50 things I am thankful for

Here is a brief list of things that I have been blessed with in my first fifty years of life. Many of these items could themselves be expanded to lists of hundreds of things to be thankful to God for.

  1. God’s grace expressed to me in and through Jesus Christ.
  2. My beautiful wife. We’ve been dating for only 33 years, and married for 27 years. Off to a good start.
  3. My four wonderful children, each of whom is an incredible blessing to me.
  4. My parents. My father has passed on but my mother is doing great.
  5. My brother and sister.
  6. My grandparents, all of whom are now gone.
  7. Having been a part of Christ Community Church since we moved to St. Louis in 1988.
  8. The other churches I have been a member of, each of which has played an important role in my growth as a Christian: Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (Billings), Grace Bible Church (Bozeman), Community Evangelical Free Church (Pullman), and Biserica Trinitatea (Bucharest).
  9. The Bible.
  10. Many good Bible studies and other small groups over the years.
  11. People who pray for me.
  12. The role Campus Crusade for Christ played in clarifying my understanding of the gospel.
  13. A good education in the Billings public schools.
  14. Close friends in high school, especially Ken, Jeff, and Scott.
  15. Having a great girlfriend in high school. She is special enough to get mentioned again (see #2).
  16. Books.
  17. My first two years of college at the University of Utah. It wasn’t the best years of my life academically, but I had good friends and enjoyed the skiing.
  18. While at Utah, I skipped a few days of classes to go to Canyonlands N.P., which resulted in my change of major to Geology.
  19. My remaining years of college at Montana State University. The first year was lonely, but I had good friends in my second year, and the third year was spent in marital bliss. MSU was a great place for field geology, not only for summer field camp, but for afternoon field trips.
  20. My graduate education in Geology at Washington State University. I had lots of good Christian fellowship within the Geology department, and I am thankful for the foundation that was laid in Geology.
  21. Thirteen years of working at a cartographer and geographic information systems (GIS) professional, primarily in the production and maintenance of topographic maps and associated databases.
  22. Great coworkers.
  23. Working as a high school science teacher for eight years. I loved being able to teach a variety of subjects, especially high school Earth Science, Biology, and Chemistry.
  24. The schools I have taught at: Providence Christian Academy (St. Louis), St. Louis University High, and Bucharest Christian Academy.
  25. The students I had in my eight years of teaching, many of whom I have been able to stay in contact with through FaceBook.
  26. The best friends I’ve had in my adult life in Bucharest, Romania.
  27. The privilege of serving with ReachGlobal (the international mission of the Evangelical Free Church of America).
  28. Traveling in Europe, especially to Austria, Germany, and France.
  29. Growing up in Montana.
  30. Moving back to Montana soon.
  31. A better than average amount of international travel: Canada, Mexico, Italy, Romania, Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, Germany, France, South Korea.
  32. Lots of travel around the United States, both as a child and as an adult. I’ve been in 46 states.
  33. That I don’t have to travel for work very often.
  34. Skiing as a youngster (Red Lodge, Bridger Bowl, Big Sky, Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Vail), and cross-country skiing now that I am a bit older.
  35. Hiking in the Beartooth Mountains, including a six-day backpack trip from Cooke City to East Rosebud.
  36. Christikon camp south of Big Timber, three summers.
  37. Growing up close to Yellowstone National Park.
  38. My adult Sunday School class on the book The Reason for God earlier this year. I was in my niche.
  39. My year of unemployment in Colorado. It was a difficult year, but not a bad place to be when you don’t have work.
  40. My cats: two are still with us (Gracie and Cinder) and two have moved on past their nine lives (Buddy and Graywacke).
  41. Four seasons, each of which is the best season when it comes.
  42. Many material blessings — food, clothing, shelter, electricity, luxuries — that I take all too often for granted.
  43. Laughter.
  44. Food.
  45. Work. I don’t intend to ever truly retire.
  46. The Earth that God has given us, with its geology and wonders of life.
  47. The readers of The GeoChristian.
  48. Did I say my children? They bring much joy to my life.
  49. Did I say my wife? Marriage started out good, and has gotten better with time.
  50. Did I say Jesus? I could lose everything else on this list, and I would still have Jesus.

I could go on.

Grace and Peace, and Thank You

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