Gratitude

Ten Things I’m Thankful For Tuesday

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1. My DVD collection. I just love it. Sections include karate flix, kids movies, classic television show collections, live concerts, comedies/romantic comedies, sports dramas, and movie musicals.

2. Man Weekends. Just had one with the homeys. We found out Little Chicago restaurant is worthy to be called my new favorite spot for pizza. I have been on a long quest to find pizza I can believe in. Feels good to have arrived.

Deep dish, Signature pie – that’s what you need to try at Little Chicago.

3. T-shirts. They’re probably in the top 5 of my favorite articles of clothing. Seems like manufacturers used better, more durable material back when I was a teenager.

4. Dairy Queen’s “mini size” blizzards. The small blizzard was always a little too much ice cream, though part of me always loved having a little too much ice cream.

5. Men and women who serve our country in the armed forces. I spent time last weekend with my childhood friend – a guy who once spent the first year of his marriage mostly sitting inside a tank in Iraq while his wife waited for him here.

6. iPod Touch. I love having my calendar on it, and I’m glad the Wi-Fi requirement forces me to take breaks from being “connected”.

7. Really good news I just received but promised not to repeat! I want nothing more than to talk about it here, but I won’t. Basically, something folks have waited years for has finally begun.

8. The color green.  Pretty delightful, I must say.  The best is the kind of green you see when your eyes fall on a scene where mountains above and around you are covered by trees during summer or spring.

When I was living in the mountains, people always got excited about the colors of autumn leaves, but my love for fall colors didn’t compare with the way green trees affected me.

9. The opportunity to help college students transform themselves. Today, I was torturing one of my student leaders, requiring him to stand in my office and practice a presentation I’ve asked him to deliver next month. He is a very talented student.

I’ll make him work harder for this than he has ever worked for a presentation.  And over the next two weeks, he will reach a new level as a presenter.

10. The fact that there are times when my phone buzzes because someone knew he could call me and say, “Hey, I need you to be praying for me — I’m just really struggling with temptation today…”

That fact is such a heavy blessing on me that I don’t know how to describe it, except to say it feels like one of the greatest facts I’ve ever known.

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Ten Things I’m Thankful For Tuesday

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1. Sweeney Todd special edition DVD – ordered and headed my way in the mail.

2. Surprise parties to plan. I get a kick out of the process of brainstorming and scheming and eventually blowing someone’s mind with an unexpected outpouring of love from friends and family. There’s a little something in the works as we speak, as a matter of fact.

3. Indian food frozen dinners at Trader Joe’s. Who knew?

4. Ibuprofen.

5. Canton Jones. Saw him live again – he generates crowd energy like no other. Also interesting was the fact that he ended his performance early because he was overwhelmed by the Spirit of God. Couldn’t stop crying and thanking the Lord for being in his life.

6. Al Murphy. This man is a hilarious friend of mine who travels a lot on business. We were able to catch up last weekend, and the conversation helped me laugh and even grow up a little.

7. Beauty. To me, this includes man-made beauty (art) as well as the handiwork of God that inspires man-made beauty.

8. Still lovin’ the fact that Sweeney Todd is en route to me, but I’m also thankful for an invitation to a men’s retreat coming up in the fall. I heard a lake is involved in the scenic mountain setting…hopefully, it is stocked with fish!

9. Little Chicago restaurant. Chicago style pizza, friends. I had no idea this place existed; will be trying it out this week. This could mean something big in my quest for great pizza in Nashville.

10. A place to serve in the body of Christ. Once a person decides to find a way to contribute to the work of a local church, it can take a long time to identify and the assume the right role. To me, the “right role” means an area of service where a person’s gifts meet the church body’s needs. Being in that place feels good.

For You And Me

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This photograph stopped me in my tracks, so I wanted to share it. I saw no sign of how to attribute photo credit, but I found the image at
https://www.facebook.com/#!/FoldsOfHonorFoundation.

(Folds of Honor Foundation provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving our great nation.)

Ten Things I’m Thankful For Tuesday

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1. Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge, downtown Nashville. The first time I went there, looking down at the Cumberland River from such a height scared the daylights out of me. That day, I was a fraidy cat who couldn’t stand to be close to the handrail for long.

Somehow, the problem never came up again on any subsequent visits. And now it’s a spot I rather like.

2. Sleep. I got a wonderful dose of it in the Smoky Mountains last Saturday after breakfast.

3. Spearmint. It’s a fun chewing gum flavor, but more importantly (as you probably know), simply inhaling mint has a positive affect on mood. Test it out sometime when you have a “blah” feeling, if you never have.

4. The mountains. No clue how God managed to come up with stuff like this, but I’m glad He did.

I still remember the first time I saw snow-capped mountains just outside of Glacier National Park when I was a teenager. All I could do was shake my head and stand there marveling.

