He was just 7 when we arrived at Peninsula in 1994. Over halfway to 8, I suppose. But today he turns 35. I think that qualifies him as old (say that at your own risk). But, without a doubt it makes his dad (me) officially old. Yikes. I think I’ve said it often, but it does bear repeating…thank you for your hand of grace extended to all my children over the years. You’ve loved them, encouraged them, taught them and never treated them like they belonged on some pedestal from which they were to be admired as a museum piece. You let them grow up normally and pursue their gifts, interests and passions. I will forever be grateful to you for that.

My children are who they are today because they found support and love at Peninsula. Yes, one did get kicked out of Awana for a night…or so. And they may have made some messes along the way, but they were not held to any higher standard than those who led them astray on that single night at Awana. Now, if you believe it was a single night or that they were not without blame, that’s on you, not me. Kids who misbehave change the world.

But it is these moments in life that I sit back and reflect on the grace given to all of us through Jesus. I tend to forget where we have been as a church family since our family took that picture in the front of the church which welcomed us to Peninsula on a patio-less entrance. The changes have been significant, and I’m not thinking physically. Hundreds of people have come and gone over the years in our highly mobile society. They have left their marks on us. And on me. I hope there is a reunion of some sort of all the folks who’ve called this place home over the years.

There are moments to thank God for the history, but we must know God is adding amazing chapters to that story. God is not done here. We can get sentimental for the past, but let’s not get stuck there. If we do, we will get stuck in the middle of the mountain God has called us to climb. To get stuck in the middle means we get stuck in mediocrity (from the Latin “middle of the mountain”). That would be tragic. We’ve come too far to get stuck now.

I vote to press ahead, without a clue as to what that might look like. But let it be clear that our climb is done together and only God gets the glory. Ready to press on with me?