January 1, 0001

Generally in order although some may be a bit random:

  1. I know God. I do not have to sacrifice to idols, live in fear of spirits, or wonder if God exists.

  2. I am married to a wonderful woman, and in spite of the culture around us, I have never had to worry if she is faithful to me (or, her about me). She is my true companion, partner, helper, and reality-check.

  3. I have four wonderful children. I have never lost one to disease or death, and all are following the Lord.

  4. I have a good extended family. We have our ups and downs but in general things are well. And we have friends in virtually every time zone of America, not to mention in most time zones around the world.

  5. I have a job that is meaningful and purpose-fulfilling, where I can make a difference in the world using the talents God has given me.

  6. I never have to worry about having clean water to drink out of my tap. I don’t have to walk miles to get water or buy bottled water at the corner store.

  7. I have nearby supermarkets that stock every sort of food - both good and bad - that I could want, and markets from other cultures should we feel like experimenting.

  8. We have a solid house that doesn’t leak or have any structural safety issues. Most everything is up to code (the fence needs to be worked on, but generally…). It’s warm, and safe, and dry.

  9. We are unlikely to catch any major disease any time soon. (despite the fact that we live in DFW, the odds of even Ebola, for example, are very low.)

  10. Our town is peaceful, and the odds of being in a riot are very low.

  11. Traffic moves smoothly and is well coordinated. Although planes are still safer than cars in America, the odds of us being in a traffic accident are very low. I haven’t been in a car accident in decades.

  12. I have broadband access to the Internet in my home.

  13. I have a toilet INSIDE my home. Two of them, actually. And one of the bathrooms has a heat lamp, should it be needed when you get out of the shower.

  14. My US passport lets me in with visa on demand to MOST of the countries I need to go to, and I can pretty easily get visas for the ones that need it.

  15. Although I have terrible vision, corrective lenses are easily worn and I barely even know I have contact lenses in.

  16. Civilization: Beyond. And an iPad. And an iPhone. And technology in general.

  17. Falling gas prices. And the fact that gas is easily gotten, to begin with. And that I can own a car here, pretty easily.

  18. That, really, compared to some places I’ve been, our government is pretty good, and I don’t live in fear at night of secret police coming to take me or my family away because of something I’ve posted on Twitter or Facebook. I can say pretty much anything I want.

  19. That, really, compared to some places I’ve been in, I live in freedom of religion and never worry about meeting someone to talk about Christianity, or going to church on Sunday, or even telling the immigration guy that I’ve been at a mission conference.

  20. Books. And Kindle. And magazines. A wealth of information, knowledge, understanding, wisdom, at my fingertips, any time day or night.

I could go on. But I think you get the point. We have a lot to be thankful for, really. And even those in less materially blessed situations than I probably have 20+ items they could list too, and theirs would humble mine. (I met a guy who has seen thousands of churches planted by his team.) Let’s be thankful to the Lord, for He is Good.