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Biblical Wisdom

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Keith

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.




If I had to use one word to describe my life, it would be "blessed."

I was raised in a Christian home by loving parents. Despite being correctly taught, during my early 20's, I strayed away from what I had learned like the prodigal son in the Bible. But, I didn't stray too far. During this time, I could not find satisfaction in my heart of hearts. The peace in my life, which I had experienced when I was younger, was gone. With so many religions around, I wanted to know for sure that what I believed was true and real. I saw many around me who had never spent any time contemplating their existence, and others, who were following some man-contrived religions. For me, the order in nature, and the pull of my own conscience on issues of right and wrong, confirmed to me that God was real, and started me down the road to find out more about Him, and what He wanted from me.

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I investigated the Bible and the closer I looked, the more convinced I became that the One True God I was looking for, was the God of the Bible, the God of Israel. I started reading about the things that Jesus did and said while He was here on the earth; and the impact He had on others around Him. I studied the prophesies about Jesus that were written thousands of years before He walked the shores of Lake Galilee, and He fulfilled all of them. I soon realized that the Bible's teachings were my personal instruction manual for my life. My investigations even took me to the Middle East on five different trips, to visit the places mentioned in the Bible. One of the trips was a week-long dive expedition to the Red Sea, where we looked for artifacts left over from the crossing of the Red Sea by the children of Israel. Artifacts were seen and photographed. Read about the expedition here. I started applying the things I was learning from the Bible, and I wondered how would my life would progress. Would my life's experience prove out that my decision to make God the "Lord of my life" was a good one? Now, more than 40 years has passed, I have completed a successful career, still married to my first wife, I've been a faithful father to three children, and one more thing, I have enjoyed peace and joy in my life. Not that I have been immune to difficult situations. I have experienced some of the difficulties that others face; the death of a daughter, and loved ones, and other difficult situations. Through all of these though, the Lord has been very close to me, and always faithful. Now at this time in my life, I have the promise of eternal life with the Savior that gave His life for me, in a place, especially designed for those who love, and trust Him. God's wonderful gift is free for the asking to anyone. If blessings here on earth, and a confident hope for the future sound like a good deal, please consider giving your heart and life to Jesus. His words and promises are true. Oh, I almost forget, what God wants for us is fellowship (friendship). The Bible's message is that we are designed for eternal friendship with the Creator of the universe. Please consider joining us. Here's how. May God richly bless you, Keith.

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Antonye Holyde

Pastor Tonye's start in life was in the Chicago's south side, where he experienced most of all things that the rough side of town offered.
A musical prodigy at age 11, Tonye was soon the lead singer and musician of a popular Chicago band. Even with arenas of screaming and adoring fans and all the trappings that success brings, he, Tonye the person, was still miserable. Something was missing from his life. Listen to Tonye's amazing testimony of what he found what was missing from his life.


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Bud

1 Corinthians 6:11 - And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.





Before I was saved, my pursuit of life involved pleasure and material things. The result of this pursuit was that I was angry inside, and I had no peace in my heart, it was a life of darkness. Now, I have a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. Although I fall short of the righteousness of God, my desire is to live as righteous a life as I can, because I want to be closer to Him, and more like Him.


I was raised in a traditional Catholic family and as part of that, I was trained and served as an Alter Boy for several years. We would all go to church, and my parents would complain and argue on the way to church, and on the way home. I could see even as a little kid that something was wrong; they were not living the life that they should have been living, even by Catholic standards.

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By the time that I was 18 years old, the Vietnam war was still raging, and when my brother, who was a highly decorated soldier, returned from the war, the changes I saw in him scared me, and I decided that I did not want to go to Vietnam. So, I enlisted in the Coast Guard and ended up of all places, Vietnam, one of 5,000 Coastees that were assigned there. When I was in Vietnam, I met a fellow by the name of John Clark, and John was a Christian. His life was quite a contrast to mine. While I was fully into all the attractions of a soldiers life, drinking, fighting, and sexual pleasures, John, was a righteous man. He had peace and joy while I was full of anger. I could see the contrast between his life and mine, but, I had no guilt about my sinful lifestyle, I could beat someone severely, and feel no guilt whatsoever, and I was not interested in John's Christianity; I just couldn't stand him.

