Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cherish, don’t lament, those TEARS of yours

Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

IT happened three days in a row, and I’m not afraid to say, I am so glad. I cried. Wept healing tears. Not really for my own healing, yet perhaps also my own.
The first day involved the telling of my own story with brothers in Christ who have been to hell on earth and back, and the hearing of one fine young man’s story as he shared. Tears of joy and victory yet tears of sorrow for what was learned the hard way. Tears of connection deeper than words can express.
The second day involved a theatre production; real men acting brilliantly well, informing and inspiring, revealing their miraculous path via God’s grace into the land of the living. I sat there spellbound, speechless, hardly able to move, transformed in those seventy minutes. Those men were an extension of God’s Spirit as they transported me beyond the realm of reality into the destiny of millions destroyed by the scourge of substance abuse. I was shocked, and I needed to be shocked. (I should not have been shocked, as I’ve heard a thousand stories like them, yet every story is shocking, because each involves real people in tortuous plights.) Everyone needs to be shocked enough to elicit an honest welp; to be taken into that state of helplessness to know, there, right there is God. As I sat there, solitary big hot tears rolled, their own stream produced, wet enough to roll clean off my face. I was morbidly sorrowful, yet I was honestly so pleased to experience something that can only be described as healing, because I was connected in an instant with these few dozen men. Such a connection transcends time. I could know one of these men, and they me, in ten minutes. These tears were thankful tears; grateful for each of their wondrous lives.
The third day involved an incredible moment; a tenth anniversary since the stolen generations apology, the national apology to the indigenous peoples of Australia. You can never expect certain moments. To bear witness to the tears of the Aboriginal people elicited more of my own. The essence of reconciliation was captured in that one electrifying moment on February 13, 2008. (This article is not about politics, policy or its effectiveness, it’s about tears.) What my soul experienced is the vision of the Kingdom coming to this earth through such a momentous national event.
I felt God say, through His initiative within me, as He gave me cause to be honest as I was confronted, ‘Here is the truth, and the only way you can be reconciled to it is to weep inconsolably.’ My tears were not inconsolable, but my heart was broken. What God showed me inspired me to do whatever I can to bring change.
With each terribly impactful moment I was made anew; I could not return to who I was. I could not undo these experiences, nor would I ever want to.
Those tears of yours are precious and hard earned. They exist because you can no longer be dishonest. They roll because you cannot reconcile this sorrowful thing, but due the incomprehensible grace of God, these very tears are agents for your very soul’s healing.
We are geared to feel our sadness, because we are prewired to be honest. It’s why we resonate with sad songs; they speak to our unreconciled depths.
Our tears are our dear possession; the riches of a heart full enough to feel.
So feel them, and when you do, feel them fully and boldly, and you will not shrink, but grow.
Cry and give to your heart the gift of God’s Presence — the Lord counts all of them (Psalm 56:8).
Emotions are big, and they’re meant to be felt.

No longer be afraid of them. Tears are an honest response to God’s language of truth when life is deep.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

SECOND THOUSAND – 10,000 Reasons

The model aeroplane mentioned in Reasons 1572 and 1573

My challenge to compile 10,000 Reasons for my gratitude to God for His goodness commenced on January 22. This second thousand spans the first ten days of February 2018. My first thousand can be found here.
1 February 2018

1000.                   Hitting the ground running
1001.                   The power in one in a hundred, and now this is two
1002.                   Hope mounts as the journey continues, as we stick with it and work hard
1003.                   Waking moments when reality merges into consciousness and dreams ebb away
1004.                   Sore body but hopeful mind
1005.                   Choosing hope when overwhelmed with things to do
1006.                   Accepting that we do what we can do about people’s perceptions and leave it at that
1007.                   Arranging time for reflection to alleviate pressure
1008.                   Son reflecting how a video of cats was funny
1009.                   Free time earned that can be further vested in work to gain more free time to be had at a better time
1010.                   Remembering what I would have almost certainly forgotten
1011.                   Forgiving myself when I have forgotten, and having hope enough to develop a work around strategy
1012.                   Listening to my son play during the free time he earned from doing all his jobs quickly
1013.                   The knowledge that my wife, herself, has the luxury of free time; that I’m responsible for doing some things that means she can enjoy that free time
1014.                   Opening the blinds out onto a new day; standard summer’s days as far as the eye can see
1015.                   Goals today, to drop son at school, to go to supervision, to mow those lawns, to work on my sermon, to pick son up, to shop, to make dinner
1016.                   The blessing of knowing the blessing of work; inspired to work through hope to realise upon achievement
1017.                   One day seems so short, but there are so many things we can do in one whole day
1018.                   When days are long, knowing that this too shall pass
1019.                   Reminder that I am not entitled to pastor, especially as a divorcee
1020.                   Grateful that the Holy Spirit reminded me of all the ministry opportunities I’ve been given, which I did not entirely deserve
1021.                   Realising that life will certainly defeat us if we let it. Those defeats come in the shape of frustration and complaint and bitterness, all borne on the wings of expectation
1022.                   Too many things to be grateful for… too many to log at this point in time
1023.                   Time a mentor takes to service me and my ministry with their wisdom and care
1024.                   Discussion with a ministry wife about being relaxed and real with others
1025.                   Sounds of community emanating from the hall
1026.                   Son’s teacher remembered my name from first day
1027.                   Opportunity to serve in my son’s classroom
1028.                   Son very happy for Dad to leave at the appointed time after drop-off – only his second day
1029.                   The time I have to take a relaxed trip from A to B
1030.                   The mind’s reminder to take neutral positions (bodily, mentally, spiritually)
1031.                   The excitement I have to be alive right now
1032.                   For technical support that helps when we cannot afford to do without it
1033.                   Healthy salad for lunch
1034.                   The aspect of depth – the more we plunge in, the more we find God is already there
1035.                   Realising there is no divine reason to be discontented at all – but there are plenty of human reasons
1036.                   Somebody just suggested I created a 10,000 Reasons Facebook page
1037.                   The beauty, faith and innocence of a simply enquiry
1038.                   Thankful for a wife who deserves a better husband – so thankful she doesn’t think this, only me
1039.                   Mega grateful for the invitation to boutique ‘invite only’ training, and even more grateful that I don’t covet the opportunity
1040.                   Instead of saying ‘only 40 for the day’ I choose to say, ‘only 60 to go’
1041.                   Final documentation for house settlement falling into place – not long now
1042.                   For a wife that melds the business of marriage well with the intimacy of marriage
1043.                   I’m not sure if I’d mentioned chocolate yet??
1044.                   Brief chat on the phone with eldest daughter and had a couple of laughs about a challenging circumstance
1045.                   Still amazed that my wife does research for what is going to cost us to grant me an opportunity
1046.                   For reminders from my four-year-old son to drive with both hands on the wheel
1047.                   For the pug dog looking straight at me – he’s been begging to be acknowledged
1048.                   For my lack of being bothered by the paracetamol tablet the dropped between the wall and the refrigerator
1049.                   For the opportunity to be busy – for the drive that gets things done
1050.                   Being halfway to anywhere is a good thing
1051.                   Interrupted, I hear, ‘Dad, I need you to carry this tub…’ – how many people would love such interruptions
1052.                   Four-year-old quotes: ‘It was a bit hot, but we get through…’ and ‘I think I’m going to remember this day forever!’
1053.                   Allowing the mess of play to occur
1054.                   Perfect height cushions and how they facilitate a sleep on the floor
1055.                   Stillness as a statement to the busyness
1056.                   Bracing for news, whether it’s good, bad or otherwise
1057.                   Exploring the new area I’m moving to
1058.                   Learning to laugh at the confounding moment
1059.                   Seeing real life become the setting of child’s play
1060.                   Blessings produced in the moment without thought – only God
1061.                   Praising God, I’m not beyond being tested – my human sinful character is always still there
1062.                   Getting the child into bed, thankful that consequences for bad behaviour were accepted
1063.                   Grateful for the understanding that life is hard for all people – that there are impossible moments in everyone’s life
1064.                   My wife watering our lawn
1065.                   The comparative riches I’m blessed with
1066.                   Days so busy they are full of purpose
1067.                   My wife getting time to relax
1068.                   For the payment made by a relative into our bank account
1069.                   To help move daughter number 2 into her new home
1070.                   This is the first day I’ve found 100 hard – that is a good thing
1071.                   Evidence that I’ve not cleaned my desk for some time – I get what I get
1072.                   The power I have to stop at any time and assess where I’m at
1073.                   Understanding, again, that God does not force me to do this
1074.                   God is no legalistic God
1075.                   Comprehending that today God made, just like every day – the continual flow of life
1076.                   For humour that sets men and women apart within marriage
1077.                   The opportunity to gift some things to someone today
1078.                   For contemplations of defeat where the way of victory is chosen
1079.                   For warnings and the discernment God invites us into
1080.                   For reports, good and bad
1081.                   For weather forecasts and plans – sometimes they come off
1082.                   For tenacity – I will do this!
1083.                   The items that we can happily do without we say goodbye to
1084.                   The high visibility vest that my son was given in Bunnings Warehouse to keep him safe
1085.                   For the new school and its staff – what a great start it has been
1086.                   For thoughts and plans of rest tomorrow as I work on (enjoy) my sermon
1087.                   The wisdom received today from my pastoral supervisor
1088.                   For the fact my sight is so limited that I have to rely on God
1089.                   That God showed me I can never transcend myself
1090.                   The pride God shows me is impossible to subdue without Him
1091.                   For the first time I fear the enormity of this task – thank You for the truth, Lord
1092.                   For the stretches I have been instructed to perform for my back
1093.                   For common electrical power and light
1094.                   For the reliability of our two old cars
1095.                   For personality profiles that sum me up to a tee
1096.                   For marital interactions that go wrong – open up the redemptive pathway
1097.                   For the wisdom of transitioning to a more vegetarian diet
1098.                   My son’s aspirations for how I’m to play with him
1099.                   Those very first initial interactions with strangers who will soon become friends
1100.                   The instinct to help that is followed through with
1101.                   Enjoying thought for what might challenge me tomorrow – Lord, give me gratitude!

