Just wanted to wish everyone in the United States a Happy Thanksgiving. Before family and friends arrive later for feasting and football, I want to reflect on what I am thankful for this year.
I am thankful for the following…
1. My relationship with God through Jesus Christ – This is always going to be first and foremost because I put God first in my life (yes my wife is okay with that – she does as well). Saved in 1988, I have been walking with the Lord for almost twenty years now. That seems like a long time but actually it has gone by like a breeze.
2. My beautiful wife, Irma – A man couldn’t have asked for a more perfect wife who is just as beautiful to me today as she was the day I married her. We are the very best of friends and are now moving into a different phase of our lives as we get close to becoming empty nesters (2 out of 3 are gone) and first time grandparents (more below).
3. My wonderful children – They are not always good, in fact they have been quite rotten lately. However, I still love them dearly and despite some of the bad decisions they make, they are a joy to be around. As they learn life’s lessons (most the hard way), I have full confidence they will develop into healthy and successful adults.
4. That my son didn’t kill himself – Really! As we were in New York this year for a business conference, the night before we were to fly back we get the news that our son was involved in an auto accident – flipping his truck and in the process broke his neck. Sounds serious doesn’t it? Well it was but thank God it was a minor fracture. He’s okay now but does need some ongoing therapy for awhile. This is his third auto accident, two of which he flipped vehicles. To his credit, only one was his fault.
5. That we are going to be grandparents – I am going to be a 40 year old grandpa (Irma 39). We didn’t plan for it to happen this way but our youngest (Leah) is due to give birth to little Andrew (named after her brother) on or before January 5th, 2008. Being Christians and not raising our children to follow the “Friends” lifestyle (Leah is not married), we were very disappointed at first but have moved past that and now welcome the arrival of our first grandchild.
6. My Church, Desert Breeze Community Church – In a day and age where fewer pastors are preaching the actual “gospel’ but rather preaching “sermons that tickle,” I am thankful for my pastor, Ray Davis, who is not only a great communicator but is not afraid to preach the Word of God, even is it sometimes hurts. I’m thankful for the staff and congregation who are about as “real” as any church congregation I have ever been in. Finally I am thankful to be able to play in a worship team of highly talented musicians and vocalists. Thank you Desert Breeze.
7. Ten Years in Business – This year we celebrated our tenth year in business. We started Higher Dimensions Consulting in April 2007, launched the SearchRank brand in 1999 and today enjoy a very profitable business that not only includes the entitles above but a Arizona based construction and home improvement resource site, a Christian resource site, a local Anthem directory and resource site, and a few other web ventures that are either in planning or development stages.
8. Added 29 coasters to my all time list – I’m thankful I was able to experience a great roller coaster trip this year with my friend Gary Kyriazi to the New England area and Montreal as well. During that trip we traveled to Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, Vermont (drove through) and Montreal, Canada. I was able to add 29 coasters to my all-time list, putting me at 128 individual coasters ridden to date and increase the number of amusement parks attended by 6 putting the total at 24.
9. My neighborhood – We recently attended a six week course on small group leadership at our church and one of the instructors was trying point out that neighbors don’t know each other any more. While this is mostly true, it is not so with my neighborhood. We live in the master-planned community of Anthem which is already friendlier than most communities. Our street is an extended cul-de-sac with 10 homes on it. What is unique about our street is that we all know each other and like each other. We have a one block party each year, one neighborhood Christmas party and several of us do things with each other like attend sporting events, go camping, womens nights out, etc. This is very rare in today’s age of everybody keeping to themselves and I am very thankful for it.
10. Big boy toys – I consider myself a steward of anything God blesses me with and am thankful that he has allowed me to enjoy the following toys this year – a 1967 Ford Mustang Coupe, 2 Taylor acoustic guitars, one Fender telecaster guitar and one Ibanez SG Series bass, our Jacuzzi, our Mazda Miata (my wife’s car but I drive it more), and my cat (she’s a live toy to me).
Finally, without expounding, I am thankful for the following: Dara Thai Cafe for their weekly supply of Tom Ka Gai soup, Jake’s Fault Shiraz, having a swimming pool to enjoy during the hot summers here, and Trader Joe’s coffee.
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.