Who Says You Can’t Go Back?


It’s been 18 years since I graduated and 8 years since I last stepped foot on the campus, but today I went back to Union University, where I spent four of the best years of my life.

I knew in my mind that things change. I prepared myself for seeing a different Union than the 1995 version that I remember so well. But even then it was still so very surreal.


Just about every building on campus was new or completely remodeled. Even the layout of the buildings was different. There were no walls around the guys and girls dorms. Maggie would not have been pleased.

It hit me that half the students on campus weren’t even born when I graduated from Union. Well, maybe 1/4. I was never very good at math.


I found a vey few familiar places. The old library smelled exactly like it did in 1995. Funny how particular smells can trigger memories. For me, nothing stimulates remembering more than a certain combination of scents.

I found my old mailbox slot (and yes, it had mail in it and no, I didn’t open it). The cafeteria still looked the same.

I walked down the same sidewalk where I once had my trusty umbrella inverted by a sudden windy downpour. I could literally see the rain heading toward me as I walked to class. I also remember leaving for an 8 am class on a frigid winter morning with my hair still wet and arriving to class with my hair literally frozen.

None of the people who made Union great were there. New people are there making new lasting memories with new friends. Who knows? 18 years from now, maybe a current student will come back to unfamiliar people and buildings in 2031?

I know I’m not the same person who wanted so desperately for people to like him and to fit in and to belong. I’m not the same person who didn’t like himself very much and couldn’t bear to look at himself in the mirror. I’m definitely not the same guy who thought no girl could ever find him attractive or ever seriously consider a dating relationship with him.

Coming back reminded me of how far I’ve come. Maybe it wasn’t so much the new buildings and people that made my visit surreal. ,
Maybe it was me seeing everything with new eyes. Whoa. That was deep. 😁


I found God’s peace and healing at Union. I made some amazing friendships with some amazing people. Some I’ve kept up with, some I’m not friends with anymore, but all of them I still am thankful for.

I remember still the feeling I had the first time I set foot on this campus. I knew without a doubt that this is where God wanted me. Today, I look back and I can see just as clearly why that was.

I remain blessed. I am still living my miracle. God is good.

A Little Sunday Perspective


“Look carefully at your call, brothers and sisters. By human standards, not many of you are deemed to be wise. Not many are considered powerful. Not many of you come from royalty, right? But celebrate this: God selected the world’s foolish to bring shame upon those who think they are wise; likewise, He selected the world’s weak to bring disgrace upon those who think they are strong. God selected the common and the castoff, whatever lacks status, so He could invalidate the claims of those who think those things are significant. So it makes no sense for any person to boast in God’s presence. Instead, credit God with your new situation: you are united with Jesus the Anointed. He is God’s wisdom for us and more. He is our righteousness and holiness and redemption. As the Scripture says: “If someone wants to boast, he should boast in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:26-31).

Hi. My name is Greg and I used to be a nobody with no hope, no purpose, and no future. I was hopelessly lost and about as far from God as humanly possible.

Then Jesus found me.

Those of you who know my story might be scratching your heads right now and asking, “Weren’t you 7 when you got saved? What bad things could you possibly have done at age 7?”

Well, according to the Bible, anyone without Christ is dead in sins and alienated from God. That was me.

I look back at when Jesus found me. I don’t remember the exact day or feelings I had. I do know Jesus changed me and has been transforming me ever since. I do know I got a direction, a purpose, a new name, and a future.

According to Forbes or GQ or Entertainment Weekly, I am a nobody. But Jesus knows my name. That more than makes up for looking like a fool and an idiot in the eyes of the world for what I believe and how I live my life.

Jesus knows my name.

I can’t get over that.

At least when I’m not caught up in mind games about how this person may or may not like me. Or how I might have offended this or that person.

If I have everything the world has to offer and don’t have Jesus, I really have nothing. I lose. If I have Jesus and absolutely nothing else, I have everything. I win.

I am so forgetful about what really matters. The best things in life aren’t free; they’re not even things. They are the people God brings into your life, whether for one hour, one day, one month, or a lifetime. They are the ones who remind you of who you really are and Whose you really are.

You can replace things. You can never replace people once they’re gone from your life.

So that’s why I can say I’m blessed. I’m rich in the currency of love. I am living my miracle every day, the miracle of seeing blessings everywhere, of finding joy in every place and circumstance, of always finding God right where I am if I only know where and how to look.

