Category: thoughts by Katherine Kehler

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The book of Acts is exciting! Miracles happen in every chapter. Although I have read through the entire Bible every year for over twenty-five years, God always opens my eyes to amazing new insights. This year I noticed the various ways (not just one) in which God chose to speak to His followers. Read about them.

God spoke to His followers through angels.

An angel of the Lord said to Philip. . .”(Acts 8:26)
An angel of the Lord came to him and said. . . ” (Acts 10:2)
The angel struck Peter on the side and woke him up ‘Hurry! Get dressed and put on your sandals.’” (Acts 12:7)

God spoke to His followers through visions.

The Lord spoke to Ananias in a vision.” (Acts 9:10)

God spoke to His followers through His Holy Spirit.

During this time the Holy Spirit said to them. ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul to do a special work for which I have chosen for them.’” (Acts 13:2)

The Lord spoke to His followers directly.

The next night the Lord came and stood by Paul. He said, ‘Be brave!’” (Acts 23:11)

Had you noticed that before?

I reflected on these verses and wondered why God opened my eyes to the fact that He did not (and does not) use just one or two ways to speak to His followers. The answer was,

“Don’t limit God to your incomplete knowledge of Him.”

We have the tendency to do that, don’t we?

Father God, thank You for opening our eyes and teaching us new truths and showing us new insights about Yourself. Help us to keep on being learners. Prevent us from trying to put You in our man-made boxes. You are so great! Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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“I want to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering” Philippians 3:10

How are you doing today?

Is everything going great or are you struggling with a broken relationship? Or perhaps you have an incurable disease – maybe something worse.

Some parts of our life’s journey are painful. Recently the Lord gave me an insight into suffering that I would like to share with you. It was very helpful to me.

God is faithful – and will walk with us each step of the journey.

I had an experience that was very painful. I found that even though I had long forgiven the people involved, painful memories kept coming back. I asked the Lord about this,

How can I stop those memories from coming back?”

He reminded me of the verse in Philippians,

I want to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.”

He told me to thank Him for the horrid experience because through this experience, I had the privilege of “the fellowship of Christ’s suffering.”

I was getting to know Him in a deeper way – in a way I wouldn’t have if I had not gone through this.

We often pray for the power of His resurrection, but do we ever pray for the fellowship of His suffering? Jesus our Master said we could expect trouble if we follow Him. We shouldn’t be surprised!

Father, we want to know You. Thank You for reminding me about the “fellowship of His suffering.” Thank You for the painful times in life. Thank You for walking with us each step of the way. Amen

by Katherine Kehler
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“The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it” 1Thessalonians 5:24

I was overlooked for the leadership position again. Someone much less qualified than me was chosen,” she wrote. She was committed and qualified, but overlooked again and again. It was not right. She asked me, “Is this the norm for most Christian ministries? This is not the first time I have encountered this and I have to say it is extremely hurtful.”

Has this happened to you? Well, you and I know how painful it can be. I have been down this road several times and I can tell you it doesn’t get any easier.

But along the way, I have learned some “God” things. If God puts a call or desire in your heart, He will be faithful to do it through you; however, He may want you to expand your horizons in order to bring this dream to fruition.

I am an innovative person. God has put many dreams in my heart and He has helped me to fulfill those dreams. Sometimes it took a lot longer than I thought it would, but He did it. God put a dream in my heart to reach women through the Internet and since then He has faithfully provided the resources, qualified people and finances.

Recently I read the book, Why Not Women? In the last chapter, the author, Lorne Cunningham wrote:

“It is not your job to change everyone’s mind. It is your job to obey and do whatever He is calling you to do. Keep yielded to Him and open the door to others, free in your spirit from any feelings of rejection or bitterness. Obey God and let Him take care of the results. It will eventually become clear to everyone that God has His hand on you.”

Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair. Perhaps God is using this “unfairness” to push you out of the nest (your comfort zone) to show you He has something new and exciting for you to do. Why not ask Him? Ask God to show you other horizons where you can make your dream come true. Be strong and courageous. God will supply your needs.

