Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
Just thought I'd throw that in because it's Thanksgiving today. So here's a short (perhaps trite, but true) list of what I am thankful for.
1. My parents, for always loving me and helping me with everything. Although they are across the country, I can always count on my mom for her Friday morning call, and my dad for his periodic email commentaries. I'm also thankful that I have somewhat of an extended family, not large, and scattered about, but I think of them often and pray for them.
2. My friends--I still can't believe I have so many wonderful friends, especially because of Advent HOPE. They are not only wonderful people who are loving and loyal, but a good influence as well. I've made a lot of good decisions the past few years because of their influence. Today I'm going to my friends Minnette and Ben's home for supper, along with a large group of our Bible study girls.
3. Especially my best friend Monica, who strangely enough doesn't seem to get tired of going to Target with me and putting up with my craziness and lack of coherent speech.
4. A big fluffy cat who loves to curl up on my lap when I'm reading. What more can you ask for?
5. A nice place to live in a terrific community, a little garden, nice things, plenty of food and clothing, etc. Sounds cheesy but you can't neglect that.
6. Living in a place where you can enjoy the mountains, ocean, desert, big city, gardens, museums, concerts, everything within about an hour's drive.
7. All my cute students who are growing up to be lovely people. They work very hard (most of them) and are developing great skills of concentration and intellect in the process. And most of their families are great to work with, too.
8. The sun. The atmosphere. The balance of oxygen and other elements. The angle and speed of the earth's rotation. The fact that no enormous comet has yet crashed into the Earth. Think about it.
9. Just open an anatomy book or any nature book and try to tell me that all this just happened. Show me someone who actually believes in evolution over millions of years, from single cells into frogs and monkeys, etc., and I'll show you someone who really does believe in myths and fairy tales!
10. Through prayer, I have been able to overcome some bad habits this year. (hope it sticks)
11. Again through prayer, I have been able to overcome some of the difficulties and depressing things I've dealt with for much of this year. (hope it sticks, too)
12. Sea otters, pandas, penguins and African pygmy falcons.
14. Wonderful music, like Mahler symphonies, Brahms chamber music, etc. etc. etc.
15. My violin, to play them on.
16. I'm halfway done learning the Glazunov violin concerto!
17. Down comforters.
18. Blogger with a large storage capacity because this could go on for a while.
19. Friends who love me enough to keep reading this far.
20. And for the most important thing: God, who loved the world so much that He gave us His only Son. I heard the best quote at church last Sabbath: "The love of God is like the Amazon River flowing down to water one daisy." (author unknown) Not only did God give us everything we have on earth, He created the entire universe, and we have no idea what wonders are out there for us to enjoy eventually. Also He gave us His Law, so we have not only a standard but a divine standard to live by, so we can learn to grow up in His character. And if that wasn't enough, He has done and is doing everything possible to avoid destroying us along with our sins, and that is to come personally to live with us, and even be killed by us, so He died instead of us, just simply because He loves us and also, oddly enough, probably even likes us, because He wants to be with us. Compare that with all the other world religions, of various gods killing each other and generating bastard children in soap-opera style, or forcing people to sacrifice to appease the volcano, or tantalizing people with paradise if you do good and eat your vegetables or all kinds of hell if you don't, or of frogs losing their tails and turning into monkeys and eventually your uncle Charlie. I've made my decision.