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Ruoth ogwethu ahinya jotich Nyasaye; amosou osiepena mageno!  I just said, “the Lord bless you all greatly, servants of the Lord; greetings, dear friends!

Apwoyo ahinya to all of you (I am grateful to all of you); your partnership in prayer and financially has resulted in an extremely successful time for Danny Gilbert and me in partnering with our Lord to bring depth to His Church in Siaya, Kenya.

On Friday, Danny and I finished an outstanding week of teaching and ministry by serving Communion to the pastors.  Of all the Communion services that I’ve ever led, this was the most powerful and meaningful, since Danny and I co-led it, and served Communion to each other (we’ve never led and served Communion together).

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In addition, the presence of the Lord was something I’ll never forget; the Lord ministered to me in a way I’ve never been ministered to before by Him.

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And, as soon as we finished, a cool breeze entered the room – a breeze we had not experienced the entire week!  It seemed to us like the wind of the Holy Spirit.  I can say we felt and enormous amount of encouragement from the Lord.

Moreover, it also rained when we finished our teaching.  But again, all week long it rained at night, while we were sleeping – but never during the day.  The Kenyans believe that when it rains after an important event, God is indicating His blessing and pleasure upon that event.

In today’s update, I thought I would share some of the written testimonies from the pastors we teach; they wanted to express to you their own gratitude as well.

Tomorrow, I’ll share pictures with you from the Bibles we passed out, plus more information on other things the Lord did among us.

Comments from some of the students and pastors of our Bible Institute, written on Friday, March 3, 2017:

I’m quite impressed with one young leader and pastor, Manasses Ombima.  He wrote that until he enrolled in our Bible school, his life and ministry had stagnated, “but since I joined the school, I have been empowered and received sound teachings to run God’s work.”

Manasses added,

I was glad to receive a gift of a Bible; I love it! Pastor Brad and Daniel teach the word of God in simplicity but with power.  This week, we witnessed the move of the Holy Spirit on Wednesday, people being set free, healed and God speaking powerfully.  Words cannot express how much I am happy and grateful for what God is doing through this noble task (Empowered Living International Bible Institute)!

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John Opiyo wrote that he received his first-ever Study Bible!  In addition, he is extremely grateful for his reading glasses, and the teaching he received on biblical marriage.

During a prayer and ministry time on Wednesday, Jennifer Obita received a powerful healing for her shoulder, which had been in extreme pain for the last two months.  She wrote this two days later: “NO PAIN!”

On Friday, March 3, Eunice Obare writes, “As Pastor Brad and Pastor Daniel led in worship [and ministry] on Wednesday, the Holy Spirit moved and I found myself freed from depression that had disturbed me for a long time.”

Claris Adhiambo said she had a migraine headache for an entire week leading up to our seminar, but during the powerful time of ministry Wednesday morning, her headache was healed!

A very godly young woman, Silvia Atieno, writes,

It was in the year 2015 that Pastor Brad prophesied to me that I will serve God freely and in peace without any boundary [i.e. limitations from leaders who had oppressed and mistreated her], and I have seen this prophecy come true.

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Pastor Philip was extremely skeptical about attending our seminar this week for the first time, or of sitting under any teaching from “theologians,” because he had witnessed too many of his peers enroll in theological education and end up losing all passion for the Lord.

But he heard me preach at his church on Sunday, and he changed his mind as, he writes, “The Lord moved powerfully during the time of ministry.”

He then adds,

I was so much amazed to hear servants of the Lord who are also theologians used mightily of God with a mighty move of the Holy Spirit…when Pastor Daniel and Brad ministered I saw the move of God mightily and [it] made me to know that to be carnal is not caused by theology but by one’s choice.

Pastor Alex Atiende says that through our emphasis on principles of Bible study “The Lord has opened my understanding and now I can teach the sound doctrine.”

Joshua Omondi admits that his marriage has been failing rapidly and he has had no hope of a turnaround.  But through our teaching on biblical marriage, he repented of his attitude toward his wife and can’t wait to put what he learned into action.