2 February 2018

1102.                   Opportunity to offer someone dear condolences
1103.                   Have woken early enough to start my list for the day – no alarm
1104.                   The sunlight peering through the edges of the blinds
1105.                   Excited for my second daughter in moving today
1106.                   The hope in me that yesterday’s fear that this task is too large disappears
1107.                   How the back does not remain stiff having woken and stretched
1108.                   Discretionary time today
1109.                   For the purpose in me that drives me for God each and every day
1110.                   My 80’s geometry set – reminiscing that I must have had it close to 40 years now
1111.                   The leadership my wife provides in our home – such great support
1112.                   The glorious trees, founded in earth, swinging in the breeze
1113.                   The wondrous bees, so important for the sustainability of our planet
1114.                   For the fact I learned guitar years ago – that I took the time
1115.                   For the touch-typing skill I have – one of the most valuable abilities
1116.                   The dream to become brilliant at anything – that God furnishes such a dream
1117.                   Casting eyes over a park – extending one’s sight beyond a few feet
1118.                   Gentle breezes and therapy on the skin
1119.                   Skin as a barrier protecting the body
1120.                   That I can overcome my fears – handling a python for the first-time last year, one instance
1121.                   Thankful eternally for grace, yet knowing I can never be truly thankful
1122.                   For Henri Nouwen (1932 – 1996)
1123.                   For losses, lest they teach me how to live close to God
1124.                   For courage when I would prefer to shrink
1125.                   For memory of experiences of faith expressed
1126.                   The edges of the lawn I tended to yesterday
1127.                   Remembering sweet and dear Nathanael (2014 – 2014), our dear son
1128.                   How life is changed by what happens to us, yet God is always to be trusted
1129.                   How big and how small the world can feel at the same time
1130.                   Imagining life at fast-forward speed, creatures of all kinds developing and dropping
1131.                   Who sustains me but God?
1132.                   Knowing that I love because I choose to give
1133.                   The tenuous breath
1134.                   The freedom I have to plan and schedule my life
1135.                   The privilege to clean up a wet bed
1136.                   The empowerment to get the bed ready straight away for tonight
1137.                   Delays to plans are good – they force me to reflect and to steel my resolve
1138.                   Serendipitous moment – son reading pictogram procedure and he does not yet read
1139.                   The privilege of explaining ‘news’ to my son
1140.                   Knowledge of my son’s mimicking, because it shows what he’s attentive to
1141.                   For time to think – maybe it’s not now, but soon
1142.                   Physical objects, not just as a reminder of clutter, but a reminder of affluence
1143.                   Knowing that spiritual riches trump material riches
1144.                   Taking hard things learned, because they were learned, as gifts
1145.                   Acknowledging the fact that God does not rush me
1146.                   Realising what comes after frustration – breakthrough – but surrender must come first
1147.                   The ability to craft a thoughtful email
1148.                   God’s reminder to thank someone
1149.                   For the inspiration of Scripture and what it does to my soul as I read it aloud passionately
1150.                   For opportunities to OPT OUT and unsubscribe
1151.                   For the fact I do not want another person’s life
1152.                   For the young child I hear crying, the reminder to pray
1153.                   Realising the senses are so keen that a sesame seed feels like a pebble on a bare foot
1154.                   When time runs slowly – and when time runs quickly
1155.                   Transactions – the world runs on trillions of them every second
1156.                   For reminders to do maintenance
1157.                   The purpose in pushing myself to find reasons to be thankful
1158.                   Deciding again and again to follow Jesus
1159.                   Realising the future belongs also to the present as commitments are made from the past
1160.                   You knew it the time you started – you could finish
1161.                   For the wisdom that says, ‘I plan but I’m flexible to change’
1162.                   For negotiations to begin good and godly associations
1163.                   When the hope of getting ahead on good and godly goals drives us to achieve
1164.                   Entering even for a moment the sanctity of His eternal Presence
1165.                   Recognising my presence in His Presence
1166.                   For that moment when inspiration resurrects me
1167.                   For the many reasons I’m thankful that don’t make it to this list because I cannot or do not record them
1168.                   Realising that the way I think is one particular way – only God is aware of all the ways
1169.                   For the fact my great niece is beginning to walk – for her parents’ joy
1170.                   For the choice to believe good things are coming – and are in fact here!
1171.                   The Passion of the Christ
1172.                   Realising the great antidote to entitlement is gratitude
1173.                   For the feeling of being ahead, in the clear, fairly vindicated
1174.                   For revelations that can only come from God
1175.                   Finding something to rejoice about in somebody else
1176.                   For the resilience that grows in pressing in on discipline
1177.                   For a lumbar spine that is 80 percent better
1178.                   When I see a mate stay open to God
1179.                   For the fruit of hard work
1180.                   When minds become aligned through the torrent of conflict
1181.                   For the space the sits this side of resolution, and knowing I’ve been here before
1182.                   Thought of bodily maintenance and taking the time to do it
1183.                   The story of Beryl Mills – national hero of the 1920s yet unknown now – good lessons for me in my striving
1184.                   Realising the folly of image – take heed – thankful for redirection
1185.                   When my son is suddenly enthusiastic, noticing what makes him curious
1186.                   For the greenery and oxygen of indoor plants
1187.                   For negotiation where elements are always a surprise
1188.                   Whenever I’m a target of somebody’s interest – even if I’ve done the wrong thing!
1189.                   Receiving motor vehicle re-registrations – reminders that systems must be paid for
1190.                   The privilege available in thanking people
1191.                   The gratitude that wells up with I’m perfectly happy helping in any way others determine they want help
1192.                   Wondering what can be done for a couple who are under massive financial pressure
1193.                   The privilege to serve in areas like my child’s school – to serve with no sense of entitlement
1194.                   Readying my heart to seek God’s will in how I serve in a little while
1195.                   Today has been a better day mentally than yesterday
1196.                   Realising gratitude comes in the issues demanding patience – God says, ‘will you?’
1197.                   Delighted to be prepared to wait 35 minutes for takeaway pizza and prayed for the cashier – the 35 minutes, a test – how do you really feel? Fine
1198.                   Something wonderful happens when we reject temptation – suddenly God is right there!
1199.                   Rediscovering the sweet divinity in a loneliness with the Lord
1200.                   Realising that to be a father requires a special variety of man; God starts with what He’s got
1201.                   Bracing myself for news – it’s inevitable

