Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We Need God In America Again

Please take a few moments to watch this video. It says more today than any words I could possible write.

May the Lord bless you & may He have mercy on us.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Get Outside The Church

(Luke 19:1-10)
One of the things I love about reading the accounts of the ministry of Jesus was the fact He never lost sight of what He had come to do. He came to preach the Good News to the lost and hurting of the world. His ministry was NOT in the church of His day, but was to those outside of the church. Jesus took His message of hope into the streets to those who were living without God in their life, telling them that there was a better way to live. JESUS HAD SPIRITUAL GUTS!

Today, more than ever, we need men and women of God with those same spiritual guts. The church has become institutionalized and satisfied with the status quo. Forty years ago, it was simply a matter of opening the front door and the people would come. That is not true in 2009. We have a large percentage of 2 full generations now that do not attend church. Children that grew up in homes void of God are now having their own children, which of course, will also grow up in homes void of God. The world that we live in
continues each day to boldly present a message that is in direct opposition to the Truth of God's Word.

Sadly, rather than going out and challenging that ungodly message, the church has decided to withdraw from the world and isolate itself. Rather than being the salt and light God has called us to be, we have found it more "comfortable" to simply withdraw and stay to ourselves. We feel safe in our churches since we are with "our own kind." We have our OWN TV stations. We have our OWN radio stations. We have our OWN books and magazines. We have our OWN music. We have our OWN schools. Rather than using these great resources to reach the lost, we have found it is much easier (and more profitable) to simply "preach to the choir" and isolate ourselves from the rest of the world.

This message today is a wake up call to men and women who love the Lord. God did not call us to isolate ourselves from this world, but to go out into the world and share the hope and love of Jesus Christ. I have never seen so many people that are afraid of the world that we live in. Did you not read in the Bible in 1 John 4:4 that tells you, "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world?" Did you not read in the Bible that we are "more than conquerors?" Did you not read in the Bible that we are called to go out into the "highways" and invite the lost to know Christ? God did not call us to hide our light under a bushel, but to share that light with this dark world we live in! God is looking for men and women with "spiritual guts" to take His message to the lost and hurting of this world.

I love you and care about you so much. There is a world outside of the four walls of the church that is lost, hurting, and looking for answers. They won't come to church, watch Christian TV, listen to Christian radio and music, read Christian books and magazines, or go to Christian schools. To reach these people, we have to do what Jesus did and GO TO THEM. Understand that when you take Christ into the world, they will not always be nice. They have lived their life rejecting God so most likely will not be open to your message. But never forget that your labor for the Lord is not in vain.

Even those who reject what you are saying have at least had a seed planted in their life. God will allow you to minister to people that are at a place in their life where they realize there has to be a better way. They WILL be open to accepting Christ as their Savior and changing their life. Jesus told us that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. The church has forgotten the most important part of being a Christian, and that is we are here to serve, NOT be served. We are like Eli, sitting in our grand palaces, getting so fat that we can't even move. God has called us to rise up and take His message of Christ's love to the lost and hurting of this world we live in. That my friend, takes spiritual guts.

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh What a Beautiful World

As I was driving to the farm to feed the cattle I became engrossed in just how beautiful everything around me appeared. The sky was so blue and clear, even if there we a few cotton ball clouds floating by. The fields were a lush green, swaying gentle in the spring breeze. The trees ran the spectrum for the color green, new life of each tree was making itself known to the world. Oh, how beautiful everything God allowed me to see.

Earlier this morning all of nature received a good bath, removing all the dust and dirt from the plans and even from the air. I had sat this morning thinking what a terrible day this would be; rainy and dreary. I know we need rain from time to time but I have things to do that require dry ground. I am sure glad I had to feed today. From a sullen somewhat depressed spirit I was elevated to a spirit of wonder and praise of God.

As I continued to the farm my thoughts moved from the beauty of our world today to the beauty of the Garden of Eden. Yes, I can only imagine but I am blessed with the ability to imagine, dream and visualize. I am very sure that Adam’s home was far more beautiful than our world today. I could see Adam and Eve strolling down a path of that garden conversing with God. I could hear the birds sing; I could see the animals stop to greet their creator and God drew near. The gentle breeze caressed all it touched and the fragrance of the many flowers travels in that stream of air. Oh, what a beautiful garden must have made for our grandparents.

I was in a dream world as I drove and that led me to think of Heaven. I recalled the description of the New Jerusalem recorded by John in Revelation; how majestic, how awesome. Then the other side popped up and I realized this is only a human description and not really as it will be. We are told that it has even entered in to the mind of man what God has prepared for us. Yes. I have been told it has not entered in the mind of man but my mind has to try to fathom the splendor that waits. All thoughts of what it might really be are useless since I am limited to the knowledge I have acquired throughout life and wasn’t blessed with a ‘new revelation’.

Yes we have an awesome world filled with the beauty of God’s creation but it was once much more beautiful. With that thought I was convicted of my sins that have contaminated this world. I immediately asked God for forgiveness for all the wrong I have done and particularly all I have done to diminish the beauty of earth. My forgiveness received I was led to ask forgiveness for all of mankind in regard to our lack of stewardship of God’s world. I believe all was placed here for our use and pleasure but it wasn’t given us to waste or abuse.

