I recently heard that admonition from Matt Chandler in sermon based upon Colossians, chapter three. It’s a good exercise, helping us to keep a proper perspective in such a sin-damaged world. How often do you make a list of the current blessings in your life? I don’t do it enough either. So–with your permission–I’ll take a couple of minutes to do so now.
- Christ & Salvation–I cannot fathom the hole I would be in today without Jesus. I could not have, nor would not have, earned my salvation. My justification and sanctification are works of God for His glory and for my good. And how thankful I am that God perseveres for me. I am not what I was. I am not what I should be. I am not what I will be. “Thank You, God, for saving my soul. Thank You, God, for making me whole.”
- The Word of God–The new worldview that I was given in December of 1984 needed a map. Having grown up without a Bible, you can only imagine how excited I was to be able to read God’s words as communicated through God’s men! Rarely has a day gone by when I have not fed myself upon the inspired, manna-laden passages and verses of the Scripture. One of the joys of my life is the opportunity I have to teach the Bible on the campus of a local college. Sure beats staying home to watch Netflix!
- My bride–A faithful, loving, encouraging and productive wife is a pleasure beyond my ability to express. I joked recently on FB that my gazes toward Jodi border upon idolatry. Sometimes I fear that I cross that line. Many have been forced to endure singlehood. Some I know have experienced the life-altering trauma of an unfaithful spouse. How grateful I am that Jodi Celena Rouse was joyfully willing to change her last name! As we approach our twenty-third anniversary, I remain “in love” and committed to loving both in word and in deed. She deserves no less.
- Five relatively happy and healthy children–Celena, TJ, Dayton, Cascade and Baby Wehse are each blessings from the Lord. Mind you–they are all sinners and, consequently, cause us and each other much grief. Yet, how many couples have been unable to conceive? How many couples in China yearned for a large family but were not allowed to “bear fruit and multiply”? How many parents have had to bury a young child? Being afforded the opportunity by God to be the father of these “monsters” is tremendous gift (and responsibility)! I want to be the “Super Dad” one of my tee shirt proclaims me to be.
- Health–As is obvious, I am not the poster boy example of good health. On too many occasions, I have valued food over faith and family. My disdain of exercise since leaving the Army is evident. Yet–in spite of my lack of disciple over the years–Jesus has graciously bestowed to me the health, energy and strength I have needed to work a full-time job and one or more part-time jobs for almost seven years now. There have been days and weeks in which I did not know if I could lift a finger to do anything productive, but God has been my strength. Although I am tired, I rejoice that He is not.
- Provision–We have had “just enough” to survive since our children entered our lives. During some seasons, we have had a little bit more than enough. Many months we have had little bit less than enough. Yet, on the majority of our days, our food, shelter and clothing is not a concern. God has provided. He has provided through my employment. He has provided by the assistance offered by our government. He has provided by compassionate family members and friends. And–He has done this knowing full-well that we often do not “Seek first His kingdom and righteousness” (Mt. 6:33). Millions of people around the globe are hungry today. We are not. Thank You, Father, for taking concern for Your children–Your imperfect, weak children.
- Freedom–I had a dear friend named Doug. He was a delightfully cranky man who came to saving faith in Jesus later in life. Doug had served in the military during the Korean War. Doug loved God, God’s Word, his wife, me and our country. He knew the United States wasn’t perfect, but he also knew that living in the US sure beat living in China, a nation where personal liberties are the exception, rather than the rule. As a result, Doug became irritated when he heard individuals complain about our nation and lump us in with all the other nations of the world. My friend had been around long enough to understand that freedom is a good thing!
- Safety–Let’s be honest, Dayton, TN isn’t Bogota, Columbia. The United States isn’t Somalia. Yes, I live in a world marred by sin. Just about anyone is capable of the unthinkable. Which mall is next? Which school shooting will we hear about soon? Surely the world is getting worse, not better. But how thankful I am to live in a quiet, sleeply town in Tennessee! One thing is sure–the good guys with guns completely outnumber the bad guys with guns here! Peace of mind is a gift from God.
- Word Press–I do not pay a dime for this website. Neither am I censored. My friends at Word Press have allowed me to freely speak my mind, entry after entry; year after year. I don’t want to take this service for granted. God has been pleased to use this outlet to encourage many over the past several years. Thank You, God, for this avenue of ministry. Thank you, Word Press, for allowing me to speak my heart and my mind.
Thanksgiving is about a week away. What are your plans? Time with family? An annual feast? Football (Go, Packers)? Enjoy it all. However, let me commend you to “Become an expert on how good God has been to you.” He has not treated us as our sins deserve. I’ll be singing that song for an eternity.