The Hour Has Come – Time To Wake Up Your Faith – By Thomas Koester

The Hour Is Late

There is no doubt that we’re living in the time of Joseph and Elijah. A time when it’s wise to gather and store. A time when it’s wise to trust the Lord for ravens and hidden streams.

Gather for your friends and family. Gather to be in a position to give and provide. Trust the Lord to guide you and marshal unexpected resources that He sends. Move closer to the Lord than ever before and be ready to tap into His presence for strength.

Be ready to let go of life as you know it, and cling to the Lord as never before. Bolt yourselves to God’s Word. Anchor yourselves to God’s promises. Dig deep into the Holy Spirit. Train your hearing on the voice of your Shepherd. Discern and obey God’s commands.

The Years of 2020 and 2021 were dress rehearsals for what lies ahead in 2022 and 2023. A “Great Reset” is coming, and it won’t be pleasant.

Prepare and train yourselves for endurance. Ready yourselves and your families to do with little and live without. Your value was never in what you owned or your in your career. Your value and worth are your identity as a child of the most high God and not as a son or daughter of this world.

Remember, our warfare is not against flesh and blood. Our enemy is unseen and entrenched in high powers and principalities. Therefore, remember to whom you belong and the might and majesty of our God. Saints of God, stand firm in your calling. Heroes of our Faith are watching. Angels are positioning. Demons are strategizing. Something is breaking out.

Remember, you’re on the winning team, no matter what you see or hear. God is well pleased with His sons and daughters. Act like it and know it to the core of your being, deep within your heart. They will try to demoralize, defame, and demonize us. Many will doubt and fall prey to their wicked schemes.

Protect your minds with the Helmet of Salvation. Guard your hearts with the Breastplate of Righteousness; wear the Belt of Truth firmly; take up your position with the Shield of Faith, and your feet dressed with the Readiness and Power of the Gospel. Grip tightly the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God! Ephesians 6: 10-17

Stand firm and sure in your faith.

Jesus never promised safety and security; rather, he said;

“For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it.” Matthew 16:25

…You will soon learn what this means.

Your belief in the empty tomb will help you during the time of empty banks. Memorize that!

You were not saved for an easy life but were chosen and equipped to become Saints.

Wake up your faith!

The Power of The Father’s Connection – By Thomas Koester

Never underestimate the power, authority, and security of a father’s role and connection. There is nothing on earth that can take its place.

Since time began, power was, and is, the principal motivator of life. Whoever wields power has control, authority, and security. If you think about it, these three things are essential for just about any group of people. In fact, they are essential for a healthy family.

This is why family is so important. It is the very fabric that holds society together.

Whether you agree or not, God instituted family. He derived the construct from his trinitary self of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Father, wife, and child by design, God’s reflective image of himself into creation.

God first creates man, then woman, then from their union, offspring. God shares with man his power, giving him control, authority, and security. He places man in the center of paradise and says you tend it; cultivate it, rule over it, and honor its boundaries (security).

Fundamentally, our identity, personhood, and security come from our families and principally from our fathers. The most primal and significant connection we can have on earth begins with our fathers. It’s not an option; it’s foundational.

This is why fatherhood is under such terrible assault. It is the most strategic and essential part of God’s design and image. Destroy the image of fathers, and you destroy the image of Father-God. Turn the children from their fathers, and you’ll frustrate and hinder children from finding their Heavenly Father.

When fathers and children turn away from each other, the family crumbles. When this becomes the norm, marriages crumble, and children become aimless and disenfranchised from the safety of paternal authority, control, and security. They become targets of destructive philosophies, ideologies, and influences.

The following is an excellent portrayal of the destructive force against fathers and family:

In the 1991 Movie “Hook,” starring Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, Robbin Williams as Peter Banning (Peter Pan), and Charlie Korsmo as Jack Banning, Peter’s son; an interesting scene takes place between Captain Hook and little Jack Banning:

Hook: Such a pretty, pretty…. …What is that I hear? A ticking. Smee, stop the ticking! Stop that! Stop that “tick-tick”!

Smee: There’s no ticking here. There’s nothing left to tick.

Hook: This is for the ticking that might have been. Get his father’s watch!

Smee: Right.

Hook: Go on. You know you want to. Give it a try. Go on.

Jack: This is for..never letting me blow bubbles in my chocolate milk!

[he smashes the clock]

Smee: Yes!

Hook: Ha ha! Good form! Bravo!

Smee: There you go! Isn’t that wonderful?

Jack: This is for never letting me jump on my own bed.

Hook: Make time stand still, laddie.

Jack: For always making promises and breaking them! For never doing anything with me.

Hook: For a father who’s never there, Jack. Jack, for a father who didn’t save you on the ship.

