What am I thankful for? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Thanksgiving is really not my favorite holiday. When you’re someone on the spectrum who doesn’t care for social gatherings involving food and get anxiety around food you don’t like, it happens. I tell people today that my favorite Thanksgiving ever was growing up and I had the flu and I had to stay home. Ocarina of Time had just come out and I spent all evening trying to figure out the Forest Temple.

Yet just because I don’t care for the festivities, that doesn’t mean I can’t be thankful today. Here is my list of things in my life I am thankful for.

First, I’m thankful for being saved by grace by Jesus Christ. Growing up, the church was always part of my life, but I had no idea how much of a role it would play. Now I am in ministry and it’s something I really do enjoy doing. Being in this position has brought me to so many different cities I have called home.

I’m thankful for my parents who raised me a Christian and who have never stopped believing in me. Being on the spectrum, my mother was told all the things that I would never do because of that. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for them, I have done all of them and more. I sometimes wish she could find some of them again and when they ask how I am say “Oh. He’s just living in New Orleans about 600 miles away on his own with a job and a car and working on his Master’s in philosophy.” Also, my family includes my sister who is one of my biggest fans.

I am thankful to be in this city and to be attending New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I have grown to be recognized around this place and so many people now know they need to tell me that they affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm. I seriously don’t think there’s anyone who does more in the area of humor than I do on campus. I’m not trying to brag. That’s just the way I see it. My therapist here said he thinks humor is my form of small talk and if it is, then I do it well as I’m always trying to make people laugh.

I am thankful I have a good job. I have worked at the post office on campus ever since I came here. I have learned a lot about the mail and I get along well with my boss. I get to meet all the students that come in here and I get plenty of time for my own reading when things are slow.

I am thankful for the relationships I have here. Just yesterday, I went with a fellow student to a local park and we spent hours there playing Pokemon Go. It was really a joyous experience and being out in a community with others with the same interest, it helps me forget at times about being divorced.

I am also thankful that I have survived the divorce and am surviving it every day. I made it a personal vow that I was playing to win and I would not let her win the day over me by her actions. Of course, it still hurts every day, but I am working every day to overcome the pain and hope to find love again one day.

Right now, our country isn’t doing well, but I am still thankful to be an American. I can for the time being worship freely and read my Bible freely. Some of us may not have a lot in our minds financially, but drop us off in a number of countries in the world and we would be some of the most wealthy people of all. I still think this is the best nation on Earth.

I am thankful for my friends. So many people have come alongside me and joined me in the journey. Some I know in person or have met in person. Some I have never met, but I still consider them friends.

I am also thankful for so many of you who have decided to become donors through Patreon. If you aren’t already, please do sign up. Even if you just give $1-$5 a month, that is still something and it means a lot to me.

I am thankful for all that I have to keep me busy here as well. I have plenty of books for my reading, plenty of games I can enjoy, and a whole lot in streaming services I can watch. I can always have something to do throughout the day.

Do I have a lot of work to do? Yes. Do I have a lot of challenges? Yes. Are there still aspects of life that I am sorrowful about? Yes.

Yet in the face of this, I am still thankful for the blessings I have.

Now go and make your own list.

Happy Thanksgiving!

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Thankfulness And Silence

Are we to have a Happy Thanksgiving? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have been writing this week in response to the news of Tyler Vela about divorce and silence. Today, being Thanksgiving, I don’t have to work and there are no classes. Naturally, I turn off the alarm and choose to sleep in as long as I can.

Yet early in the morning when I start to wake up, who is right there waiting for me but Shiro. So what do I do? Stay in bed for just a little bit to hold him and pet him and get some kitty kisses from him. Starting Thanksgiving with my little kitty is certainly a great way to begin the day with thankfulness.

Honestly, Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday of all. I’m not one for meal situations and I don’t like a lot of traditional Thanksgiving foods. The only exception for me is pumpkin pie. I am fine with not going to Thanksgiving meals at all. (Although I’m sure Shiro would be thrilled if anyone wanted to bring by a bite of turkey for him.)

Today, I was intending to just write about Thanksgiving, but as I thought about it, I realized this has relevance to the silence of God. Years ago, I read something from Tim Keller about thankfulness. It was a portion of Scripture that I had read several times and yet, a few key words in that Scripture I had never taken the time to consider.

