Grif.Net

03/21/20 Weekend Grif.Net – Two Birthdays Last Week

03/21/20 Weekend Grif.Net – Two Birthdays Last Week

[For new =
readers/subscribers to the Grif.Net blog  – on Monday-Friday we =
send out a slightly warped blend of humor. On the weekend we send out =
material that is more serious of a moral, ethical, religious or =
political nature. The past week I had TWO BIRTHDAYS, and every year I =
share this story on the Grif.Net that includes a little bit of my =
personal life (and my heart) with all the faithful readers, even if =
you’ve heard it before!  Will return to humor Monday, Lord =
willing.]

 

PART =
ONE:

March 14, 1948 =
was a momentous day for Bud and Helen Griffin of Minneapolis. Bud had =
come home from WWII in the Philippines and now they were expecting a =
baby.  A lanky little baby boy, Robert Edward Griffin, Jr., was =
born at the Swedish Hospital that morning, at just over 7 pounds.  =
While the family was dirt poor, they had each other, lots of kin folk, =
and more love than any family deserves.

 

I did not walk =
until 24 months. I did not talk until 26 months.  They actually =
took me to a specialist (a Jewish doctor) to find out if I was =
retarded.  Don’t get ahead of me. He said "No" and =
indicated that once I started to talk, they would never be able to shut =
me up.  Prophetic!

 

I almost died =
that 2nd summer. TB was rampant and I could not breathe. So it was =
recommended to put me in a tuberculosis sanatorium (note the spelling) =
and hope I would survive.  Once there, I was tested and found to =
"only" have congestive bronchial asthma and sent home. =

 

Polio hit our =
block in 1956. It killed a couple of my classmates and crippled Jerry a =
few doors up the alley from us.  The tragedy and reality of death =
brought a new sincerity to our prayers and search for God. From there it =
was growing up during the Korean War, H-bomb drills in school (like =
hiding under a desk would help a nuclear attack) and drifting from =
religion to religion – tried Jewish like many neighbors, then Catholic =
like the other neighbors, then Baptist.

 

PART =
TWO

March 17, =
1957, was the second most momentous day. My mother had been sending my =
sister and me a few blocks away to a Baptist church in the inner city of =
Minneapolis.  There God began to do a work in my heart.  Now, =
I wasn’t a BAD kid – hey, I was only in 4th grade for goodness =
sake!  But I knew I was a sinner worthy of God’s judgment.  =
And with the very real threat that my world could end any day through =
sickness or war, I was not ready!

 

Guess I should =
thank God for ordaining my salvation from before the foundation of the =
world, because I’m living fulfillment of the verse in Acts 13:48 " =
. . as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed."  =
Wow.  All of a sudden my feeble faith (that was the regenerative =
work of the Holy Spirit) on that March 17th cried out in repentance to =
God to save me from hell and wash away my sin. It was ALL God’s =
grace.  Kinda like a baby celebrating his birthday – the baby had =
not really ANYTHING to do with it! Conceived and delivered by miracle – =
all the baby does is get squeegeed out and start =
crying!

 

But that day =
changed the course of the rest of my life.  Oh, life went on with =
school, college, grad work, marriage, ordination and three wonderful =
kids of my own, 15 grandkids, pastoring, and serving as a college dean =
and professor. But I had been truly "born again" – not out of =
some emotional hype of high-pressure salesmanship or from a knee-jerk =
reaction to a movie, but an inner moving of God that has never left me =
and continues to give fulfillment and purpose to my =
life.

 

So, born =
physically March 14th, 1948, born again March =
17th, 1957.  And now, facing heaven.  All of us =
"boomers" are facing our own mortality.  When in 2003 the =
doctors said "You have six months to live; maybe 1 or 2 painful =
years at the most if you’re unlucky" – it hung heavily around =
my neck.  Nobody is sure of ANY day, but we all make plans like =
there will be endless tomorrows.

 

But you know, =
I didn’t have a thing to do with my day of birth.  I didn’t have a =
thing to do with being the recipient of God’s grace on my second =
"birthday".  And I won’t have a thing to do with the day =
that HE has appointed for me to go to heaven – whether at 72 or =
102.  Someone congratulated me on how I’d "made it" to =
72.  What did "I" do?  Hello?  God gives life, =
not me!

 

I don’t =
believe doctors and I sure don’t trust them (don’t tell my wife, the =
doctor).  I believe God has a plan.  I wasn’t born by accident =
and wasn’t born again by accident either.  GOD is the blessed =
controller of all things. And until that plan is complete, and not a =
minute sooner, I plan to live every day to the =
fullest!

 

So March 17th =
this week was St. Bob’s Day. I am rejoicing that God has given me =
another year to live, celebrated with cake and candles (and fire =
extinguisher, just in case) and now the anniversary of my "becoming =
a saint". So I share the day with Patrick, but I’m not wearin’ the =
green. Since my second birth, I’ve been wearing robes of =
righteousness!  And waiting to see my Lord at His divinely =
appointed time.

 

Thanks for =
listening. And trust YOU can celebrate TWO birthdays in 2020 as well. If =
you have questions, I consider myself a cyber-friend and happy to dialog =
with you.

 

~~

Dr Bob Griffin =

bob@grif.net =
www.grif.net

"Jesus =
Knows Me, This I Love!"