It truly doesn’t matter if people remember my name after I’m gone. It won’t matter if no one ever finds me attractive or desirable. My Abba is very fond of me, has chosen me, made me His child, and forever called me His Beloved.

That’s enough for me to last a lifetime. That’s enough for a lifetime of lifetimes. I’m good.

The Winning Side


“So what should we say about all of this? If God is on our side, then tell me: whom should we fear? If He did not spare His own Son, but handed Him over on our account, then don’t you think that He will graciously give us all things with Him? Can anyone be so bold as to level a charge against God’s chosen? Especially since God’s “not guilty” verdict is already declared. Who has the authority to condemn? Jesus the Anointed who died, but more importantly, conquered death when He was raised to sit at the right hand of God where He pleads on our behalf. So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God’s Anointed? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing. As the psalm says, On Your behalf, our lives are endangered constantly; we are like sheep awaiting slaughter. But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us. For I have every confidence that nothing—not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, height, depth, nor any created thing—can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31-39, The Voice)


I love how Pastor Mike described salvation this morning. He said it was like when you played at recess. The team captain, who also happened to be the best player, picked you. Suddenly, you went from a nobody to being on the winning team, because this guy’s (or gal’s) teams always won.

Jesus picked you. Don’t ever miss that. He intentionally chose you because He wanted you on His team, not because you were the only one left and somebody had to take you.

Jesus set His heart on you from day one. Actually, before then. He chose you before you were born, before your parents were born, before any of creation. He saw you at your darkest moment and said, “This one’s mine.”


If He loved you like that at your very worst, what makes you think He won’t love you just as much or more now? If God is for you, does it really matter who or what comes up against you? Can anything ever really for a moment come between you and Jesus’s love for you?

One word: nope.

Nothing gets in the way of Jesus loving you. Not your past, not your bad habits, not your fears, not your failures, not your abandonment, not your anxiety, and not even you.

A movie or sporting event becomes way less stressful once you know the outcome. If you know in advance your team won, then you don’t get overly worked up when your team fumbles or misses a shot or strikes out. You can handle the main character in a movie getting in trouble if you know he ends up alright in the end.

Have you read the last page of the Bible? Guess what? Your side wins. Overwhelming victory is yours through Christ. You don’t fight for victory but FROM it. That’s a huge relief (at least for me it is).

That’s some very good news.


A Beautiful Moment


I saw one example of Eucharisteo paying off today.  My mother and  were on the way back from picking up my grandmother from her assisted living apartment. We had Hank Williams playing in the car, hoping my grandmother would recognize the old music.

We got to the song “Hey Good Lookin'”, a song pretty much EVERYBODY has heard of at some point in their lives. My mom started singing and, lo and behold, my grandmother chimed in. I don’t know why that moment blessed me so much, but it did.

Out of all the great things that happened today– seeing my niece Lizzie’s joy in opening her birthday presents, being with family, driving home at night with the windows rolled down– that moment topped them all. In fact, I’d say it has hit the charts with a bullet for one of my favorite moments of 2013.

I guess I love that moment because I was able to slow down to catch that fleeting moment and savor it. I didn’t miss it like I’ve missed so many others because I was too busy looking back in regret or looking ahead with anxiety. I was squarely in that moment and seeing God at work right then and there.

My grandmother is 89 and her memory’s not what it used to be. I know she won’t live forever, as much as the 10-year old part of me thinks otherwise. I know no one I love lives forever. At some point, I will have to say goodbye to everything and everyone I love this side of heaven. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t relish in every moment I’m given. It doesn’t mean that I can’t build memories of moments that will carry me through the grief back to the joy.

I love my friends, whether they’re in my life for 15 minutes, 6 months, 2 years, or a lifetime. I know better than to assume every friend will always be my friend and will always be around. I also know that each person, whether family or friend, has left footprints in my heart and residue of their spirit in my soul, so that I am forever changed, more like Jesus, because of knowing them.

My prayer isn’t that people will look back and remember me as a really swell guy, but that they will look on the times they spent with me and reflect on how much closer to Jesus they are now because of my small part in their lives.

That’s all.

On a Night Like This 3


My friends and I played sand volleyball again tonight. For the record, no one confused any of us with professional athletes, but we had fun. And that was the point of the evening.

I’ve noticed all of us have improved over time. We each have grown more confident in our own abilities and brought out the best in those around us. We’ve learned to trust each other and we know what any given person’s strengths and weaknesses are. We’ve learned to play as a team.


