In part 1 of this blog, we talked about the different types of offerings that people in the Old Testament times would offer to God. If you missed part 1 and would like to catch up on this history, you can read it here.
In part 2 of this blog, we talked about having the mindset of having the attitude of looking for blessings in each situation you encounter in life and with every person you encounter. Having the attitude of everything being a blessing will make our lives being more positive and blessed. If you missed part 2 of the blog, you can read it here.
In the last blog I asked you to make a list or write a letter about some of the blessings in your life you have experienced over this past year. As we celebrated this Thanksgiving holiday, it is important that we recognize the blessings in our lives. Focusing on our blessings makes us have a more positive outlook at life. It is important to think about our blessings, but taking the time to write them down makes it even more impactful so please do take the time to write them down. Please continue to share what some of these blessings were for you so we can all rejoice in these blessings.
As promised, I too wrote a letter to God thanking Him for some of the blessings in my life over the past year. I would like to share that letter with you.
2013 has been a very special year for me. God, you have blessed me in so many ways. I am so thankful for so many things.
First, and most importantly, I am thankful for my growing relationship with you God. It took me a long time to understand the importance of having a close relationship with You, but since that day I stepped over the faith line, almost 6 years ago, my life has been forever changed. God, You love me even though I don’t deserve it. God, You forgive me even though I don’t deserve it. God, You have looked past all my shortcomings and repaid me with grace and acceptance. God, You welcomed me into Your family with open arms and through this I have come to understand the true meaning of true acceptance. I have come to realize that this world is no longer my home. My true home is in heaven and I eagerly await the day I get to go home and be with You. I am just a visitor here on earth. Even though my time on earth is finite, I will work each day I am given here on earth, to live a life worthy of the plan You have for me. With each passing year, since stepping over the faith line, I have seen my relationship with You grow closer and more intimate. This is the most important thing to me and I am the most thankful for this.
I am so thankful for my wife, Stephanie. For me, it has been a long, bumpy road to finding a soul mate. God, You took longer than I wanted You to and there was many days of pain and loneliness along the way, but You finally saw fit to send me someone You knew was right for me. That person was Stephanie. Steph has become my best friend and soul mate and this past August, she became my wife. She inspires me to be a better person by the life she lives. Her loving, caring, and generous heart pushes me to have a heart more like the one Jesus had. A heart that moves to the other side of the street to help the sick and needy. A heart that not only loves friends and family, but can show love to strangers and even enemies as well. It is not longer just me on my journey towards You God. I have a partner to go on that journey with. This is year one of many years to come. I know there will be good days and bad ones as well, but having a partner to share my life experiences with is truly a blessing and I am so thankful for Stephanie.
I am thankful for all the wonderful family and friends in my life. This year, I became a part of Stephanie’s family and I am so thankful for their unconditional love and acceptance. They took me into their family as one of their own and I am so grateful. I have been with my family for 36 years now and through all those years they have stood by me and loved me unconditionally. I carry their name with me wherever I go and I pray that I can continue to make them proud. I am thankful for all the friends past and present who have been a part of my life. They have helped shape me into the person I am today. With my closest friends, if I ran into trouble, I could call any of them and they would drop whatever they were doing and come help me in a heartbeat. Having friends like that is such a blessing. For those friends who have passed through my life for just a season, I have taken a bit of each of you with me and each of you occupies a place in my heart.
I am thankful to my former college football coach Dan McCarney, and the entire 2013 North Texas Mean Green football team. In a season when my beloved Cyclones have left me with very little to cheer about, you reminded me just how special college football really is and how blessed I am to watch it each week in the fall. North Texas plays the game the way it was meant to be played and it has been such a joy in my life to watch them have their breakthrough season and prove all the doubters wrong. Seasons when you do something no one thinks you can do are very special and only come along occasionally. Enjoy the ride North Texas; I know that I have all the way from Iowa. I am especially thankful for my mentor, Dan McCarney. I am thankful for his health. I am thankful for his guiding positive influence in my life, even if it is from across the country these days. Dan is a person who has taught me so much about life and how to be a success, while still being a respected man. There are few situations I face in life that I don’t go back to what he has, and continues to teach me about life.
I am so thankful for the three men’s groups I am involved with through First E-Free and Cornerstone churches. Having regular contact with such fine examples of how to lead the life of a godly man has helped me so much in my own journey to become a more godly man myself. I can open up to them and be real with them. I can ask for advice and I have accountability for how I live my life. Having authentic, deep relationships with people is vital to anyone’s life and the relationships I have gained through these group carries me through my days and gives me a clear view of the path that leads to heaven and helps keep me on that path as I move forward, one step at a time, towards the light of home.
A few months ago, I began with the dance team for the Fx group at First Evangelical-Free Church in Ames. I sing and dance in the Outback or for Orbit during the first hour and then I dance and sing in Fx for the second hour. I have experience singing and dancing with choreographed moves through my involvement with show choir back at Hudson High School, but it has been since 1995 since I have performed. I have always loved music and one of the gifts you have given me God is the ability to sing, dance, and play music. Music is one of the ways I use to worship You God. I am so thankful for the opportunity to sing and dance for the kids and their parents. Seeing them getting excited and singing and dancing for You God really warms my soul and makes all the time and effort worth while. The pure joy on the face of a child can’t be beat.
I am so thankful for the Upward program. I have been involved with coaching flag football, basketball, and refereeing for 6 years now. I coach the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade kids. Watching their development as athletes has been great, but seeing them develop the qualities of being a good teammate and growing in their knowledge about God and what He did for them has been the most fulfilling part for me. Through Upward, Steph and I are able to share the gospel message to these kids, which is so vital at their age. Steph has been my assistant coach and I couldn’t do it without her. Seeing a child’s eyes light up when they get positive feedback or really get something you have been teaching them for the first time are some of my favorite moments in my life. I have been blessed with some really great coaches through my playing days. The lessons they taught me and aspects of their coaching styles I have integrated into my own coaching style. Through me, their coaching lives on and that is my tribute to them.
I am so thankful for each day the Lord gives me here on planet Earth. I have been blessed to have known, been loved by, been mentored, and been cared for by so many amazing people. Some have come and gone from my life, some are still in my life, and some have passed on from this life, but each of them have touched my soul and I carry a piece of them, each of them, wherever I go. It makes me think of my very favorite Beatles song that was written by John Lennon in 1967. The lines speak hauntingly to my feelings about life. The name of the song is “In My Life.”
In My Life
By John Lennon
There are places I remember,
All my life, though some remain.
Some forever not for better,
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places had their moments,
With lovers and friends, I still can recall.
Some are dead and some are living,
In my life, I loved them all.
With each day You give me God, I will work to live a life like Your Son Jesus did while He walked the earth. As each day passes, I will do my part to grow closer to You Lord. I will strive, with each breath, to be the person You God designed me to be. I strive to be a light in this dark world and in living my life, people will see Jesus in me and be drawn to You God by knowing me.
Lord, on this day, I give you thanks for giving me this wonderful gift of life!
Your humble servant,
William J. Marsau