Jack: [Sadly] Who wouldn’t save us….

Hook: Who couldn’t save you, Jack.

Jack: He wouldn’t. He didn’t even try. He was there, we were there, and he wouldn’t try.

Hook: Jack, he will try. And the question will be: When the time comes, do you want to be saved? Now, don’t you answer now. No, no, no, no. Now it’s time to be whatever you want to be. Put behind you any thoughts of home…that place of broken promises.

Jack: That what?

Hook: Have I ever made a promise, Jack… …I have not kept? Have I, son?

Did you read how the evil Hook exploits Jack’s wounds? Then Hook belittles his father, even to the point of “when the time comes, Jack, do you want to be saved?”

Hook continues, stealing the boy’s identity:

“…Now it’s time to be whatever you want to be. Put behind you any thoughts of home… …that place of broken promises.”

Not only does Hook steal the boy’s identity, he sinisterly robs him of his sense of belonging and then mischaracterizes Jack’s home “as a place of broken promises.”

Hook tops it off by reidentifying Jack as “his son.” He strikes Jack’s wound at the center of his heart, reminding Jack that his dad is weak, a liar, and a man of broken promises.

“Hook: Have I ever made a promise, Jack… …I have not kept? Have I, son?”

I truly believe that this clever and well-written movie accurately illustrates how evil destroys fathers, families, children, and homes.

In the last book of the Old Testament, the last chapter and the last two verses reads:

“Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6

The fulfillment of this Malachi prophecy occurs in the First Chapter of Luke 1:17. John The Baptist prepared the way for Jesus Christ, whose mission was to redeem the lost sons of Adam.

When fathers and children remain estranged and God’s salvation is averted, the land, culture, and society become cursed.

Fathers, do whatever it takes to connect with your kids. Kids, do whatever it takes to connect with your fathers.

Sometimes taking up our father’s interest in sports, hobbies, etc., is the only way we can connect with our fathers. His pastime becomes ours, and maybe the only bridge on earth to reach him and spend time with him.

However, I’d rather see fathers turn their hearts towards their children, enter their world, and connect with their likes.

The hearts of the fathers must initiate a turning back to their children, or there’s little hope for society. Their best hope of connecting to God is their connecting with you!

Fathers, your legacy is at risk — worse, your children’s future and eternity are at stake.

Never underestimate the power, authority, and security of a father’s role and his connection. There is nothing on earth that can take its place.

God Is Live Right Now – By Thomas Koester

“Did you know that God is wirelessly available this very moment, with unmatched bandwidth from Heaven’s Throne?

God has infinitely more knowledge than Alexa. He has more wisdom than Siri…”

God does desire your worship of him, but worship is not an end in itself; it’s not the pinnacle of what you have to give the Eternal Lover of your soul. He’s after your heart. Your heart is what he wants from you. For without it, your worship is empty and unpleasing to him.

God is not happy with only raised hands, bowed heads, and pretty choruses — he’s not impressed with your Sunday’s best, and part-time devotion!

He’s poured out all his pent up wrath against sin on His very own Son, so that he can pour out all his love on you. He’s found a way to make you his very own and desires to be the sole occupant of your heart. He wants your desire to match his Son’s desire to be in him, so that together, Father and Son may dwell in you!

What will it take for you to cut out and remove what is useless and self-destructive to your precious heart and soul?

Is not your life hard enough, empty enough, lonely enough that you’ll go on without God?

You want all these things; all the answered prayers and open doors, but are you really pursuing God, or simply what you want from him?

He’s not behind the doors for which you so wearily push against; earnestly seeking safety, comfort, and security. He’s not playing hide and seek with you, he wants to be found as your One and Only Lover and Everlasting Father.

Only in returning to him, will you find everything you are truly seeking and desiring.

Pray to receive him. Climb over every obstacle to find Him, and not what your flesh cries out for, which by the way are only temporal remedies of an eternal desire. God’s promise is that he will be found, if you seek him and him alone with your whole heart.

But perhaps you haven’t done so, at least not with all your heart and strength, or else this note you’re reading wouldn’t be speaking so deeply to you. To honestly and sincerely turn towards God, is my dear friend the only change and the most important decision that you must make at this moment – at this very second.

All other passions, concerns and worries must be trained on the heart of your fierce Lover and only Healer of your heart and soul. All other methods are simply medicating you. Worldly tips and techniques are not healing you, but masking the pain. “Time does [not] heal all wounds,” God does! God wants you restored and made whole, not medicated.

You want to talk about hands-free devices?

Did you know that God is wirelessly available this very moment with unmatched bandwidth from Heaven’s Throne?

God has infinitely more knowledge than Alexa. He has more wisdom than Siri. We 21st Century Christians are so distracted, not with idols made of wood and stone, but with artificial intelligence (A.I.)!

