Well I Got Your Attention

Addiction and Life signs, Choice conceptual image

My Freedom Fighter blog last week resulted in getting people fired up. But that’s ok – that’s what I was hoping to do.

Thanks for joining us on this great adventure in walking in freedom and victory. We don’t take it lightly that you click on our blog posts, and I trust that we are able to offer you encouragement in your walk with the Lord.

Now let me set the record straight:

1. I am not leaving America’s Keswick unless the Board tells me it’s time for me to go. I am as committed as ever to the purpose and mission of the ministry. At our Board meeting on Friday we had a lengthy discussion at how we concerned we are with the current trends and we are taking the steps to at least look more intently at what we do and why to see how we can better serve men and women who are battling addiction.

2. We are not giving up the ministry of addiction recovery. My comments last week were intended to make a point – it is very discouraging to see the devastation all around us in dealing with addiction. But what is even more discouraging is to see how sloppy we’ve become in the church in almost encouraging people in the body of Christ to explore and engage in exercising liberty that could easily become harmful and addictive to some who is weak.

My prayer in all of this is that we can once and for all address this issue without it becoming divisive. My plea to Pastor’s and Christian leaders is to teach the whole counsel of God on this topic so that we are being careful and a good testimony to the world around us.

We as a ministry would love to have open dialog to help equip you and the church to address this issue. I would invite you to write to me or email me at bwelte@americaskeswick.org and hear your thoughts.

Admittedly we are very concern because we are facing daily the devastation of addiction on not just the individual but the family. They say that for every individual who is battling addiction, his or her addiction impacts at least 10 other people.

So hopefully together we can begin to take the steps to begin to make a lasting difference. Sometimes it means me putting aside my freedom in order to help a weaker brother or sister walk in freedom. Sometimes it means watching what I post on Facebook, knowing that what I post could be an offense or a stumbling block to someone else who is weaker in the faith.

It isn’t just all about me – my rights, my freedoms, my ability to exercise my liberty in Christ. There’s a bigger picture at stake and I believe we need to look at it and address it.

I will look forward to hearing from you. May God bless you.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 136; Proverbs 17

Daily Quote: Quote: The true Christian ideal is not to be happy but to be holy.

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:17-18

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119 Years

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And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee; fear not, neither be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

Yesterday was a very important day in the life of the ministry of America’s Keswick. 119 years ago tomorrow William Raws, his family and a small group of staff gathered on these grounds, and after a short Bible study, pooled their resources and discovered they had $1.87 and that was the beginning of the America’s Keswick story.

119 years later, the vision of William Raws is still very much alive and well. His passion for investing in the lives of men and now women was a baton that was passed to his son, Addison, the his grandson, Pastor Bill, then to Roger Williams, John Bryant and then to me.

Last week we gathered at Shady Maple, America’s Keswick and Dock Woods Community to celebrate God’s faithfulness to this ministry.

From its very inception the plan was that God would get all the glory, the Word of God would be preached to the men (and now women) and that pray would be a driving force of all we do.

While the buildings don’t look the same as they were in 1897, the program has been through many changes, the core message has never changed. The message we share today is the same one that William Raws taught when God allowed him to see the birth of his vision.

119 years later and 20,000+ men and now women who have graduated from the program, we are even more committed to share with men and women that life-transforming truth that Jesus Christ is the ONLY answer to addiction, and that through Christ, a man, woman, teen or child can live a life of victory.

Thirteen men who have graduated from the program now serve on our full-time staff which is 20% of our staff. And who knows – somewhere down the road I can see a graduate of Barbara’s Place serving full-time on our staff.

The need for the ministry of addiction recovery is greater now than it was in 1897. Heroin is talking our country by a storm. By the end of this calendar year we may see more deaths to heroin overdoses than what we experienced during some of our wars.

Addiction is tearing apart families. Addiction seems to pass down from a parent to his kids and grandkids. Addiction is not only impacting kids in non-Christian homes – it is happening to Christian kids.

The sad thing is that the enemy is going after our kids and grandkids. The average age right now is 8 years old!!! That is frightening to a man who has grand kids are close to that age group.

With your prayers and your financial support, we will continue to do what God has called us to do. Thank you for being a part of the Freedom Fighter blog family. As God brings this ministry to your minds, please pray for us. May God bless you. Happy 119 year anniversary to America’s Keswick.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 118; Proverbs 26

Daily Quote: Not only does honest confession of sin lead to fresh experience of His forgiveness, but it also helps you let go of the chains and walk in greater freedom in the future. From Living the Battle Plan

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. ~2 Corinthians 4:8-11

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Addiction Recovery Is What We Do 

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The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.~ John 10:10

Last week I blogged about our 3rd Core Value which is our commitment to the ministry of addiction recovery.

This weekend we welcomed back men who graduated from the Colony of Mercy, women who have graduated from Women of Character, and our first graduates from Barbara’s Place.

