The Vacuum of The Prayerless Church – By Thomas Koester

The prayerless Church creates a vacuous people, void of conscience and the heart of God.

It wasn’t that prayer was taken out of our public school systems, which harmed the Nation. Rather it was prayer removed from many Churches; from our homes, and businesses that pushed our country into the depths of paganistic hedonism.

A few minutes of silent corporate prayer is no substitute for a church on its knees. Prayer must once again become the culture of the church rather than a brief moment of liturgy.

While the Supreme Court decided favorably for Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s 1963 lawsuit against the Baltimore School System that public school prayer was “unconstitutional,” the opportunity and vacuum for which this lawsuit was created were missed by the Church and Christian families.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as front-lets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and your gates.” Deuteronomy 6: 4-9

“My son, obey your father’s commands and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. For their command is a lamp and instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to live.” Proverbs 6:21

We cannot blame a secular government for the failings of the Church and the lack of responsibility of “God-honoring” parents.

Yet the cure is not to politic or legislate but to dedicate and dictate God’s Word beginning from our homes and into our Churches, and out into the public square. To reinstate prayer, true repentant prayer, into our Churches, from our Temples, and our closets to family rooms and boardrooms.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)

I don’t see any mention of school prayer here!

To blame our Nation’s moral tragedy on our children not praying?

This can only be because Churches and homes have lost their moral courage to do what is clear and accurate; humility, prayer, seeking God’s face, and repenting and turning from our wicked ways. Don’t blame the children or the ungodly and the unrighteous for our failure as a People of God. Just get it right and do the things which God has commanded and Christ has taught.

The prayerless Church creates a vacuous people, void of conscience and the heart of God.

Cry out to God so that prayer everywhere will be heard once again.

Put Your Faith In God and Not Politics – By Thomas Koester

“Have faith in God.” Mark 11:22

A 2023 Forecast…

Judgment is approaching, and it’s just around the corner. But it’s not for the world. No, its time has been reserved for a day yet coming. This impending judgment is not for the lost but for the so-called righteous who condemn and toss out people of poverty, of thirst, with no coat nor cot…

…They failed to see the less fed and less dressed as Jesus in their midst.

So, our homes and our houses are spitting us out. Strangers and foreigners pick through our belongings and move in while we’re out. Our treasures and trinkets were collected and sold, carted by strangers who brag of their gold.

Church buildings, sanctuaries, temples, and steeples are auctioned and sold to other people. Coffers and budgets are empty and bare; velvet-lined plates are far less of cash, coin, and fare.

While worshiping in style of pagan delight, God’s Word came and went while we slept in the light. Prophets and priests proclaimed prosperity and health; we forgot about holiness and exchanged it for wealth.

Judgment can be averted but not with mere prayer; there must be repentance and dust in the air, sackcloth for clothes and ashes for hats, tears of repentance and confession ne’er held back.

To avoid the perpetual crushing of God’s fair assessment, far better to repent then go down in besetment.

“Dear Children, keep yourselves from idols,” warned John. But none took him seriously, so we fashioned and formed them one after another till our houses became filled up to the rafters!

The window is closing; the door has long since shut. No politician, talk show, or New York Best Seller can reverse all we have glut.

Now that the coffers of both State and country are emptied and spent, the people rise in loud cries and lament:

“Give us our water, our dirt, and our hay, and we’ll work even faster, and bricks we will lay — our sons and our daughters will pay, Pay, PAY!”

The party is over — It has been for some time. Only God can help us in judgment He will refine. He’ll not listen to our cries and our whimpering whines but only of a Bride, forthcoming in beauty divine.

Put you faith In God and not political might; His Kingdom is here within you, so fight, Fight, FIGHT!

Not man and his flesh do we engage and embattle but the kingdom of darkness in principality and power.

So ready your hearts; your homes get in order; God’s coming down, but not for the rapture hour!

Healing Your Wounded Heart – Your Greatest Day – By Thomas Koester

Don’t live with the pain. Time is not the Healer of all wounds; that’s a lie. God is the Healer.

