Waiting

January 19, 2018 by Keith   Comments (3)

Wait--Why He Wants Me To Wait ? .

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:

Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.

I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,

... And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait".

"Wait? You say, wait! " my indignant reply.

"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!

Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?

By Faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I can relate

hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me to WAIT?

I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,

or even a 'no' to which I can resign. .

And Lord, You promised that if we believe

we need but to ask, and we shall receive.

And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:

I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate

As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."

So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut

and grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting.... for what?"

He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,

And he tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.

I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.

I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.

All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.

You would have what you want

But, you wouldn't know Me.

You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.

You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair.

You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.

You'd not know the joy of resting in Me

When darkness and silence were all you could see.

You'd never experience that fullness of love

As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.

You'd know that I give and I save.... (for a start),

But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,

The faith that I give when you walk without sight,

The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked

Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.

You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,

What it means that "My grace is sufficient for Thee."

Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,

But, Oh, the Loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!

So, be silent, My Child, and in time you will see

That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.

And though oft' may My answers seem terribly late,

My most precious answer of all is still, "WAIT."

Author Unknown.

"And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him." (Isaiah 30:18)

"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." (Psalm 27:13-14)

Four Reasons to Face the New Year without Fear

December 30, 2017 by Keith   Comments (1)

God's Word brings us a comforting promise, along with an insightful command as we face a new year: "Let your conversation be without covetousness. and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Hebrews 13:5-6).

We can live this coming year without fear if we apply these four incredibly wonderful truths to our lives and root them deep into our hearts.

The Contentment of His Provision

Contentment is not getting what you want, but it is wanting what you already have. 1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us therewith be content." If you know Jesus Christ, you have contentment. If you've got clothes on your back, something to eat, and Jesus Christ in your heart, you're rich!

Do you know why we have fear? Because we think our needs or the needs of someone we love are not going to be met. Or we fear that the things we think are meeting our needs are going to be taken away from us. The deepest need of your heart can only be met in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Companionship of His Presence

I don't know what I'm going to face next year. But there's one thing I know, He will never leave me. Are you a child of God? He will never leave you either. Isn't that wonderful!

What's another reason we may fear in the coming year? Because we're afraid we're going to have to face something we don't understand, and we're going to have to face it alone.

When God's Word promises that God will never forsake you, it literally means that He will never abandon you. He will not give up on you. We need to practice the presence of the Lord this coming year. When the devil comes and knocks at you heart's door, you can simply say, "Jesus, please go answer the door."

The Confidence of His Promise

We're going to zero in on a little phrase in our verses in Hebrews, "He hath said." A promise is no better than the one who makes it. Who says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee"? It is the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God. This is the confidence of His promise.

In the coming year, when you say, "God, I just don't have the strength." The omnipotent God will answer, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." When you say, "God, I'm afraid of what is going to happen." The omnipresent God says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." And when you say, "God, I don't know what to do." The omniscient God will respond, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." He himself hath said it.

The Comfort of His Protection

Hebrews 13:6 promises, "So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Now, put that with verse 5, which says, "He hath said."

Like I said earlier, I don't know what you're going to go through this coming year. But I know you can boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, so I will not fear what man shall do to me." When you find your contentment, companionship, and confidence in Jesus. Then, you'll find your comfort and courage in Jesus.

A True Story of Hope this Christmas Time

December 23, 2017 by Keith   Comments (7)

I believe this will Bless someone today, it is quite long but worth it, Be Blessed!

In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their Father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years. their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tyres crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries. Now that He had decided to leave there would be no more beatings, but no food either.

If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best home-made dress. I loaded them into the rusty old car and drove off to find a job. The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. Nothing. The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whoever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job. Still nothing.

The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old drive-in that had been converted into a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place, and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, eleven at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night. I raced home and called the teenager down the street who babysat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pyjamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement for her, so we made a deal.

That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our Prayers we all thanked God for finding Mummy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the babysitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-fully half of what I averaged every night. As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meagre wage. The tyres on the old car had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.

