Friday, September 16, 2011
An Open Letter of Thankfulness and Appreciation
Then we, your people, the ones you love and care for, will thank you over and over and over. We’ll tell everyone we meet how wonderful you are, how praiseworthy you are!" Psalm 79:13, The Message Bible
My Dear Lord:
Today, my heart is full of thanksgiving and appreciation to You and You alone for these past 30 years that we’ve been together. Because of You, I was able to marry the absolute perfect person to share life with. This year we celebrated our 25th year of a marriage made in heaven and I am so thankful. I can honestly tell You Jesus, that I love her and You more today than I ever have. Thank You for guiding us through the lean years, and the years of plenty. The easy years—and the not so easy ones. Thank You for helping us stick together like glue.
I’m thankful that this weekend we will celebrate our 20th year of pastoral ministry together at Valley Family Church. From the early days at the Richland Lodge when we often felt like no one cared whether we were there or not, we always knew You did! Thanks for always having our backs. For always meeting our needs. For always encouraging us when we were down. For always being there for us when those we thought would be our friends for life—disappeared. For always kicking our butts when we needed it. And for helping us to always keep our eyes on You.
I’m thankful for the four incredible children that You blessed us with, and the one in heaven that we’re waiting to meet for the first time. Our hearts are so full and so happy as we see each one of our kids love You with such intensity and sincerity. It’s funny how lately we’ve received criticism for focusing some of our attention on this next generation, but You said that in these last days You would pour out Your Spirit upon our sons and daughters, and it’s so great to see You doing that. Thanks too for helping us to be parents who were able to direct our kids towards You in a way that was attractive to them. We couldn’t have done that apart from You Jesus, and we’re just so thankful for Your guidance every step of the way. They found the joy of knowing You on a very personal level, not just because mom and dad were in ministry.
I’m thankful for our ministry friends here and around the world. Friends who understand our lives because their lives are so much like ours. Friends who inspire us, who challenge us and love us for who we are, not what we do. Friends we can talk with, laugh with, cry with and change the world with.
I’m thankful for the folks who call Valley Family Church their home. I’m thankful for a staff that ALWAYS goes the extra mile. I’m thankful for our volunteers and interns who constantly give so much of their time and energy for eternal purposes. I’m thankful for those who have been faithful financial supporters for all of these years. But most of all I’m thankful for what’s ahead. I believe that our best days and years are before us. I’m thankful that we get to watch You expand our vision and influence to this generation and beyond. God, You’ve got massive things ahead, which gives us a reason to get up every day and put our hands to the plow and work on kingdom business for You our King. For that I am very thankful.
Finally Lord Jesus, thank You for becoming a man, for living a sinless life and for sacrificing Your life for ours. Because You gave Your life for us, we freely give our lives to You with hearts full of thanksgiving.