Month of Thanksgiving

OK, I’ve been negligent posting here. I have had a few medical misadventures lately which distracted my focus from this blog. But I’m back.

Several of my friends on facebook have taken up the challenge of posting something for which they are thankful each day in November. I thought that would be a good place for a start, with a couple of days catching up.

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Day One:  For Kathy, my wife of almost 35 years. She had put up with me through difficult work situations, exciting opportunities, deathly illness, parenting an extraordinary and “challenging” son (more about him later). We have survived multiple moves (fourteen times?), flooded basements, tiny parsonages, cranky landlords, lousy apartments in great locations, great houses in the wrong cities.

From only five months after we were married, she has supported me in facing life-threatening illness. She has stood by me through thirty (!) surgeries  including three major organ transplants and all the attendant doctor visits, drugs, therapies, clinics, trips to UVa, and mountains of medical bills.  I don’t know how I could have managed without her.

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Day Two:  For Bethany Hills. Sacred Ground for generations of Tennessee Disciples and Holy Ground for untold numbers of people. My mother and grandfather were youth representative and property committee member respectively when the Tennessee region bought the campground in 1944. Every summer for almost seventy years, my family has spent time there as campers, counselors, ground crew, you name it, we have done it.

Here we have worked, played, worshiped, prayed, sung, danced, hiked, and experienced the love of Christians in community and the love of God in nature. Here we broke bread at the dinner table, and broke Bread at the Lord’s Table (even when it leaned sharply to the left. Those who were there will know what I mean.) Here we spent time in quiet prayer, and committed our lives to serve God and to follow the Way of Jesus Christ.

I don’t presume to know what Heaven will look like, but I could do worse than to think it will be a lot like Bethany Hills.

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Day Three:  Transylvania University. As my roommate  one said, you have to be a little whacked to go to a school named Transylvania in the first place.  I would not be the person I am today had I not had the experience of being a Transylvanian.  The friendships, the road trips, the faculty (most of ’em), the late night discussions, the music, Columbia’s Steak House (ask anybody).  I even learned a thing or two in class.

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