Let’s look at Romans 1.

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

We can get caught up in so many debates about this passage. It can be classical apologetics vs. presuppositionalism. It can be about the nature of design arguments. It can be questions of if someone can truly be an atheist or not.

Fine questions and worth discussion, but did you notice that part at the end? This is about people who the text says know God and they didn’t glorify Him, but also, they didn’t give thanks. They were not appreciative of God. They didn’t show gratitude.

If you don’t appreciate something and you’re not thankful for it, it can lead to a resentment or it can lead to an entitlement attitude. Here in America, if you live here, you are generally a rich person. You might think you’re poor, but compared to the majority of the world, you are rich. What do we want? More. We mourn about how little we have so often.

I also think this does contribute to divorce. Where does this idea come from that the grass is greener on the other side? As a nerd, I was amazed most every day that I was actually married and I do long for that again. If you think something is owed to you, you will not be grateful for it. There’s a reason the entitlement mindset is causing so much damage in our country.

So what about the silence of God?

Too often, it’s likely that God has already spoken and we have not appreciated what has been said. Skepticism is one thing and if it’s purely intellectual, that can be worked on, but if emotion is driving it, the most powerful intellectual arguments won’t do a thing. Why do you think I get concerned with so many of our younger generation demanding more and more and more?

However, what if we are really saying to God, “What you have done is not good enough?” If we do not appreciate the ways God has spoken, should He really say anymore? If we do not appreciate whatever God has given us, why would He bother giving us more?

The Jews have a Passover song called Dayenu. The lyrics are much longer and interspersed with a chorus, but they go as follows talking about the Passover.

Had we been taken out of Egypt and not had judgment executed upon the Egyptians, it would’ve been enough. Had judgment been executed upon the Egyptians and not upon their idols, it would’ve been enough. Had judgment been executed upon their idols, and not their firstborn, it would’ve been enough. Had judgment been executed upon their firstborn, and we had not received their wealth, it would’ve been enough. Had we received their wealth, and not had the sea split for us, it would’ve been enough. Had the sea been split the sea for us, and we had not been led through it to dry land, it would’ve been enough. Had we been led to dry land, and our enemies not drowned in the sea behind us, it would’ve been enough for us. Had our enemies drowned, and our needs not have been provided for in the desert for 40 years, it would’ve been enough. Had we been supported in the desert and not been given bread, it would have been enough. Had we been given bread and not been given the Sabbath, it would have been enough. Had we been given the Sabbath and not been brought to Mount Sinai, it would have been enough. Had we been brought to Mount Sinai and not been sent the Torah, it would have been enough. Had we been sent the Torah and not been brought to Israel, it would have been enough. Had we been brought to Israel and not been built the Holy Temple, it would have been enough.

What this is saying is that every step would have been enough. God owed nothing more. God owes us nothing more. The only thing He has to give is what He promised. It’s often asked about the problem of evil, “Why did God kill so many?” It’s never considered how many He let live. He had no obligation. It’s as if we are saying “God owes us life.” No. He doesn’t.

If you are owed nothing, and you are given everything, what is that? It’s not payment for something. It’s not God is in debt to you. It is all a gift. All is grace.

I am thankful for many things today. My family and my friends are high up there. I am thankful to be in the city of New Orleans, a city I have come to love, and working on my education at a school I love with a job that I thoroughly enjoy and meeting new people. I am thankful I can rebuild my life and remarry someday. I am thankful that I have got to be a person of influence somehow through the internet. I am thankful I am making it through my divorce bit by bit. I am thankful for the people who have donated to me through Patreon or Risen Jesus to show their support for me. I am thankful for a cute little kitty currently sleeping on my bed. I am thankful I have so many books and games here to keep my mind active. All is grace.

And I’m definitely thankful for grace. It would have been enough, but the one who said it wasn’t enough was God Himself. He looked at all the ways He had loved us so far and said “It’s not enough.” Ephesians 2 even says it’s still not enough. He will spend all of eternity showing us how much He loves us.

I don’t deserve it. Neither do you. It’s all a gift. It’s all grace.

