Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks – A Week of Thanksgiving (Wednesday).

Today is my final post before taking a break for Thanksgiving. Here are a few more things I am thankful for.

I am thankful for extended family. My guess is that I am using the term “extended” family in a non-traditional way. It seems that most people define “extended” family as those people with whom you are not related but are a part of your family. Today I am using the term to refer to my family members who are not a part of my immediate family—wife, daughter, son. My family is scattered across the United States. One member of our extended family is in the IC unit of a hospital in California. Another member of our extended family who lives thousands of miles away has some really good “stuff” happening in his life. My dad is having some complications with his diabetes. In our busy lives it is too easy to take our extended family members for granted! I am blessed to have such a great family—oh, we are strange and far from perfect, but it is a great group of folks! This Thanksgiving I am especially thankful for all of these family members.

I am thankful for my church family. Each person who is a part of the church family is very special. There is the guy who is in the Salvation Army’s rehab program in Seattle. The change in his life is unbelievable. Do you remember how Moses looked differently after he had met with God on the mountain? This guy “looks” different!! It is so cool. Then there is the older couple who are struggling with the normal things associated with aging, plus one of them having severe memory issues. What a special couple. Then there is the gentle giant of the man who use to move mountains (literally, he was a contractor) and now he has difficulties finding his way home (he has memory issues). Then there is the wonderful lady with a very rare brain disease. She has such a joy for the Lord and life! Then there is the little girl who sings and dances like an angel. She will be dancing during one of our Advent worship services. Then there is the church staff. They all do such an excellent job. The list could go on and on and on. Too often we take our church family members for granted. We treat them as though they are disposable. I am truly thankful for my church family.

I am thankful for the staff here at The Oasis. Most mornings you can find me here trying to get work done before heading to the office. I you are a pastor like me, holiday weeks are a challenge. I have to preach and teach whether or not there is a holiday. My whole work week has to be crammed into three days. Basically, this means more hours and less sleep for those days. Additionally, I still have a person in the hospital up by Seattle and it takes a lot of time to make that trip for a hospital visit. I was the first customer in The Oasis this morning. Kate had my coffee ready before I even got to the counter. She and Chelsea greeted me with smiles and with heart-felt warmth. Any second now one of them will be around to freshen up my coffee. Their constant friendliness can transform a “heavy” morning into a time of hope.

I am thankful for my Lord Jesus Christ. He never gives up on me. He encourages me when I am down. He gives me life. He gives me inspiration. He challenges me. He leads me. He knows when I lay down. He knows when I get up. He redeemed me and forgives me. He gives me life now and life forever.

Have a great Thanksgiving!


Psalm 30

A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David. [a]

1 I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.

3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave [b] ;
you spared me from going down into the pit.

4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.

5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

6 When I felt secure, I said,
"I will never be shaken."

7 O LORD, when you favored me,
you made my mountain [c] stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.

8 To you, O LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:

9 "What gain is there in my destruction, [d]
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;
O LORD, be my help."

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.


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