I really believe that’s Church. We figure out life together. We offer encouragement in the face of failure and mistakes and we cheer for successes and victories. We know that in order to win, we need all of us together, on the same page with the same endgame in mind.

We learn to work together, knowing that we can be strong for others in areas where they’re weak. We learn to admit where we need help and to humble ourselves enough to ask for that help.

And as simplistic as it sounds, the most important part of living is showing up. It’s being present in your own life and not just a spectator watching and biding your time until you get to that next phase. It’s about intentionally choosing to engage with those around you and breathe in the night air and find joy in the details and to see God at work right where you are right when you’re there.


Plus, it helps if you can laugh at yourself. I think my shining moment was tripping over my own two feet in a frantic effort to get to the ball. Did I mention I’m not Olympic material?

No one will remember next week which teams won or lost. No one will remember whose teams thry were on. But we will remember a perfect night with good friends and laughter and good memories. And best of all, joy.


Things I Love 50: The Last Farewell

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“Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift” (Albert Einstein).

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself” (Tecumseh).

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness” (John Keats).

“Count blessings and discover Who can be counted on” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are).

This is the last one. But as C.S. Lewis wrote in The Last Battle, the the end of history was not the end; history itself is but the title page and preface, and after that begins the real story which goes on for ever and where each chapter is better than the previous one. That’s how it is with joy. There really is no end to joy and its gifts for those with thankful hearts and wide-open eyes.

1,551) The good tired feeling after mowing the lawn.

1,552) Hugs from my grandmother.

1,553) Great music from Coldplay and Radiohead.

1,554) Freshly clipped toe nails.

1,555) How perfectly cold water quenches my thirst.

1,556) The Living Water than never runs dry and never leaves me thirsty ever.

1,557) People who “get” me.

1,558) The freedom that comes with forgiveness.

1,559) Finding out that being broke doesn’t mean the end of life as I know it.

1,560) My friend Wendy who is just a facebook message away at all times.

1,561) That post-shower feeling.

1,562) “God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, Before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us” (Psalm 46:1,MSG).

1,563) Jesus’ promise of rest to those who are weary and exhausted.

1,564) God making me and loving me just the way I am.

1,565) Catfish and hush puppies, all fried.

1,566) Relaxing in a jacuzzi.

1,567) Liking me for me and being good with being a nice guy.

1,568) Knowing when to hold ’em, knowing when to fold ’em (like Kenny Rogers sang).

1,569) My very sleepy yet very comforting feline therapist yet again at her job.

1,570) iCloud automatically transferring pictures from my iPhone to my iPad and my iLaptop (just kidding, it’s a Sony Vaio).

1.571) How much better typing out one of these lists makes me feel.

1,572) My dad’s goofy but totally lovable dog, Molly.

1,573) My goofy and random sense of humor.

1,574) My impressive t-shirt collection.

1,575) People who wait until they are married before living together (which is so rare these days).

1,576) Planning up a Delilah playlist of cheesy love songs on my iPhone.

1,577) The safe recovery of that 16-year old girl Hannah who had been kidnapped.

1,578) All news stories that have happy endings.

1,579) Friendly neighbors.

1,580) Credence Clearwater Revival.

1,581) The photo frame option on my iPad that turns it into . . .wait for it. . . one of those electronic photo frames.

1,582) Stepping out of a muggy summer day into air conditioning.

1,583) People who not only speak their faith but live it out.

1,584)  The car KITT from the old TV show Knight Rider.

1,585) Seeing pictures of healthy newborns from friends and family on Facebook.

1,586) Taking a spoonful of local honey that’s supposedly good for my allergies but so good to me.

1,587) That girl’s smile in the picture that I used for one of my blogs. I’ll probably never see her again but I won’t ever forget that smile.

1,588) John Mayer’s lyrics.

1,589) Checking out the newest smart-phones in the stores (even though I’m perfectly content with my iPhone 5).

1,590) Looking forward to my next coffee and conversation outing.

1,591) Knowing all my family and friends are safe and sound for the night.

1,592) Real and authentic conversations about life and faith.

1,593) Having all my needs supplied out of God’s glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

1,594) Perfect love casting out fear.

1,595) That Jesus isn’t safe, but He’s good.

1,596) One day going overseas on a mission trip.

