I turn 35 today. My personality is such that I tend toward the negative and somber. That's not always good (but it's not always bad either). However, sitting here, realizing I've been given 35 years thus far, I know that I have much to be thankful for.
— God doesn't owe me anything, but He's given me everything. I deserve to be dead and in hell, but He's given me life and His grace with the promise of eternal life with Him.
— God has given me a wife and two wonderful daughters. He has taught me the meaning of grace through marriage and how to die to self and love my wife like Christ loved the church. He's given me a help-mate and a woman I love very much. He's given me a oldest daughter who's too much like me personality-wise but who is also passionate about certain things like I am. It's heart-breaking at times to watch her struggle with the things I struggle with but I get to be her comforter in so many ways and that is a joy. God also gave me a daughter who is the complete opposite of almost everyone else in this house. She's more outgoing than all of us put together, makes friends easily and is almost always smiling. She's also passionate and is such a light to all of us. Right now, her little missing-tooth grin is something I look forward to every day. She's compassionate and so trusting (which is going to be trouble later on ... according to my 'realistic' side).
— God has given me a job that I love. I love all the 'job' aspects of my job and I love getting paid to do both all the communications work as well as music at CCJ. I love both of the bands I get to work with. They are a great group of people who are loyal and care about what we are trying to do with music worship. I'm thankful for those who understand that there's no need to be just like every other church in what we do.
— I'm thankful for our house. It's not the nicest. It could use some landscaping work pretty badly and I'm no handyman so, every time something goes wrong, I'm paying for it big time. But, we can afford this house and I'm thankful God has provided it to us.
— I'm thankful for my family of origin. My mom and dad raised us well. They raised us in a stable home, never with the fear of a divorce, and always making God real to us. I'm thankful for my brother and sister, who though are miles apart now, we still love each other deeply.
— I'm thankful God gave me the desire to play guitar through that Nelson video all those years ago. It literally changed my life. :-)
I'm sure I could sit here all day, but I'll leave it at this. God, thank you for 35 years.