One bleak autumn morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tyres on the back seat. New tyres! There was no note, no anything, just those beautiful brand new tyres. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana, I wondered.

I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tyres, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tyres.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money left for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Christmas morning.

Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boy's trousers, and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and dropping nickels into the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked until the wee hours of this morning, and then left to get home before the sun came up.

When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, I hurried to the car. I was hoping the kids wouldn't wake up before I had managed to get home, get the presents from the basement and place them under the tree. (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the road down by the dump.)

It was still dark and I couldn't see much, but there appeared to be some dark shadows in the car - or was that just a trick of the light ? Something certainly looked different, but it was hard to tell what.

When I reached the car I peered through warily through one of the side windows. Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered car was filled to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's door, scrambled inside and knelt in the front facing the back seat.

Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: it was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes: there were sweets and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enourmous ham for baking, canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and jelly and biscuits, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful doll.

As I drove back through empty streets while the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.

Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.

JERUSALEM – THE ETERNAL CITY AND CAPITAL OF ISRAEL

December 8, 2017 by Keith   Comments (0)

President Trump has made his announcement. The US recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The Palestinians rage. Hamas threatened a new Intifada. The nations of the world join in their condemnation of the announcement. What are we to make of it?

We declare that Jerusalem is God's eternal city. God has decreed it to be a united city and under the control of the Jewish people. That is not a political statement. It is a spiritual statement! The nations of the world may have other ideas but they will discover at their peril the folly of seeking to go against the will of God.

To understand what is going on, we need to remind ourselves of some of our history. As World War II came to an end in 1945, the British ruled the area of land occupied by the Jewish people today. With the end of World War II, the Jews wanted to move into what they saw as their own homeland. On the other hand, the Arabs didn't see why Jews, who were still the minority in Palestine at that time, should be given their own land. The British didn't know what to do!

NEW STATE OF ISRAEL

On the 29th of November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted in favour of a plan dividing the land ruled by the British into two independent states, one Jewish and the other Arab, with Jerusalem having International status under the administration of the United Nations. It was agreed the British mandate to rule Palestine would finish on the 15th May 1948, and all British troops would be out of the region by 1st August 1948. The Jews accepted the plan. The Palestinian Arabs and surrounding Arab states rejected it.

The day before the British withdrawal, the Jews proclaimed the new State of Israel. After nineteen hundred years, Israel was reborn as a nation. The Arab nations responded by sending in forty thousand troops. The new Israel State was attacked on four fronts by five Arab armies. The fighting was fierce but gradually, the new State of Israel got the upper hand, and the Arab states were forced to begin peace talks. In 1949, peace agreements were signed with each of the attacking Arab nation. Israel had won, but none of the Arab nations was prepared to recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist.

A DIVIDED CITY

Jerusalem remained a divided city. Western Jerusalem was in the hands of the Jews. East Jerusalem, including much of the Old City, the Temple Mount and the Jewish Wailing Wall, was in the hands of the Jordanians. This didn't stop the new Israel government declaring on the 23rd January 1950, Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The bitterness felt by the Arab states, at having been defeated by the fledging state of Israel smouldered beneath the surface. That resentment came to a head in 1967. In the May, President Nasser of Egypt, mobilized a hundred thousand of his troops, and a thousand tanks, and placed them on high alert in the Sinai desert within striking distance of the Israeli borders. On the 26th May, President Nasser publicly declared that he intended to destroy Israel. Other Arab States expressed delight at the thought of Israel being destroyed and indicated they would give military support to his action.