1,597) Having no regrets about following Jesus.

1,598) “For to me life is Christ, and death is gain” (Phil. 1:21).

1,599) Having many local coffee spots to check out in the next few months.

1,600) Every second I’ve spend writing these lists over the last couple of months.

I hope these lists have inspired you to start list of your own where you name those things you’re thankful for that you love. Not necessarily the monumental or earth-shaking things, but even the tiniest of things that make you smile or make your day a little brighter. It has been so much fun writing these and I thank you for reading them. God bless.

Things I Love 48: When My Job’s Done You’ll Be the One Who Knows

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“You’ll fly away
but take my hand until that day
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job’s done, you’ll be the one who knows” (Dar Williams)

“Life is dessert – too brief to hurry…”Where ever you are, be all there” is only possible with eucharisteo. Slow down and taste life, give thanks, and see God. Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus. Eucharisteo keeps the focus” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are).

On the way home from work, I ran out of gas. Well, my car ran out of gas, Right in front of where I live. I had just enough power to park on the street before everything died. I’m not saying that me focusing on eucharisteo (or thanksgiving to you non-Greek speaking people) had anything to do with this, but I do think God was looking after me today. I am truly learning trust lately and finding out that my God is infinitely trustworthy.

1,491) Not running out of gas in the middle of a busy street during rush hour or in the middle of a left turn at busy intersection.

1,492) Putting in 30 minutes on the treadmill for the first time in a very long time.

1,493) Knowing that tomorrow is once again Friday.

1,494) To use a horrible pun, getting LOST in a very intriguing TV series.

1,495) A little coffee with my creamer and sugar.

1,496) Being able to go back and revisit what I wrote on this date for the past three years.

1,497) That I always forget about my paper cuts at work and only remember when I go to apply hand sanitizer. Ouch.

1,498) That God is much more patient at teaching than I am at learning.

1,499) The dream of one day typing these posts on a MacBook Pro.

1,500) Another day of having fun at my job and living in the moment rather than speculating about the future.

1,501) Black olives on just about anything (except ice cream).

1,502) Having a great ideas and brain-storming about possible blog cards for when I run out of my current ones.

1,503) Not having watched the Sci-Fi movie Sharknado.

1,504) Being young at heart (and I like to think in real life).

1,505)  All those optimistic Titans fans (including me) who hope this year will turn out better than the last.

1,506) Letting go of my expectations to find that what God gives is infinitely better.

1,507) Craving a glass of milk at 9:19 on a Thursday night.

1,508) Old books with their dust jackets still intact.

1,509) Getting yet another cat scan from Lucy. Literally.

1,510) The now 10-year old album, The Beauty of the Rain, by Dar Williams. Amazing from start to finish.

1,511) Drinking a glass of milk at 9:29.

1,512) My little iPod shuffle.

1,513) God smiling over me right now.

1,514) Just now finding out that people from roughly 120 countries (roughly as in me counting by hand) have read my blogs at some point in time since I started them over three years ago.

1,515) Having 140 followers of this little blog.

1,516) Not having to look for a job.

1,517) Shoelaces that stay tied.

1,518) Crisp cucumber salsa.

1,519) Getting so caught up in my job that I lose track of time.

1,520) My optimistic and cheerful personality.

Things I Love 46: A Terrible Mystery


“What a terrible mystery
How I searched for the key
To unlock your guarded heart
And set your love free
What a beautiful dream
I tried more than anything
To unlock your heart
And set your love free
A terrible mystery” (The Choir)

“How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out?” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)

“Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don’t numb themselves to really living” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are).

I keep returning to this well of thanksgiving because it is there that I find life. I don’t mean blood pumping through my veins, breathing in and out kind of life. I mean the kind of life that consists of more than just existing, but being fully enveloped in and aware of God in each moment. The life that sees the rainbow through the rain clouds, the sun behind the dark night, and the joy behind the thousand daily heartbreaks and little dream-deaths we face each day. Joy is being truly awake and alive to the good in everything, even the worst of circumstances, knowing that the Father will work out all these things for the best possible good.

1,431) Muggy days that make the coming crisp days of autumn all the more welcome.

1,432) Reepicheep, the bravest of all the talking mice in Narnia.

1,433) Seeing my job as a priestly function of offering my work as a thanksgiving offering to God.

1,434) Having a job to go to, even if it was at 6:30 this morning.

1,435)  That I still love driving my ’95 Jeep Cherokee even after 10 years.