5. Anticipation. Gotta love having something to look forward to…especially when it is something that occurs on a regular basis.

6. Being along for the ride. When someone else is doing the driving, there’s freedom to enjoy looking around at everything from the houses in the area to clouds in the sky. It’s kind of like having someone help you stop and smell the roses.

7. People who mentally process the heck out of things and finally arrive at a thought-provoking conclusion they proceed to discuss with me.

8. Perfect gift ideas. Auntie loved the Marvin Gaye DVD I gave her.

9. Married people who are good to each other and fun (for me) to be with.

10. Good teammates. Isn’t it amazing how much more effective we can be with the right partnership?

An example would be Alicia Keys and me. Together, I think we could pretty much conquer the world.

 

Ten Things I’m Thankful For Tuesday

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1. Live, Love, Yogurt – the new shop in Green Hills. Getcha some.

2. College buddies that don’t get lost after school. I didn’t wind up with many, and it took a few years to find the ones I finally hit it off with. Since that time, they’ve done things like name babies after me and help me establish and maintain my career.

3. Taste of India restaurant buffet. I was created to eat this food.

4. Gifts within me/resources entrusted to me. A lot of days, I make it a point to ask God to provide words and gifts from me that will touch other people. It’s such a blessing to have something – big or small – to invest in others.

5. A friend’s wife who is cool enough to arrange a Guys Night when she senses her husband needs one.

6. Perspective. That’s what God continues to send when I mistakenly get the idea that the events and experiences of life are about me.

7. The Marvin Gaye DVD I bought for my aunt’s birthday (as well as the copy I felt compelled to also buy for myself). Auntie shares my love for classic Motown.

8. The fact that college football is on the way. Less than two months, folks.

9. Fresh blueberries sent to me directly from the garden of a sweet, wonderful woman.

10. Genuine, selfless support from friends. Have you ever had the chance to see your true friends sincerely rooting for you? I’m not talking about having friends attend the big competition or performance to cheer for you. That kind of thing is great, but what I’m speaking of is different.

In my experience, it is something that only seems to happen in a flash, for an instant, and – in a sense – by accident. It’s like noticing out of the corner of your eye that your friends are high fiving each other and flipping out about a mere possibility on the horizon for you, while having no awareness that you can see their behavior. Pretty magnificent.

Ten Things I’m Thankful For Tuesday

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I fell off the earth for a while because of busyness at work and at home. The important thing is I’m back now. Back and thankful for these things:

1. The peaches I bought from a roadside peddler in GA last weekend.

2. Martin’s BBQ. Just when I had given up hope that worthwhile barbecue could be found in the state of Tennessee, I discovered this jewel in south Nashville.

3. Healthy new baby boy, Ephriam Goodson. An answer to prayer.

4. The Sandlot. I caught an outdoor showing with some friends recently. That movie never gets old!

5. Salsa. I finally dusted off my dancing shoes and went to a Latin party. It had been way too long.

The evening reminded me that it’s necessary to have a quick conversation with the salsa DJ if he seems to be forgetting that music by Sonora Carruseles and Africando is not optional.

6. Spotify. Yesterday’s free gifts – “She’s Always A Woman” by Billy Joel and a few Jason Aldean albums.

7. The new frozen yogurt shop in Green Hills. Haven’t tested it yet, but the flavors look promising. This could be the solution to the great loss of TCBY in Nashville.

8. Sub 100 degree temperatures. Unfortunately, Nashville is depriving me this week.

9. Wise counsel offered by trusted friends.

10. Jeanne, my favorite Italian food caterer. You should check out her Nashville company called Vanishing Gourmet.

Ten Things I’m Thankful For Tuesday

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1. A Nashville Symphony dress rehearsal that’s open to the public, free of charge. My friends and I had really good seats, and the experience reminded me that spending a fortune to sit close to the stage is totally worth the sacrifice.

2. The Tim Keller book that just came in the mail.

3. The Stephen Sondheim book on its way to me in the mail.

This was the vantage point from our seats at the symphony.

4. Summer. It would be a good opportunity for reading the aforementioned books.

5. My dudes. I’m really thankful for guys I’ve become friends with recently and ones I hit it off with when I first moved to town a few years ago. It seems like there are a few pockets of young men coming together in an interesting way – like little brotherhoods forming. Heaven knows we need each other!

6. An extra cell phone battery. The phone someone just gave me is the same kind I bought years ago, and I still have the battery from the one I bought.

7. Dark, scary skies just before a thunderstorm. They’re just beautiful. And they have a way of reminded me that God is a force – someone whose power must be respected.

8. Large, durable boxes for moving. I’m just moving across the street, but I need these boxes nonetheless.

9. The Cosby Show Season 1 DVD collection. Finally rescued it from my DVD wish list and brought it home.

10. Those rare individuals who walk into your life and make you feel you’ve been friends with them since childhood.