Lord Jesus, show us where You want us to fulfill the dream You have put in our heart. Help us to be willing to step out of our comfort zone and trust You. In your name I pray. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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“Because the Lord God helps me, I will not be dismayed. Therefore, I have set my face like flint to do his will, and I know that I will triumph” Isaiah 50:7

For years my husband Marvin had a pilot’s license for small planes. He enjoyed flying very much.

One summer, he and three other men decided to fly to a conference in Saskatchewan, two provinces east of us. Before taking off, Marvin started the plane, checked all the instruments, and set his course on the compass. After crossing the Rocky Mountains, they planned to stay overnight in a city near the Alberta border.

They took off and everything seemed to be proceeding smoothly. However, Marvin hadn’t realized that when he set his compass, the needle was a fraction off center. By the time it came time to land, it was getting dark (Marvin wasn’t licensed to fly at night) and Marvin realized he was off course. The four of them had had a great time talking and laughing and never noticed.

Now they were lost. The mountains were much higher than his map indicated they should be, and their destination city was nowhere in sight. A fraction of a degree off on the compass when they started flying had taken them way off course when it was time to land. What seemed like a small, insignificant error could have cost them their lives.

However, happily they were able to land safely in a small town where they spent the night. The next day they flew on to their conference.

Life is like that. If we don’t allow Jesus to set our compass (course) each morning, we can begin heading slightly off course. It may seem insignificant today and even tomorrow, but where will we be next year?

Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor” (Hebrews 12:2).

Father, thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who keeps nudging us to keep on a straight and narrow course. Thank You for Your Word, which is the “light to our path.” Help us heed Your voice. Help us to listen.  Amen.

by Katherine Kehler
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What is Wisdom?

  1. The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.
  2. The soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of such experience, knowledge, and good judgment.

Definition of Wise:

Having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment, or discretion.

The Bible says:

“Get wisdom, get insight.” Proverbs 4:5

Why Should we get Wisdom?

Wisdom provides true and lasting happiness–something we are all striving for.

Proverbs 3:13 says,

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gets understanding. It is the key to lasting happiness.”

Proverbs 19:8 says,

“He who gets wisdom loves himself.”

Proverbs 16:16 puts it,

“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver! “

Proverbs 8:20 says,

“I (Wisdom) lead in the way of righteousness…”

Proverbs 3:17b states,

“Her (Wisdom) ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”

Proverbs 4:7 says,

“Wisdom is the principal thing;  therefore  get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding”.

What are the Characteristics of a Person who has Wisdom?

Proverbs 9:10 says,

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

The wisdom that leads to life and ultimate joy begins with knowing and fearing God.

Proverbs 11:2 says,

When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.

The wise person is characterized by humility.

Wisdom consists in knowing and doing the commandments of God. Jesus said that hearing and doing God’s Word is godly wisdom.

Wisdom also includes sensitive, mature judgment or discernment.

Colossians 1:9 says,

We have not ceased to pray for you, that you may be filled with knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

How Do We Get Wisdom?

Desire it with all your heart.

Proverbs 4:8,

“Prize her (wisdom) highly and she will exalt you; she will honor you for your embrace.”
Wisdom must be valuable to us.

Saturate yourself with the Word of God.

Psalm 19:7.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”

Pray for wisdom.

James 1:5 says,

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God.”

Think about the brevity of your life.

Psalm 90:12, says,

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

We must come to Jesus. Jesus is the wisdom of God.

Colossians 2:3 says,

“In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Father God, you are the source of all godly wisdom and we desire it with all our hearts. We ask that you will fill your people with your wisdom. Amen

This article has been condensed from an article by John Piper.

By Katherine Kehler
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“Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you” Deuteronomy 3:22

We were driving our son’s quad on the trail through the forest in Northern Alberta. Wild roses, blue bells, wild strawberries and other plants blanketed the soil under the tall, slender Aspens. It was very peaceful and we were truly enjoying the ride.

