Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Day to be Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving Day. It is a day that has been celebrated, even if unofficially, for nearly 400 years in what is now known as the United States of America. On this year, many will argue that the states are more divided than united, but this is Thanksgiving, not a Misgiving, so let us stay positive.

That said, I have much for which to be thankful. This past year has been amazing in so many ways, but I want to focus on one particular aspect – my family. I mean this in a very complete sense as I am thankful for those to whom I am related by birth or by other circumstance that connects us. However, I am very grateful for my brothers and sisters and mothers and children (Mark 10.30) that God has put into my life over the past many years, with a particular thanks this year for the family I “discovered” in Kenya this year.

Like many who may read this, I will celebrate with close family this week. We will eat, talk, reflect, and hopefully have a good deal of fun. I am thankful for the time we will spend together including our first Thanksgiving with a son-in-law.

But today, I am thankful for many others as well.

I am thankful for the fun I had with a group of brothers while eating, talking, reflecting, and having fun this past Monday. 

I am thankful for my calling to lead the church to which He has brought me. I will think of those in the church I lead who are with families celebrating and others who are not. 

I am thankful for the town in which I live, and think of others in the town who find themselves filled with joy and anticipation as the holiday season begins in earnest. But I will remember those who struggle to celebrate at this time of year for any number of reasons. 

I am thankful for those in distant cities who have a place a special in my life – knowing that some of them I may never see again on this side of eternity, but a bond exists that will bring us together on the other side.

I am thankful for the opportunity to travel to Kenya and remember the lives we touched. I am also thankful for the lives who touched me deeply during the trip.

I am thankful that the rains have finally begun to fall in parts of Kenya which will bring an end to the year-long drought many have experienced.

I am thankful for a wonderful adventure with personal family, church family, and new friends that journeyed to walk where Jesus walked as we began this almost completed year.

And most importantly, I will express my thanks to the One who made all of the above possible, all of the unmentioned possible, and who is preparing a future which becomes reality day by day.

Thank You, Jesus for giving yourself to me, a sinner. May I never forget your sacrifice. May I never forget to express my thanks to You. Again, thank You, for who You are and for all you have done for me in 2016 and throughout my life.

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