In no particular order, this is a non-exhaustive list of things I'm thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day.
1. Peace. I'm finding more and more that I don't understand the world I live in. It's harder than ever to stand for righteousness, and my heart is heavy when I see the hopelessness around me. I often feel overwhelmed, discouraged and beaten at the same time. So I'm grateful for Christ's peace "which passes all understanding." I can always turn to the One who understands far more than I ever will.
2. Minnie. That's my new dog. I never thought I would allow an animal back in the house. But after just a week with her, I don't know what I would do without her. She's truly a wonderful companion.
3. Pam. I told you this is in no particular order, right? I'm grateful for an understanding, forgiving wife. More grateful than she'll ever know.
4. Coffee. Duh!
5. Pancakes. Double Duh!!
6. My Church Family. I was warned by countless naysayers that ministering in that church would be next to impossible. Challenging, yes. Impossible, no. A blessing, without a doubt! There's truly nowhere else I would rather be.
7. Music. It's rare that I don't have music playing somewhere near me at all times... in my car, at home, or in my office. It makes me wonder just how glorious the music will be in Heaven, where God's praise is continually being lifted.
8. Vision. The vision, dreams and destiny that God has laid before me excites me to no end. It keeps me from dwelling on the past and instead moving ahead toward greater goals. Rather than longing for what was or can no longer be, I look forward to what will be. Romans 12:1-2 is absolutely the best way to live!
9. Mentors. Most of you don't even know who you are... but I have Pastor friends that I truly respect. I read your books, your blogs, I listen to your sermons and I pray for you. You mentor and challenge me from long distances even though I might see you only once a year at a conference or section events. I probably won't tell you in person what you mean to me, so for now... thank you for your ministries.
10. Surrogates. My Mother and Father In-Law, my very good friend I call "Mom," a couple very special teens from my old youth group and my Godchildren fill the voids that circumstances have created in my life. I'm grateful to God for putting you into my life. You make it richer.