As we enter into the Holiday Season, I didn’t want to hop right into the hustle and bustle of Christmas without taking time to give thanks for the many blessings in my life. So here is my Top Ten List of things I am thankful for this year:
10. I am thankful that God healed my left foot about 17 years ago. While I get frustrated that my right foot isn’t healed, I would never be able to do what I do without one healthy, strong foot. As I wait for the healing to be completed, I thank God for one healed foot that I can rely on to do the work He called me to do!
9. I am thankful for my Ipad and Playstation 3. Material things, yes. Silly, probably. But they were gifts I was blessed to receive that I could never afford to buy. The Ipad has been invaluable in ministry, I use it almost every day, and the PS3 is a source of relaxation in my busy schedule. I am grateful for these blessings!
8. I am thankful for the amazing men that God has placed into my life as mentors. I value their input and instruction as they invest in my life and ministry. I appreciate their frankness to tell me the truth even when it is tough to hear and then loving me while I struggle to hear it. I value you so much…thank you!
7. I am thankful for the best sister a man could ever ask for! Adessa is not just a sibling, she is my closest friend. I never would have made it through the past 15 years of ups and downs without her.
6. I am thankful I passed my ordination exam! I know this seems silly, but it has been A LOT of years since I was in school, and I really was scared going into it. I waited years to take it because I never thought I would be able to pass it, but I faced my fear and overcame. I must say though, I’m thankful it is over!!
5. I am thankful to be able to attend an amazing church plant at LifeChurch Hershey and to be led and pastored by such fabulous people as Shawn and Kristal Bentley. They are both such a blessing to my life!
4. I am thankful that we were able to publish our first book, Putting On Manhood. I am still stunned that this has happened. It was totally a God thing and I am in awe that it is a reality. I am grateful for Debbie Cappecci and all the hard work she did as the Publisher to make the final book such a high quality product. I am blown away that God opened this door and can’t wait to see what God does through this book.
3. I am extremely thankful for the friendships and relationships in my life. I have made so many good friends the past year. I look at these friendships and find it hard to believe we have only known each other for less than a year! I also have been blessed to re-establish friendships with many old friends. That is one thing I love about the kingdom of God…when you lose touch with people, even when years pass by, the common thread is always there and you can pick up the relationship and still feel connected. As someone who spent many years very alone and without people in my life, I cherish every relationship God has given to me.
2. I am thankful to be able to partner in ministry with some amazing men and women! God has surrounded us with such awesome people with hearts to serve God. Thank you to Adessa, Jennie Puleo, Jamie Zirkle, Tom Sember, and Bethany Newcomer for the amazing articles and work you all do. Thank you to our board—Sharon Poole, Roland and Angela Coon, and Shawn Bentley—for backing us and supporting the work God has called us to do. Thank you to Tom Rees for coaching me and supporting our men’s ministry and conferences. And thank you to all the host churches and the speakers who give up their Saturdays to help minister to God’s men. I value every one of you!!
1. I am thankful for Forgiveness and Restoration. I am a man who is well aware of both the generational legacy I come from and the destructive path I was once heading down. I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who loved me enough to stop me, show me the hurt and damage in my heart and help me overcome. Now it is my life’s passion to help other men experience the same level of forgiveness and restoration. I know my life and lessons learned were not just for me. They were also to help other men break free from their bondage and start a new legacy in their lives. I am thankful for the privilege to serve God and help others. What more could anyone ask for in life?