Johannes Schouten
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We are in the season of Thanksgiving. And for lots of reasons, Thanksgiving is typically a great time of the year: meals, good food, holiday time, sweathers, fall walks, connections with family and friends, etc.

But I think the main reasons this season is a great time of the year is because we get a little bit less focussed on ourselves and we get a litte bit more focused on God: the Giver, the Generious One, the One from whom all blessings flow. And, as it turns out, it is a always a good thing to get our eyes off of ourselves and focussed for a time on God and His providential provision for us.

And one of the good habits (we might even call it a kind of "spiritual disicpline") is to name and count the blessings in our lives. It is good for our souls and hearts to to actually say out loud or write out those specific blessings.

So here is a list of some of things I give thanks to God for this Thanksgiving seaon:

1. God Himself: the Father, Son and Spirit are the greatest Gift we receive. As one author puts it: "God Himself is the gospel (good news)"

2. The Word of God / Bible: big, challenging, at time difficult to read and understand and yet...there is no book like it--so full of the truth of God, ourselves and this creation

3. The Gospel message: so big, so vast, so freeing and so hope-filled.

4. The church: with all of its faults and awkwardness, the church is still the "body of Christ." There is no institution or organization like it.

5. Our local church: Nelson Ave Community. There is no church like it!

6. Our family, "our little church": amazing what God does in me through this little band of people.

7. My wife: amazing woman, wife, mother, teacher, friend, supporter, partner, helper (and I need a lot of help!)

8. The schools our children attend: thankful for both Protestant and Catholic christian education.

9. The fall season: colours, cool and cozy

10. Running: I have been running for the last number of months and hope to run a half marathon end of October. Crazy but so good for me!

11. Good music: with Spotify there is so much assessible good music.

12. Good movies: watched "The Post" recently. Great film.

13. Good food: amazing how much good food I good to taste and savour these days.

14. Canada: lots of challenges in our country and yet, there is no country like it!

15. Potluck lunches at our place: 30-40 squsihed into our house but there is nothing like it!

16. Good books: so much good books to read. Need to start cracking again!

17. The Bible Project: what amazing videos, podcasts and an amazing group of people

18. Courses, professors, learning, education...

19. Those I get to work and minister with at Nelson Ave: young and old

20. Those who ask great questions about God, the Bible, the church, life, etc.

21. The Seniors Group at Nelson Ave: amazing group of people

22. Chocolate bars

23. Etc., etc., etc.

Thank you Lord God, Creator of the univers and Giver of all good things!