3 February 2018

1202.                   Up early, getting an especially early start – consciousness is something to be grateful for
1203.                   For a fresh e-book on preaching to tune me up
1204.                   Realising excuses never cut it
1205.                   Understanding I’m the only one who can shift me
1206.                   Realising that complaint can be veiled grief – I say to myself, just be honest
1207.                   No guilt projected onto me by my wife for me having discretionary time and her doing housework
1208.                   Bodily processes reminding me I’m alive
1209.                   Gainfully employed
1210.                   Space to work
1211.                   Mosquitos remind me to keep moving
1212.                   The importance of education – in all stages of life
1213.                   Privilege to pray for a bunch of kids’ names – some I know
1214.                   Function of frustration – teach me adequate responses that are good enough
1215.                   Thankful for communal workspaces – everyone is welcome even if it’s left messy
1216.                   Several jobs that cannot be done – beauty in accepting it
1217.                   Poise when I did something to ‘break’ the computer and didn’t
1218.                   Being unproductive though still patient and trying
1219.                   Accepting mysteries for what they are
1220.                   Minister with elderly folk tomorrow
1221.                   The folly of frustration – guard anger well – thank You, Lord
1222.                   Feeling into the feeling state of a loved one – vulnerability
1223.                   Thought to reconcile a possible hurt, and the action to do that thing
1224.                   Respond well, don’t react! Failure – thankful it’s a learning opportunity
1225.                   Respond well, don’t react! Failure – thankful I’m not giving up
1226.                   Respond well, don’t react! Success – finally!
1227.                   Back and knees holding up well under physical duress
1228.                   Up against it but not giving up – no way!
1229.                   Good conversation confirms things are okay
1230.                   Realising that there are swings and roundabouts in life – everyone suffers at some point
1231.                   The humility check/test – give grace (forgive!) to reveal humility
1232.                   My wife’s mother and father help their daughter with packing while I help my daughter
1233.                   For sore bones after a hard day’s work
1234.                   For the foresight of temptation about to occur – the right response
1235.                   Nearly made it through the entire wearisome day – not long to go
1236.                   Only two weeks until the shift
1237.                   Realising hard work is reward enough
1238.                   God is faithful when I push myself
1239.                   Slow going today means additional pressure – but not wilting
1240.                   Forgiving human/system ineptitude – why? Because I can
1241.                   Send the pleasant or good looking out to convey bad news
1242.                   Given a chance to be a hero – yes, why not?
1243.                   Coffee at 6pm
1244.                   My son making that coffee
1245.                   That my ex-wife and I work well together for our daughters
1246.                   A ‘lucky’ find – just when I was about to give up
1247.                   Turn it on, and wallah, the water comes!
1248.                   From start to finish it was a struggle, but we got there
1249.                   Energy, please Lord, to vacuum the filthy car – prayer granted!
1250.                   The concept of hard days interspersed with release days – lovely
1251.                   Anticipating a good relationship forming with our son’s new school
1252.                   Seeing the manipulation for what it is
1253.                   Footwear that holds faithful and carries me over the difficult journey
1254.                   Living legends are men and women just like you and me
1255.                   Led to watch TED – live a long life
1256.                   Value of close relationships – thankful for mine
1257.                   Thankful for the amount of social integration I get
1258.                   Rejecting junk time
1259.                   Embracing the new routine – toilet and teeth first
1260.                   A punishing schedule met
1261.                   Intimacy with the one I’m to be intimate with
1262.                   A dozen ways to rest, and it’s my choice
1263.                   A sprinkling of fun for the evening
1264.                   The redemptive opportunity arises again
1265.                   For the inflatable bed picked up for us at bargain price – for camping
1266.                   For our parents in the different ways they help us pack
1267.                   Attending to the business of buying a house!
1268.                   For the inspiration of action
1269.                   For sore feet as the sign of a day’s hard work
1270.                   The sheer thought of an important sermon coming up – thankful
1271.                   For the desire in my heart to love
1272.                   The privilege to ply my ‘trade’ just once more, then once more – the joy
1273.                   For God being rich in love and slow to anger
1274.                   For the things I aspire to learn – the craving to improve
1275.                   For the confidence that comes with quiet and steady progress
1276.                   That I don’t drink instant coffee anymore – unless it’s purely for fellowship
1277.                   My son has a new drink bottle
1278.                   For the redemptive moment my son and I shared today
1279.                   For my wife’s gorgeous hair
1280.                   No fear in death – though I need to stay alive
1281.                   The dishes are done – ready for bed
1282.                   So much done today
1283.                   My God is mighty to save
1284.                   Jesus proved He is real, and He continues to reveal His Presence
1285.                   I’m not judged for my fears and failures
1286.                   Happy, abundantly happy, to not be good enough for some, many people
1287.                   The fact I have nothing left to prove or gain
1288.                   The hopes I have of visiting my home town
1289.                   For the lunch that my mother-in-law brought with her today
1290.                   For what God has to teach me in unnecessary delay
1291.                   For the thought to gift someone something, even if it is not going to work
1292.                   For the four stories we read to our son before bed tonight
1293.                   Our son sleeps
1294.                   Our son’s assimilation into his new school
1295.                   The new school’s keenness for me to get involved
1296.                   For the fact and trepidation that we’re moving
1297.                   For the Eldership and Pastor at our church
1298.                   For stained glass windows and the way light works through them
1299.                   Realising that remembering jobs is a saving grace
1300.                   For quick laughs
1301.                   The fact that impossible stands for I’m Possible
1302.                   The rest about to occur

