34. I am thankful for Small Portable Transistor Radios

About nine years ago, I bought a small transistor portable radio (AM-FM) at a Walgreens' for about $7.00 I think. This small contraption uses 4 AA batteries that I replace about twice a year.

I have had this small radio in both occupations that I've held since my purchase of it on Chicago's west side back in late 2001. It still plays wonderfully well (when I keep good batteries installed), and I take this radio with me just about everywhere I go, if I can. It's so small, I can put it in a coat pocket.

Right now, I am listening to Moody Radio Chicago (aka WMBI-FM 90.1) and was listening to National Public Radio (WBEZ-FM, 91.5) earlier in the day.

I grew up listening to the radio...and I'm thankful for the radio....one of life's simple pleasures.

33. I am thankful for the SETBACKS in life...

This has been a week of "drama" in my life. Lots of drama--most of it unexpected and unwanted.

I left my good-paying job back in mid-March (I felt this was what the Lord was directing me to do), so I could prepare to start nursing school this Fall. I diligently sought other employment opportunities, and had about 20 interviews between mid-March through the end of April. I felt good about these interviews.

Two of these positions were particularly promising--to the point that I was offered employment by both facilities, with potential starts at both.

Those start dates have come and gone (more than one time). The agencies were simply waiting for the "position funding" to be approved. I was using all of my savings from my IRA to pay the monthly bills/obligations. I made sure that I was giving to the ministries of my local church also. I was excited about starting a new job, and starting a new phase of life.

I found out a few days ago (Thursday actually) that both positions are a "no-go" now. One position was eliminated because the "funding" (by a federal agency) was completely eliminated as of July 1st. The other position is the victim of an agency-wide hiring freeze.

So I am back at Square One. I have spent all of my savings (wisely, I hope) to pay the bills and not be a burden on anyone. Now I am down to my last $100 bucks, and find myself needing to pay bills again.

I have arranged for 3 interviews next week...and I've already had one emotional meltdown this week. I just know the LORD will provide a job, and resources...but may I ask you all to please FERVENTLY pray for me? I want to "trust and obey"---something the Lord reminded me of late last night...a song I learned in the second grade..."Trust and Obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."

I'm thankful for the setbacks in life....even when these setbacks leave me scared and uncertain.

32. I am thankful for VICTORY in Jesus...

One of my very favorite songs is "Victory in Jesus"...having grown up in the Pentecostal tradition, this was one of many songs that we sang with great gusto, and with tremendous assurance. We sang it like we really did "have victory" in Jesus....

I was just sitting here listening to the Perrys sing "Victory in Jesus" on YouTube (as part of another song they have recorded), and just realized "again" what a precious, precious thing this "victory" really is to those who are redeemed.

When I couldn't find my way to God, He sent His Son Jesus to find me...to "plunge me beneath the cleansing flood." I was only a bit more than six years old, but I remember the very night when Christ called me to Himself, forgave my sins, and washed me with His blood.

I am thankful for this victory in Jesus....that when all around us is dreary--and even depressing--that we can look UP, and know that HE is still our victorious Saviour! (For all of you preachers--actually both of you--that is SHOUTIN' MATERIAL).
I am thankful for those subtle and poignant reminders that I am not alone, nor am I forsaken or abandoned....the VICTOR still calls me the "apple of His eye."

I am thankful for Victory in Jesus.

31. I am thankful for FREEDOM...

On this Fourth of July, 2010 I want to stated unashamedly, I am thankful for my FREEDOM. I am an American citizen. Born in the United States of America, and thankful for God's grace and provision in this "land of the free and home of the brave."

But, I am even more thankful for my FREEDOM in Christ....God's only Son. I am so thankful that the "Cross is my Statue of Liberty...it was there that my soul was made free..." Yes, indeed, the Cross is really my Statue of Liberty. When my soul is heavy-ladened with cares, sins, despair, and fear--I know where to find FREEDOM...the JUDGE at the CROSS still hears my case--every time. I can rest my case at the CROSS, knowing that He hears it...and He will settle it.

"Unashamed, I'll proclaim that a rugged Cross is my Statute of Liberty!"

Amen and amen.

30. I am thankful for CARDINAL FITNESS...right down the street...

At the time of this writing, it is 4:50 a.m. on Thursday, July 1, 2010. I have a midterm examination that starts in 13 hours from this very moment...I am up early reviewing for it...

I am also up early, because I want to get over to the local CARDINAL FITNESS center that is one block from my apartment building. This place is my friend....many, many times a "severely neglected one" but a friend nonetheless.

I was so excited two years ago when this place was "moving into" the neighborhood. Now I was going to get into "shape" (and yes, ROUND is a shape...just not the one I prefer), and stay in shape....

All for only $19.99 a month.

Last year, when the transplant team in Birmingham told me that I needed to "lose about 10 lbs" before I could become a living kidney donor, I was in that wonderful place, on the treadmill, faithfully at least five mornings a week. I walked about 45 minutes each time, somewhere between 3.5-4.2 miles an hour, at 4.2% incline, on the "Fat Burn" setting. It was GREAT. Exhilirating most of the time, actually.

I've never felt better. And the months ensuing, since the surgery...well, let's say that I'm glad that "gym neglect" isn't a crime....I'd be in SERIOUS trouble.

As a matter of fact, I AM in serious trouble. All the weight that I lost....it has reappeared....and now, I must "do away" with it again.

Oops, the gym is now open, and I'm late...so let's go those "New Balances" on, and get on that treadmill...

See ya...