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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Tomorrow we celebrate a day of Thanksgiving here in the United States of America. While we ought to give thanks in everything, I appreciate the yearly special emphasis that our country puts on Thanksgiving. The following is some of my reflections at this time of thanksgiving.

1. I am thankful to God for the gift of salvation that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ, I am a miserable, guilty sinner destined for an eternity in Hell and separated from God forever. In Christ, I am still a sinner, but one whose sins are forgiven and washed in the blood of the Lamb of God, a sinner, but one who is saved by grace and who has been given all that pertains to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him.

2. I am thankful to God for the gift of my wife. In the Garden of Eden, God declared that it was not good that man should be alone. I am thankful that God has given me my wife, Missy, who has a desire to serve Christ and to live for Him. I am thankful that she stands by me and supports me and is eager to see God work in our lives, in the lives of our family and church, and in the lives of those with whom we have contact.

3. I am thankful to God for the gift of my family. God has given to me three precious children whom I love dearly. Each one is unique and precious. Each one is a reflection of the image of God. Each one is a soul for whom Christ died. Through them God has taught me much about the love of a father and helped me to reflect in a greater way upon His love for me.

4. I am thankful to God for the gift of our church. In a few days it will be one year since God officially brought us to Messiah Baptist Fellowship in Salisbury, Maryland. In that time, God has knit my heart to these people. I have had the opportunity to mourn with those that mourn, as well as to rejoice with those that rejoice. I have been challenged, encouraged, and, most of all, blessed to be the Pastor to these fine people. I look forward to what God is going to do in and through us in the coming days.

5. I am thankful to God for the gift of friends and acquaintances, both near and far. God, in His providence, started my life with much moving. Now, in ministry, He has also given me the opportunity and challenge of knowing many for short periods of time - whether from traveling on Minutemen, preaching at camps and churches, or from just meeting and having fellowship with some at various meetings and conferences. I fondly hold to friendships with some who have influenced me for years, as well as some who I have not seen in years, as well as (thanks to the online world) some whom I have only met via typed words read from a computer monitor

6. I am thankful to God for this country that he has allowed me to call my earthly home. While I recognize and rejoice that I have a "heavenly country" in which my citizenship ultimately lies, I am glad that God has given me a country where I have the freedom to worship without fear of persecution (yet).

7. I am thankful to God for a myriad of other blessings which I have not the time to delineate in this space. I am thankful for blessings both large and general and blessings small and private. I am thankful for blessings that have brought the appropriate response of praise and thankfulness and blessings that I have neglectfully allowed to pass without a word of recognition. I am thankful for blessings that have even come disguised as difficulties and trials over the years.

Just my thoughts,


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