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Opak Ruoth (praise the Lord)!

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Sunday Preaching

Greetings, friends, and thank you for your interest in reading this report!  And another “thank you” to all of you who partner with me in this ministry in so many ways.  Today’s report is brief, covering ministry from Sunday and Monday.

I had the joy of preaching at two different churches on Sunday; the first service was at the church of one of the leaders of the pastor’s group I teach and train (Christ Minister’s Fellowship, or CMF).

The church is a pretty good size – perhaps 150?  They must have about 50 young children!  They asked me to speak to the kids for 10 minutes (before the service began), and they didn’t move; they paid careful attention.

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I gave a salvation invitation, and perhaps 20 hands went up.  With young children, one can never be sure if they fully understand what has been asked of them, even though I explained everything very carefully.

Still, if only a few were first-time responders, well, that’s already an incredible beginning to the service!

In the main service, I was asked to preach on faith, which went very well, and I had a significant time of personal ministry for the people afterward.  Before I share specifics, I’ll wait to hear from the pastor about the results as he talks to the people who were ministered to.

I find that whenever I preach here in Kenya, I bring a significant level of ministry to the kids.  I laid my hand on a large number of them to bless and pray for them.

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But with one child, I prayed for physical healing.  I stopped mid-sentence and asked if the child was sick, and they said he was.  It sounded serious; I’ve already asked the pastor to report back to me what happened as soon as possible.

the late afternoon, we drove about an hour to visit a church that listens to my radio broadcasts each week.  I met the pastor of the church and the people for the first time and preached a message from Titus 2:11-14.

Although we ate with the pastor and a few of his associates, I never felt comfortable with him or with his church.  Something doesn’t quite “seem right,” and two of the pastors I’m in good relationship with from CMF also felt the same way.

Nevertheless, it was good to make the effort to go.

Monday’s Ministry

In the first two hours of our Monday session, we got so far in-depth into teaching on the Father heart of God that I was in awe to see what the Lord was doing in the hearts of the people; I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

I think it’s one of those things that is just hard to put into words without having been there to witness it.  I’m seeing how God is unveiling His true nature – through His Word – to the Kenyans.

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One pastor said, “the African father is like a lion in the family; he is to be feared.  So how can we truly come to know Him?”

That question alone – which came two hours into our teaching – just opened up an even deeper discussion.  It was clear the Holy Spirit was doing a significant work in the pastors, and they spoke a great deal, with great emotion, about our topic.

In addition, we handed out the reading glasses to the pastors and they were extremely grateful to the partners who donated the glasses!

Finally, the pictures show that we’re meeting in a new location; it’s at a new hotel in town – a bit different than what we might know as a hotel.  We’re meeting in what will become a conference room.

While I’m extremely grateful to the family who rented us our facility on their farm for three years, the place we’re in now is much larger and has a great deal of cross-breeze.

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It was extremely hot on Monday (I’m writing this during a break Tuesday morning), but NOT where we were meeting!  Yes!!!!!

Greetings, dear friends!  I’m thrilled to announce to you that my two-year project of writing a new commentary on Paul’s letter to the Church of Thessalonica is finished and available!

I hope you’ll consider purchasing a copy of this book, entitled, A Heart after God Bible Study Series:  1 Thessalonians: A Church with a Powerful Legacy for Today’s Christian.

Why do I recommend this to you?  I wrote it so that your faith would be renewed, deepened and stirred, and that’s what this book accomplishes.

It’s a deep, verse-by-verse commentary, which is also designed to equip you to become a much better, more careful student of God’s Word.  It can accomplish this for a seasoned believer, or for a new believer.

You’ll find yourself praying often as you read this commentary, and thinking carefully about how to apply the insights you read.

Speaking of insights, you’ll learn a great deal about your faith in the commentary as well, along with many new things you may not have known: Teaching on the pagan background of people who turned to faith in Jesus, and why He had such a dramatic impact on them.

