Wednesday, January 31, 2018

FIRST THOUSAND – 10,000 Reasons

10,000 Reasons for my heart to find… to be grateful
Ten days ago, I responded to God and embarked on a journey of being grateful: “10,000 reasons for my heart to find.” (from the Matt Redman song)

100 reasons every day for 100 days.

Closing in on 1,000 reasons (with minimal duplication) God is showing me some things I’d never seen before, including a string of virtue that comes with the practice of gratitude.

Sure, it’s taking me about 3 hours a day/night, but God is rewiring my mind and reforming my character and responses. It is hard work, but worth it. I have already realised that 10,000 reasons is just a start.

If gratitude is to become habit it must be continually practiced.

These first thousand were a challenge – it doesn’t get easier but harder, but there is a handsome reward; a continual focus on being grateful. The following list took 2,824 minutes to compile and runs at 9,952 words.

22 January 2018

1.                  Privilege to write a Newsletter others will read
2.                  Fan to keep us cool and provides white noise
3.                  Sleep
4.                  Thought of mowing lawns – help Mum and Dad
5.                  Ideas I’ll get mowing lawn
6.                  I can urinate and get rid of pain of a full bladder that way
7.                  Fresh safe water to wash my hands with
8.                  Facebook browsing… curiosity I experience
9.                  Connecting with a friend’s world
10.             Being able to see statistics for my blogs
11.             Get feedback about how my article is going
12.             Thought of my son waking up in 31 minutes time
13.             The books are packed!
14.             I submit articles and they’re so quickly approved
15.             I sleep with my wife
16.             Message from a mate that gives clarity
17.             Grass underfoot
18.             Park across the road to walk around
19.              The ball I found and the skill I have to enjoy it
20.             The clothes I’m wearing
21.             The concept of time and creation – being about to create imaginatively
22.             My left knee cracks, but there is no pain
23.             Cuddling my wife in bed
24.             Wrestles with my son, the fun we have
25.             I am able to make breakfast for son and lunch for wife
26.             I was going to skip breakfast and my son got me a bowl and filled it
27.             Being thankful for our food
28.             A laugh whilst having breakfast
29.             A car and time to be able to run errands
30.             The barista smiled his joy my way
31.             I received and returned the smile
32.             Received a free coffee when I didn’t expect it
33.             The pleasure of giving my son a chocolate frog
34.             God reminded me to pray for one of my daughters
35.             The way my son says ‘trees’
36.             Watching him play
37.             Listening to him sing while he eats
38.             Him singing 10,000 Reasons with me in the car
39.             Overcoming the temptation to leer at another motorist
40.             Being able and willing to assist my parents with the household tasks they can’t do
41.             Experiencing the will that says I don’t want or need thanks for helping
42.             Realising the therapy in work
43.             The joy of establishing order
44.             Another revelation: everything is a process; i.e. tying rope; respecting the process
45.             Traffic delay reminds me I’m here at God’s pleasure
46.             Traffic delay makes me thankful I’m not the one involved in the collision
47.             Knowing that while I have a sore back I can still move and do many physical things
48.             Realising how important expectations are in the process of gratitude
49.             Realising how grief is helped by gratitude
50.             Realising gratitude is a process
51.             Realising gratitude sown reaps patience
52.             Smoke alarm and RCD maintenance done on home to keep it safe for us to live safe
53.             In preparing to shower, found myself looking at my naked body, and instead of saying ‘you need to lose weight’ I said to myself, ‘perfect, you are looking just like you’
54.             Having clean clothes to wear, and a very generous selection to choose from
55.             Having the wisdom to negotiate with my son to model care for his needs
56.             The sight of a business card that reminds me of a time of insight and learning
57.             For the two-dozen eggs we’re given every fortnight
58.             The wonderful Lego creations my son comes up with
59.             For the phone call from a friend that I just received
60.             The idea I was given for a series on gratitude
61.             For the mess my house is in that reminds me that it’s a home
62.             The work my wife has that brings in much needed income
63.             Reminded that what God gives not the time for ought not be done
64.             Indecision is good when there are two equal options – just choose one
65.             Listening intently to my wife share her work day
66.             Learning about the work processes she tells me about so I have better context for her life
67.             Realising that making a list of 100 things per day means I am forced to look for items to be grateful about
68.             Listening to my wife read to my son; she is a beautifully expressive reader
69.             My opportunity to clean up the tea dishes
70.             My opportunity to pray for safe travels for my wife as she travels to and from worship practice
71.             The opportunity to write my wife a sneaky love note – okay, reminder note she will laugh at
72.             God has shown me over only the first day that gratitude is hard to maintain
73.             Realising that fear creeps in insidiously
74.             For the stake I have in others’ lives I minister with
75.             The sheer luxury I have in my life to do many things at any one time
76.             The story behind a piece of furniture
77.             Three pairs of glasses – that’s right, three!
78.             Engaging my son not going to sleep and his response to accept what I say
79.             The prayers I make for my wife while she’s out
80.             Anticipating time camping this weekend – time to be with wife’s family
81.             Challenges of tomorrow; at least a few jobs not sure how they’ll go, but they’re always a success
82.             The books are packed! Oh yeah, I said that already
83.             The thought that this challenge might beat me
84.             Blinds to close for privacy, blinds to open for light
85.             For the legacy of three daughters making their way in life
86.             The fact that God is dealing with the envy in my heart
87.             I can praise God that this is 950 words already and I don’t know how I’ll sustain this for another 99 days
88.             Paper – to write on
89.             Coffee at 7pm
90.             Pumpkin Patch button
91.             The number of times I’ve thought about graduating this year
92.             I got to see my Mum and Dad today
93.             I’m 50 and they are still alive!
94.             Thought of having 2 more Sundays to prepare for my next sermon
95.             The theme for it – Jesus is Always the Answer – has me excited
96.             Realising 10,000 Reasons is forcing me to look, to see, to discover, to find
97.             Admitting that passion for God wanes over time, but can be excited afresh
98.             I am nearly there for today
99.             For reminders… to put the bins out
100.         For substances that do their job – lens cleaner
101.         Feeling the time pressure, but an equivalent pressure to maintain this list, I overcome
102.         I am forced to stay positive
103.         Wife makes it home safe
104.         Finish PKS Perspective Newsletter
105.         Making good progress on Sermon
106.         Thinking about the role of gratitude and a series – this could be big
107.         Bickford’s cordial on a summer’s night
108.         Still lots of energy at 2117hrs
109.         Back is feeling okay
110.         Reminded by my wife about keeping good business hours etiquette
111.         Sprained ankle isn’t as bad as it could have been
112.         Son is sound asleep – beautiful to watch my children asleep

