“O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” Psalm 71:17-18
As is clear from my site name and cover text, I am well-aware that I am nowhere near young anymore. But though I am 64, and am seriously ill with Stage Four cancer and a grim prognosis, I believe God still wants me to share what he has taught me over the past six and a half decades of life.
I can’t imagine my personal testimony and prayerful ambition being better expressed than in the words of Psalm 71:17, 18—“O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”
The first half of that text is the story of my life. Because of his sovereign grace alone, I have heard the truth of God in Christ Jesus from my youth; indeed, from the cradle. My whole life has been taught and touched by God—right up to this moment. That’s why this From My Youth site is dedicated to help fulfill the last half of that same text. I want to proclaim God’s might and mercy to this and the coming generation; the truth that will enlarge others’ view of God, of the gospel, and of one another as human beings made in the Image.
This circa 1962 picture is of me on my missionary-dad’s lap
Born of missionary parents I spent my early years in Japan. My father (with my steady strong mother alongside) eventually served in missionary and pastoral ministry for more than fifty years, providing a heritage of faith and devotion which I treasure to this day. I came to personal faith in Christ around 1975, and was in active pastoral ministry for 40 years until cancer brought that ministry to an end.
For the record, I graduated from Northeastern Bible College (The Kings College.) I am a frequent contributor to The Gospel Coalition, and am a staff writer for Gospel Centered Discipleship. I have also authored five books, including my latest, The Communion Truce: How Holy Communion Addresses Our Unholy Conflicts.
Gayline (my wife since 1978) and I have six adult children and fourteen grandchildren (the number keeps growing!). And for those who care: I enjoy simply hanging with my bride, playing ping pong, eating sushi, playing an occasional round of golf, cheering New England sports teams, and reminding my grandchildren to never, ever, ever, ever forget that I love them!
Me and My Wife Gayline
The Growing Family
What I Believe
I believe firmly that we are what we believe, and—as John Piper likes to say—we “become what we behold.” So I want to link you to a Statement of Faith which helps to define my understanding of God, the gospel, and the important realities of life. Click here for the truth about God that I believe and behold from day to day. I sincerely hope that it shapes what I am becoming and informs all that you might find on this site or in my teaching.
What I Read
I include this teaser-list of books, even though I don’t agree with everything these authors have to say, and even though I’ve read thousands of books, and most likely have been influenced by many others at least as much as these. I’ll probably add to the list as time goes on. But for now, here’s a little peek into books that have affected me along the way—including the smile-filled Waterson and Wodehouse classics.
Knowing God, by J.I. Packer
The Pleasures of God and Desiring God, by John Piper
The Cross of Christ, by John Stott
Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis
Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan (38 mostly old copies of which are in the pictured bookcase)
Generous Justice, by Tim Keller
Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
The Calvin and Hobbes Collection, by Bill Waterson
Many of the Works by P.G. Wodehouse