Happy Birthday Ben!!

4-up on 2011-05-05 at 18.12 #5
4-up on 2011-05-05 at 18.12 #5
So my pudgy little baby has become a lean muscular boy… and today he turns 9. 

Happy Birthday Ben!  You have overcome many things and are growing more successful all the time.  Your sister adores you.  Your brother loves your friendship.  Your Mom melts with warmth around you.  And your Dad beams with pride.   We love it when you smile+giggle, when you sing out Wilbur Sargunaraj songs, when you gently care or strongly defend others, and we love it when you run as if your pants were on fire!  We love the color of your skin and your rich Xhosa heritage.  We love how you impact our family and we deeply cherish every bit of who you are.

Benjamin, your first name means "Son of my right hand."  That's how I feel about you.  You are an integral part of my life and of how I function every single day.  Your middle name is the Zulu word 'Themba', which carries concepts of "trust, hope and faith".  Our desire for you is that you will always trust, always hope, always persevere in your walk with God and as a beacon for others.  Your last name, Castor, technically today means "beaver" in French— But seeing as how we have no French influence in our life, we reject that idea and instead welcome the orginal Greek – which refers to the Roman god = implying that perhaps you could have a powerful (and if not careful, destructive) patronage effect on humanity. 🙂

So Ben, I pray this year will be your richest yet.  And I pray you will continue to be the encourager, the supporter, the champion of others.  You have been blessed with so many mentors, many friends, many talents and many opportunities… so I pray you will utilize them wisely and with great gratitude to God.  I pray that you and I will get loads of time to be, play, wrestle, and grow together.  And I pray that you will always know your identity is truly rooted deeply in the hands of Jesus.  Thanks for being my son and for letting me be your Dad.  I love you!

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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