52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #6 – An Incredible Gift

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #16 – An Incredible Gift
Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #16 – An Incredible Gift
Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #16 – An Incredible Gift

In week 16 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks to God for an incredible gift.

If I mention the black, opening crawl of “Star Wars” you can see the logo and almost instantly hear the theme music, can’t you?

Iconic, right?

What if I told you I personally knew someone who played first chair in a section of the orchestra responsible for that original score?!

But, what if I told you that they conducted the score for that orchestra?

Or, what if I told you they wrote the score for that 100+ piece symphony orchestra?!

That would be amazing, right?

Well, my brother, Nehemiah Luckett, composed, orchestrated and directed music for “Ruby”, a production that I am confident will find it’s way to Broadway.

My mother and I drove 26 hours round trip to see it.

It was worth every second.

The story, the writing, the acting, the choreography, the music, and the vocals were stellar.

I hesitate to say pitch-perfect for fear of sounding like I’m overstating the case because he’s my brother, but it was just that good.

No. It was better than good.

It was excellent.

As it unfolded, I forgot I was watching a play and it challenged me in ways that good art tends to do.

As I attempted to comprehend all the moving pieces, to think that my brother wrote melodies and words that so beautifully conveyed such hard truths, music not for one instrument but an entire band, vocals not for just one singer but dozens, and helped to orchestrate a production that constantly teetered on making me want to avert my eyes and never being able to look away,

I was left in awe

because my brother is a maestro,

but more so, because he invited me to see his incredible gift and so graciously chose to share it with me.

I’m grateful.

I love you Nehemiah Luckett and I’m very proud of you, always have been.

#52WoG

If you’re interested in learning more about Nehemiah’s wonderful work or supporting it, you can do that here: https://bit.ly/nehemiah-patreon

New Driver Rental Car Agreement

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - New Driver Rental Car Agreement

It seems like a lot of my friends’ kids are getting their drivers licenses. (We old! 🤣)

Before our boys got car keys, they signed an agreement spelling out our expectations and that driving is a privilege and not a right -a privilege maintained by trust that is earned.

We were delighted by how well they handled this enormous responsibility when expectations were clearly set. So, I’m sharing our family’s “New Driver Rental Car Agreement” in hopes that it’s helpful to other families for putting their new drivers in a position to succeed.

Drive safely, my new friends on the road!

Download the New Driver Rental Car Agreement here: https://bit.ly/new-driver-rental-agreement

52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #5 – Nickels

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #5 – Nickels

In Week 5 of 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness, I give thanks to God for nickels.

I was around 6 years old when my dad was a student at Gammon Theological Seminary, and on this particular day I am on campus with him at the library.

I mimic my father. As he studied and wrote, I sat quietly and drew.

He then reached in his denim pocket and handed me fifty cents or so in nickels. They were for the copy machine. Copies were 5 cents a copy.

Once my masterpiece was complete, I’d walk intently (with excitement) to the copier, careful not to run. I’d stand in line to copy my work just like the grown-ups.

I don’t remember a single word being spoken but remember the feeling of having everything that I wanted or needed.

In that moment there was no where else I’d rather be.

I was just happy to be with my dad.

I’m so glad I had this moment with my father. It’s a beautiful memory that makes me smile to this day.

I’m grateful.

#52WoG

52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #1 – A Son’s Heart

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #1 – A Son's Heart

In Week 1 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for a Son’s Heart.

Someone was in need, having lost their home’s much used washer and dryer in the same day.

They were hours away, a new washer and dryer set would have to be picked up, the old ones would have to be removed and the new installed. It would be a challenging job for just one person.

As my wife and I were working through how to help, my son Chris volunteers, “Dad, I’ll go.”

He gives up an entire Saturday that are typically cherished and fiercely protected by college students to help someone else.

I can scarcely think of a moment where I was more proud.

My prayer and greatest hope is that I could ever make God feel the way my son made me feel that day.

I’m proud of you, Chris.

I love you.

I’m grateful.

#52WoG

God’s Love Burns

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - God's Love Burns

We gush about the blessings and kindness of God’s love, but what about the change His love demands and causes?

Our God is a consuming fire.

His love burns.

It both warms the heart and burns aways sin.

