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Thornwell January Devotional – By Design

18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  – 1 Peter 1:18-19


There is no doubt in my mind that God does special work at Thornwell. I’ve heard stories from alumni and I’ve personally seen God regularly move in situations that are otherwise mundane. I am always happily surprised in the moment, but I shouldn’t be. This is by design. God has given Thornwell a specific purpose. If we pursue divine purpose, we will experience divine presence.

Thornwell’s divine purpose is expressed in its mission statement:

Thornwell serves to prevent child abuse and neglect,
to build up and reunite families, and to support healthy communities in the name of Jesus Christ.

Please understand the understated boldness in this statement: Thornwell is called by Jesus Christ to effect generational change.

The heartbreaking reality is that abuse, neglect, and unhealthy family systems are often inherited. We may have our mother’s eyes and our father’s propensity to anger. Learned behavior, genetics, environment, unhealthy relationships… the deck is unfairly stacked against too many people, too many children.

But at Thornwell, we boldly believe things can change! Peter tells us we are redeemed through Christ’s blood, and freed from “the empty way of life handed down to you from [our] ancestors.” If that is true for us, it can be true for those children and those families.

In this New Year, pursue divine purpose and you will experience divine presence. May God surprise you as you do your part in bringing hope to the seeming hopeless.

Contributing writer, Adam Hafenbridle

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