4 February 2018

1303.                   For awareness of the great sins I was involved in yesterday – repenting of them
1304.                   When I don’t get the success I expect – what I do with that
1305.                   When things surprisingly fit and I knew they’d be close – that tradesman’s eye
1306.                   Reminder of morning and the body getting going again
1307.                   Finding my sense and reason – exercising the brain’s need to think
1308.                   Thought of a week ahead and two
1309.                   Realising just how much ‘stuff’ we have – we are comparatively rich
1310.                   Waking with the thought of dreams that replayed in the mind’s creative ways, those interactions where I missed the mark yesterday
1311.                   Forgiving myself
1312.                   Knowing I don’t need to exercise as I’m working physically hard enough at present
1313.                   For a good night’s sleep
1314.                   For the chance to help two daughters over the previous two days
1315.                   Knowing that I’m supposed to be set apart (holy) and I’m often just like everyone else
1316.                   God not condemning me for not being holy enough
1317.                   For a mentor who has travelled the journey with us, who baptised me 27 years ago
1318.                   For conversations I had yesterday that give me insight in how to pray
1319.                   Knowing this THOUSAND is wordier than the first
1320.                   For the fact, yesterday, I could say, ‘I’ve got a contract’
1321.                   Thankful for the option to love – that love is always a gift
1322.                   For the kind heart of God who never forces Himself on me
1323.                   For the anticipation of intimacy
1324.                   For transforming conversations I never expected to have
1325.                   The fact I’m happy to ‘waste my time’ doing this activity
1326.                   Cloud cover reminding me of the sun’s light
1327.                   For the enormity of creation – how many fragments are there?
1328.                   For progress, and for memories of past
1329.                   That God gives me the ability to conjure a dream and I have the ability at times to bring it to reality
1330.                   The memories a social media platform provides
1331.                   Just how my children’s faces have changed – wow!
1332.                   Thought of inconvenience as opportunity to respond well
1333.                   Just drawing breath
1334.                   Waving goodbye to wife and mum
1335.                   Showing my son what wear on car tyres looks like – seeing his interest
1336.                   The luxury of looking for inspiration
1337.                   The peace available in waiting
1338.                   That every new relationship is a new opportunity to install good boundaries
1339.                   There are 7,599,587,388 souls alive as at the time I typed part of this sentence; all creations of God
1340.                   For the warning: storm’s coming!
1341.                   Planning going in for the next Sabbath opportunity
1342.                   That I can be there for others
1343.                   Every leaf is a different shape
1344.                   For space between the ears
1345.                   When the flow of words comes, and I cannot stop it
1346.                   That bones gain strength when they bear weight
1347.                   Times when my son grabs my chin, so I can see something special
1348.                   A new ball game!
1349.                   Testing moments remind me of the option of gratitude
1350.                   For awareness of temptations to spend time not connecting with family
1351.                   The positive self-talk that gets me beyond the madness of chaos
1352.                   Watching my son play the game called ‘tangles’
1353.                   Seeing my wife sleep
1354.                   Embracing the impossible
1355.                   Being so open to possibility that improbability no longer feels impossible
1356.                   Casting an eye over the park across the road
1357.                   Lazy Sunday afternoons
1358.                   Gifted a position I never sought out
1359.                   Decision for ice cream
1360.                   Choice to eat in or out… in!
1361.                   Choose the agency of life and joy
1362.                   God says, ‘Anticipate the test – it’s part of life’
1363.                   The body’s ability to endure
1364.                   The mind’s capacity for change
1365.                   The soul’s resilience
1366.                   Another redemptive opportunity
1367.                   Tempted, seriously tempted to give up – good I’m being honest
1368.                   My wife’s wisdom and perseverance
1369.                   Rose buds
1370.                   For antacids
1371.                   When God spoke to me about my desperation for Him this morning
1372.                   For having an instinctive response ‘I can’t live without Him’ to the question ‘why do you walk with God?’
1373.                   Feet that feel… like they’ve walked 15 kilometres
1374.                   Cherishing the humility that meant my son received an apology and a promise
1375.                   As I will be preaching this week, The Answer is Always Jesus
1377.                   Hearing the shower running and wife in there
1378.                   Encouraging start for friends opening their gym for charity
1379.                   Prayers for a ministry undergoing hardship
1380.                   Thanking God for a catch up soon with a guy who is struggling
1381.                   For a fresh burst of excitement i.e. hope
1382.                   Wrestling and believing!
1383.                   83 at 8:48 PM
1384.                   Fundamentals of grace that do not change… ever
1385.                   A clear mind with things to do before bedtime
1386.                   The wardrobe is packed!
1387.                   Sensing opportunities to deepen relationships, tomorrow
1388.                   Living in the power of honest reflection
1389.                   The inner belief that can come only from Jesus – because He suffered, I too can suffer
1390.                   Praise You, God, this faith journey is just like You say it is, in Your Word – not easy
1391.                   Running against time but not running out of time
1392.                   Making time to continue the resolve
1393.                   Tomorrow will be a good day full of tests
1394.                   Message taking shape
1395.                   Doughy eyed, but still going on
1396.                   Sharpie pen that has been faithful for three years plus
1397.                   The privilege of posting updates to a church Facebook page
1398.                   We have been safe in this house this week
1399.                   Nearly 14 percent the way there – every percent is a fight
1400.                   Seeing class that takes up the range of skill several notches
1401.                   For the time to wait
1402.                   Do they know its Christmas? AND We are the World – great World Aid songs
1403.                   To be aware of the true state of my heart – The answer is always Jesus