I spent 4 years in the Coast Guard, and when I got out, I went into a business partnership with a fellow that had a body and radiator shop. Our business prospered, and we added welding to our list of services. Things were going well, and I became interested in square dancing. During one of the dances, I met this girl, and asked her for a date, and she refused. After being rejected for the third or forth time, I confronted her as to why she wouldn't go out with me, saying that I was a good looking guy, successful in business, and drove a Corvette. She responded by saying, you smoke, you drink, you cuss, and your playing around with another gal, but beyond all that, you're not a Christian. Everything else she said didn't bother me, but when she said that I was not a Christian, that bothered me, I figured that since I was born in this country, I was born a Christian. We still square danced together occasionally, but otherwise, I just shined her on.

About three weeks later, she called me and asked if I still wanted to take her out on a date, and she further explained that it was a Christian function in Sacramento. A preacher named Dave Wilkerson was speaking, and although I had no idea who David Wilkerson was, I said, "Ya sure." So knowing it was a Christian thing, I took her to the meeting where thousands were in attendance. I was not too impressed with pastor Dave's prophetic message, until he started talking about serving God, and having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I had not heard that type of message before, it was like God affected my heart, and when the pastor asked if anyone wanted to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and turn their life over to Him and ask forgiveness for their sins to come forward, I was probably one of the first ones to go down for salvation. The Lord really convicted me of my sin, I wasn't seeking Him at all like a lot of people do, but, He was seeking me by working in my heart. I felt such an urgency to get to the alter; I nearly ran over a lady who was also responding to the call for salvation. About a year later, I married the woman that I took to the Wilkerson meeting, and we have been happily married for over 33 years.

When I was in Vietnam, I had a fungus growth in my left ear, and when I got out of the military, they did a major mastoid operation to try to get all the infection out, and they found that I had a tumor that was growing against my brain. They tried to remove as much of the tumor as they could, and in the process, removed most of my ear bones and my hearing, but they could not get it all. I had a continuous foul smelling drainage coming from my left ear, and every few weeks, I had to go to the Veterans Hospital where they would suck out as much as they could. The procedure helped, but there was no cure in sight, in fact, the doctors said that unless the entire tumor could be removed, I would probably only live another eight years. Eight years later I was still alive, but along with the constant drainage, I was having severe headaches deep inside my head. About this time, I was the president of a gospel outreach association, and we oftentimes, had special speakers at our meetings. One time the speaker, Ray Garing, was asking if there were people present that needed healing. My thoughts about people praying for healing went back to my childhood, when my brothers and I would mock Oral Roberts by pretending we were healing each other with as much theatrics as we could muster. Being a Christian, I knew that God could do anything, but when it came to healing and people praying for each other, I thought that all the supposed healings, were just a fraud. Now at this meeting of about 150 people, Ray said that there was someone in the meeting with an ear problem, or a problem with their head, to come forward because God wanted to heal them.

Three or four old people with hearing aids came forward, and Ray said that the Lord would touch these people that came up, but they are not the one he was looking for. There was someone still out there that had a major problem inside their head, maybe a tumor or something else related to an ear, or inside the ear. Since I was the president, I was on the platform with the speaker, he had no way of knowing of my problem, and I caught a glance from my wife which said, what do you have to loose. So I whispered to Ray, who was seated next to me, that I had this tumor inside my head, but, there is nothing that you can do about it. He smiled, and said, "Praise God buddy, you've got it right, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it, but I can pray, and I think God is going to heal you." I thought, oh ya, OK, fine. I had already put myself up front, so he prayed for me, and then asked if I could hear with the bad ear, and he had me walk down the hall, and cover my good ear while he asked. I snapped my fingers in front of my bad ear, and, sure enough, I could hear. It was not as good as my good ear, but, I could hear, and we went home praising the Lord that I had been healed.