1,436) Taking notes at Kairos tonight on my iPad2.

1,437) Having the best family (which includes blood relatives, and friends both on Facebook and in the real world).

1,438) Adam Wheatley and Courtney Cole leading the amazing worship tonight at Kairos.

1,439) My friend Paige who has faithfully led the greeter team and been one of my most supportive friends when I really needed it.

1,440) Signing up again to volunteer for Belmont move-in day for incoming freshmen.

1,441) Finally converted after much kicking and screaming (mostly in the metaphorical sense) to being an Apple guy. All I need now is a MacBook Pro.

1,442) Seeing one of my Romanian friends at Kairos tonight.

1,443) Resuming my lunch walks (even if this one was interrupted on account of rain).

1,444) Wifi when it is working right.

1,445) The movie Notting Hill, even if it’s a chick-flick. It’s a very well-made, well-written chick-flick.

1,446) Not even being the least bit tempted to break my more than 15-month break from carbonated beverages today.

1,447) My scars.

1,448) Singing “All that she wants is to go to Kairos” tonight to the tune of the Ace of Base song, “All That She Wants.”

1,449) When I let God be my defender and justifier.

1,450) Random acts of recycling.

1,451) Tagging these blogs creatively so more people can read them.

1,452) Being around something completely annoying and hearing the character Janice from the TV show friends in her nasal Bronx accent saying in my head, “OH MY GOD!”

1,453) Having such entertaining voices in my head.

1,454) Being reminded that surrender to Jesus is the truest freedom I’ve ever known.

1,455) Knowing that God is more faithful and eager to hear my prayers and answer them than I am to pray them most of the time.

1,456) The calming effect of hearing the rainfall outside.

1,457) Thinking of how very far my driving skills have come since my very first time behind the wheel, terrified out of my mind and driving down one of the busiest streets in Memphis.

1,458) Choosing joy over a bitter and complaining spirit.

1,459) My friend Emily, who also serves in Kairos faithfully each week and who has a true Proverbs 31 kind of beauty.

1,460) The thought of going to bed soon after a long day that started at 5:30 this morning.

Things I Love 45: Sometimes You Just Gotta Walk Away

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“When bridges seem to give way, we fall into Christ’s safe arms, true bridge, and not into hopelessness. It is safe to trust! We can be too weak to go on because His strength is made perfect in utter brokenness and nail-pierced hands help up. It is safe to trust! We can give thanks in everything because there’s a good God leading, working all things into good. It is safe to trust! The million bridges behind us may seem flattened to the earthly eye, but all bridges ultimately hold, fastened by nails. It is safe to trust.” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are).

Well, it was a good day. Not because absolutely everything went exactly like I wanted it to, but because God was in it, orchestrating each and every individual event toward a grander purpose than I can imagine or foresee just yet. I only see the underside of the tapestry He’s weaving, seeing the dark threads intertwined with the lighter ones, not seeing the beautiful imagery being crafted on the other side. Even during the dark moments, I know that the contrast He’s creating will make the brightly threaded moments seem all the brighter and more precious.

1,401) Starting back to work on Monday in a new temp-to-hire position.

1,402) A perfectly blended Arnold Palmer (unsweet tea and lemonade) at the Williamson County Fair.

1,403) Another amazing sermon from Mike Glenn at Brentwood Baptist Church.

1,404) Knowing when to walk away rather than risk getting upset.

1,405) My current therapy session with my sleeping feline therapist, also known as Lucy.

1,406) The continuation of strangely mild temperatures in August.

1,407) Knowing that the start of school means that autumn and changing leaves are just around the proverbial corner.

1,408) Just about all the cheesy 80’s Chicago ballads.

1,409) Playing a friendly game of volleyball without getting overly caught up in winning or playing perfectly.

1,410) Playing Candy Crush Saga on my iPad 2.

1,411) Bare feet on summer grass in the evening.

1,412) Trying on a pair of Teva sandals that feel like heaven.

1,413) Reading about the cat named Lucy who reportedly lived to be 39.

1,414) Free downloads on iBooks on my iPad 2.

1,415) Knowing all (or most) of the words to the essential classic rock songs.

1,416) Trusting the Sovereignty of God above my feelings or my intuition or my gut feelings or my understanding.

1,417) Seeing another old landmark, Gray’s Pharmacy,  in downtown Franklin renovated and finding new life as a restaurant.