Happy Thanksgiving.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Why I Am Thankful

So why would a divorced man be thankful on Thanksgiving? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday was kind of a downer for a Thanksgiving, and i don’t want to really leave it there. I don’t really care for Thanksgiving, but mine was alright. I got in reading, writing, and gaming. I rented Free Guy for my Dad and I to watch together which he did like and in the evening we all watched the live-action 101 Dalmatians that had Glenn Close in it.

However, I didn’t hide that this holiday is not my favorite. Still, thankfulness is important. I have thought some on what I am thankful for.

My recent trip to Texas for ETS was an eye-opener in many ways. I am thankful for all the friends I have from ETS who were so caring for me. Some brought me gifts and some provided for meals. Many asked how I was doing and a couple prayed right there for me.

It also brought to mind my longing to be out on my own. Independence is a way that I thrive greatly. My therapist told me that a bird yearns to fly freely. I set my own schedule pretty much there and did everything the way I wanted and enjoyed walking down the streets of Texas by myself having to use my Waze to find my way. Of course, my gamer side was also doing Pokemon Go at the same time. Visiting a new city is a great way to do that.

I’m especially thankful because being on the spectrum, the “experts” were always skeptical of me. I’d never live on my own. I’d never graduate. I’d never go to college. My parents, thankfully, had their own never. They never listened. I have been told I am the first one on the spectrum to go straight through the Knox County public school system.

I’m no longer married, but I was. I am thankful for that, but I’m also thankful that I don’t live in the same stress anymore. I love her still and want the best for her, but I don’t want to be with her.

I also am thankful that ultimately, I only have to be successful with one woman to be married again. That’s hard on the spectrum, but it is doable. I am working to build up myself and working on my social skills because I want to reach that goal.

I am thankful I do have a place to stay meanwhile even if it is with my parents and I am thankful I have a way to provide for myself, even if I don’t enjoy my job at all. I am thankful for the donors I do have and if you want to join in that, please do click the Patreon link below. Every donor I get gets me closer to my goals of furthering my education and doing the podcast again.

I am thankful for the friends that I do have. Many people have surrounded me in this time and been there for me. Many times when someone gets divorced, friends can abandon them. Not here.

I’m also thankful Shiro is with me and I get to take care of him. (Even if the little guy woke me up a few times last night with the Zoomies.) Shiro is one of my best friends and he just loves to snuggle with me. It’s a joy to come home and see him in my room waiting for me.

I am thankful I have a good church home and DivorceCare group. My pastor is an academic like me and we have great conversations. He’s working on his PhD in Patristics right now. I find in DivorceCare now I am getting to give back a whole lot more.

I am thankful I have plenty to keep me entertained here. I get to play Final Fantasy XIV with friends and I have several games here that I can enjoy. I also have numerous books that I can keep going through and will never lack something to read.

I’m definitely thankful most of all for what Jesus has done. If it hadn’t been for Christ, I don’t think I would have made it through this time like I have. I strive every day to do something more for the Kingdom. It is always an adventure and yet my prayer with it is to please have God let me have a wife by my side again for the journey.

Again, please also consider becoming a partner in support. I want to be out on my own so I can do the podcast and I will have to pay for my upcoming education. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Divorce and the Holidays

What are holidays like for those grieving? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’m emphasizing divorce here because I can speak personally of that. I cannot do that for other situations. However, for anyone going through grief and loss, the holidays can be hard. I think of my friend Evan Minton, who lost his mother this year and how Thanksgiving could be very awkward this year. There are many widows and widowers out there who will be having a hard time. I think of my friend Christina in Charlotte whose young husband died this year.

Now for me, I have never really cared for Thanksgiving. I really like for the most part being on the spectrum, but Thanksgiving is awkward. The holiday is now pretty much all about the food, that I don’t care for aside from pumpkin pie, and then socializing. The first Thanksgiving I remember truly enjoying, I had the flu and had to stay home and Ocarina of Time had just come out and I spent the evening trying to get through the Forest Temple for the first time.

That used to be my second best also.

The best would have been the first Thanksgiving I spent with my ex-wife and her family. I can’t really say that anymore. That memory now only brings pain.

I noticed at my own job that I was becoming more irritable these past few days. I suspect it has to do with all these people coming in talking about the holiday and saying “Happy Thanksgiving.” It doesn’t help that my love life has suffered and just recently I thought I might have had something, but no, that didn’t work out. For me, Thanksgiving is a kind of loneliness.

