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Thursday, July 7

Our Father Hears Our Prayers! UPDATE...

Hi, it's Bren. Greetings in Jesus Christ's Holy Name. I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts for standing in prayer with us through what has been a most difficult six weeks for Keith, and for me. About a month-and-a-half ago, on 24 May, Keith suffered a sudden, rapid onset of what his Orthopedic surgeon referred to as a "severe nerve storm" in the base of his spine and out to his left hip, all from a weekend of annual lawn cleaning he has always enjoyed doing. This time brought more than sore muscles, it brought a sudden attack that woke him up in the middle of the night and stayed, leaving his left hip numb, his major organs in a fight for balance, a continuous fever in the fight through unrelenting pain, and even high blood pressure for the first time in his life, plus the loss of fourteen pounds in just three week's time. I've learned a whole lot more about how the brain works in the body's fight to overcome the effects of excruciating pain. I pray that I never have to watch it happen again.

        We have thankfully worked through an Emergency Room visit, something Keith mostly avoids at all cost, and through MRIs, X-rays, appointments with his Neurosurgeon, an epidural by his Orthopedic surgeon, and a divinely orchestrated appointment with a new pain management physician/specialist. The storm in Keith's pain-stricken body is finally starting to slowly subside... Praise God Almighty! To be totally forthright, I have been very concerned with his pain levels, having been so high for so long, possibly causing more problems as his body was showing the signs of breaking down. Seeing him only able to accumulate two maybe three hours of restless sleep each night, suffering fatigue for weeks... to say I've been frightened is an understatement.

        They have been warning us that the episode that happened 24 May, leading to all he just went through, could happen again without notice. Both surgeons explained to us that, with the disks that Keith does NOT have any more in the bottom half of his spine (due to complete deterioration), the primary nerves coming out of his spinal column are compressed all the time. One surgeon referred what he has gone through all month as a "severe nerve storm".

      Now however, as I am writing to you, we are very grateful to announce that the pain is more under control now and we are able to look back over "the storm" and see, despite the difficulties of it all, our Lord was working through every step we made. The Holy Spirit ordered our steps, one after another, and presented us with opportunities, everywhere we went, to meet with and talk to so many beautiful people, many medical staff members, many who were suffering, and many that received our message of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In direct proportion to Keith's suffering, we witnessed The Holy Spirit draw out of Keith a Word from our Lord that each of them needed at that moment in their lives. And yes, tears were shed.

        The next part of this process of searching for help and recovery options is in progress. We are now getting set up by our family doctor to get another opinion on Keith's case. Praise The Lord for news from a specialist at VCU, one that comes highly recommended by a dear sister in The Lord whose dad dealt with the same type of thing and received help with success there. He had been told by a number of other surgeons that his condition was "inoperable" just like we have been told from a number of surgeons about Keith's spine.

        At one point, as Keith was grimacing from pain, he glanced over at me and said, "What a target-rich environment The Holy Spirit has led us into today." I will admit, what we have just walked through has been perhaps the most stressful and fatiguing month-and-a-half of our fourteen years together. Yet, and miraculously, it has been one of the most fruitful where our working with The Holy Spirit to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ and loving Father are concerned.

        The timing when all of this hit, and the intensity of the physical pain that came with it, I believe was a spiritual attack as Keith was working on a most-pertinent message he was really looking forward to sharing in a new blogpost last month. As he is slowly recuperating, he is gradually able to work on finishing the message, "How Jesus Christ Made Me Free from the Curse of Hereditary Sin." On that note, I want to say thank you for standing in prayer with us and for us! We would also like to publicly thank our faith-full partners and ministry family who make it possible for us to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Gospel He preached the way we are able to. We are praying for each of you that our loving Father will reward you 100 times over for all you are, for all you mean to us, and for all you do that keeps us in our Father's final hour's harvest fields!

        Would you stand with us in prayer as we are seeking God daily for His complete healing? We are especially believing God for a speedy recovery, so we can travel some long distances in the car to see wonderful people who we get to share the things that Jesus Christ has been showing us and has so freely shown us over the years. Your love, friendship, and support mean more than you know!

        Personally, as I war in the spirit realm against wicked forces that sometimes feel like they are going to defeat me/us, The Holy Spirit is faithful to bring back to my mind experiences when I have fought through to victory. We get stronger with each hit we take in the spirit realm, being presented with another opportunity to have built in us, by the steady Hand of the Great Physician Jesus Christ, His strength and endurance that will, in turn, better equip us for the assignments to come on the spiritual field of battle.

        Wow, we are both humbled and grateful for the wonderfully fruitful opportunities The Person of The Holy Spirit is blessing us with, to glorify the Great Name of our Father and Lord Jesus Christ. These opportunities are ones we simply could not take advantage of if not for our bond and united passion with our wonder-full partners to magnify Jesus Christ in this final hour's harvest! On behalf of Keith and me, and those we are reaching, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! We thank you for your family-ship, friendship, and all you have done and are doing to encourage us and to help us reach this end time's generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ... and with the Gospel Jesus Christ preached!

"The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it (Psalm 68:11)."

        Your love and prayers mean more to us that you can know. And, for those of you who have called, come by, or sent special cards and emails, we pray that The Lord returns to you 100-fold reward for all of the kindness that you have poured out to us!

Your friends and servants in Christ Jesus,
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.

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Keith and Brenda "Between The Lines" Podcast on TTM's Libsyn Channel

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"Blessed be The LORD my Strength which teacheth 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 subdueth my people under me (Psalm 144:1-2)."
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