"Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made."
"We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory."
The Very Rev'd Rick Lobs (above), Sometime Dean of the Episcopal Cathedral of St Luke in Orlando gave a wonderful sermon last night at the Thanksgiving Mass at St Vincent's. He also performed two baptisms (both of friends or family, I believe).
I have been reflecting this week on what a wonderful year it has been and how thankful to God I am for his many blessings. My wife and I keep saying to each other, "It sure has been a great year!" And so it has.
God has blessed me with the best wife in the whole world. I often reflect on how lucky I am that our paths happened to cross. If events had not unfolded just as they did, we never would have met. I cannot help but see the hand of God in it all.
My ministry has been a blessing to me as well as the clergy and people of our diocese, especially our wonderful bishop. It has been very saddening that some individuals have left our church this November. I miss them, and I wish they did not feel they have to shun our doors on Sunday mornings. However, the door is always open to them to return and they will always be welcomed home. But if they cannot worship with us, I wish them well as they build a new parish family. Many wondered what St Alban's might be like that Sunday after realignment. Far from our numbers being down, our attendance rose by 60 people. Way to go, St Alban's!
Family has been a great blessing to me. The best was getting to add a little one to our home. I love my daughter Madeline; she is the best thing to ever happen to me.
We have also been blessed by two courses offered at our church, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course and Mark Gungor's Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage course.
Lastly, we have been so blessed to live where we live--to have a nice, safe home; to have all our needs met; and to live in a country that is free and prosperous. For these and all God's many blessings, my heart is truly thankful.