These are the kind ladies serving us here in Washington for our Turkey dinner. We have Betty Anne, Loretta Lynne, Marjorie Adel and Sarah Lee. They’ve prepared some GREAT hot dishes and will serve us shortly. As you can see they are EAGER to serve us.
I’m actually in Silverdale, Washington for this Thanksgiving break. It’s been a beautiful few days here in Washington State and this perfect November Thursday is no exception. I’m up here spending my first, EVER, Thanksgiving away from my family. I miss them, but, I’m very glad to embark on the journey of sharing in new family with my soon to be bride Promise.
We’ve had a fantastic couple of days just enjoying friendship and family in stunning weather for this time of the year in Seattle. Just perfect!
Today, Troy Grover (check out his photography) who is the boyfriend of Aimee, Papa Gary (my soon to be Father-In-Law) and myself smoked us a Turkey. I would say we were pretty successful in that it was the first time any of us had ever done it. There will be a video coming soon to show you our journey…it started at 3am this morning! All in all it was a great experience for all involved.
As I think about the amazing blessings of my life and what I’m thankful for, these things come to mind:
I’m thankful that the God of the universe would want a relationship with me and that He has made it possible through Jesus. I could not imagine my life a part from my journey and quest to know Christ more deeply and find ways to let His love manifest itself in me! This is the essence of my life and I’m so grateful for my life in Christ!
I’m thankful for my wonderful, beautiful, stunning, life-giving bride to be, Promise! She has become my best friend and I cannot wait to grow old with this woman of God. Her passion for Jesus, her love for me, her uncanny humor, her sensitive spirit, her much needed touch in my life, her love for people and her unpredictbale creativity WOW ME DAILY!!! She is the joy of my life.
I’m thankful for my family. What an amazing legacy of Jesus they have passed on to my life. I’m forever indebted to parents that trusted me deeply and lovingly committed to do their part in laying a foundation of faith in my life. I’m so grateful for their encouragement, support and help along the way of life’s journey. My brother Ben, a loyal brother. He is kind-hearted and knows me well. He’s my best man! My sister Bonnie, she’s a beautiful gem of love and fun.
For my church! Never forget that buildings don’t make a church…YOU are the church. I know we’re a large community, but, the growth in my young life over the past seven years has lasting significance. I’ve grown in my leadership, my heart for people, my love for Worship, my hope for the local church and have been challenged by the way we risk together. I’ve got miles of possibilities to learn and grow and in this season YOU are the people that will challenge me to become. Let’s keep pushing each other to become more like Jesus, reach out in to our city in a brand new way, shine in the Phoenix Valley like no one else and stretch our arms across the world into Kenya to bless the widow and the orphan.
Lastly, I’m indebted, in ways I cannot understand, to those of you that advocate for the freedom that I enjoy daily in this country. Thank you to those of you that serve as in our military and government. Your commitment to making this country free and beautiful is so appreciated. From the gal deep in the sea on a submarine that’s away from her family for months on end. To the mayors, police, fire and local people…you are appreciated. Thank you for what you do. We live in the most amazing place in all of the world.
We were reminded tonight, by Papa Tangeman, on what the deal was with this whole Thanksgiving thing. He reminded us of how it came to be and, contextually, the need for Americans had for a time to be thankful. He read this to us and I thought it was brilliant. Abraham Lincoln clearly bore a Kingdom heart. A heart rooted in Covenant, Worship and Justice (as my friend Dr. Hubley would say). I know this is a bit long, but, I REALLY encourage you to read this and if you get the chance, after you read, I’d love to hear what you thought about it. Comment away and Happy Thanksgiving!
A Declaration of Thanksgiving
Abraham Lincoln Manifesto of Gratitude
“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.
“No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.”
Ocotber 3, 1863