Summer 2012 Issue
IN THIS ISSUE 7
What Story Are You Sharing? by Gary Keesee
11 20 Minutes of Turbulence by April Osteen Simons
DEAR FRIEND, If you’re anything like us, the onset of summer doesn’t necessarily mean that you get to slow down. While we try to make time to relax a little, sit on the patio, enjoy the pool, and spend time with the people we care about, summer is just as fast-paced as any other season, if not more so! But now that we’re in the middle of the year, it’s important that we stop for a minute and take a look at the course we’ve set ourselves on for the remainder of the year. Ask yourself these questions:
• How is my year going? • What have I accomplished? • Am I moving toward my goals? • How are my relationships with others, and with God?
Now, you might find that you’re happy with where you’re heading and that you’d be thrilled to stay on the same path for the rest of the year. Or, you might find that you don’t like your answers at all. You may even discover that you’re worn out, running out of juice, or just plain tired. Either way, we know how you feel. No matter where you find yourself, this summer issue of Faith Life Now News is for you! In addition to the same encouraging features you’re used to seeing, like “Letters from You”, a “Life Revolution” story, and dates for important upcoming events, we’ve included a teaching from our 2012 Provision Conference, an article on how to get reconnected with your loved ones, God, and your purpose, and a special bonus feature from April Osteen Simons. The entire issue is designed to encourage you and to help you get recharged so that you can press on to make 2012 your best year yet. We’d love to hear what you thought of this issue, and what’s happening in your life. Please contact us at faithlifenow.com to share your story, or your prayer requests. As always, more information about the ministry, television shows, and events can be also be found at
Together we are winning in life!
P.S. – Stay charged up and encouraged by watching Faith Life Now programs every day on Daystar! • Fixing the Money Thing airs Monday-Thursday at 5:30pm (ET)/ 4:30pm (CT) • Drenda airs every Friday at 5:30pm (ET)/ 4:30pm (CT)
Visit faithlifenow.com and drenda.com for additional program times.
A LIFE REVOLUTION:
Stephen & Sarah’s Story
It was during a teaching series on healing that Sarah says she really began to understand that she didn’t have to live with asthma any longer. “I realized that I had trusted the words of doctors over THE Word, God’s Word, the Bible,” she says. “I had been missing out on my healing all those years!” Sarah had always kept her inhaler inside of her purse in a place with easy access in case she needed it, but when she began to confess healing over her body, she replaced the inhaler. “I wrote healing scriptures on scrap pieces of paper and put them in the place the inhaler had been,” she says. “Whenever I began to feel like I needed the inhaler, I would pull out the scriptures instead, and confess them.” When Stephen and Sarah Traylor decided to move from Pennsylvania because of a work transfer, they had several options. Columbus, Ohio was one of them. “At the time, we felt almost as if we were drifting,” Stephen says. “Columbus seemed like the right move for some reason. We felt drawn to that option every time we discussed it.”
Sarah went from using her inhaler every day to no longer needing it at all. She was completely healed of asthma!
While visiting Columbus before the move, the Traylors began searching for both a home and a church to attend. Stephen says they were driving around the New Albany area looking at houses when they found they needed to turn around. They just so happened to drive past the Faith Life Church (FLC) building. “We turned around in the driveway and it seemed like just a coincidence at the time,” he says. “But looking back, we know that it wasn’t an accident that we found FLC.” After moving to Columbus, they attended a weekend service and it was their first and last stop on their hunt for a home church.
When they moved to Columbus, they knew that they wanted a home with plenty of land for their two boys to run and play. Since their first home in Columbus wasn’t quite what they wanted, they decided to look for something that was a better fit for their family—a home with several acres of land and and in a certain price range.
The Traylors say Gary and Drenda’s teachings began to take hold in their hearts right away. “We were just amazed by all of the things that we had been missing in the Kingdom of God,” Stephen says. “We both had been raised in church, but we never knew the principles of the Kingdom of God and what it could mean to our daily lives.” When they moved to Ohio, Sarah found herself constantly battling asthma, as she had for most of her life—she would use inhalers daily to fight the symptoms.
Sarah’s healing is just one of the many ways the Traylors have seen the principles of the Kingdom of God change their lives.
