As a local church pastor, I have the privilege of serving people of all ages. Some of those whom I have served for nearly two decades have been my friends for nearly as long. While I am close friends with men who are in their thirties and forties, I am also close friends with men in their sixties and seventies. I have often considered why I have so thoroughly enjoyed being friends with older men, including the late Dr. R.C. Sproul (who would have been eighty this year). I have come to realize that much of the reason I have always enjoyed the friendship of men so much older than I am is partly because my father was older than most of the fathers of boys my age. My father was born in 1924, and he was my best friend until he passed away in 1992. My father lived through the Great Depression, had a paper route at the age of seven, fought in World War II, and lost his first son in a tragic accident in 1969. My father learned to live with little, and he told me always to learn to live with a little less. Through much hardship, my father learned to be grateful. And my dear mother, who in many ways has experienced even greater hardships in life than my father did, learned to be grateful. By their examples, I learned gratefulness as a way of life.