Thursday, December 30, 2010

TC - Day 30

Over the past few months I have seen a number of amazing opportunities come forward in the life of the church and in my own life as well. They have been opportunities for growth in a variety of ways, including in my own spiritual life. So today I am thankful for opportunities.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

TC - Day 29

We are nearing the end of the Thankfulness Challenge, only two more days left. So today I am thankful for this challenge. Over the past month I have heard from a number of people how this challenge has made them reflect on how they view what is happening in their life and look at the positive things that are happening with them. It has also helped me to slow down during this busy month and remember why it is we do what we do.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

TC - Days 26, 27, 28

I need to play a little catch up again - so here we go :)

26 - I am thankful for safe travel. On Christmas we went up to Jennifer's sisters place and then on Monday we went to her aunt and uncles. It was nice to get together with the whole family, and I was very relieved when the roads were clear for travel as well.

27 - I am thankful for the noise children make. Throughout the entire weekend there was laughing, screaming, truck noises, and everything else you could think of. The girls were having a blast and the noises that they made were wonderful.

28 - I am thankful for grandparents who take the children for a few days. Jen's parents took Sierra and Scarlett for two days so that Jen and I could get some cleaning done around the house. Last night we cleaned the carpets, today we are going to do more cleaning and go see Harry Potter. I am very thankful for Joe and Dottie to take the girls for a few days so we can get this done.

Just a few days left of the challenge. How have you been doing with it?

Friday, December 24, 2010

TC - Days 24 and 25

I am combining these two because I know how busy tomorrow will be, and in celebrating the birth of Christ, it is rather east to have two things to be thankful for right now.

1 - I am thankful for Christmas, for the blessing of the Christ child, for the love of God, and for the new life that is born.

2 - for music - our services are filled with wonderful and moving music, music that brings the season to life in wonderful ways.

Have a blessed Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

TC - Day 23

Today is garbage day in our neighborhood, and so today I am thankful for those who take care of the garbage for me. This is one of those things that I do not think about often, I just haul the cans to the end of the driveway and pick them up a few hours later. But to live in a place where the garbage is taken care of and not just lying in the streets - it is a true blessing.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

TC - Day 22

Tonight I am teaching confirmation. We have a wonderful class this year. Tonight we are looking at the Third Article of the Apostle's Creed - the Holy Spirit. The conversation we have about the Spirit have been wonderful. So today I am thankful for the gift of the Spirit and these youth who are continuing to grow in their faith.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TC - Days 18, 19, 20, 21

I got a little bit behind over the weekend, so today is my catch up day.

18 - I am thankful for decongestant. With a cold, this is a true blessing :)

19 - I am thankful for the new snow. Yes, I know this sounds weird, but as I was driving to school today all Sierra could talk about was playing in the snow and building a fort with me. That kind of time together is precious, and I thankful that the snow brought that to light.

20 - I am thankful for the creativity of my wonderful wife. She wrote the advent Sunday School curriculum and the Christmas program, which was last weekend. It was wonderful and her ability to tie in the story, crafts, and service projects to all of it was great.

21 - I am thankful for the Hands of Faith program. This is a program that houses the homeless in churches throughout the Beloit area. This week we are housing it, and with all the snow and cold, I am thankful that we can be a part of helping those who are in need.

Friday, December 17, 2010

TC - Day 17

Yesterday the church took a huge step forward in our mission by taking possession of a house that we will use for the seminary internship program we are starting next year. As I did some of the work with the donor and the church, I heard the story of what led to this donation. Throughout the entire story I saw the Spirit blowing through the lives of all involved. It is always wonderful to see the way God works in and through people and situations. So today I am thankful for the blowing of the Spirit and the ears that are open to hear the Spirit.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

TC - Day 16

There is a guy in our congregation who has been a huge blessing to me, our family, and the congregation as a whole. Over the past year he has taken care of our yard, hauled me and the dog to the vet when I was still unable to drive, and taken things to and from the church over and over again. Over the next week he will be taking care of the poinsettias, taking gifts to the nursing home, and making a few other trips to help us all out. So today I am thankful for Steve.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

TC - Day 15

The work out class that I go to at the Y in the morning is one the is filled with humor. With all of us getting up very early, the humor is something that keeps us awake and even having fun when we are punishing our bodies and trying to make them healthier. So today, I am very thankful for the gift of humor in my life.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TC - Days 13 and 14

I have come to discover that writing on the blog on my day off does not happen. So once again I will list two things I am thankful for today.

1 - Throughout my cancer journey I was writing about what I was experiencing. A few months ago I sent my manuscript out to some publishers and last week I was sent a contract to have my book published. I am thankful for the opportunity to have my book published and hopefully it will help others.