“Keep thy heart more than anything that is guarded; for from it flows the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

“A wound where there are no tears is a wound that cannot be healed.” Author, John Eldredge – Ransomed Heart Ministries

A splinter under the skin, if left alone and ignored will eventually fester to a point of infection. Your body is rejecting the foreign object no matter how small it is, the pain calls out for your attention. If you ignore it too long, you could end up in the emergency room.

How about your heart?

Why ignore the pain?

Your heart is more precious than a finger; you can live without a finger, but you cannot live without your heart.

Sometimes we’re strong in the wrong things and at the wrong times, but to be weak in the right things and with a humble heart, can get God’s attention.

If you are hurting, in pain and are crushed in spirit, heart, and soul, you may be at the greatest turning point of your life. You may actually be dwelling with God in a high and protected place, but you must share your tears with God, or you’ll be swallowed up in bitterness and left alone on earth.

Isaiah 57:15

“The high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: I live in that high and holy place where those with contrite, humble spirits dwell; and I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts.”

Psalm 51:17

“The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.”

Let God encounter your tears, after all, He is the Everlasting Father. Share it with Him as your sacrifice. Come to Him crushed, broken, betrayed; come to Him rejected and despised. His Son, Jesus is well acquainted with all of this and more. He allows it to touch your life, not to destroy you, but to draw you closer to Himself.

God wants to father you…

Simply trust and turn to God and surrender your right to be offended; your anger for being abused; your self hatred for being molested, raped, and violated. God specializes with hurting and wounded people, and He’d rather be with you than with kings and queens.

The moment you offer up to God your tears and pain, you are with Him in spirit and in truth.

Isaiah 42:3

“He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the dimly burning flame. He will encourage the fainthearted, those tempted to despair. He will see full justice given to all who have been wronged.”

God won’t exploit your bruises. He’ll not snuff out your heart, even if its barely beating and you feel life is over.

God desires to be your daddy…

Give it all over to God. If you do, He’ll see to it that justice is served, and you can give your revenge a proper burial.

Then, you’ll knock down your walls of despair and make them into a dance floor and you’ll dance with your Abba, just as He’s always wanted.

Don’t live with the pain. Time is not the Healer of all wounds, that’s a lie.

God is the Healer of all wounds, and He’s waiting to hear your cries directed towards Him, so that He may act.

“O my people in Jerusalem, you shall weep no more, for he will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. He will answer you.” Isaiah 30:19

Give it up to God. Let it out and drink in God’s presence and love, and so be healed and restored.

Become healed in the name of Jesus! He came to seek out the lost and broken, and there is no one he cannot save or heal.

Isaiah wrote about the mission of Jesus centuries before He arrived:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor…

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61: 1-3

You see, God wants to do an exchange with you, He’ll give you beauty, joy, and praise for all your ashes, mourning, and despair. It happened with me, and it could happen for you too.

This may be one of your greatest days!

Your heart and soul are God’s specialty. He wants to heal your heart and set you free!

Happy Holidays! …Oh, And Please Pass The Aspirin! – By Thomas Koester

During the early morning hours of October 11, 2013, I checked myself into the hospital for heart attack symptoms. The test results: negative for a heart attack, but positive for stress.

On November 13, 2013, I tripped down the stairs, overloaded with my stuffed laptop case on my left shoulder and my overnight bag on the right, heading out of town. My first stop was Groveland, CA, to meet up with a few good men to evaluate a retreat center for Wounded Warriors, then down to the Bay Area to cram in a few assignments.

Nevertheless, when I was overloaded with baggage and haste, I snapped and tore my quadriceps in three places. All my body weight of 240 lbs. plus 40 lbs of luggage was, in a fraction of a second, transferred to my left leg, which overshot the next two steps.

A loud “SNAP” and instant pain shot from above my knee, crumbled my leg beneath it, and launched me forward like superman; without a cape, with legs kicked out and arms stretched forward, I belly-flopped on the hardwood entry floor from the midpoint landing, only without the superpowers!

