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Andrew's Seventeen year old poem:

Seventeen

Well, here we are
Seventeen. It sounds so far
from the little boy I remember,
Yet did I expect you to remain
little always? Not at all
You're bearded now, strong and tall
with a curly mane
And, of course, the truth is plain
Time flies in ways
I can't explain

Here we are on the brink
Childhood is in the past
Boyhood is passing
With manhood nearly here at last
And the fact of the matter is I'm very glad
At how you've turned out,
and very proud to be your dad

And you're so much like a man now
A leader
A thinker
A reader
A man of renaissance
A multi-talented musician
With a mind of intelligence and nuance
Your knowledge of music is encyclopedical
And you hold informed opinions on subjects
literary, musical and theological

As Thanksgiving rolls closer
I'm so thankful for you
And proud, for the things that you're doing
And the things you've made it through

People look to you
as a counselor and friend
As one with wisdom and insight
On which they can depend

Being the first-born has its benefits and detractions
On the plus side, you get to be first in on the action
when it comes to high school, driving, and freedom
All the perqs of coming of age
And you will be the first to graduate
And then college . . . on to the next stage

But, of course, you also have to be the first
to sail the uncharted waters
And in your wake will travel
our youngest son and our two daughters
They'll be better off for what you know
And with parents who don't have to learn as they go
Because we will have been through it already
And our guiding hands will, by then, be more confident and steady
You're the one who's navigating each new wave
And the ride, though often fun, is not without peril and frustration
But thank God we have a Savior who is strong to save
And He will bring you safely to your destination

And your journey already has been long and storied
And I try to fathom, though I'm not sure I can
The grace that has brought you this far, and will continue,
on to glory
By God's correcting, comforting, rock-steady, loving hand

And now here you are, a full-fledged worship leader
Just a year after I stepped aside
You have stepped up, and I see with pride
That though the torch passed quickly,
It was in God's perfect time
For He is the one who weaves harmony with melody
And reason with rhyme
And his plans work together in a beautiful way
For our whole lives long, each moment of each day

And I can't express what a blessing it is
Seeing you go through
The same joys and struggles and work and worship
that I once knew, when I did what you do
And you're handling it so well
So that all speak well of you

As a worship leader you should know
That there is a legacy, a history, in this path
For you have joined the sons of Heman and of Asaph
And like the sons of Jeduthun, prophesying with the lyre all their days 1
You are privileged to lift music to the Lord in thanksgiving and praise
For music has figured in the story of redemption
To comfort, to instruct, and to command attention
God's hand came upon Elisha when the music sounded 2
And he saw the enemy fleeing, defeated, surrounded
And I pray that his hand will come upon you
And guide your life's melody
That you can sing light and wholeness
into the world's cacophany
To the proverb the sons of Korah
Inclined the ear
Composing skillfully for the master of the choir
They spoke of trouble, they sang of fear
Yet saw the Lord's salvation
And solved the riddle to the music of the lyre 3

And the older brother's wonder and consternation
At his younger brother's restoration
Was sparked by the music that he heard
blown by winds of celebration 4
And we, prodigals all
Have heard the joyous footsteps of the Father running to us
And we have heard his welcoming, forgiving call

May your music be a tool, ready, in the Lord's hand
And may he give you the wisdom needed, leader of the band,
To, with single mind and whole heart, express his worth
And help make his name known throughout the earth

Happy Birthday Andrew
I love you,

Dad
November 22, 2006

1 1 Chronicles 25:1
2 2 Kings 3:14
3 Psalm 49:4
4 Luke 15:25