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27 Years Ago My Life Was Radically Changed Forever

April 4, 2013

BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY, PHILIPPINES. Woke up early this morning. Jet lag makes me feel real spiritual, for a few days anyway. I watched the sunrise. Beautiful sight from my 16th floor apartment. Once the jet lag wears off I won’t see the sunrise anymore. I’m not really a morning person.

While sipping hot Earl Grey tea and reading my Bible in what used to be my son’s bedroom, Deborah walked in, hugged me, pointed to the clock, and said, “It’s 6:18, April 5th. William was born 27 years ago. Remember fighting in Makati Med over who would hold him.”

I remember like it was yesterday. One of our best fights ever.

Twenty-seven years ago. Wow! (Technically it is still the 4th where he is in Nashville, but since he was born here, we are already celebrating.)

I serendipitously ran into one of William’s t-ball coaches yesterday. Hadn’t seen him in years. We chatted briefly about our sons. My mind was flooded with good memories the rest of the day.

Twenty-seven years ago. Really?

Every parent knows that the birth of the first child marks the end of life as we know it. Marriage changed my life, but the birth of our first child ended the life I lived up to that moment, and gave me a new one. A better one. A life filled with adventure. And joy. And a lot of other stuff.

William was born 5 weeks after a revolution, the EDSA Revolution (aka the original People Power revolution) that ousted President Marcos. The third week of February 1986, it seemed that all Americans, except us, were fleeing the Philippines. We stayed because there was no way they would allow a passenger as pregnant as Deborah on a plane. And, we had no money to purchase a ticket anyway.

Those were exciting times to be in Manila. Hard to believe that one of the key players in the revolution, Senator Gringo Honasan, is now a friend who is growing in his walk with the Lord.

Twenty-seven years. Can William really be that old?

Looking back, there is one decision Deborah and I made that we will never regret. There are certainly plenty to regret, but we got the big one right. Here is it: We decided that family would be first. Not ministry. Family. We decided that we would do family and ministry in a way that our kids would know that they are more important to us than ministry. Not sure where we got an idea like that, but I am glad we did.

If you are starting out in ministry and have a young family, I hope you will make the same decision we made twenty-seven years ago. I hope your kids grow up knowing that they are more important than your ministry.

Twenty-seven years ago. Happy birthday, William Stephen Murrell, jr.

Here are a couple of family/ministry blogs from deep in the archives.

The Problem with Preacher’s Kids

Is It Possible to Balance Family and Ministry?




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