My Quick Hitters Thankful List

Instead of posting one thankful thought a day for 30 days, I’ve decided to post them all at once. They aren’t numbered because the order doesn’t matter. There are 30(ish) reasons listed here. Some are definitely more significant than others, but they’re all a part of my life and so I’m thankful for each one.

I’m thankful for…

  • Jesus
  • My wife (Not only is she my best friend, but she has always been and always will be my dream girl)
  • My marriage
  • laughing
  • that I can grow a glorious man beard
  • that my wife was into my beard this year
  • that I just shaved that beard
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies – All of them
  • My sister (who I miss)
  • My brother in law (who I consider my brother)
  • The beach (I get to see it one week a year…)
  • My church (I Love My Church)
  • True friends (People who say you can’t have friends when you’re a pastor are wrong. I do. I’m thankful for them, because they’re real friends).
  • Hilarious group texts (you know who you are)
  • Hot sunny days
  • My waffle maker (It brings a lot of joy to my family on Saturday mornings!)
  • Duke basketball games
  • A car that is paid off
  • Family movie nights and (sneaking candy into movie theaters)
  • Sleep (sleep is awesome)
  • Jaden (my son) – he makes me so proud!
  • Starbucks
  • Family summer pool days
  • that I get to pastor for a living
  • Friday day dates with my wife
  • Ava (my daughter) – she’s so much fun!
  • a trip to Florida with (just) my wife – Best. Vacation. Ever.
  • Great neighbors! (We love our neighbors!)
  • My wonderful parents!
  • Fantasy football (this item may be removed in about two weeks…)
  • My wonderful father and mother in law!
  • My life (God gave me this life, and I’m so thankful for it)

This list only took me a few minutes to put together. There’s so much more I’m thankful for and could be included on this list. God has been good to me and my family this year, and it just feels good to share it.

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Thanksgiving Focus

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8

One thing that I love about Thanksgiving (in addition to the crazy awesome food) is that I’m reminded to focus on all the things I’m grateful for. Whatever you focus on ultimately becomes your reality. That’s why the Bible teaches us to focus on the good things that God has done. Focus on noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable things. Focusing on God’s goodness fuels your faith.

If you’ll focus more on being thankful for everything you DO have because of God’s blessing in your life instead of everything you don’t have, you will literally/physically start to FEEL blessed again. Here’s the truth: You ARE Blessed! I don’t even need to know your circumstances. If you know Jesus Christ, you are blessed beyond anything this world has to offer.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Reasons I’m Thankful

I’m 33 today.

Here are 20 Quick Reasons I’m thankful today.

  1. I woke up and did 33 push-ups. (I’m huge. Hulk Smash)
  2. I woke up beside the most beautiful woman in the world. I love you Megan.
  3. I woke up to a happy birthday phone call from my mom, who I love so much! (Some years, it’s a song, some years it’s a rap.)
  4. I woke up to my son and daughter giving me hugs and wishing me happy birthday.
  5. I hit up Starbucks with my dad. (They know him by name there…) White. Chocolate. Mocha. Boom.
  6. I woke up to get ready and head to serve at New Life Church. I love my church! I love what I do!
  7. I wore jeans to work. (PTL…a few years back I was all in shirts and ties)
  8. I have awesome In-Laws who put in a POOL at my house, that I’ll be swimming in this afternoon.
  9. I woke up knowing that Jesus is my Lord, I’m forgiven, I’ve got direction, I’ve got God’s Love and approval in my life.
  10. I got to facetime with my little sister and my crazy fun nephews.
  11. I’ve been flooded with tons of happy birthday wishes on facebook. 🙂
  12. At 33 I don’t have it all figured out, and I’m wise enough to know now that it’s ok.
  13. I get to worship with my church family tonight!
  14. I opened presents a day early. My wife is so sweet, she couldn’t wait to give me my birthday presents.
  15. There’s chocolate cake waiting for me at home.
  16. At 33 I know what I’m called to do and what I’m not called to do. Both matter.
  17. 33 is definitely not 23, but instead of just raw energy, I now have experience and wisdom to go with my passion. That’s a much better combo.
  18. I’m confident in who I am. My calling as a husband and as a father are the most important things in my life.
  19. I can still eat Doritos and Swiss Cake Rolls at midnight! DON’T HATE.
  20. I’m thankful to be living my life, serving my God and doing it all with my wonderful family.

What are you thankful for?

 

Celebrate the Small Things

I’m real big on being thankful for everything that God does in my life, both for what I see as well as what I don’t see. God is always at work on us. A daily spiritual habit I’ve developed is to celebrate the small things. I’ve learned to take a little time out of each day and pause in order to reflect and celebrate what God has done. I typically think of the small things that would normally go unnoticed, but are big indicators that God is at work in my life and that I matter to Him. To help you understand what I’m talking about a little better, I’ll list a few personal things I’m thankful for and a few that show how God is at work.