5 February 2018

1404.                   So thankful that some aspects of the past are in the past
1405.                   Glad that dreams are not real life – remind me of the worst possible scenarios
1406.                   For the birdlife here in the mornings
1407.                   For the time allocated to rest today
1408.                   The opportunity to preach a special sermon this Sunday
1409.                   For the creativity that courses through me
1410.                   The engagement I have with kids and adults alike when it comes to care
1411.                   That I have learned some hard lessons in wisdom from the past five years
1412.                   The opportunity to encourage a minister via email
1413.                   Realising that the minutes tick by (very fairly) and they wait for no person
1414.                   For the plane soaring overhead, for people on board
1415.                   For the thought, ‘What am I truly grateful for?’
1416.                   Realising that complaint is the antithesis of gratitude, and this endeavour puts sufficient pressure on that could cause complaint – thankful to know
1417.                   For the initiative of planning – what the mind can create
1418.                   The space allocated to me in this life – and the time
1419.                   Importance is a fickle concept in this life
1420.                   Patience in a situation that could have evoked anger
1421.                   Realising that some situations are beyond the pale – sometimes we’re confounded and it’s best to accept it
1422.                   The purpose that pushes and drives me
1423.                   The gorgeous view
1424.                   A mind in overdrive – sharp & effective
1425.                   Realising that offenses done against me are nowhere near as bad as offenses done to me – positional power is a distinct advantage
1426.                   Daily inspiration, some of which I’m privileged to provide
1427.                   For the moments before class today when I arrested a slide in my son’s focus
1428.                   Meeting a mother whose son is autistic – praying how I could connect in a meaningful way
1429.                   Knowing what God has for me to know now
1430.                   Safe drive from A to B
1431.                   Cool morning with pleasant music overlooking a river
1432.                   Feeling refreshed enough within my spirit
1433.                   Fourth solid goodbye in a row – son happy in his new school
1434.                   For solid yet sensitive and heartfelt words of rebuke from my wife last night
1435.                   That I listened to her
1436.                   The vow of repentance that occurs when I want and need to do better
1437.                   The will that sees that vow through, helped in dependence on God
1438.                   Knowing when I’m in the right place I have all I need to succeed
1439.                   The will in me that seeks to bless the next person in the next encounter
1440.                   Praying for the working owner of this café – she works so hard
1441.                   Realising that small business and consultancy aren’t the perks they seem to be
1442.                   For the presence of mind to text someone undergoing a medical procedure today
1443.                   Hope in me knowing I’m ahead – the diligence to keep working hard to stay ahead
1444.                   Having a number in mind and determined to stick to it
1445.                   70 before 10 AM
1446.                   The service this shirt has seen
1447.                   Plans to spend more time at the park this afternoon
1448.                   The courage to break a certain alliance
1449.                   The conviction to stand firm in another particular way
1450.                   The flexibility afforded with my diet given the amount of physical activity I’m getting
1451.                   Having several pairs of cheap sunglasses; better than having one good pair I cannot find
1452.                   Noticing the gait of others at the café
1453.                   This world continues whirring on
1454.                   The pre-school children coming to the park like we would have the past few years
1455.                   Fulltime school – for time us and for stimulation for him
1456.                   That my wife’s diligence means she completely manages herself
1457.                   The fact she demands me to manage myself – we have an adult relationship
1458.                   The example we know we are, which we do not take for granted, recognising how much work is involved
1459.                   The fact I have a Holy Bible with me – my College Bible – it’s been through thick and thin with me
1460.                   Going over the notes of my message and passion is building – Lord, help me preach with conviction
1461.                   The mirror finish on the water
1462.                   The birds fraternising with the patrons
1463.                   The still air and gently wafting breeze
1464.                   The over 55’s cycling group – wait! I could be part of this group soon!
1465.                   Realising, again and again, that life is a test – to expect, see, meet and overcome the test
1466.                   The flavours of salt, pepper, sugar in moderate portions
1467.                   Close friends catching up – praying for them
1468.                   Having bought coffee just before that cycling group arrived
1469.                   Realising that a focus on 100 100’s does not make gratitude a fait accompli
1470.                   Realising the gift and blessing that hard work facilitates
1471.                   There you go, 70 by 9:49 AM
1472.                   Love that feeling when I’m on a roll
1473.                   The hope that even after being a minister over 10 years I can still be transformed by the renewing of my mind
1474.                   The faith that compels me to keep going even if I’m well ahead
1475.                   Those who are on a date – give them their intimacy, Lord – help them desire it
1476.                   The concept that we can work for our freedom
1477.                   Praying for a relative as they consolidate their workplace performance
1478.                   For the fact that I too have been an underperformer
1479.                   The rest that surrenders life back for a period to the Lord
1480.                   The air that is this moment being consumed by me and those around me
1481.                   For the skill in those ambulance officers as they speed past, sirens blaring
1482.                   For the heart in my eldest daughter who seeks to be one of their number
1483.                   Contact with second daughter – working hard on family relationships – making every bit of the moments I have
1484.                   For young families making their way – hoping they don’t expect to be  perfect
1485.                   For pleasant fragrances of perfume
1486.                   That good feeling about notes taken – and notes for use
1487.                   For the facial expressions on small children
1488.                   When God says don’t outstay your stay
1489.                   Essential maintenance of all kinds
1490.                   A beautiful drop of coffee – have I said that yet? 😉
1491.                   The opportunity to wear a good name on a T-shirt
1492.                   For lighting at night time that helps me feel safe and shows me where to go
1493.                   Knowing that though winning is a possibility, competing is enough
1494.                   It is good to brought down to a human level
1495.                   Despite the risk, decided to message someone where it could cost time to have messaged
1496.                   An apology due for forgetting an appointment
1497.                   For the memory of a recent emotional revelation in my son
1498.                   For the phone call of a mentor kind of man who wants to catch up
1499.                   The way that message just come out – praying for just right modulation for the day
1500.                   Keep going, son, said the Lord… Keep going!
1501.                   The possibilities are endless
1502.                   Given the wisdom to draft an appropriate email
1503.                   Realising that being led by the Holy Spirit is nothing about impulsivity
1504.                   Music that whips up the emotion, creating languages of its own
1505.                   The sense I have this moment for words that God is furnishing me with
1506.                   Time to have a quick takeaway meal
1507.                   Wrestling with a friend about the options open to them
1508.                   Time filming son riding at the park across the road in the house we’re moving out of
1509.                   Rather wrestle with other people’s unmanageable lives than lead an unmanageable life
1510.                   The thanks of a son happy to have his needs met
1511.                   The prayers of a high-performing CEO for our house move
1512.                   For personal protective equipment
1513.                   The opportunity to stress for others – it’s a choice but not a good one
1514.                   The Lonely Shepherd
1515.                   Thankful for the lessons that are painful in the ‘right now’ – I know God is there
1516.                   Praying for safe return for my wife
1517.                   For the ease with which dinner came together
1518.                   For the shower I will soon have
1519.                   For the fact I can be distracted and still have the opportunity to meet my goal
1520.                   So thankful for the experience of Nathanael’s little life – to hold him in my heart and then in my hands and arms
1521.                   The listening support of my wife, no matter how tired she is
1522.                   The pleasure of winding down and going to bed
1523.                   For the myriad of tools that make my simple life easier
1524.                   For symbols of idols that are a complete and utter waste of time and effort as reminders
1525.                   For reminders of good times had that were forgotten
1526.                   The treasure trove of a lifetime of memories
1527.                   Realising I’ve already written something on a subject, and forgotten
1528.                   Those grand moments I ought to have remembered but have forgotten
1529.                   Having met a challenge

6 February 2018

1530.                   Embracing another day – Midnight already
1531.                   Time for bed – rest up because I can
1532.                   Waking so well after only 5 hours sleep
1533.                   Realising my life is better than the dream I woke from
1534.                   Smooth exit from home
1535.                   There is a plan for the early part of day
1536.                   The walls that give me privacy when I shower
1537.                   The principle of stillness even as water drips from my body
1538.                   Knowing my purpose is to serve, to help, to exist, to survive
1539.                   When God said to me, ‘What are you looking for?’
1540.                   ‘Are you looking for reasons to be grateful?’ – yes, I am, Lord
1541.                   Encountering people, some anxious, whom I have the privilege to pray for
1542.                   The support student G and parent K
1543.                   Having the will to do a job my comfort didn’t want to do at that time
1544.                   For the grace given of God to blend both roles in my work
1545.                   For air conditioning
1546.                   Fellowship with fellow parents
1547.                   Watching children learn
1548.                   The privilege to be paid to work with children – trusted with their safety
1549.                   Being present whilst children are learning chess from an expert
1550.                   Poise when the heart wants to give out – using the mind to push through
1551.                   For knowledge that my son struggled today – would rather know
1552.                   That I’ll be interviewed on radio about 10,000 Reasons tomorrow
1553.                   For the energy to devote to an ailing marriage last night
1554.                   The sounds of certain persons voices – the sounds of spoken words
1555.                   Feeling blessed for having the space to do this right now
1556.                   Watching children learn
1557.                   That my wife has an opportunity to rest
1558.                   That my help is sought tonight
1559.                   Knowing my perceptions are being reframed
1560.                   Acknowledging the needs of equality for the sexes
1561.                   The luxury of time to think and plan
1562.                   For each anxious ELC parent who leaves their child at school
1563.                   Planning for that radio interview – so good to reflect
1564.                   Knowing that life is full of frustration – but I can overcome
1565.                   That I minister with a smile and an ear
1566.                   Making every minute count
1567.                   For knowledge of the learning pit
1568.                   To do some lifting and moving for a pregnant woman
1569.                   To create more car parking space by moving some material
1570.                   Several other offers of help all taken up – that I’m in the position to serve
1571.                   For the mutual encouragement of a woman who is 60 when I said I was 50
1572.                   Finding the model aeroplane perched in the tree
1573.                   The excitement in boys’ who came to the park to retrieve it
1574.                   For the exciting news that my son scored the ‘highest score ever’ in his speech pathology assessment
1575.                   For the fact that I don’t need anything to celebrate to have cause to celebrate
1576.                   Spending time with neighbours we’ve come to love
1577.                   Overcoming exhaustion through not expecting too much from myself
1578.                   Numerous times I went above and beyond today – only once did I miss the mark and I apologised for that
1579.                   This cool and refreshing orange juice
1580.                   Finding something that I call fresh and writing about it
1581.                   My son playing at my feet
1582.                   What is it that I’m looking for? Reasons to be grateful? Yes!
1583.                   Realising that giving up is a failure of love as much as anything
1584.                   Content that I endeavour not to exploit people
1585.                   For another opportunity to help bring closure to something unhealthy
1586.                   For the ideals of love that we all commit to, but often without weighing the consequences
1587.                   For the reminder the body gives when we wear clothes that we’re bigger or smaller
1588.                   For the technology in battery power
1589.                   That there’s nothing new under the sun – thank You, Lord, that we invent nothing
1590.                   For the concept of evening – like it evens the day out
1591.                   For acknowledging my weakness; to honour the truth
1592.                   For the fact my wife thinks differently to me
1593.                   Praying with my wife, interceding for dear loved friends
1594.                   For the freedom to eat what I want, though not all that is wise
1595.                   Finishing planning my responses for radio interview
1596.                   Happy despite having my plans blocked tonight
1597.                   To get our son more comfortable in his bed for a long night’s sleep
1598.                   That my wife hasn’t gone to bed yet
1599.                   Our lives are pretty sweet
1600.                   Thankful we sold our spare queen bed

