Tag Archives: Janice Keats

HOW TO FIND GOD WHEN IT’S CRUNCH TIME

Finding God when it’s Crunch Time

-that is the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

by Janice Keats

Storm

Starting a business has its challenges. There are set-up costs, staffing, supplies and purchases, and so on but who would have thought that a natural storm would come into play?

With a truck and U-Haul in tow, my daughter, along with her husband and infant made our way to Newfoundland to open their business. The long drive from one end of the province to the other was long and tiresome but that wasn’t an issue. The set-up of the business while it was hard work that wasn’t an issue either. It wasn’t until we completed the job that we were faced with a storm.

It was a combination of hurricane sandy and a Nor’easter. When we made it back to the ferry terminal, Marine Atlantic announced that all service to Nova Scotia had come to a standstill due to high winds. That was after we waited in line for 6 hours. As luck would have it we were the very next vehicle to board the ferry if there was one.

We were informed that another ferry was on its way and we were rescheduled. So another 6 hour wait. Not so fast…more grim news. With the gentle tapping on our window from the worker we knew what it meant. That’s when the agonizing moments reached its height.

What do we do now? We cannot put my little grandson through another long wait, it was too hard for him. It had been a hard working week and we were all ready to be in our own homes comfortably settled after this journey.

We had no idea when the ferry service would be back on track. So we drove to Corner Brook for the night and possibly longer. So what do we do?

After a long debate we decided that my daughter and her baby and myself would fly back to Halifax and my son-in-law would be on stand by for the ferry service. It was how we made our decision that everything worked out for the good. As we were agonizing what to do, we settled it God’s way.

We finally agreed that if the ferry service was on schedule the following morning we would return but if it wasn’t we would fly home. We waited and trusted God for the answer. Well, it wasn’t on schedule. We got the “maybe” and “later” but no confirmation except God’s and we were certainly at peace with that.

It was the handing over the situation to God that brought the peace that was needed during those trying moments. We settled on the fact that we knew what to do in the morning. That’s leaving it with God. That’s trusting God in the heart of a storm!

Janice Keats

Janice is a freelance writer, and speaker. Her passion is developing and teaching workshops on various Biblical Studies, and planning ladies night out events. She is a certified lay Pastoral Counsellor and is presently employed in ministry. She has had several articles published in various local, provincial and national newspapers.

She is the author of, Poems of Inspiration and Occasion and, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Future works include a devotional book and an audio book of her poems. She is married with three grown children, all of whom are accomplished musicians. Her twin daughters, known as The Keats, are country singers and her son is a recording engineer. Janice Keatshttp://themasterspath.wordpress.com/

Mea Culpa

Obviously I have been working on too many things at once. I made a mistake on Monday and posted “Are you Praying for your Sheep” and didn’t credit the correct writer. I sincerely apologize to Janice Keats.

I am reposting this today. I have also fixed it on our site.

Blessings,

Jan

Are You Praying for Your Sheep?

by Janice Keats

Are You Praying for Your Sheep?

As I sat in my office listening to my Pastor/friend sharing his burdens my thoughts were filled with compassion and my eyes were filled with tears. Afterwards I knew that I needed to pray earnestly for God to comfort him.

Shouldn’t God’s people be eager to pray for the hurting souls?

You see, my friend and his wife were recently separated and now face a completely unknown and somewhat precarious future. Pastor Steve tried to keep their family together – to no avail. There is nothing left but the pain and heartache he has to face—alone.

In the midst of the busyness of life is there any room left to share and care for the hurting and the deeply wounded? Well, prayer and compassion ought to be a natural response to such a need but it is also a command.

“And will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4 NIV).

My friend is a pastor of a congregation and suddenly his future with his family and his pastoral duties has all been laid aside until he is able to pick up the broken pieces and move on. We expend so much time on reaching out to others but we also have our own flock that is in need of tender loving care.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).

Let’s remember that we need each other’s comfort and listening ear. Trouble will come to all of us. But God provides comfort in time of need and you and I are included in that plan to deliver God’s comforting words of assurance. It helps make the storm a little easier to pass through. They need you, they need me, and they need us! Lend an ear today won’t you?

Keep on praying.

“Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me” (Psalm 66:20 NIV)!

“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:13-16 NIV).

 

Janice Keats

Janice is a freelance writer, and speaker. Her passion is developing and teaching workshops on various Biblical Studies, and planning ladies night out events. She is a certified lay Pastoral Counsellor and is presently employed in ministry. She has had several articles published in various local, provincial and national newspapers.

She is the author of, Poems of Inspiration and Occasion and, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Future works include a devotional book and an audio book of her poems. She is married with three grown children, all of whom are accomplished musicians. Her twin daughters, known as The Keats, are country singers and her son is a recording engineer. Janice Keatshttp://themasterspath.wordpress.com/

 

ARE YOU PRAYING FOR YOUR SHEEP?

Are You Praying for Your Sheep?

by Janice Keats

Are You Praying for Your Sheep?

As I sat in my office listening to my Pastor/friend sharing his burdens my thoughts were filled with compassion and my eyes were filled with tears. Afterwards I knew that I needed to pray earnestly for God to comfort him.

Shouldn’t God’s people be eager to pray for the hurting souls?

You see, my friend and his wife were recently separated and now face a completely unknown and somewhat precarious future. Pastor Steve tried to keep their family together – to no avail. There is nothing left but the pain and heartache he has to face—alone.

In the midst of the busyness of life is there any room left to share and care for the hurting and the deeply wounded? Well, prayer and compassion ought to be a natural response to such a need but it is also a command.

“And will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4 NIV).

My friend is a pastor of a congregation and suddenly his future with his family and his pastoral duties has all been laid aside until he is able to pick up the broken pieces and move on. We expend so much time on reaching out to others but we also have our own flock that is in need of tender loving care.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).

Let’s remember that we need each other’s comfort and listening ear. Trouble will come to all of us. But God provides comfort in time of need and you and I are included in that plan to deliver God’s comforting words of assurance. It helps make the storm a little easier to pass through. They need you, they need me, and they need us! Lend an ear today won’t you?

Keep on praying.

“Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me” (Psalm 66:20 NIV)!

“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:13-16 NIV).

 

Janice Keats

Janice is a freelance writer, and speaker. Her passion is developing and teaching workshops on various Biblical Studies, and planning ladies night out events. She is a certified lay Pastoral Counsellor and is presently employed in ministry. She has had several articles published in various local, provincial and national newspapers.

She is the author of, Poems of Inspiration and Occasion and, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Future works include a devotional book and an audio book of her poems. She is married with three grown children, all of whom are accomplished musicians. Her twin daughters, known as The Keats, are country singers and her son is a recording engineer. Janice Keatshttp://themasterspath.wordpress.com/

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PRAYER CHANGES LIVES

Prayer Changes Lives

by Janice Keats

It seems that faith sharing hasn’t gotten any easier over the years. Perhaps it is because of the ever-growing battle that we are up against. Many people are not interested perhaps but God’s power is still available to change lives. We alone do not have the ability or the power to change people’s hearts and minds but we can prayerfully intercede on behalf of others. God is attentive to the prayers of the righteous.

Roman 1:16 says:

“The Gospel is the power of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes.”

How good it is to spend private moments with God, especially when you are in complete stillness with Him. God expects His children to faithfully offer prayers and petitions. God is not only an answering prayer God, He is our most trusted friend, and He loves and disciplines us as His dearly loved children.

Our faith may weaken sometimes, but our prayers have great worth because God hears us. We must persevere in prayer so that we do not lose heart.

And in the book of Colossians we learn that we are to be devoted to prayer.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2).

When we pray we ought to believe and not doubt.

“Therefore I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).

As difficult as it may seem sometimes, we must not allow our faith to waiver, but to continue in Him and encourage one another under all circumstances.

Ephesians 6:18 says:

“And pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

When Jesus walked among men, he would often spend time alone with God. He prayed for His disciples, He prayed for all believers, and He prayed for Himself. Sharing the ‘good news’ continues to be challenging, but we ought to recognize the opportunities that God places before us to share His amazing love and plan of Salvation.

Christian witnessing has the power to influence but God’s Word has the power to save.

Let’s continue to pray our heartfelt concerns. He is mighty to deliver and lift our burdens. Let us not be afraid to tell people that we are praying for them. We can do our job by allowing God to do His!

Thoughts to ponder:

Have you ever received an answer to pray almost immediately? Were you surprised?

Do you know of someone who has been praying the same prayer for years before it was answered? Describe that person’s faith.

Janice Keats

Janice is a freelance writer, and speaker. Her passion is developing and teaching workshops on various Biblical Studies, and planning ladies night out events. She is a certified lay Pastoral Counsellor and is presently employed in ministry. She has had several articles published in various local, provincial and national newspapers.

