Thursday, November 28, 2013


Since it is Thanksgiving I thought I would fight my natural inclination to avoid what is typically being done and instead write about ten things I am thankful for.

1. Grace: I don't completely understand it (and probably never will) but I am grateful for the gifts & patient love that God gives me when I have done nothing to earn them.

2.  My wife: I out-kicked my coverage when I married my wife-there is absolutely no doubt about that. I am forever grateful for our lives converging at the point where & when they did because I wouldn't be the man I am today without her.

3. My children:  We have three beautiful, passionate, wonderful daughters who are highly intelligent and possess fantastic potential to do great things. I am nowhere near the perfect parent, but want to do the very best I can to help them see what God has in store for their future.

4. Calling: I may not have realized it early in my career, but I am grateful that I have discovered exactly what I am supposed to dedicate my life to doing. In retrospect, I can see how God was preparing me to be a pastor and I am thankful for His willingness to use me in spite of my many faults.

5. People: I can't even begin to describe how thankful I am for the people I have walked this path of life with. I am grateful for those that I have known for over 25 years, former students, youth from the ministry, people that have ministered to me as I ministered to them, fellow pastors, and the people of Milledgeville that love us as family now. I couldn't begin to list them all, but I think of those that have impacted my life very often and can't believe how blessed I am.

6.  Future: God is giving me glimpses of what our future will look like and how He is continually guiding us there. How great is it to know a God that still looks for ways to bless His children and allow them to flourish?

7. Second chances: I have seen the damage that my choices have caused in relationships and in those around me. I don't deserve opportunities to make this right, but am thankful that over time I can choose to do things differently and see new results.

8. Contentment: I know that God is always shaping me into a better man, but I am grateful for the contentment with where I am right now. I'm not satisfied to the point of not wanting to change, but I can clearly see how He has molded me over the years and I am eager to take the next step on this journey.

9. Family: While I am obviously grateful for my wife & children, I am also thankful for the incredible influence & love of the rest of my family (both biological and through marriage.) They are all a key part of who I am and I don't go a day without thinking & praying for them all.

10. New Beginnings: It's not just the name of my blog, but it's a philosophy of life. I believe in God's ability (and desire) to make brand new things out of refuse and to turn the ugly into beautiful. It's why I invest in people and why I cling to my relationship with God so firmly. I've seen it in action and want others to experience that newness for themselves.

It's a brief (yet lengthy) list, but I couldn't let the day go by without pausing to be thankful. It's a poignant reminder of what matters most and a refocusing of my energies where they need to be invested.

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