December 24, 2004

my favorite things...

This last thanksgiving our family took part in one of our few traditions -- counting our blessings. You see every Thanksgiving, we each are given several kernals of corn, and we go around the table and pass a bowl. As the bowl reaches us, we place a kernal of corn into the bowl and list something we are thankful for. This last year I listed a lot of people that I was thankful for. The people who are making an impact on my life, these people who I have had the distinct privilage of knowing, meeting, and interacting with on a single, semi-regular, and consistant basis. Over the last several years, I have been blessed with the friendship of many different wonderful people. My family is of course right there at the top of the list, for without the loving prayers and support of my parents and my grandma I would not be the person I am today, but also for my brothers. I learn so much from the experiences and the wisdom that they have gained through their experiences in life and have shared with me. I go home and I feel the love and the warmth that they create. From the hugs and kisses from my nieces and nephew to the wonderfully thrilling kung fu workout sessions with my 6 year old kung fu prodigy (James, my nephew) to the rare but wonderful discussions with my oldest brother Jeremy and his wife Julie there is just nothing quite like home and family.

But it goes much further than that, when I came back to work after having a week off, I was more than slightly surprised to hear so many people demonstrate a real joy to have me back at work. And when I consider the wonderful friends that I have there, it makes me smile.

The list goes on, for I have my kung fu classmates, Johnny, Paul, Josh, Danny, Ryan, and Shrfu among the few. These people I have grown to love and respect, and I have sapped so much knowledge from them (and hope to continue to do so over the years) and they have sacrificed to help me to support me and to encourage me.

And then you consider the "misc" friends: 1 and 2 Peter, Kate, Jon, my pastor, Sunday school teacher, Chinese friends, Alex, Lily, Diane, Tim, Jen, Linda the list could go on for a very long time. I have learned so much from them all.

I have learned to question everything and be always ready to defend what I believe. I have learned what it is to work hard. I have learned the lesson of Gratitude for what God has given me. I have learned that God will provide everything I need in His perfect timing. I have learned the value of both patience and humility, the worth of wisdom, and the cost of discretion. I have learned to love life and the beauty of the world around us, the specialness of Life itself and the joy of Christmas. I have been encouraged by the growth of young Christians and the aquaintances of spiritually driven young Christian men and women.

I look around me and everywhere I go, I am reminded of something that causes me to appreciate life so much more. This remembrance inspired by the life and fresh perspectives of those people I am brought into contact with everyday.

As I near the closing of a chapter in my life, I am impressed with the strong realization that I am, and my success is the direct result of not only God and my own hard work, but the powerful investment of each and every one of you out there that have supported me, prayed for me, encouraged me and impacted me along the way. They say that behind every great man is a good woman, well allow me if you will to adapt that ever so slightly to say that behind every great man is an army of great people.

Thank you all so very much, and may God continue to use you all in a very powerful and earthshattering way.

God bless and Merry Christmas!

Posted by GodzScout at December 24, 2004 01:59 AM

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Read

Posted by: Patsy at December 26, 2004 04:15 PM

Hey Read, I remember last year's...erm, the year before last's (I guess it is now) Thanksgiving. I was there. I felt incredibly blessed to be able to spend Thanksgiving with your whole family. I had so much fun. Julie says I should come back and, man, do I ever want to.

Happy New Year. I hope our Savior continues to bless you this year as He did last. *hugs* Love ya, Bro.

Posted by: Ash at January 1, 2005 05:33 PM