I am Thankful for My Life!

22 Nov

Today is my parents‘s anniversary. The first time I remember celebrating it, it was also Thanksgiving. It took me years to realize that the two events were not always on the same day, but even still November 22 has always been my unofficial Thanksgiving, so today I will write about a few of the things for which I am thankful. Unless you spend an entire month thanking people, like my sister Jenni does, you are bound to miss a few people and situations for which gratefulness exists but it is difficult to put into words or in a litany of things, it is accidentally omitted. Nevertheless, I will attempt to do the impossible and list all of the things for which I am thankful in just one blog.

First, I am very thankful for my above-mentioned parents. I am thankful for the wonderful Christian heritage I had with them. I’m also thankful for my wife and how much she makes my life more meaningful. I am thankful for her parents and that they are generally kind to me, although I’m sure they hoped for better for their daughter. I’m so thankful that God blessed me with three beautiful children who generally love me as well as young children can. I’m grateful for my sister who has always challenged me to be better. I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to learn how to have a family grow when Amber and Rebekah moved in with us. I am really thankful for my cousins who made vacations more bearable. I am thankful that I have the world’s most hospitable aunts and uncles on both sides. In reality, I am thankful for my entire family. I am also thankful for Kelly’s family and how much fun we’ve had over the years.

I’m thankful that I got to go to The Master’s Academy. While some may complain about the school, it was a fantastic education with a Christian emphasis, where I met most of my earliest mentors. I guess I should say that I’m thankful for all those people who taught me there. I so appreciate the fact that many of the horrors of this world were kept from me. I love the fact that I went to LeTourneau University. I met so many great friends there and, once again, I was able to learn about things from a Christian perspective. The professors there began to challenge me in new ways and I’m forever indebted to them. I am thankful that I was able to go to graduate school and get two degrees. While I may not use the degrees in the traditional sense every day, I truly value and apprecricte my education, and I believe that it benefits everything I do professionally!

Speaking of my occupational endeavors, I am thankful for my varied career. I am thankful that I got to learn how to work at McDonald’s and work with some great friends there. I am so grateful that I got to work at Belhaven and exercise some skills of integration of many aspects I had previously studied and learned. I so appreciate the opportunity I had to teach at Central Florida Christian Academy and teach with some wonderful people I didn’t know. The students I had truly did change my life. I am so glad that I took the opportunity to teach Math Camp at The Master’s Academy despite my extreme hesitancy. Some of my best friends came from there. I am thankful that I got to teach at IFREC. I got the opportunity to hone my teaching skills while travelling the state and I really became an expert in real estate. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with Freddie and the guys at Investors Real Estate. I truly learned so many things from each of them and it was a tremendous period in my life. I am thankful for the current opportunity at Cosmopolitan Title and Home Realty, as I think God is going to use it to help me accomplish great things for him.

I am thankful that we live in a country where we have relative freedom. I am grateful for the opportunity to vote, peaceably assemble, and speak out against the things with which we disagree. So many people in the world today and throughout human history have not been given those liberties. I am glad we live in a country that values equal rights for all. We have a leader who just over a generation ago would have received violent discrimination and disenfranchisement. That is a phenomenally quick time for a country to turn things around, which can be such an encouragement to anyone who feels as if they are currently excluded. At the same time, it is a reminder to us that we cannot give up. We have religious freedom in this country, and none of these liberties are guaranteed to humans.

I am thankful the ministries I have been able to be a part of.  The most stable ministry in my life has been Bible Quizzing, as I began quizzing in 1983.  I participated while I was still in school, and then I became head of the Florida Quizzing Association.  I am so thankful for all the people I have met through this ministry and all the people who have ministered to me and poured into my life through it.  I am thankful for all the churches that I’ve been associated with.  I am uber-thankful for the ministry at Orlando Grace Church, where God has currently called me to worship and serve.

Most of all, I am thankful that God loved me while I was unlovable.  I am thankful that I’ve been given a life of  progressive sanctification, where I can begin to recognize more the people and things for which I should be thankful.  I’m thankful that we have these social outlets where I can post this, have hundreds of “followers” or “friends,” and just keep up with people that were previously impossible to keep up with.  And, lastly, thanks to those of you who read this and made my time slightly better than a complete waste!

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3 Responses to “I am Thankful for My Life!”

  1. Pat Weso November 23, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Good job, albeit I'm only referred to as an aunt somewhere in that mix of thankfulness! LOL (We do always look for ourselves to be mentioned when one we know is being thankful … at least you didn't have an 'except for one aunt' clause.) Happy Thanksgiving! I'm thankful you are my nephew and that you challenge me to keep checking in and trying to find time to play Jeopardy on FB!

  2. AskThePhatMan November 24, 2011 at 6:14 am #

    Pat Weso, you are also referred to as someone who read the blog!

  3. Jenni December 30, 2011 at 4:44 am #

    I have so much to be thankful for that sometimes I really feel floored by it all. I'm glad that you do, too, as you are one of the things I am thankful for. 🙂

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