And then, just ahead of us, we saw a mother grouse and her baby chicks scurrying across our trail. The chicks were scurrying as fast as their toothpick thin legs would carry them; however, the mother stood her ground, her tail feathers fanned out, her neck feathers ruffled. She was positioned to protect her family! We stopped the quad and watched.

The chicks had scattered on both sides of the trail and the mother began clucking rapidly, calling her chicks. Soon the chicks ran toward her and the whole family ran to hide in the underbrush.

A brave mother taking on a large four – wheeler; she was willing to give up her life for her little family. Mothers are like that.

But as I watched her, I thought of our Good Shepherd giving His life for His flock and of leaving the 99 sheep to look for the lost one. I thought about our Lord’s promise:

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:29).

Comforting, isn’t it?

I am so thankful to You Lord Jesus, for protecting us, Your little flock, Your children. Only when we get to heaven will we realize how often You saved us from harm. Thank You again. Amen

by Katherine Kehler
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“These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it – and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of His return”  1 Peter 1:7

I have to admit I love jewellery – gold, silver, diamonds and gems of all kinds. I don’t know why I like them. Maybe because they sparkle and shine brightly when the light catches them – maybe because they are valuable. I am pleased that in heaven we will be surrounded with gold, sapphires, rubies and pearls.

While soaking in the bathtub, I was reading and meditating on the above verse. We have gone through some major trials this past year and it felt like we were being tried in the test tube of fiery trials.

The Bible tells us that our faith is more valuable than pure gold. He is willing to put us through trials so we will be strong and pure. The impurities are burned out of our hearts so that we reflect Him who is glorious.

Recently my husband and I discussed whether or not we are different as a result of the months of testing. We agreed that we are more joyful. We are also more tender and in love with Christ and each other. Christ has become more real to us. And that is a good thing.

Would we have chosen these trials? No. Are we thankful for what He has done and is still doing in our lives?  Absolutely.

How about you? If you are going through a time of testing right now, don’t despair. God is purifying you so you will reflect on Him more. And that is a good thing.

Father, purify our hearts. Make us wholly Yours. May our lives reflect Your radiance wherever we go. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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Four of us were having lunch and discussing the announcement at our Sunday morning church service. Most of the congregation had been surprised, shocked, and concerned. We talked about how this announcement could become a “joy robber” for all of us  — if we didn’t fix our eyes on Jesus and the Almighty God.

Have you had any surprise announcements lately that caused you to worry — at least at first?

An old man was asked what had robbed him of joy during his lifetime. He replied, “Things that never happened!” How true! We often worry about what could happen tomorrow, but never does.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippines 4: 11,

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

Have we learned to be content in all circumstances? I would guess that you are still in the process of learning — I know I am.

What replaces the joy in our lives? The following is a list of circumstances that might be our “joy robbers.

•Fear of the future, fear of a health situation, fear of losing control.
•Fear of being alone, fear of change, fear of looking silly, fear of losing your job, fear of financial debt, fear of growing old, and fear of losing physical attractiveness.
•Anger, jealousy, a critical attitude, worry, and many more.

Most of us can relate to these “joy robbers.” How then, can we regain our joy?

When I feel my body tighten with worry, fear, anger, jealousy, or a critical spirit, I try to stop what I am doing or thinking and ask God to help me pin-point what emotion I am feeling. When I have identified it, I admit it to Him and ask Him to replace it with peace and joy (trusting in His sufficiency to handle the situation).

He reminds us that we need only live one day at a time and trust Him one day at a time.  “As your days, so shall your strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25).

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:21–23).

At the end of our luncheon discussion, we realized that God could handle this situation as well, but that we needed to trust Him for wisdom and do as He directed.

Father, thank You for giving us everything we need to follow Your directives.

by Katherine Kehler
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“Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you” Deuteronomy 5:16

During my teen years, I tended to focus on what I thought my dad did wrong. Now that I have raised my own family and have grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I find myself reflecting more and more on what my dad did right, and how his Godly life style has been passed on to the fourth generation. I thank the Lord for my dad!

The following are some of things my dad did right!

