Far too often in life we take things for granted. It’s quite easy to develop a hardened heart and inability to rejoice in a world that is filled with much grief, sorrow, anger, contempt, malice, etc. Let’s face it…life sucks sometimes. However, I’ve become increasingly frustrated with my rather negative mentality when it comes to approaching life. My heart should be different. I should seek to rejoice as I am called to “rejoice always!”
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.” (Philippians 2:14-16)
Challenged by this Scripture and the recent exhortation of a friend, I have decided to do my best to discontinue complaining if at all possible, and to instead thank the LORD and share with others all that I’ve been blessed with! So, the following is a list of all of the things I am thankful for and why I am thankful for them. It is not by any means a “complete” list, however hopefully this will in some way bless the hearts of those that read it and guide our spirits to a place of gratefulness for all we’ve already been given!
- K-State: Roughly 1% of the world’s population will graduate from college and I’ve been given that elite opportunity to attempt completing a bachelor’s degree in Relational Communication!
- Family: No one’s family is perfect, but my parents, brothers, and sisters will always concern themselves with my well-being and always love me, and have a part of my heart no matter how far away we are now or end up being in the future…
- Bluestem Patio: It is my home away from home; a place to rest, where I can sip on coffee, admire God’s creation, write, fellowship, etc.
- Worship: No one’s soul has been fully alive until they have been able to praise their Father in Heaven, without hindrance.
- This Journal(what I originally compiled this list in): I take for granted what a gift it is to be able to write…truly it is one of the greatest gifts; to be able to lucidly communicate the innermost feelings of my heart effectively.
- Bible: It’s cliché for a Christian to say such a thing, but the Word of God does possess life, power, and the very words of Jesus and His confidants. I surely cannot call myself a disciple if I do not keep such a life-giving book close to my heart.
- Poetry: Painting vivid pictures, displaying difficult content simply, and playing with words all bring me joy. There is perhaps no greater art form (in my opinion of course).
- The Brotherhood: Jake, Tyrel, Lerenzo, Carlos, Caleb, Jaron, and a few other men are what keep me alive and on the right path most days. They are an inexhaustible blessing upon my life.
- Sisters in Christ: Women of the faith who have granted me their excellent friendship and taught me so much about the love of Jesus have been such a blessing! I am continually encouraged and sharpened by many of them.
- Van Kirks, Weaklands, and Reynolds: These 3 families are my home as well. All parents, children, etc. have had a vital role in blessing me greatly. I love every one of them!
- Joey Van Kirk: No man has better stood the test of time than him…15 years of friendship and counting…we are quite simply, brothers. I could hit speed-dial “5” right now and he would answer if at all possible and be willing to listen to, pray for, and/or serve me in any reasonable way. I love him so much.
- Jake Weakland: I’ve been through so much life with this brother. If he were to meet an early death, I would deliver such a eulogy at his funeral that would absolutely rock the hearts of anyone in attendance. There would not be a dry eye in the church nor a single chair empty. Weazy has impacted so many hearts, souls, and lives…
- Bryce Reynolds: Easily the hardest working and most disciplined of my close friends, and gifted greatly with the ability to listen to, and relate to others. His goofy, lighthearted, spirit guarantees that you will leave his place more refreshed than when you arrived.
- Spiritual Leaders: Joel Johnson, Wade Keltner, Josh Williams, John Schwartz, Jason Reynolds, Chris Halvorson, and a few others have been critical in my development. Their patience and love has greatly benefited me and others!
Let’s face it…I could fill several more journal pages with people and things I am blessed beyond measure with but then you would likely give up on reading this, haha. What a delightful King I serve though! To have given me such wonderful gifts! The evil forces shall not prevail over such a loving and powerful God. Those who place their faith in anything else are foolish. In conclusion, I am a man blessed tremendously by friends and family, and I will never be capable of repaying all they’ve given me. However, God is so much bigger than all that and is capable of also giving them far more than they need!