On this Thanksgiving Sunday, I am thankful for many things, but here is a list of the top ten thanksgiving items that describe that for which I am especially grateful:

  1. a faith that is grounded in truth about the real world that includes the origin of all things from God.  It is very special to me that the faith I have been led to own does not merely consist in some speculative ideas about reality beyond our physical world but is based upon a reliable revelation from God in the Bible that also includes a valid description of that revelation through the Living Word, Jesus Christ.
  2. the sense of assurance and confidence concerning a relationship with God that makes Him very real to me and includes the knowledge and emotion that I am deeply loved and accepted by Him as His child, despite the fact that I am morally unclean.
  3. the fact that God has a place of service for me in the context of His kingdom work and specifically His church.  Despite all the difficulties, I love the church and am so happy that I have had the privilege of spending my life in its service through the communication and application of God’s Good News.
  4. for a loving, affectionate, and sensible wife who cares deeply for me and helps balance my extremes and idiosyncrasies, reminding me often of what’s important.  Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?  She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life (Proverbs 31:10, 11, NLT).  This has certainly been true for me.
  5. for four fantastic children who are smart and responsible about life and who have spouses that are caring, supportive, and affectionate toward them.  My children have made me thankful and “humbly proud” to be their dad.  They have loved and honoured me despite the ways in which I have failed and disappointed them.
  6. for eight grand-children (from 12 years old to six months old) who are healthy and smart and who love to call me Grandpa or Papa, as the case may be — children who always run toward me when we get together, who are affectionate, and make me laugh.
  7. for a wonderful caring and godly heritage in the family of my birth.  My parents were loving and loyal to each other all their lives and humbly committed themselves to give us the best possible up-bringing they could including teaching, example, discipline, and care.  This heritage also involved growing up with three fun-loving brothers whose affection has become steadily more meaningful as we have grown older together.
  8. for various mentors and friends who have given regularly and generously of themselves to influence my life for good.  This includes various educational opportunities that have served to strengthen character, knowledge, and wisdom about what’s really important in life.
  9. for health and physical vitality throughout my life so that I have been able to do the things I enjoy and feel called to do.
  10. for this wonderful country of my birth called Canada, the wherewithal to live in many beautiful places, and the privilege of enjoying many physical blessings in my life.
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