For the redeeming blood of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – who paid the debt I could not pay, to clothe me in righteousness that is not mine, to give me riches I do not deserve. “What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!”
J.C. Ryle: “The quantity of that blood may very likely have been small; the appearance of that blood was doubtless like that of our own: but never since the day when Adam was first formed out of the dust of the ground, has any blood been shed of such deep importance to the whole family of mankind.”
For my family – the craziness, the laughter, the love, the memories. The very people I should least take for granted, yet often do.
Erma Bombeck: “The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.”
For books, glorious books – can you imagine life without them? I cannot. What worlds would be lost, what wonders hidden! I count myself blessed to live in a home where such things are treasured – and that Book of Books treasured chief of all.
Niel Gaiman: “Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world!”
For words – to speak and to write. But especially to write. Words gritty and elegant, small and great, earthy and sky-kissed. Words like “effervescence” and “lamprophony”. Words to sling across the page, to get drunk on.
Dorothy Sayers: “Do you find it easy to get drunk on words?” “So easy that, to tell you the truth, I am seldom perfectly sober.”
For writers – those who are what I work to be. Cormac McCarthy. C.S. Lewis. Charles Spurgeon. G.K. Chesterton. Ray Bradbury. Douglas Wilson. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Mark Steyn. Carl Trueman. The next best thing to being a genius oneself is to study those who are. These men are. And I thank God for what I can learn from them.
Thomas Berger: “Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there.”
For my friends – the near ones, the far ones, and the in-between ones. The ones I have seen face-to-face and the ones I hope to see face-to-face. In the words of a tiny yet well-known individual, “God bless them, every one.”
C.S. Lewis: “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which gives survival value.”
For my pastor – who takes seriously his responsibilities as a minister. Who shepherds his flock with diligence. Who preaches what the Word says, and not what he would like it to say. I know if I were speak this to his face, he would probably say that he’s “a black-hearted sinner.” True, of course. But he’s also a great and godly man, and one which I deeply respect. God bless him, too.