BEST FORM OF DEFENSE IS ATTACK

Israel decided the best form of defence was attack! Early in the morning of the 5th June 1967, Israeli aircraft attacked Egyptian airfields, and destroyed most of Egypt's planes. At the end of the day, Israel had air supremacy over all her attacking neighbours. Although fighting continued for a further 5 days, the war was effectively over. Israel had won. Of greatest significance to the Jewish people, and in fulfilment of biblical prophecy, the Israel army, on the 7th June took control of the Arab East Jerusalem, including the Old City, the Temple Mount, the Wailing Wall and other historical sites. For the first time in 2,000 years, all of Jerusalem was now in the hands of the Jewish people. For us, as gentiles, it is impossible to understand the sense of awe, wonder, and sheer emotion that the Jewish people felt at again being in control of their Holy City, and having access to their Holy sites.

There can be no doubting the significance and importance of the City of Jerusalem to the Jewish people.

WHO DOES JERUSALEM BELONG TO?

Each major world religion claims the city of Jerusalem as its own. Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times and captured and recaptured 44 times. Jerusalem is God's eternal city. It is to be a united city and under the control of the Jewish people. That is not a political statement. It is a spiritual statement! The nations of the world may have other ideas but they will discover at their peril the folly of seeking to go against the will of God.

On the 30th July 1980, the Israel Knesset passed its Jerusalem Law, which declared Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Jerusalem. There was an angry response from the world! The UN Security Council passed Resolution 478 declaring that Israel's new law was null and void, and a violation of international law, and numerous resolutions by the UN General Assembly. They called on all member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from the city.

With a few weeks, the 13 countries who had embassies in Jerusalem, had moved their embassies to Tel Aviv. Israel remained defiant declaring the resolution will not undermine the status of Jerusalem as the capital of a sovereign Israel and as a united city which will never again be torn apart.

In 1995, the US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act. The new law required that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel. and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999. The legislation, which notes that each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital, acknowledged that Jerusalem had served as Israel&.rsquo.s capital since 1950 The law asserted that Jerusalem should remain an undivided city.

However, every American President since that time - Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barak Obama - have opted to waive that order for six-month periods, at a time. The Presidents have cited national security as their excuse for not doing so. The national security they were referring to was the threat of what the Arabs would do if any embassy moved back to Jerusalem. Until now Governments of the world have buckled at the threat from the Arab world and done nothing. Now President Trump has made his announcement that the US recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital. He clearly fears God more than he fears man!

Whatever the nations do, don't despair. Remember God is in control. The final book of the Bible, Revelation, has already been written. As Christians we know that one day soon Christ will return, and that when He comes, it will be to Jerusalem. Until then, we are called to be watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem.

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem, They shall never hold their peace day or night.

You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,

And give Him no rest until He establishes

And till he makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Isaiah 62.6-7

Naming Jerusalem the Capital of Israel Facts:

Historical Significance:

The history of Israel dates back to Genesis and the story of Abram who would become Abraham

Abraham was promised a land by God (the promised land) and that land was Canaan and would later become Israel (Genesis 12- fulfilled when descendant Joshua takes the land in Joshua 6 when the walls come down)

David declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel (City of David- II Samuel 5)

Political Significance:

Legally documented in 1950, the Israeli Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, and declared Jerusalem to be the eternal, undivided capital of the State of Israel

In 1995, Democrat President Bill Clinton signed a statute stating, 'Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel'.

Theological Importance:

Christianity begins in Jerusalem serving as the context for Jesus' life and earthly ministry

The city where Jesus was crucified on a cross

The city where He was laid in a tomb

The city where He rose from the grave

The city where He showed Himself to many others over a forty-day period

The city where many believe Abraham brought Isaac up Mt. Moriah and passed God's test of faith

The city where King Solomon built the magnificent Temple, declaring it a house of prayer for all nations

The city Isaiah envisioned as the world's center where the nations would beat their swords into plowshares, and learn war no more

The city where Jesus wept

Shared Significance with Orthodox Jews:

The significance of Jerusalem to Christians cannot be separated from the significance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people

Their history is our history

We are intertwined through our Old Testament scriptures and spiritual legacy. Their biblical examples are our biblical examples and we share this heritage in Jerusalem as our spiritual capital while Israel also legally proclaims it as her national capital. Their national history has become our spiritual history

Final Thoughts

Naming the city of Jerusalem the capital of Israel is not just a political right of Israel, it is the right of all nations. It is also of great theological importance to Christians world-wide. .. Please join me in praying for the peace of Jerusalem as scripture implores us to do, and we trust her peace and prosperity, not to man made institutions and international efforts, but to the God of all Peace, and to the greatest Jew to have ever lived, Jesus Christ.

