As I was spending time in scripture and prayer this morning (been trucking through James very slowly and profitably), I began to thank God for His gifts to me. The more I prayed, the more overwhelmed I became; not in sorrow, but joy.
Spurgeon nailed it when he said, “If we will only think, we shall begin to thank.”
It was almost an unnerving experience. I could not find a place to stop. The more I thanked God for the more I became aware of what I needed to thank God for. I realized that I would never reach a natural end to the thankful-list I was offering, so I decided to put my journal away and grab my Macbook Air for two reasons. First, I type faster than I hand-write. Second, I thought my list of thankfulness would encourage and help other Pilgrim’s to be thankful to God on this day of Thanksgiving.
100 Things I Am Thankful For
So, without further ado, here is a quick and dirty list, ranging from the smallest to the greatest, not in order, of the things I am thankful to God for on this Thanksgiving day.
My Father in Heaven, the One from Whom all good gifts have come (James 1:17), thank you for…
- The steaming hot mug (my favorite black mug I got from Kamden!) of coffee in my hand.
- The Macbook Air I write on and work with everyday.
- The journal I write in and started this prayer in.
- The Uniball Vision pen I wrote with.
- The other amazing pens you have created (i.e. the G2 10 and the Uniball Vision Elite). There’s few things more satisfying than writing with one of those babies.
- The morning stillness.
- Candles. I love candles. Their smell. Their soft, dancing light.
- The English Bible and the wonderful translations available to me my fellow English speakers. Abundant abundance.
- Matthew Henry’s bomb commentary. You have blessed me so much through his pen (it was probably a Uniball Vision Elite).
- My wife’s slow, methodical morning shuffle-walk. It’s adorbz.
- My wife. Lord, thank you so much for this woman. As amazing as she was when I married her, I marvel that each passing year, you grow and mature her into something even more wonderful. Thank you, Father, for her love for me. Her tender, attentive, diligent care for me is overwhelming when I think about it. She really listens to your Word and really seeks your face. She loves you, your Word, and your people. She is a living illustration of Proverbs 18:22. Who am I, Lord, to receive such a gift.
- Our daughter. Her giggles, her smile, and her eyes cut me to the heart everyday. Lord, who are we to receive such a little one? Thank you for her easy temperament too. You are easing us into parenthood with such a child and we are thankful.
- Our family. Thank you for my Midas-Touch little brother, my cranky-Presbyterian older brother, my sailor dad, my crazy-cooking mother, my insanely hospitable and generous in-laws, my compassionate brother-in-law, my world-traveling sister-in-law, my Cobra-Pilot brother-in-law, my football-coach uncle, my Doctoral Aunt, my toe-head cousins, and all my other family members. These holidays have provided a great time to sit back, look upon the chaos of my family and thank you from a deep place in my heart.
- Tobasco. Thank You for Tobasco. Life wouldn’t be the same without it.
- This table I am writing on. It’s beautiful.
- My home. Thank you for a warm home to return to each night. Thank you for the decorations you have provided to make it cozy and welcoming. Thank you for the kindness of one man to help us make it what we couldn’t of without him. Bless him abundantly for his kindness.
- Books. Real, page turning books. I am thankful for e-books, but please do not allow real books to stop. Ink, pages, and binding make me happy.
- Teachers. I fear thinking about where I would be without the teachers, preachers, and writers you have sent my way.
- Flowers. They look nice and smell nice.
- In-door plumbing.
- Dave Keehn.
- Bacon. Proof that you love the world.
- This book.
- Music. Especially folk and blues.
- This blog. It has been a gift to me to write and, I hope, a continuous gift to others.
- Health. I do not thank you enough for this immense gift. May I never curse you for sickness you may bring into my life and may I never forget that my healthy days greatly outweigh my sick ones. Thank you for my health and my family’s health. You are kind.
- Doctors and hospitals.
- Medication. Both the natural kind and the kind made from laboratories.
- Golf and golf courses. I am really bad, but still thankful for the game and the beautiful courses it’s played on.
- My church.
- Friends. Both the casual ones I can laugh with and the close ones I can cry with.
- Preachers who believe the Bible’s sufficiency. Men who make it their primary goal to say, explain, and apply only what the text is saying.
- Clothes. I have never been forced to live naked. I don’t even know what that would look like. I don’t want to know.
- Food. Oh! Food! Delicious and nutritious (and un-nutritious) food! Not only does it sustain us and energize us, but it brings so much gladness to my heart. Thank you, Lord, for food! Especially Mexican, Japanese, and Italian food.
- The various postal services. Getting things delivered to my door is great.
- Amazon Prime.
- The Office.
- Money. Thank you for money to support my family with all their needs.
- Days off, vacations, and holidays. I know these have not and are not a right, but a privilege. Thank you that I have time to rest from work and rest with family.
- Instagram. Pictures are fun.
- My wife’s cooking. Yes, please.
- My wife’s baking. C’mon mama.
- The Ride & Core. Ministries that have blessed me and many others.
