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

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #7 – Our Son’s Decision

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks of Gratefulness #7 – Our Son's Decision
Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks of Gratefulness #7 – Our Son's Decision

In Week 7 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness I give thanks for our son’s decision.

Today our son, Chris Luckett, turns 21 years old. And, throughout those 21 years, he has made the conscious decision to share his life with us.

Whatever ignites him: anime, athletics, Pokémon, nature, dancing or people dear to him –he has decided to make us a part of it.

For 21 years it has been a privilege to bask in its glow.

Happy 21st birthday our beloved son.

Thank you for sharing your your life with us.

I’m thankful.

#52WoG

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #5 – A Wife

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks of Gratefulness #5 – A Wife

In week 5 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for a wife.

“This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased,” is what God says of Jesus. That leaves me in awe. To receive such an affirmation from the God of the universe, I can’t imagine it. There is nothing I’d like more than to know God is pleased with me.

He has.

Because of His pleasure in and love for His Son Jesus, who was obedient to death, God gives Him a people.

He gives me a wife.

I find that the more like His Son that He makes me, the more obedient I become, the more of her I get.

Words fail me to express all that my wife is to me.

My very being aches for her. I so adore her.

She catches me staring at times because I can scarcely believe it.

I examine her, every inch of her, the way one might examine an unbelievable treasure.

She is an indescribable gift that leaves me in awe.

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.” – Proverbs 18:22

I’m thankful.

#52WoG

Giving Thanks For The Hard Things


Photo Courtesy of YouVersion Bible

“I had a great weekend with my bride.”

“It’s a beautiful day.”

“I’m enjoying a portion of health, strength or provision”

It’s easy to give thanks for that.

But, the annoying employer,

The unexpected expense,

The person being a jerk,

Illness,

Or, tragic loss is another matter.

“In everything, give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” This is the command of 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Admittedly, I have trouble with that, especially as it pertains to things that are unpleasant, painful or are simply something I don’t want to do.

But, God works all things together for good. Nothing is wasted -not even trouble.

For the Christian, trouble is strength conditioning. It’s our gym. By it, we are being made mighty in God when we get with the program and do not despise the training of the Lord.

So, as trouble presses against us, more and more we develop the strength to stand firmly.

The goal is to become immovable.

The goal is to not be moved by any circumstance from a place of peace, joy and love in God –strength built on faith in Christ that even the gates of hell cannot prevail against.

A house built on the Rock.

Imagine the value of being such an asset on the battlefield! Imagine the beacon of hope it would be. Imagine the refuge in Christ it would offer others. Imagine the protection it would provide our families and community. Imagine the glory God would receive!

Giving thanks in all things returns our focus to Him, it reminds us of His promises and that we are being prepared. It helps us get our minds right so that we can get the most out of the training now to be effective in our assignment later.

So, as I encounter trouble, I pray to enter into a more appropriate attitude for a child of the King,

“Thank you Father, for the opportunity this hardship affords me;
to gain experience, strength and promotion,
This light and momentary affliction is working for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

I trust You to get me there,
to make me into what You would have me to be.
Help me to understand and submit to what You’re teaching me.

Teach me to dwell in the secret place of the Most High.

Make me immovable.

In the name of Jesus Christ and for Your glory I pray.

Amen.”

And, in those moments where there is an onslaught and the enemy attempts to overwhelm me, my breath prayer is,

“Thank you Father, for the opportunity.”

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

– 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
https://my.bible.com/bible/114/1CO.15.57-58

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #18 – The Stopping Game

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com Thankful For My Mom And The Stopping Game

In Week 18 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for a fond memory of my mother and her Stopping Game.

My Mom made everything fun.

When I was learning to drive she made up this game to see who could stop the car most smoothly.

A successful stop was one that was gentle on the passengers and did not cause them to jerk forward in their seats. An excellent stop was one that your passengers barely felt.

On our way to choir rehearsal or Bible class (as church was our most common destination), we’d take turns driving to see who could stop the car better.

My younger brother, though too young to drive at the time, would get in on the game too. We’d all have so much fun exaggerating like we were going to get thrown out of the car when the driver was making a stop.

At the time, I was completely unaware that my mother was teaching me to be calm behind the wheel, gentleness with the pedals, speed management and to better gauge distances in traffic. But even more than that, my mother turned what would have been a loathsome task (going to church) into absolute joy.

My Mom constantly did stuff like this. This is what motherhood looks like to me, she was simultaneously my best teacher and my first friend.

Oh, what a blessing Rosemary Luckett is to me.

I’m grateful. #52WoG

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #16 – Fruitful Words From A Friend

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com Thankful For Fruitful Words From Josh T Taylor

In Week 16 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for a fruitful word from a friend, Josh “T” Taylor.

I want to advance the Kingdom of God.

But, how we imagine the Kingdom and what it actually is are often starkly different.

It is easy for us to be deceived by appearances, to busy ourselves with religious activities, to feel affirmed by big crowds and large projects, but all the while having done nothing for the Kingdom. (Matthew 7:21-27)

I have struggled with wanting to do something “big” and feeling like I’m not doing enough… that is, until my brother, Josh “T” Taylor, shared a word that has been setting me free.