23 January 2018

113.         Thankful for this project. Woke up not wanting to be grateful
114.         Getting out of bed sore improves after some stretches
115.         Grateful for a mate’s courage
116.         Prayed for that friend, thanking God for him
117.         Sore back but still functions
118.         Sore knee but that still functions too
119.         ‘Last man standing’ vision – part of my self-image that I’ll be the last man standing
120.         Good night’s sleep last night
121.         Plans for today – another big day ahead
122.         Thankful for young Matt’s help at work
123.         Banana bread, coffee, yogurt and muesli
124.         Peace even at McDonald’s
125.         The sanctity of life even when there is such unrest in the world
126.         For the employees in this fine establishment – yes, I just prayed for you
127.         The architecture – for architecture – what a wonderful applied science
128.         For the driver’s licence I’ve had for nearly 34 years – 2/3rds of my life
129.         For the fact I cannot think of everything I ought to be grateful for
130.         This process forces me to look, to search, to find
131.         Numbers and letters to make intelligible language
132.         130 reasons for my heart to find in 24 hours – Lord, help me sustain this
133.         Even eating involves science – the physics of napkins
134.         Weather on my phone
135.         After standing so long, now I sit, to change my body’s position and ease pain
136.         Is this hard? Training oneself to think gratefully? No. It’s just one thing at a time
137.         Being lost browsing… the sheer luxury that I have moments like this
138.         The fact that life goes on all around me
139.         For the 50 or so pens I had to choose from this morning
140.         That nice car I saw drive past… I don’t need to own it to enjoy it
141.         School years starts again next week… welcome back, routine
142.         Reflecting on the word ‘goodness’… for all your goodness I will keep on singing…
143.         Acknowledging the fear for rejection I experience in sharing (posting) myself
144.         Seeing others’ ulterior motives at times, forgiving them, but not going their way
145.         Having time to ‘waste’ on rest… the opposite is the case; thankful to invest
146.         Arriving at work with a full day of experiences to look forward to (not lament!)
147.         Opportunity to offer to help two staff – offer accepted by one
148.         Able to help a third employee twice
149.         Helped by an employee to do something more efficiently
150.         Willingness to depart from plan and no chagrin of heart
151.         Receiving well bad news about a loved one that will change their life
152.         Supporting the bearer of that bad news – commending them on what they have done
153.         Corrected by an employee of supplier I was picking up from – enforcing safety
154.         Happy in my heart to be corrected
155.         Engagement with same employee on two subsequent occasions – exemplary safety standards I appreciated
156.         Load moves so I pull over and tie on better – thankful there’s no incident
157.         Staved off temptation to panic
158.         God gets me safe back to workplace with loaded trailer
159.         Good interaction with a salesperson named Steve
160.         Thankful for air conditioning in the car
161.         Thankful for fine fast food
162.         Even though my body aches in several places, God sustains my movement
163.         Realising that life for every single person is a faith journey. Life is easy for nobody
164.         Realising each person has anxieties to manage and emotions to contain/express
165.         Having the opportunity to hear my son ask his Mum to have a play picnic
166.         Radio interview on teenage brains prompts me to call a daughter
167.         Thankful to be led to pray for her
168.         Got more done than I thought I’d do
169.         A job that has some outstanding concerns forces me to have faith
170.         Feeling sore after a hard day’s physical labour – the body still works
171.         Somebody connected with me on social media who I’ve been praying for
172.         Help from a younger man to dig holes I needed dug
173.         Reward for work done on a hot day – an ice cold soft drink
174.         My wife has been busy cleaning lights, which is something I don’t think of
175.         A daughter is becoming a home owner within days
176.         Watching Big Bash cricket in air-conditioned comfort
177.         Privilege to make dinner for the family
178.         The beauty in a didactic moment – wife to son – on why not to lick the sauce bottle
179.         The choice of fine foods for dinner – just about every night!
180.         A gardening wife
181.         Realising I’m glad of my failures, because without them I’d not have seen my responses
182.         Whilst watching my nearly five-year-old son play, he asked me to read him a story
183.         Called one of my daughters and we chatted for a while
184.         Capacity to be honest – am I doing the right thing here, God?
185.         For anxiety, because it puts me in touch with what I care about
186.         For my wife’s determination to stick to a plan for moving house
187.         In struggling for something to be grateful for, I bless the Lord – I’m limited
188.         Realising that concerns are merely worries that haven’t been prayed
189.         My son has plans to play cricket with me tomorrow
190.         There are so many ideas I want to write about
191.         Knowing when I feel rejected that I’m loved by God who never rejects
192.         Blessed to again be called, ‘pastor’
193.         Blessed in the knowledge that I don’t need to be called, ‘pastor’
194.         Thankful that a key ministry relationship is shored up
195.         Wonderful to see growth in a particular person
196.         Inspired by a couple’s journey – they celebrated a milestone today
197.         My wife works so hard, and apart from tiredness, never complains
198.         For tenacity – I don’t give up easily
199.         For plans I discussed with my son tonight – to change the oil in a car together
200.         My mother loves my Dad so much – she is doing things that scare her to care for him
201.         Realising in order to be grateful, it helps if I do something or interact with someone
202.         Fixing something that was broken for two years took just initiative and effort
203.         Packing house, I realise I’m blessed with so many (perhaps too many) material memories
204.         In doing work I don’t enjoy God makes a way for me to enjoy it
205.         In reminders of failure, there are fresh learning opportunities
206.         A bloated tummy is a sign of a full belly
207.         An appropriate laugh shared by reflecting on family dynamics
208.         Realising I don’t need to look back anymore if I don’t want to
209.         Nathanael’s memory piqued by a song
210.         Instead of not enough time, spoilt by choice