- My students. A gift you have entrusted to me and my fellows shepherd leaders.
- My shepherd leaders. Their faithfulness to love and care for their students is a constant refreshment and encouragement to me.
- Faithful parents. The ones who love you and make it their greatest priority to raise their kids to know you, know your Word, and love you.
- My grandparents. Glenn and Barbara Dill mean the world to me and you know why.
- My spiritual grandparents. Oh the joy of being adopted as a grandson by Jesus-loving folk in your church.
- David C. Cook. I am amazed they want me to write for their TruIdentity curriculum and waiting for them to realize their error, but in the meantime, I am greatly thankful for the opportunity.
- People who encourage me. The folks who tell me they think I have something to contribute for the church’s good. Often times I don’t think I do, but they disagree with me and that brings me life.
- My dog. She’s pretty cool.
- Generous people. You have sent me numerous people who have generously cared for Chawna and I.
- Did I say Bacon?
- Clouds and rain. Oh, goodness.
- Heaven’s drink.
- My bed and the sheets on them.
- Laundry machines.
- Forks and knives. As opposed to chop-sticks, though those are fun every now and then for a few minutes.
- Cars. Specifically our two working ones that are paid off.
- Settlers of Catan.
- Faithful churches that preach the gospel for the salvation of sinners and the sanctification of saints.
- Godly pastors who take Jesus and His Word seriously but not themselves.
- Humble people. The kind who know that in 5 years they will look back at themselves and think they were stupid and live according to that truth in the present.
- Nice furniture.
- Large bodies of water.
- Fishing, hunting, and camping.
- Biola University, Talbot School of Theology, and all other conservative, Bible-believing institutions that cultivate thoughtful and loving Christian folks.
- Those who pray for me.
- New socks.
- TVs. Watching stuff on them is cool.
- Marriage. A rich gift.
- Parenthood. Making a rich gift all the richer.
- Repentance. May it mark my every day.
- The gospel of Jesus Christ. The truth that Jesus Christ has paid my sin-debt, that He has been punished in my place for my crimes, floors me and gives me life. Lord, why such love to me? Why would you send your Son to do anything beyond punish me to hell? Why, instead of sending Jesus to do Revelation 19 stuff to me, did you send Him to do 1 Peter 3:18 stuff for me? Your love, oh Lord, amazes me. I have done nothing for you but insult you, reject, and hate you, yet you, in love and mercy, have blessed me, accepted me, and loved me. I love myself and hated you, you lowered yourself and loved me. Through the bloody death and victorious resurrection of your son you have killed off the old me (thank You, I hated Him too) and have risen a new me to life. Now, I actually love other people and I love you. My grave clothes have been thrown off and now I wear the clothes of your Son. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! How marvelous! How wonderful! My song shall ever be! How marvelous! How wonderful! Is my Savior’s love for me!
- The Holy Spirit who lives in my heart. Thank you Holy Spirit for convicting me of sorrow-inducing sin, turning me toward life in Christ, and for faithfully instructing me in His ways every day. Your patience is profound and your love is steady.
- Thomas Watson.
- Heaven’s leaf.
- Richard Sibbes.
- Every other awesome Puritan who rocks my soul.
- Famous preachers. Yea, I know a lot of people scoff at the “celebrity preachers” and think that only immature people would be thankful for them, but I think that’s stupid. I thank you for faithful men who are famous because of their faithfulness to your Word. Thank you for John Piper, for Matt Chandler, for Tim Keller, for John MacArthur, for C.J. Mahaney, for Michael Horton, and for the many other famous and not-famous men who preach your Word with clarity, conviction, and power. I know that none of these men are perfect and none of them worthy of veneration, but I do know that faithfulness to your Word should create thankfulness in your people. Thank you.
- Book shelves.
- Baby toys.
- The internet.
- Theologians who write children’s books. I am looking at you R.C. Sproul.
- Diaper cleaning supplies. Right after I wrote #99, Daisy went nuclear and I had to change her or we all may have died. As I changed her, I thought to myself, I am thankful for all these diaper supplies (changing table, wipes, butt ointment, etc.). Thank you Jesus for diaper supplies.
There are infinitely more things to say because we serve an infinitely good and generous God. No doubt I have forgotten many important things, but this is a good start.
A Word to Believers & Non-Believers
We, both believing and unbelieving, are drowning in His gifts. For believers, this is cause for great joy not only because of our present enjoyment of God’s gifts, but for how they prepare us for the eternal gifts awaiting us in heaven. For non-believers, realize how God has gifted you with everything you have and turn to Him. Stop taking God’s gifts without any love for God Himself. Turn away from being your own king and bow to Jesus as King. In doing so you will realize that all your gifts are nothing compared to the gift God offers in His Son, the Greatest Gift of All.
To help keep this from being a post we forget and move on, I offer you a quote I heard from a friend the other day:
“What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you are thankful for today?”
May we never overlook God’s gifts and may we never forget to be thankful for them all.