I love Thanksgiving. I love what it stands for…thankfulness. I love being with family, eating great food and watching football. We have a tradition in our family of playing a friendly football game. (If you have ever played or watched our family play any type of sport together, you know that it is usually not “friendly” at all!)

I am ashamed to say that many times, I get so busy with life that I take my blessings for granted. I really try to keep a grateful attitude but I know that sometimes I fail. I know that I am a blessed man. I have a million things to be thankful for.

Number one, for my salvation…but it didn’t stop there, my life has continued to change and I have continued to grow in Christ. I am not perfect by any means but I am certainly not the man that I was before I was saved. God has changed me; He loves me and He has a perfect plan for my life. He called me to preach! That is an awesome privilege and I do not take it for granted. I am thankful for God’s love, His calling and His ability to change lives.

Number two, for my wife, Vickie. She has put up with a lot living with me! She is my biggest fan and I know I can count on her when everyone else walks away. She will speak the brutal truth to me in love. She is a perfect partner to me in ministry. I don’t know what I would do without her. I am thankful for my sweet girl.

Number three, my six birth children – Stevie, Jeremiah, Andrew, Kayla, Austin and Kirby, and the three that God saw fit to give me through marriage – Whitney, Lindsey and Kenny. It has been incredible to watch my four sons and two daughters grow up to be such awesome adults who love God and love each other. They grew up being taught the importance of family and now, we are watching them live that out in their own lives. The greatest times in our home is when everyone is gathered together – talking, laughing, singing, arguing, eating, playing games, singing, watching television, – all that family stuff! I’m so thankful for my “nine” kids.

Number four, my incredible, adorable, amazing, beautiful grandchildren, Finnegan and Lakely. I never understood the huge deal about grandkids. Vickie and I have watched many friends through the years lose their minds when they became grandparents. I always thought it was a little crazy but now I know! These two little humans have totally captivated me and consumed my life! The world stops when Finn puts his little chubby arms around my neck, smiles and says, “G-Daddy” or when sweet, dainty little Lakely smiles her shy little smile and reaches her arms out to me. All the chaos of the world is overcome by these sweet and innocent babies. I am so thankful for Finn and Lakely and the opportunity to be G-Daddy!

Number five, I am grateful for my parents, Bill and Carole, and my stepdad, Gilbert. My childhood was hard but God has used it to make me who I am and to help me appreciate my own family.

I am grateful for my brother, Billy and his wife, Suzanne who makes him a better man!
I am grateful for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bernice and Lisa who think I am Mr. Wonderful! I am thankful for my father-in-law, Bryan Maynor who has passed on but was the picture of a humble man who would do anything for his family. I miss him…

I am thankful for the many wonderful friends that God has placed in my life – for men like Jason Dupree who is like a brother to me and so many others. You know who you are!
I am grateful for the blessing to serve as Pastor at New Season Church and our wonderful staff and church family.
I am thankful for the opportunity I had to Pastor in several other churches – for all that God did during those times and for sweet memories.
I am thankful for my health.
I am thankful for material blessings – a nice home, vehicle, food, clothing, etc…
I am thankful for life. I got word last night that Andrew Pray, the 30 year old Worship Leader at West Ridge Church who was a husband, and father of three young children died in a tragic accident yesterday. That kind of news certainly puts things in perspective and makes you thankful. Please join me in praying for the Pray family and for Pastor Brian Bloye and West Ridge Church as they walk through this tragedy.

We have much to be thankful for. I know that I am a blessed man. Not just this day but on every day, I am thankful…

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