"It is not so much great talents that God blesses, as great likeness to Christ."

- Robert Murray M'Cheyne
i'm thankful

i'm thankful...

...for the blood of Christ.
...that God can transform regret over the past into peace in His promises.
...for faithful friends.
...for cooler weather (FINALLY.)
...for a loving family.
...that i've been reconciled to the Father through the Son
...that i've been tasked with a ministry of reconciliation.
...that i don't play fantasy football for money.
...that i get to minister with and to great brothers and sisters in Christ.
...for laughter
...for the opportunities God has given me, despite myself, to take part in His kingdom work.
...for a church and pastor that are faithful to God's Word.
...that God provided the opportunity for me to buy a house (at a ridiculous price) a little over a year ago.
...for chocolate pie (and a mom who makes it for me every year.)
...that the end of the semester is near (even if the end of my degree isn't!)
...for good health.
...that i get to see my brother's fam over Christmas... it's been a while!
...for great memories of the aforementioned family, friends and ministry... i am beyond blessed!

cleanliness isn't next to godliness, but it can point you in that direction

so i recently had my house cleaned. yes, that's right. i had it cleaned. i did not clean it myself. judge me if you want. i don't regret it at all.

it's crazy how much of a difference it makes! i'm sure this is not news to anyone out there, but you can feel free to stop reading whenever you want (please don't!).

the ongoing cleanliness of my home has now become a part of a broader process of trying to discipline myself in various areas of life. some practical and some spiritual. of course, as a christian and as a pastor i'm prone to see spiritual illustrations in the day to day (even when i'm not trying to!).

it struck me once i saw the cleanliness of my home that i didn't realize its prior dirtiness. i was comfortable in the filth. mind you, i wasn't in "hoarders" mode or anything. there were no hazmat suits needed or dead animals removed. but i didn't notice the little things that were less than the best until they had been made right. (see where i'm going with this?)

in our lives as believers, we become comfortable with our sins. they're easy to let fester and grow. it's uncomfortable to confront them and deal with them and "clean" them out of our lives. but things are set right when we do... and we'll notice the difference.