Giving Thanks

Today's Shuffle Song:
Chris Tomlin - Not to Us - Everything

Everything by Chris Tomlin

To all you nuts that actually read this blog,

Today's post is somewhat religious in nature. If you can't stomach that, I'll totally understand if you click away now. I do think there's a good bit in here that may be encouraging even if you are not a person of faith, and there's a pretty good chance you in this post somewhere too.


Dear God,

I hope you don't mind if I do things differently this year. As I look at my life and all I have to thank you for, I want to tell the world how truly great you are. Since I don't have anyway to talk to the entire world, this blog is as close as I can get.

Thank you for our troops. In this heated American political climate, I want you to know I am deeply thankful that there are people willing to sacrifice their own lives so me and my family can live safely. Thank you for all the public servants that keep us safe, come to our rescue when disaster strikes, care for us when we are ill and teach our children.

Thank you for the missionaries that give up a life of comfort for a life helping others around the world. Thank you specifically for Ron and Margie and the Family of God church in Guatemala.

On a more personal note, I want to thank you for the websites I read each day that keep me informed, sane and focused. It's truly comforting to know I'm not the only nerd out there and that other people like things that run on electricity as much as I do.

I thank you that I was born in a time in history where I could be good at something. I really believe that if I would have been born before the digital age I would have either died or been a beggar. My gifts are distinctly unpractical in nature.

On that note, I'm thankful that your plan for my life is better than my own. Growing up I knew that one day I would go work for a particular computer company. I could not imagine anything better for me to do, or anything more suited to my particular skillset. Ah, but your plan was better! If I'd taken those job offers, I would never have landed at the company that employs me today.

I'm thankful for that company. I thank you that every day I go to work with about a hundred of the nicest, smartest, funniest and likeable people in the entire world. I thank you that I have so many coworkers that are more than that–they are my friends. I thank you in particular for the two people that founded that company. I'm so grateful to count them as friends, and I am grateful for the way they run things.

Thank you for my other company. It's such a blessing to have a place where I can really flex my (limited) creative muscles. Thanks for the opportunity to try something new, and thank you for the people that make that happen when I'm busy with other things. Thanks for the new guys and the creativity they add. It's amazing to watch our artists grow and develop, and I thank you for the small role I play in that.

Thank you for my church. Thank you for every amazing person that is a part of your work in our local body. Thank you for Rich, Rick, Cory, Ken, Cindy and Edna. Thank you for the leadership, discipleship and the council they've offered me over the years. Thank you for people like Pat and Lugene that keep the place running.

Thank you for my Sunday School class. Every week I go in to teach and I come out having been taught. I thank you that I can count each and every person in this group among my dearest friends.

I live in a time where technology is connecting people in ways that have never been possible. I'm grateful to know so many people from other countries, continents and cultures that I have a different view of this world and what it means to live in it. I thank you for the very unique opportunity to meet a long time friend for the first time this year, and I thank you for how much I learned about what it means to be a loving family from him and his loved ones.

You've placed so many incredible people in my life. It warms my heart to get together with them over lunch and discuss topics like who would win in a fight, what it's like to grow up, and how we can revolutionize the church and its relevance in society. Dean, Paulo, Adam, Kyle, Nick and my BHF clan: you complete me.

Thank you so much for Beneath His Feet. We're on-again, off-again as bandmates, but we're steadfast as friends. Thank you that these people are not my friends at all, they are my family. Todd, Judi, Scott, Jen, Mike, Sara Beth, Jeb, Trueby and Sam: I could not live without you.

Many people in this life have to count friends as family because their real family is not around or completely disfunctional. You have blessed me with the opposite–a long living, warm and close family. I thank you that my relationship with every single relative of my is not strained, but instead thriving. I thank you for the McHargue's, that loud, wild, hysterical, hospitable, loving, accepting clan I call family. Likewise, I thank you for the empathetic, encouraging, warm and loving tribe of Wimberly's who were kind enough to give me a mother.

Thank you for Biggie. Thank you that every day he was alive he lead our family towards you and kept 4 large boys and one lovely girl fed, clothed and in a home. Thank you for Mema, and God I am truly grateful for each and every day she is alive, healthy and with us. Thank you for the opportunity to tell her how cherished she really is.

