Posts Tagged ‘thankful for children’

For many years, I kept a condensed list called “Top Ten Things I’m Thankful For” in my wallet.

Whenever I saw the list … much less read it … I was reminded how much God has blessed me, even when I was having a bad day.

Let me briefly share an updated list of five things I’m thankful for in reverse order:

Number 5: I am thankful for faithful, lifelong friends.

Steve, Dave, Jim and Ken @ VBC August 16, 2014










I’ve made many friends over the years, especially in the 9 churches I’ve served.  In most cases, I’ve lost contact with those people, but I’m thankful for 3 friends who have been there for me no matter what for nearly 50 years … and we all came to attend the same church.

Steve (on the left) and I met on the first day of fifth grade.  He taught me more about sports than anyone I’ve ever known … and beat me in most of them, too.  It’s fitting that he became a high school athletic director and teacher.  He’s the best athlete … and game player … I’ve ever known.

Dave (second from the left) was my constant companion at Biola and Talbot.  We rode to school together … took classes together … and graduated together (twice).  Dave is a well-known pastor and speaker in the Calvary Chapel movement and has a nationwide radio program.  I often watch his sermons on Roku.

Ken (on the right) has been my friend since seventh grade.  He taught me how to play ping pong … invited me to his church (where I eventually met my wife) … and convinced me to go with him to camp at Hume Lake (where I ended up dedicating my life to Christ).  He’s a great dentist, too … I have an appointment with him next week!

What did Clarence the Angel write to George Bailey at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life?  “Remember no man is a failure who has friends.”

That’s how I feel.

Number 4: I am thankful for a Christian upbringing.

Jim with Dad and Mom (2)

From birth, I went to church involuntarily.

But when I was old enough to make up my own mind, I went voluntarily … and never stopped or rebelled.

Maybe that’s a credit to the churches I attended … the friends I made at those churches … or those who taught me God’s Word.

But my parents receive most of the credit.

I grew up in a home where I knew that my father and mother loved me, so it wasn’t difficult to imagine that God loved me, too.

And the older I get, the more grateful I am for parents who were godly role models … read me Bible stories … and took me to church.


Number 3: I am thankful for two wonderful children: Ryan and Sarah; a special daughter-in-law: Vanessa; and two growing grandchildren: Jack and Liam.

My great kids Ryan and Sarah


2014-10-10 22.52.15-2 (2)

Kim and I raised our children to love God and each other … and they’re still doing that today, for which I thank God.  I am so proud of my kids.



Jack turns two in a few weeks, and Liam turns six months this Monday.  I prayed for grandchildren for a long time, and I’m thankful that God answered that prayer.

Number 2: I am thankful for Kim, my wife of 39 years.

Amy Grant Concert - Trip to Alameda March 2-7, 2010 003

Who you marry largely determines how your life will go.  I married well.

I am grateful to Kim because:

*she tells me what she really thinks and feels.

*she is an incredibly hard worker.

*she always served alongside me in our various ministries without wavering.

*she was – and is – an awesome mother.

*she knows me and still loves me … a great feat indeed!


Number 1: I am thankful for my salvation in Jesus Christ.

There are two ways to look at life:

*Assume that life is meant to be a utopia and that you should be anxious and angry about anything short of paradise

*Assume that life is a struggle and that you should thank God for every good thing that happens

The greatest thing in my life happened when I was a child and received Jesus Christ.

As Philippians 4:19 says so eloquently, I gained “riches in glory in Christ Jesus” when I became a believer.

And I’ve been drawing on those riches ever since.

Great friends … a godly upbringing … loving children and grandchildren … a wife for life … and salvation in Christ.

Regardless of my income, I am indeed a wealthy man.

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