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

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“Influence”

This post is a teaching I did at Living Water Teaching’s US headquarters located in Caddo Mills, TX.  You can CLICK HERE to listen to the recording now or CLICK HERE to go to iTunes and download the Podcast.

Influence is defined as: “The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something.”

One of the most important choices we make in life is what we ALLOW to influence us. Please take note of the word, ALLOW. We allow what influences us, it can’t take control and do it all on its own!

One major influence is what or who we spend the most time with. What we listen to, watch, read and allow to be in our lives, becomes a potential influencer.

In Proverbs 13, we read about the topic of wisdom. I really like v:20 in the NLT translation, which says: “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”

There are two powerful forces that battle to influence us, wisdom and foolishness. The Bible reveals to us in Proverbs 9 that they are competing for our attention, calling out for us to follow them. So many people take the bait, hook, line, and sinker!

Something important to note about foolishness; it’s deceptive, and it can appear informed and attractive. We see it all over social media, in print, on tv and hear it on the radio. I was thinking about the news as I wrote this and the effect it has as we listen to it and then when you add the pictures to it as well, it can get so much worse. Most of the time, it provokes us to react because of the things we hear and see, and not in the right way.

To get a true understanding of wisdom and foolishness, let’s look at how they are defined.

Foolishness is defined as: “Lack of good sense or judgment; stupidity.”

Wisdom is defined as: “The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.” 

Wisdom and foolishness express themselves through the words of the influencers which we allow into our lives. We’d like to think we’d never be influenced by foolish people. However, foolishness is deceptive and can appear informed and attractive.

When we read 2 Corinthians 11, we read where Paul was frustrated because the church allowed foolishness to deceive them. We read about their faithfulness as well as their foolishness, along with false apostles. Paul brings truth to light to distinguish the wise people apart from the foolish people. Here are three ways he did it; they can help us in our daily lives.

1.  Fools listen to anything anyone says. Wise people compare what they hear to God’s Word and in prayer receive revelation. They also seek wise counsel from those that they trust. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
2.  Fools look to move up the ladder, becoming anyone and saying anything to get ahead. We call this type of person a YES person. Wise people are faithful with the opportunities God gives them, and they always put others first. (2 Corinthians 11:7-15).
3.  Fools boast about their achievements (2 Corinthians 11:17-18). The wise know to boast in the Lord. (2 Corinthians 11:30-31).
Listening to foolish influences carries harmful consequences, but listening to the wise can help makes us wise (Proverbs 13:20).

In a world so full of opinions, the Bible must always be our rudder of truth and wisdom.

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself:
1. Who or what influences you the most? Based on the three things previously mentioned, are those influences wise or foolish?
2. If necessary, what is one way you can begin now to change who and or what influences you today?
3. What is one situation you need to ask God for wisdom about? James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”.

 

Time For A Change….

Time for change

If you were sitting in on one of my meetings and I asked those that would want a change in their lives to please raise their hand, would you be one of them?

I just read an article through a very well known publication that stated 1 out of 3 people are really happy with their lives. So my question is, what about the others? Where are they in life and why are they still in that place?

If you would have raised your hand, then it’s time for a change, a solid change, one of “NO return trip” offered!

Change defined is “to make or become different“. That’s the goal in times of change. But that’s not always the end result.

“Greatest fear, unfulfilled potential”
Movie Quote “The Circle”

Potential is defined as “the capacity to become or develop into“.

So many live their entire life with unfulfilled potential. Books, ideas, inventions, and dreams are just hiding inside of them. They are haunted by the could have been and should have been monsters. They must learn to slay these monsters DAILY and NOT allow regret to hold them back.

So what can you do right now to bring change into your life, with the potential you have inside of you? The answer is limitless! There is no end to what you can do or become. The only limits in life rest between your two ears.

It’s time to stop looking at your story in the rearview mirror of life and now see it in the present of who you are and what you can be.

Right this moment, you have so much potential fighting to find its way out of you and so let it out! Stopping looking for a person, event or book to be the ultimate answer for you becoming all that you have dreamed about becoming.

Today is your day to shine, so make it count!