We crave Idols that talk back, that hear our every word; that answers our immediate questions. Yet the God of Creation, the very One who knows you by name, has counted every strand of your hair and has collected, like diamonds and precious jewels, every tear you’ve shed, is waiting patiently for your devotion and your “signing in.”

He has far greater connections than LinkedIn and has more excellent opportunities than Ziprecruiter. He wants more than your market share and algorithms — He wants all of you; body, mind, and soul, but especially your whole heart.

God can fill your heart and soul, but the Internet, well, it leaves holes in your heart and never, absolutely never fills your heart as God can. The internet is designed to keep you empty, shallow, and alone, causing you to need and crave things more and more.

God is not after your money. He’s not marketing you — He’s trying to love you as you’ve never been loved before. He wants to update and download into the center of your being and fill your memory with images of Heaven that you’ll never find on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Did I mention how much I needed to hear this?

My name is Thomas Koester, and I’m addicted to A.I. too. I need, more than I’d like to admit, the words I’ve written in this article. I, too, am convicted!

Close this post. Log off Facebook. Shut down your devices. Lower the lights and open your heart to God. Log into Heaven’s Throne, and tune into His presence, scroll up to His homepage so that you may truly see and understand. God is far more exciting than Tik Tok. He has exceedingly more to offer than Amazon, eBay, or Costco!

God is live right now, and his live feed is where you’ll find real life and all that you’ve been longing for…

…I’m signing in.

If I Only Had A Heart – By Thomas Koester

A New Heart Means A New Life

It’s what’s in your heart that will change your family and not what’s in your wallet.

Proverbs 4:23

“Keep your heart with all diligence,
for out from it flows the wellspring of life.”

Notice it doesn’t say wallet!

It also doesn’t say Capital One either! …It says your heart.

In the original book by L. Frank Baum, Wizard of Oz, it is revealed that the Tin Woodman used to be a man of flesh and blood, but a Wicked Witch cursed his axe to cut off all his body parts, which ultimately caused him to lose his heart. Thus, loosing his love for a Munchkin maid named Nimmie Amee.

The tinsmith replaced the woodsman’s torso, but was unable to replace the heart. Now completely made of tin, but without a heart, the Tin Man became cold and indifferent to the girl and the marriage never occurred. He wants a heart so he can rekindle his love for the girl and marry her.

You see, sin cursed our hearts, deadening our souls and separating us from God. Without a good heart, we remain lost and loveless, with no way to God. We too become cold and indifferent, losing our desire for God. Religion is like the tinsmith that can give us a tin torso, but can’t replace the heart.

Rather than an all powerful Oz, we need an all powerful Savior.

For those who believe in God and are faithful Christ followers, we’ve received a new heart!

Ezekiel 36:26 puts it this way:

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of you, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”

Notice that God also says He will put a new Spirit within us. This is because our new heart becomes His dwelling place, and from our restored and cleansed heart flows new life for God and others. We become living temples for God.

Now we can obey God from the inside out. Something that the Old Covenant could not do.

Ezekiel 36:27

“…I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”

So God places his Spirit inside our new hearts so that we have the ability to do his will, keep his laws, and create a new relationship within us.

Romans 2:29 tells us that the Holy Spirit changes our hearts. This is not an act of our will or effort but an internal operation done by God’s Spirit to those that believe the Gospel.

So, do what you’ve been born again to do, live a changed life because of your changed heart, and so, become that wellspring of life for your family and friends and to the stranger you meet; to your neighbors and coworkers.

Be the best life-giver because the Giver of Life dwells in your new heart.

The Oyster & The Pearl – Living A Joy-filled Life – By Thomas Koester

It’s What happens Deep Within Us That Makes Us Valuable.

You cannot climb to the heights of joy unless you first plumbed the depths of despair.

I’m a pretty optimistic guy with a fairly even-keeled personality. I didn’t choose to be this way. I am fortunate to have been born with a sense of optimism. When I was younger, I used to have surges of optimism, but now in my sixties, not so much.

How about loved ones; family, friends, and acquaintances that have the opposite? Instead of optimism, they suffer from depression and anxiety, and because of this, they’ve become pessimistic. Trying to cope with periodic or ongoing bouts of depression and anxiety can be hell on earth. I have seen what it looks like in the faces of my loved ones.

So here is the thing, as fortunate as I am to be optimistic, upbeat, and positive, I must choose joy, just as much as one suffering from depression must choose joy. There is a problem with both polar opposites. Both depressive and optimistic personalities, in their extremes, are void of joy.

You see, being controlled, or mentally dominated by optimism or depression, leaves no room for joy. Joy, real joy, is a choice. The choice is not easy for the depressed and the optimist.