24 January 2018

211.         Computer updates can be annoying, but whilst I waited, I reviewed historical documents
212.         Prompted to attend to administrative things I wouldn’t have otherwise
213.         Birth Certificate – made myself aware of details I should know (father’s birthplace!)
214.         The pleasure it is to write
215.         To study an ancient church father – Chrysostom
216.         Cuddles with my wife
217.         What a gloriously sunny morning
218.         Making lunch for my wife
219.         Realising I’m tending toward fear and arresting it
220.         Realising gratitude is better than complaint
221.         Thought of coffee on our first errand for the day
222.         Free meningococcal immunisation for son
223.         Realising waiting invites patience
224.         Realising the power of ONE – in a world in love with numbers
225.         Getting rid of clutter (dead batteries)
226.         Receiving my free copy of Unofficial Chaplain
227.         Realising the antidote to frustration is gratitude
228.         Realising that busyness facilitates frustration
229.         Realising that patience reminds us to slow down
230.         Realising gratitude could be the antidote to many ills
231.         Realising gratitude wards against worry
232.         Realising gratitude rewires the brain positively
233.         For the therapy of a physiotherapy friend who can give discounts, plus great care
234.         For friends who genuinely care
235.         For the purpose wired into my heart
236.         Realising that to seek is to take the journey forward positively
237.         Circumstances that could frustrate are cut off; the brain is already working in gratitude mode
238.         For the fly buzzing around me, reminding me I don’t need to be annoyed by it
239.         An engaging chat with Henry who picked up the lounge
240.         How biting one’s own tongue puts me in touch with the delicate wiring of my nervous system
241.         Fresh bread, butter and cheese in a sandwich. Thank you for bakers and dairies
242.         For tiredness, which is the blessed invitation to rest
243.         Becoming aware of those sneaking ‘shark’ thoughts
244.         Realising the link between gratitude and humility
245.         Appreciating the engineering mind in my son
246.         The image outside of lawn to be mowed; what it will look like when it’s done
247.         A free mind is enjoyable
248.         Great to see my son drinking a lot of water and running outside
249.         I can see the progress being made
250.         How easy it is to pray to God
251.         Invited to watch son’s television show with him
252.         Realising seeking gratitude challenges my mindset when I’m anything but grateful
253.         For the physical world where all is predictable, yet nothing is
254.         Thought to ride to the park
255.         Choosing to praise God for the warm temperature
256.         Realising that looking within, not without, is the key to this gratitude thing
257.         Thinking fondly on my daughters
258.         Life is never boring
259.         A great thing it is to realise self-control is about staying the moment
260.         Good to get bad news and watch my sinful heart respond
261.         Good to meet resistance in the role of parent with patience
262.         Good that my pride is tested – to see how putrid my heart is
263.         Good when things don’t go ‘my way’, because that’s the only time I can respond in a godly way
264.         An emergency averted
265.         Wife’s interest in the garden
266.         Oh, to be alive – the risk, the return, the fear, the failure – all in abundance
267.         So thankful for my marriage – working in the conflict within other couple’s marital lives
268.         Conflict abounds, yet I can still be content
269.         One moment in time – thankful for that song
270.         God, You give and You take away – praise Your holy name for both!
271.         Numbers… praising You for numbers… numbers that build pressure
272.         Music that inspires and makes me want to be more
273.         Energy, especially at 9pm
274.         Hopes for a solution in a particular conflict
275.         For my wife’s tenacity with online insurance
276.         For my son’s acceptance of an early night for poor behaviour
277.         A day’s work tomorrow – it will be hard work, but it is work
278.         For a good boss
279.         Interactions tomorrow that are God ordained
280.         Reading a very sad story makes me grateful for my life and relationships
281.         For a mobile phone that gives me immediate access to my world
282.         The little book my son ‘wrote’ for me
283.         The little home my son has made for his cuddle friends
284.         For the work that is done and no longer needs doing
285.         Great to have the ‘luxury’ of time, but don’t waste it!
286.         Thankful for the relationship I have with a certain person who was once an enemy
287.         Happy for the hope in my heart I can get to 300 by ‘close of play’
288.         Great to see response from son when harassed by an older child in a playground
289.         Love our rides to the park
290.         Thankful son is learning to count-on and subtract
291.         For texture of food
292.         For symmetry in the written word
293.         Modern camera technology
294.         Son sleeps so well
295.         Son’s bowel movements
296.         My wife’s wisdom, for which I would suffer more if I didn’t have access to it
297.         We have two cars
298.         That my sprained ankle isn’t worse than it could have been
299.         Great physio session today
300.         Good feeling in my body after those back stretches
301.         Nice… 301
302.         Seriously want to be so committed to repentance
303.         Can I desire not to get my own way?
304.         The teary emotions I enjoy
305.         My heart beats, I breathe, I am still alive – keep me alive until all my children are grown, Lord
306.         So thankful my wife reads the fine print
307.         I can do anything I put my mind to
308.         For the new school we’re enrolling our son in
309.         Staff BBQ function tomorrow night
310.         Been safe in this house since June 2015