In flight, I yelled:

“NO! No …no not again…”

I landed my face softly on my laptop case, but the rest of my body hit with a mighty thump!

I lay there clutching my laptop case, writhing in pain, tears rolling down my chin when I thought of another hospital visit again. We lost our health insurance on July 31, 2013, because our premiums shot up higher than our house payment!

“The Lord will make you go through hard times. He will be there to teach you and you will not have to search for him anymore. If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, “Here is the road. Follow it.” Isaiah 30:20-21

There are many things, which I believe God is teaching me through these injuries and the stress I had been under. God was teaching me dependence; dependence on Him and others in my life. I tend to be too independent and self-reliant, overwork, and overloaded.

I need to take a break from the busy “Martha Neurosis” and pursue the “Mary Calmness” at the feet of Jesus.

I need to live more in the reality of Jesus’ presence and truly rest in that all Government is on his shoulders, not mine, nor the Republicans, Democates, Independents; not the Libertarians, The Greenies, Commies, Socialists, or MAGA.

I need to relish and relax in His governance and allow myself to be swept up in its epic and eternal expansion.

It’s not a matter of whether God is on my side or their side; the truth is, God is on neither the Right nor the Left’s side; God is on His own side. And I, (we) must join His cause and let the “talking heads” of the alphabet networks talk to themselves.

“For who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has been his counselor?” Romans 11:34

“But who can teach a lesson to God since he judges even the most powerful?” Job 21:22

I need to prioritize His ever-expanding rule of His present Kingdom and tap into its economy instead of creating my own or following the world’s economic priorities, which always leads to emptiness, exhaustion, and death. His Kingdom must expand its rule within and beyond us.

His eternal Kingdom’s expansion within us will inoculate us against the ever-increasing pressure of this world. If we all were to become Kingdom minded and submitted and yielded to the Lordship of Christ, we move from a state of being overcome to a status of an over-comer!

I need to hourly seek out his Wonderful Counsel, benefit from His omniscience (his all-knowing) of me, and listen to his whispers before they become a painful megaphone. God will never cancel my therapy sessions but will forever counsel me. All I must do is to show up, as there is no deductible, no co-pay, and no cost! Oh, and no appointments are necessary, just pray right in!

I need to relinquish my puny strength and my small-mindedness and to simply and humbly stand beneath and behind God’s Mightiness and title, “The God of the Angel Armies!”

I need to exchange my war-weariness and shell-shocked life and take comfort and confidence in God’s authority, who’s never lost a battle and ultimately will win the war. He loves a stacked deck because he loves to come through for all those who belong to him and have the patience to wait on him.

I need to surrender the un-fathered and incomplete areas of my heart, mind, and soul to the Everlasting Father-heart of God. I need to accept the challenge, correction, and discipline, even loss and pain, as initiation (teaching) and fathering from God. I need to agree with the legitimacy of my identity as God’s beloved son, and not the conspiratorial voices of darkness that foist on me the false title of “Victim.”

“Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly,y fathers, and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive, For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them? Still, he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness. Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.” Hebrews 12:7-11 (NET)

I need to allow the Prince of Peace to usher His reign of peace, calm and good tidings of great joy into the depths of my being until my heart rejoices no matter what state I may find myself in. I need to celebrate His Peace, even in the presence of my enemies, whereby I can feast without intimidation or fear. I need to relax when I open my winter’s electric bill and read it in peace, knowing confidently He reigns even over things such as these.

I need to focus on the quiet streams while driving the busy streets of life and drink God’s thirst-quenching flow, rather than virus-infected cesspools of worldly wants and desires, which leaves one dehydrated and life drained.

I need to completely trust in God’s judgment and enrich my life, every bit of it, with His justice so that all my actions are just and fair, not only to myself, so that I may live healthy and whole, but that the fruits of my life may encourage health and wholeness to others. I need to: “…do justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with my God.” Micah 6:8.

