It’s not Thanksgiving, but I wanted to list a few things I’m thankful for today:
Second chances and forgiveness. There have been times when I thought my life was over, but God the Redeemer wasn’t done. I’m thankful there is nothing too big for God’s grace to handle. We serve the God of second chances.
My Family. They mean everything to me. I have thirty-one years of marriage under my belt; two grown sons whom I’m proud of; a daughter-in-law I adore; a new grandson that is a pure delight; a great upbringing by my parents; a father in heaven; a mother who still serves Christ and attends PCC; and a sister who I have always been very close to. These are the people I am closest to.
Pace Community Church. I’ve invested 15 years of my life into this work and this flock of sheep. It’s been a great journey. I raised my kids in this church. Some people have been with us since the beginning and continue with us still. That means a lot to me. I love the self-sacrificing servants of PCC too; without them our church would not be possible. We have a great church, and I happen to think it’s one of the best in the area. I love our church for another reason – there are so many happy people in our congregation who are satisfied with their church and its leadership – some 400 of them. Such people are pure gold.
The local church. A lot of people are cynical about the local church, but I love the church, even with all her scrapes and bruises, and imperfections. Little churches with steeples and fancy mega churches with bands… they all matter.
My friends. I have a lot of friends; casual friends, close friends, confidants, familiar friends, buddies, hang-out pals, fishing buddies, and inner-circle friends. It makes for a full life. They are not perfect people; they are regular people, just people like me. Most importantly, they give me enormous amounts of grace overlooking my imperfections. Also, they don't have unrealistic expectations of me as a pastor - their expectations are "right sized." As the Bible says, "love covers a multitude of sins." We don’t pretend to have it all together, so are free to admit to one other that we don’t hit a double or triple every time at bat. But we DO grow together as a band of brothers as we progressively turn from sin and closer to God. And BTW, I experience more spiritual growth when I am with people like this, (i.e., safe people), just hanging out, having coffee, sharing dinner, or frying fish… than I can sitting in a circle with strangers, pretending to be pious and going through the motions of fake accountability.
Life is good.