The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful for the Wonders and the Awe and the Love ...

It is so easy to be robbed of a sense of thankfulness this year with all the trouble in the news, all the folks out there trying to make us dissatisfied enough (on the day we're to give thanks for what we have ... now is that weird or what) to hightail it out to the shops on Thanksgiving evening, thereby screwing up a day with family for the employees and managers of said shops ... and I could go on and on, but why bother. Instead, how about a little list of things to be grateful for that come tumbling over the transom, often unasked for, that create a sense of gratitude and wonder ...

Cassini views Saturn in natural colors. Courtesy of NASA


View of Saturn from above via Cassini. Courtesy of NASA
One of the last of the really big space probes we have, the long-lived Cassini sent us back these views of the mighty gas giant Saturn. Views in natural light and views from above so spectacular you expect to see them in a sci-fi movie. Thanks NASA and Cassini for the really awe inspiring views. This is one program I'm glad my taxes support.
Sunsets like this one seen for free from my office window.

Nothing available on "Black Friday" compares with the sunsets I've seen from my office window a the end of a winter's day. Magnificent. Thanks!

I'm thankful Bill Moyers is out there plugging away providing me interviews like this one with Henry Giroux in which together they explore the ideas of capitalism run amok: http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-zombie-politics-and-casino-capitalism/ Go watch and come back. This will still be here. I'm thankful to all the other reporters and entertainers who enrich the day in one way or another.

The technology here that allows us to share these moments and ideas globally. Unimaginable when I was growing up and I'm thankful to have the chance to share a few ideas with you. That technology may not be free but what comes through it provides a lot of wonder none the less. Through Facebook I've reconnected with old college friends I've lost track of ... and for once I'm able to send birthday wishes to everybody on time through FB, because the program reminds me it's their day. I enjoy receiving those messages more than I thought I would.

All the strange technology stories that come tumbling in about flying cars, SpaceX to Mars, exoskeleton suits to increase our strength, exoplanets abounding, explorations of the possibilities of warp drive, and so much more. Those things ... even though many won't come to pass ... add some spice to my day. Thanks.

Passages from my Bible that affirm my existence and can be had each and every day if I so choose. Passages like John 15:9-17 in which Jesus speaks to us through the author and wants you and I to know this about us being wanted:

9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. 12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
We are chosen and commanded to love each other without exception, as we are loved. Spectacular and challenging.

Finally, and you knew this was coming, I'm thankful to all the good people out there who have been a blessing in my life and continue to be. I'm thankful for family and friends who helped make me who I am, many of whom have moved on from earthly life but I carry with me as part of who I have become. I'm thankful for the family and friends with me today. My wife and children make my life an adventure and it is wonderful to watch them grow into the people they will be as we journey together and apart. I'm thankful for the talented authors who have shared their ideas and their adventures with me. I never regret any time I've spent with you. I'm thankful for all the doctors and nurses who have kept me well or brought me back to health when things took a bad turn. Thanks to all the working men and women who keep my power on, my water flowing, the electricity coming, who take away the trash, maintain the streets, the bridges, and the buildings and make modern life possible by their skills and their hard work. Thanks to the police and fire fighters who ensure civilization can move forward, even in the face of catastrophe (and the rescue workers, etc.). I'm thankful for the random kindnesses of strangers who pause for just a moment to make the day better. I'm thankful for the educators who taught me to see the wonders abounding in the world, to be able to read about them and think about them clearly. I'm thankful to the readers out there who have made my twenty year career in writing worthwhile. I'm thankful for the dedicated men and women of God, the ministers, who helped show me vibrant paths to take to develop my spiritual life. I'm thankful for the church community for providing me a safe place to explore my gifts and to move on ... and to those who have called me to serve with them on life's fascinating sojourn. I'm thankful for all this and a lot more.

What are you thankful for today ... and throughout the year?

Who can you make thankful today that you stopped and shared a little of yourself with them?

And this, my friends, is an entry for a gratitude log. For more on gratitude logs, see: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2013/11/cultivating-gratitude-this-thanksgiving.html

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and a fantastically bountiful year full of wonders and joys to be thankful for all the rest of the year. See you on the other side of the big day. 

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