1. Coffee. One of God's greatest ideas was the Keurig. Every morning I can almost instantly get the caffeine I need to think logically, be kind to others, and go about the business of the day. God truly knows my need.
2. Snow. Yeah, I know. I'm in a minority here. Can you tell I work from home? Even though I live in the snow belt of central Indiana where we often get several inches of snow at a time, I am jealous of those living in Rockford, New York who get several feet. I figure as long as it's going to be cold anyway, we may as well have snow. Besides, it covers up the leaves I didn't get around to raking up.
3. Music. With two notable exceptions, I love all kinds of music. (No offense to the millions who don't agree, but I am convinced that the playlist in hell will alternate between rap and country.) God has provided music to fit any mood I'm in. When I'm in worship mode I listen to the likes of Chris Tomlin or Kari Jobe. To relive the good feelings of my youth I crank up Grand Funk Railroad or Three Dog Night. When my wife hears me listening to smooth jazz or Barry White, well, I won't go into that. Our children read my blog.
4. Grandchildren. I was told by friends that grandchildren would change my life in inexplicable ways. They were right. Our grandkids raise my joy meter to overflowing. It's like having children without all the responsibility. I can spoil them, let them skip naps, give them copious amounts of sugar-laden candy, then send them home with their parents.
5. Ice cubes. Years ago, I went on a number of short-term mission trips. Ever since, when I pray, I often thank God for ice cubes. In the third-world countries I visited, water was often in short supply. As a result, ice cubes were considered a luxury. As someone who often asks for extra ice in his beverages, I found drinking room temperature Pepsi on these trips to be a great personal sacrifice. The ice dispenser in my fridge makes me feel very blessed, indeed.
6. Solitude. As much as my being in the public eye would suggest that I am an extrovert, I am an introvert at heart. I need my alone time. I treasure those occasions when I can get away alone with God for a couple days and simply wallow in His love and grace. I'm thankful that He enjoys those times, too.
7. The Crucible Project. I have been a part of this men's ministry now for seven years. I have never in my life encountered a community of grace like I have experienced on Crucible weekends. That is a rather bold statement considering I not only grew up in the church, but was a pastor for 11 years. I am eternally grateful for my Crucible community; the one place where I am free to be me, without fear of judgment, criticism, or not measuring up. Many have yet to experience such a gift.
8. Shoes. As an active (okay, hyper) child, there weren't many things more insufferable than having to sit through a church service with a missionary as a guest speaker. There was something about a missionary with a microphone that made me want Jesus to return--immediately. But I will never forget hearing as a young teen a missionary to the Philippines share that every morning, he would watch as barefoot young children would sift through the trash at the garbage dump for food to get them through the day. That image, forever burned in my memory, prompts me to thank God not only for food, but for footwear.
9. Laughter. I am convinced that people need to laugh more. We are way too serious, way too much of the time. Christians especially need more laughter in their lives. In my opinion, there aren't many things more damaging to the cause of Christ than joyless Christians. The Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is supposed to be our strength! I am thankful for my dad's keen sense of humor and that he taught me the importance of not always taking life so seriously. (It is with this in mind that in addition to my Dan Kuiper, Author and Speaker Facebook page I have a page called Kuiper's Corner--a collection of humorous images, quotes, and memes.)
10. God's faithfulness. Of all the things I have in my life to be grateful for, I am most appreciative of God's faithfulness. He is always there for me. He can be trusted implicitly. He has yet to break a promise He's made to me. He is faithful to me even when I am not always faithful to Him. What a blessing to call Him my Father.
In the book of James we read that Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father. Get in the habit of thanking God specifically for His thoughtful and unique gifts to you. Not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day.