Thank You

My special needs son, Jonathan, turned 27 earlier this week. We celebrated by going to Casa Bonita, a restaurant in Denver that caters to the the kid in all of us. Then last night, a crowd came to the BarnChurch, where Jonathan is the senior pastor, to hear Jonathan preach, give him gifts, and to celebrate his miraculous life. Jonathan asked me to lead the opening prayer, and in that prayer, I had a sense of deep gratitude for Jonathan being as functional as he is, for a barn to meet in, for those who had come to celebrate with us, for the health we were all enjoying, for the reality that we were all together, and the grace of God’s work in all of our lives.

After everyone left and the barn had been closed up with only Titan, the majestic horse of the neighborhood, left to guard the barn, I went outside to walk around the fields in front of our house and pray. Gratefulness continued to fill me as I saw the full moon rising in the east, the lights from our home warmly glowing in the windows, and peace. Then I thought of those God used to make this setting possible, our home possible, our lives possible, and thought I wanted to thank you, publicly.

I want to thank my incredible wife, Gayle, and our awesome children for their bravery, courage, hard, diligent and skilled work, and endless love and devotion to each other and our family calling. Thank you!

I want to thank all of you who attend and support St. James Church for being so loyal, loving, and helpful. There are no words to express how much I appreciate you.

I want to thank all of you who attended and now attend New Life Church who have shown me love and kindness. It is truly a life-giving delight to see any of you from our New Life days. Thank you.

I want to thank the Overseers from back in 2006 (Larry Stockstill, Mike Ware, Mark Cowart, and Tim Ralph). Without your sacrificial work, prayers, and hard work, I have no idea where we would have ended up. Thank you.

I want to thank Brady Boyd and the team you brought up from Texas to do what you could to heal and strengthen the people of New Life. I know you had other plans for your lives, but adjusted those to come here and serve. Every time I drive by New Life and see the cars in the parking lot, I am thankful that you and your team maintained a strong, healthy body of believers.

I want to thank my old team at New Life. I thought particularly about Lance and Rachel Coles, John and Sarah Bolin, the Parsley brothers and their wives, Aimee, Andrea, and Maria, Christopher and Lisa Beard, Rob and Mauri Brendle, Brian and Pam Newberg, Bill and Nathalie Walton, Ted and Denise Whaley, Mel and Betsy Watters, Kevin and Darren Morehouse, and their wives, Becky and Carol, Jared and Megan Anderson, Jon and Paige Egan and others, and others, and others. Gayle and I so enjoyed serving Him with you. I probably spent 30 minutes in the field fondly thinking of the old team, thanking God for each of you and appreciating that God has given you grace, wisdom and strength, and that all of you were doing so well. Your participation made our team strong and effective. Thank you.

I thank Tommy Barnett for doing what he could to help our family in our darkest hour, Jack Hayford for staying in touch with Tommy to ensure we were ok, and H.B. London for trying to coordinate a constructive purpose for our time in Phoenix.

I wanted to thank Chris and Lori Byrd for staying steady with us. Chris and Tammy Hodges for doing what they could to help, and Randy and Louellen Welsch who provided invaluable friendship. And I want to thank YOU.

I am just so thankful for your love and prayers, I could go on and on.

I am thankful for Michiel and Alexandra Pelosi and the HBO team for their kindness and tenacity in helping us resurrect. Thank you for your grace toward my family and me, and for allowing God’s grace to work through you.

There are so many I could list. To the men like Michael Cheshire who courageously and publicly protected us and to those of you from the Roundtables who encouraged us, thank you. And thank you to Ron Luce, Terry and Linda Felber, and others who drop by or call from time to time out of friendship and respectful love.

“Thank you” to each one of you gracious enough to read this. In this little blog I can’t list everyone I think of so often, but I do want you to know that as I walked through my field thanking God, I so wished you were there so I could personally give you a warm “thank you.” Thank you.

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18 thoughts on “Thank You

  1. Gale Baughman says:

    Gratefulness is indeed a Blessing!

