I’m thankful for my adoptive Mom and Dad, two salt-of-the-earth people, who adopted me out of a world plagued with poverty and generational sins. Their generosity and Christian faith have influenced me more than I’ll ever possibly realize.
I’m thankful for Christians in my parents’ various churches, simple folk who believed God and followed him the best way they could.
I’m thankful for a godly grandmother who followed Christ through hardship and marriage to an alcoholic husband. I remember going to her children’s Sunday School class. I saw her traverse the pains of widowhood and then remarriage to a Christian man. When he died, for my wedding, she gave me the wedding ring she had given him. I wear it to this day.
I thank God for my wife of 33 years and mother of our five children. Lynn has worked to help me through 7 years of graduate and then post-graduate education, has followed me around the world in countless educational and ministry moves. She has cared for me, nourished and provided for our children. She is a gift from God.
I thank God for the College ministry, WDA (Worldwide Discipleship Association). That ministry helped lead me to Christ and then introduced me to the rich world of conservative-Evangelical Christianity.
I thank God for my college church, Watkinsville First Baptist, and Dr. Charles Stewart, their pastor. It was there that I first heard preaching from the Greek and Hebrew texts. Those languages have become one of the great joys of my life. Dr. Stewart went to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, and it was there I saw a commitment to inerrancy merged with a freedom to explore answers to very difficult questions. There, Murray J. Harris, former Warden of Tyndale House, Cambridge, became my beloved mentor. He honored God through rigorous study of God’s word. Now, he is honoring God even more, giving up study to care for his wife of many years, Jennifer, as she suffers with MS.
I am thankful for Thomas Watson (1620-1686), and his book, A Body of Divinity. Watson was a clear-thinking Puritan. His is a book that changed the way I look at God. It changed the way I look at myself.
I am most thankful for Christ and His pursuing which has brought me into a salvation without regret. His life and death have provided for me every good thing I have in the world. He has allowed me to share His Sonship and approach God as my father. He has guaranteed the benefits of the new covenant to me. He has earned my acceptance with God.
What are you most thankful for this season?