Thank for for Granddad. Thank you for placing such a Godly man in my life who makes it impossible for me to believe and I not loved or cherished in this life. Thank you for Grandmama and her unwavering love, support, guidance and grace. In her I see your ideal of a woman how loves and serves you.

Thanks for Dad, this man who is a living legend, more super than Superman, a hero among heroes. Thank you for a man who is good at everything, but can love, appreciate and be proud of a son who is good at considerably less. Thank you that I always had a role model I could emulate. He's a faithful husband, loving father, devoted worker and public servant and most of all he follows you every day of his life. I do not take for granted that I am blessed to know Mike McHargue, version 1, much less have him as my dad.

Like Timothy, I owe my faith to my mother and grandmother. Thank you for Mom. It is your desire that in this life we see the full power of unconditional love from our mothers and I truly have. Mom has pulled me from the brink of despair and self-destruction as many time as she as lifted me up when things are going well. She taught me to see people as you see them: as beloved creations. Because of her, I know that you cherish all people and life. Because of her I know that it is more important that my children be kind than powerful. Through her I know the way to change the world is not politics, social movements, television and media or any other construct of man, but instead the willingness to help every person we see in need.

I am blessed that one of my best friends is my sister. Someone who's seen you at your worst and still talks to you is someone you never want to forget. Melissa is everything that I am not. She's cool, fashionable, effortlessly social, beautiful and creative. She has never met a person who she would judge and she is feircely loyal to those she loves.

I am thankful for the Frye's. My in-laws have taken me under thier wings as one of their own and loved me in spite of all the evidence I provide them that they shouldn't. In Mike, I find I man who's humor is every bit as off the wall as my own. In Carol, I see a a heart that touches every person it sees, and in Mallory I see that I really could have been a much better person when my age was measured in teens. This family gave me Jenny, and for that I am eternally grateful.

I thank you for my children. My parents taught me through their actions that everything else in this life is secondary to family and I ask that you help me to remember that every day. Thank you for Madison. I delight in every morning with her. She reminds me to view this world with wonder and delight. Today, she sang with me for the first time and the full majesty of your creation was made real to me. Every word she says, every step she takes, and everything she does fills me with joy and takes away my cynicism. Thank you for letting me know this amazing person. It is an honor that you would let me be her father.

Thank you for our new baby who's not even here yet. Thank you that our life's circumstances let this occasion be a pure blessing and not a burden. Thank you for the baby's health and wellness.

Thank you for my wife. In Jenny I have the companion you planned for me. She keeps me grounded and in the clouds all at once. Help me God, to give as much of myself to her as she give to me. Help me to server her as much as she serves me. I can not imagine a better person to balance me as a parent. I can not think of a better partner to balance me as a person. She is pragmatic where I am absent-minded. She can deal in practice where I can only think in theory. I am only half of a person, and I thank you that with Jenny 1 + 1 =1.

In my family I begin to understand the majesty of your creation, where I can catch a glimpse of your plan and purpose for all of this. Thank you for the mornings where my eyes open and every cloud, every tree, every ray of light and the sky all speak of your glory and splendor. Thank you for making me a part of your plans, even though I am so unworthy. Thank for loving me, even when you know me better than I know myself. Thank you that you are so real to me that I can live free of doubt and fear. Thank you for the blessing of being able to trust in you.

Thank you for your Holy Spirit who dwells in me and shows me your sight. It is amazing how when I server you even the smallest bit, when I exert the tiniest effort in serving you that you then open the very gates of heaven and bless my life. You are extravagant in your love, and my gratitude can never be enough, yet it is there. God, I would not trade my life for any other, I delight in watching your plans for me unfold.

Thank for for your son, Jesus. Thank you that you loved me enough to sacrifice yourself. Thank you for freedom from the law and from sin. Thank you for being with me every day and that one day I will be with you without any distance. Thank you for being in control, and thank you for giving me the wisdom to recognize that all things work for your good.

It is a cliche, but it rings true each time. You are amazing, God. I am thankful for these and all the blessings you have given me in my life. Help me to bless others as you bless me.

Your servant,