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Heart Update -- guess what I got to do?!

Guess what I was able to do for the first time in a while?! With God’s help, I’m slowly getting better – one day at a time...one heartbeat at a time. By the grace of God, I’ve graduated from my Cardio rehab sessions and classes. It was only a short distance, but this week, it was really special to put the cross on my shoulder and to actually walk a few miles. I want to be clear – walking with the cross is not who I am. It never has been, and, God forbid, it never will be. It’s not my identity. My identity has never been, “Keith Wheeler – the guy who carries a cross”. No! I’m a simple adorer and follower of Jesus who has been invited to walk with Jesus and carry a wooden cross as I walk together with Him. However, it is my calling. And, though many well-meaning friends have told me that this is a “new season” in my life, or that things will “look differently, now”... I just don’t see it. In the Bible, I don’t see God encouraging His followers to change direction because something is hard, or challenging. I don’t see Him asking us to REACT to our circumstances, but only RESPOND to His Spirit! To trust. To surrender. I’ve not been in a rush to “get back out there”. Truthfully, this has been a really sweet and special season. My goal has never been to “make a big splash for Jesus”. Instead, my goal has been to wipe away the tears from His eyes, put a smile on His beautiful face and bring joy to His precious heart! I only want to obey! I’ve not been called to “show up” in a city and make the “greatest impact possible” ... instead, He has given me the invitation to walk together with Him and watch Him touch, bless, heal, save, and transform lives along the way! That means I get to walk between cities, between towns, and between villages – down dusty roads, across deserts and through jungles. Sometimes, that means that there is no one to speak to for days...except Him! And that’s much more than enough! There is no greater joy and privilege! That’s how this heart journey has been...a journey “in-between” – with Him! And that’s been way more than enough! And now, with God’s grace I’ve started walking short distances (per doctor’s permission) with the wood on my shoulder. But nothing has changed...I still have the privilege of walking together with Jesus! He’s so very worthy and more than enough! Thanks for praying! Thanks for walking together with us! God bless you!

The Shadow of the Cross (Equatorial Guinea) -- Carrying the Cross around the World

How many hours? How many days? How many miles have I walked having the incredible privilege of seeing the shadow of the cross? All that way. What an awesome reminder! All that time to think, reflect and remember of how far Jesus walked. All that He suffered. All that He did. The price that He paid. The cruelty. The agony. The suffering. The love. Poured out. Without conditions. Freely given. For me. And you. And them. It's not just the weight on my shoulder; it’s a constant, daily, visual reminder – the shadow of the cross. What an honor to walk together with Jesus and have lived a life in the shadow...of the Cross! What a gift! What a treasure! May we never take the cross for granted. May we never take Jesus’ love for granted. May we never take the reality of His presence – with us ALWAYS for granted. Whether we actually “see” the shadow of a cross, may we live in His presence and walk in the “shadow” of His cross; the shadow of His love. Oh, may God give us the grace and “the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully...” (Ephesians 3:18-19 NLT) Thanks for walking together with us “in the shadow of the Cross”! God bless you!! #carrythecrossforjesus #keithwheeler #jesusisworthy #thelambisworthy #Love #carrythecross #walkingwithacross #carryingthecrossaroundtheworld #walkingwiththecrossaroundtheworld #Meditations #Devotions #Devotionals #inspiration #motivational #equatorialguinea

A Roadside report from Equatorial Guinea -- Carrying the Cross around the World!

Greetings from Equatorial Guinea! INCREDIBLE!!! What a privilege! What an honor to walk with Jesus! Thanks for praying! It's been so beautiful to watch Jesus truly touch, bless, heal and save people's lives! People are giving their lives to Jesus, then going to get their family members and friends and bring back so that they can meet Jesus, as well! Cars have even been stopping in the MIDDLE of traffic to talk and pray! (I’ve been praying for no accidents!) Also, many, many unique and different prayer requests…and almost ALWAYS, within HOURS, or less our loving Father is answering! I don't know if I've ever seen so many unique prayers answered — and so quickly! For the couple of times we didn’t see the response right away, the people search for me the next day to let me know how God answered prayer! WOW! I hate to admit it, but I’ve really been surprised! And such love!!! The other night I talked to some people till after dark and still had to walk over an hour to get where I was going to sleep. Both cars drove at my walking pace (3.5 miles/hour) to make sure I made it home okay. One car drove in front to light the way and one in back. Ha! I told them that God’s Word is a Lamp to my feet and a Lamp to my path; and that His glory is my rear guard! They just said, “We’ll join Him!” Overwhelmed! It’s awesome! I stand in AWE!!! Jesus is so very worthy! Thank you! We're humbled that you choose to walk together with us! God bless you!! #carrythecrossforjesus #keithwheeler #jesusisworthy #thelambisworthy #Love #carrythecross #walkingwithacross #carryingthecrossaroundtheworld #walkingwiththecrossaroundtheworld #Meditations #Devotions #Devotionals #inspiration #motivational #equatorialguinea

