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#523 - "5 Things I Am Thankful For"

by Alisa Keeton
November 26th 2020

Join Alisa as she reflects on the five things she is most thankful for during this holiday season.  


some 100 make a joyful noise to the Lord All the earth Serve the Lord with gladness Come into his presence with singing Know that the Lord he is God. It is he who made us and we air hiss were his people in the sheep of his pasture Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise give thanks to him the less his name for the Lord is good. Hiss steadfast love endures forever and his faithfulness toe all generations. This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God. Well, everyone. Happy Thanksgiving. It's ELISA Keaton and I saw on our docket of what was going to go out this week that we didn't have anything scheduled for Thanksgiving and something inside of me rose up and said I wanted

to come and just from my heart share with you five things that I'm thankful for. I'm really just pour my why I'm crying. I don't know. I'm really just overjoyed at the goodness of the Lord. In this very difficult season we've been in. It's been filled with highs and lows. Hasn't it been overall, God has been so good and the shredding and the rendering in the tearing and the ripping away of old wine skin for new wine skin that I couldn't help but not come back here. I couldn't do it. I'm like we got to come here and just say how good the Lord has been. So this is just gonna be a quick me too. You happy Thanksgiving. I don't know when you're listening to this. It's the day after Thanksgiving, or maybe sometime later when you find it in the podcast feed. But it is probably just the right time for you to enter in and give thanks yourself

. Um, I don't want to make this about me at all. I wanna make it about God, and I hope it encourages you is you hear my voice and the joy and the tears and the gladness, the loss, the game that you'd be encouraged that he's still faithful, his love and does endure forever that his love is the golden thread that holds everything together on dso tears air not tears of pain. They are really joy. It's like you live in this place where joy and suffering really crossed over and are perfect companions for the journey. So I'm going to just talk straight from my heart about the five things that I've been thankful for in 2020. What a crazy crazy year in 2020. Well, first, of course, all

of these go under the umbrella of God. I want to say, God, I'm thankful that you called me. I'm thankful that you saw me in a very lonely in dry place. And you came. You breathe life into my bones. God on everything about my family and my ministry or all of this, I pray, God, that it is a sweet aroma in your nostrils that my life is a offering to you. And because of that, many are drawn to you that they see and sense the sweetness of who you are. Even in the bitterness in the bitter moments of life. God. So first, all I guess there's six things, But I just want to make sure you didn't hear me say not God, like all of that I'm about to share clearly is under the sovereignty of God's call, um, on my life. And then

participate practically maybe how you participate and show up here in this community. So first thing I'm thankful for in 2020 is the pivot, the pivot. Oh, my word. Never saw it coming. The greatest pivot that we did, which is probably a lot of ministries, is we pivot thio online. We didn't stop. We didn't crawl up in a ball and say, Well, I guess we'll just have to sit this out. We figured pretty quickly that the ministry and the word the good news must still go out. It just needs to go in a different package. So what does that look like? And so we we saw the Lord mostly particularly about our instructor training, which you all know that's the high call of this ministry. We're grateful if you use this podcast we're grateful for. Um, if you engage with Revell TV, however you show up here, we're super grateful. But the goal is transformation transformed

. People transform people, free people free people. And it's that that message of God doesn't want us to. He doesn't need us toe work for him. But when the work of God gets done in us, there's just a fruitfulness that's produced through us. And our instructors are the ultimate expression of fruitfulness. Tow us? Um, yeah, it's they're not people just reading the word and checking boxes. They have become the word and they go out to their communities and want thio toe offer hope to people in a dry and barren land. And many of you are here because, you know, fitness can be a very dry and barren land. And, um, the way that way were able to pivot this year and go from a class of maybe 150 to 200 instructors procession thio 550 because we went online. Um And

you guys, it was it forced us to think rethink things. Thio gave us an opportunity to restructure and to do things differently. It's actually gonna change even how when we do train for in person again how that whole training will be different. It was an upgrade. This setback was an upgrade for a comeback. So I am grateful to the Lord for the for the pivot. And I am not grateful for a pandemic here. May not at all. I hate it. It's evil prince of the power of the areas at work with a virus with things that can cause fear in the night. But we shall not be shaken. There is no weapon formed against us. And although we might feel afraid and have our moments of having to to feel what we feel and be aware of what we think you, you and