If I’m not experiencing both, I’m not experiencing God’s love.

****

It would probably be better said, “His love ‘ignites’ the heart and burns away sin”, because we were completely dead before, we had nothing to warm.

It was for reason of our common understanding of the expression that I chose “warm the heart” as in the pleasant warmth often associated with being loved.

But His love is not just pleasant, it’s transformative. It creates new life in us and eviscerates the darkness of our former selves.

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
—John 1:4-5

****

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!

Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

“Little children, LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning.

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”
—1 John 3:1-2, 7-9

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #20 – A Tomato And Salt

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks of Gratefulness #20 – A Tomato And Salt

“Here,” my grandmother said as she cupped my left hand and took a tomato from the sill and put it in my right hand.

Then she sprinkled salt from a shaker in my cupped hand. She asked, “Want some pepper?” I shook my head, “No.”

“Bite your tomato and dip it in the salt”, she coached.

Amazing.

It tasted like their home on the farm smelled, of the earth, pure and sweet.

I went outside, sat on the stoop and ate my newfound treat in awe.

In week 20 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for a tomato and salt.

Something so simple is so profound.

It was like I could taste the entire farm: the sunshine and the rain, the dirt and the breeze, the sweat and the love that cultivated it.

My grandfather Percy Brown and my grandmother Sarah Brown built a home blanketed in love.

When you were there, it was at every turn and around every corner. Even the animals seemed to recognize it.

I have so many wonderful memories on that farm in Canton, Mississippi. There was great peace and so much love.

I have such a rich heritage.

I remember it every time I bite into a tomato.

I’m grateful.

#52WoG

Image copyright 2008 Daniel E. Johnson – crossroadone.com

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #15 – Hanging Out With Our Boys

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks of Gratefulness #15 – Hanging Out With Our Boys
Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks of Gratefulness #15 – Hanging Out With Our Boys

In Week 15 of 52 Weeks of gratefulness I give thanks for hanging out with our boys.

Mom’s out of town.

She’s the fun one, always coming up with fun things to do.

I’m not great at that.

I don’t think in terms of, “Oh, that would be fun to do.”

I think in terms of accomplishing things, “It would be cool if X existed, to accomplish Y or if the boys were exposed to Z”.

So, I plan “fun”.

I know. Horrible.

So, I Google “fun things to do with young adults” and break out a spreadsheets to sort possible activities by distance and time required.

True story.

As I discuss the possibilities with our boys: hiking, miniature golf, fishing with Granddad, etc., Chris said, “I don’t care what we do. As long as I’m with y’all.”

(How did pepper get in my eyes?!)

They then conclude together, almost simultaneously, “Let’s get on Minecraft! We haven’t played with you in forever, Dad.”

And, for three hours that’s what we do.

My eldest son, Chris, takes note of the spawning point as I figure out how to get logged in, remarking, “I’ll help Dad get to the camp” because we’re playing survival and he knows I’m horrible at the game.

We talk. Challenges we face in the game spur a host of conversations about all sorts of things like ambitions, experiences, ideas and attitudes about life.

We laugh as we each die in the most ridiculous ways, mostly me (e.g. “brainflurry dies attempting to swim in lava.”)

Afterward, my youngest son, Roman, says, “I made an awesome soup the other day, can I make you some Dad?” and then proceeds to cook for us.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

And, I didn’t plan any of it.

Awesome things happen around awesome people, when you let it.

My kids are awesome. My wife is awesome.

I’m grateful.

#52WoG

Three States Of Marriage Triangle

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Three States Of Marriage Triangle
3 States Of Marriage Triangle

This is something my wife and I cover with couples in counseling in preparation for their wedding day. I’m sharing it in hopes it will be a blessing to someone else.

The Three States Of Marriage Triangle

Marriage is God making two –a husband and a wife, one in Him.

No power is capable of facilitating this union and holding it together other than God’s love.

God is love.

We cannot love without love.

Therefore, everything starts with Him and is done through Him.

“We love because He first loved us.” -1 John 4:19

Love begins with His revelation and then our acceptance of His love for us.

Thereby, we see what love is, what is good, what is true and how it’s done.

We, as a husband or a wife, participate in marriage by being loved by God, modeling ourselves after God, and ministering the love of God to each other.