It was the most incredible time of welcoming home these trophies of God’s grace. Most of the men and women who came are walking in victory. Some are struggling and reached out for help.

For those of us who serve on staff, we refer to this weekend as “pay day.” It’s the weekend that we reflect on what God has done in the lives of the men, women, teens and kids God sends our way.

Last week one of my staff emailed me this quote: “MINISTRY is not about the income. Ministry is all about the OUTCOME!” And for us on staff, this weekend was that reminder, that “AHA” moment of why we do what we do.

In addition to the Reunion Weekend we had our 2016 Family Freedom Walk. Our goal this year was $55,000. The weather forecast was ominous, but we cried out to God and guess what? At 3:10 PM the sky’s began to part and the blue sky started appearing. By 3:30 PM, the sun was out in all its glory.

We had a great turnout and the Lord wowed us once again with exceeding the goal for HIS glory — $66,646!!! This is all traceable back to HIS hand. We can’t take any credit. Did the staff work hard? Yes! Did we have people who really pounded the pavements? Yes! But we all know that it was God who provided. And I am so proud of my staff because they raised over $19,000 of the goal.

As I rubbed shoulders with the precious folks, I realized again that this ministry is all about God. It’s all about people. It’s all about you. Wait, you say. All about you?

Yes! Your prayers and financial support help us make a difference one life at a time. I met for the first time a man who graduated in 1976!!! With tears in his eyes and the biggest hug, he said, “From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!”

I hope and pray that I never lose the wonder of seeing God transform a life. We have 118 years under our belts, but who knows how many more God will give us. But until then, we will keep fighting and sharing the good news that Jesus Christ sets the captive free! Praise God, and thank you.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 127; Proverbs 9

Daily Quote:  Make no mistake: to be at peace with your sin is to be at war with God. ~Kevin DeYoung

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

 ~Psalm 34:17-19

In case you missed them:

 

Core Value #4 Our Commitment to Addiction Recovery

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It’s been the heartbeat of what we do at America’s Keswick for 118 soon to be 119 years. It is how our ministry started on September 27, 1897.

I hate addiction. Every day I hate it more and more. Sometimes I feel like we are casting a pebble in the ocean and question are we really making a difference.

Part of my frustration is because the enemy keeps upping the ante. 19 graduates have died since January 2015. Guys who were doing really well. Guys who decided to try a shot of heroin one more time.

Maybe they knew – maybe they were naïve. Heroin today is not like it was even two years ago. It’s dirty. It’s lethal. You don’t have a chance to get addicted. One injection = death!

I am tired of our government officials proclaiming concern over the drug problems in our country then turning around an legalizing the stuff to see more and more people than ever before.

Yesterday I heard a statistic that 17.5 million American’s are addicted to alcohol. And yet we joke about it – call ourselves legalists if we as believers choose not to drink socially.

The former Mayor of Philadelphia, decriminalized marijuana. Really? What that means is that you can have a small amount in your possession if you are caught without legal entanglements. Interesting. A famous drug Czar who served for several Presidents says that the marijuana on the streets today is five times more potent than it was 2 years ago. Connect the dots. Your smarter than most. The little you can have has five times more potency!!!

I am tired of getting calls about men who have committed suicide because they can’t handle their issues any more.

I am tired of seeing how addiction tears apart whole families.

IF I FOCUSED ON THE NEGATIVE – I WOULD RATHER BE FLIPPING BURGERS AT WENDY’S!!!

This value reminds why we exists and who we serve!!! The heart of the Keswick ministry is our addiction ministries. The conference ministry provides us the vehicle to raise the visibility of the addiction recovery ministries and tell the story of how God transforms lives.

So as long as God gives me breath and energy, I am going to keep fighting. I am going to keep us sharing the good news that Jesus Christ is the ONLY LASTING ANSWER to addiction. He wants to rescue, redeem and restore.

Am I discouraged? Sometimes. Am I hopeful! Absolutely. I have seen it work. I have seen it happen over and over in a man’s life and now, in the lives of women through Barbara’s Place.

But we need each other in this battle. Your prayers and financial support help us make a difference. On Saturday, May 7th, we have our Family Freedom Walk and our goal is to raise $50,000 towards the 1.5 million it costs to provide addiction recovery ministry at America’s Keswick.

Will you help me? You can call 800-453-7942 for information or visit our website at www.americaskeswick.org. Thanks for your consideration!

May God bless you.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 120; Proverbs 2

Daily Quote: “We can still see a difference in our churches and culture. Unless we decide not to pray. Unless we decide not to care. Unless we succumb to the enemy’s deceptions. God’s Word call to us across time, urging us to believe Him again for revival in our time.” ~From Living the Battle Plan

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them. ~Psalm 34:6-7

 

 

In case you missed them: