34 Things I Am Thankful For

It’s Thanksgiving. It is time to give thanks. Here is my list.

  1. To Jesus Christ for dying for my sins and welcoming me into His Kingdom by his grace and not by my efforts. He is there for me all the time, even when I don’t deserve it.
  2. For entrepreneurs who seek my advice. This is flattering and humbling and gives me a great sense of fulfillment. Hearing your stories, seeing your vision and experiencing your passion is an amazing gift.
  3. For my wife, Kathy. She is my best friend, lover, confidant, encourager, and the finest personal development coach I have ever met. I am so grateful God chose to put us together 40 years ago. I can’t imagine life without Kathy.
  4. For my children. Especially the love and respect they have for each other.
  5. For my grandchildren. Just the other day I walked into my daughter’s house and Charles, who is two and a half years old, came running to me with a big smile on his face. I then turned to Henry, who is six months old, and he smiled at me. Unconditional love in its purest form.
  6. For Zack Prescott and Allen Hamilton for loving my daughters with all their hearts and taking such good care of them. You spoil them every day, and I am thankful for you. I thank God you are the dads of our grandchildren.
  7. For my sister, Janet, who loves me and always gives me encouragement. She doesn’t believe what I believe, but she believes in me. And that means much to me.
  8. For the men and women in the Grace@Work groups I participate in and sometimes lead. We have shared our life struggles together, and we are growing in our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ every week. Real friendship and brotherhood is such a precious gift. Especially Cortney Alexander for his leadership, love and dedication to our community.
  9. For the intercessory prayer team, iTeam, of High Tech Ministries. They pray for me every week. I am grateful these people lift me up in their prayers.
  10. The “60’s Dinner Group.” These are four men who have been meeting with me for dinner every month for over three years. If I had recorded what we talked about during that time, it would have filled multiple volumes with wisdom, experience and valuable life lessons. I am grateful to Rusty Gordon, Regi Campbell, John Richie and Roy Jones.
  11. For Bill Leonard, the founder of High Tech Ministries. He has mentored me for the last twenty-five years on how to be a marketplace minister. I would not be who I am in our community or the man I am in Christ without Bill in my life.
  12. For Anand Thakur and David Lightburn who invited me to be a mentor at the Atlanta Tech Village. You will never understand how much that meant to me. Every day I am at ATV, I grow a day younger and regain my idealism. Thank you.
  13. For Blake Patton, Jen Bonnet and all the EIRs and staff at ATDC for welcoming me every day into their work of helping entrepreneurs build great startups.
  14. For Aubrey and Lauren for all their help in finding meeting space for me at the ATDC. I know I can be a burden, but I am grateful you partner with me.
  15. For Mark Hughes and Phil Lee for being my friends and always inviting me to play golf knowing I will say “no.” I love being loved by you guys and living life together.
  16. For Richard Brock for still being my friend and always being there for me. We met in 1976, and little did I know he would change the course of my life. I am so grateful to Richard for seeing the promise of an entrepreneur and leader long before I even knew the word “startup.”
  17. For Kent Antley, Kent Bridges, Adam Fuller and Frank Waterson for their continued excellent service to my family and me. These men are the professional’s professional and all friends for life.
  18. For Greg Kemp, Joe Orosz, Tyce Miller, Rick and Karen Cope, David Dunn-Rankin, Mitch Copman, Johnson Cook, Tim Sheehan, Jamie Hamilton and Paul Iaffaladano for allowing me to be a part of their life work and vision to change the world.
  19. For Steve Walden, Alan Taetle, Ross Mason, John Yates, David Cummings, Blake Patton, Jennifer Bonnet, Tino Mantella, Matt Stevens, Nelson Chu, Glenn Bachman, Karen and Rick Cope, K. P. Reddy, Palaniswamy Rajan and many, many others. These men and women change communities by giving tirelessly of their time, talent and treasure. They have shaped our Atlanta technology community into a great place to live and work.
  20. For Bob Lasher, Tom DiMarco, Deb Carmody, Dave Caro, Robert Dumas, Mike Sanders, David Clapp and Randy Townsend for building great companies which realized wonderful exits. The exit was the bonus. The joy and friendship happened on the journey. I am eternally grateful.
  21. For Price Harding, Bruce Cook and Jim Porter for always being willing to share your godly wisdom and encouragement. You have kept me “between the lines” of life.
  22. For Pastor Elijah, Rahim Charania, Dean Collins and others who trusted me to speak to their groups. They are all great leaders focused on changing people’s lives, and they brought me in to help in their mission. I am grateful.
  23. For David Nour as my Rabbi of fun. I know I say “no” many, many more times than I say “yes,” but I am always grateful you are there and care for me.
  24. For the High Tech Ministries board, especially Matt McConnell and Matt Stevens, who always, always pray for me and encourage me.
  25. For the host committee members of the High Tech Prayer Breakfast. These are hundreds of Christian leaders in our Atlanta technology community who step up to the challenge of Christ to invite their peers to the prayer breakfast. I admire your faith and boldness in Christ.
  26. For all the keynote and local speakers who ever spoke about their relationship with Jesus Christ at the High Tech Prayer Breakfast. The personal sacrifices they made for our community, their transparency and their obedience to God overwhelms me.
  27. For everyone who ever said “yes” to an invite to the High Tech Prayer Breakfast. I know you weren’t comfortable being there, but I am grateful you trusted me enough as a friend to attend.
  28. For Jacquie Chew who always has time to give me advice and who showed up at this year’s breakfast in spite of having food poisoning. She wanted to be there for me.
  29. For Gregg Hinthorn, my publisher and confidant. He has kept me writing long after I would have given up on myself. He also blesses our community because he takes what I write and makes it useful to you, my readers and friends.
  30. For Pastor Elijah who prayed and fasted over six years so God would convict me and send Kathy and me to Uganda. He shows me a measure of faith and big vision for God which I can not fathom. I have grown in faith by simply being his friend.
  31. For Bruce Wilkinson and Ron Blue who showed me the blessings of generous giving.
  32. For the young Indian entrepreneur who told me, “I was unsettled for the entire day after meeting with you and speaking about faith.”
  33. For all the friends and fellow investors of Angel Lounge. Do we have fun learning together or what! Big thanks to Michael Blake for sharing his brand with me and David Adams for always supporting my community efforts.
  34. Finally, I am thankful for you, my dear reader. Thank you for the time you spend in reading and passing on these articles. I am grateful we are building lives, companies and communities together with God’s help.

Now make your list.

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6 thoughts on “34 Things I Am Thankful For

  1. I love how you are mostly thankful for specific people. It shows that you have invested in their lives and have allowed them to touch your own life. It’s a powerful way to live. I started my own list today, but your list here inspires me to expand it and to be more intentional about the way I connect with them. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Thanks Seth. You should have made the list. That’s the problem with naming names. I always leave people off that should have made the list. Oh well. God is good and the people I missed know I love them. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Charlie, both this posting as well as your regular contributions. Your Faith has affected many more people than you can imagine. SOMEONE has to publicly display the bedrock of faith and blessings within the technology community of Atlanta. I am glad God has chosen you.

    • Thanks Sam. I am always amazed at how many great potential mentors are orbiting so many high potential entrepreneurs. But they never seem to connect. Entrepreneurs need to be more intentional in seeking advice which will move to mentorship.