Ready or not, the holidays are here. People are sippin’ lattes out of red cups and trees are taking their rightful place in living rooms across our country. Travel plans are being confirmed and wish lists are getting longer and longer and longer… It’s that time of year.

For me [probably as I’m becoming a “real adult” in my own mind], this time of year typically fills with two things in my mind… plans for the future and reflections on the previous year. This year is the “creme-de-la-creme” of all of them. If you’re reading this, you probably know my wife and I are in the process of planting a new, life-giving church in the heart of Memphis. We’re planning to launch on February 8, 2015. So that has been, is, and will be a consuming part of what we’re looking forward to… and it’s a lot to look forward to. 

However, as I look back, I’ve got more to be thankful for than I can totally wrap my mind around. So, I want to take a minute and just document some of what I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful for my wife and son who love me and believe in me enough to go all-in and support this “run to your burden” desire that I have to create a church in the heart of Memphis. They love me. Succeed or fail. Win or lose. They believe in me, and for that I am so thankful.
I’m thankful for friends who are supporting us by praying for us personally, giving to the vision to launch a church, telling people they know, and even simply saying they’re excited for us. It means so much.

I’m thankful for people I’ve never met at the former Laurelwood Community Church who so wanted to see a relevant church operate out of the facility they had that they closed their doors to that we could plant our church in soil they’ve prayed for, invested on, and believed in for 160 years.

I’m thankful for the close to 60 people up to this point who have decided to help us launch this new church in Memphis. We couldn’t do it on our own. We are so grateful for your belief in the vision God’s given us to invest yourself in what’s about to happen. We are the ones who will #StartBELIEVING so that a city can start believing.

I’m thankful for God being my provider.

I’m thankful for opportunities to share our story.

I’m thankful for our little house in the city we love.

I”m thankful for health, strength, and protection.

I’m thankful for God, believing in me. I didn’t always realize it. I knew He loved me because He loves everyone, but it took me a while to grasp the fact that He believes in me. He wants to use my life. He has purpose and destiny and dreams for this city that He wants to use me, to use us, to use BELIEVING to accomplish. He never gave up on me. He never gives up on any of us.

I’m thankful.

In this season, it might do you some good to type out what you’re thankful for too. If I wasn’t sitting in a public place typing this, I’d have cried all over my MacBook Pro as type this… No matter what this year has been filled with, you’ve got some things to thank God for. This year was also probably full of pain, worry, confusion, hurt, betrayal, loss, and a feeling of being overwhelmed. I get that too. I feel ya. Even still, be thankful.