You’ll learn why Paul’s teaching on the resurrection of our bodies was so revolutionary to the first Christians; you’ll read and understand more about a topic that appears so often in the New Testament, but which is rarely taught on in today’s Church: the wrath of God.

Pick up a copy today, and get ready for a rich, rewarding study through 1 Thessalonians, and encourage others to order a copy as well! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06W9FFSTQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486729848&sr=8-1&keywords=brad+abley

I’m writing this before we have a winner for the 2016 presidential race…

Pleas often fall on deaf ears; exhortations tend to stir and rally people.  We need a fresh, new movement of people who will exhort one another to something far more important and much bigger than ourselves — a unified country.

I realize that seems impossible, but it is possible to have a majority of people agree to be unified around a basic set of principles if we’ll choose to continually do what’s right.

Yes, we must maintain our personal, strong convictions; yes, we see the world differently in so many cases.

But let this truth resound: only a very immature person will attack another for his or her beliefs, instead of patiently listening to the reason for those beliefs, respecting those beliefs, and making a rational appeal for the other to change those beliefs.

Mature people can agree to disagree, agreeably.  And this is the exhortation we all must give to each other: be mature; be respectful; listen and stop attacking those you disagree with!

I believe the majority of us understand that a divided nation — full of rancor and strife — serves no good purpose.

Accordingly, let’s move forward with an agreement to honor people and their opinions; let’s agree on freedom of speech; let’s agree that we cannot have any racial animosity towards each other — no discrimination against Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, or Asians.

Let’s agree that hatred for people is never acceptable; let’s agree that when we criticize others, we are not free of error in our own lives.

It’s time for a reset in our national life and work together to make our nation a better nation, in every way.

HOW TO PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD: EPHESIANS 6:10-18

Pastor Brad Matthew Abley, M.Div.

 

BECAUSE MY MIND NEEDS RENEWING EVERY DAY AND BECAUSE THE DEVIL TRIES TO LIE TO ME ABOUT WHO I AM IN CHRIST:

“Today I choose, Lord, to be strong in You and in the strength of Your might.  I put on the full armor of God, that I may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

“For my fight is not against people, but it’s against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness; against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

“Therefore, I take up the full armor of God that I may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

“I stand firm therefore, having girded my loins with truth.  I gird my loins with the truth that I’m your son (daughter); that I’m a man (woman) of God, an ambassador for Christ, a minister of reconciliation.

“I thank You that You love me; that Your hand rests upon me for good; that You never leave me or forsake me, even in trials that You use for my growth in Christ.  I gird my loins with the truth that “I’ve been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ who lives within me.

“And the life that I now live I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  Lord Jesus, I was buried with you in baptism and raised to walk in newness of life.

“Therefore I consider myself to be dead to sin (name the sins you struggle with), but alive to God through Christ Jesus.”  I thank You for Your grace, for Your mercy and for Your favor which rests upon me.  You are for me and not against me; You plan for my success and not my defeat.

“And I agree with You that because You are holy, I am to be holy today.  Please fill me with Your Spirit and help me to walk in Your holiness, at all times today, in Jesus’ name.”

BECAUSE THE BATTLE IS ALSO FOR MY EMOTIONS:

“I put on the breastplate of righteousness now Lord and thank You Lord Jesus that You are my breastplate and You are my righteousness; You have declared me to be righteous in Your sight and worthy before You.

“Help me to walk now in Your truth and righteousness at all times.  Please protect my emotions today.  I come against and take authority over… (name whatever the enemy attacks you with or whatever tempts you or that you struggle with: e.g. strife, heaviness, oppression, pride, a critical spirit, discouragement, discontentment, lust, fantasy, etc.  Do it boldly, recognizing your authority as a believer).

For example: “I take authority now over every spirit of strife that would come against me; I bind fear of _______…I bind the lies that I’m not ___________; I bind accusations against me from the accuser of the brethren…I take authority over discontentment and choose to walk in Your contentment.”

