The Story of the Big Fish Pt. 2

The Story of the Big Fish Pt. 2

By Gary Keesee


We went out and began fishing, and we immediately started catching halibut. As we caught them, Drenda would ask the captain, who was also the owner, how big the halibut had to be to win the Derby. In fact, she would question him every time she caught one. He said the 40-pounder she caught wasn’t big enough, so we threw it back. He said the 70-pounder she caught wasn’t big enough. Of course, everyone knows how good halibut is to eat, so we were planning to send home what we caught. The limit was two a person, so we did keep the 70-pounder.

The day continued toward evening, and it was now turning to dusk. My son Tom, daughter Polly, and I all had reached our two-halibut limit. Drenda had her 70-pounder, but none of the fish we had on board would win the Derby.

Drenda still was…


…confident she was going to catch the big one. The captain told all of us to reel our poles in as it was time to head to dock. Drenda ignored the order as the captain helped all of us put our poles up and stow the gear. She begged for just a few more minutes as she again declared that she was going to catch the Derby-winning fish. The captain waited a few minutes, then finally said, “I’m sorry, but we really need to be going.”

Just before he reached for her pole, it took a sudden downturn. The rod bent over and the drag began to scream. The captain lifted the pole to get a feel for how big the fish was. He suspected it was a shark, and said he could tell by the way the fish pulled.

It was a big fish.

It took quite a while for Drenda to get that fish up. It took all her strength to reel that fish in. It was near the bottom—about 300 feet down.

Finally, as the fish surfaced, everyone could see that it was actually a very big HALIBUT, one that was bigger than Drenda herself.

As the fish was pulled to the boat, the captain had a special prod that was designed for such big fish, so it wouldn’t hurt any of the passengers or damage the boat. As he pushed the prod against the fish’s head, the fish jerked, causing the charge to miss and the fish to dive back into the water.

All 300 feet of the line screamed off the reel.

I didn’t think the line, or the hook, were going to hold.

Drenda had to pull that big fish up again. Since she had already wrestled the fish up once, she was struggling. I put my arms around her, putting my hand on the reel with hers, and we both slowly cranked it up to the surface again. This time the captain was able to get it in the boat.

We all marveled at its size.

That halibut weighed 123 pounds. It was longer than Drenda.

Drenda won the Halibut Derby.

The Kingdom worked again.

How did Drenda catch that fish? It wasn’t just luck.



Listen in Now to Faith Life Church!



Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.

A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.

Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.

Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage and family. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.

Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.

That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.

She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.

Gary and Drenda pastor Faith Life Church at The Now Center in New Albany, Ohio and also are the CEOs of Forward Financial Group.




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