Thanksgiving 2009

Here are many of the things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving!

These are the people and the things that bring color to my life!

Now I will mention a few specifics…

You don’t have to read them all, but I want to post is somewhere! 🙂

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I am thankful for my  savior, my salvation, my relationship with Jesus, His patience with me, His mercy, His mercy, His mercy, His mercy, His unconditional love, His faithfulness, His provision, His plan, His Word.

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I am thankful for Katie, my wife, her unconditional love, her faithfulness, her patience, her strength, her support, her hard work for our family, her tender heart, her attention to detail. I am thankful for the way she takes care of our home, our son, and our family so well.

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I am thankful for Will, he has not done much to deserve my love but He is a constant reminder that I have not done anything to deserve Gods love. I am thankful for Will because he is a motivator to be the best Dad I can be, Will is a motivator to be the best husband I can be, the best pastor I can be. I am so thankful for how much JOY he brings into my life. I am so thankful for the many lessons that He has taught me. I am so thankful for his hugs and kisses, and his seemingly unconditional love (so far).

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I am thankful for my Mom. The woman who has prayed me into the place that I am now. I am thankful for my Mom’s faithfulness, her strength, her genuine love, her quirkiness, her beautiful voice, her constant support, her everlasting joyous spirit, her servants heart like none other that I have seen.

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I am thankful for my Dad. I am thankful for the memories that I have, growing up with such a cool, strong, tough, and loving father. I am thankful for the leadership lessons, the practical life lessons, the drive for greatness  that he instilled in me. I am thankful for his support through college and into the ministry. I am thankful for the values and solid standards that He held in our home. I am thankful that my Dad made me get a job and made me work for the things that I wanted. I am thankful for a Dad who was really good at a lot of things, and who helped me to be good at some things 🙂 I am thankful for a Dad who worked so hard for my family even when I did not appreciate it, to put me in a school and an environment that would lead me to the place I am today. I am thankful for a Dad who set me up for success in many ways.

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I am thankful for my sister Amanda, and her family, Steve, Stephen James, and Spencer. I am thankful that we are able to spend so much time with them. I am sooooo thankful that they are willing to make the long drive to come and see us as often as they do! I am so thankful for the constant blessing that Steve has been to me personally and to my family. I am so thankful that Amanda was smart enough to marry Steve. I am so thankful for the boys so that Will can have fun memories with his cousins just like I did growing up. I am thankful that Amanda and Steve are such passionate followers of Christ and that they are willing to go to the uttermost parts of the earth to share the one whom I am most thankful for. (see above) 🙂

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I am thankful for my Grandparents. I am thankful for God fearing grandparents that love the Lord and Love me. I am thankful for their faithfulness and their interest in my life. I am thankful for Grandparents that were willing to pay me 4 times the going rate for mowing the lawn, although I DID NOT DESERVE IT. I cannot believe how much they paid me to mow their lawn. (even though I always aimed the blower towards the house and blew all the dust right into the windows) I am thankful for Grandparents that saw the potential in me, and were willing to pay week after week for piano lessons. Thank you! I am thankful for a grandma that cared about me so much that she was even willing to buy the Pro Active Zit Cream for me, when there was no way that I could have afforded that stuff, just so that I could clear up my face. I am thankful for Grandparents that were so patient with me and never ever yelled at me, but  showed me unconditional love and INCREDIBLE PATIENCE.

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I am thankful for Suncoast Baptist Church. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the people here in Port Charlotte, and North Port. I am so thankful for the many encouragers that God has brought to our church. Men like, Mike DuPriest, Jeff Rexrode, Rick Rzad, Mike West, Chris Parker, Eric Cheske, Chris Reckahn, Carl Motteler and many others. I am thankful for you guys. Women like, Linda Keller, Debbie Desimio, Anne Miller, Terina Rexrode, Annie Jordan, and many many others. I am so thankful for each of you! I am thankful for the teenagers that God allows me to work with each week. I am so thankful for the teenager that really make a youth pastor feel like he is not wasting time. (You know who you are)

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I am thankful for my Pastor, Chip Keller. I am thankful for his humility, his love for Christ, his patience, his Christ-likeness, his gentleness, his self discipline, his mentoring in my life, his diligent study, his wisdom, his knowledge of the Word, his servants heart, his leadership, his openness to do new things, his relevance (even if he wont create a twitter account 🙂 I am thankful that Pastor Chip hired me, I am thankful that He has stood by me. I am thankful to call him my pastor, my mentor, and my friend.

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I am thankful for many things. But if I had to pick just one thing, I would have to say: this year I am most of all, thankful for God’s Grace. I don’t want that to sound cliche so I will be specific. Over the past year I have seen God’s grace more evident in my life than ever. There were so many ways that my life could have ended up so differently, both my bad decisions that I made, and by bad decisions that others made. To see how God protected me, and used me in spite of myself is a direct testament to the Grace of God. I am not going to bust out in song with “Amazing Grace”, I think I have sung that song many times without even thinking about Grace. But today, this thanksgiving, I must thank God for his Grace. God has given me so much. I deserve none of it. I am thankful that He chose me for this life that I live. I don’t know why, but I am reminded to whom much has been given, Much is required.

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Thank you God, for your Grace.

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