This is a great week to do some reflection on the greatest blessings of life. As the song says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” I thought I would share with you a list of my top ten blessings that I will be thanking the Lord for this week.
1 – Jesus Christ and his amazing gift of abundant life and eternal life. As we sang in our 9:00 service on Sunday, “I’m forever grateful to you, I’m forever grateful for the cross…” I cannot imagine, nor do I want to even attempt to consider, what life would be like without the Lord Jesus Christ at the center.
2 – The beautiful family that the Lord has given me. Diane is my best friend and a fantastic wife. David and Joy, Jonathon and Heather, are a complete joy. Our grandchildren, Nehemiah, Caleb, Nathan, Zeke, Grace, and Delaney are more precious than life. (We look forward to meeting our next grandson on December 3.) The Lord has given me great parents, siblings, in-laws, and extended family. I am blessed so far beyond what I deserve in terms of family.
3 – Friends. When I was in college preparing for ministry, it was widely taught and believed that you cannot have friends in the church when you are in the ministry. I have happily violated that rule again and again. I am so grateful for dear friends that the Lord has put all around me.
4 – Prayer. I have never been able to get over the fact that Almighty God wants to have a relationship with me. He wants communication through prayer to be a vital part of that relationship. I am grateful that he hears my words of worship and thanksgiving. I thank the Lord continuously for the times when my prayers have aligned with his will and he has answered my prayers. I thank the Lord continuously that he loves me so much that he says “no” when I am way off base in my requests.
5 – God’s abundant provision. I am so blessed. Food, clothing, shelter – God has provided so much. I have been to third world countries and have seen people who have nothing. I realize in the core of my being how blessed we are.
6 – Madison Christian Church. I thank the Lord daily that I am here. It is incomprehensible to me that almost 23 years have flown by so quickly. I love this church, I love this community, and I am humbled and grateful to be here.
7 – The commitment of the people of Madison Christian Church. The people of this church are the most gracious, committed, and generous people I have ever met. They are sensitive to the needs of people and always step up to meet the needs of the poor, neglected, hurting, struggling, grief-stricken people who need the love of Jesus.
8 – The great leadership of Madison Christian Church. Throughout my time here, I have gotten to work with and for some tremendous leaders. Additionally, we have had terrific people on our ministry staff from whom I have learned so much. It is a daily privilege to work with such gifted leaders.
9 – Opportunities of ministry that are humbling daily. The things that the Lord allows me to do in ministry are so incredible. If I had the chance to live my life over a hundred times, I would be in the ministry every time. I am so fortunate to get to do this amazing work.
10 – Enough physical struggles to make me truly grateful for what I CAN do. Based on my history, you can understand that I am grateful when I wake up in the morning and my arms move and I can walk across the room. I really believe that I can do as much physically as any human being can that is fused on 5 cervical levels – and I thank God for that every day.
The truth is – the simple exercise of sitting down and writing this list makes me want to list more – and I could. Like Paul says in I Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for the is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Cultivate the attitude of gratitude and count your blessings – not only this week, but each day.