Thanksgiving is around the corner and I am looking forward to the time that I will get to spend with my family! I am already in the Thanksgiving spirit. Lately, I’ve been greatly reminded of many things for which I am so thankful! God has so blessed me beyond my deserving. And I’m sure, that when you “count your many blessings and name them one by one”, you too will find the same. I haven’t had the Thanksgiving meal yet, but I am already full, thinking of all the ways God has blessed! Here is a short list of just a few of the things I am thankful:
- Jesus Christ. My wife teases me that whenever someone asks me about my testimony, I always start with my parents. But truth be told, that’s where it all started for me and my family was when my parents both walked an aisle and went to an old-fashioned altar and trusted Christ as their personal Savior. They actually left separate sides of the pew they were in, walked down separate aisles, and were dealt with by separate altar-workers. Neither knowing what the other was doing, they both did the same thing at the same time. If it wasn’t for that, I may not have come to Christ myself. And if weren’t for my salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone, I don’t know where I would be, or what I would be doing right now. One day I walked the same aisles at the same church that my parents did, and I got to have my altar-worker be my dad who helped me settle my struggles of knowing Christ.
- My wife and children. If it weren’t for trusting in Christ, then following Him and His leading in my life, I would have never even met my wife. God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams with such an amazing wife who does so much to take care of our home and children from day-to-day. I am so grateful that I found and married the one whom I know God made for me. It’s amazing to look back on our lives as children and see the direct correlation of how both of us were raised that laid the foundation for us meeting each other and now raising our own family. My family is my life, and I could not even imagine life without each one of them – my wife, Susannah, my daughter, Lili, and my son, Carson.
- My upbringing. I am so thankful to my parents for the way they raised me. At times, before I was actually mature enough to even make this a serious consideration, and in frustration of probably not getting my way about something, I would think to myself, “I am going to do things different when I have kids!” And be honest, you have thought the same thing! But once that responsibility was realized, I wanted nothing more than to raise my kids the SAME way that my parents raised me. All the time, I think back on what my parents did and how they handled situations, to help me make decisions with my family and children.
- My wife’s upbringing. I can’t be grateful for my upbringing and not my wife’s! Her parents raised her pretty much identically to the way that I was raised. There is no better foundation for marriage, and serving in ministry together than when as a husband and wife, you both have the same foundation that had been being laid for you by both your parents all your lives! What a blessing.
- My sister’s health. I can’t tell you all the details as good as she can, but I’m thankful that God has brought my sister, Shannon, to a place of health restoration. It is still in process, but things are better. She had a bone marrow transplant to correct her aplastic anemia. God had His hand in it the whole time, finding her a match for a donor very quickly! You can learn more about it at ihope1212.org.
- Ministry Opportunity. I am so grateful for the privilege to serve the Lord at GRIBT (Greater Rhode Island Baptist Temple)! God is doing so many great things here, it is so exciting and humbling to be able to be a part of it. I am grateful the privilege it was to have been able to serve under Dr. Tom Crichton. In two years under his leadership, I learned and grew so much. I am grateful to have the privilege to now be serving under Dr. Jeff Amsbaugh for two years now. Sometimes there are men that you meet in ministry who you just want to be around, watch, listen to, and learn from. I met Dr. Amsbaugh for the first time a couple of years prior to his coming to GRIBT, and immediately he was one of those to me. So it has been so awesome to be able to work with and for him in the ministry. And I’m thankful for the years that I have been able to work under and with Pastor Tom (Krampert). He was the one I worked directly under when I first came to GRIBT four years ago, October of 2010. He helped grow me in ministry, in every area of ministry imaginable, teaching me all the behind the scenes things that you don’t learn in Bible college. I have learned much from him on how to be a second man, and im my case, a third man, and how to follow your leader. And he was influential in helping me find the areas of ministry that I would lean towards really wanting to do, which are exactly what I am doing today. I love working with our amazing members at GRIBT! God has brought to GRIBT truly amazing people!