[image: robokow]

Today is my 40th Birthday.  So far I have survived 😉

The social media enabled well wishes via twitter and facebook have been overwhelming as I experience the blessings and breadth of God’s presence in my life.  While many of you I do not know personally, the willingness for folks to take a few moments to make contact does not go unappreciated.  In so many ways we are living new ways be connected one to another.  Thank you.

As you know, I also unapologetically told everyone What I want for the 40th birthday and the response has been wonderful.  Thank for those that gave money to support human rights work in the Philippines, The SF AIDS Walk and the MBCC Food Pantry.  I also appreciate those who took the time to offer their 40 prayers blog postings:

list updated on 05.03:

What wonderful expressions of how God’s touch has been present in people’s lives and the trust and hope that place in God’s presence now and in the future.

As promised, here is my list of prayers for 40 things for which you are grateful, gives you hope or are in need of God’s healing. These are in no particular order or organization other than free-flow and random.

  1. Community of the Holy – To trite to start with Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit?  Well, there you go.  My gratitude for the experience of hope, creation, movement and community that all defy human understanding is central to who I am and hope to become.
  2. The Holy Community – For those who have come before me, both known and unknown, and have fought and struggle for justice and peace so that I am my children might grow into who God intends for us to become.
  3. Those that have no one to pray for them – That all the physical, emotional and spiritual and blessing in our lives will compel us to be blessings to others.
  4. Robin – My lovely wife of almost 19 years.  Thank you for your willingness to speak and act the truth to me when I may not be able to see it myself.  Your love expressed in so many ways has allowed me to know God in, I hope, wonderful and complex ways.  I so LOVE how we have been able to grow together.  Plus we make awesome babies 😉
  5. Brian – For my brother-in-law’s presence that is felt always: the joys of how you touched many in your life and the sadness as many still grieve your death.
  6. My daughters – You are my joy and remind us every day of the complex and wonderful nature of God in our lives.
  7. 80’s Pop Culture – For memories.  Say what you will, the sounds and images from that time in my life still bring back fond memories of my formative years.
  8. Eldest – For your wit and determination.
  9. Books – For the possibilities that words bring to the world.
  10. Middle – For your exuberance and sensitivity.
  11. Music – For the complexity of life that is expressed in song and sound.
  12. Youngest – For your wonder and empathy.
  13. Art – For the inspiration that expression draws out from the world.
  14. Baseball – For the greatest game in the world.
  15. My Siblings – For your laughter, creativity, devotion to family and willingness to put up with your Manong.
  16. Laughter and Tears – For the gift of expression and the laughter and tears that allow us to express our joy and grief in times of both.
  17. My “Parents” – For both my actual ones, steps, in-laws and the countless committee members called and cajoled into helping to form shape all that I am;
  18. Coffee and the places that serve it – For all that has transpired in my life around and amidst the experience and location of coffee and cafes.
  19. Mom – For our journey.  We have certainly been through a great deal together.  You raised me to be the person I am today.  I hope to have lived up to all that you have done to create opportunities for me to grow in body and spirit.  Thank you.
  20. Hope – While it is true we cannot not eat or spend hope, without it we are nothing.  For those that choose to live a life fueled by hope in all parts of their lives, thank you.
  21. Those facing persecution – For the countless clergy and church workers around the world who’s service and commitment to faith is lived out every day in ways that I cannot imagine.  For those who have been disappeared, tortured and repressed for their work with the poor and oppressed, may you find peace.
  22. Dad – For our journey.  While we have had our ups and downs in the past, I so value what our relationship has grown into.  Your love and care for the girls and commitment to do all you can to support me in my adventures means so much.  Thank you.
  23. Joel – For our journey.  As everyone one knows, you taught me how to pack like none other, you have cared for our mother like none other and lets face it, if not for you, I may not have made it through my teen years.  Thanks for keeping that crazy lady from killing me 😉  Thank you.
  24. Adventures – For those things that call me to move towards experiencing the wonder and freedom in Christ and away from a life driven by fear and cynicism.
  25. Trinity Presbyterian Church – For my home church that, no matter the struggles, have served the community and it’s members with a spirit and mind of compassion, justice and care.
  26. Food – For all that it creates, expresses and encourages in it’s preparation and consuming;
  27. Technology – For the amazing opportunities is has created for positive action and the questions it has forces us to ask about community.  And to those FB Friends and Twitter Followers, thank you for being a part of my larger expereince of community.
  28. Friends – Those who speak the truth and no matter the time, distance and/or circumstance we pick up right from where we left off.  You know who you are.
  29. Oddities – Brussels sprouts, armadillos and terryaki mashed potatoes.
  30. Farmers and Ranchers – For those that grow the food we eat and the ways in which they struggle and strive to feed and nourish the world.
  31. Motorcycles – One of my spiritual disciplines.  It’s been too long.
  32. David the Chess Player – Where ever you may be may God’s presence be made known to you as you made God’s presence known to me over our random and sporadic chess lessons.
  33. The Oakland A’s Baseball Club – Really not much more to say about that 😉
  34. Children around the world – That the known and unknown places of violence, hunger, abuse and isolation! May those with the power and authority do do so, create a world and experience where you may grow into who God intends: playful, hopeful and peaceful.
  35. The Church – For the churches I have served over the years, the church where I am now privileged to be called Pastor and this denomination that has called me to serve for a brief moment in time, thank you for allowing me to explore and express how I feel God calling me to serve.
  36. Musicals – For the amazing gifts that people offer to express the emotion, struggle, redemption and life.  My top three in case you wanted to know: Rent, Avenue Q and Les Miserables.
  37. Mentors – For those that, like it our not, you have had a hand in shaping my pastoral life: Joey, Lydia, Virstan, Leanne, Lucille, Phil, Francis, Odette and many more.
  38. Rites of passage – For those markers in life when we must take time to reflect on our lives our communities and God’s call upon out lives: graduations, commitments, births, deaths and even 40th birthdays.
  39. Voices calling out – For those that are screaming, yearning and challenging me and the communities that I am a part of to be the community, church and Christians that I/we claim to be.  Despite the different ways we may address the pain of the world, may we never become ambivalent to the struggles of life and spirit that so many face every day.
  40. Life – For the very gift of each morning and the privilege and responsibility it is to breathe the breath that God has given.

Thanks again for all of the prayers and affirmations sent my way these past few days.  My heart is full with the wonder of God.

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