Yesterday was my Golden Birthday. I turned 28 years old, and my birthday is the 28th day of the month. I’ve lived my life thinking that this was the most important birthday between 21 and 50, so it had a lot of hype to live up to.

Yet on my 28th birthday, all I found myself wanting to do was spend time with my wife and daughter.IMG_20170722_132337134

Bennett was originally due to be born last year on my 27th birthday, but instead came 10 days early. I thought she would have been the best birthday gift ever, but I guess God wanted her in our life 10 days earlier. She’s such a joy.

She’s pretty grand.

Having the privilege to watch her grow for the past year really did make this past birthday golden. In fact, I even have a couple of nieces and a nephew who made it their point to thank me on my birthday for bringing Baby Bennett into the world (and.. yea… happy birthday. ha!). Being an uncle is also something that has made the past few years great. This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of 2 of my nieces and my nephew.


As I sit and reflect on this golden birthday, it makes me really think about where God has brought me. It makes me think about the ways God has shaped me. It makes me think about how blessed I am with family and friends.

I have a father and 3 brothers who taught me how to enjoy physical activity.

A wonderful mother

And a great group of sister in laws, nieces and nephews, and mother and father-in-law

I realize that what makes any life golden is the relationships and experiences. I am so thankful for some fantastic friendships. (Now, if you are not included in the slideshow, it might just mean we do not have a good picture together).

The last few years I have also had a renewed passion for running- getting to train with some great guys, and getting to coach some fantastic people.

I can honestly say I have changed quite a bit in the last ten years. My hair is shorter, my face almost scruffier, and thankfully my perspective is deeper.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


My growth can be attributed a lot to these two. That is why I spent yesterday with them.


But I also want to admit that this birthday was made golden by getting to humbly celebrate being the pastor of Grace Bible Church of Astoria, IL. I am deeply grateful for this congregation. I am humbled by their patience with me. I am indebted to the deacons for giving me the opportunity to be the undershepherd of this flock. And I am overjoyed to see how God is working in this group of people.

-Pastor Ben


Now you guys know where Bennett gets her hair.