Sure. I have my parents here, but I’m 41 years old and I thrive on being independent. Being in Texas for ETS was an awesome time for me because I was out there and on my own and making my own decisions. No. My parents don’t control me, but I am dependent on being in their house. They’re great people, but I do long to be out there myself.

I am busy preparing for the furtherance of my education and I don’t know how I will manage to pay for it all. I still want to earn enough to live on my own. I want to have a woman in my life again. I want to be able to go to a job that I enjoy and that I think I make a difference at.

In that situation for me, Thanksgiving is hard because I’m thinking about all the things I don’t have and I am tempted to cry, “How long, O Lord? How long?” I know I have many things to be thankful for, such as I am a child of the king, I live in the greatest country on Earth, and I do have my family and many great friends.

Sometimes, it’s just hard still.

You could call me ungrateful, and I suppose that could be true to some extent, but it’s something we all struggle with for the most part. We all can easily overlook our blessings, but for the holidays, those going through a real loss can still struggle with that. The things I write of I pray for every night.

This holiday season, through Thanksgiving and Christmas, try to remember those people around you who are grieving. If you know someone who has lost a loved one, do a kind gesture for them. Do something that says you’re thinking of them. Get a gift for a friend or invite them over to do something.

Remember also those less fortunate you don’t even know. Work with a charity this year to provide for someone in need. Provide a Christmas gift for a child who will have nothing this year without one. If you know someone who does care for food, invite them over to Thanksgiving dinner or provide a meal for their family.

This year can be hard for many people struggling and depression and suicide rates can easily go up. Please be remembering those people. For me, this is my first holiday season officially as a divorced person and don’t think it doesn’t come to mind that I proposed on Christmas Eve. It’s easy to tell someone to focus on what they have, but it can be hard as we all know. It’s far better to walk alongside those who are suffering.

Please be a gift to them this holiday season. Maybe they can be thankful in the end you’re in their lives.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Thanksgiving When You’re Not Thankful

How do you celebrate a holiday when things are rough? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A few weeks ago, I did a podcast with the Mentionables and we talked about depression. It was largely about mental illness, but depression came up. I brought up that when the holiday season comes around, for a lot of people, it’s a happy time, but for some people, it can be rough.

For me, Thanksgiving has never really been my favorite holiday. Just picture being socially awkward due to Aspergers and then also because of that, having a dislike for all of the food served there. I know on my end, it’s really hard when people tell me to eat a lot of turkey. Yeah. Sorry. I don’t play that game.

Honestly, looking back, only two Thanksgivings stand out to me with fond memories. The first was in 1998. The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time had just come out. I also had the flu. It wasn’t faked at all. I never faked sickness. I had the flu. I couldn’t be around people at all, so I stayed in my room at home the whole night trying to get through the Forest Temple.

That was an awesome Thanksgiving. It might have been horrible if it had been the Water Temple, but it was the Forest one. That one is not the nightmare the Water one is.

The second one was the first Thanksgiving I had with Allie. We were dating and not even engaged yet and she invited me to be with her family. I’m sure that wasn’t the favorite Thanksgiving of my family since I was away spending it with a girl I was dating, but I remember it fondly.

If the holiday season is here though and you’re not into it because of your own suffering, it’s really understandable. Sometimes, holidays remind us of what is different. It can be really painful seeing other people happy. It can be painful hearing so many people say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas or Happy Thanksgiving.

We know they mean well. They don’t know what’s going on in your life if they say that. If you’re in that position this year, try to remember that these people really do mean well.

The thing is that you are still supposed to be thankful. A couple of years ago or so, someone told me to be thankful for something when you get to the end of the day. If it has been a horrible day, at least be thankful that the day is over.

Also, remember if this is your first time going through a hard holiday season, you’re not alone. Other people have walked this path before. It could be your first time going through it, but it’s been traveled before. There are plenty of people who have walked down it who could be willing to help you as you walk it.

It’s often said that misery loves company. There’s a reason for that. That misery of other people can remind you that you’re not alone. This is a great benefit of groups like Celebrate Recovery. You can go there and know that you are not alone.

That’s something else to be thankful for then. You’re not truly alone.

If you also know someone going through a rough holiday season or think they could be, reach out to them. Give that waiter at the restaurant an extra tip just in case. Give a great tip to the guy who helps you carry your groceries out to your car. Give your Uber driver or deliverer a little extra.

