January 21, 2006
Tucker's 16th Birthday
Tucker’s 16th birthday was such a milestone birthday that I think I’m going to have to tell you all about it over a few week’s of journal entries. Let me explain why by telling you about the main gift he received. Many months ago, I began planning a very special gift that I wanted to give him on this important day that he would treasure forever.
A few weeks ago, I wrote notes to over forty men who have influenced Tucker’s life over the last 16 years. I included a piece of engraved stationary and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. I asked each of these men to write a letter to Tucker with either words of wisdom, encouragement, inspiration, or anything else they would like to impart to a young man about to cross the threshold into a new and exciting season of life.
I wrote to past Sunday School teachers, current youth pastors, uncles, friends’ parents, grandpa’s, heroes, and anyone else I could think of that might want to participate. The response was overwhelming. The works of masterpieces have been pouring in over the last couple of weeks. I wish I could share each and every one of them with you.
I collected all of these letters and put them in a very special scrapbook. (As you can see by the picture, I misjudged the positive response and the size of the album.) On each two-page spread I adhered the letter and a picture of the man, with Tucker whenever possible. Because many of the men wrote on both sides of the stationary, and others of them had handwriting that was barely legible, Steve ended up typing out each letter and included it in an additional “pull-out” feature at the top of the page.
I was so gratified when, at the end of a very full evening of celebration, Tucker said that this album was the best gift he’s ever received. He stayed up that night until after midnight reading through all of the letters. I can only imagine and pray for the impact these kind men and their wise words will have on my son both now and in the future.
My congratulations for you on your 16th birthday are not simply a courteous and happy salute, they are sent because of the joy I feel that you have arrived a this milestone as such a fine young person.
(1) Being privileged to have prayed over you on the day your Mom & Dad dedicated you; (2) being honored by God, that a small boy—you—used to ask to listen to my tapes from the Sunday-to-Sunday services; (3) being welcomed into your family in such a way as to feel I’ve “really known you” by seeing you so often “up close and personal,” I take delight in you.
I have watched an infant become a child, a child become a schoolboy, a schoolboy become a teenager, and a teenager become a young man. How happy your birthday is for me!! This one is unique however—and it’s why I’m thankful to have been invited to write you. I have one thought to convey; an
idea that I’ve learned is central and ultimate in (1) pursuing a worthwhile future;
(2) finishing a fulfilling life; (3) cultivating friendships and other relationships that are valuable and that last; (4) experiencing God’s will for your life; and (5) winning life’s real trophy—pleasing Jesus through it all. That central and ultimate idea is this:
ALWAYS MAINTAIN AN INTEGRITY OF HEART
Defining that in the fullest and most practical ways takes more space than this note allows. So I’m sending you a gift of one of my books with a chapter (pg. 95) on it. (I’ll send a pair of CD’s, too).
My view of your life to date is that this already is the kind of person you’ve sought to be. My hope and prayer for the years to come is that this value—Integrity of Heart—will become what those who know you best through years to come will be most impressed by!
Your friend and
very proud-of-you former Pastor
The best letter of all was written, and read aloud, by Steve. By the end of the letter, the whole table was wiping away tears, beginning with the proud father himself.
My Son —
Your birth was one of the most joyous days of my entire life! I have always wanted a son—someone to carry on the Cauble name, and someone to whom I could pass on the truths I’ve learned, the God I love and serve, and the joy of life and love. I also wanted so desperately to help him—you—avoid all the heartaches and pitfalls that life—and the enemy—can throw at us as we grow and mature into adulthood.
Tucker, you have never disappointed me; but, instead, have made me intensely proud of you ad your character. I’ve watched you grow in maturity and the ability to make right and Godly decisions. I’ve watched you as you’ve worked hard to overcome evil and temptation common to us all. I’ve been so proud and thankful to see your tender heart and the tenacity you’ve demonstrated in shepherding the gifts and talents God has given you. I have such great anticipation about where God will lead you; how He will use you; and the impact you will have for Christ on many lives.
As the first-born and as a male child, you have been given a very special place in this family and in the sight of God. In Biblical times the first born male was afforded a “double-portion” of his father’s inheritance of weath, influence, land and possessions. But with it also came the most responsibility to care for the needs of the family and its future. In addition, scripture indicates that the first-born was to be offered back to the Lord for His special use and anointing. Your mother and I have sought to diligently thank God for you and offer you back to Him on a daily basis with the understanding and confidence that He truly has great and mighty plans for your life with twice the influence your mother and I have had. This is not meant to represent a burden to you, but rather a reminder to continuously look to God for your strength and direction and He will never fail you.
I’m so very proud of you. Your dad
I can’t wait to share more of the historical evening, and a couple of more amazing letters next week.
Posted by weblion at 06:42 PM