An attitude of gratitude

Posted on November 24, 2010


This weekend, I had the honor of getting a phone call from my voice teacher from college (I am truly honored when he takes time to call me. I can’t tell you how much it means to me when I see his name on the caller ID). It had probably been a good six-plus months since we last spoke, so I was catching him up on everything. I shared with him things that were going well, things that weren’t going so well. But after I shared the not-as-good things, I made sure to say, “I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m complaining because I’m really just being nit-picky about the negative stuff. Things overall are great.” And as those words left my mouth, I was reminded of how truly great I have it.

I have wife who has done more for me in five years of marriage than I could ever hope to do for her in five lifetimes; a wife that I wanted and needed, and a wife that has made me a better person since the day I met her.

I have a church family that I am still getting to know (this is year three in Denver), but that I love living with, serving with, and growing with. And this past weekend at the youth group leadership retreat that my wife and I volunteered to help out at, I got to hear the high schoolers and youth ministers share with me some of the things that they love and admire about me. I always knew they loved me, but I was thankful to hear first-hand from each of them individually that they love me the way that I love them.

I have a family that has loved and supported me my entire life without wavering. I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, but they’ve taught me some priceless values and given me some great memories, and I am forever in their debt.

I have a job with the Colorado Children’s Chorale that fuses my three biggest passions: working with kids, singing, and conducting. From getting to help incredible kids in public schools discover the joy of singing and performing to working with some of the most talented, polished, and enjoyable children on the planet in our auditioned CCC choirs, I have a gig that many people in my line of work would kill for. And if that wasn’t good enough, my boss and my colleagues are an absolute joy to work for and with, and I feel like it’s pretty rare when I go a full day without learning at least one thing from one of them.

And last, but not least, I’m thankful for The Mystery:

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

-1 Corinthians 15:51-58

This past Sunday, our minister Scott encouraged us to have what he called an “attitude of gratitude” year-round, no matter what our circumstance. Whether or not you think that little rhyming catchphrase is cheesy or not, you can’t argue the fact that the thought behind the saying is one that we should all strive for. We shouldn’t wait for a perfectly ideal situation before we’re thankful. If we do that, we’ll never be thankful or grateful for a dang thing. Let’s be thankful now…whether ’tis the season for thankfulness or not.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Music I DARE you to listen to

Two songs that express thankfulness for music, and one song that just expresses Thanksgiving.

Dare: I Love Music, Trip Lee

GREAT song that fuses some hip-hop and latin rhythms in a really unique way. You can follow someone’s best guess at all the lyrics here. My favorite line is, “I remember rockin’ us some MJ always, had me moonwalkin’ in my socks in the hallways.”

Double Dare: Thank You For the Music, Amanda Seyfried

This ABBA hit from back in the day has a great sentiment to it that I think anyone who loves music can relate to. If you prefer ABBA’s original version, click here.

Double Dare #2: Thanksgiving Song, Mary Chapin-Carpenter

I don’t need to say anything. She just about says it all.


Stay classy this Thanksgiving, friends. Make the most of your time with those you love. See you next week.

Posted in: Faith, Life, Music