women’s program is coming to ABC Family May 31! ” IN THIS ISSUE One Paycheck Away from Homeless: The Wilson’s Story
Fixing Your Faith:
What to Do When It Doesn’t Seem to Be Working
Drenda Special Family Section MAY/JUNE 20110
WELCOME Features FIXING YOUR FAITH By Gary Keesee page 3
THE DREAM OF STARTING A FAMILY REVIVED By Drenda Keesee page 5
GOD LOOKS AT YOUR HEART By Marty Copeland page 8
IT ALL STARTS WITH THE FAMILY By Gary Keesee page 11
FAMILY VACATIONS ON A BUDGET By Amy KeeseeFreudiger page 13
Dear Friend, Welcome to your second issue of Faith Life Now News. Drenda and I are excited to announce that there are so many great things going on with the ministry that we’ve decided to expand the size of the magazine. We’re also thrilled to share with you that our new women’s program, Drenda, will be airing weekly on ABC Family beginning Tuesday, May 31 at 6:30 a.m.! Our mission at Faith Life Now has always been to share strategies to help you succeed in the areas of faith, family, and finances. This issue is packed with articles and resources to help you do just that. In this issue’s feature article on page 3, you’ll find an excerpt from what I believe is my MOST POWERFUL teaching to date: Fixing Your Faith: What to Do When It Doesn’t Seem to Be Working. This brand new resource completely covers the fundamentals of your Christian walk in ways you may have never heard before. You can discover more about the complete 7-CD Series on the insert included with this magazine. As promised, this issue is designed to help you experience the good life. There are several useful and interesting articles, as well as details about upcoming events and new products, and testimonies from people just like you and I. We hope you enjoy this issue. Of course, we welcome your feedback. Please visit us at faithlifenow.com and let us know what you think. As always, more information about the ministry, television shows, and events, can be found at GaryKeesee.com | Drenda.com Yours for the Kingdom,
ONE PAYCHECK AWAY FROM HOMELESS: The Wilson’s Story
In 2008, Teresa and Ray Wilson’s finances were bad. They owed $45,000 in credit card debt. Their personal situation wasn’t any better. Both their children were sick. Their son had a seizure, and they’d been told that his brain was growing out of the back of his skull. Their daughter had been diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dysfunction, which meant that the muscles in her eyes, hands, and upper body were underdeveloped, and she had a learning disability. She required occupational therapy and speech therapy every week. Their son required medication that cost $250 a month. Teresa had quit her job to take care of her children. The family was living paycheck to paycheck. “We were literally one check away from being homeless,” Teresa said. “I asked God, ‘Did you bring us here to kill us? Who wants my God? I can’t even minister to the homeless, Lord, because what would I tell them? God is good? I may be here homeless with you next week, but God is good!”
they were given opportunities to make additional income, they found missing money, and received unexpected increase. They also paid off their credit card debt and started a car sales business. “Three car lots have closed in our area,” Teresa said, “One of the lots couldn’t sell their cars, so now they sell us their cars at wholesale prices, so we can sell them!” Teresa and Ray’s amazing story just keeps going. She began to disciple her family and her sisters and now sees the Kingdom principles operating in their lives. In fact, they now minister out of their car lot. “I love to teach people about the Kingdom of God and how it operates!” she says, “Learn the principles and God WILL do above and beyond all you could think or imagine.”