7 February 2018

1601.                   Thoughts of visiting a friend today who may be too unwell to visit
1602.                   Again, a dream, and what to make of it – this time as counsellor
1603.                   This day ahead
1604.                   This Sunday coming
1605.                   Tomorrow as my last workday for the week
1606.                   The outlook as I open blinds
1607.                   Stillness as I look
1608.                   Planning for exercise ahead
1609.                   Setting a date as a birthday gift for my wife
1610.                   The feeling as the body’s faculties get ready for action
1611.                   The privileges afforded the healthy marriage relationship
1612.                   My son telling me the time as a reminder
1613.                   The gift of music to a family who have until now not had connection
1614.                   I don’t have chronic pain
1615.                   Inspired by the resilience and faith of those with chronic pain
1616.                   Acknowledgement – yes, that’s all
1617.                   The privilege to be invited to help present something
1618.                   Just so grateful to see God moving in my life
1619.                   Humour between acquaintances
1620.                   Acknowledging my limitations and human frailty and accepting them
1621.                   Knowing that I’ve been placed in certain people’s lives – and they in mine
1622.                   That I can sing, good enough for a choir, maybe not well enough as a soloist
1623.                   For a spare moment after a good performance
1624.                   To challenge myself and push through into a moment’s success – what a feeling!
1625.                   For the fact that I’m not there to advise people, but listen and ruminate with them
1626.                   When good news of God’s action comes through at the 11th hour
1627.                   Sitting in a takeaway restaurant with food
1628.                   Milk drinks of many kinds
1629.                   Feels like a day when all the planets align
1630.                   For the generosity of another person who gets me to where God wants me to go
1631.                   For the blessed nap I just had
1632.                   For signage that warns me of an imminent hazard
1633.                   For the freedom everyone here enjoys right this moment
1634.                   For the ‘fame’ of 10,000 Reasons after this morning
1635.                   For atmosphere
1636.                   That my eldest daughter connects with her Dad – all three do
1637.                   For a well-placed lavatory
1638.                   For instant messaging and mobile phones
1639.                   For the gift of tiredness that compels rest
1640.                   The bridge that carries my load
1641.                   The compulsion to be thankful
1642.                   That we are now only two steps away from owning our own home (owing the bank a lot of money!)
1643.                   The insight to pray for my son’s news report
1644.                   Making the time to send someone a discretional text message
1645.                   Smile encouragements
1646.                   Godly compulsions
1647.                   How I get lost in my message as I deliver it
1648.                   Being in the Zone
1649.                   Recognising before time that the pressure mounts tomorrow – get ahead!
1650.                   Resetting goals amid adjusted expectations
1651.                   Praying against anxiety in fellow parents – kids deserve safety
1652.                   Enjoying the working day, no matter how hot (or cold) it gets
1653.                   Love pushing myself
1654.                   The hope that I will grow to appreciate when others consistently push me
1655.                   Praying into dual roles tomorrow
1656.                   Thankful for that cool breeze – how it reminds me of air and oxygen
1657.                   Someone is giving me an empty wine bottle – I’m very happy about that
1658.                   Taking risks in faith – ready to be wrong, but hoping it’s a blessing
1659.                   The moment I realise my efforts are rewarded in time
1660.                   Being rejected yet given a lifeline
1661.                   When action precedes thought – or seems to
1662.                   For elegant simplicity
1663.                   For warning sounds and tones that help us in our performance
1664.                   For teamwork that occurs which highlights great human connection
1665.                   That good things are coming, always, and that the best is yet to come
1666.                   … interesting number for this one, but for eternal salvation – the life to come
1667.                   Refresh functions – keeping pages relevant
1668.                   Setting goals and keeping them
1669.                   For when I have the courage to be realistic
1670.                   80 today, 50 tonight
1671.                   The grace and even-keeled personality in my wife
1672.                   That a relative’s surgery seemed to go well
1673.                   That a trip to emergency for another relative ended well
1674.                   Today’s décor is likely to date, but I like it
1675.                   A request of a friend, someone I mentor, for my wife to photograph their wedding
1676.                   When the numbers add up, and for the person who checks the numbers
1677.                   For the song, Unchained Melody
1678.                   Being published regularly on an African American men’s website blog
1679.                   For song notes that are incredible to hear
1680.                   For the standards of cleanliness enshrined in law and good practice
1681.                   When good things keep happening
1682.                   Poise when it seems everything’s bad
1683.                   Patience with computer systems
1684.                   Time to publish a book – long-awaited
1685.                   Realising, as a good friend puts it, there is always hope
1686.                   Granting a memory fresh life
1687.                   Listening to 1980s music
1688.                   Balancing sleep with tenacity – one gives license for the other
1689.                   Time together at a location that may be our last visit to as a family – acknowledging it
1690.                   Memories of being alone and dreaming in 2004
1691.                   What God has brought to pass since 2004
1692.                   Reconciling a matter with a friend that proved to be no misunderstanding at all
1693.                   Practice, practice, practice
1694.                   Orchestral music
1695.                   What Christ did on the cross for me (and you)!
1696.                   A sharp and timely rebuke that brings life
1697.                   Reflecting on the Sermon on the Mount – Scripture that challenges every cell and sinew of our being
1698.                   Recognising that education is not only a need but a human right
1699.                   Remembering to finish an important task
1700.                   Stopping to thank God now – God, my Father, my Saviour, thank You
1701.                   Poised to strike a blow for my Employer again tomorrow
1702.                   Anything that inspires right action, that is what I aim to do
1703.                   Thankful for the opportunity to encourage
1704.                   Thought of meeting and getting to know people of the alliance
1705.                   A reminder of just how momentous life is
1706.                   All up, a radio interview, sponsorship to an invite only marquee training event, a request to present at a conference potentially re-railing a book project on Nathanael’s life AND a reject letter from Gottman Institute but with suggestions and a promise to review – not over yet!
1707.                   Wife’s response on the phone when we were offered sponsorship to the training event
1708.                   Grateful I never did suicide on the four occasions over the years I considered it
1709.                   So thankful to God that He spoke reminding me of my three precious daughters
1710.                   I like staying ahead
1711.                   The nerves I feel before I perform, and how I ignore them
1712.                   One step closer, even if it feels not much closer at all
1713.                   Realising that gratitude builds motivation into inspiration
1714.                   Knowing what work is ahead and having the insight to do the work early
1715.                   The joy of planning birthday parties
1716.                   The moment of surrender
1717.                   Not even weary, but moving fast before it sets in
1718.                   Stir within my soul, Lord, Your way in me
1719.                   Deciding to begin work, so encouraged by what can be done with little time
1720.                   Looking behind me and a light on in the room – good sign; not too late to go to bed
1721.                   Making a solid start is a head start
1722.                   Looking for signs with open eyes and open ears