If these people don’t serve you that way, give them a gift card to a favorite restaurant of theirs. If they have children, get some gifts for the children. Even just putting some money in the mail and having it sent that way could help and if you want to do so anonymously, that’s fine too.

If you’ve got a lot more money, do more. I remember the year someone gave us a Nintendo Switch. I still enjoy it and it gave me a lot of hope. Go and secretly pay someone’s electric bill perhaps or take care of their rent or go by them groceries.

By the way, if you’re a Christian, you’re supposed to show this kind of kindness anyway. If they are fellow believers, they are your brothers and sisters. Would you want your physical family going without over the holidays? Then don’t let it be with your spiritual family either.

Not only that, you will really give them something to be thankful for this year.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

The Importance of Giving Thanks

Why does it matter that we give thanks? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I just don’t care for Thanksgiving Day.

I find it odd that when I say that, that means I have to say I don’t care for giving thanks. I don’t really. It’s just the day itself has never been appealing to me. Being on the autism spectrum, I have a strange relationship with food. It’s nothing I am really comfortable around in many cases.

If you ask me what my best Thanksgiving were, I will point to two. The first one was in 2009. A girl I was dating invited me to spend Thanksgiving with her family. That girl, as I’m sure you know, is now my wife. I, in turn, invited her to spend Christmas with my family and the day before I proposed to her.

The second was in 1996. This one ranked as awesome to me because The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time had just come out. I also had the flu so I couldn’t be around anyone. I spent that evening not being around food I didn’t care for, but trying to make it through the Forest Temple. Good times. Good times.

Today, I’m still not a food person, and that’s something that often troubles me about Thanksgiving. Hear advertising about Thanksgiving or a remark on the radio about it and all people talk about is the food involved. There’s actually little mention of the idea of, you know, giving thanks.

Giving thanks is extremely important. Just because I don’t care for the rituals around the event doesn’t mean the event itself doesn’t matter. In Romans 1, one of the reasons the wrath of God comes upon humanity is that we didn’t give thanks to God.

When we don’t give thanks for a thing in our lives, we begin to take it for granted. We act like it’s just a sure thing and it will always be there. We have no such promise. None of us is promised another minute. I have no promise today that I will go to sleep tonight. Neither do you.

As I sit here in my office, there are many realities around here. Periodically, my cat will come in here. Sometimes, my wife will come in and if I don’t see her, I see pictures of her all around. I have gifts from friends and several books and pictures on the wall and on the bookshelves. I have gifts from Allie all throughout here too.

None of these have to be.

Now when it comes to taking for granted, some might say that for a Christian, marriage is to be a sure thing. Divorce is not to be an open option for Christians. Yes. I do realize that there are issues of abuse and infidelity, but generally, most of us think we should avoid divorce.

That is true, but that does not mean we take the other for granted. Some of you see that on Facebook I post love messages to my wife six days a week. Why do that? I do it not only to express love to her, but for a reason that could be considered selfish. I do it to hold myself accountable before people. See how I treat Allie and make sure what happens in private matches what’s in the public social media.

Doing this also builds up the love that I have for her. If I give thanks for her every day, I do not take her for granted then as much. I have friends who are single and want to marry. I pray that they will, but I am thankful I am not in that position anymore. That is a gift.

Christianity is something we take for granted. Here we have things like worship wars going on over what style of music should be played, arguments about the color of the carpet, and any number of doctrinal disputes. On the last one, of course, doctrine does matter, but sometimes we think the purpose of Christianity is those disputes. While these are going on, Christians in Iran and China and other places are risking their lives by going to church. Just a suspicion. They’re not leaving a church because the children’s nursery is less than perfect.

We have become so familiar with the Gospel, that we even take God’s love for granted. We take forgiveness for granted. We have heard the message so often we don’t pause to realize what we have been given. If we take those for granted, we will also not take sin seriously. You don’t take Christianity seriously if it’s just a given to you.

That ingratitude towards God will lead to a bitter root in our lives. It will make us more self-centered and less other-centered. That keeps us from fulfilling the two greatest commandments of Jesus. We don’t need to treat God as a given in our lives. His being in our lives came at the price of Christ.