She is the author of, Poems of Inspiration and Occasion and, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Future works include a devotional book and an audio book of her poems. She is married with three grown children, all of whom are accomplished musicians. Her twin daughters, known as The Keats, are country singers and her son is a recording engineer. Janice Keatshttp://themasterspath.wordpress.com/

TRUSTING GOD THROUGH LIFE’S STORMS

Trusting God Through Life’s Storms

by Janice Keats

Selected Scripture: Psalm 91:14-16

It’s kind of hard to give all our burdens to the Lord when they weigh heavily upon us. We know where to turn in times of distress and we know whom we can trust but sometimes life can still bring unbearable circumstances, which makes praying difficult to express.

What we do not see sometimes is God’s hand in the storms of life. It is not until after the storm has passed that the way becomes clear again and the exclamation and acknowledgement is expressed, “It was God who brought me through!”

Amidst life’s seemingly insurmountable trials is a God who understands and cares. We can pour out to Him our personal and varied list of burdens with confidence. When we present them, we trust and we wait, and in time experience the results, which is His peace and comfort from His love.

“Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him, I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me and I will answer him” (Psalm 91:14, 15a NIV)

Maybe we do give God our burdens, but do we take them back again in fear and doubt afterwards? God knows those who are His and He will rescue and protect as He promised. All we have to do is believe that He is watching out for us. We should lay aside any doubt and believe that God is an all-loving and all-powerful God.

“I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver Him and honour him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:15b & 16 NIV).

Imagine a long life of dedicated prayer and trust. Do you know of such prayer warriors? Have you seen such Spiritual fervour? God has promised to satisfy the soul-searching child of God.

He must satisfy his faithful servants. We too must remain firm in the faith, in whom we believe. We are not sure if we will live a long life but we can be sure that God is always near to his children, whether we are broken-hearted or basking in His glory.

If we are not satisfied with the way we live and walk by faith then it must be on our part. Perhaps we have not yet released all the dark clouds of despair. Hold on – joy comes in the morning. Let’s trust God more and more as our burdens grow deeper.

Proverbs 30:5 says,

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield who take refuge in him”

Janice Keats

Janice is a freelance writer, and speaker. Her passion is developing and teaching workshops on various Biblical Studies, and planning ladies night out events. She is a certified lay Pastoral Counsellor and is presently employed in ministry. She has had several articles published in various local, provincial and national newspapers.

She is the author of, Poems of Inspiration and Occasion and, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Future works include a devotional book and an audio book of her poems. She is married with three grown children, all of whom are accomplished musicians. Her twin daughters, known as The Keats, are country singers and her son is a recording engineer. Janice Keatshttp://themasterspath.wordpress.com/

PRAYER SUPPORT FOR MISSIONARIES

Prayer Support for Missionaries

by Janice Keats

As I entered church one Sunday morning I quickly found myself engaged in a conversation with the church deacon and another lady who was about to take her first missionary journey overseas. I made a pledge to my missionary acquaintance, Julie, that I would keep her in my prayers.

The deacon announced with reassurance that I would. He told her confidently, “If Jan said she would be praying for you she really meant it.” Wow! I was really touched that he had such confidence in me. But I was serious. I have a passion for missionary work. I do not have a calling to go abroad to work as a missionary per se but I can show my support in other ways, one of them being prayer.

I would love to go to a third world country and help people, the orphaned, the lame, the sick, and the lepers who still become stricken with the terrible disease. Oh how the townsfolk’s need tender care. Oh how God needs workers like Julie. As we concluded our conversation, Julie thanked me and was comforted knowing that someone was praying for her.

She travelled to Asia for a period of 3 months. I prayed for her safety, and her work. I often visualized her daily events and how tenderly she cared for the people she was privileged to meet. Prayer kept me focused and prayer kept us connected.

How about you? Do you have prayer concerns? Have you taken your burdens to God? What about others? Is there anyone that God has impressed upon you to pray for? People need the Lord. People need answers to their moans and expressions they perhaps cannot release. Let’s commit to intercede for those who need prayer support.

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays. ~Søren Kierkegaard

Janice Keats

Janice is a freelance writer, and speaker. Her passion is developing and teaching workshops on various Biblical Studies, and planning ladies night out events. She is a certified lay Pastoral Counsellor and is presently employed in ministry. She has had several articles published in various local, provincial and national newspapers.