1,418) Having avoided just about every single episode of any reality TV show ever made.

1,419) Committing to read the old Catholic mystic writers such as St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross.

1,420) Finding a little book, The Little Flowers of Saint Francis of Assisi, that I didn’t even remember I had.

1,421) My cat, Lucy, licking my hand while I’m typing this on my laptop.

1,422) The infinite possibilities and opportunities that await me on August 5.

1,423) Calling those who share my love for Jesus and His grace displayed in salvation my brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of denomination.

1,424) Not caring if I’m an extrovert or an introvert, but just loving being me in all my different moods and temperaments.

1,425) Almost three hours of volleyball this evening.

1,426) My collection of coasters that looks like a little dresser.

1,427) Labor Day being 4 weeks away.

1,428) Seeing diversity in the Body of Christ.

1,429) Remembering that I am the Hands and Feet of Christ and that He can still reach and love and embrace His children through me.

1,430) Finally starting season 4 of Lost after months of being stuck on the cliffhanger of season 3.



Things I Love 44: Everybody Clap Your Hands

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“All new life labors out of the very bowels of darkness” (Ann Voskamp).

“The weight of God’s glory, not illusory or ephemeral, but daily and everywhere, punctures earth’s lid and heaven falls through the holes”  (Ann Voskamp).

“Having Christian convictions can’t ever negate having Christ’s compassion” (Ann Voskamp).

Apparently, I can’t count. I discovered I had misnumbered some of my list so that I had two sets of blogs with identical numbers. The upside of all this is that I have more things I love than I thought I did. And it confirmed yet again my wise decision not to be an accountant or a financial advisor or anything at all that involves math in any way. Thank God for calculators.

1,361) Spring cleaning in July.

1,362) My mother’s 19-year old cat Paddy who is eternally grumpy but still loveable in her own way.

1,363) Shiny pennies.

1,364) Finally starting to realize the full power of intercessory prayer.

1,365) Burt’s Bees lip balm.

1,366) Another trip to McKay’s Used Books to trade in some music and movies.

1,367) Waking up from a bizarre dream to realize with a sigh of relief that I am not naked or late for class or about to drive off a cliff.

1,368) That I’m on the 44th in this series of Things I Love.

1,369) The just-showered feeling.

1,370) The prayer room at Brentwood Baptist Church.

1,371) Not having to worry about wardrobe malfunctions (other than the rare unzipped fly).

1,372) My 30-something year old teddy bear that I still have.

1,373) Getting 18 mpg in my 18-year old Jeep.

1,374) Cleaning up my Facebook friends list yet again (but this time only deleting deactivated accounts).

1,375) Hope that doesn’t fade or fail.

1,376) Calling it a night and continuing with this blog at a later time.

1,377) Opening actual handwritten letters.

1,378) Hot apple cider on a brisk autumn day.

1.379) The feel of putting on store-bought socks for the first time.

1,380) Seeing an elderly couple walking together and still holding hands after all their years together.

1,381) Big, soft, comfy pillows.

1,382) Seeing my nephews and nice as babies sleeping peacefully and smiling at their dreams.

1,383) Unexpected money in the mail just when I needed it.

1,384) The new McKay’s location, which is twice as big as the old one.

1,385) Trading all those CDs I don’t listen to anymore for an iPad 2.

1,386) My stuffed Opus penguin (I actually have two– one big and one little).

1,387) Knowing that we’re getting nearer to fall and fall weather.

1,388) How God continues to speak to me through family, friends, circumstances, and soft breezes on mild summer days.

1,389) Those gentle reminders from my Abba of who I really am and Whose I am.

1,390) Facebook chats with friends.

1,391) Looking forward to yet another good night of community group tomorrow night.

1,392) Little pads on little cat paws.

1,393) Restoring old buildings and old homes and giving them new lives as locally owned restaurants and businesses.

1,394) Finally being able to pick up with Lost again after being stuck for months on the 3rd season cliffhanger ending.

1,395) My diecast miniature version of a double-decker bus like the ones in London.

1,396) Having family and friends who are true prayer warriors in every sense of the word.

1,397) Whenever I see older generations and younger generations sharing life experiences and knowledge, the way Church truly was meant to be.

1,398) My friend Ashley who works at McCreary’s and who always makes me feel at home there.

1,399) Friendly dogs who let me pet them.

1,400) My new genuine leather ESV Bible.