Monday, October 20, 2008

You have to start someplace...

When it comes to this fascinating realm of the blogosphere, I admit to being a tenderfoot, a greenhorn, a novice, or whatever word best describes the newbie who often feels clueless in the face of rapidly evolving communications technology. I'm still in the early stages of learning to send text messages, and while my ability to text is pitifully slow compared to everyone I know under the age of thirty, hey, at least I'm trying to keep up. Fortunately, most of the youth I'm acquainted with are kind-hearted, and rather than viewing my efforts with condescension or disdain, they actually think it's cool that I can text at all (or so they say.)

That being said, I want to say "welcome, and thanks for checking out 'Silver Fox' today." Since this is my initial posting, I thought a few words of explanation would be in order. My friends were not at all puzzled when I told them the blog would be known as "Silver Fox." They immediately made the connection between that name and my pre-maturely white hair. Well, actually, I guess I can't really call it pre-maturely white anymore. At my age, white hair is a perfectly common human attribute, but white hair is something I inherited from my father, and those first strands of gray began appearing while I was still in my late teens--definitely pre-mature then. I've been calling myself pre-maturely white for so long that I guess I failed to notice when the rest of my body finally caught up with my hair.

But, "Silver Fox" is more than a vain reference to my hair. I chose the name as a tribute to my father who is no longer with us. He was the original "Silver Fox," and I loved and admired him greatly. So much of my understanding of what it really means to be a man, a husband and a father has come from his example. Oh, he had his flaws, like everyone else, but his life, more than that of any other man, made a profound and lasting impact on me. Today, when I look in the mirror, I see so much of my father. My white hair is a constant reminder of how blessed I was to be able to call him "Dad."

Well, what about that line in my blog title that reads: "The view from the other side of the hill?" Again, that was no big surprise to my friends. I make no attempt to disguise or dispute the reality of having attained a certain place in life that would be considered "over the hill" by some mischievous friends (or perhaps less charitable critics). I've had my mid-life crisis, and thankfully I lived through it, only slightly worse for the wear. Oh sure, I fought hard for a time, trying to hold back the effects of the relentless advances of time on my body. But, inevitably, I had to accept certain physical limitations. Still, I completely reject the notion that being "over the hill" means that my best years are behind me. I prefer to think that so many years of experience have helped to mature and refine the way I think and look at the world. And, I would also like to think that perhaps some who are struggling, as they make their way up the front side of the hill, might in some way be helped or encouraged by what I've learned.

I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus, and I try hard to maintain my biblical worldview, even as I encourage those whom I serve to do the same. For the past fourteen years I have been the pastor of a wonderful Christian community in Utah. It's the latest chapter in a long and phenomenal journey that began over fifty years ago. It's a journey that has taken me to many different countries and a variety of cultures. It's a journey that has allowed me to experience the faithfulness and trustworthiness of God in times of great blessing, and in times of great pain.

In the days ahead, as I look back over this wonderful journey, with "a view from the other side of the hill," it's my intention that the reader's focus will be on the person and character of Christ. I've tried to be a faithful follower, but my walk has been far from perfect. I think I've always meant well. On many occasions, by the grace of God, it might even be said that I did well--but not always. Many of the most valuable lessons were learned in times of failure or disobedience. I'll be talking about those times too. I sincerely hope that future postings will prove to be encouraging faith builders.

Again, thanks for visiting today, and may the Lord bless you!



zac|thomas said...

I tend to attribute the increasing appearance of white hair on my head to stress rather than a badge of honor from my father. You may have started much sooner than I have but it's something else you've passed on nonetheless.
You're still teaching, I'm still learning.

Stacey said...

Pastor Steve,
WELCOME to the world of blogging!
So glad to see you as a fellow blogger. I hope you enjoy it!
Happy blogging,

Elayne said...

Fancy meeting you here! I'm looking forward to future posts!