So today, do I still care for the food and festivities? No. Does that mean I don’t care for giving thanks? Not at all. I think financially, our family is poor, but spiritually, we have blessings beyond compare. I am thankful for them.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

We Remember

How shall we honor this Memorial Day? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was going to do a book review, but I figure today it is better to write about Memorial Day. Today, we honor and remember those who gave their lives. This day is actually not about having barbeques, which is fine with me because I don’t eat burgers anyway and I’ve never cared for barbeques.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating such a day, but too many of us just see today as a three-day weekend. We are talking about the deaths of real human beings who died on the field of battle. These are real human beings who are not going to be able to have the barbeques with us anymore. They left behind spouses, kids, friends, parents, etc. Some events today will have empty chairs sitting at the table. Those chairs will never be filled this side of eternity.

Death is a really serious thing and sometimes we miss that. It’s easy to when we live in an age where you know that the actor in the movie isn’t really dead. We also live in an age where you can get extra lives on that game you’re playing or you can just hit the reset button. It’s fine for fantasy, but real life doesn’t work that way. There are no cheat codes or stunt doubles in real life like that. Death is very real.

As Christians, we can mourn, but we do not mourn like those who have no hope as Paul said. We mourn not for them, but for ourselves and for the loved ones of those who have gone on. This past week as readers know, my wife and I both could have lost each other when a car accident took place. We are not taking that for granted.

Every life is precious and every one of us is a great “might-not-have-been.” We all can contribute something to this world. Maybe you won’t see your name in lights this side of eternity, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have something to contribute. For all we know, the Joe Blows of this world could one day receive a greater honor than the Billy Grahams for doing the most with what they had. We don’t know.

Today then, my thanks goes out to all those who sent loved ones onto the battlefield knowing that it could be the last time they were ever seen. We mourn your loss, though definitely not to the extent that you do. We appreciate the great gift that you have given us. Many men and women sacrificed their lives so that we would not have to live in fear of losing ours to a number of evil causes.

Today if you are celebrating today, by all means, celebrate, but remember that today is more than a day off of work. It is a day meant to remember actual flesh and blood people who have died. Please take some time to remember them today and be thankful for the many blessings that you have that you are prone to take for granted.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Thanksgiving 2017

What are you thankful for? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

With today being Thanksgiving, it’s a good day to remember what you’re thankful for. One of my big things in life is to not take anything for granted. Every day is a gift and every blessing I have is something that I am not owed. It’s hard to remember this in an age of entitlements where we want to get what is owed to us. We don’t often want to see what we owe to others. People are more seen through the eyes of what they can do for us instead of what we can do for them.

So not wanting to skip out on what I’m thankful for, let me go through the list. The first of course is salvation in Christ. Forgiveness is really a great gift we don’t think about. It means that someone who has all the power and knowledge in the universe and who you have dishonored with your actions and can do whatever He wants with you and it would be the right thing to do and you would have no defense, decides that He’s going to forgive you because He would rather have you in His presence forever than to have you cast out. The cross and the resurrection are gifts to us.

Many of us also live in places where we have the freedom to worship as we wish. That is a gift. We don’t yet have to fear someone pulling a gun on us for being a Christian. We know church shootings have happened, but these are the exception and not the rule.

Many of us have several Bibles in our homes. These are gifts as well. There was a day and age when the average person could not go through their own copy of the Bible. Now we can. I’m thankful that I have that.

For more personal matters, I’m definitely thankful for my wife Allie being in my life. It means a lot when I’m talking to friends and get to say something about spending time with my wife. It’s not a hope anymore. I have a real and honest flesh and blood person with me. I have someone who loves me for me. I find that just incredible. I never thought I would meet someone like that, and indeed I have. Now I’m the guy encouraging others.

I’m thankful for my own parents as well who raised me in the church. That has become something foundational in my life. My parents often left me free to make my own mind up on matters and my going into the path of ministry was my own choosing. They didn’t know about apologetics until I started telling them about it.

I’m also thankful for my other parents. Mike and Debbie as my in-laws are great to have. We can often rely on each other and be good and faithful companions to one another in many adventures that we’ve had. When Geisler was going after Mike for instance, I was pleased to be one of the people right there making the defense.

