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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Count Your Blessings

I appreciate Thanksgiving because it provides the motivation to take some time and reflect on all for which I have to be thankful. Mine has been a good life! When I reflect on my past and present blessings I stand amazed at God's goodness on my behalf. I thought I would share with you some of the things for which my heart is filled with gratitude this thanksgiving.

I am thankful that God saw fit to save my wretched soul. Because of His grace I have peace, joy, contentment, the promise of heaven and the hope of eternal life.

I am thankful for my King James Bible. I have found it to be my wisest counselor, my truest friend, my chart and compass, and more than capable of establishing my way.

I am thankful for my parents. For a Mom who was always home and who was always available. Who always had an ear to listen and through whose encouragement I accomplished some things I would not have otherwise. For a Dad who faithfully provided and gave me the heritage of a solid work ethic. For knowing how to do everything and always being willing to help. I'm 43 and I still think my Dad can fix anything. I am thankful for my parents instilling in me a reverence for the Word of God and a commitment to his church. They have through the years taught me the meaning of sacrifice through their own spirit of giving.

I am so very thankful for my wife of almost 25 years. She is my friend, companion, travel partner, counselor, help meet, critic, and lover. She has made my life more rich than I could have ever imagined. We are truly kindred spirits! She is godly, holy, gracious, committed, witty, eclectic, wise, beautiful, and mine!

I am thankful for my children. All of them. Sara my firstborn who has become quite a mother and homemaker. Her husband John who works hard, takes the family to church, and enjoys the kids. Caleb my firstborn son who is proving himself the man everyday. His wife Heather who has made our lives richer and funner. Olivia who is the wisest, godliest, most committed young lady I know. Daniel who is zealous about every undertaking. Kimberly who is multi-talented and sharp as a tack. Lydia who is naturally joyful and has a passionate love for animals and the outdoors. I love being a father to these great kids and I especially love to harass and irritate them as they can all bear witness.

I am thankful for my three grandchildren. I think grandchildren add an element of dignity and gravity to one's life that can be derived from no other source. It is amazing and a blessing to see one's children's children. I only wish I could see them more often and enjoy their silly antics.

I am thankful for the people in my church. Although a small church we have a group of people who are committed to the Lord and desire to please him. They are not perfect people but they are good people by the grace of God. I count it a privilege to minister the Word of God to them and an honor that they willingly allow me the opportunity. I would not trade my people for another set any where in the world. It is a joy to minister to and with them.

I am thankful for P. D. Taylor who invested his life in me as a young preacher. He exercised patience and sacrificed time and energy to do the hard work of equipping me for the ministry. He more than any other person has influenced my ministry. He taught me what it means to love people although I have not mastered it as he has. The Lord used him to instill within me a love for sound doctrine. He is in most respects my father in the faith.

As I sit here in my study I am thankful for my computer. I am thankful to live in an age where we have such tools to make our lives more productive than they ever could have been just a few years ago. I am thankful for my library. I am thankful for all the mementos that I am surrounded with that remind me of friends, travels, missionaries, and God's goodness to me.

I am thankful for the opportunity that I have had to travel. While no doubt others have traveled much more than I, I would never have dreamed as a boy growing up in Freeport that I would have been privileged to visit the places I have. The mission field in Mexico (three times), Panama, and Ghana (two times). I've been blessed to visit Alaska, New York City (World Trade Center and then ground zero, Central park, Little Italy, China Town, Fifth Avenue, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island), Philadelphia (Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklin's grave, Betsy Ross' house, the liberty bell), West Point, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Mt. Vernon and the grave of George Washington, Washington DC (three times) and all the monuments. The White House, the Capital, Arlington National Cemetery, the Lee House, The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, The Library of Congress, etc.... If some one had told me I would be able to visit all these places plus others I would have been doubtful. I thank God for the opportunity, my life has been enriched accordingly.

I am thankful for health and energy.

I am thankful for corrective lenses.

I am thankful for reliable transportation.

I am thankful for a comfortable house and bed and pillows.

I am thankful for plenty (more than enough) food to eat.

I am thankful for late fall, winter, and early spring on the Texas Gulf Coast.

I am thankful to be an American citizen and a born and bred Texan.

I am thankful for the American soldier past and present who have been the true defenders of our liberties.

I am thankful for the ability to read.

I am thankful for electric lights and running water.

I am thankful for air conditioning.

I am thankful for a time to give thanks.

Psalms 100:4 - Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
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