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Happy Birthday, Josiah!

Today my second son, Josiah, turns 17 years old.  Let me tell you a little about him:

Josiah is a very smart, witty, and charismatic man. He spent a long time fighting the best in himself, but about two years ago turned a major corner. When he was young, I used to joke that given his personality he would either be President of the United States or the greatest criminal mastermind the world has ever known. 

I was wrong.

I now think Josiah has the potential to launch a movement that can really change the status quo.

He has a deep love of music, and I think resonates with lyrics in a very deep way. On his wall in his bedroom is a painted tree, and for leaves, Josiah posts meaningful lyrics from songs he loves. He's not a "reader" like the rest of us. I think he's a lot more like his Oma than he realizes. He can be stubborn (like me) or playful (like his mom). And he's got two brothers who love him to pieces.

It's strange for me to think that the little chunk I held in my arms 17 years ago is a young man. At the time, I remember having this "a-ha!" moment as I realized that all the love I thought I had in me suddenly expanded with the addition of Josiah. Prior to that, the love I felt for my family was so intense, I just didn't think there would be room for more. Then Josiah was born and I realized my intense love had exponentially expanded - the flames grew brighter and hotter with his coming into our family.

I've only got 18 months left with him under my supervision. After that, it's all guidance and friendship. But I'm blessed to say that I really enjoy hanging around my sons. I like them as people - not just because they are my sons. And not everyone can say that. I genuinely enjoy hanging around Josiah. He enriches my worldview and pushes me to be a better man.  

I can't wait to see what the next 17 years will bring. I'm incredibly proud and am excited to watch his character development trajectory continue to soar. 

Happy Birthday, son!  Your dad loves you.


Sounds like you have your hands full with your kid. Every parents have the same issue. But kids light up our lives that is why we don't mind. - Steven C. Wyer

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Derek Webster is pastor of Radiate, a new church planting movement in Richmond, Virginia. Derek also works for a national think tank addressing major demographic trends.