Morning Gratitude #15

This morning I’m very grateful I didn’t wake up last night, and actually slept the whole night. Granted, it was only for about 6.5 hours, but was loads better than waking every 2 hours.

I’m also really grateful for this Bluetooth speaker my wife gave me a while back. It helps the day go by more quickly.

I’m grateful for phone service in the office. Good to able to communicate with people.

Also very grateful my kids are doing well in their jobs—being students and good kids.

And I’m probably the most grateful for Luke 15:20

Morning Gratitude #14

Not a whole lot of sleeping going on tonight, and that sucks, but there’s a blessing in there as well. In the midst of the day, it’s like being in traffic. It’s noisy and you can’t really hear anything except for all the crap going on. 

It’s in the quiet you hear the most. So early it’s pretty much still night.

The chain on the ceiling fan is a metronome.

Humming from the AC and the air purifier.

Slow, rhythmic snoring from my wife every once in a while.

That’s when you can hear from God the most, too. It’s the best time for a conversation.

So I’m grateful for those unintentional late night conversations. It’s like being able to call dad for consolation and wisdom.

Or to just talk.

Something else worth mentioning is that I’m so grateful for God moving convictions in my wife and I separately, that end up the same in the end. And we didn’t consult one another, just ended up that way.

Morning Gratitude #13

Sometimes, Gratitude is a little work. My inclination might be toward selfishness, and I don’t feel like expressing grateful thoughts.

But there is always something be grateful for. 

Each day comes with the opportunity to learn something, or the opportunity to bless someone.

Each day we have the chance to disrupt the expectations of people toward God and to seek his face in some way they haven’t before.

So I’m grateful for those things, and more.

Morning Gratitude #11

Today I woke thinking of a few things in particular I’m grateful for, because I think these things made a huge difference in my life.

I’m grateful my family grew up fairly low income. I learned some valuable lessons about life because of it; namely how to be poor. At least monetarily. Although thanks to my sisters it didn’t feel that way. They took care of me, and they did a great job.

I’m grateful for my wonderful sisters. They quite literally saved my life, and taught me so much about how to treat people, especially women and girls. I love them.

And I’m grateful for my marriage. My wife is the most incredible person I know. We have the same problems everyone does, but she’s so full of grace…every day she makes me want to be better. Every day she makes me smile. Every day she shows me a little bit of Jesus.

Morning Gratitude #10

Honestly, this is not one of those mornings I wake up in a great mood feeling super grateful. I’m tired, and I’m not looking forward to going to work. But doing this every day is forcing a little perspective on me, and even when I might not feel like I’m having a good day, I can still be grateful. 

So I’m sitting here and I decided to list some things in my life that are good, or things that I like or are looking forward to.

  • Saw a post on Facebook that there’s a business opening called “Get Air Yuma” and I know my boys will love it
  • My son’s Pop Warner team has a playoff game this weekend. They are undefeated and haven’t been scored on. It means we’ll miss a friend’s thing we wanted to go to, but this is the good stuff, and you can’t get it back
  • We had chicken wings and baked potatoes with my wife’s cousin last night. I love her, and I wish she and her husband still lived here
  • I have a job, and a whole lot of people don’t 
  • In Joel 2:25, God promises to repay the years the locust has eaten. There’s more to it, but that’s the part that sticks with me—and that I’m thinking of today. It’s a big pile of years. On my own, it’s gone. Lost. I can do nothing. Thankfully, God is in the business of redeeming the lost.

Maybe I am grateful for all these things. And more. This is how I look at 0330. I’m grateful for this, too, because it means I woke up. Gray beard, puffy eyes and all.

I Want to be the Guy

Seriously, folks. What do you want to be remembered for?

Participation in a march? A protest?

Your excellent rhetoric, or an eloquent turn of phrase?

How about the size of your paycheck, or the length of your business day?

Your car? (I remember a Dead Milkmen song from many years ago: Bitchin’ Camaro. Always wanted one)

It could be lots of things. Look at those Egyptian tombs or pyramids: piles of gold and jewels everywhere, mummified cats. Mummified people.

