Tuesday, November 23, 2004

a giving of thanks

Thanksgiving is two days a way and I cannot wait. I will be home for the first time since July. It will be good, I promise you that.

As I reflect on this year and what I am thankful, I thought I would follow the instructions given by the old hymn and count my blessings, naming them one by one. I hope as you read, you will reflect upon what you are thankful for.


1. ...for the salvation that we have. God loved us when we were at war with Him and incarnated Himself into humanity to bring us freedom from death, sin, and isolation from Him. We, who were at war and isolated from Him and dead in our tresspasses have been given peace, a loving, covenant relationship with Him and life both abundant and eternal.

2. ...that I am incapable of doing anything good on my own. Aside from being an intensely catchy song, this is a solid truth. The only good I have and the only good I do is solely through Christ Jesus.

3. ...for my family. No matter how dysfunctional and redneck (possibly hillbillyish) they may be, I love them and long to see them all surrendered to Christ.

4. ...for my friends. Ever have one of those days that are so stinkin' bad and someone you love says one thing that turns everything around. Yeah...those are the friends I am thankful for. Through thick and thin, they are there regardless of how stupid I may be sometime.

5. ...for the body of Christ. I love the local church. I am thankful for the love and support I get from those who are in covenant relationships with me. I am thankful to know that if there is a need, they will do whatever they can to meet it.

6. ...for a job. I can always desire to make more money, but God provides every time. I have a job that I enjoy and love those I work with. Thanks.

7. ...for creation. This may sound somewhat hokey, but after teaching the children about it this past Sunday, I am more fully aware of the love and grace of God that is shown in the beauty of creation.

8. ...for the message of Christ that is being preached in nations that we thought were impenetrable. The former Soviet Bloc, China and Muslim countries are seeing people won the Lord, and that is an awesome thing.

9. ...for school. It's hard work, but I know I am being sharpened and trained for the future ministry God gives me a shepherding position over.

10. ..the Presidential election is over for another four years. I am thankful Bush won, and I am thankful that my future and security was not dependent upon that. I am thankful that no matter what happened, God is still on His throne and is sovereign over it all.

I pray each of you have a great Thanksgiving with friends and family. Let us be encouraged to think about what God has done in, through and for us and the blessings He has given us. Let us thank Him and bless Him for them. Let us draw close to Him because of that reflection.

thankfully Christ's...


P.S. There is a post on the International Mission Board's website that is pretty good. i was blessed by what the author said about giving thanks and what we can be thankful for. Check it out!

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