My precious wife Sharon mentioned late last year she became aware for the first time that all around us we seemed to go from Halloween to Christmas without regard to Thanksgiving. What a modern day tragedy.
Let’s not pack away for another year the stuff about our “Christ centered” celebration. Let’s ponder the true meaning of Christmas, let it linger in our hearts.
So, with time fleeting by I must share a personal note with you that was hand written on a Christmas card we received this past Christmas. The note is attributed to Max Lucado and it might help us hold on to the beauty of Christmas a bit longer.
The paraphrase on our favorite
card this year reads as follows
The personal note from our dear friend continues;
“rejoice in the birth of our Lord and Savior. May the blessings of Christ
be upon you both. We thank God for both of you! You bless us so much.”
By this note we are impacted by the grace and power of that lowly birth so many centuries ago. And the touching conclusion of that note in the card is an encouragement to us to concentrate on being the people God wants us to be. Encourage someone today.
Make it a point to encourage someone every day this year. Make it a habit. My father told me years ago that doing something 30 times is enough to create a habit. Try it, see for yourself if it works; the year will be a whole new blessing to you and of course to others as well.
Let me remind you of a thought I shared with you in November, just a few months ago;
"I am thankful for what I have, and for what I do not have;
I am thankful for who I am, and for who I am not.”
Strive to be the person God wants you to be!
Verses to help you
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Romans 12:1-2
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31
Our Kealy Quotes ~ insight to ministry
If you do not receive the KEALY QUOTES please drop a note to us on this site and we will gladly include you with future releases. For more than 30 years we have shared our ministry four times a year; now with Constant Contact. The print, cut and paste, print, fold, insert, stamp and mail days are long gone and now this electronic message; our brief message about our year.
Thank you for your encouragement, prayer and financial support throughout 2018. This year our Kealy family will spend Christmas together at Rancho Vistoso in Oro Valley, Arizona.
The LORD continues to bless our ministry locally at LifePoint Church and globally with Reaching People far from God. We continue to support Morning Star in an undisclosed country; fresh water wells and water projects in Ghana, Liberia, Nepal and Indonesia. Consultancy and facility design continue with several global partner ministries.
Sharon leads the local and global missions outreach for LifePoint Church in Banning, California, where we attend. David continues to assist our global ministry friends in ministry including VOX Liberia with the VOX Radio station and development of their ministry compound. The 97.5 FM Christian radio station has completed the first year of test broadcasting and is planning to build the live studio in 2019.
Our continued joy is to share the HOPE of Jesus as our global partners reach their audiences with the good news of His love.
“To God be the Glory for all He has done!”
This year more than ever we are receiving what might be called savvy year-end giving options. If you are considering a year-end contribution you might consider a few tax-wise tips to help you maximize your impact for the Kingdom.
To receive a tax deduction on this year’s tax return, be sure cash gifts are postmarked or delivered in person by December 31. Gifts of stock or other non-cash assets must be received by the organization by December 31.
GIVING APPRECIATED STOCK OR REAL ESTATE:
You may be able to take advantage of significant tax benefits by giving non-cash assets such as appreciated stock, real estate or commodities. To maximize your benefits, make sure to give appreciated assets directly rather than selling them first and gifting the proceeds.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TAX-FREE DISTRIBUTIONS FROM YOUR IRA:
If you are 70 1/2 or older, you can make a tax-free distributions up to $100,000 per year from your individual retirement accounts to charity. These gifts count toward your annual required minimum distribution and will not be included in your adjusted gross income.
These gifts must be completed by December 31st so please contact your financial advisor for more information.
“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. Matthew 6:19-21 The Message
Gracious and Thankful season
Gratitude is: from the Harvard Medical School, “a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.”
“The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Or his descendants begging bread.
All day long he is gracious and lends,
And his descendants are a blessing.” Psalm 37:23-26
The definition of thankful is someone feeling or showing gratitude. When you are pleased and grateful for what you have, be thankful.
Recently I met with an 83 year old widow and she shared an interesting statement with me that her pastor told her many years ago. She recites this every morning,
"I am thankful for what I have, and for what I do not have;
I am thankful for who I am, and for who I am not." She feels this gives her the direction for the day that pleases God.
How ever you start each day enjoy the thankful season this year even though it is being lost between Halloween and Christmas marketing in America these days.
Praying is important to God
In the September 2018 BLOG an ACTION POINT was to Pray for others. I do that but I got to thinking there could be specific Bible verses that could help us understand more about “others”.
Evidently this is important to God. I say it because we find instruction in the Bible about being strong in the Lord against the powers of world-rulers of darkness.
A side note here comes to mind about the powers of world-rulers of darkness because of a Bible verse I learned this week; “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and delivered us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” Colossians 1:13
We claim strength by putting on the whole armor of God!
