If you are like me, the first thoughts of the morning seem to follow me through the day. Thanksgiving is this week and as a nation we people will be mobilized in the next six weeks like no other time of the year. Millions will leave their homes to visit family and friends and some will take a long-needed break from the pressing events of the last two years. Hotels will be over run, restaurants will be full and waiting lines will get longer. Black Friday has already been expanded and online shopping is at an all-time high. Billions of dollars will be spent and as always everything will seem to change for a few days but everything will still be the same. My early morning musing today was:
This expression is usually the salutation or what you find at the end a letter. However, after the month of appreciation the church and friends have lavished on GayNell and I, I am sure that I could never find the words of our total appreciation in regard to your kind and considerate words. We love the privilege we have had sharing life with you.
Thank you for Forty Years of Friendship, Fellowship and Faithfulness as we have Followed our God Given Passion and have literally spent life together.
The First Week of November 2021,
Thank you for Forty Years of Friendship, Fellowship and Faithfulness as we have Followed our God Given Passion and have literally spent life together. 1981-2021
Loving Greetings to all of those who have gone the Second Mile in celebrating our 40th year of ministry as the pastors of Heritage Fellowship.
Each week through the last two years it has been a joy to touch base with you through letters of heartfelt appreciation for your prayers and support. For some we have wanted to do what we can to stay connected with you, only to let you know how important you are to Heritage, it is, for this reason, we call our church family a fellowship.
Years ago, a local pastor had criticism for our church family. He told me, “You don’t even have a church all you have is a fellowship.” It was his way of reproving me and attempting to put Heritage down. He is regretfully no longer in ministry having been disfellowshipped from the church he served. Paul wrote letters to the churches and speaking to the church at Philippi concerning unity he put it like this:
Joined Together in Perfect Unity
2 Look at how much encouragement you’ve found in your relationship with the Anointed One! You are filled to overflowing with his comforting love. You have experienced a deepening friendship with the Holy Spirit and have felt his tender affection and mercy. 2 So I’m asking you, my friends, that you be joined together in perfect unity—with one heart, one passion, and united in one love. Walk together with one harmonious purpose and you will fill my heart with unbounded joy.
3 Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves. 4 Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests. 5 And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation. Christ is our example of how we should live and His example is all we need to understand the standard He Himself has set.
The Perfect Standard
14 May my only boast be found in the cross of our Lord Jesus, Christ. In him, I have been crucified to this natural realm, and the natural realm is dead to me and no longer dominates my life. 15 .................. What really matters is the transforming power of this new creation life. 16 And all those who live in agreement with this standard will have true peace and God’s delight, for they are the Israel of God.
Over the past few weeks in the month of October 2021, as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary as pastors of Heritage. I realize that we have a fellowship around us of, “2 MILE MEN AND WOMEN IN A 1 MILE WORLD.” Words are hard to come by when I think about what I want to say regarding your many expressions of love for us.
Let me thank you for sharing vision and working side by side with us to see God’s Great Dreams fulfilled.
Simply Yours for the Glory of God,
Cleddie and GayNell Keith
Greetings of Deep Appreciation for the love and acknowledgment of our 40 Years spent with the wonderful people of Heritage Fellowship,
The month of October is special to me for many reasons in October 1961, I surrendered my life to Christ in Tucson, Arizona. The next 20 years were filled with learning experiences and discovering how to hear the voice of God. Twenty years later, in 1981 I heard the Lord saying, Cincinnati. It was then GayNell and I found ourselves moving North to Northern Kentucky. The first three years we thought we were going to freeze to death. If you remember that was the years following 1978 and the Big Freeze, temperatures in the winter were subzero for weeks and shoveling snow became an undesirable hobby. I spent the first three years at Heritage hid away in my office in the children’s building. I would spend all of Saturday and late into early Sunday morning, sometime only to go home and change clothes for the Sunday services. Kyle, told his Mom that the office was going to be my tomb. I knew there was a price to be prayed and God was gracious to hear us and lead us in paths of righteousness for His namesake.
Through the years I have coined a few phrases born out of the long nights of prayer and intercession. Recently, I realized that Favor is a Force and the favor of God has been making a way for us through the past 4 decades. I started preaching shortly after I was converted and when you do the math you realize that when I came to Heritage I was turning forty and that was forty years ago. I celebrate 60 years of preaching this month and 40 years of serving the people of Heritage, as your pastor.
One of the greatest joys I have ever had is to have Kingdom Business of Bismarck, North Dakota express their appreciation to Heritage by presenting a humbling gift to the church body, for your faithfulness in allowing the ministry of our fellowship to reach beyond the walls of the church. Ken and Cara continue to teach me the beautiful value of giving. It is a part of the culture of the First Nations and it is a privilege to walk with them in ministry. God has truly blessed us with friends that complement our mission’s callings throughout the world. We are presently in the midst of facilitating through David Mudd and God’ Outreach in Owensboro, Kentucky the distribution of several million dollars’ worth of new clothing to several ministries throughout the U.S. The first week of November we are all systems go in packing and give away of over a million dollars’ worth of clothes on our church campus the week before Thanksgiving. I cannot think of a better time to be a part of something so monumental. We will need your help and only God deserves the glory. Having been a part of over 9 million dollar’s worth of new clothing in Bismarck over the last 4 years we know the impact it can have on a community. I want to thank you beforehand for your help in blessing the community only eternity will be able to tell what the true results are of our cooperation with the mercies of God Himself.
I realize that this weekly letter goes out to people of all ages and I thought I would take a moment to acknowledge that Heritage was not born in a day and the memories we cherish as a church are as real today as they were yesterday. To my older friends I wanted to acknowledge that if it were not for you Heritage would not be what it is today.
Thanking you for 40 wonderful eternity filled years.
Still your loving Pastor’s, Cleddie and GayNell,
Through the years you may have heard me say, FAVOR AIN’T FAIR, well THAT’S MY STORY AND I’M STICKING TO IT. From 1978 until 1981, while in my seasons of prayer, the name of the city Cincinnati, would come rolling out of my spirit, like unction of a prophecy. I thought to myself, Man! someone in Cincinnati must have a real problem. This happened for three years and it happened often. Finally, one day I asked a friend if he knew someone in Cincinnati. He immediately went to my office phone and made a call and handed me the phone. I had a brief conversation with a gentleman on the phone, mentioning to him that for some unknown reason I had a burden for the area. That was all there was to the conversation, all of these things took place in the summer of 1981. On October the 8th, GayNell and I came to speak at Heritage and I can honestly tell you that I only came because at that time I had a burden. GayNell, will be quick to tell you, another side of the story. In the next six weeks we came with a caravan and began to make our way to the Greater Cincinnati-Tri State area and forty years later we can say with David, “the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places, I have a Godly heritage.” Actually, The Passion Translation reads like this, Psalms 16:6. This what I call the, Favor of the Lord and Favor is a Force.