Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,

     We want to thank you for your partnership in our ministry, which is focused on preparing believers for effective ministry who are able to lead others in growing relationships with Jesus Christ.

     Your friendship and diverse support encourage us as we toil day and night in order to provide our students with biblically grounded, theologically sound and culturally relevant education.

     This Thanksgiving season I want to direct your attention to the Sovereign God whom we can trust to meet our needs and give us grace to rejoice in him and glorify him in our lives.

     The Holy Scriptures teach us to run from foolishness and instead pursue wisdom and understanding. The Bible contains both types of examples: examples to follow and examples to avoid. One of such foolish advices we find in the Book of Job: "Curse God, and die" (Job 2:9). An example to follow we find in the Book of Habakkuk: "Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Hab. 3:18). Notably, both statements were made in the midst of calamity, personal and national disasters. Two opposite attitudes toward God expressed by these statements. Both are informed by a person's theology.

      Yet again, as we express our thankfulness, let us avoid another foolish mistake of focusing on ourselves, as seeing in the prayer of a devout person: " God, I thank you that I am not like other people" (Luke 18:11). Circumstances of life and even our own hearts can tempt us to focus on something but God, and thus falling into despair or pride. And any of these we better see to escape. Instead, being poor in spirit, let us pursue God. Let us choose to praise him, and live. Let us live in spite of the circumstances or our personal fears. Again, let us praise God of our salvation, and live.

      By making this choice – of praising him instead of cursing him, thanking him instead of complaining, rejoicing in him instead of grumbling, having joy in him instead of murmuring – we step on solid ground, we let fresh streams of God's blessings flow through us to our loved ones. Consequently, others will be blessed as well, because of our personal decision to praise God in spite of all the negativity we may encounter today.

      Therefore, let us observe the good tradition of a Thanksgiving table. Sharing a meal of thankfulness with people we love dearly. Saying our prayers, singing our songs of praise, sharing a good laugh. Even if our circumstances may be different this year, the Sovereign Lord is our source of strength. He gives us the agility of a deer; he enables us to negotiate the rugged terrain. (See Hab. 3:19, NET).

Praise the Lord!

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving from big family of KTS,

Ruslan Khmyz


Kyiv Theological Seminary