Then Teresa found Gary’s teachings on the principles of the Kingdom of God and she and Ray decided to put it to the test. They began by sowing a seed of food for the homeless—two cups of soup, two small packages of crackers, and two small honey buns. They came into agreement that their son would be healed and that his medication would be paid for. Then they gave the food away and waited to hear from God. A few days later, their son’s nurse called to let Teresa know that the doctor had called the pharmaceutical company and that they had agreed to give her son the medication free for a year. She then went on to say that the most recent MRI had shown their son’s brain was completely normal and that there must have been a glitch in the way the “bad report” MRI was read. Teresa and Ray were shocked. They decided to sow another seed. Teresa and Ray now share their testimony of how the Kingdom principles work with everyone they meet. They share how their daughter’s medical bills were paid, she was healed of many of her sensory issues, We want to thank our partners for helping us share the messages of faith, family, and financial restoration around the world! Partnership allows the ministries of Faith Life Now to continue spreading the life-changing message of God’s Kingdom. For more information on the benefits of becoming a partner, please visit FAITHLIFENOW.com 2
FIXING YOUR FAITH
FAITH what to do when it doesn’t seem to be working By Gary Keesee
Have you ever felt desperate? Have you ever needed God to do something, and needed Him to do it quickly? We’ve all been there—in those situations where faith has to produce, where God has to show up. Several years ago, I knew a family who hit a deer and totaled one of their two cars. Then, two weeks later, the other car had the engine blow. That’s not a good place to be, right? So, they decided that they were going to believe God not to use debt to replace those vehicles, but the clock was ticking. They had a rental car, but it wouldn’t be for long. So, the day before the rental car had to be turned in, they got a phone call from a friend who didn’t know what had happened. That friend wanted to know if they knew of anyone who needed a car. When they explained what had happened to them, the friend gave them the car. That encouraged them, so they decided to believe God for a van that would fit their entire family. They
really wanted a Honda Odyssey, so they came into agreement as a family and released their faith for it. A few weeks after that, we stopped by their house and on their refrigerator was a big picture of a Honda Odyssey. Each time they opened the refrigerator, they would lay their hands on that picture and thank God for that van. About a week later, my secretary called me and said, “We had an unusual call this morning. Someone called and said they want to give the church a van.” Of course, she didn’t know what this family was believing God for, so I asked her, “What kind of van is it?” And, you can guess the rest of the story. That van was actually in really good condition. When my wife called the woman to share the news, she first asked her how they were doing with the car situation. The woman said, “We’re one day closer.”
Now, I don’t believe that was a coincidence. I know better. I’ve experienced the promises of God, and heard too many stories of the Kingdom operating in people’s lives. I believe that it’s vital that everyone learn how the Kingdom of God operates. In Luke 8:43, we read about the woman who was healed after touching Jesus’ cloak. This story illustrates a vital part of how the Kingdom of God operates. Jesus called the woman “daughter.” That meant she had a legal right to the covenant—she had a legal right to be healed. It wasn’t Jesus’ faith that caused her to be healed. It was her faith that caused her to be healed. She was fully persuaded that God was going to do what He said He was going to do—that’s faith. For faith to exist, you must be fully persuaded that God is going to do what He said He would do. You have to get it in your heart. God needs you to be in agreement with heaven, in your heart. You can’t beg hard enough, cry hard enough, fast hard enough, be good enough, or read the Bible more times to prove you have faith. He needs your heart. Your mind may agree with it, you may be able to quote the scripture, but what do you believe in your heart? You have to get it in your heart to be fully persuaded. See, God has to have someone in the earth realm who will come into agreement with heaven and carry the anointing. And, your heart is the interface for that agreement. When you are fully persuaded in your heart, and you pray, the anointing flows. Without that agreement, prayer is just a religious exercise. Now, once you get it in your heart, that doesn’t necessarily mean that things are going to change right at that moment. There are things that need to be done. There’s more to it than just having faith. You weren’t saved just by faith, but by doing also. We can have faith, but there are some things we have to do in order for are picture to match what’s in heaven: 1. You have to believe God. 2. You have to have direction from God. 3. You have to take action on that direction. The woman with the issue of blood believed God. She saw Jesus right in front of her and she took action. Sometimes we believe our heart is right, so we step out in faith and we take action and nothing happens. Then we get frustrated, disillusioned, and disappointed
with God’s Word because we’re not seeing the results that the Bible clearly says are legally ours. But, that’s a great place to be. I know. You’re thinking—this guy is nuts! How could he say that’s a great place to be? Because frustration is the breeding ground of change.
