Are You Thankful?

Reflections from Ed Miller …

"Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 
     -- I Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

I’ve always tried to take these words to heart. I’m working very hard on being thankful in my life right now. I have a number of friends and family members who are battling cancer and I'm very mindful of the fact that we don't know what the next day will bring. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the negativity around us. I can succumb to it just like anyone else. People are always complaining and some people are just so grumpy. Nothing seems to make them happy. I think the solution is to force ourselves to focus on the good things around us. There are always good things around us. 

When I saw this picture posted on Facebook, it just melted my heart. 

(Photo Provided by Shutter Starr Photography)

Do you see the pure joy on the faces of these young boys as they press that sign to the sky? They embody the word "thankful." Can you feel the warmth of the sun coming through the trees? You could focus on the dead trees or the cool weather, but I choose to focus on the sun and the joy. 

I know you're thinking that this is just a staged photo shot by a professional photographer. Yes, it is that, but I know these boys. The older one is my center fielder and the other is his younger brother. These boys are genuinely "thankful." It's real and that's the main reason it touched me so personally. These boys are choosing to be "thankful." I see it a lot at practices and in games.

I'm very thankful for the opportunity to work with kids in youth sports. I’ve shared in earlier posts about my love for coaching. It’s a real passion of mine. I love the strategy in sports and I love helping young players develop the skills needed to be successful. Team sports also provides unique opportunities to teach life lessons about teamwork, winning, losing, hard work, and so on. It's a privilege to support the work of parents in developing good character in children.

Do you know why most kids play sports? 


They play sports to have fun.  Adults bring all of the other agendas to youth sports, but it’s all about the fun for kids. The number one priority for me in coaching is to make sure that my players are having fun. And you know, when the kids are having fun, I’m almost always having fun. At any point in a practice or after a game, I might say, “Catch coach Ed.” I bolt from the group as quickly as I can and they all try to catch me. I think my 8 and 9 year old players like this more than anything else we do!

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There’s nothing better than seeing the joy on the faces of kids when they’re having fun. Joy is a pure and wonderful thing for kids. When you work with kids, you get to share in that joy and in the fun. I once asked a player if he knew what I loved most about coaching. He didn’t have an answer, so I told him. “I get to see happy smiles on the faces of kids like you.” And the biggest smile then appeared on his face.

I’ve always enjoyed sports. I love the endorphin rush that comes with physical exertion, but I don’t really enjoy exercise by itself. It needs to be combined with some kind of competition for me. I love the challenge of hitting that perfect shot in golf or tennis or getting a big hit in baseball or softball. (I hit some perfect forehands this fall on the tennis courts!) Wow, that’s fun! I also love to experience the “thrill of victory.” “The agony of defeat” isn’t so much fun, but it comes with the whole package.

I'm thankful for the privilege of coaching and for the strength and the energy to still play sports. It brings me great joy!

The coming weeks are times full of joy and celebration. It’s a fun season. Thanksgiving almost gets lost in the hype that comes with Christmas. That’s unfortunate. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas are about being thankful. Don't just rush through the coming weeks, but take time to count your blessings. Be thankful.

What are you thankful for this year?

We're promoting a great giveaway now through December 8, 2014. This giveaway is part of the launch of Parenting Unchained by Dr. Jim Dempsey. 

    Parenting Unchained Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway
To celebrate the release of Parenting Unchained: Overcoming the Ten Deceptions That Shackle Christian Parents, we are joining other memebers of the Launch Team in a wonderful giveaway filled with a Kindle Paperwhite, $25 Amazon Gift Card and several biblical parenting products! A value of more than $300! Here's what you could win: 

Kindle Paperwhite 6" eReader ($119 value)  

Unlike tablets, Kindle Paperwhite is designed to deliver a superior reading experience:
  • No screen glare in bright sunlight
  • Read with one hand—over 30% lighter than iPad mini
  • Battery lasts weeks, not hours
  • Built-in light—read without eyestrain
Your Kindle comes loaded with 2 biblical parenting books right at the start: 

Parenting Unchained Kindle Edition ($4.99 value)

In Parenting Unchained – Overcoming the Ten Deceptions that Shackle Christian Parents, Dr. James D. Dempsey reveals the ten most destructive lies about parenting. He writes from the heart about the way these lies infected his own parenting, and illuminates the Bible's powerful truths that counter each lie. Both Biblical and practical, each section ends with home activities to help parents take immediate steps to develop their kids' character--character that lasts when they leave home. 

Home Improvement Kindle Edition ($4.99 value)

This book contains eight principles every family needs written by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. You'll learn practical, handon ideas for helping your kids deal with their anger, constructive ways to end discipline times, and keys that will help children change their hearts, not just their behavior. Turansky and Miller offer tried and true strategies in a refreshingly new family-friendly format. This is the parenting book you can read to your kids. 

$25 Amazon Gift Card 

Buy even more books for your new Kindle!

The Christian Parenting Handbook and Companion Guide ($39.85 value) 

The Christian Parenting Handbook contains nuggets of parenting wisdom condensed into 50 short chapters, each one biblical, practical, and relevant for parents of children ages 2-18. Learn appropriate ways to correct, instruct, and set limits. Glean wisdom for dealing with emotions, conflict, and developing closeness in your family… and much more. These 50 strategies provide you with hands-on tools for parenting children of any age.  The Companion Guide is a workbook of 50 lessons along with 50 audio tips to take you through The Christian Parenting Handbook step by step. Each lesson contains advice from Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller in a 5 minute audio tip and then offers teaching, an assignment, a Bible verse, and a prayer to help you apply each idea or strategy in your family. The tips are available to you as MP3 downloads and access to them comes in the workbook.

The Family Toolbox ($99.95 value)

The Family Toolbox has 8 lessons. Each one has a 1-2 minute scene of a family living life and experiencing common challenges in their relationships. A discussion guide prompts dialogue between parents and teens and a 10-minute teaching session for parents featuring Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN gives practical tools to use right away. As your family works through the lessons, teens learn 16 Life Success Principles and parents learn valuable tools.

Philippians in 28 Weeks Digital ($18.95 value)

It is easier to share the Word of God when it is etched upon your heart. Philippians in 28 Weeks™ is a delightful and painless way to commit the entire book of Philippians to memory. This streamlined approach uses memory cards carefully constructed to present Philippians thought-by-thought, copywork versesjournal questionsweekly reflections,recitation charts to test your retention, and an optional tracking tool called “The Log.”

To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below. U.S. residents, age 18 and older. Void where prohibited by law. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join us for the Parenting Unchained Facebook Release Party. There will be even more prizes and giveaways there and the author of Parenting Unchained will be present to answer your questions!  RSVP today so you won't  forget!

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Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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  1. I'm grateful for my family. I enjoy connecting with each of them and being a part of their adult lives. --Scott Turansky

  2. Thanks for sharing these inspiring thoughts! I loved the photo, and the giveaway sounds very generous. Blessings to all the Millers this Thanksgiving.

  3. I'm also very thankful for my family and especially my new daughter Amanda!

  4. So thankful for God's overwhelming & undeserved mercy & grace that He sheds on me throughout every day. I have become so much more aware of my weaknesses & dependency this year as my husband is working full time & getting his masters. It has been very humbling to see my complaining unthankful self....and God not push me away or condemn....but wrap me up and do all He can to help me and show grace.

  5. We are so thankful for our children and are working to bestow them with thankful hearts. Heart based parenting has radically changed our entire family!

    1. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement to me. You touched my heart!

  6. Thanks for this touching blog, Ed. It reminded me to seek and embrace thankfulness and joy, no matter what the season!