Today I turned the big 51! It is amazing how time flies when you are having fun!
When I was seventeen I memorized these words:
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.
Over the past fifty-one years I have seen these words unfold time and time again in my life. This morning I am recording fifty-one of the defining moments in my life. The milestones have marked and shaped my life.
1. Being the first born son of D.L. and Alice Lowrie. I was born while my dad was a seminary student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.
2. Birth of my brother Stephen
3. Walking the aisle during a revival at five years old to begin my journey toward Jesus
4. Birth of my brother Tommy
5. Moving to Fort Worth and living on the North side. Attending Denver Ave. Elementary as a minority among a circle of Hispanic friends
6. Birth of my brother John
7. The beginning of a lifelong friendship with Gary Gramling. Gary was someone for me to look up during my teenage years and still today
8. After the death of a friend from cancer, knelling beside my parents’ bed and giving my heart and life to Jesus
9. Being elected King of my youth group and receiving a new NIV translation of the New Testament
10. Making the commitment to read and study my Bible everyday and discovering in the quiet times that my heart and life was being transformed
11. Being asked to give a devotional in my Sunday School class and discovering a love for sharing the Word of God
12. Having an overwhelming desire to be a pastor at age sixteen
13. Surrendering to God’s call on my life to be a pastor by saying to the Lord–“Here am I send me!”
14. Preaching my first “seven minute” sermon to the senior adults at North Fort Worth Baptist Church
15. Preaching my first youth revival in Kokomo Indiana and seeing people respond to the gospel after I preached
16. Narrowly losing the election for Student Body Vice President at Haltom High after sharing my faith to the student body during my campaign speech
17. Moving to Texas High in Texarkana my senior year in high school when my dad was called to be the pastor of First Baptist Church of Texarkana, Texas
18. Supply preaching practically every Sunday the summer after my senior year as I worked as a summer missionary for Bowie Baptist Association
19. Deciding to attend Baylor University after a weekend spent in the home of David Proctor
20. Meeting Robyn Crane during the second semester of my freshman year and falling in love at first sight.
21. Being called to serve as the youth director for Gateway Baptist Church in Waco under the guidance of E.J. Culp who taught me to love people with all my heart
22. Being called to serve as the first youth minister for Canyon Creek Baptist Church in Temple under the guidance and influence of Jerry Raines who taught me to work hard for the Kingdom
23. Graduating from Baylor University with a B.A. in psychology
24. Marrying Robyn Crane on June 4, 1982 at Casa View Baptist Church in Dallas and starting the great love story of my life
25. Being called as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Roanoke
26. Attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and being taught by men like Roy Fish and David Kirkpatrick
27. The birth of my first daughter Kalie who transformed me into a father
28. The birth of my second daughter Lorin
29. Graduating from seminary
30. The birth of my third daughter Jamie
31. Being called as the founding pastor of the Timbercreek Baptist Church in Flower Mound and finding a mentor in Bill Tinsley
32. Buying our first little home
33. The birth of our fourth daughter Madison
34. Being called as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Mabank
35. Receiving a new car as an anniversary gift from FBC Mabank as an expression of their amazing love for us
36. Being called as pastor of the Northwest Baptist Church of Milwaukee and moving my family to the upper Midwest to enjoy the wonder of the people and the beauty of God’s creation through the seasons of the year
37. Being elected second vice president of the Minnesota Wisconsin Baptist Convention
38. Being called as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Canyon and learning to lead a large church and a large church staff around the mission of “glorifying God by discovering, developing and deploying fully devoted followers of Jesus.”
39. Earning a Doctor of Ministry degree from Bethel University. My D.Min project was entitle “Nurturing and maintaining corporate unity in a multi-congregational church”
40. Being approached by Bill Wright to consider a run for president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas
- Meeting face to face with David Currie to discuss the upcoming presidential election and setting the ground rules
- Making the public announce in the Baptist Standard along with the announcement from Joy Fenner
- Learning the power of blogging
- Rejecting a deal to pull out of the race for president for an offer to be first vice president with an open door to the presidency the next year
- Losing the election to Joy Fenner
41. Deciding to make another run at the BGCT presidency with the help and support of Bruce Webb.
42. Narrowly winning election as BGCT president over a good friend Stephen Hatfield in my hometown of Fort Worth
43. Being an advocate for Broadway Baptist Church in Nashville before the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention
44. Preaching in chapel at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Truett Seminary, Dallas Baptist University, East Texas Baptist University, and Howard Payne University
45. Being re-elected as BGCT president in Houston while seeking to focus the convention the mission of Texas Hope 2010
46. The death of my good friend and mentor Bill Wright
47. Face to face dealings with the leaders of Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas seeking to find common ground that could not found.
48. Being called as pastor of the First Baptist Church of El Paso and planting our lives on the border of Texas
49. Leading my final annual BGCT meeting in McAllen around the theme of Hope 1:8. Finishing my term as president with thousands of air miles and even more friendships.
50. Being asked to serve on the BGCT Executive Director Search Committee at a very critical crossroads in Texas Baptist history
51. Waking up in El Paso this morning with my eyes fixed on the horizon to see what God has in store for the next chapter in my life