“God needs you to be fully persuaded that He’s going to do what He said He would do. You have to get it in your heart.” Have you ever built something that ended up not working? Ever stood back and looked at something you did and said, ‘Wait a minute. Something is wrong here?’ You got frustrated, right? Then you went back to the instructions you never bothered to read in the first place and you started dissecting everything and you realized you had a screw in the wrong place, a wire disconnected, and that you needed batteries. When you finally fixed the issues, and got it in alignment, it worked just like it was supposed to. The BIBLE is just like that. It’s supposed to work just like it says. If there’s a malfunction, it is NEVER on God’s end. So, now you know. If you’re there at the place of frustration, disappointment, or desperation, you have some changes to make. Think about what you really believe. Find the malfunction. Drill down until you figure out where you’ve missed it. Go back to the Word of God and make sure your heart is right. Read the instruction manual and make sure you have the right picture on the inside. Then, go after the picture as hard as you can. Watch the changes that take place. Watch the stories show up. Watch the mountains move. Get more resources to help you raise a godly family at faithlifenow.com
Get the 7-Disc Fixing Your Faith CD SET! View your insert for details on this POWERFUL NEW teaching!
Watch on beginning May 31 at 6:30am!
The Dream of Starting a Family Revived!
My vision is to heal broken women in part because women are the heart of the family. Statistics scream that families need saved, especially in America. That’s one of the reasons we’re launching the Drenda program on ABC Family on Tuesday, May 31. The program will air on Angel One as well, but it isn’t just the people who watch Christian television who need their home lives renovated, renewed and revived, it’s our entire culture. In fact, in the last fifty years, there has been a concerted effort to radically change the foundational principles of family life that have existed forever. This has occurred in other centuries and cultures, and they didn’t survive the attack. Eventually, the way the family goes is the way the society goes as well. Examine life in Ancient Rome and you get the picture. Rome fell because it became such a pleasure-seeking, selfserving culture. Babies were killed and thrown outside the city, games of brutality and perverse, erotic desires were played, and, eventually, society went down the road of self-destruction, away from the commitments (and may I say the ultimate rewards) of investing into marriage, family, and someone other than self.
There is nothing new under the sun, as Solomon so wisely stated. We see the same pattern that brought Rome down as a mere rehearsal compared to the full-fledged production of present times. In the last ten years, the pace to do away with the traditional family has picked up so quickly that no one dare bring up an argument against cohabitation, homosexuality, or abortion without being called out by the media voices as an intolerant bigot with archaic views. I was recently speaking to a new friend about a late night talk show host that named her husband the second meanest man in America. This show said that he refused to perform a funeral for a homosexual man simply because he had stated that multiple pictures and presentations demonstrating the man’s homosexual lifestyle could not be paraded. The church was willing to do the funeral, but only required that the homosexual lifestyle not be lauded in the service. The pastor was lambasted by the media for his moral conviction, yet they failed to mention that the church had supported the family with meals, and other expressions of compassion.
Such is the controversy of our day. There are many who predict the family as we have known it will no longer exist a generation from now. Our young children could encounter the same type of discrimination and intolerance against their belief in marriage (as modeled by you) by the time they become of marital age. This is just one of the reasons I am determined to create a talk show that honors what I consider to be the greatest plan on earth—the family—while giving women inspiration, mentorship, encouragement, and tools to live their dreams within the family of God. I believe there is a whole new generation of young women who are not necessarily in love with the outcomes of the feminist movement, which have left so many women with careers but not caring husbands or children, and a divorce rate that is unbelievably high. Why was the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate such a celebrated and highly acclaimed event in the lives of people all over the world? Because deep in the heart of every young woman there is a dream and a desire for true love and a happily-ever-after. That is the plan of God, and it’s one thing that the talk show hosts seem to destroy with their propaganda. I hope you will join me in what I believe is more than just a talk show, but rather a movement to bring women into emotional, relational, and spiritual wholeness; women who may not step into a church, but need to hear there is an alternative to the “alternative” lifestyles that have been pushed on them.
