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We woke early today to go eat Thanksgiving breakfast with the Cook family. That itself was wonderful, but in the grand perspective of things, it’s rather surreal.

Darrell and Laura have been great friends for a long time – since 1995 when Carolyn and I first arrived back in Arkansas for me to serve as a campus minister. Darrell was then at Arkansas State’s BCM, but he had served at the BCM at UAM before me. He has served the last 11+ years as the BCM Director at Virginia Tech, and he continues to love and disciple college students in a fantastic way.

Last year, having Thanksgiving breakfast with the Cooks would have been a non sequitur. While we have corresponded over the past 11 years, it’s only been occasional. But 2009 finds us in Virginia too, and breakfast with the Cooks is not far-fetched; rather, it’s convenient and comfortable. They live just down the street.

But the time between November 2008 and 2009 has been a long journey. It’s amazing the difference a year can make in our lives.

Last year, we were smack in the middle of health issues with Carolyn. If you’re a new reader, you can catch up on that in this series of entries. This year, we’re significantly outside our comfort and support zone, but we are experiencing God’s generous favor and goodness through renewed friendships, new friendships and the blessing of Christ through our new church in a new state.

We started Christmas decoration last night, and our day of Thanksgiving has included our time with the Cooks, a lovely lazy afternoon of football, napping, and the smell of turkey cooking. We’re also babysitting some friends’ cat, named Duke. His purring makes me a little jealous. That soft, steady noise is exactly what my soul would be doing if it could.

While we’re not without struggles and issues here, I am supremely grateful for my family, friends, and especially for the salvation offered through Jesus Christ. It’s a wonderful and humbling reality as a parent to know that your children have both given their hearts to Christ. It’s joyful as a husband to love and live with a wife who also loves the Lord and whose heart is devoted to Him.

I miss our Monticello friends and church family today. I miss my mom and dad and Little Rock family today. I wish you all well and pray for your gratitude in God to be overflowing. Eat a bunch and love the Lord hard today. He is good.

And for our new Virginia church family and friends… thank you for your gracious kindness and love. We are thankful and excited about the days ahead. But let’s take it one day at a time. This day is for Thanksgiving! We never know where we’ll be in a year.

On this day...