Your Blog Steward

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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Day with the Kiwanis

I had a rather interesting invitation yesterday, as I was the guest speaker at the Kiwanis lunch. (They made a scholarship donation in my name--thank you for that Kiwanis.) As it is approaching Thanksgiving they asked if I could speak on thankfulness or something like that. As I got to thinking about thankfulness and stuff, it occurred to me that most of the "stuff" in my life, while appreciated, is not high on my thankfulness scale. For example, I love indoor plumbing, but am I thankful for it??? I appreciate my home, but am I thankful for it? I suppose, in a truly grateful lifestyle, one would be thankful for such things, as they are blessings from God. But in the end, I could only generate enough energy to be thankful for the many people who have been blessings in my life. My parents, my grandparents, my wife, my kids, teachers, colleagues, students, friends...it just goes on and on and on...
I don't know if such a thing is good or bad, but I did appreciate the opportunity to reflect on the people who have meant so much to me over the years. For those who have heard me preach, you've heard many stories about these people in my life...people are the only way I orient myself to God, to the world, and even to myself. I'm horrible about keeping in contact with people after I move away, and I wish I could be better, but I am not...there are so many people I can remember whom I no longer even know where they are or how they are doing...
I remember about ten years ago a retired guy, on explaining why he was able to do things, said, "everyone's always busy, that's never an excuse." At the time I thought he was talking about priorities: how are you going to prioritize what you are going to do? And that may be what he meant...but now I see it less as priorities and more as appreciation...what or who are you going to appreciate with your time available? So many people I've met over my life deserve appreciation by someone, and I pray they have it...
I'm thankful the Kiwanis invited me to be with them yesterday, it gave me a chance to appreciate again some important people in my life...and of all the blessings from God I have received over the years, it's the people I appreciate most. Thank you. Or, as we like to say around this time of year...Happy thanks-giving.

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