One of my favorite verses, especially at the start of a new year, is Colossians 3:16:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
During these first weeks of a new year, I am filled with thankfulness for all that God has done for our ministry. I want to have a proper perspective and realize that everything has come from Him and that He has made all things possible. The passage above communicates action and the benefit of practicing acts of gratitude on a daily basis. I am thankful for the many blessings that we received in 2016 from so many individuals who make our work possible. I am thankful for the time I have had with these boys who God has brought to me.
This year, we will see two boys graduate from All Saints Episcopal School in May. Thurman Hogan III and DQ McKinney have been at HOPE Farm since they were 4 and 5 years old. I am thankful for the opportunities they have had. I am thankful for the intellectual, athletic, and emotional gifts that God has given them. I am thankful for the opportunity to watch them grow into fine young men. I am most thankful for the time that I have been able to spend with them over these years.
Last fall, I had the privilege of watching them play their hearts out on the football field for a state championship. Of course, I was thankful for the win, but most of all, I was thankful that they were there—I have loved watching them grow up and I pray for their futures. I pray that they will reach their full potential and make an amazing impact on this world! When I embraced them after their game, they probably thought it was because I was so happy they won. No, I was showing them how thankful I was for THEM and for the opportunity to be a part of their lives…
“and whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus… “