I love the Psalms. I do. I remember how surprised I was that David did not write all 150 of them (Bible Interpretation 101 with Dr. Valerie J. Bridgeman and Hebrew Bible with Julia O’Brien blessed my life, so I am thankful for that). I consider them Ancient Israel’s Hymnal, and I love the way they’re classified – lament, royal enthronement, wisdom and torah, entrance, prophetic exhortation, mixed form. Today, however, I want to talk about psalms of thanksgiving.
Today is Thanksgiving Day in America (I can’t call our country the United States, because we are not “united”). I like this day, because it causes me to take a step back and reflect on my blessings and, like the name indicates, to truly give thanks to God for all that God has blessed me with.
This year, I am grateful for:
· The four churches where I am licensed to pastor. Because of them, I am able to actually do the work God called me to do, and they make it easy to be their pastor/associate pastor/clayperson:
o Keysville Grace UCC
o Mt. Pleasant Reformed UCC
o Veritas UCC
o Grace Reformed UCC
· Dr. Minh Ta, my primary care physician. Because of his dogged determination to get my blood pressure under control, he discovered another problem that needed to be addressed immediately. He’s also a funny and nice dude. And I am REALLY thankful for the Affordable Care Act, because I am able to go to the doctor and manage my health effectively.
· Landmark Global. I work for them, for as long as I want to. And while it is not my dream job, it DOES provide income to pay some bills, and like I said earlier last week, take Bob out to dinner every now and then. This job also helps me move more, which helps me manage my health more effectively.
· Rev. Dr. Rob Apgar-Taylor. When I was looking for a church post-seminary, I remembered meeting him right before I graduated. I still say he was in the corner looking sad, and nobody puts baby in a corner! I’m thankful that my first choice was not the BEST choice. *(Note: I am especially thankful THIS year for him, as he had a horrible car accident the Monday before Thanksgiving, and walked away virtually unscathed. My Bapticostal side went into a Baptist Fit when he said he was ok.)
· Friends. I have the best, and most loyal, friends on earth.
· Family. Some of my friends have become family, and let me also tell you, I have the best blood/chosen/blended family ever. This has been a mixed year for me, and through the peaks and valleys, they have been there, no questions asked. My siblings, both by blood and by The Blood (Bapticostals, that’s your shout cue) listened to my joys and concerns, all while encouraging or admonishing me to be the best me I could be. Y’all rock.
· Poppins Johnson Davis. On August 13, 2016, God blessed our family with the most perfect dog ever. Watching him adapt to us and our home, and us to him, is a sitcom in the making. Unconditional love, this fur ball gives. I tell people all of the time – we were a family, but now we’re complete. And yes, he’s spoiled rotten.
· Robert Davis. 11 years later, and you still make me so very happy. I’m so glad you came into my life. You support me, even in my madness, and I can say that you’re the one for me. Thank you for all that you do to make our house a home, and for being an AMAZING parent to the 20 pounds of hair that sheds all over our house.
Make sure to show some love to the folks you love. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Fix some broken relationships.