for a Heavenly Father, who loves me. Though it’s too good to imagine, it’s true. I am (we are) loved with undeserving, but unfailing love. Adopted into The Royal Family, an heir with a His Son, by a Father so far beyond my words.
for a no matter what love. No matter who I am or what I’ve done, I am forgiven and loved (you are, too).
for His Word. Against all accusations I stand in His Word, and on its promises. Truth. Black and white and red truth. Lies and the enemy are torn down as I read, accept and receive the truth. Life, and my Father Himself are in those pages.
for His beauty reflected everywhere. I see it in creation all around me, in His plans and His way. Through counseling couples about to get married this year, I’ve been reminded that His way not only holds us together, but it answers deep questions within a man and woman. His way is beautiful.
for His willingness to use us to display His manifold wisdom to those in the heavenly realms. He uses broken, hurt, fallible people to carry brilliant, marvelous light into the darkness. I don’t have to be perfect, just willing.
for a story bigger than mine; for His Story. It’s a story with a beginning and an end even better than the beginning. In the midst of the struggles in our present day, I’m grateful history has a direction and something incredible is coming!
for my beautiful bride. Reflecting on 26 years of marriage, I am so thankful God created Celia & that she's my wife. I could go on and on and on, but it’d be too mushy. I love who she is. She is the love of my life, and one glance from her captivates my heart…still.
for our kids, who no longer look or act like kids. Well...maybe I got all swept up in gratitude. They’re sweet and I love who they’re becoming. Every morning I thank God for all His answers in their lives, but first that they are His. Joy, adventure, laughter, strength, discipline, kindness, love and fun are just a few of the things I see and am thankful for in them.
for family. Parents who loved us and taught us so much, like what keeping their covenant means. Best of all, they modeled what it looks like to follow Jesus. For 4 brothers, their wives and children. I’m thankful for each brother, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, niece and nephew.
for my friends. I’m so grateful for the friends I get to meet with each week, listening, encouraging and challenging each other. For old friends, and for those I walk alongside now.
for this church community. Volunteers who know they are The Church, working to make church happen every week, in the midst of their busy schedules. There are principals, apartment managers, and school staffs who know me as a guy who will help, even though I have no idea how. I’m useless without our church behind me, backing up my yes. In every one of those situations, we get to share the love and hope of Jesus. I'm truly grateful to be a part of our church community.
for our NW staff. A team that loves, supports and encourages one another. And they’re really, really good at what they do! I’m thankful for each one of them.
for being a part of a larger staff at ACF. The community pastors, our fearless leaders and every other staff member. Every time I hear one of them share their heart, I’m grateful to work alongside such incredible people.
for our small group. We’ve been together for years now; we pray for one another, rejoicing in victories, promotions, achievements and share in the losses. More to come, and for that I am thankful, too.
for the crazy mob that shows up on Thursday nights. Celia and I are so thankful for our friends who show up week after week, to laugh, eat together, hang out, worship and pray for each other. If you’re down on millennials, you should come to our house on a Thursday night and be overwhelmed. Our times are crazy, but I’m encouraged to know these are the people who will be leading in the days ahead.
and last, but not least, for my old buddy Leroy. Thankful he’s excited to see me every morning and every time I come home.
Yeah, I’m grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!
“From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.” – John 1:16
grace upon grace