I don’t care about that. My circle is small, and probably no one will know me except the people in it. And that’s ok with me.

I want people to think of me as the guy who worked hard, but not too hard.

I want to be the guy who put his family before his self. I want to be the guy who loved his wife and honored her the way God wanted him to.

I want to be the guy who told people about Jesus. I want to be the guy who showed him to them with his life. I may have spent a great deal of my life sucking at that, but not anymore.

Don’t misread this, but I want to be the guy who is Jesus to his kids–in the sense that I will be anyway. It may not be intentional, but their image of Jesus is affected by their image of me. Their ability to relate to Jesus is in part formed by how they relate to me. No longer will I be pissy with them because of some stupid me thing.

That’s not showing them anything of use. That’s not showing them Jesus or anything he represents.

He came not be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many (Matt 20:28).

I want my kids to know that while they are not my life, I’d gladly give it for them. I want them to know what is really important.

So with that in mind, why would I get caught up in thinking of some stupid thing I might not be able to do when I want to do it because of something else?

That’s junk, like my kids would both say.

Makes me think of a book that football player Gayle Sayers wrote many years ago. “I am Third.”

I want to be the guy that is intentionally third. God being first, family and friends second.

Then me.

I want to be that guy.

Morning Gratitude #9

It sounds kind of perverse to say, but I’m grateful for the struggles that sometimes come in various ways.

I’m grateful that even though I was over 40 when it happened, I found the love of my life.

I’m also grateful my wife makes me always want to be better. 

I’m grateful God woke me up because I didn’t set my alarm.

I’d be really grateful if my lazy dogs would help me put my shoes on. I guess I better do it.

When Life is Rocks

Sometimes I look around me and I see how terrible people are to one another. It can be politically nasty–Lord knows that’s everywhere. We just don’t seem capable of understanding that people are different, but that doesn’t mean they hate someone else.

Also we are killing each other for various reasons at unheard of rates.

We take things from people because we can.

We hurt people, perhaps because in some way that makes us feel better about our own pain.

We prey on weakness, including that of children.

Sometimes our words cause as much pain as our fists.

We forget kindness, even everyday kindnesses.

And it seems like there is no hope and we are just whiling away our days.

It’s like the desert, where I work and live. So unmercifully hot, and barren, and sparse.

There is this one area at a particular test site, where there is gravel spread out across the ground, and twisted metal from various things–relics of a time gone by. There is rust, and damaged wood, and a couple old chairs.

Old garbage, long forgotten.

This place seems forsaken, and bereft of hope.

But there’s this one spot, and it makes me think of hope. It makes me think of beauty from ashes when the rest of the place makes me think of waste and uselessness.

Tiny flowers, purple, fragile and beautiful reach out from the rocks, in the midst of nothing of use.


I think that’s us sometimes. We don’t feel useful, we don’t feel beautiful. We’re waiting to die.

Yet like these flowers, we can reach out of the rocks and detritus of life.  And when we reach out of those rocks, we find there is a hand reaching back to take ours.

We don’t have to lie under a pile of rocks, and there IS hope, no matter what the world may look like, and sometimes is.

The hand reaching out to you and throwing the piled rocks to the side belongs to Jesus, who knows a thing or two about how hard it gets.

Don’t despair–things will turn around. Hold tightly to the promises made by God. He has plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11).

Cling to hope, even when all you see is rocks.

Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Morning Gratitude #8

Back to regular wake up time today, and I’m more inclined to profess tiredness than gratitude. 

Yet I’m able to work, and take care of my family.

My employer does interesting things to ensure armed forces have the best equipment possible.

My family sleeps under their protection.

In spite of what many believe, I am able to freely worship. 

Yoda sits next to the Xbox at the base of my fireplace, and my bookshelf holds the CS Lewis Narnia Series next to Lord of the Rings, Emily Dickinson, and the Game of Thrones series.

For all this and so much more, I’m truly grateful.