For many years in the mornings, I had been used to seeing a 2 inch diameter sized spot of the ear drainage material on my pillow, but on the morning following my healing, the side of my head was just covered with the drainage. It was so bad that the pillow was stuck to my head, my reaction was to shake my fist at God, Ray Gearing, and myself, thinking that my healing was a crock, and that I had been psyched into thinking that I had been healed. While I cleaned up, my wife asked me if I could still hear out of that ear, and I said, I don't think so, but, I again snapped my fingers in front of my bad ear, and I could still hear. I didn't know what going on, I thought I was dying, but, that was the last time that I had any drainage out of my ear. When I went to the Veterans Hospital to be checked a few weeks later, my regular doctor examined me, and asked, what did you do, I see no signs of the tumor or signs of drainage, no signs of anything at all, what did you do? I said, "Doc, I didn't do anything. Some guy prayed for me and God healed me, that's all I can say." And the doctor got all excited, and said, "I've seen it one time before," and he just kept looking inside my ear, and repeating, "I've seen it one time before."

What I learned from this is that God is sovereign and He heals at His pleasure, despite our attitude of faith or lack of it, praise the Lord! Before I was saved, my pursuit of life involved pleasure and material things. The result of this pursuit was that I was angry inside, and I had no peace in my heart, it was a life of darkness. Now, I have a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. Although I fall short of the righteousness of God, my desire is to live as righteous a life as I can, because I want to be closer to Him, and more like Him.

Dear reader, maybe you can see some of yourself in my story, maybe you're chasing joy and peace through material things, and pleasure, and you find that it is not working. I offer the solution, pray to the God of the universe to open your heart, and to open the eyes of your understanding. Tell Him that you want to be one of His children, but you don't know how, and for Him to show you. Confess that you are a sinner, and He is a Holy God. He will help you if you search for Him with all your heart. Read the Gospel of John, and learn about how much God loves you. Find a Bible believing church, so you can fellowship with other believers. You will experience joy and peace and the hope of eternal life with the Lord, not based on how well things are going, or what you have, but in knowing that your are right with God.

The Lord bless you,

Bud Mailhot  12-12-2006

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Dawn

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I guess Daddy's Girl took on a whole different meaning for me. Daddy was a pedophile and his victims numbered in the triple digits. Like most people, I didn't know until I worked in Criminal Division for the District Attorney that those numbers were "normal" for child predators.



I am an abortion-survivor. In a day when abortion was a medical emergency instead of a matter of convenience, three doctors advised my mom to abort me. Sometimes people do the right thing for the wrong reason. NOBODY tells my mom what to do! So I was born premature. I may have been an accident to my parents, but I was no surprise to God. He had His hand on me from day one. My mom used to threaten suicide before she'd have another child and it wasn't until the day my father died that my siblings shared their own personal nightmare memories of Dad.

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My parents had "creative" punishments that would have landed them in jail today. I recall telling a close friend whose alcoholic mother used to beat him that I envied him. Just imagine, I told him, if your mom was doing those things cold sober. My mom is about 200 years old now, and I still tremble in her presence. I grew up and married someone just like dad. He felt familiar. The first time I was raped, my little boy was downstairs crying that he was hungry. I learned quickly to hold my tongue and scream in my head. His grins of satisfaction were far more painful and enduring.

I tried to fill the pain with lying-cheating-husbands, drugs, and all the New-Age exotic religions. I was starving to death for God. I did it all; attended a Catholic church with a Latin Mass, married a Jew turned Buddhist, gathered crystals and read Taro Cards. But I never forgot sitting with my grandmother's 5-ton Bible on my tiny lap, turning pages I could not read, to the picture of Jesus surrounded by little children and longing to be one of them.

I slow-danced with the spirit of suicide and I finally had to decide between death and departure. So I left my home in the mountains and started life over in Oroville where I started college. God rushed in and literally surrounded me with passionate, born-again, Bible believing prayer-warriors at school, work and my future husband. I spent hundreds of work hours traveling to recover abducted children. My partner, David, would later baptize me in his livestock tank at the ranch. God had plans for me that would not be denied.

