This Thursday I will turn 39 years old. I look back across those 39 years and see a lot of heartache and a lot of dark times. But looking back at those times, I realize now that there were just as many good times as there were bad. It was mostly a matter of perspective on how I saw the world around me. There were so many Blessings that I failed to see at the time because I wasn’t looking at things in the proper perspective. Yes, I can hear all of you pessimists groaning out there. You so called realists too. I was once among your ranks. I hated to hear the optimist say anything. To me an optimists is the person who would say ‘At least you have a full tank of gas.’ if you had a flat tire. The thing is, nobody told me that I was drawing a lot of that darkness down on myself because of the worldview that I was using. By focusing on the negative, I SAW the negative. Imagine that. I have been sitting here listening to news stories that tell me of terrifying things coming in the future. A world of Government Oppression and Complex Conspiracies that sometimes threaten to overwhelm my newfound optimism. Then I look at my kids and see thoughtful and caring individuals. Bible believing Christians, who have Christian values and Christian friends. Seeing the youth attend these concerts for Contemporary Christian Music and watching them express themselves openly as followers of Christ at such events make me have hope in the future. They give back that little spark of light that had been guttering in the darkness. It rekindles that flame that was just about ready to go out. To all of you teaching your kids these values, I salute you. For all of you displaying them I encourage you to continue. And for those of you lost in the darkness, I invite you to join us. If you can’t find a church that suits you, I invite you to join us at Mount Tabor Baptist Church on Highway 26 between Blountsville and Garden City. Drop by and try us out. You’re all welcome.