Today I am thankful for my wife...for her courage, strength, optimism, perseverence and her love.
Our marriage has overcome some mountainous obstacles, not the least of which was a seemingly insurmountable challenge we faced over the last six months. With God's grace, we made it over the summit and are carefully navigating the steep, rocky decent on the other side.
I am thankful that our marriage did not succumb, like so many others, to the perils of infidelity, insecurity, apathy, depression, grief or pride. We fought through as a united front to get to where we are today.
And though our next challenge was self-made, we face it with more courage, excitement and unity than we've ever had in our married life. I am thankful for this next adventurous leg of our journey, and that I have such a willing and competent partner with which to share it. I am doubly thankful for the two blessings we carry on this leg of the journey with us--namely Merikathryn and Makenna. For their sake, as much as ours, I am thankful that God helped us over the summit in September of this year.
Thanksgiving has a whole new meaning this year, like it did in 2001.
Because I have received so bountifully, I want to learn to be a more cheerful and active giver. Generosity has not always come so easy for me, but I am slowly learning. I hope that you, too, have plenty to be thankful for this holiday season. I also hope that you remember the poor and the downtrodden in your community. Don't let this opportunity pass to be a blessing to someone in need. That said, I encourage you with the following:
The Cheerful Giver
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written (in Psalms 112:9):
He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.
Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. (2 Corinthians 9: 6-11, NKJV)
Proverbs on Giving
Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing,
but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed. (Prov. 28:27, NLT)
Blessed are those who are generous,
because they feed the poor. (Prov. 22:9, NLT)
He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker,
But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him. (Prov. 14:31, NASV)
Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor
will be ignored in their own time of need. (Prov. 21:13, NLT)