8 February 2018

1723.                   Time made to get parts to do a job
1724.                   Pleasant conversation with my manager
1725.                   Three great devotions had (years 4-6) on gratitude
1726.                   Time to rest at the park
1727.                   Watching my son absorbed in play
1728.                   Helping my principal
1729.                   Helping my deputy principal
1730.                   Ordering regalia
1731.                   Tiredness that helps me be thankful for sleep
1732.                   Napping now
1733.                   The unique games my son plays
1734.                   Enjoying memories of this park
1735.                   Hearing jets above thinking that’s me in six weeks
1736.                   There is adventure about life
1737.                   Sand between feet where afterward feet might be washed
1738.                   I am at peace with this park
1739.                   Even a few minutes loss of consciousness
1740.                   Thankful I’m a father
1741.                   Meeting people I don’t know
1742.                   Buying my so chocolate
1743.                   The trust others place in me
1744.                   For the interest garnered in the students’ today
1745.                   For the water the lawn in now getting
1746.                   For naps attempted
1747.                   For a full stomach
1748.                   For the excitement of a Sunday coming with men with a passion for God
1749.                   That creativity comes in the Spirit when I need it to come
1750.                   Blessed sounds of play in the bathroom
1751.                   For the fact that social media puts me in touch with so many people I know
1752.                   For the ebb and flow of hope and despair
1753.                   For the BIG life God has given
1754.                   For the transformational possibilities in children – they never resist deeper discussions
1755.                   The will that says I will not give up
1756.                   Cold refreshments on a warm day; warm ones on a cold day
1757.                   Coffee any day
1758.                   For the search, for life is in the search
1759.                   Watching my son play hospitals
1760.                   Pins and needles, the sign of nerves, thankfully temporary
1761.                   Recovery food and drinks
1762.                   Inspired to send an update email to staff on the gratitude devotions
1763.                   That I’m happy now to be interrupted as it’s better than forgetting something
1764.                   Clean body, freshened up mind
1765.                   Thankful for the poise to make gracious responses even if I don’t want to
1766.                   That the kitchen is packed, and I didn’t even have to lift a finger
1767.                   The immense value of a sense of humour
1768.                   How music presents throwbacks to a bygone era
1769.                   Thankful for an 18-year-old and her father – hoping things will end well
1770.                   Acknowledging that there are no ‘pat’ answers
1771.                   Opportunities to do work to clean this old place up
1772.                   Honey on toast with orange juice
1773.                   The hope I will ultimately write something truly remarkable
1774.                   The hope that says, Give me Your Words, Lord
1775.                   Making a mess and not having to clean it up
1776.                   This solid house that has served us for over three years
1777.                   How much our son has grown here
1778.                   The hope that God will give me new eyes and ears
1779.                   The hope of the forgiveness of the silent detractor
1780.                   All Together Baptist Retreat
1781.                   Email response about getting our book on Nathanael published
1782.                   The opportunity to pray for several people who are unwell in our church
1783.                   For the courage to be honest
1784.                   Not there yet, and yet that’s okay
1785.                   That least of all Jesus pressures me to ascend in worldly performance as a ‘successful’ Christian
1786.                   Knowing that being pushed is an opportunity to press in to God even more
1787.                   Open the floodgates of heaven
1788.                   Worried I wouldn’t get close to 100 today, yet I’m close now
1789.                   For every gracious answer
1790.                   For the hopes I have for health in the future
1791.                   When Badlands treat us good – thank you, Bruce Springsteen
1792.                   Hearts of hope
1793.                   That it’s not about the list
1794.                   Adventures afoot
1795.                   Whenever I sing without thinking
1796.                   Speaking on gratitude today with three classes
1797.                   That feeling when I’m almost there but not quite
1798.                   Looking forward to meeting with another chaplain tomorrow, someone with so much experience and wisdom
1799.                   Whenever I acknowledge that my ambitions are not what Jesus wants for me
1800.                   For the ability to see certain things through the experiences God has given me

9 February 2018

1801.                   For the bridge and then the tunnel – how blessed I am by engineering
1802.                   How I feel like a Test cricketer batting to make a century by starting off on zero each day
1803.                   For making it to school on time
1804.                   For the poise not to panic when the clothes weren’t ready
1805.                   The fact that as a family we can work together
1806.                   For the composure that chooses joy over anxiety
1807.                   The interactions I had with multiple parents in my son’s class
1808.                   How effusive joy is
1809.                   For four days coming that offer something hopeful
1810.                   There is no pain in the body today
1811.                   For the waitress on the phone right now – praying it is a positive phone call
1812.                   For this scene, alley at 224 Carr Place, and for this green
1813.                   For the hum of life
1814.                   The way my son gave me permission to leave his school
1815.                   For the wisdom of empathy
1816.                   For the parking spot I was able to get for free
1817.                   To know again, that I’m working on ridding myself ODAAT of entitlement
1818.                   To know the freedom in living for others
1819.                   For my wife’s patience with me
1820.                   For the courtesy of other drivers on the road
1821.                   For that man’s annoying voice and tone – reminds me that I still have tolerance to learn
1822.                   The insight to leave something go for the day
1823.                   For the little things in the faith (micro decisions) that work through simple trust
1824.                   For evidence of dirt – reminds me that my eye for cleanliness is improving – yet the dirt does not bother me
1825.                   For freedom of interaction – we can and need to talk with anyone
1826.                   The incredible multiplicity of life
1827.                   For Max’s birthday
1828.                   A delightful catch up had
1829.                   Sharing family stories and hopes with friends
1830.                   The option to stay or go
1831.                   A cool summer’s day and a gorgeous breeze
1832.                   The freedom to eat
1833.                   The passion God gives when I ‘carry’ a message
1834.                   How social media helps iron sharpen iron
1835.                   Reflecting how much time changes our prospects – so much life is packed into even 10 years
1836.                   A moment of unconscious rest
1837.                   The pan flute
1838.                   Watching the cricket from home
1839.                   Taking advantage of the moment
1840.                   For the hopes we all have
1841.                   That we live this life on a wing and a prayer, but who would be dead otherwise
1842.                   For the fruit of hard of hard work
1843.                   Even for the mistakes I think I could have made but haven’t
1844.                   For the foresight to make a transaction days away just a little smoother
1845.                   That even when an infuriating thing happens, gratitude gives me the option of a different perspective
1846.                   When bad news is delivered compassionately
1847.                   The silence of night where the only sound is wind
1848.                   Gorgeous streetscape
1849.                   Knowledge of God’s dear Presence
1850.                   The moment my son falls asleep
1851.                   The wonder in a confused moment where I’m still at peace
1852.                   The journey to a brand-new place
1853.                   Acknowledgement
1854.                   For the knowledge of good and evil through the Holy Spirit
1855.                   For the creativity this process forces
1856.                   For the pharmaceuticals we rely on to get better
1857.                   When grass grows well – for freshly mown grass
1858.                   For the humble ice block
1859.                   For a text message that was received in grace
1860.                   That the light fitting above my head is securely fixed to the ceiling
1861.                   For tenacity that affords energy despite interruptions
1862.                   For the computer lead and plug unit I just found!
1863.                   For my new Electro Pop Sharpie Pens
1864.                   For the props in life that God reminds me to cast before Him
1865.                   As a Test cricketer would, I consider the century before me and say, ‘still some way yet’
1866.                   That soon the aircraft take-offs will not be heard by us!
1867.                   When the timing of a certain moment is foreseen and then acted upon
1868.                   Coveting the next idea to write on – purpose that courses through my neurological pathways
1869.                   How a volley of issues can come in within minutes – all God’s plan and purpose
1870.                   My wife’s desire to connect with my son
1871.                   Thoughts of my eldest daughter and prayers for her
1872.                   Thoughts of my youngest daughter, wondering what she’s up to
1873.                   Thanking God that my daughters are safe as far as I can ascertain
1874.                   Thankful for the diligence that compels us to keep up with what we need to do
1875.                   The wisdom that helps us plan to have enough bodies helping pack and unpack the moving truck
1876.                   The fact that any person’s garden is their business and theirs alone
1877.                   For the power that runs this house and every house
1878.                   Prayers for a certain family scattered all over another city
1879.                   For a balanced bank account
1880.                   For the making of accounts – the scales of justice
1881.                   For interesting email, text and voice messages – for the hope that every ‘ping’ invites
1882.                   For the fact that I’m pretty certain the sun will rise tomorrow
1883.                   For my brother’s birthday tomorrow
1884.                   For the old carpet that was well worn when we moved in three years ago – that still serves today
1885.                   That architectural plans have an inherent wisdom in them
1886.                   For the laughs we can have with and about ourselves
1887.                   Seeing my son use a Nerf gun for the first time
1888.                   Seeing any first – witnessing it first hand
1889.                   Thought that I’m nearly through the SECOND THOUSAND
1890.                   Knowing that life is pretty sweet, albeit incredibly busy, right now
1891.                   For the desire to be friendly and kind without needing it to be returned
1892.                   Got to know another parent today with a child in my son’s class – thank You, Lord, for Georgina
1893.                   Another chat with another parent I met a few days ago – good rapport developing
1894.                   When my wife has that ‘don’t disturb me right now’ look – I know she’s working hard for us
1895.                   When emotions peak like a torrent – God touches the soul
1896.                   Looks like I earn the right to write tonight! 8:54 PM
1897.                   The fact that I ride tomorrow – a lazy 26.6 KM
1898.                   That the search continues – a purpose is to have a purpose
1899.                   The pictures formed and the power of the mind amid imaginings
1900.                   The inspiration received right now – for the health of my mind
1901.                   The fact I can do more – I can always do more – I only have to choose to