“T” and I attend a marriage ministry together. It is a small group but it is very rich.

One day, we were talking about the role our marriages play in the Kingdom by glorifying God in how we as husbands and wives reflect Christ’s love.

In that moment “T” pivoted and said something that completely shifted my view of ministry. He was sharing water that he had received elsewhere but it was particularly refreshing to me because it was filtered through his sincerity, his love for me and his applying it in his own life.

He said, “The Kingdom of God advances at the speed of relationships.”

That word immediately affirmed itself. My heart was set on fire as much by the messenger as by the message.

It was illuminating. It revealed, among many things, how I often get distracted seeking outcomes while God seeks hearts. And, we reach those hearts, not by large, flashy ministries but by Spirit-filled, sacrificial, longsuffering love for people as they come to us, which is most often one at a time.

I repent. Not my will Father, but Your will be done. (John 6:38)

This word from a friend and dear brother has been a great ministry to me. I will go forward in service to the Father, seeking to be faithful with whatever He places in my charge -one talent or five, and trust God with the rest.

Thank you “T”. I love you.

I’m grateful. #52WoG

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #15 – A Mentor’s Admonition

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com Thankful For A Mentor's Admonition

In Week 15 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for a mentor’s admonishment.

Our long time friends, pastors and mentors Pearson and Gloria Liddell were moving thousands of miles away.

As we were seeing them off, I asked Pearson, “What do I need to work on?” “Where do you see I need to grow?” Pearson being Pearson studied the question for a moment before giving his thoughtful, heart-felt response. His reply to me in a word was, “Compassion.”

My wife remarked how she loved the response because Pearson expanded the scope and rather than make it about me personally, he gave me something for ministry.

I took his words to heart and have studied them ever since.

I could write a book from my takeaways, but the condensed summary is this:

If I don’t love you, I’m disqualified from ministering to you.

But, I do love you or at the very least I want to because Someone I love dearly loves you even more.

Pearsons admonition challenged me to always seek to have the love Christ has for everyone I encounter. It is timeless yet a timely reminder for me in this season.

I’m grateful. #52WoG

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #14 – William Chapman

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com Thankful For William Bill Dad Chapman

In Week 14 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for William Chapman.

What is it about us and food?

Our best moments seemed to be around breaking bread. This is the best picture I have of you because often when we’re together, we’re too busy eating for me to take pictures. And, here I’m sharing a meal with you and Tan at the Starkville Korean Church where you were a long time friend and faithful minister to that congregation.

The very first time I remember our sharing a meal together was at the men’s luncheon that meets on Thursdays at New Horizons Christian Fellowship, another place where you were also a long time friend and faithful minister. That’s where I got my first real glimpse of you and your cheeky attitude. I remember saying to you, “I solicit your counsel and give you authority to correct me,” and you snarkily replied, “I was going to do that anyway because I already have that authority.” Smart butt. That was the point that we became friends.

We’ve shared several meals since then, each time you were ministering. The first time I came to visit you in the hospital, you said “What do you have for me?” and you went on to teach how when a minister is visiting the sick, they should come either with a Word, a prayer or a song. With each visit we’d edify each other and then share a meal.

At your funeral, I learned that you did that all over the place: at the Starkville Korean Church, the Starkville Chinese Christian Church, Second Baptist Missionary Baptist Church, New Horizon’s Men’s Lunch, Mississippi State Christian Faculty Forum, teaching online Bible classes to people in China and on, and on. By God’s grace, that’s who you are: a minister and connector to the beautifully diverse, international, multi-ethnic, global body of Christ.

This brings me to our last meal together on Monday, April 4th 2022, where I also administered communion to you. You shared how you and your family were making your funeral arrangements. Your final remarks to me are etched in my soul. The first being, “I see no downside. Either Jesus will be the first face I see or that of my wife Tan. To live is Christ. To die is gain.” And, your last being, “Make sure they emphasize the importance of the diversity in the body.”

But, here you are, a white man, taking communion to your lips from my hand, a black man, as though you were receiving it from the Lord Himself.

Not once have you ever uttered, “I don’t see race.” Rather, you saw my blackness and did not consider it as a flaw but a feature of God’s design and embraced me. You did this for many others.

As I consider your last words to me, “Make sure they emphasize the importance of the diversity in the body,” and as I look around at your funeral, at those who have been born, grown and connected by your ministry, I see no need, your life has already done that. What I will do instead is endeavor to continue what you’ve done.

How fitting that we quite literally shared your last supper, a sacrament that connects us to every believer past, present and future, through the body and blood of Christ. Jesus said that “many will come from the East and West and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11). What a glorious day that will be when you and I are assembled with believers from every nation, tribe and tongue (Revelations 7:9) to sup again with our Lord (Mark 14:25)!

Thank you for sharing a spiritual, cosmic, much more beautiful view of the kingdom than our natural, limited perspective allows. I’m grateful. #52WoG