She is the author of, Poems of Inspiration and Occasion and, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Future works include a devotional book and an audio book of her poems. She is married with three grown children, all of whom are accomplished musicians. Her twin daughters, known as The Keats, are country singers and her son is a recording engineer. Janice Keatshttp://themasterspath.wordpress.com/

 

THE SOUND OF GOD’S PEACE

The Sound of God’s Peace

by Janice Keats

One of my favourite childhood memories includes spending many nights traveling in my father’s pleasure boat, which was a longliner. Equipped with a sleeping capacity of six and all of the amenities that a family would need, we spent many nights anchored into the deep waters. On some occasions we were docked in a nearby community.

In the darkness of the evening nothing was heard except the gentle waves breaking against the side of the boat. There was usually no other ocean traffic that passed by after dusk. The ocean was our solace as we rocked through the night. But the sweetest sound of my ocean travels was when we were securely docked in a new community because I loved to explore. Those nights I lay awake listening to the scraping sounds of the buoys rubbing against the wharf creating a gentle lopping splash. I could hear the soft rushing waves as they rolled through the intertwining logs of the wharf. Those same sounds awoke me in the mornings.

When I reminisce I imagine how calming it must be for a child to be gently rocked in a mother’s bosom. I imagine how calming it must be for a child of God to be cradled in God’s bosom when tough times arise. When I am found in a desperate time of my life I can recall those wonderful memories and prayerfully wait upon God to guide me safely. Yes, God is in the storms at sea and in the storms of life that so many endure, but He is also in the stillness of the night. God is a God of peace, gentleness and solitude. When we look for Him we will find Him. Whether it is in the middle of the darkest ocean or moored safely to a wharf.

“I will listen to God the Lord. He has ordered peace for those who worship him.” (Psalm 85:8) NCV

Janice is a freelance writer, and speaker. Her passion is developing and teaching workshops on various Biblical Studies, and planning ladies night out events. She is a certified lay Pastoral Counsellor and is presently employed in ministry. She has had several articles published in various local, provincial and national newspapers.

She is the author of, Poems of Inspiration and Occasion and, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Future works include a devotional book and an audio book of her poems. She is married with three grown children, all of whom are accomplished musicians. Her twin daughters, known as The Keats, are country singers and her son is a recording engineer. Janice Keatshttp://themasterspath.wordpress.com/

PRAYER – WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

Prayer – What’s In It For Me?

by Janice Keats

 

Scripture Selection: Job 21

Why should we be compelled or expected to serve and honour God Almighty? Job asks, “Who is the Almighty that we should serve Him? What would we gain by praying to Him? (Job 21:15)

So, what’s in it for me? You might ask. What is to be gained from declaring God as the most High God? What did Job gain by placing his complete faith and trust in God? After all, he suffered so much. Despite the afflictions, he continued to believe that God would see him through the most terrible and darkest times of his life. Suddenly he was being afflicted with sickness and even death in his family.

In his suffering Job remained strong. His faith in God remained unwavering. That’s not to say that he didn’t have questions. He began to compare the righteous verses the non-righteous. Job wonders, “Why do the wicked live on growing old and increasing in power? They see their children established around them their offspring before their eyes. Their homes are safe and free from fear; the rod of God is not upon them.” (Job 21:7-9) He continued to spiel about the prosperity of the wicked. They want nothing to do with God. Yet they live a prosperous life and go to the grave in peace.

On one hand Job says that one man dies in full vigour completely secure and at ease, while the other dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good. Side by side they lie in the dust, and worms cover them both. (Job 21:23-26) So Job wonders what good it is to serve God. Even Job’s wife pleaded with him to curse God and die, but then we discover how righteous and firm his faith really is. His reply to his wife was, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” (Job 2:10)

Peace is not the absence of trouble; peace is the overflow of a life under God’s control.  God gives peace in the midst of trouble. So, what good is there

in praying? What good is having a right relationship with God? Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Our faith enables us to trust God in difficult times and in good times. We too will receive abundant blessings when we hold unswervingly to the hope we possess in God. After Job’s suffering God blessed him twice as much as before, making him even more prosperous with the land and cattle and his long and abundant life with his family.

Who is He this king of glory? The Lord Almighty – He is the king of glory.” (Psalm 24:10)

—————————————————————————-

Janice Keats

Janice is a freelance writer, and speaker. Her passion is developing and teaching workshops on various Biblical Studies, and planning ladies night out events. She is a certified lay Pastoral Counsellor and is presently employed in ministry. She has had several articles published in various local, provincial and national newspapers.

