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Sunday, August 28

Our War-Time Advantage Is ... The BATTLE BOARD!

On behalf of those we reach together with the Great Hope of Jesus Christ and the Truth He teaches... we are humbled and grateful beyond words for each one of our small handful of loving partners, and for their cherished family-ship, prayers, and financial support. We also want to thank you for your taking your time right now to join us for "Our War-Time Advantage Is ... The BATTLE BOARD!

       "...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16)."

       "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)."

       Ever since I (Keith) was a little guy, I have had a deep love for the art of aviation. I can tell you exactly when it started for me. The year was 1959 and I was just four years old. At the time I was an only child and our family was living in Richmond, Virginia. We had just finished eating dinner one evening when Mom asked Dad and I if we would go watch the television while she cleaned off the table. So Dad and I got up and made our way into the living room where I climbed up onto the couch while he turned the TV on so the picture tube could be warming up.

       As we were waiting for a TV picture to emerge, Dad picked up the newspaper and turned to the local TV listings for that evening. With anticipation I watched as he scanned down the page. Suddenly, Dad smiled and said, "Let's watch '12 O'clock High'". He then walked to the TV, reached for the channel selector knob, and rotated it around to Channel 3. He fiddled with the "rabbit ear antennas" trying to get the picture to focus until suddenly... there it was: The beginning of the show, and a view of a big, beautiful, U.S. Army Air Corps B-17 bomber!

       Dad used to say that, from the moment I saw that airplane show up on the screen, I barely moved a muscle until the end of the show. That was the night that my love for airplanes began. Twelve O'clock High was a classic 1950's TV series, with shows once a week. It was about a U.S. Army Air Corps bomber squadron based in the English country side during World War II. From that first night on, Dad and I rarely missed an episode.

       After several episodes, even at just 4 years old, I began noticing just how much was going on besides the excitement of watching the airplanes in flight. For instance, General Frank Savage (the Lead Bomber played by actor Robert Lansing) and the base commander would conduct a mandatory flight meeting for all pilots and their air crews before and after each bombing mission. Prior to the start of a mission, all of the pilots and crew members received orders to gather in what looked like a large conference room filled with chairs.

       When the flight crews entered the room, they would see the small stage at the far end with a covered chalkboard, or "battle board", on the far wall. At the front of the small stage to the far right was a large retractable map of Europe. It was in this room, during heavily guarded meetings, that General Savage would disclose the "Top Secret Mission" to the pilots and their crews. It was handed to him under the protection of armed guards from the Army's strategic war planners. General Savage was only authorized to open the sealed package of classified plans once his "second in command" was present with him. It was then that he and everyone there received their orders for the mission: the time of day or night; the altitude for their flight; when to look for enemy attackers; and, most importantly, the location of their targets.

       Once the bomber squadron completed the mission and returned to base, everyone involved would immediately meet back at the conference room for after-actions reporting which was just as important as the pre-mission meeting. The after-actions reports reviewed everything about the mission: What happened?; What went right?; What went wrong?; Why?; and What are the lessons learned? Detailed discussions included who of the ten-man crews were lost or didn't make it back to base, what the equipment failures were, how each pilot and crew performed, and how successful or not-so-accurate the mission's films revealed the bombing run to be.

       Just as before- and after-actions meetings were mandatory and crucial for the planning and execution of successful missions during World War II, before- and after-actions meetings are essential for running a successful business, or sporting event, or anything that requires planning and logistics for a set campaign goal or end result. These skills are among many wonderful qualities that I am eternally grateful to our Father for blessing my lovely wife Brenda with!

       God has a wonder-full sense of humor knowing my love of aviation and blessing me with a retired "U.S. Air Force bride". As you know, Brenda is a twenty-year veteran of our USAF. Having worked as a Bio-Environmental Engineer, a Personnel and Publicity Manager, vocal leader and dance performer with The Premiere USAF Showcase and The Chief's Own USAF Band and more, she understands authority, order, and the chain of command like The Roman Centurion in Matthew 8:5-10. And she is also, not only extremely well-versed in the crucial importance of pre- and post-mission meetings but, well-equipped with what it takes to execute the orders The Holy Spirit relays to us from our Supreme Commander, and King Jesus Christ.