After finding that the homes that met their criteria cost more than they wanted to spend, they agreed in faith for a home, even though they were told that their chances were slim that they would find what they were looking for.
“We both had been raised in church, but we never knew the principles of the Kingdom of God and what it could mean to our daily lives.”
“I realized that I had trusted the words of doctors over THE Word, God’s Word, the Bible!”
Looking back, Stephen says they are both still amazed. “We thought we had missed a great opportunity,” he says. “But God had one even better lined up for us, waiting for the right moment.” Stephen and Sarah say her healing and their home are just two examples of the goodness of the Kingdom of God they have seen in their lives. “We know there is so much more to come!” Stephen says. “We’re so excited to see what’s next!”
After finding a home that seemed just right for them, but encountering problems, Stephen and Sarah say their faith was tested, but they knew that God’s Word is true and that their home was out there somewhere. During the process of the problems with the other home, the Traylors came across a foreclosed property that was sitting vacant. The house needed some work and investment put into it, but the property was exactly what they were looking for! It even had an in-ground pool, a large pond for their boys to fish in, and space to accommodate all of their needs. After negotiating with the bank, they ended up purchasing the property for nearly half of what they would have spent on the previous home, even after repairs and remodeling!
Do you have a story to share about how the ministries of Faith Life Now have helped change your life? Do you have a prayer request? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us at:
1.888.391.LIFE P.O. Box 779 New Albany, OH 43054
1.877.89.GETIT PO Box 647 New Albany, OH 43054
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 with Gary, Drenda, and Faith Life Now, please visit our websites and click on “Donate.”
by Gary Keesee
Drenda and I went to Australia recently for a conference. While we were there, we had this guy named Matt who was driving us to the meetings and taking care of us. When we got done with the conference, Matt asked me if I wanted to go crab fishing with him. I didnâ€™t know anything about crab fishing, but I said sure. We had dinner planned that night and we were hoping to have crab included in that meal, so I asked Matt how many people were going to be there. When he said 10-12 people or so, I figured we needed about 1520 crabs. So, we start throwing these pots in the water (because itâ€™s not really fishing, you just throw pots out
with bait in them), and I was blessing them in the name of Jesus, and thanking God for the 15-20 crabs. And Drenda was in another boat putting pots out with our daughter, Kirsten, and she was also thanking the Lord for an abundant catch. At the end of the day we had 18 crabs. Now, that didnâ€™t mean anything to me except we had caught exactly what I had believed God for. But driving back from the dock, Matt called his father, who was preparing supper, because he wanted to know how much chicken and steak he needed to buy for the meal that evening.
Matt called him on the Bluetooth connection in his car, so his dad’s voice was coming through the radio. When Matt told him how many crabs we caught, his dad went nuts yelling, “Praise God! Hallelujah! God is good! You got 18? Wow, God is so good!” He just went on and on for more than a minute like that. I asked Matt what the deal was. That’s when I found out that they normally only catch three crabs.
been preached to the poor.” He was basically saying, “Go back and tell John we caught 18 crabs!” He talked about the RESULTS of the Kingdom, the stories of the Kingdom, and the people’s lives that were changed. People want to see the results of the Kingdom. They
Matt went on to tell me that he fishes for crab every week. “When I heard you teach all weekend about the Kingdom, I thought, ‘I’m going to stretch and believe for six crabs by Kingdom law just like you teach,’” he said. “I’ve never heard of anyone catching 18 before.” I got an email from him recently. He said he’s been out catching a ton of crab and people have been asking him how he’s catching so many. He said he tells them, “I’ve got a method that works every single time now. It’s the Kingdom of God.” Matt and his brother are over there talking about more than just Scriptures. They’re talking about crabs! A lot of crabs! See, Mark 16:15 tells us to go into the world and share the good news of the gospel, but we misinterpret the term “good news.” John 3:16 tells us how much God loves people and how important people are to Him, but in case you haven’t noticed, John 3:16 isn’t good news to the world. It doesn’t mean a thing to them.
