Today, the numerical designation of my years of existence flips over to a new number. I won't specify which one, but you can probably figure it out from context clues. I thought I would list a few things that I'm thankful for.
First, I always hesitate to post lists such as this because it was written in about 5 minutes, which means someone(s) and something(s) extremely significant are bound to have been left off.
Second, you will notice that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and all mentions of salvation, sanctification, and redemption are missing from this list. That's because that relationship and those blessings in my life are inherently tied to every thing on this list (well, with the possible exception of the Star Wars Trilogy...) and it's to Him I give thanks.
With that said, here's an imperfect and partial list of some of the things I'm thankful for today:
- Ryan Zempel (who isn’t thankful for Ryan Zempel?!)
- Mom, Dad, Laura, Casey, and Baby Ruthie- my immediate family, who are awesome and have loved me and encourage me through Mechanical Engineering 3133, shocking job transitions, puberty, and other moments of life insanity. (Luckily for Casey and Baby Ruthie, they missed out on most of those!)
- Granddaddy, GranBerry, Maw Maw, Paw Paw and all who came before to leave me with a rich family and spiritual heritage.
- GranBerry’s pecan pie, cherry pie, chocolate pie, carrot cake, lasagna, …
- The Thompson and Zempel sides of the family who have opened their arms and brought me in as one of their own.
- The Hungry Mothers
- The Playhouse in the Park- and all the long hours Mom worked on box office, costuming, etc.
- Mims Park t-ball/softball—and Dad coaching my teams and enduring the dance recitals
- The Star Wars Trilogy
- Cottage Hill Baptist School/Church
- Dauphin Way Baptist Church
- The preaching of Fred Wolfe
- National Community Church
- The Zone Leaders at National Community Church
- All the staff, team leaders, ministry leaders, and small group leaders at National Community Church.
- John Wesley
- Murphy High School
- Louisiana State University (except for Mechanical Engineering 3133), particularly LSU football, the biological engineering labs, and Destiny Campus Ministry
- Disneyworld- especially the 1987 trip to EPCOT Center
- SEC Football
- The Matthews, the Plashes, the Fishers, and all those who have invested in me throughout my life
- Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Waite, Mrs. Dubose, Coach Murphy, Mrs. Tucker, Mrs. Barber, and all the others that helped me to love science, history, reading, and God.
- Five years in the U.S. Senate working for the best Senator in Congress
- MLB Baseball, particularly the NY Yankees and Atlanta Braves…and the freedom to be such a bipolar fan.
- Stephen Sondheim
- The Batterson Family- for being so awesome to do life and ministry with, and for giving me so many opportunities
- The National Park System
- Letters, pictures, and phone calls from Baby Ruthie
- Coca-Cola, BBQ, fried catfish, fried dill pickles, Chickfila, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and all other foods Southern
- The 2005 pilgrimage to Jerusalem
- Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School
- Christmas and Thanksgiving
- Dad and Mom taking us to the beach—even though Dad hated the sand and Mom was convinced one of us would be swept away by the undertow
- The invention of the printing press
- Lifeway Threads and the opportunity to publish my first curriculum, Wineskins for Discipleship