My account somehow became corrupted, and we’ve had to recreate it from scratch. If you’re a friend on facebook (or if you’d like to be), you’ll need to re-friend me at the new account:
The most courageous person I know is Misha McKeever, my wonderful daughter-in-law, wife to Marty and mother of Darilyn and Jack. This Charlotte, NC, child is training to run a marathon in Seattle this summer, to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I am stunned, impressed, and possibly a little envious. Check out her page and send her some encouragement at: http://www.tinyurl.com/misha-runs
Where is Joe from? It depends on who he’s talking to. He was born and raised in rural Alabama (near Nauvoo), but lived in the coal fields of West Virginia (near Beckley) from ages 7 to 11. He lived in Birmingham, Alabama from ages 19 to 24, New Orleans from ages 24-27, Mississippi from 27 to 46, North Carolina from 46 to 50, and New Orleans ever since! So, when he runs into someone from one of these places, he acts like a native!
What do we need to know about Joe? Not much. Try this: born to Carl and Lois McKeever in 1940, the fourth of their six children; born again in 1951 at New Oak Grove Free Will Baptist Church; called into the ministry in 1961 at West End Baptist Church in Birmingham; earned master of theology and doctor of ministry degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (1967 and 1973). Married to Margaret Henderson, father of Neil, Marty, and Carla, father-in-law to Julie and Misha, and grandfather to Leah, Jessica, Grant, Abigail, Erin, Darilyn, JoAnne, and Jack. That enough?
Where did he pastor? Before seminary, Unity Baptist Church, Kimberly, Alabama. During seminary, Paradis Baptist Church, west of New Orleans. Thereafter: Emmanuel BC, Greenville, MS for 3 years; FBC of Jackson, MS as minister of evangelism 3 years; FBC of Columbus, MS for 12 years; FBC Charlotte, NC for 3 years; and FBC of Kenner, LA for 14 years, ending in the Spring of 2004.
What’s he doing now? After five years as Director of Missions for the 100 Southern Baptist churches of metro New Orleans, Joe retired on June 1, 2009. These days, he has an office at the First Baptist Church of Kenner where he’s working on three books, and he’s trying to accept every speaking/preaching invitation that comes his way. He loves to do revivals, prayer conferences, deacon training, leadership banquets, and such. Usually, he’s working on some cartooning project for the denomination or some agency. (If you’re on Facebook, visit him there!)
“I was pushing 6 year old Abby on the swing in her front yard. We were making up dumb songs and having a big time. She said, ‘We’re being silly, aren’t we, Grandpa.’ I said, ‘Yes we are. Why do we like to be so silly?’ She said, ‘It’s a family tradition.’”
“When I was five years old, Mom gave me and my little sister Carolyn pencil and paper and put us at the kitchen table and told us to draw. I discovered I loved to draw. The next year in the first grade, the rest of the class would gather around and watch me draw. To this day, I can outdraw any group of first-graders you’ve ever met!”
“When I do a revival in a church, I bring a sketchpad and draw people before and after the services. The pastor puts a volunteer with me to run to the church office and make copies. They post the copies on the wall somewhere and give the original back to the victim. By the end of the week, we might have a couple hundred drawings filling the walls. One night, the pastor stood off to one side and watched me work. As we broke for the evening service and headed down to his office for prayer, he leaned over and whispered, ‘McKeever, have you ever noticed that when a pastor can’t preach, he always has a gimmick?’ I said, ‘Friend, I’ve heard you preach and I’ll be glad to give you drawing lessons.’”
“This little delegation went to see the preacher. ‘Pastor,’ the chairman said, ‘You need to know the congregation is not very happy with you.’ The pastor said, ‘I’m sorry. But why are you telling me this?’ The chairman said, ‘I would think it would matter to you.’ The pastor said, ‘It does. But not much.’ The delegation was dumbfounded. A woman on the committee said, ‘Well, if you ask me, when the congregation is unhappy, the pastor is failing.’ The pastor said, ‘No ma’am. That’s based on a false assumption that a lot of churches have. You see, the Lord does not send the pastor to make the church happy. God sends the pastor to make the church healthy–and to make HIM happy. Big, big difference.”
“My life-verse is Job 4:4, ‘You have strengthened tottering knees; your words have stood men on their feet.’ For a preacher or a writer—and I try to be both–the power to use words and make a lasting difference in someone’s life is the best gift in the world. Occasionally, someone who reads this blog will send a note, ‘That was precisely what I needed to hear today.’ And that makes my day!”
“I love the line in Genesis 21:6 where, after Sarah gives birth to Isaac, she exclaims, ‘God has made laughter for me.’ I believe with all my heart that God has made laughter for each of us. But some of you aren’t getting your minimum daily requirement! And you’re suffering from it. You know the verse in Proverbs that says ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine’? We now know that it’s not just ‘like’ a medicine, but laughter IS medicine. Scientists tell us that hearty laughing releases endorphins–called ‘nature’s healers’–into your bloodstream. That’s why after a good time with a friend when you laugh and relax, you feel so elated. It’s not just psychological–it’s physical; it’s real. God is so smart.”
The most important thing in all the world is to come to know Jesus Christ personally. We call that salvation. When it occurs, God wipes away all your sin and writes your name down in His “Book of Life” in Heaven. His Holy Spirit enters you and begins to work within you to guide you, strengthen you, and help you. From that moment on, you are a full child of God and bound for Heaven.
How can it happen? How can I know Jesus Christ personally?
1. The short answer is by REPENTING of your sin and ASKING Jesus Christ to come into your life and become your Lord and Savior. How do you do this? By praying. Just stop what you are doing and speak out loud to Jesus. Something like this:
“Lord Jesus, here I am. I need you. Today, I repent of my sin.
I ask you to forgive me for all the wrongs I have done. You died for
my sins and I sure don’t won’t to have to do it myself. Please cleanse
me and make me pure. And, Jesus, come into my life. Take over my heart
and soul. Rule over me as Lord and Master, from this moment on. Help
me to love you and to serve you for the rest of my life. Thank you for
hearing my prayer. Amen.”
2. If you need a longer answer, it could be because you need to do more “ground work” before praying this prayer. Perhaps you have questions you need answers for, or feel you do not have faith enough. Then, the solution is to open the Bible and start reading. Not just anywhere, but in places that address the matter of faith and belief.
John chapter 3 is a great place. In fact, the entire Gospel of John
is excellent. Why not get a New Testament, and turn to the fourth Gospel
(that’s John) and begin reading. Read for understanding, not to cover
ground. Before you begin reading, pray this little prayer: “Dear Lord,
help me to listen to what you are saying to me.”
If you finish the entire Gospel of John, I suggest you repeat it. It’s so deep with so many insights, I promise you will find more there the second time than the first.
3. Send me an email and let me know either that you prayed the prayer and received Jesus, or that you are reading the Scripture and “on your way.” I will promise to pray for you. That’s all. “No salesman will call,” as the saying goes. I’d just like to know.