I have been thinking about you and this birthday for a long time. Debbie and I have been so excited to plan and have this gathering with so many people who love and respect you.
It has been my supreme joy to know you and watch you grow as a man, husband, father and minister. We have known and seen how God has led you all the way and kept you through all of life’s trials and tribulations. It is a wonderful and amazing thing to see what God has done, is doing and will do in you and through you with Kathryn, your beautiful sons and the ministry God is calling you to.
Bryan, you are closing out the season of your life that others have called the “Preparation Years” or the years of “Inner Life Growth”. I believe you have been very well prepared – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, educationally, socially and in many ways. I believe you have paid attention to “Inner Life Growth”. These have been foundational years that have prepared you for this next season.
Today you enter a new season, a new chapter…what others and I have called the season of “Initiation”. The season of “Ministry Maturing”. Lord willing, this will be a season where you will continue to “initiate” several new ideas and directions. The Lord will lead you in the way you should go. You will mature in your ministry as you continue to exercise your gifts and talents and strengths according to your God given D-E-S-I-G-N. This is an exciting time and season of your lives.
I exhort you with all that is within me to continue to love the Lord our God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. I exhort you to love Kathryn as Christ loves the church, laying down your life for her and demonstrating continually that she is the #1 priority relationship on this planet. She is your helper, completer, life giver, glory and she is indeed your lady of wisdom. Love and protect her well. She is a beautiful gift to you.
I exhort you to raise the next generation of Apinis in your beautiful sons. Be a model to follow. Teach and train them in the Word of God, in the ways of God and teach them to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God.
I exhort you to take the low place and continue serving and trusting God to lead you, direct you and invite you to the places of honor that He intends for your life. He will “ridiculously bless” you more than you can ever imagine.
I love you, Bryan, and thank you for blessing me and many other people the way you do. You are indeed like a 4th son to me. I am blessed to know you.
A very grateful man and friend and boss, ☺