What I'm Thankful For

I have a few minutes on this cold, rainy Thanksgiving morning, so let me reflect on a few specific things I am thankful for.  Before I do, let me just say that sometimes I think we present a utopian picture of our life that makes other people feel inferior or discouraged that they too don't have the "perfect" life that we do.  So just to be clear, my family has challenges and problems just like everyone else's.  But God has been abundantly good to me as well.  I share these things to glorify Him...

1)  I am thankful for God's saving grace through Jesus Christ.  In one sense, I am not yet fully saved.  My salvation will not be truly complete until I am in Heaven with the Lord.  But I am of those who are "being saved."  I am being sanctified little by little, conformed a little bit more each day into the image of Christ.  And I rejoice because I know that He who has begun this good work in me will complete it, for His glory.

2)  I am thankful for my wife.  I believe in my heart that God ordained long ago for Rachel and I to be partners in this life.  We grew up 30 minutes apart.  We attended children's camp together.  We had many mutual, family friends.  Yet we never really met until we were 18 & 17.  God aligned our paths to meet at just the right time.  I could not ask for a better wife.  Rachel Reynolds hung the moon in my book.

3)  I am thankful for my kids, and specifically their health.  We had a rough week last week, with three of our four kids having the stomach flu.  But when I was feeling sorry for myself, the Holy Spirit reminded me how many parents in this world would love for a 12 hour bug to be the worst of their health concerns for their children.  We are blessed.

4)  I am thankful for my parents and Rachel's parents.  I honestly don't know what we would do if my parents didn't help with our kids nearly every single day in some form or fashion.  Rachel's parents, too, are so gracious to frequently make the two hour drive and be part of our life.  The last time they were here, Rachel's mom cleaned our kitchen and cooked us a pot roast.  Wow.

5)  I am thankful that Rachel and I have steady jobs, when so many do not.  This too, is only by the grace of God.

6)  I am thankful for Selmore Baptist Church.  They have allowed me to be their pastor for the last seven and a half years.  In many ways, it has been the best years of our life.  Selmore has followed my leadership, provided every resource I need to be effective in ministry, and provided well for my family.  Selmore is not a perfect church (there is no such thing) but it is the best church I've ever been part of.  I am honored to be their shepherd.

7)  I am thankful for my upbringing.  I wouldn't trade growing up in Texas County, MO for anything.  No matter where the Lord puts me in this world, I know who I am in my heart...  a simple boy from Texas County.  And that both grounds me, and gives me comfort.