Coming Home from Ukraine -- "Carrying the Cross around the World"

First of all, thank you, thank you for your prayers & kind words of encouragement! By the grace of God, I have returned home now. As I leave Ukraine behind, there’s so much to pray about. There is so much to process…so many precious new friends that I will carry in my heart. Though I’ve carried the cross in many nations at war and areas of conflict, I don’t think anyone can ever get used to it. Each time you hear thunder, your stomach twists as you wonder how many people were wounded or killed; every plume of smoke in the distance causes you to wonder what targets were just hit… I don’t know if it’s possible to not feel guilty about waking up in a warm, clean, dry bed when so many are waking up cold & shivering and hungry. So many are confused, grieving, fearful and angry. I’m together with my family, and yet so many don’t even know if their loved ones are alive. It’s difficult not to be critical. As I walked through the airport on my return I saw an advertisement for a destination getaway. I saw a happy family building a beautiful sandcastle. In my mind, though, it was difficult not to see the image of the sandcastle lying in ruins and the family fleeing for safety. I KNOW that vacations are great! We are so blessed in our country that we can take advantage of family time away from the “busy”ness of life. It’s important. These are just some of the things that I have to process… I would appreciate your prayers. I know it’s a process. I’ve walked this path before. It’s never easy. Yet, Jesus walks with me. He’s patient, loving, tender & kind and so very good. He takes what I’ve seen, heard and experienced to mold me more into His image — more tender, more loving, more patient, more giving and forgiving…more grateful. More ready for His next assignment for me. I want to be ready! I want to have a clean, pure heart so that I can see His beautiful face! Once again, thanks so much for joining us on this journey through your prayers, messages of encouragement and gifts! It means more than you will ever know! We love you all! God bless you!

In a Bomb Shelter in Ukraine -- "Carrying the Cross around the World"

As I’ve traveled around the world with Jesus and the cross, I never know what He has planned for me. This was one of those nights… WOW! What a night! As I carried the cross into Ukraine, it was cold, dark and rain was falling. I was wet to the skin. I had no connections. Nothing was prearranged, or set up. The only person that I knew there was Jesus. I had no idea where He had planned for to sleep. All the hotels and hostels were full of people fleeing the danger in their hometowns. I arrived at a train station hungry & thirsty, tired, wet and shivering. Just as I walked into town, the air raid sirens began to sound. We were told that the city was under attack and then we were rushed downstairs into the bomb shelter. This happened over and over again through the night and the nights to come. Though I was exhausted and cold, I was so very grateful for these nights. These precious people, after being forced from their homes, have had to live this way EVERY DAY since the attacks began in February. God allowed me to share in a small way in their lives in a way that I could never have experienced from the comfort of a hotel. Because of the sheer number of people, there was no place to lay down to even make any attempt at sleeping. Even if there had been a place to lay my head, sleeping would have been impossible. Since there were so many people, there was constant noise -- barking dogs, meowing cats, tired and fearful babies crying and worried conversations. I have found through the years that sleeplessness, though difficult, is not an interruption...it is an invitation. It's an invitation from a loving Father who wants to share His heart with His children. I would have to say that it is in this space that I'm able to hear His voice most clearly. This night was a gift from Heaven. Moments like this create such gratitude! I’m so thankful for the wonderful friends that my loving Father has given me! I’m so very grateful for the amazing children that He has given me the honor & privilege of being called “dad” I’m so thankful for an amazing, fairytale princess that He’s trusted me to pursue and cherish! And I’m so DEEPLY grateful for an incredible King…for Jesus and the reality and nearness of His presence always, but especially in moments like these! “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me"! He’s so good! Thank you so much for praying for me while I was away. Please continue to pray for the beautiful Ukrainian people. May they be comforted with the comfort of our precious Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Please pray that the Prince of Peace will reign and that His Kingdom will come and His will, will be done! Thanks again for joining us on this journey! God bless you!