But far too many people bypass joy for a new lover, new home, or even a baby, hoping they’ll find happiness.

The scriptures, more or less, indicate that joy is a command from the heart and mind to the soul, or vice versa. Even a command to our bones! Yep, I can attest to that; being sixty-something, I have a lot of aches in my bones; my bones speak to me; no, they really do, they make all kinds of sounds when I walk!

“Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice.” – Psalm 51:8

“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy.” – Proverbs 15:30

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24

Joy is medicine to our body, heart, mind, and even our bones!

Like all medicines, many of us must be reminded to take it, perhaps even forced. Ah, but when you do follow the doctor’s orders, or your wife’s, the medicine helps with whatever ails you. And so, you must also choose joy to receive all of its benefits.

I did a word study on Joy in the New King James Version of the Bible. Did you know that the word “joy” appears 192 times in both the Old and New Testaments? Just studying the word Joy, brings you joy!

But still, choosing joy in the midst of depression, worry, sickness, betrail, and even divorce seems almost impossible. Trying to reign in our emotions when our mind and body seem out of control is like trying to rope a bull elephant!

So many people suffering from depression, anxiety, and traumatic events, such as betrail, divorce, etc., show the signs of their condition in their bodies and even in their bones. Everything aches and most things lose their significance, such as food, relationships, and even life itself. But this is why joy is so important and why the Bible mentions it 192 times!

Sacrificial joy, that is, choosing to be joy-filled when things are not right, is real medicine. As I mentioned earlier, joy is a medicine that sometimes you must force yourself to take.

I had written an article a few weeks ago titled:

“My Allergic Reaction To Asking For Help.”

This is a story of my unintended flight down a set of stairs, whereby I had ruptured and shredded my quadriceps above my left knee. They snapped like a dried twig! Well, it wasn’t the painful surgery that gave me grief; it was nausea from the general aniestic!

I absolutely hate nausea. It began post-surgery and as soon as my wife took me home. The orthopedic surgeon hadn’t prescribed any anti-nausea meds. So there I am, writhing in nausea, dizziness, and fighting the urge to throw up. Toni saw how terrible I looked and felt. It was late, but I begged her to go to the pharmacy and bring home some anti-nausea meds.

While Toni was away, I was so desperate that I turned on a Christian Radio Station, K-LOVE, and listened to worship music while alone in my living room. I struggled initially, but I started to command my body, heart, and mind to be joyful. I began singing praises and thanksgiving to God, thanking him, even for the dreaded nausea. In a matter of few minutes, my nausea vanished, and my pain began to diminish.

Soon, Toni showed up with the anti-nausea meds, but when she handed me the bag, I said, “Oh, um, I’m feeling much better; the nausea is over.” She looked a little perturbed, only because I sent her on a wild goose chase for drugs that I didn’t need. I should’ve started with joy.

Early the following year, I contracted a form of the H1N1 virus. I had never been so sick. I reached a point where I got my inner house in order, so to speak, because I actually thought that I might die! While burning with fever, I again started to praise God and sing a joyful song to Him. It wasn’t at all easy or even natural to push through, but nonetheless, I did.

I lay there on my sickbed and began singing Psalms 100.

“(A Psalm of praise.) Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands…

…I will enter into His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, and into his courts with praise: I will say this is the day that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice in Him and be glad.”

Yeah, I actually thought I might be entering the Courts of Heaven that night, but God had other plans. Forcing myself to express joy helped me to triumph through that dreaded virus.

Actually, to “rejoice” is just that; it means giving joy to God until it is given back to you. To rejoice in the Lord is the worshipper becoming gladdened, exuberant, and jubilant by taking great delight in God. Heartfelt Joy is reciprocal. It is also contagious.

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:12

God sometimes brings correction through the things we suffer because He knows that suffering can produce the precious commodity called joy. Just like an oyster and a grain of sand, which to the oyster is an irritant. From this irritant comes a pearl.

Probably one of the most impactful examples of this was on, of all places, America’s Got Talent TV show.

Jane Kristen Marczewski, known by many as Nightbird, (December 29, 1990 – February 19, 2022), on AGT, viewed by millions, and a recipient of the coveted “Golden Buzzer,” told the world the following after she sang her original song, “It’s OK”:

“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”

The audience, and especially Simon Cowell, were stunned. I was too.

Really, Jane’s words were so powerful because they are true, not just her truth, but right from the Bible. They are God’s truth, and that night, they were spoken by a frail and tiny but courageous woman. I think the shock of it all was profound because it was spoken over the backdrop of her story; her battle with cancer.

Jane had learned the power of joy and happiness in spite of the cancer eating away at her future.

