Thank you.

Yes, I really mean it – Thank you!

You're reading this blog. I am grateful for that. I appreciate that you have taken a few minutes to glance at this page, out of the billions you could have chosen to read on the Web.

Thank you. Two small but very powerful words. They cost nothing and yet are priceless. Despite, or perhaps because of, the agony of the past 10 days we would do well to spend time saying deeply felt thank-yous at Christmas, but not for tangible gifts under the tree. So allow me.

Thank you …

To my daughters, son-in-law and grandchildren, for the love they have shown me and gladly received from me.

To my ex for many moments of goodness and generosity.

To the members of my prayer community for the loving friendship that has healed so many wounds.

To the members of my church for their good-heartedness and charity.

To the members of the monthly men's group to which I belong – Richie, Ted, Dan, George, Gary, Mike and Mark – for not only teaching me about Jesus but making him visible to me.

To the members of the weekly men's group at my church, especially Sam, Jim, Lou, Rich, Joe, David, Anthony, George, Guillermo, Jerry and Bill, for sticking with it, even though we must get up at the crack of dawn.

To my pastors for giving up so much to serve God and thus serve me.

To all those (especially Doug, Joe and Carol) whose wise counsel has led me away from rash action and into thoughtful decision-making.

To those in the weekly Bible study who have taught me and loved me.

To Ann Marie, my editor, for putting up with my mistakes and last-minute changes of mind.

And most of all, to God the Father, the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit for constantly revealing their glory and goodness via unfailing love and forgiveness, especially during this most painful of Christmas seasons.

A holy and blessed Christmas, everyone.

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Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara is active in his church and a non-denominational prayer community. He also facilitates two Christian study groups for men.

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