• Jennifer McConnell

November

It showed up and now it’s about over, but it’s known for one, if not the only thing: Thanksgiving, and with that gratitude and the feeling of thankfulness.


Many times during the beginning of this month, we see many posts on social media outlets about things in which we give thanks. You know what I am talking about. The “mini challenges” of posting a picture each day of something you’re thankful for leading up to Thanksgiving Day or reading a scripture verse a day regarding thankfulness. Pinterest is inundated with a plethora of ideas on how to plan for next year in case you want to get a start.


We have even gone so far to extend this national holiday into something more: Friendsgiving. Since Thanksgiving is traditionally spent with family members and relatives, we have inducted this new tradition of celebrating and giving thanks to our friends slightly before or slightly after Thanksgiving Day.


Regardless of how or with whom we celebrate, we all can find something in which to be thankful. Over this past weekend, I was given the time to do some reflecting about the things in which I am thankful for and I want to share with you a portion of a letter I had written to the families, faculty, and other staff members at Great Commission Schools. (If you’re a parent reading this again, you can just be doubly blessed!)


As I took the time to reflect on all that I am thankful for during this Thanksgiving weekend, I can’t help but tell anyone within earshot about how thankful I am for Great Commission Schools: the faculty, the board, the students and their families, and everyone else who is helping us to advance our ministry.


Last year introduced many changes in terms of personnel and setting a foundation for the future of GCS and this year we started building towards a better school. More importantly it’s becoming a place where our faith is made stronger, our relationship with Christ is growing, and we become more obedient to the call of Christ for what He desires us to do to further His Kingdom here in the city of Altoona and for each person who is affected by our ministry. Of course we have had bumps and bruises along the way that try to deter us from fulfilling the call, but He is ever so faithful and loving to see us through.


GCS is blessed by how many people have stepped up to the call to come alongside our ministry and help support all that we do. We have seen a significant increase in parent involvement for all the events we have planned and been able to participate in. They have been an integral part in getting ourselves out into the community. We had a successful Homecoming event in which our newly founded PTF (Parent-Teacher Fellowship) headed up and made it a beautiful event. They have even taken our Grandparent’s and Veteran’s Day Luncheons to the next level and really made them special events.


Our board members work hard and pray even harder to make wise decisions to advance the ministry of GCS. Teachers constantly give of their time and resources to provide the best education possible for our students and fulfill the mission of providing a challenging Biblically-based environment. Our students are constantly proving time and time again that they are equipped to fulfill the vision of seeing them serving God and others. Our families equally give up a lot of their time, money, resources, and efforts to further the work of GCS and see it become the best place it can be for their children and other students.


I am ever so grateful for all the puzzle pieces that God has placed together to make GCS what it is right now. Is it perfect? Not so, but that’s what we all are anyway. We are God’s masterpieces (Ephesians 2:10) and ones in which He continually works upon until the day Christ returns (Philippians 1:6).


As we end this month of thanksgiving and head quickly into another holiday season, let me remind you of a simple truth:


Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for He SATISFIES the thirsty and FILLS the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:8-9).

Many times we lose sight of giving thanks to God for providing for us what we need because we lose sight in the things we “want.” We may think we‘ll find satisfaction in the latest trends or hunger to have the newest gadget, but all those things will eventually leave us wanting more and feeling more empty than before.


We serve a good, good Father who meets us where we are and satisfies our every need. If you don’t have what you think you need, wait for it in God’s perfect timing and be thankful that His promises are true. He knows our every need and withholds no good thing from us. We lack nothing when we find ourselves in His presence because Christ is enough! He know’s what is best for you. I pray that this truth comforts those who find themselves hungry and thirsty. I pray that it helps you find peace in what seems to be a chaotic time of year, and I pray that you just simply take time to rest knowing that you don’t have to strive for God to love you; He already does and He desires to give you and fill you up with good things!


I give thanks to God for Great Commission Schools and the work that it continues to do for the students in attendance and the community of Altoona.



What have you been thankful for?