25 January 2018

311.         So value the vision given to me that far exceeds all of this
312.         Really good to embrace the delay to progress ordained by one’s peers
313.         Actually, this (312) is the key to progress – really embracing it
314.         Another morning – a fresh day of life on this earth
315.         My son’s imagination
316.         When he drags me off to show me what he’s made
317.         The thought: what have I to be grateful for?
318.         Noticing exactly what it is that God wants me to be aware of in the singular moment
319.         Listening into people’s public phone conversations when you cannot get away
320.         Praying into 319’s struggles
321.         The computer updates: I didn’t ask for them, but they came to me
322.         Clean water today wherever I open a tap
323.         Today is Friday. It’s Thursday, but it’s Friday!
324.         Broken the beginning of year funk
325.         Thankful for brother-in-law’s new lease on life
326.         Happy today to know God – refine me further, Lord, make me cleaner of thought, word and deed
327.         For the staff here at McDonald’s
328.         When I’m aware of the truth of my thoughts
329.         How words nourish me in my mind, heart and soul
330.         Sun beaming through reminds me to be thankful for warmth
331.         Realising that the things I don’t like have a lining of gratitude begging to be understood
332.         Time. When it is in abundance
333.         Dirt under my fingernails
334.         Off to work I go
335.         Praying large sign would be fitted and posts solid
336.         Arriving at work safely, before start time
337.         #335 prayer answered…
338.         Grace given to me to accept something said that could’ve been unfair
339.         Feeling my mind is working acceptably well
340.         Feeling doubly, triply grateful for my good wife!
341.         My wife is fair and just
342.         A lack of recognition helps me understand how hopeless I am without God
343.         The desire to one return to the fullest vision of health, but not perfection
344.         Good heart responses to changes in plans
345.         Privilege to pray for two sisters in Christ
346.         Thankful my father’s knee operation was completed a week ago
347.         Realising that this list is only the means; the end is the mindset God puts me into when my subconscious mind is working on gratitude
348.         Looking forward to returning home, though sore
349.         Realising this life is so busy that it’s easy not to try – though I will not stop trying
350.         Realising nobody can take anything from me that God chooses not to give.
351.         Home cooked meals
352.         Glad of the things I don’t know, and gladder still to know it
353.         Dinner at home with family and dinner out with friends
354.         I want to do the dishes
355.         Thankful to have an important chat with somebody I’ve been praying to have for some time
356.         Nice to be recognised for something I do to encourage people
357.         Lovely to enjoy a night out with people I’m only beginning to get to know
358.         For the joy my wife gets from watching River Cottage
359.         The joy I experience following Western Australia cricket
360.         Bless the Lord O My Soul, a song for the heart in such a season
361.         That I have the freedom to do so many things I want to do
362.         The two or three adult lives I’ve lived (1st marriage, single dad, 2nd marriage)
363.         For the phone call just now with Mum about Dad’s knee
364.         The heat pack applied to my lower back
365.         For the fact that 100 Reasons is always a stretch
366.         For the hope that I will really institutionalise gratitude
367.         For the idea I can and should do 10,000 Reasons indefinitely
368.         Tough conversations that need to be had – thank You, Lord
369.         Hoping to do anything I can to support people take responsibility for their lives
370.         Realising that I really do want God to get His own way
371.         Wanting this to be tedious so I’m prepared to pay a good price for gratitude
372.         No matter if nobody reads this
373.         Would it be okay if this ended tonight – short of target? Yes
374.         Nothing to be grateful for, but for the fact I’m still looking
375.         Waiting is bliss when you know the point of it
376.         Imagining the wonder of God’s gracious Presence in suffering
377.         For tiredness, not far from bed
378.         The creep of sleep and trust that God will wake us again
379.         Calendars and diaries help us structure our lives.
380.         4 sugary drinks tonight – a treat
381.         Purposes for the morrow
382.         Realising there are appropriate things to add here (and inappropriate)
383.         Intimate time with my wife
384.         I have slept with my wife in our bed nearly every night of our married lives
385.         The fact I can see through glass
386.         Hopes for a future I believe in
387.         Truly fortunate to have 4 degrees
388.         Proud of daughter 1 for accepting her university offer
389.         Would be equally proud of her if she had not have
390.         Weeties and sultanas with milk
391.         God sustained my body again today
392.         Realising that while physical labour my give us more tangible results, it also brings pressure and stress regarding others and when see those results
393.         Weeding done
394.         Conversation with Luke today – lost everything in the wake of the Paris crash
395.         The house our son made
396.         The design of this house – great houses in this country
397.         The possibility that the future could be brighter than the present
398.         About to go to bed
399.         Yep, eyes wait to be closed
400.         Pray that the opportunity will come to mow the lawns

26 January 2018

401.         Son wakes early and my ‘great!’ reminds me to be great-ful!
402.         Thought of the dream I was having
403.         Cuddles in bed together
404.         Assisting my wife by starting the computer
405.         Opportunity to assist a relative financially
406.         At least three opportunities to respond in frustration, but didn’t
407.         Working together with my wife and son to set up a garage sale
408.         Allow son to help move the cars
409.         Hearing wife and son engage with each other
410.         Thought of a weekend away
411.         Hardest thing being many little things to do – good to be busy
412.         Birds tweeting
413.         Sunny day
414.         Time to reflect this weekend
415.         The way my wife uses Gumtree
416.         Son playing and singing to himself
417.         Feeling empowered in a busy season of life
418.         Accepting the things I cannot change
419.         About ten times resisted seeking comfort for faith
420.         Not one argument packing the car
421.         Worked together, balancing the complexities in faith
422.         Appreciating the cooling breeze
423.         Patient when the breeze dies down
424.         Cricket on the television even at a caravan park site
425.         Appreciating the science of setting a caravan up
426.         Family times
427.         Son enjoying his new little bed
428.         Thought of going for a swim
429.         Thanking God for life in this country
430.         For the aboriginal people – thank You for them Lord
431.         For the neighbour’s music- Queen, John Farnham
432.         Facilities to do the lunch dishes
433.         For the receptionist’s joy
434.         The fact we can survive without forgotten items
435.         Back in better order today
436.         For wisdom provided in responding to a precarious email
437.         God, You truly are great!
438.         When family get on with things without me
439.         For thoughts of delivering chilled meals to this site
440.         Memories of Yvonne W at #148
441.         Thought of the power of faith and resilience
442.         The diligence with which my wife applies sunscreen to our son
443.         For sisters and brothers in law
444.         Swimming to loosen the body up
445.         Cool body on hot day
446.         Being splashed by surprise
447.         Accepting the fickleness of life
448.         Keeping the children safe
449.         3 cousins playing together
450.         Being man enough to do the hard thing with a smile
451.         Watching children manage their own relationships
452.         Feeling sore yet satisfied in my body
453.         Appreciating mathematics
454.         Privilege of showering my son
455.         For vegemite sausages
456.         For the cooling evening breeze
457.         Significance of numbers
458.         For the many things I don’t appreciate
459.         Awkward moments managed well or poorly
460.         For the things I want but cannot have
461.         Times God shows me myself when things go too well or poorly
462.         Wonder for what the morrow holds
463.         Missing my first and second family in good prayerful ways
464.         Realising the only value in life rests in the hard circumstance
465.         Realising the imposter that triumph is
466.         The book of Ecclesiastes
467.         Tiredness – what a beautiful thing rest is
468.         Watching my son in his little room
469.         Realising that though we have capacity for change, we cannot ourselves change
470.         Reading bedtime stories
471.         Thought of a quiet night 
472.         Realising that great is life, too great at times
473.         Realising we can change only ourselves, and still there’s that thorn in our side
474.         The enormity of this challenge
475.         Sitting peacefully, enjoying another person’s music – whatever he plays
476.         Learning about a camp Weber BBQ
477.         Appropriate autonomy in children
478.         The routine coming next week
479.         Chocolate biscuits
480.         Meeting school staff in the coming week
481.         Back rubs
482.         Massaging my wife’s feet and back
483.         Out of the mouths of babes
484.         Serendipitous moments
485.         Hilarity that only one person sees – how funny people are at times just being them
486.         Marvels of science I struggle to understand i.e. civil construction, business.
487.         How cheap items can be manufacture/sold for
488.         Competing sounds are a muddle to accept
489.         The learning ahead for me
490.         The regularity of my wife’s water intake and the way she drinks
491.         Heritage – history that is the making of us
492.         Thought of the year 2118
493.         When one thing can be thought of and done well
494.         The prayers that are mine that I have no idea about
495.         People’s perceptions of me, good, bad and otherwise
496.         Thought of tough times endured
497.         Realising what God is revealing to me when I sneer
498.         The nutrients I have had today
499.         Thought of being fit

