball up his fists ... then if it was Ethan -- or whoever he was mad at but Ethan seemed for some reason to be a frequent target -- he would reach out and with his thumb and forefinger rub Ethan's ears rather gently. That showed him! And Ethan would look at him like, "What on earth are you doing with my ears Taylor?"

I don't think he still does that anymore. I'll have to ask his lovely wife Bethany.

Along the way, Taylor became an amazing young man. Let's say that God moved mightily in his life. He's an extraordinary son and brother and friend and husband. He is kind and loving and generous, a hard worker, genuinely caring, a young man of great faith and a talented musician and singer who uses his gifts for the glory of the Lord.

It's always so much fun when Taylor comes home with Bethany. There's soccer games and laughs and crazy bedtime stories that Taylor tells his little brother and sisters -- so hilarious that they actually look forward to going to bed. That's all kind of amazing! He likes to help out around the house and when the two of them are here that means two more people singing beautifully and playing instruments in the house. A house full of musicians is a happy place I tell you.

So happy birthday Taylor! We love you! Taylor and Bethany graduate from Berea College in a little more than a week and we can't wait for them to come visit us! One last thing, Taylor: We knew you would make it to 24 ... really we did!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What a heart breaks for. What's our answer as Christians?

What lies ahead?
I came across a quote this morning by a great, but flawed man: "Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God."

Bob Pierce uttered those words many years ago. The founder of World Vision International, a Christian evangelical nonprofit humanitarian aid organization, Pierce was a visionary man with a heart for the hurting. He was also, like many of us, a flawed man and one whose life assumed tragic overtones in its latter years.

We are all imperfect, the unfinished works of a merciful God awaiting perfection in Jesus Christ. I hope as followers of Jesus that we can reckon that truth in all humility. I recognize that as much as anyone as I survey the years behind me, the decisions I've made, the zigs and zags.

It's worth contemplating though as I look ahead and chart a future. What's my heart broken for?

What's yours broken for?

What are the things that break the heart of God and what's our response?