TIPS TO MENDING (OR PREVENTING) A BROKEN FAMILY What if, instead of allowing our kids to run around with their friends constantly, sending them away to camp, or letting them watch movies or play video games all the time this summer, we used their vacation time as an opportunity to start mending a broken family, or better yet, preventing one? Sure, it will take some sacrifice, a strong commitment, an unselfish investment, and consistent discipline, but the reward is worth the work. The greatest way to keep your children on track is to provide them with a strong, communicating, loving family that knows how to pull away from others and protect their love for one another. It’s important to say you love each other, but it’s not enough. You have to demonstrate it by SPENDING TIME TOGETHER, by investing in one another. Here are some ways you can do this: • Have a family day once a week. Let a different family member choose the “perfect day” each week, keeping in budget, of course. • Pray on family day, even if only for a few minutes. Remember: the attention span of children is only one minute per year of age. • Plan a break away from everyone and everything except your spouse and children.
Get the complete first chapter of She Get’s It! at
You can support the ministry and get involved in this opportunity to change lives by visiting Drenda.com Be sure to check out our resources on topics like love, faith, health, fitness, relationships, fashion, and motherhood while you’re there!
• Engage teens in the planning process. Let them help you with research, reservations, and ideas. Remember: Adventure is important, and can make you “way cool” to your teen. • Find something to do together. Nearly any activity done together can inspire communication. Learn how to do family ‘God’s way.’ Read Drenda’s book, She Gets IT, available in bookstores and at drenda.com
– Audrey, Hong Kong
Drenda Keesee is one of my pastors. Her life story is inspiring and, in the two years I have been going to the church, I have enjoyed getting to know her and benefited from all her teaching. The love she has for Jesus just shines out of her daily living. My husband, Nick, and I learned so much from Drenda and Gary’s marriage seminar and all the other seminars they have had. I am blessed by this woman. :)
A wholesome women’s program is so needed on our TV and you are it! I really appreciate that your program can be viewed on your website because I live in Hong Kong. I look forward to Wednesdays when I can watch your show online. I am a South African woman living with my husband in Hong Kong. We have two adult children ages 26 and 25. We, as a family, love the Lord and serve him in anyway we can, so we appreciate your family as you go about sharing the truth.
– Leah, Columbus, OH
Contrary to the voices that shout at us from the television, movie screen, billboards and magazines, and sometimes even those around us, we aren’t defined by how we look. Yes, I exercise and eat right. Yes, I know that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that my goal is to honor God with a lifestyle of progressive health and fitness. However, I balance that with God’s Word, which says that, while man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart (I Samuel 16:7). I encourage you to meditate on that scripture over and over again. It’s so freeing! The Word makes it clear that God loves us no matter how we look or what we weigh. His unconditional love for us frees us from trying to become something unattainable. I felt so silly when this revelation lifted the blinders from my eyes, and mind, after so many years and countless attempts at seeking after a better body. It took many years and much spiritual growth before I understood what makes me valuable. If you are challenged with low self-esteem like I was, allow yourself to be loved by God for who you are—for who He made you to be—from the inside out. When you were born again, God recreated your spirit in His image. Your heart is full of love, joy, peace, meekness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, endurance and selfcontrol. Romans 8:29 says we are predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, Christ Jesus. Our reborn spirit is like God’s, and has the potential and His calling to become more and more like Him.
God Looks at Your Heart By Marty Copeland
for your life. Accept yourself the way you are today, knowing that His love is unconditional and that He looks at your heart. Self acceptance is freeing. It takes the pressure off and allows our health and fitness goals to be about honoring God in our bodies, instead of trying futilely to prove, either to ourselves or to others, that we are valuable because of how we look. We must get to the place where any effort we make toward self-improvement should be a decision based in freedom and not under pressure. This is a right and privilege of any child of God. I pray that God will bless you as you progress in your understanding of who you are in Him and how much He loves you. There is nothing more powerful than a person who knows who they are in Christ Jesus.
