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Thursday, November 30

Sometimes We PLAY INJURED... to Leave it ALL on the Field

"Always remember what God's Word of wisdom and instruction tells us, '... he that endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 10:17-22)'."
Keith, Brenda and The TTM Team

Anyone who has been injured while playing in a football game, or any other competitive sport for that matter, has heard the coach say something like, "suck it up and get back out there!" This is an especially familiar call when the clock is closing in on the end of the game. During the game's closing moments comes what we call "gut-check time", when everyone reaches deep down inside themselves to pull out the very best of themselves. And there is no exception for the one who might be "playing hurt" as I can tell you from experience. There is something that hurts far worse that any kind of physical or emotional injury... when you don't finish victorious. While there's time left on the clock, we must give ALL we've got to give ... then we leave the field of battle in VICTORY!
Do you know the one rare quality that all coaches look for when building a team? They look for the players that give what they've got with total abandon. They look for the players who don't hesitate, and who commit themselves wholeheartedly, in everything they do. During sports training camps, coaches keep their eyes open, hoping that such a player will show up. The same traits are desired by bosses, teachers, military officers, directors, and others who are in authority. God also looks for those same traits in His "players" on His "team." He continually looks for those whose hearts are perfect toward Him, and for those who will give their all. "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him ... (2 Chronicles 16:9)." God is always scouting for those who will play a part with total abandon.
We encourage you to throw your entire being into becoming one with our Father, with Jesus Christ, and with The Person of The Holy Spirit. Even as Jesus prayed in the garden, "That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me (John 17:21)." If you, or others you know, have, for whatever reason, been injured to the point of wanting to sit out for the rest of "the game" please encourage (put courage in) them to endure to the end. As our coach use to tell us, "There will be plenty of time to lick our wounds, later... during the game is NOT THAT TIME!"

One of the most important things a Christian must know, in order to be protected from injuries while running this race, is that God designed it to be a 'marathon'... not a 'sprint'. So relax! "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (Hebrews 12:1-3)."
Jesus did warn us, however, that there will be "injuries" during this "marathon" we are running. "But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against [their] parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My Name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved (Matthew 10:17-22)."
So, whether we have been hurt by those around us in some way or we have become fatigued by works to the point that we feel like quitting, we encourage you... now is NOT the time to nod out or give up! As I heard a pastor friend once say, it's not time to retire, it's time to re-fire! It is time we all relax, rendezvous in the pages of God's written Word with the wonder-full person of the Holy Spirit, listen intently for His whisper of comfort and direction, and do exactly what He says... *with* GOD that is. One of the most liberating revelations that Jesus Christ ever whispered to me was that He never expects us to work *for* Him. He did, however, make it clear that He longs for us to work *with Him*, together, to full-fill The Father's dream. That is when we truly begin to "Live!"
Trust me when I say,...
            ...one of God's deepest Desires is that we relax as we run this "marathon" race *with* Him. On that great and glorious day, when each one of us who love God with our whole heart has the infinitely unfathomable honor and privilege of standing in front of Him, we will see the indescribable way that God does all He does, from a state of rest-fullness, in sweet peace and joy that manifests in fun... the likes of which we have never remotely heard of on earth. "Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy Presence is fullness of joy; at Thy Right Hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalms 16:11)."
A huge part of being Christ-like is Finishing Triumphant... just like He did.
Wait... how do we lay claim to Finishing Triumphant? We do it God's way and the answers to how He makes the way is obtained from The Person of The Holy Spirit; Ask Him to explain God's written Word to you and watch what happens.
From your Shealy friends and co-laborers in Christ, and the faith-full family and friends who help us help others, we pray that the Holy Spirit will settle over you this end-of-year season, with healing and provision where it is needed, and with joy unspeakable, full of His Glory! Thank you for hearing our heart, and this "secret" God has graciously given us!
"Keep Pressin' IN... TOWARD THE MARK, Y'all!"  Keith, Brenda and The TTM Team

             Pray this prayer, RELAX, and watch what God will do...
           "Dear Father God, in the precious Name of Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of all lords, I lay my life at Your Feet. I come before You, confessing that I am a sinner, and I ask for You to forgive me of all my sins - those that I know I have committed, as well as those that I am not even aware of.  I ask that You come into my heart and be my Lord. I lay my life, and everything in it, at Your Feet, and ask that You please take me and begin to change me to be like YOU. I ask that You redeem the time that has passed, and allow me the opportunity to become exactly what You have predestined me to be, from before the foundation of the earth. I commit my life to You now, and thank You for receiving me as Your own. In the wonderful Name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, I pray, Amen."  And AMEN!!!

            WELCOME HOME!