The Story of Thanksgiving

November 23, 2017 by Keith   Comments (0)

After enduring religious persecution in their native England and for twelve years in Holland, the pilgrims sailed for America. They were modest men and women with a great hope and inward zeal. They rested in the providence of God that He was leading them to a land of religious freedom to advance the gospel of the kingdom of Christ.

The voyage of the Mayflower took twice as long as Christopher Columbus' voyage, enduring several wintry storms. After arriving in their new land, they faced disease, famine, bitter cold and many dangers. However, when the Mayflower made its return voyage, none of the pilgrims returned with it.

Their first harvest occurred in the autumn of 1621. Their own seed had barely grown, but the Indians had shown them how to plant corn which yielded a huge harvest. On the first Thanksgiving, they celebrated God's goodness to them with a party of ninety Indians. Their Thanksgiving feast lasted three days and included a festival of sports.

Thanksgiving Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln

"Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may be then, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that on the occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the great Disposer of events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling-place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations."

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving... be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4

THE MIRACLE OF HEALING SAMANTHA'S NIGHTMARES & SAMANTHA'S MIRACLE BIRTHS by GOD

October 29, 2017 by Keith   Comments (6)

I hope and Pray the following Testimony of how God has healed my wife Samantha will be a Blessing and encouragement to someone here, God is NO respecter of persons, what He has done for us He will also do for You and sooo much more... He Loves us soooooooooo much and we are the apple of His eye!

When I met Samantha first she was having really bad nightmares due to her physical and sexual abuse by both parents, from a few months old to age 16. She was so tired from not sleeping at nights through fear, that she would often sit down and fall asleep within a few minutes, it was that bad.

I felt so helpless, I wanted to take the pain away. She would scream sometimes and wake herself up, shaking and panicking. One day I had enough of this, and said to God, "I need You to do something about this, I can't deal with seeing Samantha in this pain any longer".

I Prayed and felt God put instructions in my head, I didn't know everything just a part.

Firstly, I told Samantha God wanted us to go out in the car - didn't know where or anything else, I just knew we had to be obedient and trust Him. We got in the car and drove to the end of our road, I stopped and Prayed, God said turn left, I did - at this point I still had no idea about anything else. I drove about 2 miles to a small fishing harbor via God's instruction, this was in the summer of 1992. I stopped the car overlooking the small harbour, many boats and yahts were there. I Prayed again, and felt God wanted us to get out and sit on the quay. .... I looked in front of us and there was in the bay directly where we had stopped, a yaht with it's sails in the shape of a cross, ok I thought, nothing special really untill I looked all around us and that was the only one with this perfect cross shape, there were about 40 boats at that time in the summer.

We knew this was of God, no doubts about it. Next the Father told me to explain to Samantha that she was to get some paper, [thankfully we had some in the car], and for her to write all the bad things that happened in these nightmares - at first she didn't want to do it, because she was told by her father that if she EVER told anyone of the things that went on, he would kill her! .... She was frightened. I said you will not be telling me, you will be writing them down, I won't need to see them.

She did this with many tears, we were both in the presence of God. Then God said this is the last of the nightmares, and Samantha was to throw the list in the sea in front of us. But God said she was to leave them in the sea to drown, NEVER to bring those thoughts and memories back again, this was a physical enactment of a spiritual cleansing, Praise God!

That night, Samantha had the best sleep of her life, she NEVER had another nightmare! .... We still Praise the Father to this day for His Faithfulness to us!!

There are more stories like this, when time permits, I'll tell you more, I Pray this will be an encouragement to you that God is Faithful, He will NEVER give us more than we can bear, He will always show us a way out .... if we trust, obey and listen to His voice AMEN!!!!

