Thankful For...

I have to say that this year I have been very abundantly Thankful. Even without the reminder of this thankful time of year itself and the upcoming holiday. Its been a full year of  blessings and great moments that I will not forget.  I am very appreciative of all of them including people, places, events, experiences and so many things out of the ordinary. In one word "Blessed" is a good way to sum it up.

Just like this picture we often see things the other way round. Not so good. Negative. Its more natural, it seems, to see whats not going right and the problems we face daily.  In my educational groups each night at work I often try to help people take a look at more of the positive. What was the most productive part of your day?  What was your favorite part of the weekend? What are you thankful for? Its good to think of the things that make life more manageable and something to look forward to. There is too much negative fed to us daily that can be overwhelming. Its a new change of perspective. So what's your Thankful list include?

Here's my list....  I tried to keep it short but it kept coming. 

-I'm thankful I have two great sons who both continue to shine and amaze me
-Thankful for travel time I've had this year literally from coast to coast by train, plane, bike, ferry         with family and loved ones.
-Thankful my girlfriend and I after 4 years were able to get engaged
-Thankful my son Corey has been blessed with a great Godly girl, Cathryn who are now engaged
-Thankful for my job and career and opportunities to excel doing what I have a passion for and helping people in need in my community.
-Thankful for new opportunities I have prayed over and been blessed with
-Thankful to be on a great worship team using my gift for almost a year now
-Thankful for almost 3 weeks of time with and new experiences with my parents
-Thankful for another year with a great woman in my life who is my support and best friend
-Thankful for a lot of one on one time with my youngest son Ethan including late nite rendezvous, vacation times, adventure and talks.
-Thankful that I can look just at the past few years and see how far Ive come in my life and how I have been blessed. 

Its good to be thankful and not just a day or week a year but everyday. A grateful lifestyle is a good foundation for happier more satisfied you and greatly effects the world and people around you.
Even if it is complicated at first for whatever reason. Think about it. What was the best part of your day? Your year? Whats been something that puts a smile on your face or a boost daily. There's always something to be thankful for,  even in the midst of the worst hardships. Its a matter of perspective.

                                        Image result for quotes on thankfulness


Holy Spirit (the power of a song) (Click Youtube link below to hear the song)

  I remember this worship song Corey sang all the time last summer 2015. It was his favorite at the time and he sang it so regularly around here at home that it was permanently stuck in my head. Its a very powerful song and also one of my faves.
" Holy Spirit You are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere."

     This song also was one of the several  I loved playing with Corey and Ethan at home as we had our jam sessions and #earnstlivingroomsessions in the past few years. It was one of the last we sang before he left for Mountain Mission School in Virginia. Id have to say that song left a mark on me because it was one of those tunes that took me to the moment of playing together.

  About two months after he left I was attending the Heights church in Prescott and we had come in a few minutes late and sat in the back corner. The were just starting into the second song of the set which... yep , sure enough that same song. I knew it as soon as I heard the first two chords. I broke down and found myself crying as it hit me hard. The song was a reminder of Corey moving on and also of my need for more of God's presence in my life. It was another huge turning point for me.

I always say that "singing is a sign of a happy heart". I can literally say that I had not sang much since our time playing together and had not been involved in worship either for quite some time. After alot of praying and thinking about it later that fall I decided to try out for the Heights Worship team.  I've had the honor of playing now there for about a year.

I  have enjoyed playing and singing and during this time I've found more opportunities to be a part of worship, from my home town in Michigan to Phoenix and my music teaching opportunities online. Although I need to make more time to play on my own everyday its been good to be a part of a worship team again. It a blessing not only for others when you use your gifts but it can also be a great way to be blessed.

This summer I had a week I was playing on the team at the Heights when Corey was home and I invited him and Cathryn to come check the place out. Luckily they were able to make it and joined us on a Sunday morning this past June.  I was thrilled about the set list and glad to be singing that weekend and more surprised that this song, Holy Spirit, was put in our list and I was asked to lead and sing it. I wasn't sure if I could make it through singing it but somehow did and I was told by several people there that day that they could sense the Holy Spirit during this song in a very powerful way.

 This same song my son Corey sang so many times at home with us, months later performed in a worship set at the Heights that moved me to tears and spoke to me while feeling so empty there in the back corner, was now one I was joyfully singing from the stage in that same room full of people worshiping, including Corey who was standing in the back (with Cathryn and Susan) singing with lifted hands.

That's the power of a song used by the Holy Spirit.

That's how God works in unique ways

That moment was a great moment in worship and memory of a full and happy heart through the power of music.

"Your glory God is what our hearts long for

To be overcome by your presence Lord"