Today I am celebrating 36 years of being on this earth; my how time flies. I can remember being a child thinking that the year 2000 would never come and now it has been nearly 13 years since we new millennium. As I reflect on the past 36 years I can summarize my life in a few key words: Faith, Family and Friendships.
Most of the people in my life can tell you that my life has been based on taking many steps of faith. On December 2, 1984, I walked down an aisle at Bethel Church of God in Christ in Abilene, Texas and made Jesus the leader of my life. That Sunday, I came to understand that faith is not just what you believe in your mind or heart but what you do with your actions. Since that time, I have been taking steps of faith from accepting my call to the ministry at 18 years-old, leading in Innervisions Gospel Choir at the University of Texas, establishing Texas Gospel Fellowship through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and going on staff at Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
Each of these decisions took a new level of faith. In the past three years, I have had to walk by faith more than any other time in my life. Nearly three years ago, we began the journey of planting Full Life Community Church in Austin, Texas. What began as a bible study in a hotel, moved to a house in North Austin and launched in a library in Wells Branch has been more than physical moves from one building to another, it is building spiritual moves of walking by faith to see God form a community of faith out of a vision that He gave us nearly 10 years ago. I studied my life as a leader during a class called Lifelong Leadership Development through Fuller Seminary and God gave a vision for a church that was not there. We stepped out on faith and now I am so privileged to be the Lead Pastor of Full Life Community Church, a missional, maturing and multicultural church that lives to reconcile people to God and one another.
God is establishing a community of faith that walks by faith and not by sight seeing God do things we cannot explain. I look forward to continuing this journey of faith with this community of faith.
I would have never had the faith I had as a child and now have as a 36 year-old man if it were not for my family. I have been given the best immediate and extended family in the world. God blessed me with a father who taught me to read the Bible to learn God’s view on the world instead of teaching me his view on the world. I had a mother who has persevered through over 20 years of kidney failure and dialysis treatments. I have a brother who is a real man who loves sharing Jesus with people who are far from Him. I have aunts and uncles who are examples of people to who love God and love their families. I could not have been more blessed to be raised as a member of the Tabor family.
As I became a husband in 2003, God added to my family and changed my life forever by allowing me to
become one in mind, body, soul and spirit with April Davis now Tabor. April has taught me so much about what it means to love God and love unconditionally. She has been the gift of my life that I did not deserve and could not have earned. In June we will celebrate 10 years of marriage and I am a much better man because of my relationship with her. She has lived out the meaning of our vows: “for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.” Through the years, she has continued to grow as a woman who loves God and loves me. I was blessed to gain new family members through the gift that her parents and extended family are to us. God has been good to me in the family arena. I could not ask for more real people that love me and believe in me.
The blessing of great family has been learning how to become a good friend. All my life, I have valued friendship more than many because I realize how invaluable real friends are. I have been friends with my two best friends Paul Matta and Brett Coe since 7th grade. They have been there for me through thick and thin and have prayed for me and my family in times when we were hurting and needed God’s hand to move. They have just continued to be there for me and those that I love. As I came to the University of Texas I was blessed with great friends through
Innervisions Gospel Choir and Gamma Phi Delta Christian Fraternity. My closest college friendships were forged in the heat of life as we struggled to be godly people on a campus that had many who were not seeking to look like him. I am thankful for friends like Joseph Mosley, Asante Todd, Cedric Jones and Torik Lewis (the singing group Covenant). I am thankful for friends like Melissa Gray and Brandy Snoddy (Yeary) who stood by me as I learned to lead in college. To my friend and partner Sean Watkins who has been a mentee, partner and friend I cannot thank you enough for all that you inspire me to be and have challenged me to be. Today, I believe in friendship because I have seen the rewards that come from being a friend and have experienced the risks of being a friend and can conclude that the rewards far outweigh the risks!
So many people have been a part of this journey and so many have given me the hope to believe that God can continue to use my life for his glory in the years to come. I pray that I continue to grow as a man, follower of Christ, husband, leader, friend and partner in life. All that I am has been formed by these three pillars in my life: Faith, Family and Friendship and for these I am thankful.