I and this ministry, the people go OK, but what did the Lord say? Let's get back to good as fast as possible. There is no other place we want to be. So I am grateful for the pivot. And I believe that as we're coming out of this pandemic that the people of God are going to be refined and sanctified and set apart in a way where we've been awakened, we've been awakened and we're ready. So I am thankful for for the pivot and I don't even know what else is to come. There's probably more things to come from this year that have been fruitful. I will say this and closing about the pivot. We did hear back from some of our instructors who went through training and they said to us because it was online. I felt safe to come and that's true everyone when it comes to transformation when it comes to confession and getting things out of us getting the bad

news out of us that to get stuck in good bodies, the first thing everyone needs. ISS safety, safety. You have to know you're safe. So that online space, you know, we can poo poo it and we can backfire. Which is why we did the phone freedom. That was another great thing that came out of go vid a czar phone Freedom Challenge. You can look that up under our freebies page. Um but that we're not despising online. It is a great gift. We just want to Stuart it really well, we want to Stuart Technology Well, and because we could meet online, people felt self safe enough to come. And then the Lord does what he does shifts the shapes of hearts. It's amazing. So I'm grateful for that second thing I'm grateful for 2020 is a team that

backs up the pivot. Oh, my gosh, our team, Y'all, the team, Maybe on this podcast gonna link the about page of our website. And that's not even everyone. There's about 26 people on staff here, meaning they receive a paycheck every every couple weeks. Um, and they all get in beautiful organization in alignment. Thio execute visions that the Lord gives us and they're all a part of the pivot. Every one of them are executive directors. E was going to shout out by name. First of all, Leah Parker, our chief operating officer. She is the tail to my kite, the left side of my brain to my right, the spreadsheet to my canvas. Leave Parker. I am grateful for Katrina Canfield. You guys know Katrina. If you do revel TV as a duo of Courtney and Katrina

Katrina Canfield is our executive director of, um, marketing and communication. So anything any email you receive all the communication helps us keep the calendar in check. So we're not stepping on each other's toes as tight as it can get. Katrina Canfield makes that possible, and she just makes that department sing. And all these people I'm naming have people that work for them. And like I said, I won't have time to name them all. But the executives work real hard. Um, it's practically it is a full time job in many ways for them. Fran Patoski is our executive director of administration and talk about spreadsheets and processes. There would be no, no, none of this without Franz ability to think through process, for people to organize, how things will happen when they will happen. If they can happen, you can have all the ideas in the world. But if you don't have some

some organization to the process, it won't happen. So I'm thankful for Fran. And then finally, Kristen Kristen Newlin is our executive director of events. Um, so think of it this way, Kristen. Make sure doing everything we used to do in person should now running and pivoting things on line. It's like a whole nother vapor that she's trying to manage. Always love thinking of rather this as this way. We are one big pizza parlor because pizza is always good and we deliver good news. We're all just pizza delivers. That's all we do. We're making pizza every day, setting it out for people to eat, because who doesn't like pizza, right? Even if you don't like anchovies? OK, pick it off. Just eat the pizza. Well, you can see I was see, as Katrina is getting the signs out to make sure people know that this piece of parlors open and then it's good pizza, and then it looks appetizing. And then it represents

