Wednesday December 21 – 25th Day of Advent
Where does one start regarding how grateful and thankful we are for the things God has given, or taken away, from us? Yes, sometimes losing something can be a blessing in disguise – you just don’t realize it until God reveals it to you!
Last October, I was laidoff – a frightening prospect at my age and in this economy. It was financially tough on my family as Unemployment Insurance covered only a third of my previous salary. Beyond that, I had just spent the last 7 years with a company I thought I’d eventually retire from – 7 years gone!
I found out through a fellow veteran that my U.S. Navy service time counts as federal time. If I got a federal job, I could buyback the 6 years that I served. It would not only count for retirement but for vacation time as well. I pursued this avenue and was rewarded this past June with a job at the local VA hospital. So, I get 6 years back and I get to work with (and for) fellow veterans and heroes everyday. I’m grateful for everyone who supported and helped me during this time, especially my wife, Jennefer. Beyond having to carry the financial burden of our family, she believed in me when I needed it most. Do you know how powerful that is? Grateful doesn’t even scratch the surface.
I am also thankful for this church. You have warmly welcomed me, my family and my extended family. It’s very difficult to leave a church you grewup in and have tremendous ties and thirty plus years of memories and friendships. However, Newport has been a true blessing and has made that difficult transition seem effortless. This congregation and staff are beyond welcoming and genuine.
I cherish the fact that Newport is progressive in its beliefs and theology. We accept and love everyone, as Jesus did. We are all God’s children – not just some of us – and for that . . . I am grateful.