The first sip of the first cup of coffee of the day.
The way my dog Bella talks to me at night when she wants to sit in the chair beside me.
The view of the Sound from my desk.
The laughter of my grandchildren.
The way my son plays with his children.
The way my daughter-in-law spreads her love out like a fleece blanket for all her children.
The taste of corn chowder.
The coarse texture of a lichen-covered rock under my fingertips.
The cold water of an alpine lake.
The feeling just after I have finished writing a sermon.
The prayer of a new believer.
The prayer of a very old believer.
The prayer of a child.
The first night of sleeping on clean sheets.
The sight of my dog running at full speed in the woods.
The aroma of my wife on Sunday mornings.
The gift of the perfect word for a sentence.
The loyalty of a friend.
The art of my son Clinton.
The humor of my son Caleb.
The passion of my son Cole.
The relentless persistence of my father.
The toughness of my father.
The prayers of my father.
The love of my mother.
The support of my mother.
The corn souffle of my brother.
The poems of my brother.
The missional zeal of my sister Robbie.
The humor of my sister Marti.
The lips of my wife.
The finish of a long walk.
The first night sleeping on the ground above tree line.
The first page of a Wendell Berry book.
The smell of my open Bible.
The last page of a Wendell Berry book.
The forgiveness of my sin.
The stories of the Bible.
The joy of giving the perfect gift.
The compliments for a good meal.
The view of Crestone Needle from Deadman Lakes.
The drive from Poncha Springs to Westcliffe, Colorado.
The dirt in my hand scooped up from the driveway of my boyhood home.
The feel of the worn and yellowed pages from my favorite Bible.
The song “Blame it on my Youth” sung by Jane Monheit.
The song “Funny Bone” by Guy Clark.
The look on a man’s face when he understands for the first time that God is much better than he ever imagined.
The shared stories between old friends.
The stories of my youth.
The full-grown man-hugs from my sons.
The hands of my wife.
The gift of sight.
The gift of touch.
The gift of smell.
The gift of hearing.
The gift of taste.
The love of a congregation.
The worship of Jesus.
The prayers of the Puritans.
The movies “Gladiator,” “Sling Blade,” and “The Boys Next Door.”
The jazz music of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.
The weight of pack on my back.
The feel of a Bible in my hands.
The smell of a baby’s hair.
The Quaky Aspen.
The gift of love making.
The sound of my wife walking up the stairs after she had worked hard all day.
The taste of vanilla ice cream, chocolate and salted peanuts.
The rock and roll music of the 70’s.
The geological marker on a fourteen thousand foot peak.
The tears of repentance.
The smell of bacon on the stove.
The smell of bread in the oven.
The smell of bacon on the stove.
The smell of a campfire.
The songs of Cole Porter.
The voice of Melody Gardot.
The smell of a summer rain.
The pulsing glow of a firefly.
The memories of my childhood.
The voice of my grandfather.
The deep love I have for the mountains.
The promise of heaven.
The comfort of the Holy Spirit.
The artistry of God.
The gift of my calling.
The prayer of sinner becoming a saint.
The compassion of God.
The sacrifice of Jesus.
The presence of the Holy Spirit.
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things…
Psalm 103: 1-5a