Happiness or joy is now, not later. It’s in the middle of your darkest nights, dreariest days, and deepest despairs. Joy and happiness are choices. Yes, hard choices. If they were easy, they’d have far less value with no real healing and no inner peace. That night, Jane Kristen Marczewski, became God’s pearl.

God allows irritants to enter our life too. He does this with intricate perfection and purpose.

“Thus says The Most High, The Exalted One who inhabits all eternity, and is holy, and holy is his dwelling with the humble, and with the weary of spirit to give life to the spirit of the humble, and to give life to the heart of the suffering ones.” Isaiah 57:15

When we are at our worst, choosing joy is most powerful. The Isaiah verse above tells us The Most High God, The Exalted One, who lives in all eternity while He dwells in a high and lofty place, He is near the humble, the sorrowful, and the sufferers.

When we command our body, heart, mind, and yes, even our bones to rejoice in God, He gives life. He refreshes. He restores, and He reciprocates our sacrificial joy. “He will quiet us with his love.” “He will rejoice over us with gladness” and even “rejoice over us with singing.” Because God is not a distant deity, He is your Heavenly Father, and he is much nearer than you can imagine.

Like the oyster, we can’t see the development of beauty inside our lives. Our struggles with depression, anxiety, worry, and overoptimism distract us from the work that God is doing. Instead, we feel abandoned by God, orphaned, and on our own. The truth is that God is there with us in the midst of our pain. It requires us to believe and to trust in God’s promises. The Bible says God would rather dwell with us than with kings and queens.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

He would have to be very close to you to heal your broken heart, bind up your wounds, and save your crushed spirit.

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18

Then God sends us His Son, Jesus to rescue us…

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and to announce that captives shall be released and the blind shall see, that the downtrodden shall be freed from their oppressors, and that God is ready to give blessings to all who come to him.” Luke 4:18-19

Don’t live life without joy.

“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” Jane Kristen Marczewski, Nightbird

Choose joy, and in a very short while, you’ll understand. Maybe you’re becoming God’s Pearl!

Why We Have A Biden/Harris Administration – By Thomas Koester

Kings, Queens, and Presidents are not the people’s choice but God’s choice.

Historical events, like the Biden/Harris presidency, always begin on a spiritual level before we see these things in the physical.

Jesus, knowing the origin of divine governance, taught his disciples to pray in an orderly way:

“…thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it exists in Heaven.” Matthew 6:10

God’s will and purpose always begins in Heaven before it happens here, on earth.

God moves the hearts of Kings, Queens, and Presidents by his own will and counsel. Throughout history, especially biblical history, it was not unusual for God to allow evil rulers to discipline his people and to use them to drive his people back to himself.

Do you think God is pleased with over 34,000 denominations or fractures within Christianity?

The valid but unfortunate question is, why does the Kingdom of Darkness enjoy near-perfect unity while Christianity and conservatism are woefully fragmented?

Wickedness faithfully coalesces around the satanic. But in Christianity, we can’t even agree on the operation and ministry of the Holy Spirit. We are fractured about whether the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are relevant today. We are fractured over the importance of theological intellectualism vs. trusting in the Holy Spirit as Guide and Teacher. We are fractured because many churches have exchanged sound biblical truth for relativism and for wrongfully dividing Scripture into categories of negotiable and non-negotiable truths.

Shouldn’t godly righteousness coalesce around unity in faith, belief, and in sound biblical doctrine? We’re not all listening to and obeying the only Holy Spirit of Truth, if we were, we’d have perfect unity, surpassing that of the wicked.

Furthermore, mainstream Christianity believes that the Kingdom of God and the rule and reign of Jesus Christ are futuristic. What if they are wrong? What if all this time, we’ve rejected the reigning King Jesus within the hearts and minds of his people?

I think the Futurist’s, people that don’t believe in the present Kingdom of Heaven, are why there is such a lack of Christian unity and national righteousness. If you don’t believe in the rule and reign of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, then you’ll willingly subjugate the church to secular democratic rule, and allow the State to reign over the church.

So not only have we insulted the Holy Spirit, but we’ve also said, based on our actions and false beliefs, “This King shall not reign over us!”

“…But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this king to reign over us!” Luke 19:14

Christianity, as much, if not more so than Republicanism, is overrun and overruled by elitism and infiltrated with secular minded progressives. This is not by accident but by satanic design.

The corruption of Christianity and our lack of unity can be boiled down to unfaithfulness to God and Scripture and to the ill-treatment of the person and role of the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore, our worship of the anointing rather than to whom the Anointer points, has caused many to fall into the worship of demons.

All of this is why our country, and for that matter, all free nations, fall under Marxist-Socialism.