Part 2:

Due to Samantha's abusive childhood she was told in her teens by Drs she would not physically be able to have children, due to the internal damage done to her.

Before we were married Samantha was concerned that I might not want to marry her because it was impossible for her to have children, I told her that if God didn't bring us children then we could adopt or foster when the time came, I loved Samantha for who she was not because we could or couldn't have children. So when we were married we said we would try to have a baby early on as it might take awhile, we Prayed for a boy and 3 months on Samantha was pregnant with Daniel much to our surprise - we saw the scan pictures and he was perfect, he was born using forceps 2 wks overdue, and with dissabilities although it took us 4 yrs to get the Cerebral Palsy recognised - 16 yrs to diagnose the Autism and Tourettes.

Before we were married we thought we would like 4 children, so we Prayed for our second to be a girl, Samantha was then pregnant with Lydia a year later. She was born 1 month early with a hole in her heart, the Drs gave Lydia 3 months to heal or they would have to operate to repair the heart. We went each fortnight to have her heart checked , we Prayed like never before and our Father healed Lydia's heart completely within the 3 months, Praise You Jesus!

By this time we thought that 2 children were plenty, especially with Daniel's difficulties. Samantha was taking a contraceptive pill because she had had difficult births and it had been a strain on her. I woke up one day with a terrible bad back [which I had also with the other 2 pregnancy's and lasted about 4 weeks], I told Samantha she was pregnant, she said 'don't be daft I'm on the pill', I said 'YOU ARE!'. She went and had a test, guess what ? she was pregnant. .... God had other plans for us, we said 2 He said 3!

As the pregnancy went on we felt this was a bit different to the other's. ....

One night .... Samantha had her waters break, except this was 3 months early!

I took her to hospital after being checked, we thought this was a false alarm and things would be fine. After getting back home later I had a call from the hospital to say that Samantha was in labour, and they had to send her to another hospital by ambulance because they were not able to deal with baby's so young.

We were living quite away from the hospital 3 hr drive, after Samantha got there I had a call around 10 pm to say 'I'd better get there as quick as possible, Samantha was very ill and they were unsure if she and the baby would make it.'

The weather was stormy, my Dad drove me there as I was too shaken up to drive all that way. We were led to a room and told to wait and a Dr would be there soon. The Dr said Samantha was struggling and they would have to do a Ceasarian to have any chance of saving the baby.

The Dr returned to say baby [Tamar]was fine and in an incubator, Samantha was not so good but I could go be with her. I was shocked how ill she appeared, I talked and prayed with her, tried to reassure her that all would be well - I didn't tell her how ill she was, I couldn't.

Samantha stopped breathing as I sat there talking, I Prayed for God's intervention and told her to breath - she did and after awhile she stopped breathing again, this happened a couple of times and our Father breathed Life into her again - there were NO Drs or nurses around at this time, don't know why but I believe that it was meant to be a very special moment with just the three of us! ....  ....

Samantha was healing daily although slowly, Tamar had lots of tubes, one was to help her breath as her lungs were not full size, she was soo tiny, [Samantha's wedding ring fitted on her wrist!]her skin was see through. Samantha was unable to see Tamar for a few days due to her health, we could not touch Tamar for a couple of days, they said she would be in hospital until her due date probably - Tamar was released 3 weeks later fit and well!!!!! God is soo good!!

Samantha had to stay in another 5 days, so here I was with Daniel 3 yrs, Lydia 1 yr and Tamar still a minus! less than her due date. I had a handful, and no extra help either. Tamar we had to treat her carefully due to her small size and weight, turning her in her cot every hour around the clock!

Samantha finally came home and we were a family again.

Through this trial we had our Faith and Trust in God, He stood by us when all around us was in chaos, He is soo Faithful and Loves us soo much - did I have doubts ? yes at the time, but I clung on to the Rock. ....

"Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you. do not look around you in terror AND be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen AND harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you. yes, I will hold you up AND retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness AND justice." ....  ....Isaiah 41: 10 ....  .... Amen!!

Good Decisions Always Agree with God's Word

October 20, 2017 by Keith   Comments (6)

"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path" (Psalm 119:105 NIV)

When you need to make a decision, the first and ideal test is this: "Is my decision in harmony with God's Word?".

You have to decide what's going to be your ultimate authority in life. It really boils down to two choices: God's Word or the world. Are you going to base your decisions on what God says or what other people say?

If you base your life on popular opinion, you're always going to be out of date, because it changes every day. What was "in" yesterday will not be "in" today and what's "in" today will not be "in" tomorrow. If you base your life on popular culture, political correctness, or opinion polls, you do not have principles to live by. That's called a shifting foundation!

On the other hand, if you base your life on God's Word, the truth never changes. Truth is always true. So if God says something was wrong 10,000 years ago, it was also wrong 500 years ago, it's wrong today, and it will be wrong 1,000 years from today. I don't care what opinion polls or political correctness or the media says. If God says it's wrong, it's wrong. It always has been, and it always will be. If God says it's right, it will always be right. That is a solid foundation!

God has set up the universe with certain laws-physical, moral, and spiritual. God built the universe around these laws not because he's capricious but because they're all for your benefit. When you cooperate with the principles in this universe, you succeed. If you reject, rebel, disobey, and ignore God's principles, you're the one who gets hurt. You don't ever break God's laws. They break you! If I go up on top of a building and jump off, I don't break the law of gravity. It breaks me. The same is true with moral laws and spiritual laws. You cannot just thumb your nose at God and get away with it. There's inevitably a reckoning. Any time you violate God's principles, you're asking for trouble. ...

With all this in mind, you can be confident in your decision. If God says it's OK, then you do it. If God says "no",then you don't do it.

"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path". (Psalm 119:105 NIV).

10 Powerful Principles to Endure Suffering

October 17, 2017 by Keith   Comments (2)

No one enjoys suffering, but suffering is a necessary, normal part of the Christian life. In fact, the Scripture says we can expect hardships and suffering to increase (2 Tim. 2:3. 3:1-4, 13), so we must be prepared.

We learn from the book of 2 Timothy that we may experience suffering as a result of our testimony, our godly living, or our stand for truth (2 Tim. 1:8. 2:8-9, 17-18. 3:6-8, 12). We may also experience suffering when we are rejected or left alone (2 Tim. 1:15. 4:9-11. 4:16), or as a natural consequence to our fleshly, worldly desires (2 Tim. 2:22).

Suffering will indeed come, but God can give us grace and power to overcome every trial and to fulfill our purpose and mission in His kingdom. In his second epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Paul shares some important truths about how we can endure suffering.

Ten Principles for Enduring Suffering

1. Don't forget why you are suffering. Remember your purpose and Whom you serve! The Apostle Paul said he was willing to suffer for the proclamation of the Gospel, for the sake of the elect, and for the glory of God. Our suffering, big or little, can be used to bring about the same purposes. (2 Tim. 2:8-9)

2. Remember that you are a prisoner of Christ, not of your circumstances or other people. (2 Tim. 1:8)

3. Keep going back to the things you know to be true from God's Word. Don't doubt in the dark what you have seen in the light. Remember what you received as a result of your salvation in Christ (2 Tim. 1:5). Remember your calling and the grace of God (2 Tim. 1:1, 9-13).

4. Keep doing whatever God has called you to do. Persevere, stay the course, and be faithful, regardless of any opposition or hardship. (2 Tim. 4:1-5)

5. Trust God to deal with those who oppose the truth. Don't take matters into your own hands or become bitter and argumentative. (2 Tim. 2:23-26)

6. Remember times in the past when the Lord delivered or rescued you. Be quick to praise Him and testify to others (2 Tim. 3:11. 4:16-17).

