Last year I read a “chick book” by Ann Voskamp entitled, One Thousand Gifts. I have been inspired by the book to create a list of gifts that I’m thankful for. I’m still old, tired and cynical but let me add to those adjectives that I’m also grateful.

Since I started about a week or so ago let me share what has filled my heart with gratitude:

—Day 1. The Blonde has a good friend named Lisa and Lisa got a new car. Romans 12:15 tells us to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” I am utterly rejoicing with Lisa! Who doesn’t like getting a new car - I’m almost jealous! What I’m saying is her blessing has spilled over into my life and made me happy and thankful!

—Day 2. Jeremiah 22:3 says, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed.” Last week we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. I am thankful for Dr. King’s life, his passion and commitment to ensuring everyone has what the constitution says we all have. In many ways, he was the greatest emancipator of the modern era. I think if you looked up “raw courage” in the dictionary Dr. King’s picture would be there. He was no quitter, he was a great dreamer. I quit too easy, and I probably don’t dream enough (told you I was old, tired and cynical). If our kids learned anything growing up in our house they learned we don’t quit, who Jesus is and that we are not prejudiced. There is still so much work to be done but, yes, I am very thankful for people like MLK, Jr. #hero

—Day 3. “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).” I am thankful for today and every day, what a great gift each day is from our Lord & Savior. Today is a gift to be regifted, given back to the One who gave it first. My prayer is, “Lord, what do you want from me today? Lord, my goal is to bring you honor and glory today!” Each day requires stewardship, wise management because once today is gone, it’s gone forever.

—Day 4. James 1:17 tells us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, …” This won’t surprise people who are my friends or follow me on social media. I am thankful for coffee, it is both good and perfect and no doubt a blessing from heaven. One of the simple things I enjoy is drinking coffee with the Blonde. We start each day with coffee & prayer at my grandma’s kitchen table. That’s a recipe for a good day.

I don’t know where this is going but it’s created an attitude of gratitude, and daily I’m on the lookout for things that bring me joy. Maybe I’m becoming less cynical as I see God’s great provision both for myself and others. He asked me to share that with you. Have a day filled with thanksgiving!

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Ken Ansell currently serves as a pastor and local missionary in small, rural Texas community. He plays lots of tennis and fly fishes when he can. He can be reached at kenansell1@gmail.com.