What I’m Thankful For

I’m thankful for…

  1. Jesus, the gospel, the forgiveness of my sins, and the promise of eternity in his glory.
  2. My job, and the roof over my head.
  3. My first bible that I bought on November 30, 2013.
  4. My first girlfriend, and what that relationship taught me about love.
  5. My family and friends and my dog.
  6. Pizza and coffee
  7. My church, the pastor, and the encouraging relationships
  8. The time I get to spend out in nature
  9. Running
  10. The freedom to worship God in this country

There is so much to be thankful, and I know that this list does not even touch everything. Maybe I should have added that I’m thankful for cookies too? 🙂

In times where I feel that I’m always asking God for more, maybe typing out some things that I’m thankful for will help me realize all that he has done in my life.

Thank you Lord, for every spiritual blessing, for all that you provide, for all of your promises, and for all that you have planned.

 

Prayer For Ferguson

Father, you are all powerful, all knowing, and present everywhere.

You are the creator of all things, of this earth and all that dwell on it.

You’re understanding is beyond what we could possibly comprehend.

You sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from ourselves, from all of our sin.

Thank you Lord, for your abounding love.

And you are Love, and have shown us how to love through your Son.

 

Father, my heart aches for this city.

I hear of the riots and stealing, those blinded by their actions, and my heart aches.

I hear of the grief and sadness by the Brown family who lost their son, and my heart aches.

I hear of the fear and uncertainty from the Wilson family, and my heart aches.

I hear of the condemnation of those that live outside of these families and outside of Ferguson, and my heart aches.

Please Lord, bring my heart back to its restful state with you.

I pray for your comfort on this city.

 

I pray that you open all of our hearts, that we may learn to love each other fully, just as you love us.

That we can love with patience, understanding, kindness, and genuineness.

That we may not repay evil with evil.

But rather give to each other in love in kindness.

 

I pray that our city is comforted in knowing that you are a God of justice.

And in your hands will be the true and final judgement.

We know that you will use all things for good, and whatever your will may be, I am confident that it will be good.

 

I pray that all which has happened here in this city will be used to open our eyes

That we realize we are incapable to fully love each other without you.

And how much we desperately need you.

 

I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Reflections on my Birthday

The first year of my thirties was quite the experience. It was filled with many joys and blessing, but along with those joys and blessing, there were many sorrows and difficulties.

When I entered my thirties, I didn’t know Christ. But even though I didn’t know him, He knew me, and was working heavily in my life. It is incredible to look back and see all that took place, and to see the work of God, even though I didn’t realize it at that time.

Last summer I entered a journey that would forever change my life. I joined a social running group in hopes speed up my pace, and to meet new people. There I met someone very special. There was something different about her. At that time I didn’t know what it was, but soon I would come to realize it was her faith shining bright. I eventually asked her out, and we began to date.

Shortly after my birthday she asked me a simple question, “Do you have a bible?”. That question awakened something deep within myself. So on November 30th, I headed to Barnes & Nobel and bought my first bible. Having never read the bible before, I had no idea where to start, so I opened to the first chapter of Genesis and began to read.

I have lived with an emptiness deep within that I tried to fill with many things. Something that I thought I could satisfy on my own. But as I tried to fill that emptiness, that hole only grew larger.

As I started to read the bible, my eyes were opened to what that emptiness needed. What it was designed to hold. Who I was designed for. What I have rejected and pushed away my whole life. And in my pride I thought that I didn’t need. And how broken and defeated I was by trying to do this on my own.

It was then how I realized that only by the grace of God that I could ever begin to truly live. I can recall the moment, as I was standing outside looking up at the stars, in awe of the greatness of God. I broke down to my knees in tears, not even knowing what humility really looked like. The Spirit was moving heavily within me, crying out to the Father. It was in that moment that I was forever changed and confessed with all of my heart and all of my mind and all of my soul that Jesus is my Lord and Savior!

Fast forward a few months.

My relationship with Jesus was flourishing. But my relationship with my girlfriend was about to take an unexpected turn. On May 4th, our lives went down different paths. The relationship had come to an end. My heart ached. All my hopes and dreams about our future were gone. All our memories were just that, memories. It was a difficult thing to accept that someone who I cared so dearly for would no longer be a part of my life.

In the following months after the breakup, there were many directions I could have gone. I could have turned back to my old ways and habits, trying to fill myself with things that could not satisfy. Or I could run to Jesus. Thanks to the grace of God, my eyes were fixed on one thing, and I ran hard to Him.  It has never been so clear in my life until that moment of brokenness on how much I need Jesus.

So here I am, 31 years old, almost a year after I bought my first bible, a new Christian, and a new man. I am in amazement of all that God has done in my life in the past year, and I am so excited for what this next year will bring.

Thank you Father, for your grace. I am yours forever.