7. Rely on the resources God has given you:

The grace of God (2 Tim. 1:2, 9. 2:1. 4:22).

The gift of God-your God-given ability to serve Him (2 Tim. 1:6-7).

The power of God (rather than your own strength) (2 Tim. 1:8. Phil. 2:13. Eph. 6:10).

The indwelling Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 1:14).

The Word of God, which will keep you grounded and give you perspective (2 Tim. 2:7, 9. 3:12-17. 4:1-2).

8. Remember that you are not alone in your suffering.

You already have:

The presence of Christ (Matt. 28:20)

The prayers of other believers (2 Tim. 1:3)

The "fellowship of suffering"-other believers who are facing hardships for the sake of Christ (2 Tim. 1:8. Heb. 13:3. Col. 1:24).

Cultivate these to help you endure:

Godly helpers - Find and cultivate a group of like-minded believers whose faithfulness and prayers can inspire and strengthen you (2 Tim. 1:2, 4-5. 4:9-13, 19-21).

Godly heroes - Read the biographies of missionaries and other faithful believers so God can cultivate faith and wisdom in your heart (Heb. 13:7. 2 Tim. 3:10, 14).

Godly heritage - As you learn about those who've gone before, you will be able to instill faith and courage in the next generation. Pass the baton to others. (2 Tim. 2:2)

9. No matter how difficult things are today, you can face the future with hope. Trust the truth of Scripture.

The Truth is:

All wrongs will one day be righted (2 Tim. 3:8-9. 4:14).

The Lord will deliver you from all evil-in His time and way (2 Tim. 4:17-18). In the meantime, counsel your heart according to the truth and promises of God (Psalm 27).

All your suffering, efforts, labors, and faithfulness will be rewarded in "that Day" when believers stand before the Lord (2 Tim. 1:12, 18. 2:12. 4:8. Phil. 1:6, 10. 2:16. James 1:12).

You will give an account, so guard the "deposit" entrusted to you (2 Tim. 1:12, 14. 1 Tim. 6:20).

10. In all your suffering, remember Jesus Christ.

Remember:

His life and His suffering and sacrifice for you (2 Tim. 2:3)

His triumph over Satan, sin, and death (2 Tim. 2:8)

His power, promises, and presence (Matt. 28:18-20)

What He is doing for you in heaven (John 14:2-3. Rom. 8:34).

Expect suffering-it is inevitable-but don't forget the powerful resource that you have in Christ. Entrust your life to His ever-present care and control. He loves you, and He will help you endure.

Four Reasons to Face the New Year without Fear

December 28, 2016 by Keith   Comments (4)

God's Word brings us a comforting promise, along with an insightful command as we face a new year: "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Hebrews 13:5-6).

We can live this coming year without fear if we apply these four incredibly wonderful truths to our lives and root them deep into our hearts.

The Contentment of His Provision

Contentment is not getting what you want, but it is wanting what you already have. 1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us therewith be content." If you know Jesus Christ, you have contentment. If you've got clothes on your back, something to eat, and Jesus Christ in your heart, you're rich!

Do you know why we have fear? Because we think our needs or the needs of someone we love are not going to be met. Or we fear that the things we think are meeting our needs are going to be taken away from us. The deepest need of your heart can only be met in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Companionship of His Presence

I don't know what I'm going to face next year. But there's one thing I know, He will never leave me. Are you a child of God? He will never leave you either. Isn't that wonderful!

What's another reason we may fear in the coming year? Because we're afraid we're going to have to face something we don't understand, and we're going to have to face it alone.

When God's Word promises that God will never forsake you, it literally means that He will never abandon you. He will not give up on you. We need to practice the presence of the Lord this coming year. When the devil comes and knocks at you heart's door, you can simply say, "Jesus, please go answer the door."

The Confidence of His Promise

We're going to zero in on a little phrase in our verses in Hebrews, "He hath said." A promise is no better than the one who makes it. Who says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee"? It is the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God. This is the confidence of His promise.

