Things for Which I’m Thankful

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Hopefully all of us will pause somewhere along this day’s journey to voice those things for which we are deeply grateful. Of the many things that come to my own mind, I’m compelled to mention a few (these are not necessarily in any particular order).

First, I am deeply thankful for my girls–all three of them. Christa and the babies (they’re really not “babies” anymore!) are my greatest earthly joy. There are no people I’d rather be with at any time–period. Not only do they dote well on this hairy-legged guy, but they embody wisdom, wit, and love so deep as to be second it seems only to the Master himself. I suppose that is the way it ought to be.

Secondly, I am deeply grateful for our extended family. My parents, Christa’s parents, our brothers and their families, and Christa’s sister and her family–these folk make us to be rich of soul, particularly those in the family that likewise follow the Savior Jesus. In a world wherein families are so utterly broken, we look around at what God has placed in our lives by way of family and we are blown away with gratitude and humility.

Thirdly, I am deeply thankful for the small group of men in my life that fill the role of ranger buddies. There are three or four in particular who serve as those 2 AM kind of guys–you know, the kind of men that would pick up the phone at that moment if needed and be in the car driving hundreds of miles if necessary just to be at my side. While Christa and I are blessed with a host of good friends, these kinds of friends fill a unique spot. They’re not just friends but first-rate soul-mates.

Fourthly, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be the teaching pastor of Bethel Church in Fargo. Christa and I are overwhelmed with gratitude for this corner of the broad Body of Christ. From where we come Bethel proves to be a refreshing and healing place, it is a place with a deep spiritual hunger, and an intense eagerness to acknowledge God’s fame and acclaim God joyously and broadly. I have not enjoyed preaching to the depths that I do here, and the team with which I get to work (and I’ve enjoyed a fantastic staff these recent years) is wonderful, including, of course, a group of elders that are second to none. Truly, we’re enjoying being a band of brothers (and sisters!).

Fifthly, Christa and the gals and I love being in Fargo. The culture is amazing, the people among the warmest we’ve ever met, and the opportunities to serve the Master boundless. All four of us can’t believe we have had the privilege of being called to this fascinating, progressive and growing community.

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the thing about which I am most grateful of all, and that is my Master and Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ. Every detail of our lives is about His honor and purpose and person. He has set me free. He has given me hope. He has granted me a life of substance. He has given us significant gifts. He has allowed us to think upon things far bigger than ourselves. And yet He cares about the smallest details of our lives. If I had the entire Internet as my domain–it was all mine and belonged to no one else–there would still never be enough space to explain His greatness and goodness and gifts to me; to us.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friend. I’m thankful for you too, and the fact that you take your time to glance at these musings. May our Lord bless you, and may you have no doubt that the One who loves you most is, well, Jesus.

Comments

  1. Pastor Matthew says:

    Wow La. Thanks so much. You have no idea how much we miss you guys. We sure love you. Without a doubt you and B (and the kids!) are part of that Ranger Buddy group of which I spoke. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. LauraLee Shaw says:

    The Shaws are INCREDIBLY thankful for the St. Johns. While many are blessed by your talents and abilities (as we are too), we are blessed by the way you live them out in our friendship. We miss you but thank God you are in the place God has called you. Happy Thanksgiving!

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