       As for me, I had no formal upbringing in the church, aside from my family attending Church when I was a young boy between eight and ten years of age. However, having worked under disciplined leaders in organized sports, in business management, and professional music, I was blessed early on with understanding the crucial importance of strategic planning, and also of post-event reviews. When I gave my life to Jesus Christ and became a member of a local Church, what my new brothers and sisters in Christ referred to as "spending time in prayer" I saw as "strategic planning time" for me to receive my orders for the day from The Holy Spirit. My understanding of mandatory pre- and post-event meetings served as a kind-o' template for helping me better under-stand what "prayer" is and how it should be conducted. This has been the foundation for receiving my orders from God and fulfilling His "mission plans for my life" to this day.

       In order to insure that we are "on target" concerning our missions each day, Bren and I joyfully attend our mandatory meetings with The Holy Spirit for the purpose of pouring out our gratitude to Father God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit for "Who They are" first and foremost. After we have offered up our thanks, and relaxed together in The Lord, we then wait and listen for our Lord's wonder-full Voice of knowledge and instruction for the day. Then we wait again to make sure we don't leave His presence before He has uploaded to us everything He wants to say. Then, and only when we are sure that our King Jesus Christ has released us, we proceed to the next portion of our meeting, looking to the Toward The Mark "Battle Board".

       Just as General Savage in Twelve O'clock High had his squadron's chalk board and map, Bren and I have our TTM office Battle Board. The Battle Board is a 2' x 4' white, dry-erase board that stands on an easel in our office. There is where we can always be reminded, at a glance, of various needs of our partners, family, and friends. Often, The Holy Spirit will have us write down and pray for things in the life of others that only They, The Trinity, know of.

       The Battle Board is incredibly effective for us. We use it to insure that, much like pre-mission meetings for the military, we start our workday addressing the prayer needs we have been informed of, and also to be a constant reminder to pray, generally, as a steadfast part of our daily mission. Our remittance envelopes were specially designed to work hand-in-hand with the office Battle Board. The prayer requests or praises we receive, written on the inside flap of each remittance envelope, gets written on the board, apart from any "Confidential" requests. We keep every specially private request in a hidden file where only The Holy Trinity is privileged to them along with us. It's our three-fold system: 1-Remittance Envelopes; 2-Confidential Prayers file; and 3-the Battle Board.

       When it comes to our praying for the specific needs of partners, friends, and acquaintances in our social circles, we've got three most strategic pieces of communication equipment: TTM Remittance Envelopes, the Battle Board, and the Confidential Prayers file. Our family, soldiers in God's Army, of faith stands under our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's command. The only difference between us and the uniformed soldiers fighting in the natural, in earthly campaigns, is we aren't able to shake the Hand of our Commander and King... at least not for now, that is.

       This is where our being disciplined is crucial and mandatory, which is something that, before I stepped out to minister Jesus Christ on a full-time basis, I had to make sure that I was ready to commit to. Both pre- and post-mission meetings with our Commander and King Jesus Christ happen throughout each and every day. "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish (Luke 14:28-30)."

       A truly wonder-full benefit of the Battle Board is one that provides us the privilege and honor of witnessing the natural and spiritual needs and desires of our partners go from being the initial requests to God's working through them, stage by stage, until He fulfill the needs and desires of all of our hearts as we stand together in prayer. And this is something that builds our faith, as a team and family, in many beautiful ways. So please remember, not only are we (Bren and I) praying every day, we are also standing as advocates and prayer warriors to our partners, current and future. All we ask is that our partners take a moment and jot down, on the inside flap of a remittance envelope, whatever it is they would like for us to take before our Father God's throne on their behalf. Once we receive the request(s), we begin lifting them up before The Father (yours and ours), before your and our Lord Jesus Christ... believing! Jesus says, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22)."

       We couldn't do any of the work we do without our regular financial/prayer partners sowing into this ministry, working together for a harvest of souls for The Kingdom, and working to increase our eternal inheritance with The Trinity - all of which are parts that we play together and are eternally grateful for. Whether it is being able to witness our Father, Lord Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit answering the prayers we collectively pray together, or getting to receive responses from our many social media campaigns, podcasts, blogs, special posts, conversations and the like, we simply could not take advantage of it if not for our partners prayerfully and financially sending us into this final hour's harvest field! On behalf of Brenda, those we are reaching, and myself, we love you, appreciate you, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done, or will be doing, to make it possible for us, together with The Holy Trinity, to reach this end times generation with The Gospel of Jesus Christ... and with The Gospel Jesus Christ preaches!
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 channel, 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)


 see and hear, follow and share, more from Toward The Mark, Inc.:

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