Christianity has willingly abdicated most of its authority and mission to the State in exchange for a 501(c)(3), tax break.

Is it possible that God just might be allowing a Biden/Harris administration to expose the false Church and to accentuate the purity and honor of His true Church?

You can be sure that God’s plan is to restore, although he may tear down first.

As Jill Phillips, a singer-songwriter has penned in her song, “Wrecking Ball,”

“…God is both the builder and the wrecking ball.”

And this may be why we have a Biden/Harris administration.

When the Youth Rule the County – By Thomas Koester

Wake up, people or the Youth will rule America.

Jerusalem [America] on Its Last Legs – Isaiah 3: 1-7, 12 MSG

“The Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
is emptying Jerusalem [America] and Judah
Of all the necessities, plain bread and water to begin with.

He’s withdrawing police and protection,
judges and courts,
pastors and teachers,
captains and generals,
doctors and nurses,
and, yes, even the repairers and jacks-of-all-trades.

Neighbor against neighbor, young against old, the no-account against the well-respected.

He says, “I’ll put little kids in charge of the city. Schoolboys and schoolgirls will order everyone around.

People will be at each other’s throats,
stabbing one another in the back:

One brother will grab another and say,
‘You look like you’ve got a head on your shoulders.

Do something! — Get us out of this mess.’
And he’ll say, ‘Me? Not me! I don’t have a clue. Don’t put me in charge of anything…’

…“Skinny kids terrorize my people.
Silly girls bully them around.”

My dear people! Your leaders are taking you down a blind alley. They’re sending you off on a wild-goose chase.”’

I think the Prophet Isaiah got it right, not only during the ancient days of Jerusalem and Judah but also for America.

When the youth rise up, as they are today, it is not a blessing but a curse. We are a Constitutional Republic, not a mob-driven Democracy. Yet the youth wants to dismantle the Constitution and Bill of Rights and influence our elected officials through flash mobs, riots, threats, and protests. They want to defund and disband police agencies.

Voting is our opportunity to protest how our country is governed and not through mob rule, mob mentality, and the threats of rioting.

The youth wants to see our government take away our right to keep and bear arms. The youth do not understand and know America’s history that our Second Amendment protects the cornerstone of all rights, which is the First Amendment, that no government shall prohibit the free exercise thereof; or abridge the freedom of speech.

When the left sends out the youth, it initiates the beginning of the end for our liberty and fundamental rights. The Progressive Left has unleashed their most dangerous weapon, the youth. They have ensured over the past 60 years of socialist indoctrination and lack of teaching that today’s youth have become the most uninformed and uneducated force in their arsenal.

The next several months, leading up to the November 8, 2022, elections, will be known as the Youth Summer and Jane’s Revenge, which has already spread across America, destroying pregnancy crisis help centers and the Catholic Church.

Jane’s Revenge is an American militant, extremist, pro-abortion rights group that has claimed responsibility for several acts of firebombing, vandalism, and arson, targeting pregnancy crisis centers, congressional offices, and Catholic Churches. Source: Wikipedia

A recent photograph was circulated of a young girl at a protest, holding up a sign demanding gun confiscation. Ironically, and in direct conflict with her new gun-grabbing beliefs, she was wearing a sweatshirt with the quote from the movie 300, spoken by King Leonidas: For those of you not familiar with the phrase: “ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ” (or in Latin script “Molon Labe”), which means “Come and take them!” It is what the Spartans reportedly said to the Persians when they were told to surrender their weapons.

In spite of the recent ruling by the Supreme Court, upholding the right to self-protection through concealed carry, States, such as New York, have just past new gun laws, circumventing the highest court in the land. Law-abiding citizens will be prevented to legally carry a gun, while the criminal are illegally armed to the teeth.

Public education is responsible for the indoctrination of our children. Our children have become the “useful idiots” of the Far Left.

Get your kids out of the public schools. Maybe the Coronavirus did us at least one favor in the closing down of schools. Train and teach your children yourself, enroll them into private schools, or they will increasingly become stooges of the Left and become the “Brown Shirts of Amerika.”

Wake up, people or the Youth will rule America.

The Great Un-Similarity – By Thomas Koester

Have we squandered the Gospel by preaching it only to the choir?

We are not making history; we are DISAPPOINTING IT! With one important distinction, the 21st Century Church is nothing like the 1st Century Church. At least, not yet!

The early Church existed during the time of the Roman Army’s occupation of Israel and Judah, and especially the City of Jerusalem. The Roman Empire was the most influential world power at the time, corrupting the subdued peoples and cultures with idolatry and immorality.

Sounds familiar?

Our great and mighty nation is doing the same thing and replacing the God of our Fathers with the Power of the State and inflicting upon us its immorality, cancel culture, and wokeisim.

