If you were to come up with a top ten list of things for which you are grateful, what would be on your list? The Thanksgiving season is a great time to give some thought to this list. But do me a favor. Don’t just write out, or mentally check off, the expected list. Put some thought and creativity into the list. Go beyond the one word or simple phrase list to expound in a few more words what you are thankful for in 2019.
Here’s my list:
10. I am thankful for learning. I love to learn, to read, to listen to good podcasts, and absorb something new. I am thankful to live in a time when there is so much good content available from which to learn.
9. Being my age. Half-way through my 6th decade (that’s 55 not 65!) I’m grateful to be at home in my own skin. It’s a good age to be – quite a bit of experience to draw on; no need to impress anyone; not too worried about what people think.
8. Opportunities. I’ve had several opportunities I never expected come my way this year and recently in life. I never thought I’d get to help write a book – let alone two. Didn’t expect a Sabbatical and travel abroad. Ministry has brought a lot of opportunities my way.
7. Nature. I love to watch the Creator’s artistry on the landscape of this earth. From sunrise to sunset each day brings something to appreciate – so many calls to worship if you are just looking.
6. Preaching. I love to preach God’s word. It doesn’t get old. It calls for my very best effort week in and week out. I try my best to be up to that call.
5. My Parents. My dad has gone to be with the Lord, and Mother is not in very good health. I think of what they gave us kids. We traveled all over the USA, each got a college education (debt free), were exposed to the love of Christ, clothed and fed and loved.
4. Observation. I like to observe life. You can learn a lot by watching. I have been blessed to watch the same congregation the last 12 years; and our 3 children the last 30; two funny little Corgi dogs most of the last 20 years; and a whole lot of other stuff in between.
3. Being a Grandad. People would ask before our grandson Oliver was born if I was looking forward to being a Grandad. I always said “yes” but really didn’t know how I felt about it until he was here. Now I know where the “grand” in “grandparent” comes from. Love that boy!
2. A Calling. I first began to seriously grapple with a call to ministry at age 17. I stuck my toe into it at 20 and haven’t looked back. I’m blessed to be married to a woman who is surely called to teach. Knowing your calling, even when it’s challenging, is like knowing when someone calls your name.
1. Miss Lori. 36 years ago this December 13 I asked a young lady from Logansport, IN to marry me. We were in the parking lot of the jewelry store where I’d just picked up her ring. (I know, a real romantic!) Can’t imagine life without her by my side and me by hers – and Jesus in the middle of this marriage. It’s been an adventure. I am so, so thankful.
OK – here’s your chance. What’s on your Top 10 “Thanks” list in 2019?