What a privilege to live in a country that sets aside the last Thursday in November to give thanks to God. Before you get all, “Hey, this country is falling apart and most people don’t even know the God we’re supposed to give thanks to” on me, consider this:

• In spite of the decadence that appalls us, this is still a country that doesn’t persecute us for worshiping our Lord. No government authority is going to break down your door and arrest you for giving thanks to the God who sent His Son Jesus Christ.

• Regardless of what’s going on around us, in the privacy of our homes we can be just as thankful to God as our parents, grandparents, and forefathers were.

I’m determined to make the most of it, while I still have the freedom.

And as I grow in my awareness of what matters most in this short life, I’m becoming less and less focused on the material blessings God supplies and more and more aware of the relational blessings of redeemed life. 2017 has been one of our richest relational blessing years. We’ve reconnected with lifelong friends in Christ, deepened friendships with the leaders of Church of the Open Door, and met some new friends through this new experience of writing and publishing some books.

This Thanksgiving, when someone asks me what I’m most thankful for, my answer will be the most tangible expression of His grace on earth—friends and loved ones who walk with us on this path as disciples of Christ Jesus.

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3).