like to hear good news. They want to know that there is hope for them and for their situation. The problem is there are too many Christians who don’t have much good news to share. They have religion, but they don’t have much good news. And, the devil loves that, because no one wants to serve a God like that. Without the stories that bring evidence that the Kingdom is real, and here, then there is no hope. So many Christians hear, “Go share the Gospel” and think they’re supposed to share John 3:16, or be able to quote all kinds of Scripture. But sharing the Kingdom is easy! The good news of the Kingdom is YOU! It’s the impact the Kingdom has had in your life. So, tell people your stories. That’s what people want. They want to know how you caught more than three crabs. They want to know how your marriage is no longer falling apart, or how you got out of debt, or how you aren’t sick anymore. You should be demonstrating results that are different than what the world normally sees. Continued
The world is looking for the good news that says they can have 18 crabs instead of three, that they can have their bills paid, and their house paid off. When John the Baptist wanted to be sure that Jesus was the promised Messiah, he sent a few of his disciples to find out if Jesus was the one. When they asked Jesus if He was the one to come, He didn’t start quoting Isaiah or Jeremiah, or any of the many prophecies about Him to prove He was the one. No, he said, “Tell John what you have seen—the blind eyes are opened, people are healed, lepers are cleansed, and good news has
I tell stories. I tell plenty of stories when I teach about how Drenda and I came to understand how the Kingdom works, how to apply those laws, and then how we watched the incredible things that happened in our lives as a result. I have seen so many stories. I know the Kingdom works just like the Bible says. And, the good news of the Kingdom is that you can have the same results! There is hope. There is a new life for
you. Give your heart to God and let him teach you about how His Kingdom works. Drenda and I know you will never regret it. Pretty soon you will have your own stories of how the Kingdom of God changed your life. Get ready to tell everyone you know. *Excerpts from this article were taken from the 2012 Provision Conference Session One with Gary Keesee
Gary Keesee is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, financial expert, and pastor who has a passion for helping people win in life, especially in the areas of faith, family, and finances. Gary and his wife Drenda have created several successful businesses, and are the founders of Faith Life Now, which produce two television programs—Fixing the Money Thing and Drenda, worldwide conferences like the annual PROVISION Conference, and many practical resources. The Keesees also pastor Faith Life Church in Ohio.
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by April Osteen Simons A few months ago, I was on a plane travelling from London to Dallas. Thankfully, the flight had been uneventful without even a trace of turbulence. Before we knew it, the captain came over the speaker and informed us we would be on the ground in twenty minutes. Even though it was an easy flight, we were ready to get off the plane and be home. Not more than five minutes later, the flight suddenly began to get bumpy and, without warning the plane took a considerable drop down. I don’t know how much it actually dropped, but it was enough to make us lose our stomachs. We looked at each other and my girls and friends began to laugh. I was trying to giggle, but it was more of a nervous noise accompanied by a smile on my face.
A minute later, the plane dropped again. It was crazy! The drink I was holding flew up in the air and went all over my daughter in front of me. I was getting a little nervous and that wasn’t even the end of it! Just moments later, our calm, pleasant flight experienced yet another drop. There was no more laughing. I quickly looked up after the third incident to see what the flight attendants were doing. I reasoned that if they were calm and walking around everything must be fine. But that wasn’t happening! The flight attendants hurriedly found available seats and buckled up quickly. This didn’t help what I was feeling inside. In fact, at that point, my prayer life took on a whole new level!
“God, if you’re really there…God I have kids at home that need me…my husband needs me…I’m too young to die.” I was quoting scriptures, asking for forgiveness, singing hymns in my head…I think I even got bornagain, again! I know, it’s pitiful, but I was desperate and giving it my all.
Often, it’s easy to get so intensely wrapped up in the moment that, if we’re not careful, we’ll lose sight of how far God has brought us. The good news is we made it back! The third “plunge” in the air marked the end of the excitement on the flight from Hades, err, I mean London. I’m sure those last minute prayers of mine really pulled us through! I was never so glad to see the ground in all of my life. As I look back on the whole experience, I can’t believe the way I reacted. Now, mind you, no one knew I was really scared. I said nothing out loud; it was all an inward battle. But still, I had talked to God like He hadn’t been there at all. I questioned His whereabouts. I wondered if He knew what I was experiencing. I was so focused on the last 20 minutes of turbulence that I lost sight of the nine hours and forty minutes of calm, uninterrupted peace. The few moments of uneasiness totally consumed me to the point that all I began envisioning was the worst. Often, it’s easy to get so intensely wrapped up in the moment that, if we’re not careful, we’ll lose sight of how far God has brought us. Our present “drop” in life will overshadow the greatness of our God. If you think about it, that’s exactly what the enemy would like. If he can interrupt our lives in such a way that it becomes our sole focus, he’s strategically succeeded in getting our mind off of the One who can help us through the situation.