10 February 2018

1902.                   For the chance to revise a conversation
1903.                   For a full night’s sleep that I thought might be curtailed
1904.                   That I anticipate rest in a situation – not sure it will occur, but there’s the hope
1905.                   For the love of my wife
1906.                   For the workers of our nation – for what gets done in the name of labour
1907.                   Whenever I feel like just being me – which is more and more the older I get
1908.                   For the thought of fellowship over breakfast with other men
1909.                   For the wisdom of saving my back for shifting house
1910.                   Knowing that it is fellowship that brings me alive – I hated this concept six years ago
1911.                   For the bravery that says ‘give it a go – step forward into the risk’
1912.                   For the fact that my son loves to mimic – in this case, cleaning his ‘shed’ roof
1913.                   For the encouragement of others – we all need it
1914.                   Stepping into our own home in one week’s time – so very thankful
1915.                   For the young ladies making coffee – for their working relationship and personal lives I pray
1916.                   The ability to intercede on behalf of others
1917.                   For marketing. For all its deceit, for when it’s designed to make decision making easier
1918.                   Knowing that God knows me through and through, always and forever, and He knows my eternal destiny, though the details of such is a mystery to us all
1919.                   The wonder in creation – why did God make cockroaches?
1920.                   For the peace I have sitting here in this noisy place
1921.                   For a gracious response given, a genuine smile, when tempted not to
1922.                   For a homemade lunch – knowing what is made
1923.                   To sit with my son and watch Cars
1924.                   Watching WA play shield cricket against NSW online
1925.                   For a ministry day off
1926.                   For the first Nerf gun purchase for our home
1927.                   First children’s birthday party to attend for the year – fun to be had
1928.                   For the prayers I hold before God for tomorrow’s message
1929.                   For each man in a particular recovery program
1930.                   For the young women in another recovery program I supported a few years ago
1931.                   For the nap my wife is having
1932.                   An easy dinner tonight and time off
1933.                   For the strange feeling when I’ve got nothing to do and can just simply be
1934.                   For the opportunity to work hard for my family this week
1935.                   For the reasonable hope that the weather forecast might change the days we move
1936.                   Anticipating that the weather forecast will remain the same
1937.                   For the science we have to forecast weather
1938.                   The structures evident throughout ordered life
1939.                   When an injured player in a sport is able to recommence their game
1940.                   For the commitment in time I’m making to establish a consistent character trait
1941.                   For all ambulance officers on priority one calls right now and always
1942.                   For physical things and for the containers that house them
1943.                   When my voice can communicate something powerful by word and tone
1944.                   That free minutes are spent with discretion
1945.                   Like building an innings, my mind works to think of things I can be grateful for
1946.                   The joy that adds spice to life in following sport
1947.                   For the lifecycle that sees young people given opportunities in careers
1948.                   For the elderly who must ‘suffer’ physical and mental losses of faculties
1949.                   When I’m in a mood of humble decisiveness
1950.                   For an older man, Keith, who I had fellowship with today
1951.                   For the privilege of wiping dishes with Joe after the men’s breakfast
1952.                   For the knowledge of a slight scoliosis so I’m reminded to watch my posture when sitting
1953.                   Anticipating the possibility to earn a little more income and invest in kids’ lives through attending two camps this year
1954.                   Hopes for transformational leaders to rise up at all levels of government – local, national and international
1955.                   A sixth birthday party reminds me of childhood birthdays
1956.                   Entering a Nerf war
1957.                   How welcomed we all were at the party
1958.                   For engaging with other parents in the practice of fun
1959.                   Appreciating that even at birthday parties there are upsets
1960.                   A gracious response from my wife, which is just so characteristic of her
1961.                   The car got us to where we had dinner and then home again
1962.                   A compromise for the son: six shots at a target, then bath
1963.                   The sound of water on the window to indicate the gardens are being bathed
1964.                   Reminders of progress, and that most days at present are productive
1965.                   The invitation into the new at present
1966.                   The thought of enjoying a cleansing shower
1967.                   The energy within me for tomorrow
1968.                   For the area of Fremantle where I worked for 12 years
1969.                   Memory of all the houses we’ve lived in over our married lives (sixth one coming)
1970.                   Not taking regional peace for granted
1971.                   For the earmuffs I so frequently rely on to provide hearing protection
1972.                   For white chocolate, though it isn’t chocolate, but better than nothing
1973.                   For the simple fact that many of the things in this list reveal how privileged my life is – that does not entirely delight me, but I do appreciate it
1974.                   For flexibility in my work role, and much variety
1975.                   That the church I serve love us, they really do
1976.                   For the tools of my trade (books) of which I have so many
1977.                   For my father-in-law’s bequest of hundreds of books in 2016
1978.                   For the gift my mother wants to buy us for our new home
1979.                   That reminder of the idolatry in everyday items misused and abused
1980.                   The blessing in a ‘dad joke’
1981.                   Silence at 7:52 PM
1982.                   For the options I have to stay fit and healthy
1983.                   My daughters enjoying Rottnest Island
1984.                   A Seventieth birthday for a special person
1985.                   For the Queen of England, Sovereign of the Commonwealth
1986.                   A plan as it morphs into being
1987.                   What the body produces so as to keep itself alive and functional
1988.                   Hearing my son say grace (pray a blessing at meal time)
1989.                   Seeing aircraft take-off
1990.                   The voice of Morten Harket, the music of A-HA
1991.                   For the young men helping us shift next weekend
1992.                   Hopes of a good night sleep tonight
1993.                   Realising the reality of life behind a façade
1994.                   For the opportunities to talk about 10,000 Reasons
1995.                   Knowing that doing something so laborious but good is good for me
1996.                   I will sing Your praise unending, Lord, 10,000 years and forever more!
1997.                   For the protection of good sunscreen
1998.                   For our medical systems and our education systems
1999.                   That I feel full in my heart for my ex-in-laws family – love them all
2000.                   For this very day, my 18,464th on this earth