  • He raised us to fear God and follow Him.
  • He loved his family and prayed for us.
  • He was faithful to my mother throughout her life.
  • He enjoyed life. He liked to play good-natured jokes on people.
  • He worked very hard to provide for the family. We had a large family and so besides running the dairy farm, he worked at another job to make ends meet.
  • He taught his children how to work hard.
  • He demonstrated hospitality. Even though our family had seven children and lived in a small house, we often had some of his nephews living with us. There was always room for one more.
  • He was very generous and gave a lot of money to the Lord. Near the end of his life, he worked at a thrift store and gave away a lot of furniture to people who couldn’t afford to buy.
  • He provided transportation for seniors who needed to go to the doctor. He also visited the sick, almost right up to the day he went for surgery and died.

There are many more good things I remember about my dad, but today I just want to say:

Thank You Lord, for giving us Godly fathers who do their best to raise their family in the knowledge and fear of the Lord. Lord bless them and encourage them to keep on doing what is right. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him
Luke 22:43

When my mother was forty years old, she became pregnant — with twin girls. There were already five other children. We lived on a large farm in a rural area, and there was no end of work to do. I was twelve years of age at the time.

It was a hard pregnancy, and six weeks before the twins were to be born Mom developed toxemia and was hospitalized. My dad was now taking care of the five children as well as managing our large dairy farm. Mother’s prognosis did not look good, and the possibility of her dying was very real. Perhaps Dad would have to care for two babies in addition to the rest of us. He was very discouraged.

One morning after all the children had left for school, two men knocked on the kitchen door. Dad had never seen them before. They came into our country kitchen and lovingly read encouraging verses from the Bible to Dad. After praying for him and encouraging him, they left. He never saw them again, but he was sure they were angels. Their visit filled him strength and hope.

Several days later, mother gave birth to twin girls and was home again in a week. She was fine and so were the babies. Other than having two small sisters to baby-sit, life returned to normal.

Angels sent from God. It happens all the time, more often than we realize. During the past few years, so many people have told me stories of God sending angels to protect, strengthen, and encourage.

Let’s not forget to thank God for sending His angels to minister to us.

Father, so often I hear stories and also experience how Your ministering angels have helped, strengthened, and encouraged Your children. Thank You for being so kind to us. Amen

By Katherine Kehler
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…for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.Matthew 6:8

Email, texting, instant messaging, Facebook, SKYPE, Snap Chat, etc.! Technology has enabled us to meet and talk to people all over the world…instantly.

Just 25 years ago when one of our daughters was in Kenya for a one-year missions’ project, it took three weeks for our letters to arrive in her mailbox. How times have changed!

Stop and think about it. You have to be amazed at the speed of communications today.

But even more amazing is the fact that God knows and hears our prayers even before we think about them or open our mouths. He even knows what we could have said and didn’t, how our prayers will be answered, how we will respond to the answer.

Technology is God’s idea. He wants us to use it to help reach and teach people to worship Him. We can all do that! Why, a friend told me about an 80-year-old man who is leading people to Christ in the chat rooms.

God is so great! Let’s worship Him today! He is worthy of our awe and praise.

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When far away You know my every thought. You chart my path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment, You know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it.” (Psalm 139:1-4).

by Katherine Kehler
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These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creationRevelation 3:14

Recently, during my quiet time with God, I began using a series of books entitled, The Indescribable Christ by Charles Rolls. My thoughts were directed to the amazing words of Christ. Think about it. His words do not become less powerful or less true with the passing of time. Through the centuries His words have never changed or fluctuated. They have always been the same.

When on earth, Christ never downplayed what He meant to say in order to gain popularity. He never minimized or falsified reality. He never had to fumble for a word or guess when giving an answer. He spoke what was true and right.

Nothing He said ever had to be retracted. He didn’t apologize for anything He said.

When He condemned, His words were wisely chosen. When He affirmed someone, it was done in truth, never to flatter. All His words were faithful and true.

Amazing! Oh, that we would be more like Him.

