My friend, Mike Lynn, is posting everyday in November ...things he is thankful for.
Here is my list:
I thankful for:
1. My wife, Valerie, ... 17 plus years of putting up with my antics and through the UPs and DOWNs of life ... we get to go through this journey together.
2. My daughter, Kendra. Your compassionate and loving spirit is catchy. Never give up.
3. My daughter, Nicole. You inspire me knowing you are trying new things and amaze me by your walk with Jesus.
4. My son, Brian. You amaze me. From your imagination and willingness to learn. Always be a life long learner.
5. My Family in Canada. The impact of family, values, and staying together through thick and thin. Not perfect but willing to lend a hand. Darryl, Mike, and Dwayne "Andrew" been brothers in it all. Lorie has been an inspiration of the sister I never had.
6. My parents ... you taught me to be myself.
7. My Home Church: Selkirk Christian Chapel. You taught me Jesus. You gave me hope. You were there in the midst of loss. People like the Sherks, Sevenpipers, Donovans, Burkes, Daleys, Hoovers, Kindys, CWF class .... Tanners ... people who accepted me and yet molded me.(Cowans, Touesnards, Blake) The elders there trusting in me. (checking in on me etc) and even the summer youth ministers we had in the 80s/90s. And anyone else who was part of the body there.
8. OCA - Ontario Christian Assembly. You gave me the eyes and opportunity to start being like Jesus. From Camp songs to serving as a camper, staff - etc. Camp was my home away from home and mission field in helping me examine the call.
9. Camp Selkirk - Salvation Army Camp. The staff and friends there helped me be compassionate and the reason why there needs to be youth ministry. Thanks.
10. C.S.S. Cayuga Seconday School- sure High school is hard and boy was I the nerdy kid trying to fit in. But the friendships and people from CSS helped me find my identity and put up with me that pushed me to be the man of God I needed to be.
11. MACU - Mid Atlantic Christian University aka RBC(Roanoke Bible College) sure you changed your name and probably wondered what in the world when I was on campus. You took a chance on a struggling young man and gave hope. The professors and students together showed what it was suppose to be like to be the Body of Christ. The lessons and values I learned are forever in my debt. To that I say thanks.
12. Water Street Rescue Mission. (Lancaster, PA) for one summer I saw what it meant to work with the inner city youth. Staying at the Rescue Mission was both humbling and an honor. Thanks for the lesson of humility and servanthood.
13. Fairview Christian Church (NC) my first part time youth ministry. You taught me patience, priorities, and planning. Lewis Styons was a great encourager and mentor. Dr. Eubanks visiting during one of my sermons was one of encouragement.
14. Teen Haven Camp (Brogue, PA) - one summer camp. One long struggle of what my calling was. Thanks for the memories, opportunity to serve and learn from others.
15. Sterling Park Christian Church. (Sterling, VA) An internship during the summer of which was near Valerie's home and I had much to learn. Thanks to the Wismers, Cunninghams, Butts families and more ... for a summer of teaching, preaching, , roller hockey and more.
16. Corner House Christian Church. My first full time youth ministry. You took a chance on an inexperienced fresh out of Bible School student that wanted to change the world. The elders there were understanding, the staff patient, and the people persisting. Great elders, and friendships. People who I still hold dear like the Christys, Dripps, Coxsons.
17. My Indiana friends. From Anderson University to Ovid to learning things the hard way. I learned that God was bigger than anyone congregation. The friendship and encouragement I got from my friend, Dr. Guthrie Veech, to not give up spoke volumes. The inbetween ministries and working at a Toy Store taught me perspective and empathy. Very humbling. Travis Trueblood was a true friend.
18. Liberty Christian Church (Mechanicsville, VA) I thank you for the opportunity to serve. Working with ministers like Mike Lynn and Dave Snyder. Working with the Christian School. It felt like a first ministry. A new opportunity. Great friends .... like Rick, Penny, Rhett. Great sponsors. Elders : Gene, John and Harry. Letting me be Jesus' hands and feet. Forgiving and loving. A good family.
19. Cary Christian Church (Now the Pointe Church). Thanks for the great staff: Dan, Sandy/Sue, Shari, Ed, Jason, Devon and Sam. Great elders who understood Jesus. Students who willing to be the Church. Cary taught me that change comes and being flexible. Sometimes It was a matter of time. The years at Cary were ones in which Valerie and I just started having our family of 4 to 5 and having young toddlers. Great leaders and people who wanted to change the world.
20. Church of Christ at Hagerstown. The opportunity to be in the preaching ministry. To know what it was to be the "Lead" guy. The surrounding community and learning from area chaplains and ministers in the 4 state area. The people that we still hold dear to our hearts. Our kids started school there and enjoyed the time.
21. Bonnie Brae Church of Christ. Family. The joy of ministry. The elders who check in and are serving Him. The willingness to try to be the Church and Jesus' hands and feet to those that need it. Thanks for allowing my family and I the opportunity to be a part of the family and on the journey here with you.
22. Oak Hill Christian Service Camp. Teaching my kids about Jesus. My daughter, Kendra, just last week mentioned "I can't wait until summer." "Why?," I asked. "Because I get to goto Oak Hill and learn about Jesus and see ...."
23. Lamb's Basket. A food pantry ministry that was taught me servanthood, and being organized and working as a team. Many hands make light work. The coming together for a common goal is a picture of the Body of Christ working together. I am thankful our church gets to partner and serve such a great mission and opportunity to be literally Jesus' hands and feet.
24. My cat, Hope. Animals hold a special place for anyone. Sure we joke about eating "Cat." but deep down I am thankful for my pet for letting me pick on her, and really to know what it means when she thinks she is in "Control."
25. God's creation. I am amazed by nature. Looking for deer out my window to the weather, and the leaves falling.
26. Music. Singing a song. Listening to music ...especially worship music. Something I should never take for granted.
27. Coffee. You and other caffeine drinks (Which shall remain nameless aka Mt.Dew) have saved my sanity at times from long study sessions to Christian coffee houses to fellowship times and before church would start or even the day.
28. Hobbies ... like reading and watching hockey. A release in stressful world.
29. My needs are being met. I have clothes, food and a house. God does provide and for that I am thankful.
30. Thankful for the Lord. His Grace and Mercy. His Word. The gift of His Son. The opportunity to serve and be a preacher. The opportunity and honor to work along side great godly men and women.