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I am thankful today. Now, do not get me wrong – I have plenty to be forlorn about, even fearful. I am choosing to be thankful, though.

This week I had planned (and am still planning) on beginning a four-week teaching series on change. I want to ask and tackle the questions of what change brings to our life? What are the natural effects of change? What are ways to mitigate the effect of change? How can I make change a positive aspect of my life?

This year is a year of change for me. Some of the change I will term positive. Many changes have had a negative impact on me. Today I took an online accounting of the changes that have occurred in my life over the last year and I was not surprised that I scored 383 on the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. That measurement device was created by mental health professionals as a gauge to help us understand the destructive nature of change.

Score of 300+: At risk of illness.

Score of 150-299+: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).

Score 150-: Only have a slight risk of illness.

I am looking for an aspirin right now…maybe more!

Seriously, this made me think…as much negative process as has gone on around my life this year, what am I thankful for?

I am thankful that I had a dad whose life I now miss. (Stewart Funeral Home – Visitations, Rev JR Underwood)

I am thankful that I have three beautiful daughters that I would give my life for and that my oldest daughter is an adult I can admire and respect (if not always agree with.) She writes too… Andrea’s Blog.

I am also thankful that I am about to get a son-in-law, Andy McMahon, that cares for and loves my daughter to life.

I am thankful for the opportunity I have to live my life and make a living by leading others in spiritual progress.

I am thankful I have a predominantly healthy life.

I am thankful that I am surrounded by people who love me.

I am thankful I have no real lack in my life.

I am thankful that I am not hopeless but I am hopeful for a better future.

I am thankful that I have a relationship with God.

I am thankful that so many people have accepted me for who I am, warts and all.

I am thankful that I am forgiven.

I am thankful that I am not alone.

I am thankful for gifts and abilities.

I am thankful for grandmothers who prayed for me.

I am thankful for grandfathers who were dedicated to their family.

I am thankful for a mother who has never quit.

I am thankful for life.

I am thankful for a boatload of opportunities that I have had and taken advantage of in life.

I am thankful for friends, far and near, that I love and that love me.

I am thankful that my sin did not destroy me before redemption took hold in my life.

I am thankful for praying in the Spirit.

I am thankful for grace AND mercy.

I am thankful for healing – spirit, soul and body.

I am thankful that my daughters feel they can be honest with me without losing my love.

I am thankful for music that soothes the soul.

I am thankful for the Bible, God’s Holy Word.

(My mind is being flooded with names now and I dare not begin to mention them for fear of missing someone.)

I am thankful for all of them.

I am thankful you are reading this and I would like for you to write me one or two sentences to say hello.

I am thankful for having the capacity to thank.

I am thankful for doctors.

I am thankful.

Thank you, Father God.

Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. -James, the brother of Jesus Christ

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. -Paul, to the Christ followers in Colossae

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