2 - Monday night is swim lesson night for Sierra. She is progressing at a wonderful rate and it is a joy to see her having so much fun. So the second thing I am thankful for is the opportunity for the girls to learn how to swim and have fun in the water.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

TC - Day 12

Today I was up very early to get the driveway cleaned off before coming in. We are having one of those wet, heavy snows that leaves some ice beneath it all. When I got to the office I saw that our custodian and former custodian were already at work - the sidewalks were cleaned and the steps were salted. Today I am thankful for such a great staff. They work hard and make a huge difference here - so thank you.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

TC - Day 11

With the snow coming and the cold weather rolling in, today I am thankful for crafts. Being able to sit with the girls and decorate a gingerbread house or make Christmas ornaments is a true blessing and I treasure that time with them.

Friday, December 10, 2010

TC - Day 10

This morning I woke up to the sound of scratching in the attic. As I lay in bed, thinking of the kind of poison I would need to take care of that scratching little animal up there, I was reminded of the blessing of having that roof over my head. So today I am thankful for the shelter that protects me and my family from the weather outside (but not the little critter living in that roof).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

TC - day 9

Today as I reflect on the thinks I am thankful for my mind is wandering to technology. For indoor plumbing and heating, for phones to stay in touch and e-mail to converse with friends. For all of the wonderful little gadgets that help me to make better use of my time, and yes, sometimes waste my time as well, I am thankful. So as I send this out over the gift of the web, I am thankful that I can communicate with all of you in this way.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

TC - Day 8

Last night I was sore. My wonderful trainer worked us out hard yesterday, and I was paying for it this morning. But I got back up and went back today - which started with lunge laps, gotta love that at 5:15 in the morning. But as I was showering after the workout I was reminded that the soreness really is a blessing. It is a blessing because I am able to get up, go work out, and physically get healthier. So today I am thankful for the soreness and the ability to get up and go work out.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

TC - Days 6 and 7

Yesterday got by me, and so today I am making up for it by having 2 things I am thankful for.

So - number 6 - Sierra was riding in the back of the car earlier this week and started asking me all sorts of questions - the kind of questions that as adults we tend to pass right over and silly. But as I answered all of her questions the best that I could, I was taken back to those innocent and care-free days of life. So I am thankful to see the world through my daughters eyes, and see how beautiful life really is.

Number 7 - The past two days have barely gotten into double digits, so as I rushed out to the Y at 5 this morning, I was reminded of the blessings of warmth and warm clothing. I am thankful that I have the clothes needed to stay warm.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

TC- Day 5

On a typical Sunday, I am the first one up at our house. I get ready and then head into the office around 5:45 am. When I get here I go through my morning rituals - making coffee, prayers, drinking coffee, getting stuff set up in the sanctuary, drinking more coffee, and the list goes on. Then the rest of the family comes in and the girls have breakfast in my office before their sitter shows up, and then we are off and running for three services. This weekend we are having three baptisms as well - it will be a wonderful day.

And so, today I am thankful for worship - with its wonderful variety and different styles. To have the opportunity to gather with brothers and sisters, friends and strangers, and sing and pray and hear the life-giving word. Yes worship is a true blessing and I am thankful for that blessing this morning.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

TC - Day 4

I just got in from shoveling snow. It was wonderful outside, the air was brisk, the snow was light, and the world just felt a little cleaner. As I was out there I realized how thankful I am for the change of seasons. I would have a hard time living in place where there was not a change of seasons. I love all of them (with the exception of the humidity in the summer:). So today, I am thankful for the seasons and the weather that comes with all of them.

Friday, December 3, 2010

TC - Day 3

Today is the first day we are back at work after out nice little vacation. we had a great time, but I am also glad to be back. It is nice to get back to routine after some time away.

And that got me thinking about what I am thankful for today - the church. Over the past nine months the church has shown me amazing blessings, love, and compassion. We have seen the best of the church over and over again. I am truly grateful and thankful for this part of the body, the church, and for all that you mean to me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

TC - Day 2

We just got home from a nice vacation down to Florida. We spent some time with my mom, sister, and nieces in Sarasota then went over to Orlando to take the girls to Disney World. Overall it was a very nice trip and a needed break.

With that on my mind, what I am thankful for is family. My family has given me hope and inspiration, love and forgiveness, and a multitude of blessings throughout my life. I am truly thankful for them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksfulness Challenge Day 1

Today I am starting the Thankfulness Challenge that will last through the month of December. Every day I will be posting on here on thing that I am thankful for in my life. And the first one is easy - God. I am thankful for the God who has claimed me, loves me, blesses me, forgives me, and empowers me to share his grace and love with others. I am thankful for all that God has blessed me with and for all of the relationships in my life.