My Top 10 Thankful For List
1. My wife and family. After 28 years of marriage, I am in love with my wife more than ever! Candy is such a perfect match for me in so many ways. She is beautiful, fun to be with, loves sports, and a woman after God’s heart. I thank God for her all the time. My three girls, Ashley, Holly, and Kailey are such a blessing. They are each silly, unique, and have a genuine love for the Lord. They are at the stage in their lives that we can be laughing hysterically one moment and discussing theology the next. I am such a blessed man, husband, and father!
2. Ashley’s wedding this past July. It was everything we had prayed for and everything Ashley dreamed of. The wedding day was perfect with sunny clear skies and 75 degrees. The bride was radiant, the ceremony was flawless, the private reception was simply incredible, and sharing this event with our church, friends, and family was special. Plus, we welcomed a godly young man, Nathan Fox, into our family. Thank you, Nate, for loving us and for adoring Ashley!
3. God is at work at GracePoint. After four consecutive years of ministry grind, God has unleashed His blessing upon our church in amazing ways. Since Easter, we have changed the name of our church, seen 145 salvations in our services, witnessed marriages restored and families healed with forgiveness, and have had numerous people come back to church for the first time in many years. We have also seen the number of LifeGroups double in size this fall. The past two months we have also seen an increase in attendance every single week, and have hit or surpassed our weekly offering needs in all but one week. This past Sunday we cheered on 15 people going public with their faith by being baptized. God gets all the credit because He is doing things that only God can do! Keep doing it God!
4. Our new building for added worship space has started. What began in 2008 has finally started to materialize. Each step has been a step of faith and we have more steps of complete dependance on God remaining. This new facility will help us double our seating capacity and increase our foyer/lobby space by 700%. God has placed GracePoint Church in the least churched county in our state and the 7th least churched county in the nation. We need God’s help and people willing to give sacrificially to help us raise the remaining $ to finalize phase one.
5. My Pastoral Staff. This team is a blessing to me personally and professionally. Personally, they are a safe place for me to lead and be loved. Professionally, they are each so gifted and talented in their areas. I love their initiative, work ethic, sense of humor, and passion for ministry. I love spending time with them, and praying and dreaming together. I can’t think of a better group of men to live life with!
6. Lindsay Manchester. She is my friend and ministry assistant. She is a hard worker who pours everything into this ministry. Ever since we transitioned her to helping me with our weekend services, she has taken my ideas and turned them into reality. She tackles things I shouldn’t spend time on and has helped take our weekend worship to another level. Her, and her husband Cory, are former high school students of mine and we each worked together in California at EV Free Fullerton. How cool it is to have an assistant who knows my mind, heart, and passion for how I want to do ministry.
7. My LifeGroup. Four couples along with eight small children make for a very active LifeGroup. We meet most Tuesday evenings in which we laugh, tease, and discuss the weekend sermon (which can be weird at times since they are critiquing my message). We have built a safe place with plenty of love and encouragement. Closing each week in prayer for each other has bonded us together like only prayer can do. I love my LifeGroup!
8. Coaching basketball. For the third year, it is my privilege to be the assistant basketball coach for my girls high school varsity basketball team. It is an opportunity to give back to our local community, stay in shape, and engage as a dad with a sport our family loves. I also enjoy that this is the one thing in my life that I am not in charge of. I can just encourage, teach, and cheer on some amazing young ladies. I also have a front row seat of seeing Holly and Kailey raining down three’s from beyond the 3-point line!
9. Being healthy again. In July, I had back surgery. I had a disk that looked like it had exploded into my spinal cord like Mt. Saint Helens. From early April until the surgery in July, I was unable to comfortably sit down due to sharp pain screaming down my right leg. After a week of recovery and two months of not lifting anything over 10 pounds, I was able to resume my normal activity. As many people know, back pain really can jack up your life and living. I really enjoy sitting without pain and snuggling with Candy on the couch again!
1o. My 49ers are relevant again. When I moved back to Washington in 2005, my Niners won 2 games that season. It was also the year the Seattle Seahawks went to the Super Bowl. I took all kinds of grief from the Seahawk fans in my church because of how terrible my team was. Thankfully, Jim Harbaugh has brought us back to relevance with two back-to-back NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl appearance. This year we still have a chance to go back to the Super Bowl if we can get healthy and get our offense to scoring more points again. By the way, I still get all kinds of grief from the Seahawk fans. It absolutely bugs them that the 49ers are good once again.
So, this is my list. What you are thankful for? If you don’t mind, take a moment and write me a comment below and share one or two from your list. Happy Thanksgiving!