Manna Cafe Ministries Newsletter, January 2022

In With The New

Kenny and program graduate Jeremiah during the Change for Change graduation dinner.
Kenny and program graduate Jeremiah during the Change for Change graduation dinner.

Written by Kenny York

Manna Café MinistriesClarksville, TN – As we sit on the cusp of a new year, our thoughts and conversations revolve around new beginnings. We’re thinking about our New Year’s resolutions—”out with the old and in with the new” is the theme of the season and our personal lives.

Especially in our walk with God, “out with the old and in with the new” needs to be a daily mindset. There are times when we misstep and find ourselves lost on a path that we shouldn’t be on. This can be painful, and—if you’re like me—we can make it more painful than it should be. We get so stuck on “out with the old” that we never get around to “in with the new.” We try to fix things in our own strength instead of allowing God to do the heavy lifting. Let me explain …

In 2004, I found myself in a bad situation. Seven years earlier, I’d started spiraling down a path that led me very far away from God, into a life of drug and alcohol addiction. For seven years my life literally became “sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll.” But then, after a series of God-orchestrated events, I found myself sitting in a little United Methodist Church on the north side of town, and it was like I woke up from a fog. I don’t remember much about what the preacher said that day.
 
All I remember is that, like the story of the prodigal son, God saw me approaching and ran to meet me with open arms. I was told later by the pastor (who became a close friend) that no one could hear the message for all my crying, and that I barely waited for the altar call before I stumbled to the front, sobbing even louder than before.

In the midst of all that noise, I was having the first real conversation with God in a very long time. What’s amazing is that before I could even get the words out of my mouth, the Father was already patching me up and cleaning my wounds. In the spirit, I must have looked like someone being admitted to the ER after a major car wreck, though most of my wounds were self-inflicted. Seven years of addiction, self-hatred, and a dark, godless lifestyle had taken its toll. In fact, I was still hungover and messed up from the night before, and I’d done a line of cocaine just before arriving at church. There on my knees, I still had drugs in my pocket.

That’s when I started to get stuck on “out with the old.” My tears of grief shifted to tears of fear as I confessed to God and to myself how lost I really was. I could feel myself starting to give up as I realized how impossible it would be for me to ever get clean. That’s when I heard that still, small voice we read about in the Bible. The Spirit said, Don’t worry about all that—the stuff in your life, your body, or your pocket. Let Me take care of that. You just concentrate on spending time with Me, getting to know Me again. As you do, I’ll clean you up.

Before I could manage “out with the old,” God was already implementing “in with the new.” Within just a few weeks, I was free of drugs and have never looked back.

As I sit and write this, I realize I needed this reminder. Maybe you do too. This year’s been a rough one for many of us, and it’s easy to get caught up in our own mistakes, struggles, and daily worries. Instead, let’s focus on the newness that Jesus gives us every day. He’ll take care of the past and our day-to-day pressures as we look toward whatever He has for us next.

Peace out.

Announcing A New Season of Change for Change

Are you at risk for diabetes? Manna Cafe’s Change for Change program can help you make the lifestyle changes you need to prevent type 2 diabetes. Groups meet weekly at Manna with a trained coach. Classes include hands-on cooking instruction, tips for smart shopping, exercise sessions with a certified trainer, loads of tested and proven nutritional information, and more. This program is incentivized; participants can earn up to $1000 and will be provided with the tools to succeed. Anyone with pre-diabetes is encouraged to apply.


The next 12-month Change for Change series will begin on February 8th, 2022. Everyone must register by appointment by calling or texting Program Coordinator Doretha at 931.449.0591 or emailing Learn@MannaCafeMinistries.com. Don’t delay: register today to save your spot for the 2022 session!

Take the diabetes risk assessment test here: https://www.mannacafeministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Risk-test-pg.-1.pdf

What’s one of the most crucial sources of funding for Manna Cafe? Consistent, recurring givers. This is what keeps gas in the trucks, staff members on the payroll, and food boxes rolling out the door. Want to be part of the solution to hunger in this region? Just click the button below. Thank you so much!

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