In Romans Chapter 1 the Apostle Paul describes the rebellion of humanity against God. He strips it down to its essence and core, peeling it back like an onion, layer after layer. Do you know what he finds at the center? It isn't sexual immorality. Not greed, jealousy, or covetousness.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him [...]
There it is. What characterizes the wicked? A lack of thankfulness.
I have been very blessed this month watching my friends on Facebook spend November giving thanks every day for some blessing or another. Since I haven't been joining them, I've decided that today, Thanksgiving Day, I will do all 30 in one fell swoop.
These are in no particular order, as you'll find. Also, it is always dangerous to give thanks for individual people because I am bound to leave out others. Bear with me. I only have thirty items to work with, and if you're not on this list it isn't because I'm not thankful for you.
1. I am thankful for my lifelong best friend, Casey. Inseparable in our teenage years, he continues to be faithful, steadfast, generous, wise, and encouraging to me. My "Jonathan," always to be counted on. And he has a hot tub and makes great beer.
2. I am thankful for my immediate family, my wife Tara, my two girls, and the one I'll meet in April.
3. I am thankful for the rest of my family - Mom and Dad, as well as Amy, Jeff, Dan, and Melodee, and all of their spouses, Jeff, Heather, Marianne, and Jeremiah. All such godly examples for me. What a blessing, to have an entire family following our Lord.
4. I am thankful that after years of being nomads, we have a house of our own.
5. I am thankful for Alfred, a man dedicated to preaching God's Word to me faithfully, every single Sunday.
6. I am thankful for Trudy, my musical collaborator and friend. My second mother.
7. I am thankful that my children have cousins nearby - Jackson, Hope, Boaz, Adeline, Molly, Grace, and Joey.
8. I am thankful for JR, a generous friend, collaborator, and man of exquisite taste.
9. I am thankful for my CCL financial supporters. They've made this life possible.
10. I am thankful for Kerry and Steve, terrific friends who inspire me.
11. I am thankful for Emily, a beautiful and talented friend who's learned to take my verbal abuse with good humor, and who gives me hope for the younger generation.
12. I am thankful for my gas grill, which contributed to awesome food all summer long.
13. I am thankful for the craftsmanship of talented people who provide singularly amazing beverages: coffee, wine, and beer makers, and especially the great whisky makers of Scotland. Special shout-out to the folks at Balvenie and Laphroiag.
14. I am thankful for Melodee. Closest sibling. Beautiful. Smart. Godly.
15. I am thankful for iPad.
16. I am thankful for my guitar, a boss of an instrument, sweeter every year - Taylor 710ce.
17. I am thankful for Ty, who's never afraid to call.
18. I am thankful for Andrew, a brilliant, gracious, and ebullient boss.
19. I am thankful for the small band of Pilgrims who risked their lives and fortunes to come to these shores for religious freedom. And for the religious freedom we still enjoy.
20. I am thankful for my cool shoes - Allen Edmonds.
21. I am thankful for my books. I'll find enough room for them. Someday.
22. I am thankful for Herman Bavinck, still the most awe-inspiring theologian I've ever encountered (through the page, of course).
23. I am thankful I had the opportunity to obtain the highest degree in my field, and publish my work with the world's most prestigious academic publisher.
24. I am thankful for J.R.R. Tolkien. My girls are on the edge of their seats, good sir.
25. I am thankful for J.K. Rowling. Dying to read all seven again, and tempted to not wait 'til my girls are older.
26. I am thankful for C.S. Lewis. My sister gives me all the highlights once a year when she teaches a class on him.
27. I am thankful for all the incredibly talented people collaborating to make classical conservatism stronger today than it has ever been, some of whom I consider my friends.
28. I am thankful for Taylor, whose art graces my home and takes my breath away on a daily basis.
29. I am thankful for my electric blanket. I hope whoever invented it became a billionaire. Well-deserved.
30. I am thankful for Montana's blue-ribbon trout streams. Simply nothing better than fly-fishing.