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I thank God!

By Mike Ruffin The Apostle Paul, writing to his beloved friends in Philippi, said, ‘I thank my God every time I remember you’ (Philippians 1:3). Here in this week of Thanksgiving, I want to thank God for people. I thank God for my parents, the late Champ and Sara Ruffin, who provided me with life and love. I thank God for the people of my hometown of Barnesville, who gave me a wonderful place to grow up. I thank God for the members of Midway Baptist Church who, from 1958-1975, were my family of faith. I thank God for my teachers at Gordon Grammar School, who sparked my love for learning and encouraged me to pursue excellence. I thank God for my teachers at Forsyth Road School, who, despite some challenging circumstances, hung in there and gave us a chance to keep learning. I thank God for the professors at Mercer University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who shaped me intellectually, spiritually and vocationally. I thank God for the members of the churches I have served as pastor over the last 30 years, alongside whom I tried to learn how best to know God and follow Jesus. I thank God for my good wife and for my fascinating children. I thank God for writers whose words always make me say either ‘That must be right’ or ‘I hope that’s right,’ especially Frederick Buechner, Barbara Brown Taylor and Anne Lamott. I thank God for the people who invented Facebook and Twitter. I’m serious. I thank God for those who in various ways made it possible for me to move to Yatesville and, for the first time in 40 years, to live near my family and reconnect with the friends of my childhood and youth. I thank God for the dozens of people who have bought and read my books. I thank God for Walter and Laura Geiger for giving me this space to reflect on faith and to throw my thoughts out there and see if they hit anybody. I thank God for you who read these and my other words that appear in this space. Last, I thank God for me, because without me, I couldn’t be thankful for anyone else. Have a blessed Thanksgiving! Michael Ruffin is curriculum editor for Smyth and Helwys Christian publishers and a native of Lamar County. He has served Baptist churches in Fitzgerald, Adel and Augusta. Ruffin also has served as Associate Professor at the School of Religion at Belmont University. He preaches at The Rock Baptist Church at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

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