From the desk of
Pastor Dan Stratton
Greetings in the matchless and precious name of Yahshua (Jesus). It is truly a pleasure to serve Yahshua with you. As we prepare to spend time with our families this weekend celebrating Thanksgiving, I am especially grateful to be able to spend time with our lead Cuban Pastor Yoel Silva Gonzalez. He will fly to Miami from Santa Clara, Cuba on Thursday and then head to Faith Exchange on Saturday to minister to us on Sunday, as he shares with the congregation the great ministry that continues throughout Cuba – because of you.
This year has been an amazing year as we have partnered with Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Savelle, Jesse Duplantis, Mike Barber prison ministries, Faithway Church in Hebbronville, TX and with our teams in Cuba. Through these partnerships we have fed the hungry, ministered to the incarcerated, rescued stranded Americans and allies in Afghanistan and have brought persecuted Jewish people back to Israel from Europe and elsewhere. Again, you have treasure in heaven and here on earth coming your way, because of your faithful partnership with Faith Exchange.
On November 21, 2021, the family of Faith Exchange came together to celebrate Pastor Annie and me. They titled the day, “Pastor Appreciation Sunday.” As I prepared for the day, I was moved to meditate on the impact of our ministry as I asked Yahweh Yahshua (The LORD Jesus) what we are to do in 2022 and beyond. He instructed me to consider the word appreciate and really drill down on the meaning in that word. I want to share that with you now, because there is a great revelation in the study.
There are three main definitions for the word appreciate. These main definitions once considered, reveal a process, once followed leads to growth and promotion.
The first definition of appreciation is to prize, treasure, cherish, value and admire.
Think about what you prize, treasure, cherish, value and admire. Spend a moment on those things. Consider Phil 4:8. Whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report – if there be any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.
The second definition for appreciation is to come to a better understanding. I want you to begin to see the process that is developing here. As you treasure something, you hold it in a place of treasured admiration and you will, as you meditate, see more fully the value and the application in that which you consider and appreciate. Using the word appreciate in a sentence that conveys this meaning might be. “I have come to appreciate the hard work you put into graduate med school”. “I have really come to appreciate the loving kindness you showed your father, as you cared for him in his later years.” Appreciation is not just understanding in this definition. Appreciation carries with it an understanding, a respect and the honor that comes when a full understanding is reached.
Before we consider the third definition, I want you to begin to appreciate some things as you purpose to better understand and appreciate the craftsmanship, the beauty, the value, the purpose, the power or the necessity of that person, place or thing that is on your mind.
The third definition of appreciation is the increase in value. My portfolio has appreciated. When a person’s wealth grows, it is said to appreciate. Physical and Mental Strength can appreciate. Emotional capacity and Social impact can increase and Finances carefully tended, will also increase.
So, as I consider my partners, including you, I say with full intentionality.
I APPRECIATE YOU.
- I value, prize, treasure, cherish and admire you.
- I have a greater understanding of the sacrifices that you have made and the faithful participation that you have carefully made towards us. I appreciate you.
- I declare that your life will appreciate. You are valuable now, and you will be even more prosperous and impactful in the days ahead. Your capacity to bless others Spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and financially will increase appreciatively.
Happy Thanksgiving. What you look at, you will think about. What you think about you will speak about. What you speak about will manifest in your life. So, choose wisely what you look at. And remember to appreciate those blessings that continue to come your way from the Father of Lights, in whom there is no shadow of turning. All good things come from him.
And as I close out this letter let me remind you of the words of Yahshua (Jesus). “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven … For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
One last thing … as you read Matthew 6, remember to be generous. For the generous eye is the eye filled with light. The evil eye is filled with darkness and is stingy and ungrateful. Think about being very generous this weekend, to others and to yourself.
We love you. We appreciate you. We long to see you.
In His service and yours,
Your brother in faith —