In addition, the early Church suffered tremendous threats and persecution, as well as death by the religious zealots. These religious leaders and their disciples were the Early Church’s main archenemy in most of Asia Minor countries and cities, as well as the more significant Mediterranean areas.

They wanted to silence the preaching and testimony of Jesus Christ and keep his teachings from spreading and ruining their religious influence, power, and control of the people.

Sounds familiar?

The LGBT- XYZ community and its religious zealots and political activists are trying to silence the preaching and testimony of Jesus Christ and keep his teachings from spreading and ruining their influence and control over the people and culture. They are trying to destroy Christianity by infiltrating our churches, ministries, schools, and organizations, including our Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and all wholesome cultural institutions.

How about the Islamic Extremists-Jihadists’ insatiable appetite for the blood of Christians and infidels?

The tables are turned, and this group of fanatics is threatening to wipe out even the Jews and all of Israel. And now it appears an alliance between the far left, including the Socialists and Marxists are, forming an unholy alliance with the Jihadists against Christianity and the Jewish people. Now the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” has again become the mantra, whereby two evils join forces to destroy their common enemy, which is you and me!

Sounds familiar?

All of the Apostles, including many of the Early Church Fathers and their families, were arrested, tortured, and murdered, not just because of their faith but more so because of their outspoken proclamation of their dedication to the Gentile Nations and Jews in Israel and beyond.

And let me add this one thing:

THEY WERE NOT ARRESTED, TORTURED, OR MURDERED WHILE PREACHING IN THE COMFORTS OF THEIR CHURCHES BUT IN THE MARKET PLACES AND PLACES WHERE UNSAVED GENTILE PEOPLE GATHERED.

I agree with John Zaste; our proclamation needs to go way beyond the walls and doors of our Churches. It is not enough to invite unsaved people to visit our Churches to hear the Gospel. Too many Churches are not preaching the Gospel anyway. Also, the past century has shown us that indoor Church preaching has done little to impact our culture, cities, and country.

Our nation has thousands of Christian universities and colleges. Still, these have not persuaded our government, influenced our politics or culture, or provided us with preachers like the Apostle Paul or the Apostle Peter.

We’ve squandered the Gospel by preaching it only to the choir!

The early Church would not have had the impact it enjoyed if it did not invade its culture and challenged the prevailing philosophies of its time. The early Church’s message would’ve petered out (sorry, Peter) had it confined and limited its services within its sanctuaries and preaching to believers. Oh, wait, they had no palatial buildings, steeples, or chapels. They had each other, and they met in their homes, and yet it was they that changed the world!

Christians, along with Jews and the Unborn, are being dehumanized. But not to marginalize us, but to ultimately murder us. The Evil of our age is out to destroy all who hold to the testimony of Jesus Christ and those who obey His commands. All those that value life and God.

Revelations 12:7

“…Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring–those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.”

We need just a little more similarity.

The Under Reformed Church – By Thomas Koester

“…men don’t follow titles; they follow courage.”

The problem is the Reformation didn’t go far enough. It left too much Greco-Roman pagan ritual within the Church and its traditions. This decentralized the message of the cross and resurrection as the focal point of preaching, teaching, and evangelism.

The Cross of Christ, the Resurrection, and the birth of Christ have become nothing more than religious Holidays for Churches to put on shows to capture new parishioners. These religious holidays are no different for Hallmark, Target, and Best Buy; they spruce up their stores and adds to attract consumers, just like many churches do.

Most pastors and religious leaders are no longer wearing long flowing robes loaded with phylacteries or the priestly liturgical vestments with golden threaded sleeves. These religious garbs were used in their day to separate the clergy from the laity, to hold the learned in higher esteem than the unlearned, commoner, or laity class.

Today, the learned clergy rely on postnominals to separate themselves from the laity. Postnominals are letters placed following a person’s last name to indicate education qualifications, the title of office, decoration, or honor. White wigs, long flowing robes, and liturgical vestments may be passe among evangelicals and fundamentalists, but postnominals are not; these letters and titles grant them hierarchy.

“Your title gives you claim to the throne of our country, but men don’t follow titles; they follow courage.” William Wallace

Courage means action. It means to serve the interests of others. To risk. To venture. Titles separate us from one another, but courage, courage is contagious. It makes us all brave and inspired.

Real courage and bravery is sharing Christ in a world that hates him. Being a true disciple of Jesus Christ is loaded with risk, but only outside of chapels and steeples. In reality, the call to discipleship is more like Jesus saying, come die with me for the sake of the Gospel and the Kingdom. Heaven is where all things evil are vanquished and the real potluck begins.

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” – Deitrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

We must break free from the religious trappings of safety, comfort, and convenience.