I am not really sure the point of all this might be but I feel, deep within my heart, that we should take a few moments and appreciate the wonder of all that is around us. We should take time to express our thanks to our Creator and the Creator of all the beauty we behold. We should strive to use wisely and not from a sense that this is here because we have a right to use it or deserve it. All that I saw as I drove, I considered a blessing and I thank God for giving me the ability to see it and secondly the spirit to appreciate it and be thankful for it.

God thank you for the rain you sent earlier to wash away all that contaminated your world and thank you for opening my eyes and heart to see all your hands have made. Thank you for lifting my spirit and for riding with me as I went to feed. Amen.

Spreading His Word,

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

(Matthew 15:21-28)

A mother's love. On this day that we honor our mothers, I thought it fitting to share with you this wonderful story from God's Word that personifies a mother's love. I have often said a mother's love can be broken down into the 3 P's. Pleading, persistence, and prayer. I can testify today that the only reason I am in the ministry is because my mother who is with the Lord now, pleaded, was persistent, and prayed. I have no doubt that many of you know
Jesus as your Savior because of your mother's prayers. So in honor of our mothers, let me break down the 3 P's of a mother's love for you.

A mother will plead for her child. It was the deep love for her daughter that drove the Canaanite woman in today's scripture to Jesus, pleading for mercy for her daughter. In our time of despair, "something" pulls us to God. Many people, who openly reject God, will cry out in a time of need. Even believers will live apart from Christ, not giving Him much time in their
daily life...until the trials come. This mother in her hour of need, knew where to go to plead for help.

Persistence is something that defines a mother. Moms have a God-given talent to stay on something, no matter how long it takes, to get the job done. Many times, God delays His answer to test our belief, much like He did in the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:2-5. Are you serious about the needs in your life? Then don't give up...be persistent. Isaiah 65:24 gives us that special promise, "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear." God has promised to hear and answer our
prayers, but that does not always mean in our timing. Often, we need to be persistent, like this Canaanite mother who was not going to be denied the miracle she sought for her daughter.

If persistence defines a mother, then prayer is her greatest weapon. In verse 25 of today's scripture we hear the simple prayer of faith, "Lord help me!" Moms are prayer warriors. Moms know that it is prayer that moves the hand of God. Moms know that prayer works because it demonstrates to God that we are powerless in our own strength, and have put our faith in Him. Jesus healed this woman's daughter because of her faith!

I want to encourage you today to honor your mother, she is a great gift from God. It is also God's commandment that we honor our mother. For those of you who have been estranged, separated from your Mom due to the events of life, please, swallow your pride and contact her today. No matter what may have happened in the past, tell her that you love her. I understand that many mothers have not been what God called them to be, but through your love, God can restore them.

For those like me whose Mom is with the Lord, let me suggest calling a local nursing home and finding out the name of a lady who has no family, no regular visitors. An inexpensive arrangement of flowers and 5 minutes of your day just to tell her she hasn't been forgotten on this Mother's Day will touch a life like you can not even imagine. I am a firm believer that the little acts of kindness, even to strangers, are our most effective and
powerful ministry. Don't let this day pass without making it special for your mother.

I love you and care about you, and it is my goal each day to encourage you and challenge you to have that intimate daily relationship with the Lord that He desires to have with you. I know from years in the ministry, one of the biggest concerns for Moms is their unsaved children. Mom, let me stand in agreement with you today for your unsaved children, praying with you for
their salvation since I realize that is your number one prayer request. Millions will be in Heaven because of the prayers of mom!!!!

To all the Moms out there today, may you be richly blessed on this day.

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Walk In The Garden

“Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.” (Robert Fripp)

As I go about my day, I often catch myself humming a tune. I’ve always enjoyed a variety of music. Some days a fast beat helps me get motivated and moves me right along. On other days, the down-to-earth sound of Bluegrass matches my mood best. Then there are times when it’s just God and me in the silence. That’s when the songs of my childhood come back to me and tug at the edge of my thoughts. Songs like “In the Garden”

“In The Garden”
(1st & 2ed stanzas)

I come to the garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses; And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own, And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing; And the melody that He gave to me within my heart is ringing.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own, And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.

As I sing this, in my mind I see images of a quiet walk in a grassy garden with flowers, shrubs, and trees all around. The thought that God will meet us where we are and wants to spend time with us one-on-one humbles me. He created man for fellowship. He wants to spend time talking with us every day.

“And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, where art thou?” (Gen. 3:8-9)

This leads me to believe that Adam’s walks with the Lord were a regular occurrence; and when Adam sinned, he couldn’t face God. So he hid. More often than I care to admit; that’s what I do. When my wayward spirit leads me down the wrong path, I find myself pulling away from God. I hide myself in distractions like TV, loud music, and even ‘busyness’. Do you ever do that? Some call it drowning out the voice of our conscious. I suspect I hide because if I were to face God, I would need to confess my sin and turn away from it.

Sometimes I get stubborn and don’t want to confess and repent. The more I dig my heals in, the more my pride rears up. Why should I have to humble myself? After all, everyone else sins sometimes.

You know, in really thinking about it, that sounds just like a rebellious child. If you’ve ever spent any time at all around children, you’ll remember watching them make the most irrational excuses for not being obedient. My favorite one is: “Everyone else does it!”

If we, as children, were to keep turning back to God when we mess up and draw closer to Him instead of pulling away, we would find that our loving Father would wrap us in His forgiveness. We would find the peace and joy that only He can give.

David described it best in one of his songs, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

Take a walk with the Lord today. Find comfort in being in His presence and (re)discover the peace that can only come from time spent with your loving Father.

May the Lord bless you.