Recently, I prayed with a woman who believed God for a miracle in her marriage. She stood on the Word, tried her best at home and would often come back and give me an update. Honestly, most of the time she would complain. She would continually tell me everything that was wrong. I would ask her if there was any progress and, with a scowl on her face, she eluded to a hint of positive change, but I could tell it wasn’t to her approval. It was neither quick enough nor good enough in her eyes. What’s amazing is God had really moved in her marriage, yet she couldn’t see it. She focused solely on the end result, where she wanted it to be, and she couldn’t see the miracles that had taken place along the way. Specific prayers that had been answered were clouded by her expectation of instant marital bliss. It resulted in her being in a constant state of unhappiness and unpleasantness. It’s important when life gives us a challenge that we don’t lose sight of God’s faithfulness. How? Well, you may be sick in your body, but thank God that you woke up this morning and have yet another day to be alive. If you’re believing God for a miracle in your family, stop focusing on everything that is wrong and begin to thank God for the few things that are right! You’re not thanking God for the trouble; you’re thanking Him for being there in the midst of the trouble!
Remember, there is nothing taking place in your life that catches God off guard. In other words, we need to stop and look for the miracles along the way. Remember, there is nothing taking place in your life that catches God off guard. Psalm 94:14 says, “God will never walk away from His people.” He is well able to see you through the most difficult of situations. In fact, He’s known for doing the impossible…even at 20,000 feet!
April Simons is passionate about waking up the warrior in women. She teaches “CHIKS” how to get through life with God’s grace and power and a whole lot of backbone. Her messages inspire women to discover their Godgiven potential and fulfill the awesome plan He has for their lives. April and her husband, Gary, pastor High Point Church in Arlington, Texas. They have five amazing children.
by Drenda Keesee
Living in a multi-faceted, high-tech, high demand world brings almost constant pressure that can take its toll on all of us after a while. When was the last time you wanted to “just get away” to a quiet place to think, to recover, to be renewed in spirit, soul and body? Pressure has always been a part of life, and the desire to get away, or escape, has always been the cry from people looking for rest and a way to reconnect with themselves and their loved ones. Apparently this was true, even in early history. In Psalm 55:5-8 David said, “Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me. So I said, ‘Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.’” Sounds like he was crying out for an escape, a vacation! Everyone needs to take breaks—ones that are long enough to allow us to regain our focus, to stretch our ability to handle
pressure, and to see the “why” behind the “what.” We all can get so busy running and doing that we lose grasp of the “why.” It happens to everyone! We get so busy “doing” that we cease “being.” When we first started to pastor almost seventeen years ago, a wise pastor told us to pull away for a little break each quarter, and for a significant break once a year. Otherwise, he said we’d start to feel like we were on a merry-go-round and would lose our “why.” We found that this pastor’s words were true! We had to get away to a quiet place, especially after periods of intense work and pressure or we’d start to be no good for ourselves or anyone else. When we first started television ministry, we had just made a commitment to a huge building project for our growing ministry. Even though our church jumped on board to help us
carry out the project, we personally felt the immense pressure of making this commitment and seeing it through. At the same time, God spoke to us about starting a television program and confirmed it in so many ways that we didn’t dare say no. But we had very little knowledge or experience, and someone in the media industry tried to take advantage of that. We had already accepted a station’s time slot and promised a program to them when we were challenged with an enormous contract that seemed unusual. We didn’t feel good about the contract, but at the same time we had made a commitment to the station and needed this company’s help. We felt caught between a rock and a hard place! The pressure became so intense that we couldn’t see or hear the answer clearly. We wanted to be above reproach in our business dealings but, at the same time, it appeared that the other party wasn’t. We were being pressed on all sides—having decisions to make about the building, about television, and battling tormenting thoughts about how someone could try to treat God’s things with dishonesty. Finally, we could take no more! Even though we were willing to stay the course, we needed a break to hear God’s voice. We needed to get away! So, on the spur of the moment after a Sunday service, we jumped in the van with our family and headed west. The drive was a welcome break from the demands and pressures weighing on us. We were able to speak with advisors as we drove across the U.S. We ended our journey in Colorado at a national park where we camped for three days as a family, and reconnected with each other, prayer, and God. At the end of the three days, we had heard God’s voice and we had confirmation from an attorney that our suspicions were correct about the contract being unfair and inequitable. We turned
