2018 In Our Rearview Mirror

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Debbie and I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and are truly enjoying a Happy New Year! We just left behind one of our favorite times of the year. We love when fall arrives and we then enter into the Christmas season. There’s joyfulness in the air almost everywhere you go! As we look back over 2018, we thank God for all His many blessings we saw throughout this past year!

Debbie and I have traveled many miles by plane and car and taken some adventures that we never thought we would take. In June we took part in a week-long training called TEAMS training. This is a training put on by a Christian group that does international rescue missions into the sex-trafficking world. We then returned in August and I put on a week-long medical training course to the same group. (We do plan at some point to connect and go on a mission with them overseas.) Before we returned home to TX, we celebrated Debbie’s birthday at Niagara Falls enjoying both sides, but I think we enjoyed the Canada side the most.

In September I went to California and ministered at a church in Compton, CA that I go to each year. I normally either do a youth camp or the Friday night youth service and then minister in both Sunday AM services. While there this time I taught a “Response Ready” seminar for their church. In these seminars, we talk about active shooter situations and also do a basic medical/CPR training.

In November we flew to Guatemala for our director’s meetings with all our international directors, but the highlight of that trip was watching 502 students graduate from the Bible School in Guatemala. (www.livingwaterteaching.org) It was a blessing to have some good fellowship with our missionaries while there as well as attend a 3-day Holy Spirit seminar. We also had breakfast at the orphanage on campus (The Promised Home) and laid hands and anointed with oil and prayed over each of the babies and toddlers.

We have watched our grandkids take their first steps and added a new furry family member named “Yogi” into our home – he is a chocolate brown cocker spaniel, and everyone loves him. We ended this year watching our son, Ricky, say “I do” to a special young lady he has known almost his whole life. As we now look ahead into this new year, we know God has amazing things for all His children and we are ready for we know the best is yet to come.

So Happy Journeys to all in 2019 =)
Keith & Debbie, Parker & Brandie, Ricky & Harley, Collin, Youko, Astaire, & Koga Spanberger, Josh, Ashley, & Gabriel Underwood, & The Amazing Yogi

To find out more about us and the many things that we are putting our hands to do, CLICK on the following links:
Living Water Teaching www.livingwaterteaching.org
Operation Shoebox CLICK HERE
Mission Trips CLICK HERE
MedCo Training International Facebook Page CLICK HERE
Base-Camp Men’s Encounter Facebook Page CLICK HERE

Instagram:
@rkspanberger
@lwt_inter
@live_response_ready

Focus & Peace

Sunset at Seal Beach in Huntington Beach, California

Sunset at Seal Beach in Huntington Beach, California – Photo taken by https://reachonedesigns.wordpress.com/

Focus & Peace

I want to share something that has been on my heart lately. We will start in John 14:27 (NLT) “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don’t be troubled or afraid.”

My pastor just used a quote that I have read many different versions of but this one sticks for me, “If it costs you your peace, then it’s too expensive”. I believe that true peace is a gift from God paid for by the Blood of Jesus.

Webster defines peace as “a state of tranquility or quiet” and for most, this is not where they find themselves this moment. I can tell you this, without focus it’s impossible to keep your peace and nothing in life is worth our peace.

Much of the time, Christians think that life is going to be all rainbows and roses, but God never promised us that. He did, however, promise that when struggles in life come, and they will, He will always be there with us in the midst of the storm. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” His only begotten son, Jesus, became our out!

Here is the perfect scripture to ground us in the fact that our peace comes through our focus. Isaiah 26:3 NLT ” You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” I must keep my thoughts focused on Him, NOT because I have to BUT because I GET to! I use this statement often, “In Him is the answer to every question, the solution to every problem, and the peace in every storm”.

So, what’s your level of peace this very moment? If there is an absence of peace, then I would venture to say that there is also a lack of focus. Make the decision to redirect your focus to Jesus and watch how your peace seems to find its place back in your life. Remember, worry and peace can’t dwell together just as light and darkness can’t.

So here are some ways that you can bring your focus back in line and regain your peace.

1. Laugh more – Laughter has been proven to be a powerful tool in relieving stress and worry which are focus thieves.
2. Take time to check out – Find time in your day to just zone out and not think about anything. Our new smartwatches have a breathing app and I have found that just taking a one or two-minute breathing break does help greatly.
3. Control your media intake – Watch what you allow into your life. This could be from social media, TV, radio and YES, friends and family.
4. Exercise – YES, this requires you to move in some way, shape, or form! Move, stretch, run, walk, do something to get the blood pumping.
5. Journal – I have found journaling has all positive attributes and no negatives unless you’re just lazy! To me, journaling is just thinking on paper and writing about whatever comes to mind and a certain moment in time.

These are just a few; this list could go on and on and that’s what I would like it to do in the comments below =) Let’s hear your thoughts and ideas. GO….

50 Strong

50 Strong

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Hiking trail view along Abalone Cove, San Pedro, CA – Photo taken by https://reachonedesigns.wordpress.com/

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”
Nelson Mandela

My hope is that this post will find its way into the right hands this day to encourage and maybe add some humor and joy to it.

I realized this morning that I’m in the 30-day countdown till I turn 50 which to many that means I’m going “over the hill”. Well, that is NOT the case, as I’m doing it with great joy and NOT with fear and trembling =). I’m actually excited about the climb, the peak at the top and getting to see what’s next!

I just asked a group of friends that are very special in my life but also way younger than me, to be like a sounding board for my blog and podcast which are all getting relaunched on June the 1st. Their youthfulness is inspiring to me. So many reach a certain age and seem to think they don’t need youthfulness around them, but we all need each other!