the excellence of the quality of ingredients that Fran is preparing back in the kitchen. Fran is making sure the kitchen orders line up and come through in. People's pizza gets delivered. Nothing gets cold. Nothing gets dropped on the floor that there's a process back in the kitchen. If anyone's ever looked worked fast food, you know there needs to be a process. Well, Fran, make sure that the kitchen, everyone washing their hands, putting things in order to get good pizza out there. And then Kristen is bringing the Busses. Three kids from the field trips that air getting bussed into the pizza parlor so that they can get what they need, haven't experience, get back on the bus, get to their destination and keep things moving right along that the encounters happen on that nobody gets left behind. Remember when your kid you'd have to have your travel buddy Kristen, make sure that everyone's got their buddy to get on the bus, get on the

bus, get where you need to get and get the good news so that's just a little shout out to my team. Underneath them is a staff, a director's staff, volunteer staff, regional captains, um, or culture director of culture Heather. It's incredible what the Lord has done here. E. I'm thankful for the third thing. I'm thankful for our the missionaries who I call our donors. You guys are donors, which a lot of you are their fitness teacher. Gospel preachers. You are donors. You are missionaries who are out spreading good news. You lace up your shoes, you host the class, you put out the invitations and even if one person comes, you know it's still for the audience of one. So our fitness teacher gospel preachers are missionaries are donors you are missionaries to because of your donation, your monthly partnership with us. We

are breaking physical and spiritual chains of addiction. We're breaking physical and spiritual chains of poverty were breaking physical and spiritual chains of dis ease and sickness and mental illness in Jesus name every seed you. So here you are on mission with us, so I can be thankful for all the other things I've listed so far. But without your faithfulness to connect and sew some seeds here. There's no there's no image. There is no vision. It would perish. So cannot say thank you enough. Recently we had a donor give us $12,000. Want. It's the greatest biggest one time donation we have ever received in the history of the ministry. I was blown away, and it's all for our lights in our new studio. You guys were end of the year. Giving is coming pretty soon on e

just invite you to give. We have ah, vision Thio, continue Thio, um develop. Are this production part of the ministry the production to get content out there through the airwaves, whether it's through technology of video podcast sound, we were asking for that investment. So whatever size you give, thank you. I am grateful to our missionaries. E I am grateful that anything you have seen or learned here you are putting into practice. Grateful now the 4th and 5th thing that I'm grateful for. It's a personal pivot. Fourth thing I'm I'm grateful for is my family. My husband Simon, my 19 almost 20 year old son Jack, in my almost

17 year old daughter, Sophia. That's my little army That's my little army e. I am thankful that although I did not do everything perfectly, I've learned so much. I wish I could go back and be a different mom. I wish I knew the things I know now that I'm teaching you guys e se you guys, you listeners, huh? And trust me. Sometimes the enemy tries to accuse me of being a hypocrite, cause I couldn't. I couldn't do what I did. What I didn't know to do then. But I didn't know. Right. Sin is to know what is right and not do it. I didn't know. So my family, they are the perfect warriors chosen for me. They, the Lord, put an extra layer of Teflon around their hearts for the arrows that would get hurled at them through my unhealthy and unholy places. But because of them, everything

I've learned and have have taught to this point and almost 30 years now of being fashioned to bring a message this way, E couldn't do it without them. I wouldn't want to do without them. And if push came to shove, they win. And I love that they know that and I get toe live that out in front of them. Simon and I are entering into the empty nesting phase pretty soon, but I also know it just means you lose to gain so more goodness is coming. But first I have to release them and to transition into another phase of life. But I'm grateful for the days we've had together. So Jack Simon in Sofia, I love you. I don't know if you'll ever listening this because they don't ever listen to my stuff. And that's totally fine with me. It's just Mom talking against just Mom preaching

in the Gauss, preaching into the into the air in the workout room. They don't even hear me anymore, and I'm okay with it. I know one day my grand kids and grandkids grandkids will hear this voice. And here, ah, woman who loved deeply her family and had a vision for generations to come and e I had their voice right now if I had their attention right now, all I would say is he's worth it. Nothing else in the world will satisfy, like Christ love him, know him, enjoy him and life will be full. So thank you to my family And the fifth thing I am thankful for this year is the great loss that Waas for promotion