down the contract and God made another arrangement for us, protecting us in our lack of knowledge. Pulling away from the daily demands (and the fears and uncertainties) helped us make a better decision. Jesus understood this principle, too. He pulled away to a quiet place to seek God and be renewed, and He taught His disciples to do the same. In Mark 6, the disciples gathered around Jesus and told Him the things they had done and taught and Jesus said, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest for awhile.” Continued
Our bodies and our minds need periods of rest and a feeling of reward for our work. Spiritually, we get dull if we can’t pull away to, “Be still and know that He is God.” It’s not too late for you to sneak in a last minute get-away this summer with your family, even if you need to pull your children away from school. Family comes first, above all other pursuits. Aren’t our families a large part of why we work? There are plenty of things you can do even if you’re on a tight budget. Trust me, I’ve been there! Take your family camping at a national park and see some truly amazing wonders. Retreating and reconnecting is more than just a vacation. We need to enter into God’s rest by faith and learn to work
WITH God so that we’re doing so by grace instead of striving. The enemy likes to get us so bogged down with pressure and begins to play a fearful scenario in our minds, and if we don’t retreat to a quiet place, we can make bad decisions, and hinder advancement of all we can be and accomplish. Our minds become so burdened that we can’t hear His voice, which makes all the difference! We were created for relationship with God, and with each other. It’s our love for one another and for God that gives us the strength to pursue His direction and obediently advance. Visit drenda.com for more vacation ideas and tips.
Drenda Keesee is a television show host, author, speaker, entrepreneur, and pastor whose mission is to bring women into spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness. Drenda and her husband Gary have created several successful businesses, and are the founders of Faith Life Now, which produces two television programs—Drenda and Fixing the Money Thing, as well as worldwide conferences, and practical resources. They also pastor Faith Life Church in New Albany, Ohio. Drenda is the author of the book, She Gets It: 11 Lies that Hold Women Hostage.
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A friend and spiritual mento r loaned us your “Now Revolution” CDs. Our sec ond son was a newborn and was n’t s leeping. We were exhaust ed and d ist ressed . We wou ld n’t h ave necessarily co ns idered o u rsel ves in f i nanc ial d ifficu lty, but we of ten f eel like we’re just surviv i ng . We began listening to the CDs almost daily, and we dec ided t o s ow into “s leep.” Then our son started bei ng u p less, and he’s been a different little boy ever s i nce! We h ad also dec ided to sow to pay down an ext ra $ 10,000 th is year o n t he princ i pal of our mortg ag e. Earlier th is w eek, my husband c am e to me while I was getti ng ready for bed with a f u n ny look on his face and handed me a ch ec k . I was com pletely stun ned. Apparen tly, the government had char g ed me too m uch income tax in 2010, and were g iving me a reimbu rsem en t. It was for $15,000! We’ve never had an experience li ke th is . A lthoug h we’ve s een God wo rk in o u r f i n an ces, we only had part of t he pictu re. We still have more to learn, bu t Tru t h is seeping into ou r souls! – Coralee, Canada
I read your book Fixing the Money Thing this past month. My husband and I have been paying down our debts, but every time we would go into a store we would look at new TVs as a luxury. When we received our tax refund, it was tempting to purchase a new TV, but we knew it would honor God if we paid off a few debts instead, so we did. About a week after we paid off our car and a doctor’s bill, my husband WON a new TV! We now have a brand new 42” 3D HDTV and 3D Blu-ray player. I know it is not God’s will for us to be in debt, but until I read your book I didn’t realize that it dishonors Him because He can provide anything that we need, even material items for us to enjoy while we are here on this earth. Thank you for your teaching! I plan on I buying your Money Mysteries from the Master book next! – Jessica, Arizona
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