27 January 2018

500.         Wonder, glorious wonder
501.         A large lung capacity
502.         The crows and their crowing wake me at a good time
503.         Birds tweeting their marvellous morning tunes
504.         Morning sneezes to expel something
505.         A chair to sit on and do this at 5:19am
506.         Prospects for the day
507.         Thought of getting some exercise
508.         Reading the Hairy McClary book to son last night
509.         Mosquitos and insect repellent
510.         Good night’s sleep
511.         Wife has slept well
512.         Traffic noise reminding me that life goes on elsewhere
513.         Casting worries on God
514.         All the little tools for camping
515.         Son’s sneezes
516.         Ambulance in the distance – praying for those affected
517.         Our bicycles
518.         Anticipating breakfast
519.         Back is not sore
520.         Thought to call father and a daughter today
521.         Realising that this life is best lived humbly extending mercy
522.         Realising it is good to resist the resentment that too quickly mounts
523.         Sunscreen
524.         For stools and bags – for my bag that has faithfully served me
525.         Thinking about ten years ago and how far we’ve come
526.         Thinking about ten years ago and how far daughter (25) has come
527.         Enjoying the morning alone
528.         Getting some alone time on the bike hopefully
529.         The activities the kids can busy themselves with
530.         Caravans that enable little holidays
531.         Realising gratitude could lead to virtues I hadn’t realised existed
532.         Battery life on this computer
533.         GPS to find my way
534.         Blood and bone factory reminds me of my olfactory sense
535.         Majestic sunrise
536.         Trusting I will survive this ride
537.         Many people have had cycling accidents/deaths – thankful for their lives
538.         Response to greet an aboriginal man at McDonald’s
539.         The grace of God in free access in this land
540.         Freedom my bike extends to me
541.         The therapy in writing an article
542.         Respecting the sanctity in rudeness
543.         Valuing all human life
544.         Time with other men
545.         A chat with ‘Ben’ about how unfair life can be
546.         Travelling mercies
547.         Freedom to purchase items from grovery store
548.         For antacids
549.         Love family who God uses to reveal the darkness in my own heary
550.         Watching my son ride his bike
551.         Realising the ego in me and you
552.         How faith helps me tolerate what would be intolerable 
553.         Self-control I can access anytime with humility 
554.         Love the supervision my wife provides my son
555.         Nail polish on a finger nail
556.         The age and stage of my son any time in his life
557.         Tone and expression in my wife’s voice
558.         My patient wife
559.         Travelling mercies on a mercy mission
560.         God’s reminder to stick to the speed limit
561.         Playing ‘whale’ at the side of the pool – children pushing me in
562.         Family birthdays
563.         Chat with Dad and a daughter on the phone today
564.         Memories of sweet lollies as a child
565.         Accepting we all have opinions
566.         Celebrating each of us is different
567.         Routines that give structure
568.         Knowing that I seek to protect myself, which shows me when I’m vulnerable
569.         When accidents aren’t worse than they are
570.         Kids desiring, I as parent be there
571.         The glory in keeping an appropriate secret
572.         Refraction of light
573.         So materially rich!
574.         Breezy outside, still in the tent, but cool
575.         Looking for a lost valuable together – showing effort and therefore love
576.         Being happily ignorant in certain wise moments
577.         Not needing to know it all
578.         Everyday heroic acts
579.         The reliability of engineering, which itself is a mystery for those who don’t know
580.         Realising value is nothing about actual value
581.         Realising the value of slowing down, pondering, weighing up
582.         You, my God, are a Refuge when untruth runs rampant
583.         Sanctity of a role we play in family
584.         15 minutes of free reflection time I received today
585.         The 10-kilometre ride I had this morning
586.         Realising the seeking of knowledge to no end can be dangerous
587.         Living in a land of opportunity – but knowing beyond that that God is the God of opportunity
588.         The variables of life make life a game – but games involve winners and losers
589.         Those hands at the end of my wife’s arms
590.         Looking forward to being home
591.         Monday at school and the feelings I’ll have – first day of year
592.         That only You, God, know
593.         Those possessions I have that are 30+ years old
594.         The gentleness of evening
595.         People may reject but God never does
596.         Reminiscing ‘crayon’ stories
597.         Hours of stories as past is recounted
598.         Quietly absorbing the discussion of others
599.         Antihistamines