            We want to congratulate you for making the greatest decision that you'll ever make! By accepting Jesus Christ, or rededicating your life to Him, as your personal Lord and Savior, you have begun the wonder-full process of being grafted into the family of God, and we welcome you "Home" to God's Family. We would also like to invite you to contact us so that we can send you information that will help you begin growing in your relationship and daily walk with God. We would encourage you to begin attending a Holy-Spirit-filled, Bible-believing church right away.

            Begin reading The Holy Bible daily, whether you understand it or not. Always remember, God's written Word in The Holy Bible is like no other book that has ever been written! When we rendezvous with The Person of The Holy Spirit as we read what God has written there, it becomes stored in our heart for The Holy Spirit to access it to bring to our remembrance.  You will find that The Scriptures will become applicable to whatever you are going through, at any given time!

            There are wonderful Bible teachers on television and on the radio that can, especially early in your walk with God, help you to begin receiving good teaching, and encouragement, right away. Although very informative, these programs are never to be a substitute for close relationships with people who love and serve God. At times, the transformation process that you have now begun will be difficult, and you will be tempted to go back to your old ways of living your old life. It will be during those times that hanging out *with strong Christian friends and mentors* will be crucially important. There really IS strength in numbers!

            To help you grow in your journey to, as Jesus prayed in the garden, become *one* with our Father in Heaven, we have teaching resources that, if taken to heart, will help lead you INto ONEness with Christ Jesus. We have books, music CDs, customized individual teachings, blogs, podcasts, Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn messages, and videos you can take advantage of simply by contacting us. We would like to be among the first to welcome you into the Family of God... right where you "belong", now and always! (Selah)

            And remember, no matter what, Keep PRESSIN' IN...  learnin', and growin' *with* our Lord and Savior.  You might consider using our book  LETTERS FROM THE FRONT, the special collection of keys to defeating hindrances that have kept many of God's servants from walking with the confidence and authority that Jesus Christ died to give us! Twelve life-changing teaching chapters:

Sin Makes Ya Stewpit!
The Cart's Before the Horse
The Crisis of Eroding Integrity
The Fruit's on the End of the Limb
Too Quick to Compromise
The Rarest of All Breeds!
Please...Stop Stinkin'
Three Keys to God-Pleasing Faith
Let It Go
Understanding the Fear of The Lord
Into the Secret Place
Give to Give

  To help you further your fight to victory through the battles that confront every one of us in these turbulent times we live in, get your copy of our book, " LETTERS FROM THE FRONT." In this collection of 12 letters written from the front lines of battle fought in the spiritual, natural, and theater of the mind, Keith's Scripture messages will build your faith and help you reach God's full potential for your life.
available at
TowardTheMark online.

We pray God uses this message, and all of our resources, to fan the flame in your heart for Christ Jesus, His wonder-full Ways, and His Plan and Purpose for you in this life. If you have any questions about our work, or if you would like to make a special tax-deductible donation, place a special order for any of our books, magazines, or CDs, or to share a testimony or prayer request with us, please  e-mail us. Also feel free to write a letter and mail it to TOWARD THE MARK, P.O. Box 1152, Yorktown, VA 23692-1152.
May God bless you greatly as you carry this truth in your heart. We are eternally grateful for our loving Toward The Mark Family of sponsors who make this blog, and all of our resources, possible by their faithful prayer and monthly financial support!
Your friends and servants in Christ,

To Show GOD BIG in a World that Sees Him small… 
sums up the reason Keith stepped out in faith to focus on reaching the lost and strengthening believers everywhere, through Toward The Mark, Inc.  Keith and Brenda's prayer is that you will be encouraged and edified by the Secrets from God's Word that Keith recounts in our written and recorded products.

We couldn't do this without the help of our friends!
This blog message, along with the complete collection of original podcasts, music, blogs, books, CDs, and other Bible-based resources of Toward The Mark, Inc. is made possible by the faithful prayer and financial support of the TTM Sponsorship Family. We'd like to invite you to come on-board, to become a part of the TTM Family as well by becoming a monthly financial partner. Your support will go toward fulfilling our God-given calling to help provide effective, contemporary outreach tools that are available to everyone, the churched and un-churched alike, who desire to know more of the love, truth, and salvation of Jesus Christ. We invite you to partner with us, as we, "press Toward The Mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)

Keep PRESSIN' IN! And remember ...

We INVITE You ... to follow and share these resources that are also available, for helping build your faith in God, His Will, and His Ways: 

  "Between The Lines PODCAST" on TTM's Podcast Channel
     Hear Special Request (Podcast): *FOCUS*

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Mail tax-deductible contributions by check or money order made out to:
Toward The Mark, Inc., P.O. Box 1152, Yorktown, VA 23692-1152. 

Thank you in advance for sowing your financial seed into the fertile soil of this ministry! We pray God bless you with a 100-fold return for your generosity!

"Blessed be The LORD my Strength which teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My Goodness, and my Fortress; my High Tower, and my Deliverer; my Shield, and He in Whom I trust; Who subdues my people under me (Psalm 144:1-2)."

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