  • When I’ve positively lived out Galations 5:22-23 at Walmart
  • When I get to work safely, and arrive home safely
  • When I look around at what God has accomplished at New Life Church
  • When I finish video chatting with my 7 year old son
  • When I find a can of Pepsi in my dads office fridge
  • When I’ve paid my tithes (Blessed to be a blessing!)
  • When I’ve paid a bill on time (His provision!)
  • When I go a full day without being negative
  • When I find a love note from my wife on my calendar
  • This could go on for a while…
Remember that God is always at work in your life. You may not see it, but He is. Trust me. That’s why we live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Many, LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
Psalm 40:5
Here are a few reasons I’ve thought of for you to be thankful and celebrate how God is at work in your life.
  • When at your job, you don’t make yourself look better by making someone else look worse
  • When you’re generous with someone in need
  • When you’re a good steward with your paycheck
  • When you’re honest at work
  • When you end up behind a stupid driver (you’re still blessed to be driving in a car)
  • When you don’t lose your temper
  • When you come home to hugs from your kids and kisses from your spouse
  • When you wake up!
You may not be where you want to be in life, but because of Jesus you’re not where you use to be either. God is still at work. That’s good news. Celebrate the small things. Be thankful.

 

 

Wear & Tear

I was coaching my sons Upward basketball team tonight and I started to notice that our church gym isn’t in the best shape. The building is getting older now and the cracks, bumps and scratches are getting pretty noticeable. Now its nothing major, but seeing these flaws triggered this instant critical-I’ve-got-to-fix-it-now impulse inside of me. The flaws were all I could see. This was bothering me.

There’s a theory called “the wear and tear theory” introduced by a German scientist in the late 1800’s that basically states that the overuse and abuse of the human body will result in a more rapid health decline. Add a couple harmful toxins from substance or drug abuse and well, you’ve got a fast pass for a toe tag.

I started thinking. With just normal everyday living, your body still ages. That aging process can’t be avoided no matter what we cover up, nip, tuck, lift or pinch. Aging is a part of life. It’s proof of the journey. Proof of the experiences. You can’t hide it. We try. If you live this life your body is going to show it. Wear and tear is a sign of life.

Back to the gym. So as I’m staring at all of these flaws that are now driving me b-a-n-a-n-a-s, God spoke to me. In my heart I heard God say “Josh, don’t worry about the flaws, it’s just a sign of life in this ministry.” Instantly I was reminded of the countless youth services where I experienced teenagers pouring their hearts out to God. I remembered praying for so many students who were seeking Gods plan for their lives. I remembered the hundreds of young lives that were transformed by Jesus Christ. I remembered hearing the voices of the students calling out to Christ in that building. I remembered the many newlyweds who had celebrated their brand New life together there with friends and family (including my own). So much ministry, so much life change had taken place in that building and still continues to this day. I began to appreciate the flaws.

Healthy things grow. That growth is the result of time, sacrifice, work and experience which always result in wear and tear. That wear and tear is a sign of life. I’m thankful for the wear and tear.

Just a thought. Anyone up to help paint a gym? 😉

Celebrating Family Moments

I read this on another blog I follow the other day, “Life is not measured in minutes, it’s measured in moments.” I love that. Raising kids is a challenge for every parent, but especially for those who are in demanding careers. I strive every day and work very hard to be a great father and husband. As you finish one season and progress onto the next I’ve learned that it’s very important to take some time to reflect and celebrate what God has done. So that’s what I’m doing today. These are some of my favorite moments in 2010.

  • Our first family trip to Disney World (with Poppy and Noni).
  • My kids first ride on an airplane.
  • My whole family together for a vacation at the beach.
  • Ava’s first year playing soccer.
  • Jaden lost his first tooth.
  • Jaden lost his second tooth.
  • Ava started Preschool.
  • Celebrating 10 amazing years of marriage to Megan with a romantic getaway.
  • We got a new puppy and the kids named him Roscoe.
  • Speaking to over 150 teens at summer camp.
  • Watching Duke stomp Georgia Tech at Cameron Indoor Stadium with Megan.
  • Driving all night through an ice storm to get home and singing “Rocky” soundtrack hits to stay awake.
  • Seeing my beautiful daughter attend her first ballet with Mommy and Noni.
  • Taking Jaden to his first college football game. Marshall won! 🙂
  • Thanksgiving breakfast at my parents house with the family.
  • Pastor’s Appreciation service at New Life Church was wonderful!
  • Attending a Marshall Game with my Dad and my Papaw.
  • Glow stick Sunday at New Life Church.
  • A wonderful White Christmas with my family.
  • Sitting around the piano listening to my Mamaw play and sing old hymns.

I’m so thankful! What about you? What were some of your favorite moments in 2010?