Too much of this “tradition” of orbiting the pulpit, the building, and the alter, is to the detriment of local and world evangelism. To the equipping of the laity and the average believer. To the expansion of the Kingdom of Heaven. Frankly, the high expectation of the clergy doing all of the work of ministry leaves most parishioners disengaged with their faith, their calling, and the development of their spiritual gifts.

The offices gifted to the Church from Christ were not for the clergy to do all the ministry but would equip and train the laity (saints) to do the work of ministry so that all may reach maturity in Christ. Equipping the saints is for the maximum productivity in the body of Christ and the Gospel. (Eph. 4:11-16)

Being the audience once or twice a week does not forge men, women, and children into saints; but faith put into practice and action with one’s spiritual calling and giftedness does. Far too many well-seasoned believers are simply benchwarmers, an audience to a game they don’t play, in an arena where they’re not needed, and with no other purpose but to spectate.

Brothers, we don’t reach maturity in Christ Jesus as spectators or simply being faithful to a 90-minute program. Weekly services without the exercise of spiritual gifts create weak Christians.

In many churches, people run out as soon as they hear the final amen. In less than five minutes, the parking lot empties. Just like at the movie theaters, as soon as the screen fades to black and the credits roll, the theater and parking lot empties. What about fellowship, relationship, and koinonia? This proves that the service or show is more important than true fellowship and connectedness.

We believers must have a vital connection and role within the local fellowships, whether in commercial buildings or homes. This is why there are so many transients believers; they’re searching for belonging, meaning, and purpose.

The more risk and challenge for believers to exercise their faith and practice their spiritual gifts, the more spiritual growth and maturity, will be realized. And if this is allowed, improvement will become mutual among the laity and not exclusive among the clergy.

For example, I moved from the Bay Area to a lake community in the Sierra Foothills. There is a substantial lack of spiritual urgency up here. It was a culture shock and frankly still is. Spiritual complacency is a real danger, and the 21 Century Western Church structure is responsible for it — sadly, it is what they are producing, spiritual complacency.

I have the privilege to speak with pastors and evangelists in India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Do you know what they tell me?

They tell me they want to be like America’s big successful churches. This breaks my heart. We don’t risk our lives as they do, preaching the gospel or passing out bibles among Muslims and the Taliban. We aren’t threatened by Hindus, ISIS, or Boko Haram.

Here in America, we’re too scared to share the gospel with strangers, neighbors, or anyone shopping at Walmart. Our greatest threat here in America is getting jailed by Face_book, canceled by Twitter, and de-platformed or demonetized by Youtube. Our Americanized, homogenized, and pasteurized form of Christianity has been genetically modified to produce seedless fruit. We should not be in the exporting business.

I encourage them not to mimic Western Christianity and not to model their Churches and ministries after American mega-churches, TV evangelists, our wretched prosperity gospel pontificators, or the NAR movement.

I suggest they follow the authentic biblical model of Christian practice and the ecclesiastic men of Scripture. Christianity needs Indian, Pakistani, and Filipino believers and pastors to be themselves, not an Americanized version. I encourage them to study what the Holy Scriptures instruct and to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to their Churches. Follow Christ Jesus, not American pastors.

Perhaps the First World Churches need a Bible lesson from our brothers and sisters in the Third World.

The Temptation of Self Sufficiency – By Thomas Koester

It matters which voice you listen to when you are weak and weary.

It struck me recently that many times throughout my life, I’ve opted to turn stones into bread rather than to wait for the word-by-word nourishment from the mouth of my Heavenly Father.

So much of my ego and masculinity is wrapped up in being independent and only asking and waiting for help as a last resort.

This is all about Sonship and resting and relying on the Father-heart of God. Anything short of this is living as an orphan and not as a true adopted son.

It can also be construed as one listening to the Father of Lies, succumbing to his temptation of denying my relationship and dependence on God, and therefore, turning stones into whatever I need.

So, when life, love, and the necessities of food, shelter, and clothing are exhausted, don’t turn your stones into bread and become self-sufficient. It is a test, and if you remain steadfast in your dependence on God and his Father-heart, you’ll not be disappointed nor dissatisfied. Our God is no deadbeat dad but a Faithful Father.

And the Devil, well, he is the Father of Lies and selfishness. Nothing good can come from him.

The Devil would have you become so self-sufficient that you wouldn’t need or want God; he’ll keep tricking you until you’re emotionally drained, spiritually dried up, and drifting in loneliness.

The reward is waiting and suffering through the loss or the lack until God comes through, as God is always faithful.

“I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his children begging for bread.” Psalms 37:25

“Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait, and he will help you.” Psalms 27:14

Too much self-sufficiency can wreck your soul. Listen to the Father of Life and not the Father of Lies.