By Tonia Shroyer – Senior Pastor
Prepare yourself for numbers! I will use them to paint the pictures. The summer flew by as we hosted more than 200 for the Family Reunion, celebrating 25 years of Christian Family Fellowship Ministry.
The teachings were powerful, the praise had us skipping, and the 300 watermelons that God unexpectedly delivered sure blessed our socks off!
Less than 30 days after that, we received over 100 crew and young people, ages 12-25, for the YES! Youth Excelling Spiritually Camp. They arrived from 23 states and stayed from Tuesday to Sunday. It was a blessing to greet over 25 new faces!
It was a week of high times in the Scripture and fun-filled activities. We saw several of them accept Jesus Christ as their savior. Many were healed and spoke in tongues for the first time.
The new bus that you all gave generously toward, called “Macie’s Limo” in memory of a beloved camper, perfectly met our transportation needs!
Your donations provided scholarships for 32 campers this year whose lives are forever impacted by the love of family and the gospel of Christ. We are currently raising funds to revamp the basement kitchen for camp and events.
Breakthrough with Dr. Liardon
We also recently hosted Dr. Roberts Liardon for a concert at the end of September. He led us through thought-provoking teachings and ministered healing.
There were breakthrough testimonies from those attending and those on live-stream. God is definitely not a respecter of technology! We look forward to his next visit.
History and Gratitude
This month marks 400 years since the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. That gathering was over a 3-day period between September and November, and it was held to celebrate a successful harvest.
For the English colonists and Native Americans, giving thanks was a daily part of their lives. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the final Thursday in November as a national Thanksgiving holiday for the first time.
I have always appreciated the history behind why we do things. That is why the Bible is a powerful, written masterpiece that tells of our Godly heritage and establishes a foundation for the spiritual things we do in our daily life.
Gratitude can be seen again and again in Scripture:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful, and thankful.” Colossians 4:2
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults and with my song I give thanks to him.” Psalm 28:7
The Word of God is always ripe with fruit that is waiting to be supernaturally harvested into plurality beyond anything we could ask or think.
A Final Exhortation
This is the encouragement the Lord gave me for you:
My eye never leaves you as I carry you in my heart. Are you convinced that no good thing will I withhold from you? My priority is always My family, and it brings Me joy and delight to hear your words and requests.
As everyone else pushes in for something from you, I only want time with you…do not forget that if My voice seems distant, My words are written for you to find My direction and wisdom.
Draw near to Me through My son, as I have established him with authority and oversight of My beloved family. He knows without a shadow of a doubt My unfailing love. He has walked amongst the garden with Me and through the wilderness, too, and He knows that I have never forgotten either of you.
Though your mistakes may be many, they are scattered across the ground like the fallen leaves. Turn to me in those times and allow those experiences to fertilize the seasons of your life.
As I work all things for good, there will always be a harvest with me. Persevere and hold fast to My love and grace. In their face, fear and accusation have no case.
Allow Me to bring rest and respite in the battles that wage. Remember my angels, my warriors for truth… they move past time to see things aligned. Though your days may seem long, your rewards will be true, all piled up and waiting for you.
Laugh from My spirit and dance with no shame for you to wear a crown that is inscribed with his name…his name topples thrones and kingdoms will atone for he is the foundation stone.
Thank you for your friendship, encouragement, and prayers. How blessed we are to have family like you! Remember, here, you are loved and you belong.