In a healthy marriage, the husband and wife minister the love of God toward each other, a perpetual process of perfecting –sanctification: that reveals, cleanses and draws.

Through this process they increasingly become One until the distinction between husband and wife is nearly indiscernible except that they’re merely different expressions of the same life-giving whole.

Attending to this process should be a husband’s top priority and occupation.

As a husband, he should be diligent to know the state of his wife and their marriage, careful to cultivate, water and fertilize with the nurture of God’s Love.

A husband should also be vigilant against evil, careful to weed and prune anything hindering their growth.

If it so happens that a husband or wife becomes distant (out of fellowship with God and therefore out of fellowship with the spouse), the marriage becomes anemic.

Our tendency is to look toward our spouse and concentrate on what we’re not getting that we think we should. This only causes more harm and it’s not God’s way.

Consider Jesus. No matter what we did (or did not do that we should have), Jesus was not moved. He focused on the love between Him and the Father and ministered that love to us.

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” – John 15:9

God is faithful and His love toward that drifting spouse remains constant. So, we look toward Him. We focus on His love toward us to get what we need and then minister His love toward our spouse.

Love from above. Love from below.

There is no better means or greater power to restore someone to fellowship than God’s love.

Enticements, appeasement, grand expressions, manipulation and coercion only work for a little while, if at all.

But, love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).

Receive Love.
Give Love.
Trust Love.

And, in the last state where both spouses are distant (out of fellowship with God therefore out of fellowship with each other), the marriage is broken. This condition should be avoided at all cost by personally always drawing near to the Savior, Jesus Christ.

But even in the worst case scenario, God gives a way back to fellowship. Just one needs to look up.

I began by saying marriage is God making two one. And, everything I have said applies to two believers.

Before you say “I do” to each other, make sure you’ve both said, “I do” to Jesus’s proposal.

To have a healthy marriage, it is vital to not be unequally yoked.

#perfectourlove

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52 Weeks of Gratefulness #9 – A Birthday

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #9 - A Birthday

In Week 9 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness I give thanks for the ability to celebrate another birthday with the most important man in my life, Reverend Paul Luckett.

Happy birthday, Pop. Your example as a man and a father both guides and challenges me everyday.

I thank God for your life.

I thank Him more that I am able to share it with you.

I love you.

I’m thankful.

#52WoG

Note: He’s a leap year baby (Feb. 29) so in a normal year, he has the special ability to choose which day he wants to celebrate his birthday on: Feb. 28 or March 1. This year he chose to celebrate it today.

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #8 – A Proposal

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #8 - A Proposal
Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #8 - A Proposal
Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #8 - A Proposal
Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #8 - A Proposal

In Week 8 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness I give thanks for a proposal.

On May 6, 2022 my soon to be nephew-in-love, Leroy Williams, pulled off the coldest proposal I have ever seen to my niece Shannen Harris, who Melissa and I dearly love.

In this photograph of the proposal, you will see pictured our family’s beloved Willie and Mary Harris who have gone on to be with the Lord.

They are the trunk of the Harris family tree and this picture speaks volumes.

Jesus said in John 10:1, “Any who does not enter by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”

I believe Leroy would say himself that he probably wouldn’t be considered a big church guy, but what he demonstrates here is a Christ-like heart for my niece, wanting to go through the proper channels and do what’s necessary to secure his bride.

This picture is representative of Leroy going to the ones keeping Shannen (her family aka the door), to present himself, to demonstrate his willingness to pay the cost and to request the privilege and responsibility of now being the one to keep her.

I thank God and celebrate this proposal, their relationship and the things they’re doing to establish a firm foundation for their home. It is already having a powerful impact throughout our family and their community.

My soul has known few greater pleasures than their asking me to officiate their wedding. Not just that, they’re also allowing Melissa and I to walk with them in counseling leading up to that wonderful day when they are wed. Counseling is always a requirement of my officiating but before I could get it out they asked for it! My heart is so full.

Oh, how I cherish the opportunity to walk with people I love, into the Holy covenant of marriage, where a man and his wife are fitted and held together by the God of love that I love! May God use them to establish and deepen our roots in Christ so that our family will not be moved.

I love what this does for our family.

I love what this does for the future.

I’m thankful.

#52WoG