28 January 2018

600.         The ‘can do’ attitude I had in my difficult dream
601.         My back doesn’t feel worse than I thought it would
602.         The noise of maintenance in the distance – that that isn’t me
603.         Bed we slept on the past two nights hasn’t been too uncomfortable
604.         Didn’t need to go to the toilet during the night
605.         Get to go to a gym opening today
606.         Practical things like clothes hoists
607.         Pleased with the article I wrote last night
608.         Solitude in the bush
609.         Listening to the neighbours’ drunken discussion last night
610.         Hopes we have to do more camping
611.         The inquisitive bird just walking by
612.         Reminders to watch my posture
613.         Time spent with my son this weekend
614.         Anticipation of some alone time later this week
615.         I can drive a truck and a bus
616.         We have money in our bank accounts
617.         We are buying a house
618.         I am graduating in March
619.         There is purpose and meaning in our lives
620.         We have worked through tough times in our marriage
621.         My desire is to truly love my wife
622.         I have a plan for the next 33 years of active life (hopefully)
623.         Now is not all there is
624.         Tomorrow beckons, but is nothing to be concerned about today
625.         The ability we all have to revise things
626.         Ability to get rid of waste
627.         My body and my mind
628.         Realising that God makes us all equal before Him
629.         Realising afresh that God expects anything but perfection
630.         Thoughts of revisiting the past
631.         Imagining what life a building has supported over its years – wonder!
632.         Laying with head on my wife’s lap gazing up at her as she places a forearm on me
633.         Fly massages
634.         Being lost in reflection
635.         Watching children learn new things
636.         Seeing adults open to new experiences 
637.         Seeing mysterious shapes in the clouds
638.         Seeing children active in play, creating, imagining, curious
639.         The seeming randomness of life that is not random at all
640.         Earth is so big, though it is round, it is flat
641.         Overcame busyness to feel less frustrated
642.         Offered wife opportunity to rest
643.         Son playing with his ‘Adventure car’
644.         Floating the frisbee at the oval
645.         Overcoming the temptation to selfishness
646.         Being brave in a moment of fear
647.         Singing the song that is the anthem of this charge – with my son
648.         Overcome with wonder when my mind was empty sensing creation all around me
649.         Time with someone I mentor – an epiphany shared
650.         Watching something new born into creation
651.         Discussing the serendipity of cloud formations
652.         So many good things to do – little time – discernment required
653.         Surrendering those items where time was not available
654.         Wife sprinkling the garden
655.         Son singing in the bath
656.         Tools for just the job needed to be done
657.         The tread that took me from A to B
658.         Some challenges, whilst they push us to the limit, are good for us
659.         Advertisers and their need to sell – pray they do it with integrity
660.         A lack of integrity – praying for the weakness exposed in that person
661.         Time to sit, time to ponder, sometimes few and far between
662.         Realising what little it takes for offense to rise up within me
663.         Those heavens up and out there, they declare the glory of God
664.         For the biblical Psalms – all of them – especially in the present, Psalm 104
665.         Searching and finding, searching, searching more… and finding
666.         It’s just a number
667.         Fascinated by the year of my birth and that early era of my life
668.         For my cousins, Aunts and Uncles
669.         For my neighbour who seems to work such long hours
670.         Resolve of discipline
671.         That I haven’t smoked or consumed alcohol for so many years
672.         For feet washing
673.         Sliced cheese
674.         Long periods lost in long conversation
675.         Early nights
676.         Grace given and received
677.         Online browsing (shopping) without spending a cent
678.         Medical language and information
679.         Light in a dark room
680.         A contract for reassurance
681.         Children’s playgrounds as a place for challenge, growth and joy
682.         Seeing old acquaintances
683.         Building strength and balance
684.         Hopes for a future
685.         Hoping dreams can be realised, and the drive we get even if they can’t
686.         Attention paid when purchases are made
687.         Social media platform favour
688.         The protective organ, skin
689.         Being invited to a party
690.         Enjoying sweet relief
691.         Playing a musical instrument
692.         Sleeping in
693.         Getting up early before everyone else
694.         Walking the dog
695.         Fixing water reticulation up
696.         Blood group science
697.         Formal documentation
698.         Blood tests
699.         God’s power in nature
700.         Son’s tent set up in his room

29 January 2018

701.         Lovely message to read and respond to
702.         Planes overhead not a bane but a blessing – pray for those people!
703.         A work day to look forward to
704.         Sunlight peeping through blinds
705.         Random items scattered
706.         For the weight lifting leg wrap I used nearly 30 years ago
707.         Friends’ gym opening – praying it goes well
708.         Time runs forward not backward
709.         Hopes I have for health
710.         Thoughts of interactions I’ll have today
711.         Lured into cuddling my wife
712.         Little things said that have large meaning
713.         The eyes that stare into mine
714.         The blades of grass that served so well yet must be cut now for maintenance
715.         Willingness for people to vouch for me; my opportunity to vouch for them
716.         For memory
717.         Paper for writing notes
718.         Lots of traffic reminds me to drive patiently
719.         Living in a ‘safe’ area in the world
720.         Praying for those with personalised number plates
721.         For used furniture
722.         Nappy talk and memories
723.         Colours
724.         Flickering fluorescent lights as reminders of work to do
725.         Facilities and equipment and their purpose
726.         Full attendances
727.         Landscapes
728.         For the Legions in us all
729.         God does show up!
730.         God encounters are always remarkable
731.         What price for freedom? – it’s FREE!
732.         Realising that timing is everything
733.         We ask God to come in – then there’s disruption!
734.         Trust is best when there is disruption
735.         Realising when challenged it’s best to be together
736.         Trusting the preparations we have already done
737.         Things will never be the same again, and that’s okay!
738.         Realising you’re not being abandoned even when you are
739.         The concept of responsibility
740.         The ability to commit to standards
741.         Love what you do and who you work with
742.         God goes before me
743.         Bodily adjustments
744.         Forward thinking as a better option
745.         Creative mindset (not consumer mindset)
746.         The beauty in repentance
747.         New technology
748.         Different people are different, but the same people behave the same
749.         Less information, less anxiety
750.         Not needing knowledge
751.         The influence on behaviour because of cameras/CCTV
752.         Humour
753.         Uncomfortable tension is not bad
754.         Inductive reasoning
755.         Valuing the draft; respecting and cherishing the process
756.         The realisation, ‘back when I thought…’
757.         Not criticism, but…
758.         Progress is exciting
759.         Honesty is the activity of trusting
760.         The value implicit in a person’s face
761.         Seeing everything as an opportunity
762.         Peace in time as family
763.         Household haircuts
764.         The element of surprise in child play
765.         The miracle of weight loss
766.         For the roles God gives and takes away… and seasons
767.         Naps
768.         Help when I really need it
769.         Briefings
770.         That a new day dawns every morning
771.         Hopes of a safe arrival
772.         Not there yet, that’s okay
773.         Being aware of FOMO – fear of missing out
774.         The race, the chase, every day to 100
775.         Time spent working deep
776.         Lunches with co-workers
777.         Prayers for safe arrivals
778.         Being present
779.         Wondering what the distant future might bring – thanking God we can’t know
780.         Jettisoning outdated concepts of truth
781.         Revelation that comes in the oddest way at the strangest time
782.         Therapy of wind on the skin
783.         Brilliance in any field of life
784.         The Third Way
785.         Knowing when to run
786.         Trusting how the Holy Spirit speaks through instinct
787.         Cannot capitalise on every opportunity
788.         Trusting possibilities
789.         Building bridges because of the purpose God has given me
790.         Box full of documents – so much information – myriads of interactions
791.         Building on rock not sand
792.         Mathematics of creation
793.         Second thoughts, third actions
794.         Embracing the unknown
795.         Balance and perspective when emotions threaten to spill over
796.         Light in the presence of darkness
797.         Lord, give me more reasons for my heart to find
798.         Decisions to have easy dinners when energy to cook wanes
799.         Heart knowledge of blessings received
800.         Writing to find what can’t be found
801.         Actual safe arrival