With family, I’m thankful for my sister and my brother-in-law. My sister is making her own life for herself in Nashville. My parents I’m sure never thought their children would both live about four hours away from them, but here we are making it the best we can in the world. My brother-in-law Zach is someone I’m quite proud of. He has worked to do something in his life and is now a firefighter. He has matured so much since I first met him.

I’m thankful for my friends. Many of them have been with me through many things. David comes to mind immediately who actually took the great risk of living with me before I married Allie. There’s friends like Chris as well and around here I’ve got to know several guys like Cody and Jonathan, and we helped out another Jonathan and Michael and Sarah some during the hurricane. We have some good neighbors around here and we have a church family and small group that we can relate to. If I spent the time listing all my friends here, it would be far too extensive. If you are not mentioned, it is no slight on you. Please understand that.

I’m thankful for apologetics. Apologetics is something that brought me out of a time of depression and meaninglessness in my life. I used to say that was the great blessing apologetics did for me, but I was wrong. Apologetics is what led me to my wife Allie, which is even better.

I’m thankful for my health. I’m not the healthiest specimen to be sure, but I’m able to move around easily and I seem to have limitless energy. Being on the spectrum is also a plus for me. I have learned to see the world through eyes that are different and think through totally different ways than most people do, and of course, my wife being on the spectrum meant that it was easier for us to meet.

I’m thankful for the intelligence God gifted me with. It’s a gift that I find I can use in most any situation whatsoever. I may not be a handsome man and I’m definitely not an athletic one, but I am one with intelligence and I celebrate that.

I’m thankful for our little kitty Shiro. For all interested also, we are going to have to spend some soon because little Shiro needs some dental operations done. There will be at least one tooth extracted. We just weren’t told about regular tooth cleanings. He goes tomorrow morning. We love our little kitty so please be praying for him.

I’m thankful also for my hobbies. Allie and I can get together and play some games be it Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Mega Man, Mario, Zelda, or anything else. Sometimes she’s just watching me. I’m thankful for all the shows we can watch on Netflix and through the U-Verse and on DVD, such as the Adam West Batman series now.

I’m also thankful for all of you who take the time to read this blog. I find it amazing to know I have some impact on the world out here. I’m also thankful for those of you who listen to the podcast and I hope you’ll be taking the time to leave a positive review on ITunes.

Happy Thanksgiving. Please try to enjoy this time with loved ones.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Things I’m Thankful for in 2012

What do I have to celebrate on Thanksgiving? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I am happy to get back to the blog and see that everyone has still been reading quite faithfully. I’m sorry I have not had anything new to post. I was up in Baltimore celebrating Thanksgiving with my wife’s grandparents. We were gone from Tuesday to Saturday so today I am really trying to sit down and take some time out to write a post in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. I simply wish to share what I am thankful for and hope it inspires you to remember what you are thankful for.

First, I’m thankful for salvation in Jesus Christ. Lately, I’ve been reading Blaise Pascal’s “Pensees” and about the utter sinfulness of man and it’s really left me in a state of mind where I’m thinking more and more about how fallen we are and how much of what we do is tainted with our fallenness. The more I think about it, the more I realize that in most every action we do, I am sure some of our fallen nature is coming through. Pascal writes that we should come to God realizing this, and I quite agree. It is through ideas like this that I am becoming more and more appreciative of the great gift of salvation that is found in Christ.

Second, I am thankful for my wife Allie. I have regularly thought of the Proverb that says “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” It certainly is true. I was one who was quite sure a good girl would never come along but lo and behold, I found one who for some strange reason is absolutely crazy about me and loves me. It is a concept that to this day I do not understand and I will freely admit, I do not fully realize.

Earlier today we were on the phone with Allie’s best friend in Charlotte who had said that I am one of those people who is naturally confident. I told her that no, that is not the case. I have often been very unsure of myself in the past, but somehow, after I got married, that really changed. The affirmation of Allie has transformed in ways that I cannot imagine. Readers of this blog know, for instance, that my diet has expanded a good deal since Allie came along, something that has my parents and several doctors stunned.

Also, I have been learning how to love someone and I find that if there are times Allie does something that disturbs me, that lo and behold, I can realize that I am guilty of the same thing. Strangely enough, it doesn’t seem as big a deal when I do it. It is quite amazing the way we work in this system. C.S. Lewis once said that we should show as much grace to someone to grant them the best of intentions for actions that we do not understand. Marriage is a life lesson in that.

