Today it's been 18 years.
I forgot about it, actually. We were going about our business and it was a wonderful weekend. I just didn't think about it being our birthday until later. We were busy teaching on forgiveness, graduating a new (and incredibly bright, talented, and anointed) class of Master's Commission students, and celebrating the launch of our newest sites to notice.
On the one hand I wish we had celebrated. On the other hand, we have always been far more about the future than about the past. I love what God did, and that He let me ride along, but I also feel like I have a lot to do to accomplish what He put us here for.
I hate goodbyes, endings, funerals, and most everything else about the past. It's the future that I really prefer to dwell on. The past has an unsavory finality and painful healing to it. I am not a great planner, and make ridiculous amounts of mistakes that lurk there in my past like an old smelly shoe. The future has hope, vision, and unlimited possibility. I like the future.
It's not complicated, what I see for the future. I am asking God for 100 new churches, many of which will hopefully pass Freedom Valley quickly in every significant way. The 10 years after that, I am asking the God that prefers bold requests, for 1000 churches, and some way to affect our culture with permanent Heaven-populating movement toward God.