Saturday, November 24, 2007

What I Am Thankful For

This painting hangs over the fireplace in our family room; it has been there since we added the family room on to our house, almost six years ago. This image seemed a fitting way for us to express our sense of thankfulness for a slightly larger home, and the blessings of each day. When I first saw this painting I was struck by its sense of humility and simplicity, expressed in the imagine of a prayer. That my faith might be expressed this way....

I still love this painting, and I look at it often and reflect on what I am thankful for. This year I am thankful for countless things, just a few of which are expressed below.

I am Thankful for....

Redemption. Transformation. The offer of new life I have found in Christ and experienced daily now for more than 28 years. God, made know in the person of Jesus, has been my guide and companion on this remarkable journey, and I am thankful for His Mercy, Joy, and abiding Grace, each day along the way.

My wife, Nancy. After more than 19 years of marriage, you still find me funny, and tolerate my strangeness each day. You are the best thing that ever happened to me on this planet, and each day I take a moment and thank God for you, and tell you too. You are beyond wonderful. Words can never express my love.....

For my daughters, Kelly and Heather. Thank you both for the most amazing journey a guy could ever want - sharing my life with you two amazing ladies has been a challenge beyond my wildest imagination and a source of joy I will never be able to completely express. You two young ladies are amazing!

For my parents, both of whom I have lost over the past 18 months. Although my relationship with them was emotionally disconnected, for various reasons, they did the very best they knew how in raising me, and provided me a college education and a great start in life. I have turned out ok; no felony convictions yet. My Dad served in World War II, which leads me to my next area of thankfulness.

For my country. Perhaps being the son of a World War II veteran makes me more acutely aware of the tenuous and precious nature of my freedom.

I am also particularly thankful for those brave Americans that currently serve in our armed services, both at home and abroad. Thank you, each and everyone for serving. Whenever, I see someone in uniform now, I make sure to shake their hand, and just say "Thank you for serving." That's all.

For my job, and for the great team of folks who work with me. I really love my work, and each day I wake up and realize its a work day, its no problem getting out of bed to do it again, and to try to do it all Solo Deo Gloria.

Sacred music. Over the past decade or so, as I have "matured", I have become much more fond of sacred music. Classical pieces, chants, chamber works, choral pieces, hymns, orchestral works, the works. Perhaps music in this form expresses something of the mystery of life, of faith, and of this terrible and beautiful world we have been set down on.

James Taylor. Enough said there.

My dog, Cindy, a nearly 10 year old Chocolate Labrador retriever. This kind old dog (and friend) is a daily reminder of a Peaceable Kingdom I someday hope to find a permanent home in.

Sports Center.

The Internet. Without this amazing tool, I would not be able to share these thoughts, get the news instantly, and learn neat new things everyday.

Babies, and all children under the age of 50. As my own daughters grow up, I find myself thankful for every age, but particularly struck at the beauty of little kids. Of such is the Kingdom. Amen.

For the approaching Advent Season, and the Celebration of the birth of the Infant King. After all these years, the wonder and mystery of this continues to strike me as completely amazing.

May my life reflect the gratitude and joy of thanksgiving, not just this weekend, but each day, without fail, going forward.
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