30 January 2018

802.         Intimate and emotional discussions safely contained with care
803.         Important administrative processes
804.         Finding important documents alleviating concern
805.         Signs that maintenance has been done
806.         For a BBQ that served so well from 2001 – 2017
807.         A New Contract
808.         Seeing my son sleep in a tent on his bed
809.         New friends who treat me like gold
810.         Old friends who encourage me to be bold
811.         Focusing on thing at a time
812.         Enjoying presence of mind
813.         Thought of returning home
814.         Challenges that lay ahead
815.         For awkward conversations handled honestly which show bravery
816.         Knowing there is no reason for fear
817.         Being honest when I am fearful
818.         Acknowledging my shortfalls as a sign I’m a work in progress
819.         A faithful hat that I have worn through thick and thin – and shoes
820.         The man with his daughter walking by… praying for the them
821.         Blessedness to be born in this ‘lucky country’ of opportunity
822.         Knowing afresh that Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for my freedom
823.         Being made aware of expectations that can only lead to sorrow
824.         Light fittings in a café that remind me of being on a century old ship
825.         Trips down memory lane in completing a form
826.         Lists of things to do as reminders of what needs to be done
827.         For a certain fellow with a Doctor of Philosophy who may well have taught me New Testament Greek in 2006 and who believes in me – too often we think of the knockers in life, when God has placed those in our lives who do actually love us
828.         For another doctor, a paediatrician. In fact, for all the doctors we know; they have all been blessings to us
829.         The inspiration and the will to become a person who believes in others
830.         When people see me as a 10/10
831.         The pleasure in only being able to see others as 10/10
832.         Clarity for the day ahead – patience amid ambiguity
833.         For feelings felt that appear on the senses as cavernous, but are then overcome with belief upon reason
834.         How God lavishes all our lives with so many possessions, and if not materially, then memorially
835.         For the man in the red and black shirt who worked into the café – pray Lord a blessing on that man, whoever he is
836.         For a clean body and clean clothes
837.         For an egalitarian mindset that judges people on their merit not on matters they can do nothing about
838.         Fitness pursuits and that feeling in the body and in the mind in having achieved something with our body
839.         A clean space to work in – but equally a dirty place to clean up
840.         Contract finalised, change, a win for all
841.         Stretched but faithful
842.         Jobs done in tandem but no panic
843.         Seek the path, which is to search, and best when we must search
844.         Know the path, which is spiritually discerned, and trusted by instinct
845.         Walk the path, which is to walk in the light of the spiritual knowledge we’re given
846.         Ticking the list off
847.         Talking with a great mate about serious issues
848.         There often seems so little to be grateful for, but there are always many things to be grateful for
849.         Freedom of choice
850.         Honouring people who do honourable work
851.         Honouring people for simply being people
852.         Burgundee Creaming Soda 😊
853.         For getting to know people through working a task with them
854.         When my son puts his bath toys away and hangs up his towel – he’s 4
855.         For quick chats of encouragement
856.         For early nights and early mornings
857.         For empty stomachs and sore muscles
858.         Sore back, sore shoulders, sore finger, sore toe – they will all recover
859.         Bracing oneself before a hit
860.         Time to work in the evening when I’m not tired
861.         The commitment that says it’ll wait until the morning
862.         For a happy marriage and the work we put in
863.         For the thousands of documents I’ve ever written
864.         For the reading and writing I was taught
865.         For those teachers, all of them, even the ones I hated
866.         Acknowledging the role people have played in the making of me – all of them
867.         Such a sweet number is 867!
868.         The prefix telephone number of the office when I was an apprentice
869.         Choosing to embrace pain as a way forward
870.         Loving those God put in my life
871.         Wondering what the day will hold tomorrow
872.         First day at school for pre-schooler son
873.         Thanking God for a hopeful kind of email – an offer possibly
874.         Tempting fate and not being bothered if it does tempt fate
875.         Not being bothered when I could get frustrated
876.         Letting happen what God ordains should happen
877.         Bless the Lord O my Soul with orchestra
878.         Having enough core plugs to complete the job today
879.         For the Bunnings coffee today
880.         For the prayer that is found in the song of the inspiration – I pray my soul blesses the Lord
881.         Not being bothered I have 19 more to go
882.         The nutritious meal we enjoyed tonight with thankful, grateful hearts
883.         For the way my son, and children in general, listen to encouragements given
884.         I must do… nothing
885.         I wish to do… everything I can and should
886.         The marble game my son was playing and desperately wanted to show me
887.         The fact my son decided I must take my bike to the park when he took his
888.         For the dishes I could do whilst bathing my son so my wife could shower
889.         The caravan my son made out of Lego
890.         Three full days of discretional time
891.         The privilege I have to pack and garden
892.         For the cane chair our son has that was my wife’s when she was a girl
893.         The name of Jesus – what a powerful name it is… my King
894.         The BCWA paperwork worked on last night and submitted today
895.         The school uniform my son will wear tomorrow
896.         Strawberry smoothies shared side-by-side, son and I
897.         How great is our God?!
898.         The doll’s houses I made for my two eldest girls – don’t think daughter #3 was into dolls that much
899.         For meeting daughter #3 boyfriend on Sunday
900.         That’s it – gratitude for finishing

