Thursday, November 22, 2007

We gather together ...

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever(Ps. 107:1). What are you thankful for? It's Thanksgiving, and it might seem trite or smarmy to some to think of what we are thankful for, but here's a few things I am grateful to God for:

1. My wife. I never dreamed that I would be married to someone who is so much fun to be with and yet can tolerate me at my worst. Even when we fight - and we do sometimes - we make up. And we love one another. I am amazed that such a wonderful woman would marry me, and would understand the darkness that sometimes plagues me.

2. We have found a new church. After attending one fellowship for several years, we left that church about 18 months ago. From there we went to an Assemblies of God church for about a year, but never seemed to fit in. But now we have found a fellowship where we seem to fit. It has the kind of worship we long for and the preaching is fantastic - which is rare. Most of the time you have to choose one or the other - either good worship or good preaching, but seldom both.

3. We have been reasonalby healthy this year. Cornelia (my wife) still has some physical struggles because of the rigors of her job, but she has been able to keep working.

4. I got my degree from Regent University. Master of Arts in Pratical theology. I still don't feel like I know anything. If anything I learned how much I don't know. But that's good. That way I can't cop an attitude about how much I know.

5. Cornelia and I got to go to both the Bahamas and Paris this year. The Bahama trip was to get warm and the Paris trip was a dream come true. And we didn't break the bank on either one and still had a good time.

6. I still have a job. The efforts of the Bush Administration to eliminate my job notwithstanding, I still have an income.

7. My bass teacher Anthony Wellington. This dude has talent to spare and yet is a great teacher. Again that's rare. Many times players are either great players or great teachers. Anthony is both. Make it funky.

8. I am getting better at piano. I don't always like it that my teacher makes me play recitals, but hey, it's the only thing that motivates me to practice, so that's a good thing.

9. I got to travel a lot this year - to the Super Bowl in Miami, to the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (where I got to hear some really GREAT music) and to Osaka, Japan. I wasn't all that enthusiastic about the long plane rides, but I got to each of these assignments - and most of all got home - without incident.

10. The things we take for granted - the car works, the house is in pretty good shape, no fires, tornadoes or hurricanes wreaking havoc on life, and things are prosperous. Not rich, but not poor. Sometimes that's hard to remember in the stress of everyday life, but there are no guarantees in life. Thanks be to God for the simple things - food, clothes, shelter, transportation, warmth. Not to mention laughter, intellectual stimulation, friends, learning, and growth.

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