T-H-A-N-K-S-G-I-V-I-N-G

ThanksgivingThis week is one of my favorite weeks of the whole year.  I love the holiday season and it all begins this week with Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving has the trifecta of holiday cheer…Family, Football & Food!  Come on church!  So, being the kind of pastor that likes to alliterate everything or use an acrostic, here are some things I’m thankful for this year in the form of a Thanksgiving acrostic.

T — I’m thankful for TODAY! I’m learning to live and lead with a sense of urgency. I am but a breath, and my next breath is ONLY a gift from God. Lord thank you that I’m alive today.

H — I’m thankful for a new HEART! Every day I am more and more blown away that God chose ME! He sent His Son for ME! He died for ME! He called ME! It just doesn’t make sense. Thank you Lord for SAVING me, for CHANGING me, for CALLING me and for giving me a NEW HEART!

A — I’m thankful for ARKANSAS! #WPS  Ok, totally shallow and football related, but Arkansas beating LSU this year was one of the highlights of my football year.  My hatred for LSU comes at a close second to my hatred for Alabama.

N —I’m thankful for NORDY’S! Again, totally shallow but this is tough. Thinking up stuff that starts with these letters. Nordy’s is a BBQ joint and will stand in place for FOOD. One of these days, my wife and I are going to go on a week long vacation across the country to visit famous restaurants. We call it our FOOD VACATION! It’s gonna happen Sabrina.

K — I’m thankful for my KIDS! Jonah, I believe God is preparing you to do great things for His Kingdom. Mariah, I’m so impressed with your love of learning. Makalah, I’m so pleased that you love to serve. Jaydah, I’m so glad you love to cuddle. Can’t imagine life without them.

S — I’m thankful for my wife…SABRINA! Where do I begin? Words could not and would not do justice to my love for you. I would not be the man I am without you and could not be the pastor God called me to be without you by my side. I love you!

G — I’m thankful for GENEROSITY! My life has been so blessed by generous people and it has challenged me to be more generous. One of the things I pray over my kids is that they would be GENEROUS! I’m trying to model this for them.

I — I’m thankful for ILLUSTRATIONS! Just to think, all those things that happened in my life. All the stupid stuff I did…God has now redeemed into GREAT sermon illustrations. HA!

V — I’m thankful for VICTORY! WOW! January 20th, 2003 and January 10th, 20o6. Those two dates are KEY MOMENTS of victory in my spiritual life. “The same power that conquered the grave LIVES IN ME!” Thank you God!

I — I’m thankful for INNOVATION! Because of creative people serving a creative God, the opportunities for the church to advance the Gospel message of Jesus has become EXPONENTIALLY greater. I reap the benefits EVERY DAY, from people who led the way in being innovative.

N — I’m thankful for (can I say Nordy’s again?) Non-Essentials! Huh? The little things in life. We NEED water, air, food. Those are essentials. I’m thankful for those, obviously. But I’m also thankful for the non-essentials. A roof over my head. A heater in the winter. Air conditioning in the summer. Cable TV. Cell phone with a data plan. Two vehicles that run. Going out to eat. Vacations with the family. Going to the movies. A closet full of clothes. Choices in the pantry. You know…Non-Essentials. They are GIFTS, that in America, we view as RIGHTS.

G — I’m thankful for GOD! Without You we are NOTHING…with You we can accomplish ANYTHING. Without You we HAVE nothing…with You we have EVERYTHING we need! WOW!

Jeff Maness
I am a follower of Jesus first, husband to a beautiful wife, father to four amazing children, lead pastor of Element Church in Cheyenne, WY, and blogger of all things life.

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