“And take the helmet of Salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17
So going to the “word of God” the Bible is a good guide; a good guide for any question about living in a meaningful way, especially toward the “others” around us.
If you follow these monthly BLOGS you will recall recently topics have been about others. The three main topics are INTIMACY with God, INTIMACY with God’s people, and INTIMACY with lost people. Notice two of the three are about our relationship with people. So I got to thinking about the “others” all around us.
There are at least 25 passages that fit this topic of considering “others”. Here are a few of them.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” 1 Thessalonians 4:18
"Be at peace with each other.” Mark 9:50
"In humility consider others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3
"Be kind and compassionate to one another." Ephesians 4:32
"Forgive each other." Ephesians 4:32
"Be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2
"Accept one another." Romans 15:7
"Spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Hebrews 10:24
ACTION POINTS: Pray for others
Prayer is a part of our lives
We often hear people talk about prayer. In times of despair we hear the word “prayer” mentioned most often. People talk about praying for a better job, or these other reasons; a car that runs, good health, and safety or in our case living in a senior community, for a wayward grandchild. If we really know someone well, we might pray for his or her marriage or other relationships. So most of the time prayer is about asking God for something to please us.
Recently, actually two weeks ago today I got a call from my wife who was with friends and she told me about massive heart attack of a dear friend of ours. I dropped everything and drove to the hospital in a city not far away. His wife and son were there and I was allowed into the room for two minutes.
He was completely unresponsive. I touched his arm and talked to him and prayed over him. I prayed for his healing. I prayed for God’s will for his life. My prayer included a phrase, “that if God needed him more in heaven with him for all eternity more than He needed him here with us for more years, let it be so. But we want him here with us for as long as God intends.”
My prayer was for God’s will to be manifested in the life of my friend. Here are two reasons why I believe this. It is in the Bible, the book of instruction for our life.
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” 1 John 5:14
“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” 3 John 3:2
And the Bible says something to comfort us during these times when we are praying for someone else.
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
So even as I write this I pray for his healing, for comfort from the Holy Spirit for his family. This is a traumatic time for his family.
Now, as commentator Paul Harvey would say, “now for the rest of the story!” The family decided to wait three days before removing life support. He improved somewhat and they waited a few more days. His son contacted me one week after the attack and told me, “dad has improved a bit and is hanging in there”. I went to visit him the next morning and his heart was strong, he was on a ventilator (artificial respiration) and was receiving daily kidney dialysis. That day after I left they successfully removed the ventilator. He responded by opening his eyes for the first time in a week, saw his wife and said “honey I love you, how long was I out, and who is watching my business?”
As I share this information with our mutual friends who were praying for him they say, “this is a miracle”. As prayer is discussed here perhaps “miracle” is a good study for another BLOG. I’m already thinking about it so, stay tuned for the next BLOG!
Most of the prayers recorded in the Bible are of another type though. When Jesus prayed for others, He prayed for their faith, He prayed against temptation in their lives, He prayed for their unity, and He prayed for their sanctification.
ACTION POINTS: Pray for others
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry.” Psalm 34:15
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,” 1 Timothy 2:1
FURTHER STUDY on the topic of PRAYER:
In my research about prayer Google came up with a site that was helpful for me. Perhaps you will enjoy it too.
In 1959 Nicolae Moldoveanu was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned for writing Christian songs considered to be “slanderous” to the formerly socialist state of Romania. He was also tortured, his arm torn from its socket, leaving him permanently disabled. Because of this handicap, Nicolae could not do hard labor, and he was denied the monthly package of food and clothing from home. He was forced to sleep on the hard, cold, damp floor beneath the bunk in his cell.
This hardship did not stop the music of inspiration from his lips. He obtained a piece of broken glass and coated it with soap so he could etch the words and music with a nail. After writing a song, he would teach it to his fellow prisoners, commit it to memory and clear the glass for yet another hymn of praise. During Nicolae’s prison years he penned more than 350 songs!
Although sentenced to 12 years, Nicolae was released after six years and told to stop. Writing Christian songs or he would be thrown back in prison. He replied by saying, “Just keep me here in prison and save yourself and me some trouble. I will never stop writing praise songs to my God.” Upon release he published the songs he had memorized during those bleak years, yet fruitful years.The Radio Voice of the Gospel network of Christian radio stations that Reach Beyond had helped establish across Romania play those songs that give praise to the Lord and encourage others to deepen their faith in Christ.
In 1999 I visited Nicolae and his wife in the single room they had called home for 51 years. They shared the kitchen and single bathroom with three other families who live in what was once a large single family home. In the corner he showed me a small box of clothes to keep him warm in case he ever had to return to prison.
Asked about his source of encouragement, Nicolae shared Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
David M. Kealy
1 Timothy 1:12 is a life verse that led to our creating Reaching People far from God