LIFE MATTERS

My Thanksgiving Top 10

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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I believe I saw Christmas decorations in at least one store as early as September. In October, many retailers had Halloween decorations on one aisle and Christmas decorations on another. I have been in several stores this week, and people are just now – just now – wishing me “Happy Thanksgiving.”

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, not because of the food or football, but because it’s a deliberate day set apart to fulfill one of my core values and keystone habits – gratitude.

I typically don’t participate in things going around Facebook, but favorite daughter tagged me about 14 months ago on a challenge to list 10 things for which I am thankful.

I shared them on Facebook at her request, and I share them again now in celebration of Thanksgiving. They are not in order of importance, but in the order I thought of them.

10. I am thankful for the forgiving grace of God when I’ve made bad choices.

9. I am thankful for the protective grace of God that has kept me from making many more bad choices.

8. I am thankful for the amazing love that God extended to bring me to Himself through faith in Jesus Christ.

7. I am thankful for the undeserved love of a godly woman who is beautiful inside and out and for the amazing privilege of being married to her for 31 years and counting.

6. I am thankful for two wonderful grown-up children who love Jesus and honor their parents.

5. I am thankful for an amazing son-in-law and daughter-in-law for whom I prayed for many years before I ever knew them.

4. I am thankful for the 20 years I spent loving and being loved by the people of God in my role as a pastor.

3. I am thankful for parents who gave me great roots and encouraged me to find my wings.

2. I am thankful for godly mentors who invested in me and taught me how to invest in others.

1. I am thankful for the amazing adventure of life at this time in history and for the people with whom I get to share the journey.

Bonus: At the time I wrote that list, I was not yet a grandpa. So rather than finding what to cut from the original list, I am adding that I am thankful to have a little girl who can’t say “Grandpa” yet, but whose eyes light up when “bmpuh” comes into the room and who has given this old dude a whole new experience in joy.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Our lives matter to God. For that, I am thankful beyond words.

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association in Decatur.

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