Marty Copeland has experienced God’s power in the areas of weight loss, overeating, and low self-esteem. As a Master Personal Trainer, Nutritional Guidance Counselor, author, speaker, wife, and mother of three, Marty’s mission is to bring hope and deliverance to anyone desiring a healthier, more abundant life. For more information, please visit higherfitness.com
Don’t be like I was and waste years trying to be something you can’t be. Realize that God made your spirit, your soul, and your body and that He has a plan 8
LETTERS FROM YOU
This experience with the power of God has completely changed her and I am so excited! We share scriptures now every day, and she is constantly asking questions about who God really is. Thank you so much for teaching as you do! We are so blessed to benefit from all the Lord has shared with you!” -Dawniel, Leawood, KS
“I had some upcoming dental bills in the amount of $13,400. The CEO (at the company I worked for) announced that he was selling the company. While all the employees received an unexpected bonus check (as a result of the sale), mine was well over TEN TIMES the amount of theirs. I then received two additional bonus checks, which completely covered the entire amount of my dental bills!” – Arianna, Columbus, OH
“We just wanted to thank you so much for your ministry. We began listening to your teaching over a year ago. We were always tithers and givers, but found ourselves in a ton of debt. We began to apply the biblical principals to our finances and every other part of our lives - especially as Drenda’s blog teaches unity in our marriage. We had a long period of waiting, but praise God, in less than a month, we have paid off $65,400 worth of debt! Our cars are now debt free, and all credit cards and lines of credit are paid in full! I now have the faith to believe that the Lord will also give us a way to pay off our home! It isn’t up to me to figure out how God will do it. It’s up to Him, and to us to continue applying the principles laid out in the Word of God! Thank you again for your awesome ministry! – William & Laura, China Spring, TX
“Someone anonymously put your CDs along with $100 cash in my sisters mailbox about a month ago. When she came to visit for Christmas, she shared them with me. I am on my second round of listening to them. Whenever I’m in the car, I have one playing. My two children have heard bits and pieces and we have talked some about the principles you teach. Last Sunday, my 13-year old daughter wasn’t feeling well. She accompanied me that afternoon to a friend’s house and of course I had the CDs on during the drive to and from. When we got home, I took her temperature and she had a fever and was complaining of body aches. I gave her some medicine and tucked her into bed. I awoke in the middle of the night to check on her and her fever had gone up. I went to get medicine and, when I returned to her room, she said “Mom, I was laying here thinking, will you agree with me in prayer?” I said, “Of course!” and we prayed together for her healing. Immediately, her temperature began to drop and she said she trusted God to heal her. When I got up a few hours later for work, she was perfectly well!
“I sowed a seed of $37 in February believing that God would expand my youth basketball program from 70 to 150 kids. On March 15, I had an event and more than 155 kids joined my program! Last year, I was barely producing. My income was very low and the youth basketball program was my only source of income. At the time, I was only able to pay myself $1,500 a month. Now, I am able to pay myself $5,000 a month! I also hired a full-time administrator that I pay very well, and a full-time assistant that helps me run different programs. Thank you again for your inspiration and wisdom. I am so excited for my family and businesses!” – Coach Lee, Lewisville, TX
It All Starts with the
Fa mily By Gary Keesee
We’ve all seen it. The little kid having a temper tantrum in the aisle at the grocery store because he wants some fruit snacks, the tween girl rolling her eyes at her parents in a restaurant, or the teenager sitting in the back of church texting. ‘No’ is usually one of the first words kids use when they start to talk. That’s the way the flesh is set up. That’s why authority isn’t a popular topic. Our undisciplined flesh cringes at the word and seeks to rebel. But that’s not the way God set things up. God sets up authority for our own good. In fact, He set us up from the very beginning to be under authority—in a family. God has always had a divine purpose for family. He didn’t just want you to have a few people to go get ice cream with. The Bible says to “be fruitful, fill the earth and subdue it.” To subdue means to conquer
and to bring under subjection. His desire was that His administration and righteousness fill the earth. He literally designed family so that the knowledge of His Kingdom would be passed on to future generations. Now, the devil has figured this out. He’s caught on to what God wants to do with families and he does everything he can to prevent that. He brings pain, sorrow, and confusion into our families. He does whatever he has to do to erode righteousness and bring rebellion, because he knows, as God does, that how your family goes is how you’re going to go. This applies to children being raised in a family, as well as the adults trying to run a family. Paul talks about this in I Timothy 3. He tells us that a man who can’t manage his own family can’t manage the church. Really, if a man can’t manage his own family, he can’t manage much of anything.