She is the author of, Poems of Inspiration and Occasion and, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Future works include a devotional book and an audio book of her poems. She is married with three grown children, all of whom are accomplished musicians. Her twin daughters, known as The Keats, are country singers and her son is a recording engineer. Janice Keatshttp://themasterspath.wordpress.com/

SEEKING GOD’S PRESENCE

Seeking God’s presence…Through Prayer and Purpose at the feet of Jesus

by Janice Keats

When you are in listening distance of people talking about Jesus or the Gospel message, do you become inquisitive? Perhaps you are somehow undeniably drawn to the presence of the Holy Spirit and you are led to heart of the conversation.

A similar experience occurred when a sinful woman entered a room where Jesus was a dinner guest. While it may have been interesting to know that Jesus was dining with a Pharisee, what’s more interesting is that a woman who has been sinning all her life suddenly wanted to see Jesus.

“When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume and as she stood behind him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them” (Luke 7:37-38 NIV).

The Pharisee wondered and waited to see how Jesus would react to the surprised visit. The Pharisee, in his own mind, was testing Jesus’ credibility as a prophet. So he waited for a response from Jesus to see if he really knew that this woman was a sinner.

Jesus responded with a challenge. In comparing the woman’s behavior to that of the Pharisee, Jesus was quick to point out that the woman’s love and actions were far greater than that of the Pharisee.

“Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet” (Luke 7:44-46 NIV).

The Pharisee was hospitable in inviting Jesus to dinner, and it very well may have been a three-course meal, but the sinful woman did so much more. She gave herself to Him. She brought the best perfume, she wept in repentance, and she met the Savior.

She must have heard that Jesus could offer something better than living a deliberate sinful life. She must have been tired of living a sinful life. Her mind was made up. “I am going to change my bad habits,” she may have said. “I want to know what this Jesus can do for me,” she may have determined.  She may have been prepared to repent of her sins but was she prepared to enter into the presence of the almighty and loving God? So much that the encounter resulted in tears in place of words?

Jesus didn’t have to wait to be told by the Pharisee what kind of life this woman was living. The master knew her yearning heart. The Lord’s forgiveness and everlasting love was hers without question!

What was the prayer? The unspoken moan and sorrow and act of repentance. What was the purpose? To seek Jesus wholeheartedly. There was no turning back!

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE OF PRAYER?

Where is Your Favourite Place of Prayer?

by Janice Keats

The Apostle Paul’s travel itinerary was quite extensive. He covered many towns and villages as he trained and fellowshipped with the saints of God.

As Paul was making travel plans to Jerusalem, he stopped at points in between and encouraged his fellow believers. But his farewell to the Ephesians was perhaps the most difficult because his time with them was growing shorter and he knew in part, the hardships that were to come in Jerusalem.

This is what he said to them:

“And now compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again” (Acts 20:22&25).

After a few more words of encouragement, Paul knelt with all of them and prayed.

“They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them the most was his statement that they may never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship” (Acts 20:37,38).

Paul tore himself away from them and sailed to Tyre and stayed with the disciples there for seven days. When it was time to leave again all of the disciples and their wives and children accompanied him out of the city, and there on the beach they knelt and prayed. They said their good-byes and parted (Acts 21:5). Many discerned that he was going to be in danger in Jerusalem and urged him not to go.

Imagine a prayer meeting on the beach. Imagine how difficult it must have been to part from the fellowship of believers that Paul had trained, discipled and broke bread with. Imagine sending off your mentor knowing the dangers that lay ahead of him. Paul tore himself away from the family of God, and all the while the people pleaded with him not to go to Jerusalem. Paul responded by saying, Don’t break my heart with your weeping for me, I am willing to die for my Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13).

Did Paul need to pray? Did Paul need the prayers of the people? Did Paul show any pride as he and the entourage of God’s family knelt in public on the beach? Was Paul effective in teaching the love of God to the various churches? What did they do in time of great need? They were there for him.

Why was there a prayer meeting on the beach? That was Paul’s point of need for protection and strength to carry out the Will of God. It was an informal gathering of the family of God. It was also a turning point of Paul’s life. Prayer was needed at that very moment in time! Knee prints on a beach provided solace to a soldier of God and the family of God!