I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. I’m writing a special public tribute to my son on his birthday, whether he likes it or not (smile). To those who are not friends of the family, please bear with me and let me indulge a little in showering some praise, attention, and love for our son on his birthday. Here’s a little history for those who care to read.
Daniel was a miracle baby and brought a healing to our hearts after a very grievous miscarriage. He is our only son. The first picture is him at approximately four months old resting on my knees as I held him and spoke into his spirit concerning his calling. It lasted nearly 15-20 minutes. He was riveted to the spirit of my words even though obviously in his infancy he did not comprehend them with his undeveloped intellect. It was a wow moment for me.
Enjoy the rest of the pictures.
He always had such a good disposition as a baby and as a boy. He was also a great traveler. He never complained. He loved music and always had a beat going. In fact, when Carolyn was pregnant the most activity she felt in her womb was during praise and worship time at our bible school in Gambia, West Africa (see picture above with our African garb in our Bible school). To this day he plays several instruments and sings (he’s singing into a microphone in the second pic).
Daniel inherited his Momma’s joy and his Daddy’s passion. I did two things that I have no regrets for: I taught him the Word of God and did my best to live it before him. And I coached him in the major sports, especially baseball. This gave us a lot of precious time together just having fun. That’s him here pulling the trigger on a swing, and getting ready to field a ground ball, and then posing with a casting female member after a high school play. I’ll get to his acting in a moment.
Then at the direction of the Lord we sent him to public high school several years ago. Some people thought we were crazy, but he became a missionary in his school. The Lord told us that public high school was his training ground for the unconventional ministry he was called to. He shares a wild testimony in the book we authored together (My Son, My Son) of his introduction to public school when he stood toe to toe with a bully who challenged his faith while Daniel gave Jesus glory. Needless to say, it was one of my most proud Papa moments.
Young parents should get that book, or grandparents should get it, to help their children raise their grandchildren in the Lord. Filled with nuggets of wisdom on training godly children, it is unique and intimate and will have you weepy one moment and laughing the next. I wish I could get it into the hands of more young parents, because it is preventive more than it is cure.
COLLEGE AND ACTING
Daniel graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Broadcast Journalism in 2017, and learned several important life lessons. Sometimes pain is a young man’s greatest teacher.
Besides his relationship with the Lord, there has been one constant love in Daniel’s life that he did not inherit from me. He loves acting. I guess he had to take up acting as an only child to entertain himself. Haha! One day when he was only about 9 years of age, he was at the dinner table crying and saying something about the city of Chicago. I thought he was choking on some food, and in a bit of a panic I asked him what was wrong. He straightened up and said he was only acting. Ha! What an act! I’d give him an Oscar for that one. It was very convincing. There were real tears.
As he grew, besides being engaged in sports, he was always involved in plays and dramas since middle school. That’s what he loved the most and where he excelled the most. Even in college he acted in theatre. Here he is with us at his college graduation, the next pic is him acting in a college theatre production, and the third pic is him at home for the holidays.
He now lives in the Atlanta area and is pursuing acting in television and film. He’s managed to land a couple of minor roles on television shows, and done a few short films, but has his sights set higher. As his parents, Carolyn and I are watching his acting career unfold with holy fear and trepidation, knowing what a dark and competitive industry it is, and trusting the Lord to keep our son holy and separated in the midst of it all. We covet the prayers of our friends for him. He is always hustling and shuffling two or three jobs at a time and still finding time to do auditions and respond to callbacks.
NO EXPECTATIONS EXCEPT TO WALK WITH THE LORD
Although Daniel has been exposed to the ministry all his life, Carolyn and I have never put any expectations on him for entering the ministry. God has to call a person, not man or his parents. All we desire is for him to serve the Lord fervently all the days of his life in whatever field he feels led to go into. He hasn’t ruled out entering into public preaching ministry some day, but it doesn’t burn in him right now, even though he’s in the Word and has a devotional life. Recently I admonished him in a short dialogue. Here’s the exchange:
ME: Please don’t ever become like Brad Pitt and certain other actors who left their true Christian and Pentecostal heritage and continue to mock president Trump and truth and righteousness. Be bold and fearless as your daddy has taught you. ☺ You can be that way and still be loving and broken over the sinful state of our needy land.
DANIEL: I already am that way! I hate the blindness of Hollywood. They all just follow the crowd there and blend in. I’m sick of political speeches from the elite, they haven’t learned to think for themselves. It’s all mindless propaganda. And that ain’t me. Jesus is my Rock and the Bible is my guiding principle, because it’s truth to me.
I was happy to hear that from him, because honestly, it takes a fearless boldness and Holy Ghost fire to stay spiritually strong in the secularized liberal entertainment industry. But Jesus did not tell us to retreat and hide from the world, but to shine our light in the midst of it. Again, please pray for him as God quickens you or leads you, especially Colossians 1:9-11, which is one of my favorite Scriptural prayers to pray for any believer. Here is a final recent picture of him as he looks now:
Daniel, you are now a young man, but Momma still calls you her baby (LOL). We love you and are extremely proud of your stance for the Lord, and how you are now forging your own path and following what you believe is God’s plan for your life, and endeavoring to shine Christ’s light in a very dark industry.
Keep the fire burning!
Happy birthday sweet son!!!