It wasn't easy. I used to attend court to watch the pedophiles get sentenced. I was instrumental in gaining convictions for rapist and wife-beaters. But those things did not give me peace. Attending church did not give me peace. Jesus Christ is the only clean-love I have ever known. It wasn't until I let Him touch me and love me that I finally knew peace. I had carried my burdens with pride like a back-pack full of bricks. It made me feel strong. Each brick had a name; Dad, mom, Drugs, Anger, Sorrow.etc. Then Jesus said, Come unto me, all ye who are heavy laden and I will give you rest. The older I got, the heavier the burden. I gave it to the Lord one brick at a time. At last He asked for my empty back-pack. That was the hardest to let go! But I withhold nothing from the love of my life. I gave Him my pack and I gave Him my heart unconditionally. I am nothing without Him. He is my peace, my joy, my song. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!

It's a personal walk and a personal choice. Maybe you are tired of carrying life's burdens and ready to give them to the Lord. We cling to our past like rats on a sinking ship. But only Hope floats. Cling to your burdens and you will go straight to the bottom, or, trust in the Lord. He is a life-saver and He is calling to you today. He's just a prayer away:

LORD, I am lost! I am drowning under my burdens, but I don't want to die. Save me Lord! I know You are the Way, the Truth and the Life, that You died for my sins and rose again to sit at the right hand of God and to prepare a place for me in heaven. I know You love me just like am, and that it is Your joy to restore my soul. You have a plan and a purpose for my life. Help me to know You and grow in You all the days of my life. AMEN.

May the Lord bless you, keep you, and make His face shine upon you!

If you a woman and have questions, or want to talk to me, or just pray together, please E-Mail me, Dawn, at,

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Neal

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.




I was raised without much interaction with my father, who divorced my mother when I was 8 yrs. old, so, my mother had the responsibility for my upbringing. In that role, she did her best to prepare me for life with a sprinkling of well proven sayings like: You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. And like the horse in the proverb, I didn't partake of the wisdom that she offered. I enlisted in the Army and spent time in Germany doing my job in telecommunications, but my time in the Army really didn't change the way I approached life. After being discharged, I conducted life in a godless way, as prescribed by my peers. By the time I was 22, I found myself in prison for some of my peer approved conduct.

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At the age of 26, shortly after I was released from prison, my brother, who had become a believer in Christ, invited me to his church. The love I felt coming from the people there toward me, a stranger, was overwhelming, and soon, I was attending regularly. I accepted Jesus as my Savior and the Lord of my life. I would like to say that my life was immediately cleaned up, but, it took awhile for my actions to catch up with my new heart. I look at my life before Jesus as being futile and wasted, now my life is filled with purpose and hope for the future, not a hope based on some man made religion, but, based on God's Word, the Bible, which is God's way to save mankind.

Maybe while you are reading this brief account about my life, you too feel that your life is futile and wasted, and you are uncertain about the future. I invite you to consider letting go of your will, and giving yourself to God by accepting the one He sent to die for your sins. Humble yourself before God and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Read an eyewitness account of the things that Jesus did and said, while here on the earth, I suggest the gospel of John, see if it speaks to your heart. He won't clean up your heart; He will give you a new one, like he did me. God bless you, Neil

Photo of Dick Photo of Dick's shirt

Dick Edgar & the Surprise Funeral

A Restful Weekend Interrupted

After spending a nice weekend of fellowship in the mountains, about an hours drive from our home community this last Labor day weekend, eight of us from the Eternal Riders chapter of CMA - the Christian Motorcycle Association, went to the Lake Almanor Community Church for the Sunday service. Were we were wonderfully blessed by the service and impressed by the loving and welcoming attitudes of the people and their pastor.
They were amazed we were there, and here is why.

The shirt Dick was buried in.  

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Dick was a "hard core" biker, that lived across from the the pastor. Dick liked his beer a lot and spent most of his days drinking himself into a stupor on the front porch while staring out toward the pastor's house. The pastor had spoken to his neighbor on occasion, but nothing very deep, and over the years, Dick had commented, that he (the pastor), really had a nice family. Not many months ago, Dick received the diagnosis that he had terminal cancer, and it was not long before he told one in his household, to "get the preacher-man", that he wanted to get things right with the Lord. The pastor came, and led Dick to the Lord last June. As a result, Dick gave up drinking and turned his life around. Dick had 2 requests, that the pastor preach at his funeral, and that, "bikers would escort him to the graveyard, and carry his coffin". You can probably start guessing where this is going, but there is more.

