Pastor Keith’s Blog

A Tuesday Evening Service In Haiti

   On Monday the team had gone into the community inviting people to the evening service and praying for the needs of the  people.  At one home there was a young girl who, when asked what she wanted prayer for, immediately asked to accept Jesus Christ into her life.  Tuesday night was the first church service that she had ever been to.  She felt awkward coming into the building, but when inside and among the people she enjoyed the singing and the service.  She said that she felt wonderful and that she would be back again on Sunday.  Her life was changed.
  On Tuesday evening 200 people from the church and community joined to see the Jesus Video, part 2.  Many of the ones who had invited Jesus into their lives during the day were at the service. We stopped the video just before Jesus was crucified and explained how Jesus actuality laid down His life. It was not that people killed Him without Him knowing it, but in love He chose to allow himself to be crucified.  We explained how individuals need to trust in the work of Jesus and the forgiveness which He provides.  Many people feel that life is just what you live here on earth. “When you are dead you are dead”, so we talked about how in our heart and minds we know that there is more to life.  God has put a sense of eternity into our hearts so that we might seek after him.  Without an eternity, then there is really no purpose for the present life.  Many people raised their hands and prayed to receive the Lord.  The pastor was greatly encouraged.
    After the watching of the Jesus Video we took time to pray for people to be healed.  Many shoulders and ankles were touched through prayer and through words of knowledge.  We then prayed for other specific needs of the people.
  God constantly showed how much He cared for those who were distant from Him.  His love, power and forgiveness was present.  These same attributes of God are also available to us, if we  will look to Him.

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Monday Night In Haiti

The Jesus Video is a well-made film documenting the life of Jesus Christ following the Gospel of Luke.  Through the afternoon our short term mission team to Haiti had gone door to door inviting people to an evening service and the showing of the Jesus Video.  As we went from house to house we also prayed for the various needs of the people that the team met.
   In typical Haitian fashion the 5:30 service started with few people in attendance, yet as the singing took place, the sound being broadcast through the loud speakers indicated that something was happening and slowly the people gather in the church building.  By the time we started showing the Jesus Video the building was full, and those that were more skeptical were watching through the doorways.
   For a culture of illiterate people, to see and hear the life and teaching of Jesus in video format is a powerful asset.  The Jesus Video is a wonderful tool to communicate the good news about God’s love and work through Jesus.
   At the end of the first 1/2 of the video we presented the gospel, multitudes raised their hands to respond to the gospel invitation.  We then prayed for physical needs.  Some people with hip problems and difficulties with their elbows were healed through words of knowledge, the team then prayed for many people with physical illnesses.
   There is something powerful that takes place when the nature and good news of Jesus is shared with other people.  Romans 10:14 provides us with the understanding that “how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?”
  During this Christmas season allow God to work through you, share God’s love and goodness with others.  Let people know why Jesus came to earth, and then anticipate that He will work in people’s lives.
   

 

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Me Make A Golden Calf?

Many times we have heard of the story in Exodus 32:1-4 of when the children of Israel became impatient because Moses delays coming down from the mountain, so they made a golden calf and worshiped it.  In disgust we might think of how foolish these Israelites are that they gave up on God so quickly.  But as I pondered over this verse I kept wondering, “Have I ever made a golden calf?”  Now the answer for this question is an obvious no, I’ve never made a golden calf, I have no idols around me, nor do I have enough gold to even consider making a golden calf or any other item.   However this golden calf was made during a time of impatience.  Have I ever been impatient and if so, what was the root behind that impatience?
   The children of Israel had waited for 40 days and Moses had not returned, yet I have I been impatient when waiting for something much less than 40 days?  Sometimes when waiting for only 10 minutes, or less, I have become impatient.  In waiting I get irritated, frustrated, sharp toned in my voice, I get anxious or sometimes even angry.  No, I have never made a golden calf but perhaps the times of waiting have shown that there is already an idol in my heart, an idol that is so precious to me that when I cannot have it immediately fulfilled I become impatient.  Because this thing is precious to me, not being able to wait, causes wrong responses to well up within me.
   I have asked myself, does having to wait for other people or situations make me feel that I am not valued, that I am not important, that my time is wasted, that people don’t recognize my authority or place within the organization?  Does it show that others do not understand how much of my money is being wasted or how important this thing is to me?  Does the waiting seem to belittle me, or manipulate me, does it bring frustration because of unfulfilled projects or plans?    If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it shows that I have already build up an idol within my heart.  An idol that is controlling my emotions and actions, an idol that needs to be removed before it causes me to be destroyed through wrong conduct.
  Having to wait, being patient, is a good thing, it is a fruit of the Spirit that comes from a life rooted in Jesus Christ.  The lack of patience shows an area of our life that is built upon wrong expectations.  Lord Jesus, thank you for revealing where our hearts are, help me to build my life upon You instead of other things.

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The Delay

For 40 days Moses is on Mount Sinai receiving direction and instructions from God.  In his absence the Children of Israel grow impatient, there has been no news from their leader and so Exodus 32:1 states, “Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
   It is interesting that “when the people saw that Moses delayed”, then they constructed an image to worship as god.  It was not God who delayed returning, but Moses who delayed.  There was a direct correlation between the actions of the leader and the impatience of the people, and a god being created.  One might ask, what did delaying of the leader have to do with making an image of a god?  Usually when a leader isn’t around, if he fails to meet the obligation of being a leader, or fails to fulfill the expectations of the people, then the people appoint a different leader, but in this situation they appointed a different god.
   God does say to Moses in Exodus 4:16 that Aaron would work together with Moses, but specifically that Moses would be like a representative of God to Aaron and Exodus 7:1 says that God had made Moses to be so influential in the eyes of Pharaoh that Moses was like a god in the eyes of Pharaoh.  There is something about good leadership that can help people rightly see God and in the same way bad leadership can distort the image that people have of God.  That is why whenever there was poor leadership in the Old Testament, the people tended to be distant from God and would have no strong spiritual desires.  Poor leadership can also cause frustrations to grow within the people as the people feel that they are not being cared for by the leaders, but as well because it seems like God also does not care for them in their situations.
   It is no wonder that we are exhorted to pray for those in authority that we might live quiet and peaceful lives with godliness and reverence, (1 Tim 2:1,2).  Take some extra time to pray that God would direct and work through the leadership that is around you.

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