Happy 21st Anthony James…

My youngest son turns 21 today and some of the family is going to meet him in Rolla to celebrate. It will be an honor for me to buy his first beer?!?!? Surely, this is his first taste of an adult beverage. Anywho, I find it fitting that today’s first reading is from the book of Jonah because I find Jonah’s personality has a some similarities with my son Tony.

When first called by God to go to Nineveh, what did Jonah do? Took off in the opposite direction by sea, got caught in a big storm, got thrown from the boat he was on, got swallowed by a whale, lived in the belly of the big fish for 3 days and got spit onto the shores of Nineveh. First lesson Tony – when Mom implores you to go to Church on Sunday, don’t wait to be swallowed by the big fish and have to be spit out on the parking lot of Church – it’s much easier to just go!!

So as we read today, Jonah then sets off by foot through the big town of Nineveh (or say its Springfield) to proclaim the message of God that their town is going to be destroyed if they don’t repent. The people – including the king – heed the message immediately and begin their fast – even the animals were given sackcloths to wear. That’s what we read today – what we don’t read is where I really find the similarity between Tony and Jonah…

Jonah’s Anger and God’s Reproof (or Tony’s Anger & God’s Reproof)

Tony, much like my other two boys, would be the type to go through the City, tell them of their wrongs and how God is going to destroy them and when they repent, get upset when God forgives them and that destruction doesn’t happen. I blame myself – my wife doesn’t have an angry bone in her. Yes, my Tony loves to tell you how its going to be and doesn’t care whether you want to hear it or not. I can only imagine he has had many conversations with God to let God know what is right and what is wrong and how He should go about correcting that. Tony is not my shy child (we believe Mary saw that option, grabbed it and isn’t willing to share) and Tony has no problem voicing what’s on his mind. I pray that on his 21st that Tony realizes that it is God who gave him life, that Mom and I have done our best to bring Tony up knowing God’s ways, respecting them AND that the “gourd” that provides him shade is a gift from God and to be thankful for it (not deserving of it). Have a great day Tony, know that I love you and I’m proud of all you’re doing at MO State and we will see you at Alex’s tonight.

Do something great for out Lord today – repent and believe in the Gospel. Say a prayer for Tony if you don’t mind as a birthday present to him.

I firmly resolve with the help of Thy Grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.

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