Father, please change us! Make our words be more like the Master. Let the Words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to You, oh Lord. Amen.

by Katherine Kehler
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You have made know to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right handPsalm 16:11

One day while on a flight home, I shared The Four Spiritual Laws with a young businessman. He told me that he was a Buddhist and began to ask me questions like, “Have you found happiness?” and “When do you experience the deepest happiness?” With deep conviction I was able to tell him that I had indeed found happiness and I experienced the deepest satisfaction and joy during the time I spent alone with God.

Spending time with God gives us the opportunity to experience God’s love permeating through every cell in our bodies. When we sit or walk alone with Him, away from distractions, He ministers to us. Our hearts can, and do, respond in return, with love for Him. If we don’t take time to allow God to minister to us, our Christianity becomes legalistic and shallow. Our ministry becomes a drag, a duty we come to resent.

I talked to a woman a few years ago who was having a tremendous ministry but wasn’t happy. She seemed to be driven. She wasn’t resting in the Lord. She was getting up in the middle of the night to intercede for her disciples, but she was not taking the time to allow God to fill her inner needs. Not long after I talked with her, she decided to leave her ministry.

I believe the reason some people burn out and leave full-time ministry is simply because they are not taking enough time to relax and enjoy the Lord. They have forgotten that God loves them and that they have been created to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. Are you taking the time to experience God’s love in your life?

O God, show us how to enjoy You. Cause us to believe that You delight in our fellowship and desire to give us rest. Amen.

by Katherine Kehler
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This is the last week of Lent, also called Passion Week, and I have been reading and reflecting on the last days of Christ and His crucifixion.

I will be forever grateful for Christ’s willingness to go through the agony of carrying our sins (the sins of more than six billion people), and to suffer extreme physical pain — the torture of being whipped and nailed to the cross — and rejection and loneliness. When I think about the love He has for each one of us, I want to prostrate myself on the floor before Him and worship Him.

He went through all of this because we are sinful. However, we can be healed and experience His immense love. We can experience His power, grace, and wisdom every moment of the day and every day of our lives.

Let’s take a look at parts of verses 3 and 5 of Isaiah chapter 53 and reflect on His suffering.

Verse 3: “He was hated and rejected by people.” I find it much easier to be rejected by people who don’t know me, but when I am rejected by relatives or a friend I thought was loyal to me, that really hurts. We know that Christ experienced this, as His disciples all left Him. He too was rejected.

Verse 3: “He experienced much pain and sorrow.” I would venture to say that you have experienced some deep sorrow in your life.  Because of Lou Gehrig’s disease, every muscle in my strong brother’s body deteriorated until all he could do was blink his eyes. Watching him struggle to eat and trying to make us understand what he was trying to say was one of the most sorrowful situations I have ever experienced. He had gone from using canes, to a walker, to a scooter, and finally to a wheelchair. It was sorrowful.

Jesus was with him every moment of every day, strengthening him and us and giving us courage. He has experienced every sorrow we have and ever will go through.

Verse 5: “He was wounded for the wrong things WE did. He was crushed for the evil things we did. The punishment which made us well, was given to Him, And we are healed because of His wounds.”

By Katherine Kehler
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I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like himPhilippians 3:10

I have been thinking about Jerry McGrath. He was a marvelous singer and performed at many of our staff conferences. He had been in the secular entertainment industry when he was struck down with leukemia and was longer able to sing. He yielded his life to the Lord, and the Lord touched and healed him. After that he used his marvelous voice to serve God.

During every performance, he told the story of his miraculous healing and then would sing,

Lord, I want to know You. Deep within my soul, I want to know You more.”

After that song, there was not a dry eye in the audience.

Jerry had experienced the power of Christ’s resurrection, but he had also experienced suffering. I wonder, sometimes, why we so often pray and sing for the Lord’s power, but abhor the suffering? We need both to make us like Jesus.

Father, You know what cowards we are. We want the soft and easy road. Enable us not to be surprised when troubles come our way. After all, Jesus did say that in this would we would have troubles. How quickly we forget, Lord!   

by Katherine Kehler
Used by Permission

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