BECAUSE THE DEVIL TRIES TO STEAL OUR PEACE AND JOY:

“Father, I shod my feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace…Thank You that You are my peace and my joy; fill me now with Your Spirit and help me to abide in Your peace, in Your joy, in Your love and in the power of the Holy Spirit at all times — no matter what the difficulties or circumstances!”

BECAUSE THE DEVIL TRIES TO BRING DOUBT:

“Father, in addition to all that I take up the shield of faith, with which I can extinguish all the fiery-tipped arrows of the evil one — for You are my shield and You are my faith.

“Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me; You’re my glory and the lifter of my head.  Help me today to be full of faith and full of the Holy Spirit; help me to walk by faith and not by sight or emotions — in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

“Help me to trust You, to rest joyfully in You; to be settled, surrendered and submitted to You; to be persevering and confident in You and discerning at all times.”

BECAUSE THE BATTLE IS FOR THE MIND:

“Father, I put on the helmet of salvation and I ask You to protect my mind and my thoughts; help me to think like You, to act like You and to respond like You at all times, in the name of Jesus.  Let my mind be off limits and impenetrable by the devil.”

BECAUSE OF MY NEED TO BE BOLD IN THIS BATTLE AND TO SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD AGAINST MY ENEMIES:

“Father, I take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and I ask You to help me to speak Your word with all boldness, authority and power, quickly against the devil, in the name of Jesus.

Friends, years ago — after having taught on how to put on the full armor of God — I was asked to put down on paper the prayer I led the people in — the example I gave of how I put on the armor of God each morning.

This prayer is the result.  May the Lord use it greatly in your life, in Jesus’ name!

It is my great honor and privilege to announce to you — Facebook and Twitter friends — that beginning this Sunday evening, I’ll be teaching God’s Word to the entire continent of Africa on Voice of Hope, Africa! http://www.voiceofhope.com/

The broadcast is one-half hour each Sunday night.  Because it’s fairly rare in Africa to get verse-by-verse teaching, my focus will be to do just that: the first several broadcasts will be through various Psalms, to help people to have a deeper devotional life through the Psalms.

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Lord willing, my next approach will be to teach through 1 Thessalonians.

I began to pray about teaching God’s Word on the radio 20 years ago, and had a sense that this was something the Lord wanted me to pray through.  Though it has taken 20 years, I never could have imagined being able to reach all of Africa!

In God’s timing and providence, I can see His wisdom: First, teaching, training and mentoring pastors in Kenya, with six trips there since January, 2014.  From this, the Lord gave me a great love and heart for Africans.

Once the first broadcast airs, it should appear each week on Voice of Hope website, but you can also listen here, on my personal teaching website (you can watch my video teachings as well): http://pastorbradabley.weebly.com/

Thank you for sharing my joy with me!

Debate, but don’t divide.  Discourse everywhere, it seems, is getting more toxic with each passing day.  Opinions are good and necessary, as long as they’re based in truth and rooted in humility.

Debate is necessary, but division is almost always destructive. Can you debate without dividing?  To do so is a sign of excellent character, of self-control.

But if you cannot debate without dividing, better to hold your tongue; you only hurt yourself, and you hurt others.  Sadly, some people just prefer bringing strife, because of their own immaturity and wicked hearts.

A friend told me recently that social media gives a platform to those who shouldn’t have a platform.  So true.

In our political and social discourse today, division is carrying the day.  But it will come at a greater cost than we can currently imagine.  None wiser than Jesus warns us: “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (Mark 3:28; Mt. 12:22-28).

Abraham Lincoln wisely picked up on this statement and modified it to say “a nation divided against itself cannot stand.”

He uttered these words in a speech he gave in 1858 as a warning of what would come if Americans continued in division over slavery – roughly three years before the Civil War broke out and approximately 600,000 lives were destroyed…

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Proverbs 17:14 also admonishes us: “The beginning of strife is like the letting out of water, so abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.”

Debate, but don’t divide.  Deal with the issue; don’t attack the person.  Monitor your character.  Speak the truth, but with humility.  Our nation needs this, now.