I am thankful for my immediate family. When we were visiting my grandfather-in-law and grandmother-in-law, my grandfather-in-law made an interesting statement. He wanted us to imagine two people marrying and they each have no other relatives alive. They have no brothers. They have no sisters. They have no parents or children or cousins or aunts or uncles. I had never really thought about that before, but it was quite a poignant question. What would that be like?

Family really is a gift. Where I live, I have my parents right next door which can be helpful if we’re in some sort of emergency. In another house, I have my aunt and uncle, a couple in their 80’s at this time of writing. We go over to see them regularly. There have been times we’ve gone out walking and just come back to have a chat with them. Allie likes to talk to my uncle especially about his time in World War 2.

My parents made sure to raise me up in church but they also respected my freedom to think for myself. They didn’t always agree with what I did, although they’d say I was certainly a good kid who never gave them much trouble. I was also in school the kind of lazy student who never studied much and was playing video games constantly. It’s something that made apologetics such a gold mine discovery for me since it gave me something that I could do and really enjoy.

Today, I’m thankful to have my parents nearby with their learning and a lesson is certainly true. The more you grow up, the more you do realize your parents actually do know some things. It’s quite amazing, but they do. I have often told Allie that your relationship with your parents changes dramatically when you leave home. Being now not just someone who has left home, but someone married, I suspect my parents see me in a totally different light.

I’m thankful on the other end for my in-laws. It’s so great that they are incredibly supportive of me and saw fit to trust Allie to me and we are a great match as they know. They are pleased that they have a son-in-law who is in the faith, in the field of apologetics, and who has Asperger’s. I am in a unique position to understand Allie. I remember times when we were engaged where they would call me asking what I thought about what was going on in Allie’s life at times. Sometimes that Aspie perspective is needed.

I’ve found my in-laws are someone I can turn to. I like how my father-in-law refers to me as his buddy and likes to talk apologetics shop with me and really treats my ideas and thoughts with consideration. I like the relationship I have with my mother-in-law as well. She’s someone who is an encouragement to me at times and is a great help to have when it comes to financial matters. Over Thanksgiving, I enjoyed getting to converse and laugh with my brother-in-law. Allie’s family has treated me like I’ve always been a part of the family, not just the grandparents we visited, but her other grandmother in Nebraska who I can chat with on the phone frequently (And who seems to enjoy losing at Words With Friends).

I’m thankful for my friends. My former roommate is still someone who I can count on regularly and I’m thankful for the fun we still share even though once again we live hundreds of miles apart. I’m thankful for other friends as well such as one in Edinburgh, some twins in Charlotte, Allie’s best friend and her husband back in Charlotte, new friends we’re making at our new church, and numerous others. Friendship really is such a great gift.

Speaking of church, I’m thankful for the new church we attend. We’ve found a place that we can call home. Our pastor understands how we are with Asperger’s and takes the time to let us know privately and gently if we need to change something. I’m thankful that he is a man who is open to having someone in the apologetics field being at his church and shows no sign of intimidation or hostility to me because of my field, as many pastors do.

I’m thankful for the house that we live in. It’s my grandmother’s old house which means it’s one full of memories, but I think she would be happy knowing her home is being put to good use. I miss her when I think about it, but I still suspect that somehow she knows what is going on. We are blessed to be a couple starting out and having a house that we can call our own and build our lives together in.

I’m thankful that we rescued a cat last year who has brought an extra touch of joy to our lives. How can we not smile when we see him come to us and give a cute little meow? We joke about how pathetic he is, but it’s a bright spot in our world. It’s a regular ritual in the evening when we try to think of a fun way to let him know that it’s time for “DINNER!” Animals are a great gift that God has given us.

I’m thankful that to this day I still have my health and my mind. I realize I am not the most healthy man out there, but I’m able to function on a day-to-day basis. I’m thankful that I have a sharp mind that is helpful for reviewing data in the apologetics field. At the same time, I am thankful that my wife by and large is able to keep me humble as she can with this. I have to remember she wants a humble man.

There is much in life right now that is difficult for me, including especially our financial situation, but by and large, there is much that is good. I am thankful for so much this year. I look forward to more next year.

In Christ,
Nick Peters