October 15th marks the birthday of my cousin, Dave. He’s not a first cousin – in fact, our fathers were first cousins, but that’s okay. It really doesn’t make too much difference what the genetic family relationship is because when all the dust settles, I guess you could say that we are brothers. We are both believers and it is because of Dave’s perseverance that I even attended my first Bible study or, for that matter, went to seminary.
I can’t even tell you how many years we have been in each others lives. But I do remember that when Janet and I moved to Indianapolis with the rest of the family 31 years ago this past Labor Day, I used to get packages and mail that had been mistakenly delivered to me. Dave owned “The Toussaint Company” and I owned “Toussaint and Company” – and the post office and delivery companies were constantly getting us mixed up. One would think that this would not happen, but I remember receiving a number of packages with Dave’s correct address crossed out and replaced with my delivery address. Several times I dropped stuff off for him – but we never met.
That is, until we had several phone calls back and forth and David invited me to lunch. I agreed (my company was located at Keystone at the Crossing back then) and specifically remember the lunch when Dave invited me to a Bible study. Now at this time, I must confess that while David’s father was a pastor, I didn’t really grow up in a God centered home and so the thought of attending a Bible study never really crossed my mind. For some reason, I agreed and the rest, as they say, is history.
Not only did Janet and I attend a Crown Financial Ministries class, but we then became leaders and taught many additional classes. It was through learning about stewardship of our financial resources that Janet and I made the commitment to become debt free. Not only that, but through our ongoing exposure to Bible verses and God centered people, Janet and I became convicted that we should learn more about God’s word. I attended several years of classes at a local church and eventually we made the commitment that I would attend seminary. Before I started attended classes, I was baptized by immersion and David, as well as the rest of my family, was there to witness the event.
For years, we had lunch together every Tuesday and today we share a ministry together. I work in the career transition side of things and David continues to work with stewardship of financial resources. We don’t get together as much as either one of us would like, but I think we respect and admire each other’s calling. There really isn’t too much more to say about our relationship. It’s one of those comfortable friendships that seems to have a rock solid foundation. We share similar traits that are probably shared by Toussaints everywhere and we have similar stories about our childhoods. We both have something of an intolerance for certain situations and we are both passionate about God’s word. We both try to be good husbands, fathers and contributing members of our respective communities.
I chose the verse for this evening based on my years of knowing Dave and his family. He is a God centered man who is wholly dedicated to serving the Lord. From Acts 10:2, we are told, “He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.” And I am lucky to have David in my life. My encouragement this evening is to let you know that God wants you to be devout as well – and to reach out to others and invite them into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ – just as David did for me so many years ago. My prayer is that you will be able to impact the kingdom the way David has – with years of selfless service, a passion for ministry and a prayer for each person who crosses his path. Happy Birthday, David! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…