. My father passed away suddenly in October. I thought we had more time. Hey, was kind of the last thing to me on Earth that was connected to my mom. Way had a challenging relationship, my father and I. But again, I'm grateful for for him because I wouldn't be who I am without the challenges and adversity that came through his own half broken wholeness of heart. You know what I mean? But the loss of him e feel with some degree was merciful. Um he had cancer, is well but did not pass of cancer. He passed of a heart attack and my mom passed of cancer. So I was not ready for

another road toe walk like that. It was I was ready, but I wasn't ready. So, Aziz, Muchas I sad that we didn't have more time. I am grateful for the mercy of him being suddenly snatched to go home, to be with my mom. So it brings it all the way back to a generational thing. I am grateful to be the woman the daughter of a fallen earthly mother and father so that I could be found in the love of the everlasting Father. Everlasting father is good. Eso Before we dio thought for this little Thanksgiving Whatever I'm doing here, just that you all could hear my heart and

know that we love you more Thankful for you that I wanted to give you a little peek into my family, e found a voice memo of my mom and my dad myself in Sofia and in the in the van were driving. My parents loved a van they had No, they didn't have any people to drive around. They just like the van way didn't have a big family, But it's like a moving living room, right? A van. So we're driving the van one day. This was towards the end of my mom's ability Thio walk and move around. Before she was bedridden, we took some pictures out in the desert. Sophia had a camera, was given to a Christmas since we went out to the desert to take some pictures, and one of the things my mom always loved to do was make up stories. She was a child at heart. She was a child at heart

, and the process begins. Someone just begins with some abstract, arbitrary subject matter, a story line. And then each person in the car has to add on to the story. So I thought I'd let you hear this ridiculousness, Um, of what it was like to grow up in my home on baby. Just have a laugh, and then I'll come back and close out with you guys. Okay? Have fun listing this story. That makes absolutely no sense. E. It was a man. His name was Huskers, not whiskers, whiskers, the old roosters. He likes to act like a rooster. So he'd stand on top of a fence in his backyard. And every morning he get up there and he would cop like her sister E o, everybody in the neighborhood

and then all set, he saw this fox, this big box glaring at him. He started to shape. Yeah. Fuck's. I said, Oh, boy. He looks good for dinner. I think I'm gonna kill him. Kill him. Okay. As he chased after the Brewster, he fell into a lion's pit on things on the lions looked at him and they decided that they were gonna be brought and just hang for a while. So together with their line bodies, they made a ladder. So then the fox could go out of the ditch and find Booth. Good, then

Oh, you didn't die. Now we all know what happened. I love them. Oh, and he didn't die. Amen. So it is true for all of us. And they didn't die. Well, there you go. You will have a little more insight into the ridiculousness that made this woman make a joyful noise to the Lord. All the earth Serve the Lord with gladness. Come into his presence with singing Know that the Lord he is God. It is he who made us on we air hiss were his people with sheep of his pasture Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise Give thanks to him Bless his name for the Lord is good. His steadfast love endorse forever and his faithfulness toe all generations. God, thank you. We bow before you and as I share stories, Lord, the thread

through all of this is family The thread through all of it, um, from giving thanks to the pivot and the team and my family and the donors And, uh, the loss of family this year. The loss that we are occurring as family this year. God, it all ties together with you that even through all of it, you have been good and your love endures for 1000 generations. So we stand on the rock this Thanksgiving and we thank you that you were faithful. Then you'll be faithful now and you will be faithful to 1000 generations. Have your way in this ministry. God make way. Prepare the way for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Come in, Have a seat and stay here. And may we stay with you. Bless us, God. As we prepared to move into this post pandemic time

may ah, hearts Be gentle, tender and ready for the purposes of your plans and your will in Jesus name. Amen. Emily, come surrounded, but I'm surrounded by you one. It may look like I'm surrounded, but I'm surrounded by you. Yeah,

#523 - "5 Things I Am Thankful For"
#523 - "5 Things I Am Thankful For"
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