I need to be a man who taps into the counsel of The Wonderful Counselor, whereby He faithfully counsels me with wisdom and insight. His counsel protects me from the lies and seductions of the world and from the inner voices of self destruction.

I need an Everlasting, Never Leaving, Never Busy, Always there Father-God, who loves me and you so much that He puts his Spirit in us to teach us His most favorite Name; “Abba,” “Poppa,” and “Daddy!”

I want peace in my life, marriage, home, church, business, and everywhere I go.

Don’t you?

And, this Jesus, whose name is maligned, marginalized, cursed, and removed from our telecasts, prayers, and our speeches, from our schools, courtrooms, and public places, came to us as a babe, a child in a manger that became Jesus our Savior!

He is the Prince of Peace, and “…the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with righteous judgment, with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

And, The Zeal of the Lord already accomplished this 2000 years ago!
With so much authority, honor, and titles given to Jesus, don’t you think He is capable of saving you? He is your connection to the Father-Hearted God of Heaven.

It’s far better to listen to His whispers than through His megaphone!

Happy Holidays! …Oh, and please pass the aspirin!

The Rapid Collapse of America – By Thomas Koester

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalms 11:3

While the collapsing of America has been slowly plodding since it’s inception some 246 years ago, in these past few decades, and especially these past two years, it has accelerated to breakneck speed. Like a speeding locomotive, too heavy and too fast to stop.

Historically, every failed Nation or civilization has indeed gone through what America and Western culture is currently going through. The key phrase here is “every failed Nation or civilization.”

What America is currently undergoing is the rapid decline of our freedoms of the many for the sake of individual liberties of the degenerate and the immorality of the few. Those with political power will ride the inevitable cultural implosion to greater power and dictatorial control. This is by design and not by coincidence.

Again, this is not a new paradigm but a “rinse and repeat” cycle of history and what happens with apathetic, contemporary people unwilling to learn from past historical mistakes. The treasures of historical knowledge has been purposely engineered out of our educational institutions, and unwittingly to the average American citizen and student.

This, by no means, excuses the average American citizen but is a sad and factual commentary of our collective willingness to seek pleasure and policies of appeasement in exchange for governmental control and free goodies.

In reality, we’ve all chosen to worship America and all its bounty rather than the God of Heaven, Earth’s only Redeemer.

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalms 11:3.

Unfortunately, 21 Century Christianity has been too preoccupied with Church. You may not think so, but darkness does, and the Lord of Darkness celebrates our easy relinquishment of the Church’s Kingdom of God duties and responsibilities. If the Church had been occupied with the Kingdom of God as an occupying force for King Jesus, we would not be this far down the river, and perhaps the “foundations” could’ve been repaired.

Our task was to occupy until He came — To preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, to bless the world with the rule and reign of God’s Son. Not hasten the day of destruction because of our misguided disengagement, our pre-tribulation theory, and premillennial exfiltration madness.

As surely as the sun rises in the East, our future leaders will be as degenerate, morally vacant, and deranged as the voters that vote them into power. Our ignominious milestones of the first this, or the first that; the first gay Senator, first transgender Congressman, first Islamic-Extremist Representative, and our first LGBTQUIZ President, etc. will become the millstone of slavery around every citizen’s neck; rich or poor, black or white, gay or straight, liberal or conservative.

Unapologetically, the only option for recovery and change is to turn away from our individual and corporate sins, repent, and turn wholeheartedly to God — without delay, seeking His forgiveness for our willful disregard of His laws, and the greatest gift given to all humanity, that is Jesus Christ, God’s only way of salvation.

Without the Church’s acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as Lord and King, America’s greatness will undoubtedly collapse, and not even Donald J. Trump or Ron DeSantis can make America Great Again.

It is my hope and prayer, as I’m sure it is yours also, that our better days as a people and a Nation are yet before us. But this is all up to God and not up to a politician or political party. The two things that can change the fate of this Nation is a repentant Church and praying Saints.

Can I get an amen?