As Dick was getting more and more ill, there was a problem brewing.The pastor was scheduled to go to Europe for a 30 day trip, leaving on Sunday, Sept 3rd at 2:00 PM. This trip had been a 10 year old dream, and the tickets for the trip were not refundable. The pastor told Dick about this, and Dick said that he would "work with it". Dick's cancer took him on Friday, September 1st. The mortuary said the earliest that they could get Dick ready for interment, was on Sunday at 1:00 PM, an hour before the pastor was leaving for San Francisco Airport, but, what about the "bikers" that Dick requested. The pastor was told that due to the short notice combined with the holiday, most of Dick's biker friends could not make it. This is why the church attendees were amazed by our appearing at their service, because, Dick's funeral was going to be right after church, and the CMA Eternal Riders, showed up at the very time of need.

We all realized that this was the Lord's doing, and could see the Lord's hand on the timing, so, after the service, we followed the pastor's wife to the small mountain town where we were to meet the hearse. Exactly as we arrived in town, the hearse was pulling out with Dick on board. We added our 5 motorcycles to the 2 existing ones, and provided a decent escort for Dick. At the cemetery, 5 of us Eternal Riders, and one biker brother from the church, carried his casket. Inside was Dick, wearing a tee shirt that showed an illustration of a saddle and a loosely coiled rope with the words, "I found Jesus, at the end of my rope".

photo of dick and jerryThe pastor spoke and soon the service was over. We were all stunned with what God had done, as we comforted Dick's brother, who had also accepted the Lord, in fact, a total of 5 people raised their hands for salvation in the 11:00 service church service, including, a couple of Dick's friends. God reveals Himself in many ways, but almost always, subtlety. Yesterday, He was revealed through His timing; praise the Lord! This event arranged by the Lord, was really a blessing to us involved with the Eternal Riders, and, what a send off it was to the pastor as well; we all rejoiced.
Keith Sorrels - 2006,

P.S. In April 2007, Chuck Norris wrote an article in World Net Daily about Dick Edgar, You can read it here
Dick (left) and his brother: Jerry.


There is another version of this story written by my brother, Grayson which has some additional details.
You can read it here


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Donald

Romans 3:23 ""For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God"




I was born and raised in a small town in the Midwestern part of the United States. It was a rural community, surrounded by family owned farms and life was very good. Most of the people were content with their place in life. They were gracious and thankful for God's blessings. On Sunday mornings the church bells would ring a call to worship and I attended church regularly, with my family. From that experience, I learned of a Holy, all knowing and loving creator, who was the master and keeper of all things. And that is how I thought about God. I cannot ever remember not believing in God in those terms and I felt good about that concept of God. As I grew into my teens much had changed; but, I never wavered in my belief of God.

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photo of don and shar Early in my adulthood, I found myself serving my country aboard a navy destroyer in the Pacific Theater of World War II; not an aptly place to be thinking about God's love, but, for days on end, I was consumed with the mantra of such unconditional love. It was overwhelming, and I began to question why God could love me since I was not always a nice person. I thought about Him a lot and I conceded that the creation that I had read about in Genesis, was true. I had also read about sin, (which God hates), and how we are all sinners, born into sin. This brought me to terms with myself which is a step so necessary in finding peace with God. I was a sinner alright.

After the war I married, and still the idea that I was a sinner and needed forgiveness, nagged me for several years. Finally, we began attending a Church that preached about Christ. It is at that point, that the Holy Spirit began showing me the way to forgiveness. The Holy Scriptures came alive to me. I found myself carrying a New Testament; pocket-sized Bible in my shirt pocket, and at every free moment I would turn to it. My drive to work was a 30 minute drive, during which I repeated the verses, over and over, memorizing them. The day came when my wife and I entered a baptismal together and made witness, to our belief of Jesus as our personal Savior. Such a step opened new doors for me and I began witnessing and teaching Sunday School.

Today I am an old man. My constant prayer is that I will grow to Love God more and more each day. Understanding who I was, and who I am, only makes me more humbled at His grace and mercy.
I have come to believe that a decision for Christ is only the beginning. From then on, it is a process of growing each new day. The day of decision can occur only until one recognizes and admit to being a sinner. Romans 3:23.

Don