I can remember at one point in my life thinking 50 was forever away and that “yes” when I got there, I would be old! But now I exuberantly say, “Bring it on”! So, which brought me think, “What Biblical nugget can I share about 50?” When you search the number 50 out in the Bible, you can find it many times and used in so many different ways. But one way stood out to me that was being used in a passage of deliverance. How is the number 50 related to deliverance? Well, I’m glad you asked! Fifty symbolizes deliverance or freedom from a burden. God commanded ancient Israel that every 50th year, on the Day of Atonement, that a Jubilee was to be declared with the sound of a trumpet (Leviticus 25). During the Jubilee year, ALL debts were settled in favor of the debtor and inheritances were returned to their rightful owners. Also, those who worked as slave laborers in order to repay a debt were granted their freedom to return home to their families and land. I’m actually seeing my Jubilee year coming I guess you would say and am ready to hear the trumpet sound. =)

I say often, “Life is a journey” and by design, I believe the journey was only to be the transition to a new place when we stop breathing. Until then, we should be seeking the adventure in every second and enjoying every breath no matter what life throws our way. We should be looking for ways to better ourselves and NOT be looking for excuses to slow down and accept that we are too old to do what we want or enjoy. Debbie and I were out jogging last night and talking about a friend we met through a local running club. They called him “Papa Turtle” because at 70+ he could run forever it seemed. He inspires me to push myself further than what feels comfortable and reach for things that others say you shouldn’t be doing anymore.

If 50 is in your line of sight OR way back behind you in the rear-view mirror of life, make no excuses for why you can’t any longer do what you really want to do. Instead, start reminding yourself that YES you can! As in the Nelson Mandela quote I shared above, there are many more mountains to conquer; so start climbing!!

Start today, right this very moment, investing in yourself. Read new books, exercise, step outside the box of the norm for you, and trade those old negative habits in for some new positive ones. Make whatever age you’re at the most impactive one of your life yet.

Faith, Fact OR Fear

Faith, fact or fear

Faith, Fact OR Fear

Today I shared at Living Water Teaching’s US Headquarters, in Caddo Mills, TX on “Faith, Fact OR Fear”.  Please go check it out and also help me get this teaching out to as many as possible.

You can CLICK HERE to go online and listen to the message.

You can also go to iTunes by CLICKING HERE and subscribe to the Kingdom Thinking podcast.

I would love to hear from you below!

Greatness Through Serving

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“Greatness Through Serving”

Today I shared at Living Water Teaching’s US Headquarters, in Caddo Mills, TX on “Greatness Through Serving”.  I used Matthew 20:20-28 as my reference.  I believe with all my heart that TRUE & LASTING greatness only comes through serving others!

You can CLICK HERE to go online and listen to the message.

I would love to hear from you on your thoughts on serving and also how you would define it, below.

TODAY

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I can’t believe that we are almost to the end of 2016. In fact, as I write this letter, we only have 33 days remaining. For so many, this is disheartening news and for others, they are rejoicing and saying, “Come on 2017!” There are also those living in the very present moment full of the joy of the Lord in whatever they are doing.

We read in Matthew 6, where it warns us not to be anxious about our life. Isaiah 43:18 tells us “to forget the former things; do not dwell on the past”. God wants us to live in the present, as the very present moment is really all we have been promised on this earth. It’s time to stop thinking about everything that you didn’t get done and stop worrying about all that you want to get done and make right now the most impactive moment of your life.

I look at it this way; Jesus at the cross redeemed us from our past and also secured victory in every present moment. There will be moments where it does not look or feel like you’re a victor BUT we are NEVER to be moved by what our physical senses try to dictate to us. Faith simply knows that God is God 24/7/365 and makes that the final authority in all things.

So, if you feel like you are off track in what you’re supposed to be doing, then ask God to forgive you and get back on track right where you left off. If you’re not sure what the Lord has called you to do, then ask! He has a plan for all of us and He will not leave us alone to fend for ourselves. He is the greatest example of a loving Father, so rest in that knowledge.

This very moment is a new one; there will never be another like it, so make it count. I read a quote once that went something like this: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Then do it!” Today, start living for God like there is no tomorrow. Dare to be a man and or woman after God’s own heart. He loves you so much and this season we are coming into, should be the greatest reminder of this.

TODAY!

Photo by RKS Photography

Photo by RKS Photography

I want to start this week’s post off with a quote. This quote is by Admiral – William H. McRaven as he addressed the 2014 UTA graduating class in Austin, TX. He said, “What starts here changes the world”. What a powerful statement! To me, it’s a challenge that all should take. I want my dreams to change the world for the better and live way beyond my lifetime.

Today we can make decisions to move forward into our dreams. We can learn to embrace uncertainty and rejoice in the ups and downs of life. I just read a statement that said, “Enjoy the downs in life because there can be no ups without them”! A successful life has so much to do with our perspective of it.

Stop waiting on the perfect time; but instead, decide to give your absolute best and leave the rest to God. I love listening to Dan Miller and one thing he teaches is that we need to stop waiting for the perfect time and start doing with what we have now. People are not seeking you for perfection, but instead, realness that they can learn and glean from to help them step-up to a new level.

So what could you do right NOW to start moving forward in your dream? Then do it and don’t look back!

Well that’s it for today, but we have many great past blog posts I would encourage you to check out and we are also on iTunes at: http://goo.gl/0kx3Ya

I believe our life is truly meant to be the greatest adventure novel waiting to be written as we live it out. Start living the best life possible NOW on purpose with purpose. Live with no regrets and love without boundaries. Hold nothing back and charge life head on. I am excited for what’s next, because the excitement of anticipation and not knowing of what is next is what births each breath in life.

So stand strong, live life loud and bold! Take this new day gladiator style, ruling and reigning it and not letting it reign you.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and or suggestions below.

LivXtrem4Him