During a recent conversation with a friend, she mentioned that we often hear about practicing the “presence” of God (i.e., remembering that God is always close to us) but don’t hear as much about practicing the “presents” of God (i.e., recognizing the numerous blessings that He gives to us each day). So, this morning as I was praying I started thanking God for the many, many “presents” He gives me all the time. There are way too many to list here, but I wanted to share a few from my list with you:
My wife, Carrie. She loves the Lord, is a great mom and friend, and always is trying to make my life better. I experience Christ’s love deeper through her love and forgiveness of me.
My daughters, Sara Beth and Rachel. I thank God for them every day and am proud of the young women they have become.
My family (Dad, Jamie, Al, Judy, Mike, Kim, Madeline and many more). God has put awesome people in my life who love me and support me no matter what.
My church family, Adventure Christian Church. I know that as a pastor I am super blessed. Our church reaches people for Christ, new families join our church regularly, people are involved in serving and helping one another, we have a wonderful group of staff members, elders and leaders. It’s an honor to pastor the Adventure family. Thank you, God!
My country and our freedom. Too often we forget that we have been blessed by being born into a great country. Our country guarantees the exercise of freedoms given to us by our Maker in a way never before experienced in history. (I recognize that some of these guarantees are constantly being challenged, but I’m still very happy I live here rather than anywhere else in the world).
The Bible and the ability to read and understand it. The Bible transformed my life. I am grateful for this present from God.
My awesome friends. God has blessed Carrie and I with many friends who love us not because we can do anything for them, but just because. That’s pretty wonderful.
Food and Water. This may sound silly, but I really don’t mean it too. I am grateful that I always have food and water. Not a day goes by that I don’t have access to clean, healthy food and clean water. Many, many in this world do not.
Opportunities to Help Others. I am grateful for opportunities to help others and the ability and resources to often help. Sometimes it’s a physical need, sometimes emotional, sometimes professional, and often it is spiritual. I’m grateful that God gives me the present of reaching other people for Him in practical ways.
The Ministry of the Word. I am very grateful to be able to teach the Word and share the Gospel with others. It’s really the most important gift He gives me because it has such a direct, eternal impact.
I could go on and on and on, but these are just a few of the things for which I am grateful to God. How about you? What’s on your list?