  2. Gary Sweeten says:

    Thank you for being vulnerable and grateful. Four years ago our ministry received a grant to research the needs of kids with a disability. We spent a year with twelve falsies asking their pains, sorrows, joys and insights. At the end we saw how isolated and abandoned many were. The stress was intense but the resiliency amazing. One theme was, “Nobody ever asks the parents and siblings what they think and feel!” As a result of the research we are developing an equipping ministry for churches to know how to minister to the entire family. With the advent of Obamacare we have spun off a new organization to equip government agencies, medical systems, insurance companies, etc how to prevent breakdowns and reduce stress to promote wellness.

    If interested, write me at gary@sweetenlife.com

  3. Gary Sweeten says:

    That is supposed to be “twelve families”. Thanks spell check for changing it to falsies!

  4. Thank YOU, Pastor Ted! God used you to lead me out of the darkness so many years ago. You spoke truth into my life … truth that released me from the sexual bondage of my past, and set me free to walk on the path that God destined for me. Without you, I wouldn’t be the me I am today … and I know there are so many others like me that you’ve touched and continue to touch. Through you, God released me from more “religion.” Praise God! I praise God for you and yours … thank YOU so much for all YOU are!

  5. Russ Gordon says:

    This is very special Ted.

  6. John Randall says:

    Thank YOU, Pastor Ted! for staying with your mission and rebuilding your life, we all fall short and those who claim that they are without sin are just fooling themselves. You give a reason for others to accept this
    and rebuild their lives, myself included as well.

  7. graywills says:

    The great beauty of the Christian Faith is to know that each time we thank someone for, most often just being there, we are thanking God. Our loving Creator God does not discriminate between Himself and his Created. Ted, you cannot possibly know ALL the goodness that is the result of you ministry, your blog, your love. It reaches far corners of Earth through this wonderful gift of God, the world wide webb. Bless you for being there.

  8. Tammy Jo says:

    Thank you Pastor Ted!!!
    The reason I love Saint James is because my Pastor is a humble man and doesn’t preach down his nose to us. You preach with the same kindness, love and compassion that Jesus taught. My prayer is for God to put a hedge of protection around you and your family and that God would expand the kingdom of heaven through your ministry. Amen!!

  9. Travis Waits says:

    Such humble words Ted! You give us all hope and encouragement, that no matter what our worst day was, with humility & taking personal responsibility, the Holy Spirit helps us rise again. God does make all things new, and the sun does rise after a dark night of the soul. Thank you Ted for being a grace filled truth teller & embodying what a New Testament gospel should look like in the lives of every Christ follower.

  10. Sheila Fredericks says:

    Loved this so much. Thank you for writing and posting. Sheila McGroggan Fredericks

  11. mstrothman says:

    Ted, What a wonderful thank you letter! I really felt the thankfulness and gratitude. I love ya Ted & Gayle! Please come again to visit!

    Your friend Mark

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  12. Rhonda Walter says:

    Anyone can proclaim they love and forgive those who have persecuted them but I have witnessed time after time that Ted really does love and forgive.

  13. Walt says:

    I think most people with money, family, and love in their life feels the same way. We are thankful. I also have nights when I cannot sleep thinking about those who do not have those things and how they must feel.

  14. Ted: I just posted a response on my FaceBook page. Wonderful how forgiveness and thanksgiving stirs up the activity of the Holy Spirit’s Presence and Power. Keep moving in forgiveness and thanksgiving, my friend and let’s see what God’s Presence and Power will due as we honor Jesus as the way, the truth and the life!

  15. Lynn Cerullo says:

    This…is His very HEART…flowing through you. So refreshing, empowering and life-giving!
    Indeed, forgiveness releases the water from the Rock!

  16. Wolfgang and Cheryl says:

    What a wonderful prayer about giving thanks, Pastor Ted. Even in times when experiencing the deepest valleys, God’s promises of forgiveness, family and peace can take us back up to the mountaintop. Thank you for making my walk with the Lord that much more solid after all these years. NewLifer Class of ’90

  17. Roy Hollmotz says:

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful

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