Managing your family properly starts with order brought with love. Paul tells us that God established a divine order for the family: Christ is the head of the man, man is the head of the wife, and children are under the parents. Ephesians 6 says, “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. ‘Honor your father and mother.’ This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” If a child learns obedience and respect in his parent’s house, he’ll be able to respect authorities in the world, and he’ll live a long life. It all starts with the family. This divine order God established is for our protection and blessing. We find an example of this in Matthew 8:5. A Roman officer came to Jesus asking that he heal his sick servant. But when Jesus said he would go, the officer shocked Jesus by saying, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” The officer was able to receive from Jesus because he had been trained to respect authority. He knew Jesus had authority and he interpreted Jesus’ words through his own understanding of how he would respond to a directive.
When you don’t train a child to respect authority, or you let him go his own way or choose when he’s going to obey, when he begins to try to come to God in faith, he’s going to filter that through his own perception of how he would obey a directive. Many adults have nullified their faith because they can’t see themselves under God. They have authority issues. And, unless you’re submitted under God’s authority, you don’t have any authority in your own life. Training starts in the family. Until your child becomes a born-again believer, it’s the law of God, the covenants, and the commandments that teach, instruct, and give them boundaries. Their ability to learn respect in the home will carry right out of the house, into the world, and into their relationship with God. If they can’t respect their parents, they won’t respect God. If you can’t respect, you can’t receive. There is no better place to start change than in your family. So, take the time to love, instruct, and discipline. Model righteousness. Don’t just live in the same house. Talk to each other. Spend time together. Protect what they see and do and hear. Deal with conflict quickly. Establish order and authority. Posture your family to walk in the promises. More family resources by Gark and Drenda Keesee can be found at FaithLifeNow.com
Service Times: Saturdays at 6:00 pm Sundays at 9:30 am & 11:30 am 2407 Beech Road Johnstown, OH 43031
FAMILY VACATIONS ON A BUDGET
by Amy Keesee-Freudiger
It’s summer vacation time and, boy, do I have my share of wild and crazy family vacation stories! Whether we were riding in an RV on downtown San Francisco’s steep grades (my poor father!), hiking through Alaskan bear country at dusk singing at the top of our lungs (yikes!) or taking in an opera in Vienna, Austria (that’s more like it!), my parents made sure we experienced the world. They also showed us that it’s possible to do it all without busting the bank. Here are a few things I’ve learned about getting a lot of vacation for a little money: LODGING: • Rent a house. It’s usually cheaper to rent a house for a week than it is to stay in a hotel. Sites like Vrbo.com are a great help. Once, we rented an Italian manor to fit seven people for a week in the Tuscan hills. The cost: $800. • Go camping. Our U.S. national parks are truly amazing places to camp. I’ve seen more than 40 of the 58 parks, and each one is special. Check out nps.gov. You can purchase a parks family pass for $50 per year. Then pack up the gear (get it used on craigslist or ebay) and get out there. FOOD: • Visit daily deal websites. Sites like restaurant.com provide restaurant deals in the area you’ll be visiting. • Buy an Entertainment coupon book. Buy one specific to the area you plan to visit and it will also work as a miniguidebook! entertainment.com • Ask a local. The people who live in an area know where you can avoid expensive tourist traps and get the best value for your money. • Take a picnic. There’s nothing more memorable than heading out into the mountains for an alfresco affair. OTHER: • Enroll in rewards programs. My husband and I racked up $3000 worth of rewards in just a year as newlyweds thanks to some wise planning. • Have it all covered on a cruise. Cruises are cheapest a year before or within a month of sailing. We purchased a 13-day family cruise from Florida to Rome for just $550/ person because we booked it a year out.
You don’t have to spend your life savings to build lasting memories with your family. Life is too short to use money or time as excuses. Don’t miss your opportunity. Share an adventure with your family!
Amy Keesee-Freudiger is the Executive Ministry Director at Faith Life Church. She also co-hosts the Drenda program, and appears in the television broadcast Fixing the Money Thing. Amy holds a degree in Fine Arts from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and in Biblical Studies from Logos Christian College. Amy has also released Life Done Right, her original pop album project. For more information please visit Amyshelaine.com
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