As Thanksgiving is fast approaching like a speeding train, my mind and soul, like a mighty river overflowing its banks, are flooded with many thankful thoughts. I am keenly aware that I am truly blessed beyond measure. As I ponder all the Good Lord has allowed me to experience over the years my expressing of thanks makes every day Thanksgiving. Time or space will not allow me to mention all I am thankful for, but I will attempt to share some thankful ponderings.
First and foremost I am most thankful I am a Christian, though a most poor example of one. I am thankful that one night, many years ago, my heart was awakened to the truth that I am a sinner who had rebelled against a holy God. Yet, though a sinner, God’s holy-love provided for me a Savior, Jesus Christ, who paid my sin debt which He didn’t owe but that I could never pay. Embracing Him as Savior, I realize more each day how truly amazing His grace is. It is grace that saves me, keeps me, and will eternally sustain me. I am most grateful for the day He called me unto Himself. I am truly blessed beyond measure.
I am thankful, though unworthy, that I was called of the Lord to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. Over four decades I have had the privilege to pastor in five different North Carolina counties and serve as interim-pastor at two. I am most thankful that for the past few months to be serving as interim pastor of the wonderful people of Ivy Green Baptist Church in Mt. Airy. It is my earnest prayer that I can be half the blessing to them that they have been in my life. I can say of them, as Paul said of some of his friends, “For they have refreshed my spirit” (I Cor. 16:18). I am truly blessed beyond measure.
I am thankful I have had the opportunity to have helped so many young people over the years through the avenue of coaching. While not actively coaching a high school team anymore, I am still active in giving coaching advice to many young people. I am thankful I had bestowed upon me the privilege of serving as a coach, a father-figure, a mentor, a friend, and a confidant. I have been blessed with so many wonderful memories I could never count them all. I am truly blessed beyond measure.
I am most thankful for the many prayers, kindness, and support I have received over the last two-and-a-half years. Having been diagnosed with prostate cancer in June of 2013, it has been an emotional and spiritual journey that has brought me closer to the Lord and, as well, made me treasure more the precious gift of life. The love, prayers and encouragement that I have experienced from so many friends has been overwhelming and that, and the Good Lord, has been the reason I have done so well. Friends are a blessing. With another check-up fast approaching on December 15, I covet your prayers again. I am truly blessed beyond measure.
I am thankful that after all these years I am still able to run. I started running in junior high school at age 13 and have been running ever since. I am, of course, not as fast as I once was, and grow slower with each passing year, but I truly express my thanks to the Good Lord each time I lace up my running shoes that He has blessed me with the health to continue to run daily. The clean feeling running gives to my soul is indescribable and always a looked forward to experience. And it helps keep me sane! That I am still running after all these years I have never taken for granted, for I know each run could be my last one. I am truly blessed beyond measure.
I am thankful to be the proud grandfather of three grandsons, ages ten, seven, and three years old. Living in Maryland, I don’t get to see them as often as I would like, but when I do there are no words to describe the inner joy that Wyatt, Tyler, and Levi bring to my soul. Just to hear them say “Pa-pa” is always a treasured experience that makes life worth the living. I am truly blessed beyond measure
I am most thankful for the music of laughter. Can you think of anything more melodious than the laughter of a friend or love one? Laughter is a gift from God, it is natural and innate. It is contagious. Each time we hear a child laugh we are reminded that as we grow older not to lose this precious gift the Lord has given us. Laughter is the medicine that gives to our lives that balance in body, soul and mind, which helps us face the turbulence of day to day living. I love to laugh and each time I hear it lingering in the air about me I realize I am truly blessed beyond measure
As Thanksgiving approaches I am most thankful for the privilege of experiencing the blessings mentioned and many more too numerous to list. No matter how lengthy our list it would by no means ever be exhaustive, yet they are blessings that transcend the boundaries of time. We have much for which to be thankful. Our blessings are to be cherished. Our abundant blessings are to spur us to continually lift up hearts of thanksgiving for all we have received from the Lord’s hand.
Did I mention that I am truly blessed beyond measure?