31 January 2018

901.         Worthy of all praise
902.         Waking early enough to work on gratitude
903.         Thinking of gratitude as a muscle, and I’m stretching and strengthening it
904.         Really looking forward to some discretional time today – first day like this in over a month
905.         The baby bug crawling over my screen, learning to fly or jump or whatever
906.         For the appropriate pleasure at the appropriate time done in the appropriate way
907.         Bodily maintenance like clearing one’s nose or flossing teeth – first few breaths are wonderful, and so is the feeling with the tongue on clean teeth
908.         The things I’ll find as I pack part of the house in the next few days
909.         Promptings early to set things up so I don’t look incompetent
910.         Burning in my left leg prompting me to stretch now
911.         Thought of the first coffee for the day
912.         For connection that makes life meaningful
913.         For early alarms that get us a head start, reducing stress, the blessing of diligence
914.         For the poise that kept my son’s mind busy when he was tempted to become upset
915.         Son settles into class first day nicely – praying he has a good day
916.         Making it to an important appointment early
917.         An appointment made over the phone for crucial immunisation
918.         Kindness in two strangers who helped me find my way
919.         The drive of purpose that keeps me working hard to keep up
920.         For water that meets parched lips
921.         For a text message of encouragement and support to stay true to the journey
922.         Peace in one’s household can never be underestimated
923.         The amenities in shopping centres when I really needed them
924.         Have I mentioned GPS?
925.         Hopes held of doing a swag of tasks today
926.         Muscle spasm niggles in the back reminding me I have muscles there
927.         The many blessings I am still to count
928.         Long life battery in this tablet
929.         The brutality of this list – reminds me that impossible things can be made possible
930.         Realising my heart finds what it searches for
931.         The blessing of knowing I need to search for the right thing
932.         The skill of the mind to forget things that are not worthy of remembering
933.         Gentlemen in the yellow shirt God asked me to pray for – Lord, bless his day
934.         Knowing there is more to life than we ever think or imagine
935.         Bodily dysfunctions that highlight something is wrong
936.         The pleasure and duty in waiting well
937.         Hopes of a new thing whilst waiting in the old – praising God in the hallway
938.         Wow, to be invited to do a boutique ministry train the trainer
939.         Trusted with a person’s personal information
940.         God’s protection out on the road
941.         A few free hours – the bliss in cognitive space
942.         The therapy in cleaning up a mess
943.         How my girls are all grown up
944.         For those who clean up messes in food halls/courts
945.         The freedom it is to gorge on food, albeit unwise to do so
946.         Praying for my daughters by name and situation – Lord, help each of them know and become the truth and love
947.         For every breath to the very last one – and to what lay beyond breath!
948.         Praying for my son right now who could be at lunch – help him, Lord, with any upsets thus far today, and help him grow into this new situation
949.         The new thing in the old – fresh discoveries in what we have overlooked repeatedly – just because we took the time to look in a new way
950.         Tiredness as a reminder that life is just a little too good
951.         Reflecting over how being lost in myself is a great method to find myself again
952.         Things that tickle the skin evoke stimulus reminding me I’m a responsive creature
953.         The mystery of the present as it simultaneously becomes the written future
954.         For chair stoppers that stop chairs screeching along the floor
955.         Pimples on the tongue reminding me how much skill there is in eating that I take for granted (pimples from biting my tongue)
956.         Special items I can easily forget, but items found each have their story
957.         Reminiscing with friends during a night out – rediscovering facts and events that actually happened – and how comical the stretching of truth can be
958.         Praising God because I can, especially in this free country I call home
959.         The sanctity and serenity available even in a shopping centre
960.         Peace in the acceptance that growing old gracefully is a privilege withheld from so many
961.         For sincere heartfelt confessions and apologies that lead to repentance and reconciliation
962.         For fencing as a barrier for privacy and protection
963.         For my son’s good first day at school
964.         For little wins along the learning journey, in this case for my son, the letter ‘k’
965.         Times in the bedroom where as mother and father we love our child through talking and encouragement
966.         Tenacity of my wife to invest her time in getting the best insurance deal
967.         Embracing honest moments when the truth is given the respect it deserves
968.         Cherish honest moments when truth is delivered graciously
969.         Being considered worthy to suffer for the Name (of Jesus in Acts 5:41)
970.         Civil conversations about complex matters
971.         Costs worth bearing I don’t worship money
972.         Finding a little object that makes a larger object work better
973.         Contemplative Christianity – the contemplative tradition of the mystics
974.         For the sin that clings which reminds me of my need to submit to God’s pursuit of me
975.         The concept that iron sharpens iron
976.         For the realism that expects the best but plans for the worst
977.         For just in time messages and management
978.         For the resolve that says, ‘I can do this’ even when we believe we cannot
979.         The moment before the glass breaks and the enjoyment had before it was broken
980.         Junior sport where children get to enjoy the thrill of competing in a friendly environment
981.         The voice of warning and heeding it
982.         Pillars of Proverbial wisdom, diligence and prudence, and may they be in me
983.         Being ‘upgraded’ out of nowhere, because that’s how God’s blessing often works
984.         The forgiveness of the woman I almost didn’t stop for at a pedestrian crossing (human error does occur)
985.         Patience when the GPS didn’t alert me to a faulty route
986.         The grace of parents and staff with me getting to know my way around the school and classroom
987.         The sense of teamwork in the young lady who served me today and assisted a co-worker sublimely
988.         Knowing that hours spent working hard is an investment, and never a waste of time
989.         Building what I hope will remain yet accepting much of what I build may be in vain.
990.         Knowing I’m always being watched
991.         Avoiding the need to make excuses
992.         Knowing when to save something from today for tomorrow
993.         Satisfied that what I do today is good enough – it has to be – I can do no more
994.         A super blood moon eclipse or something – astronomical events that fascinate us
995.         For light in just the right place, and for memories of having 20/20 vision
996.         Machinery that makes work efficient and easy
997.         That creation and the created order is limitless in design, created by a limitless yet holy God
998.         That moment I resisted saying anything when to say something would have jeopardised the genesis of an important relationship
999.         Pastoral work and pastoral opportunities done every day for free to build the Kingdom
1000.     FIRST THOUSAND

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