“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18
Happy Holidays! We have a lot to be grateful for this year. I’m getting close to finishing my last didactic semester, Loretta finished a 28-day detox, Haven had her first birthday, and God is providing for our needs as we step out in faith. For some, thinking of things we’re grateful for during the Thanksgiving season seems kind of cliche. Going around the table and saying something we’re grateful seems cheesy but I think it’s a great opportunity to reset our hearts and get out of that complaining funk many live in throughout the year. Here at IHOPKC, lots of people participate in a 30 day “war on grumbling” period around the Holidays. We go on a 30 day fast from grumbling, wining, and complaining and write down something we’re grateful for every day. We purposely try to set our heart to be thankful no matter what happens each day. It’s definitely a challenge at times but it makes us our hearts healthy again!
Because of sin we are naturally inclined to negativity. It’s so easy to over focus on our failures, other’s weaknesses, the things we lack, and the things we want to change. But living this way is miserable. It’s like eating something that gives us food poisoning. It may feel good in the moment but later on it makes us sick! On the other hand, gratitude is a weapon. Praise is powerful and gives glory to God. Worship and thanksgiving defeats the devil and prepares the way for breakthrough.
I’m grateful that I’m almost done with the last semester of lectures. It’s been quite an adventure being on full-time staff at IHOPKC and being a full-time student at the same time. There have been lots of ups and downs with school. For example, I found out that I’m probably going to have to take an extra class next semester during full-time clinicals because I’m short 1 science credit hour. My last clinical rotation was 12 hour shifts from 6am-6pm. Pretty intense! But God works all things together for good. My last clinical rotation turned out to be awesome despite the hours and I know that God will use the extra class next semester for something good if I keep my heart postured with gratitude. Loretta went on a 28-day detox that was very challenging because of the lack of energy associated with it. But she also pressed through and feels so much better physically now that she completed it. We’re also learning to be thankful whether we have little or much. There were some financial stresses that came up the last few months but God provided for us in some surprising ways like extra work opening up or random checks in the mail. Whether we have an easy season or a hard season God is good and worthy to be praised.
One new step of faith we’ll be taking in February is me stepping off full-time staff at IHOPKC so I can finish my last semester of clinicals. I’ll be transitioning to the market place next summer after finishing my last semester. The plan is to continue in ministry here at IHOPKC but not in a full-time way. During the transition months until this summer we are continuing to rely on the financial support from our amazing supporters until I find a job. We are so grateful for your faithful interest in our missionary work here at IHOPKC and thank you for your financial support during this transition. May the Lord fill your heart with joy and hope this Holiday season. Merry Christmas!