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Thousand Oaks, Ca 91358


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                                                                                                                                                JANUARY 2018




I was just thinking that we have all received blessings for this new year already because we have all been wished Happy New Year many times, which is a spoken blessing. The above scripture says that God will do a new thing in our lives this year, which means some changes. Most of us don’t like changes because they might be uncomfortable and unpredictable and we might have to function in a different way.

But if our trust is in the Lord, we can be assured that the changes will be good for us because He even takes bad things and turns them out for good. In Genesis 50:20 Joseph told his brothers who were afraid of retaliation, that even though they had meant evil against him; God meant it for good. 

We need to embrace the changes the Lord will bring into our lives because they will be good for us and for the advancement of His Kingdom. The good news is that we may change but God never changes.

Mal. 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change.”


We have had an unusual ending to 2017, I call it a bump on the road. I have not had the flu in over 30 years but I had it right before Christmas; not only the flu but it turned into bronchitis. I coughed so much that my ribs were hurting. I just had another x-ray taken and my lungs are all clear; the first x- ray was cloudy. So the change in our family tradition was that we could not host our normal Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange because we did not want anyone exposed to my germs although I was almost better by then. So Jackie and I sat by the Christmas tree and it just didn’t feel like Christmas although we were very thankful to have each other. I was well enough on Christmas day to go to brunch at our son Bob’s house and dinner at our daughter Carole’s house and exchange gifts that day. At about the same time, an old injury flared up in my back causing me to lose feeling in my left leg which could not support me. Jackie drove me to Emergency on December 20th and they kept me for 24 hours taking all kinds of tests. They released me with a walker, with instructions to be careful, apply ice, started me on therapy, and sent a nurse -therapist to the house for the first sessions. I graduated to a cane and am doing fairly well at this time, still doing exercises, and icing. I am not in pain, it is more of a numbness. The inflammation is slowly getting better and the doctor said I should see a big difference in six weeks, and it is already four weeks. 


The first time this occurred was in Japan a few years ago where I had gone on a mission trip with our church. I slept on a ciment floor for the duration of the trip and injured my back. I remember walking with my friend, Pastor Chip Graves and my left leg gave out. He had to hold me up all the way back to church so I wouldn’t fall; we also got lost so it took a long time. We laugh about it now when we talk about it but it wasn’t funny then. I have been healthy all my life, never even taken a prescription medication so this is all strange to me. I know I will have more compassion when I pray for the sick. Jackie took good care of me with all this going on and thank the Lord, she did not get the flu.  I know that healing is progressive and that is what I am experiencing as I am feeling better every day.  


We started the New Year much better. We flew to Dallas to spend a few days with our son Ron, his wife, Christy, our grandchildren Sam 15, Jack 13, and Eleri 9. We had wonderful quality time since the children were still on vacation. Since then we have been busy in the office removing old files to make room for the new 2018 files, as well as updating our bookkeeping books. I have had many doctor visits as well as therapy. We have been blessed to attend our church more regularly, as well as our home group.


At the start of a new year we always check to see if our giving to the Lord is in order for Real Joy Ministry. For every donation, offering or honorarium received, we give over 10% to other ministries with which we feel connected by the Holy Spirit. So for every seed received, we plant some of that seed so it is seed twice sown, which according to the Word of God will bring back a rich harvest to the givers and to the Kingdom of God. 2 Cor.9:6-8  “But remember this-if you give little, you will get little. A farmer who plants just a few seeds will get only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much. Every one must make up his own mind as to how much he should give. Don’t force anyone to give more than he really wants to, for cheerful givers are the ones God prizes. God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more, so that there will not only be enough for your own needs, but plenty left over to give joyfully to others. “


We have had many spiritual fathers in our Christian life and we have gleaned and learned from all of them. The first one was Kenneth Copeland when he was just starting in ministry in the late 60’s. He planted seeds of faith in us from the Word of God which we had never heard of. In our church we had learned that God gives sickness, gives you trials, gives you poverty, that you have to pay for your sins and that you are never sure of heaven. Then we went to see Oral Roberts in his big tent and saw miracles which planted seeds of faith for healing. We had never seen people being healed it was all brand new. We went to see Billy Graham and saw people being born again by the hundreds. We sat under Derek Prince’s ministry and we learned about deliverance. As my faith began to grow, I started to see the same thing in my ministry and as I am still growing in faith, the Lord honors the preaching of the Word with signs and wonders. In 1978 we became members of the Church on the Way with Pastor Jack Hayford who taught us how to live the Christian life and under his teaching we became disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ seeking to walk in obedience to Him. We certainly are not perfect and we are still growing in His love and grace. We are thankful for His patience with us.


We thank you so much for your love, support and prayers. We had an encouraging a phone call last night from a dear friend of many years who was alerted by the Holy Spirit to pray for us just about the time I was sick. He said we were still on his mind and he called to check up on us. What a wonderful Lord we serve who gives us such divine connections with brothers and sisters in Christ who are knit together by His Spirit.  We love you, pray for you and appreciate you so very much.


In His Service,



Ray & Jackie Brooks