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Blake's sixteen year old poem:


It's hard to get words on a page
To describe this time
It would take a book
(and my goodness, for these few pages, look how much time it took!)
In this time of sixteen
A young man might need some coaching
Because childhood is receding behind
And Manhood is approaching
Take it from me
The time to lead isn't just coming
It's here
You're not a little kid anymore
But there is nothing to fear
I believe this to be
a time to be daring
You may find
you've got a mind for sea-faring
though you find yourself still standing on the shore
So we turn another page
Look, there's an open stage
The lights are on, and here you are
Blake Roberts, coming of age

Yes, believe it
And though it might be natural to shrink from it
These are the days to begin
There are and will be more and more chances
To step forward
And, don't be surprised, more people expecting it
There's a Call to discern,
And the task of connecting it
To what you do
at work, at play,
In every place and any weather
But it's not complicated
When you put it all together
For the chief end of man
Is to glorify God
and enjoy Him forever 1

I love thinking about you
Who you are and how you are built
Your unique personality in all its qualities
That intriguing blend of seriousness and frivolity
You often manifest a wisdom beyond your years
I know there are deep, swift waters
that turn your mind's nimble gears
There's a wit there as well
A keen sense of humor
and a love of fun times
If I had a nickel for each
class clown story I've heard
We couldn't go outside, 'cause it would be raining dimes

You have a strong self-confidence
That's a trait with which you've been blessed
It helps you know you will succeed
and fuels your desire to be the best
I hope you know how much I admire
your competitive streak, your inner fire
I think that's a strength that will serve you well
as you strive toward that to which you aspire
But may you continue to learn
That this world is full of chest pounding
horn-blowing braggarts
But a life like that is the life of a fraud
For what is truly good and what the Lord requires
Is one who does justly, loves mercy
And walks humbly with his God 2

Physically, you have grown
like a young tree
And all of a sudden there you are
towering over me
You somehow can eat everything in sight
and still stay thin
(I was there once too
How I remember when . . .)
I see you gaining wisdom
in your dealings with the fairer sex
Though real understanding
of those mysterious, beautiful beings
can be paradoxical and complex
But I believe that you will do well here
Because I see the wonderful way you treat your mom
That first and foremost relationship
With her you have learned the power of respect
and gentleness
and honor
Great experience here at the start
It's good practice, perparing you to protect and care for
The girl who will one day
lay claim to your heart

Sports are still your particular
Area of expertise
You're a compendium of sports knowledge
As every one who knows you agrees
As far as pro sports go, it was a difficult year
A colossal collapse of our Texans and Astros
Both of those teams were utter Disastros
In college football we saw
our last season of the BCS
But I'm very thankful
We haven't yet seen our last season at CCS
Ah, Cypress Christian, is there any doubt
When God led you there, He knew what He was about?
You had a great team, and a great coach
And it didn't take long before
our final four berth was sealed
Coach Ade had you playing all over the field
almost every position
As CCS once again dominated our division
For the second season you took it right to the finals
A game we should have won
(in fact I think we did)
I'm not sure where the refs eyes and brains were hid
You played so well, and the team was so good
In the finals all of you did every single thing that you could
It was a great finals game
And I know that you each gave your all
Withstanding the onslaught of a strong opponent
And the setback of each bad call
The players were sharp, the parents loud
It was a game, a season to remember
A season for which we can be proud
The State Finals! I'll say it again
This time - well in my opinion -
we came out with the win
Though I suppose there are some who would disagree
Mainly the other team, their parents, and the referees
Next year will be a challenge,
But it's one I'm sure you're up for
It will be a time to lead
it's what you've been trained up for
Winning comes down to far more than just
speed and skill
It has to do with planting the desire and passion and will
into everyone around you, and setting them free
to pursue with you the calling, this call to victory
In just a little while, another challenge to help you be
and continue to become the man that we already see

There's a lot more coming
When you (eventually) get behind a wheel
And starting learning the skills, getting a feel
for the road, and the world, rushing swiftly by
May you continue to learn not just how, but why
Why should a man move through this world wisely?
Why does it take courage to choose the harder road?
How does one choose his destination?
and, once chosen, move forward without hesitation?
You'll be moving faster than ever
and all on your own
As ways open before you
With more choices than you've ever known
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to God's Wisdom, His Word 3
May you continue to learn it, to know it, to love it
for there is no other word that is above it

When the flesh and the world tempt you to be passive
(and trust me, that temptation can be massive)
Remember Jesus, and behold the man of all men 4
Who when tempted to forgo his passion and pain
Set his face toward the cross, despising the shame 5
Becoming the most worthy Lamb that was slain 6

So be prepared
For there is a time when
A young man receives the call
To move to the next place
to lead
to shepherd
May you be granted the courage
To turn and face
The giants in the land
To lock and load
sling with stone
supported by God's mighty hand
Though all others may flee
You are never alone 7
With the shield of salvation
And the wings that are given
to those who on the Lord wait 8
The Lord Himself in His gentleness will be making you great 9

And I do think you're great
You're a young man of worth
You've been a joy to your mom and me
since the day of your birth
I love you greatly
And I see the greatness inside
You're growing up, learning God's ways
Learning to run 10
Learning to abide 11
So happy birthday to my youngest
May this year be fantastic
Full of blessings humongous
I'm nothing if not enthusiastic
for where you are headed
Year sixteen is well in hand
The promise is before you
so let's cross the river
and take the land!

Happy Birthday!
I love you,

June 18, 2014

1 From the Westminster Shorter Catechism
2 Micah 6:8
3 Psalm 119:9
4 John 19:5
5 Hebrews 12:2
6 Revelation 5:12
7 Isaiah 41:10
8 Isaiah 40:31
9 Psalm 18:35
10 Hebrews 12:1
11 John 15:4