Thursday, November 02, 2006

Being Thankful a Little Early This Year

I just read another great post from Kevin Bussey and thankfulness. His post is about the SBC, but I want to expand upon it just a little.

It's now November, and Thanksgiving is still 22 days away (which means my 24th birthday is 24 days away), but it's never too early to be thankful. I cannot recall all the blessings God has bestowed upon me in just the last few years, much less throughout my whole life, but that won't stop me for trying. I'll spare those of you who are reading and just post a few things I am thankful for.

First, I'm thankful that God, who created everything that is from nothing, and who is so powerful, intelligent, and righteous, also loves me. I'm thankful that His love, like His other attributes, is so great that He sent His one and only Son to come and die so that I can have a relationship with Him. In short, I'm thankful for Jesus.

Second, I'm thankful that I have been born in a nation where we can worship God freely, and that we are free to worship, free to govern ourselves, and blessed with an abundance to have and to share. We have it good.

I'm thankful for my family. For parents and grandparents who gave me a heritage of faith and taught me the lessons that will continue to help me to live wisely and successfully, and for a wife who is truly a gift from God and whom I love very much.

I'm thankful for the education I've received: For Jerry Falwell and Liberty University who furnished me with a strong conservative Christian college education; and for the SBC, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Paige Patterson who all contribute to my continuing education as I'm here in seminary.

I'm thankful for the church family that I've had, and the people who've ministered to me and allowed me to minister to them: for Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Mississippi where my family and so many dear ones worship together--they've meant more than I can say; for First Baptist Church Smyrna, Tennessee where the staff loved me and gave me so many learning opportunities as an intern; for North Richland Hills Baptist Church where I now serve and am growing to love the people more and more.

I'm not just thankful for the spiritual blessings in my life, but for friends, for loved ones, and for material blessings also. There's too much to be thankful for to tell it all in one sitting. Perhaps we should treat Thanksgiving like some other Christian holidays (Christmas and Easter), counting down to it and preparing ourselves as many do by celebrating Lent or Advent (no, they don't have to be just for Catholics). Here's hoping for 365 days of Thanksgiving!

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