The Power of Love – By Thomas Koester

To Be Known By Our Love…

When reading the title of my article, you have to admit; like me, you immediately thought of the hit song by Huey Lewis and the News, or the movie, Back to the Future. Maybe the last thing you thought of is Christianity or the Church.

According to the Founder of Christianity, we are to be known by our love for one another. The world would know that we are Jesus’ disciples by our love. But as you may be aware every Sunday morning, we all gravitate to our favorite flavors of Christianity and tasty preferences of religious delights.

As believers, our doctrine and affiliations should not separate us. We are to be known by our love for one another, regardless of whether we agree or disagree with lesser tenets of the faith.

Love for one another trumps knowledge, prophecy, and tongues. Love trumps Calvinism and Arminianism. Love trumps Premillennialism and Postmillennialism.

Love trumps and destroys bitterness and anything that may divide us. Well, it should, and if it’s not, it means that our love is just a religious pose. Real agape love is powerful and life-changing. It’s dynamic and alive, not at all static or passive.

If Jesus Christ were to walk into our town of Copperopolis on any given Sunday morning, we’d all leave our Church buildings and gather where He is. He, and not the differences in our denominations should be the focus.

Jesus Christ is not a Baptist nor a Pentecostal; He’s not a Presbyterian, a Catholic, or an Independent. He is the where, the who, the way, and the why we are His followers. He is not a denomination, a religion, or a building.

Where is the Church of Copperopolis? Where is the Church of your town or your city?

Jesus Christ is the Great Shepherd of one Church, and we need to act like it, putting aside our petty and religious differences. Let’s save our towns, county, and states and seek and save the lost. They are everywhere that we’re not. They need to witness our love for one another!

We must love one another in front of the lost. We need to show them what they’re missing. They are missing the power of authentic agape love!

We have to love beyond the borders of our denominations, beyond the enforces of sectarianism and the supremacy of the elitists. Without Love, we have no authentic identity as disciples and no real gospel power.

Let the love of Christ Jesus compel us towards unity and love for one another.

Otherwise, the world will be without a witness and the real Power of Love!

The Culture of Life or Death – By Thomas Koester

Eternal life starts as soon as you cancel your temple-of-doom worship…

If nothing changes in your life after facing death, then nothing will ever change while facing life.

While the Spirit brings life, the flesh and all its desires bring death. And this is why when so many face death, nothing changes because they already live in a culture of death.

Instead, walk in the Spirit, and you’ll not satisfy the desires of a death culture but an active community of spiritually alive people.

Being hope-filled makes you attractive to those that want to live, but to the death culture, you’re bad news. Your hopefulness points to heaven, a place unfamiliar to them. Their paradise is boozing it up and partying like it’s “1999.”

They celebrate the flesh; plump it up here, tuck it in there, lifting it to the top, and stretching out the wrinkles. They’ll pay thousands of dollars on their temples of doom.

Life is not what you are on the outside but who you are on the inside. All that body emphasis stuff keeps you from really enjoying life while your soul rots away. A joy-filled and hopeful life changes you from the inside out!

It will change you from a sourpuss to a sweetie pie. Just ask my friend, Paul Spaar. He has all the reasons to be sour but instead chooses to be hopeful, upbeat, and positive. Sure, he’s had bad days; heck, we all do. But we wouldn’t know what a good day is without the bad days to measure against. Oh, and the ladies, well, they see Paul as a handsome dude. He radiates from the inside out. Psst, that’s Paul’s superpower…

…I’ll have what he’s having!

I’m not saying to deny reality; I’m just encouraging you not to make your reality about living for dying rather than dying to live. The difference is to stop worshiping that which is dying and start honoring the One who’s giving Life.

He faced a terrible death so that you don’t have to. Eternal life starts as soon as you cancel your temple-of-doom worship and allow Him to make you into His Temple of Life!

When physical death comes, as it inevitably does, you’ll face it, not with bargaining but with a triumphant entrance into heaven. That’s where the real party will be.

Choose life and leave the culture of death behind.