Monday, November 22, 2010

God, Family, Romania

I was blessed to worship at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in Abilene on Sunday. It was a joy to hear my dear friend Dr. Stan Allcorn preach, but this Sunday was especially special because Red Page’s ministry partner, my best friend Ovidiu Patrick was given a chance to speak for a few minutes in each service. This was Ovidiu’s first time to America and his first time to speak in an American church. For 10 years Ovidiu and Adina have hosted me and hundreds of Americans in their home and church. How fulfilling it was to finally return the favor.

For whatever reason, I was able to spend some time in reflection during church. Maybe it was the emotion of having a dear friend share his gratitude with a partner church or maybe it was hearing the same sermon on “Thanksgiving” four times! Whatever the reason I had a chance to reflect upon my life and think of the things I’m most grateful.

Without a doubt I’m most thankful for my salvation. I know it sounds so cliché, but without Jesus Christ all other things in my life would be irrelevant and likely non-existent. I’m thankful I was adopted into a home that exposed me to this salvation and modeled Christian values on a daily basis. I’m thankful that I’m given the chance each day to live out this salvation. I’m especially grateful that I live in a country that allows me to live out this salvation.

Only my Aggie friends can understand my next statement. I remember thinking the day I received my Aggie ring that no other day could beat this day. I know it is just a ring! Sorry it is just an Aggie thing. However, my wedding day proved me wrong, as well as the day my children were born. I’m so thankful for my family. God has truly blessed me.

In 1999 God changed my life by introducing me to a world beyond the U.S. borders. It was then I fell in love with Romania. Since that time I’ve visited more times than I can count. Kacee and I were blessed to call Romania our home in 2005 and 2006. Now God has opened the door for Red Page our new ministry designed to end rural poverty in Romania. I’m thankful for the opportunity.

As Ovidiu, Adina, and I drove from Abilene to Lubbock I realized how thankful I should be and how much I take all these things above for granted. Ovidiu reminded me how little I praise God through prayer. We spent the last 45 miles of our trip lifting prayers to the Lord. I’m thankful I have a friend that reminds me how thankful I should be. I especially thankful that I can spend this week of thanksgiving with that friend!

Last but certainly not least I’m thankful for you. I don’t know your situation. I don’t know why you are reading this blog. Maybe you are a former trip participant. Maybe you are family. Maybe you are a friend. Maybe you are just a random person checking out this sight. Regardless I’m thankful you took the time to spend a few minutes with me. My hope is that you will spend many more; hopefully in Romania! Happy Thanksgiving! Aspire to new heights.

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