I believe in taking time for reflection. For me reflection allows for a better assessment of oneself. I also think it is an important practice for Christians to engage. Reflection provides an opportunity to find areas to express thanks to God, areas where growth needs to occur, and areas where progress has been made. Since our goal as Christians is to “abound more and more in walking worthy of the Lord,” then we should practice reflection as an important element of achieving the goal.
In our busy world some have avoided reflection for what they believe is more productive or important activities. However, examples in our past show that many great men used reflection as a tool in sanctification. For me personally I try to do this on a regular basis, but have two particular times of the year that I spend the bulk of my time in reflection. The first being at the New Year and the second being on my Birthday. These two dates work well for me because they are nearly exactly six-months a part.
The first thing I like to do as I reflect is give thanksgiving to God. This is what this post is all about.
Thanksgiving for 2011:
1. I know for some it might sound almost cliche, but the truth is the older I get and the more I study the more amazed I am at God’s gracious gift. To think that God would send His Son to die for me, that Jesus would freely accept this death, and that all of this would be done for those who were enemies of God is beyond anything I can imagine.
2. My wife. Amanda has been a constant source of encouragement over this last year. We have overcome trials together and shared in the greatest of joys together. We celebrated six years together in October and I’m looking forward to celebrating many more.
3. My daughter Presley. I write this now as she sleeps softly on my chest. It is the most amazing feeling in the world. My wife and I had prayed that God would provide us with a child and God answered our prayer.
4. My family. Having Presley has reminded me of the importance of family and this reminds me of how grateful I am for my family. I was raised by two great Christian parents who model the faith as well as taught it to my brothers and I. I have married into a family with the same goals and ideals. This support system is something that one might take for granted, but the last few weeks I’ve been reminded of how blessed I am to have family who “seek the Lord.”
5. My friends. God has blessed me with friends that I don’t deserve. They are far better friends to me than I could ever be to them. They are always there to listen, give advice, and provide comfort. They help me to have a stronger faith and strive for greater obedience. It is amazing to know that you have people who are always there for you. I found out even more clearly this year that I’m blessed with more of these types of friends than a guy deserves.
6. Woodson Chapel. Woodson Chapel is a great place. A place that is on a mission from God. People who want to serve God and see a difference made in the world. People who want to have deep fellowship and authentic worship. I could go on and on about this church.
7. Being God’s Man. Man of God is not a phrase we use very often to refer to those men who are God’s preachers. Maybe we don’t use it because it either sounds arrogant or too “religious.” However, the Bible uses this phrase to refer to God’s heralds. It is a great responsibility and privilege. I can honestly say I love doing it. I loved doing it serving in my earlier capacity at Woodson Chapel and love doing even more serving the congregation as her preacher.
Those are my thanksgiving reflections from 2011. If you would like share yours.
Follow me on twitter.