In the coming year, when you say, "God, I just don't have the strength." The omnipotent God will answer, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." When you say, "God, I'm afraid of what is going to happen." The omnipresent God says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." And when you say, "God, I don't know what to do." The omniscient God will respond, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." He himself hath said it.

The Comfort of His Protection

Hebrews 13:6 promises, "So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Now, put that with verse 5, which says, "He hath said."

Like I said earlier, I don't know what you're going to go through this coming year. But I know you can boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, so I will not fear what man shall do to me." When you find your contentment, companionship, and confidence in Jesus. Then, you'll find your comfort and courage in Jesus.

Christmas Traditions – Where Did They Come From?

December 20, 2016 by Keith   Comments (0)

The Biblical Celebration

The Dawning of Light: Luke 1:78-79

Christmas is so full of wonder, meaning and tradition. But, where did all these things that we now call Christmas -- come from? Let's just briefly sketch the origin and development of what we now celebrate as Christ's Birth.

The Fullness of Time: Galatians 4:4-5

The Mystery of Incarnation: I Timothy 3:16

The Christian Meaning to Ancient Traditions

December 25th

was the Saturnalia Festival of emancipation, gift giving and the triumph of light after the longest night. The Christian sees the truth implicit in this pagan tradition that reflects: Christ the Light of the world, His triumph over the night of sin in Luke 1:78-79

Evergreen Trees

were the symbol of eternal life. Martin Luther introduced them to the Reformation Church as a picture of our endless life in Christ, by bringing in a tree to his family on Christmas Eve lit with candles. Isaiah 6-:13

Candles

are a picture that Christ is the Light of the world John 8

Holly

speaks of the thorns in His crown Matthew 27:29

Red

is a color of Christmas that speaks of Christ’s blood and death.

Gifts

are a reminder of the gifts of the Magi to baby Jesus. Each of them speaks to a component of His incarnation: Majesty in life, Bitterest Agony in Death and He as Gods Perfect gift to us. Matthew 2.

Mistletoe

was an ancient symbol from the Roman times. It was under Mistletoe that old enmities and broken friendship were restored. So Christ was the One who took away the enmity and gave us Peace with God. Romans 5:1; 8:1.

Bells

are associated with ringing out news. Christ is the good news, the best news of all.

Christmas Eve

is a time when we remember that Christ came in the darkest night of Earth’s need to be the Light of the World.

Shepherds

who were watching lambs for use as sacrifices in the Temple, were the first to hear the great news that the Lamb to end all sacrifices had appeared.

Christmas Pie

is an old tradition that uses a Mince pie with various spices to remember the spices of the Magi. For centuries it was made in a manger shape.

Modern Additions

In 1822

Clement Moore wrote a poem for children that has never been forgotten. It was entitled, "Twas the Night before Christmas..."!

Santa Claus

is a Dutch word that is actually Sinter Claus, Saint Nicholas in English.

Saint Nicholas

was the supposed early Bishop of a church in Asia Minor [the modern country of Turkey]. He became aware of some desperate needs in his congregation, and a family having to sell their children into slavery, so one night he came and left money on their doorstep. It was gold in a stocking.

Christmas Cards

started in 1844. An English artist named William Dobson, drew up some pictures in England for use at this season. They found local use there and soon spread to America. In 1846 Cole and Horsley saw the commercial potential of this growing tradition and started the production of what is now over a $1,000,000,000.00 industry that sees 4 billion cards sent each year in America alone.

Don't lose the Spiritual Depth of Christmas because of its Pagan association.

Don’t miss the Spiritual Delight of Christmas because of the Commercial association.

Don’t forget the Spiritual Despair of the World because of Christmas and its wonders.

Some challenges:

Give a gift to Jesus.

Like Christ, give to those who can’t repay you.

Pause to sense the darkness outside at night, and then thank God for sending the light.

Read the Scriptures to your family.

Start some traditions that point to Christ.

Enjoy this wonderful time of the year, don’t lose the season for the rush.