Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart
November 27, 2002
I just LOVE Thanksgiving!
Everyone seems to be in a better mood (I don't know whether it has something to do with getting off work or anticipating a grand feast! I am sure both are good reasons why!). Thanksgiving is traditionally the start of the Christmas season and all that comes with the holidays.
But, before you eat that turkey sandwich or go out hunting those 6AM Christmas present bargains on Friday morning, I encourage you to just stop and reflect on what you are truly thankful for.
I look back on the last year of my life and I have a LOT to be thankful for.
One year ago, I was completing my culminating research project to obtain my Master's Degree in Public Policy from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. There were times when I thought I would never get it finished. But I persevered and got it done. I am so thankful for graduating in May 2002. It really is a miracle how everything fell into place to make this happen for me.
I don't have to tell anyone who is a regular reader of Commonvoice.com about my travails with being unemployed over the past year (there are people who STILL think I am unemployed!). Thankfully, I was able to find employment during the summer in a job where I can use my knowledge and skills to perform the tasks that need to be done. Although the job I have is not in the government field, I am happy to be a contributing member of working society again. I will continue to hone my skills in various areas to make myself an attractive candidate for a position in government someday. Heck, I might even run for political office someday! In the meantime, I am in the place where I need to be to support my family. For that, I am VERY thankful!
I am indebted to my dear wife, Christine, who supported me when I was completing my Master's Degree and volunteering for Republican candidates in the Spring. Week after week, she earned the money that put food on the table and kept shelter over our heads. Her willingness to sacrifice for me is one of the greatest acts of love I have ever experienced. When I went back to work, the first thing I did was make sure my wife would be able to come HOME from work. She has enjoyed being able to fix up the house like she wants it (although she went a bit overboard with the apple motif in the kitchen!) and volunteering her time at the church. I will never forget all that she did for me. That's why we have been together for over 7 years and are more in love today than we have ever been! I thank God for my selfless wife, Christine!
Speaking of debt, although I was unemployed for most of the past year, my wife and I were finally able to pay off our credit card debt! It was a tough five-year struggle to discipline ourselves to stop using credit cards and to make our payments consistently. But we did it! Besides our mortgage and my student loans, we are consumer debt free. I am thankful for that!
Last December, I sent an e-mail to the editor of Commonvoice.com asking him if he would be willing to allow me to become a contributing writer to his website. After sending him a sample of my work, I became a regular weekly columnist for this wonderful website. God has really blessed Jonathan and the investment he has made in Commonvoice.com. I am honored and humbled to be a part of the great team of writers who contribute articles to Commonvoice.com. I had always dreamed that I would have the opportunity to combine my love for writing with my passion for expressing my ideas on politics, government and life! Commonvoice.com has done that for me. Thank you Jonathan for giving me a chance to do something that I absolutely LOVE!
I happen to think my church family is one of the greatest group of people I have ever had the opportunity of being around. The warmth and love that my family has felt from the congregation of Anderson Mill Road Baptist Church in Moore, SC cannot be faked. There is a genuine spirit of faith and dedication in the members of my church. I am thankful for the meals and support that my family received when my wife had shingles and during my struggles finding a job. Anderson Mill Road Baptist Church is genuine in their love for Jesus Christ and for people.
I could go on and on with what I am thankful for. Without a doubt, we all have things we can be thankful for. Feel free to share with everyone what you are thankful for this year.
A few years ago when I was working as a disc jockey in Christian music radio in Virginia Beach, VA, I used to play a song by an artist named Mylon LeFevre with guest vocalists 4Him called "Give Thanks." The following lyrics to this song encompass what I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving:
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ His Son
And now let the weak say I am strong
Let the poor say I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us
And now let the sick say I am whole
Let the bound say I am free
Because of what the Lord has done for us
HAPPY THANKSGIVING COMMONVOICE.COM READERS! I am thankful for you, too!