The Prodigal Father – Turning Your Heart Towards Your Children – By Thomas Koester

Don’t wait for your kids to find your heart, be brave and pursue theirs. It’ll change everything!

Before a nation collapses, the family collapses. Before a family collapses, the father collapses. Therefore, the fall of nations is the failure of fathers.

After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Toni and I finally went to a movie theater in Angels Camp, California, to watch the sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water.” We watched it in 3D at 48 frames per second. Wow!

The movie’s subtitle should have read, “The Way of Fathers.”

While the cinematography, special effects, action, and acting were all superb, the portrayal of the father’s role was unmistakable and powerful! Matter of fact so was the mother’s role. The importance of parents and family is something we rarely see in movies produced in Holywood.

While James Cameron wrote a fantastic story and script, the importance of fathers taking responsibility for their children was something to behold. Just like in the world of Avatar, our world needs strong, uncompromising fathers to survive!

I see the role and importance of fathers in the Bible, from the first chapter of Genesis to the last chapter of the Book of Revelations. From the last book of the Old Testament, the final chapter, and the last two verses, and to the opening of the New Testament, in the Book of Luke, chapter one, verses fifteen through seventeen.

Malachi 4: 5-6 (Last Old Testament Book)

“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.”

Luke 1: 15-17 (One of the First New Testament Books)

15, ff “…And he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even in his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to their Lord God. 17, And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the unbelievers to the wisdom of the just men: to make the people ready for the Lord.”

John the Baptist was the second Elijah spoken about in the Book of Malachi. It was his job to stir the hearts of fathers to their sons and daughters. Otherwise, the mission of Jesus to reconcile the lost sons and daughters of Israel to his Heavenly Father would have met hardened hearts.

Our roles as fathers are not only the most significant societal and cultural role; it is the single most important relational/spiritual role our children can have here on earth. Malachi is pointing out that a father’s estrangement (absence) from his children has the potential of cursing our land and creating avenues of destruction throughout our cities and towns. Estranged and absent fathers make ungodly and rebellious children. It also hardens the children’s hearts against the love of God, his Heavenly Father’s role, and ultimately His plan of salvation for them.

Do you fathers understand your role and responsibility in God’s plan of salvation for your children? You will be held to account. Do you want to stand before God as a deadbeat dad?

There can be no more significant failure in a man’s life than to turn his back on his marriage and children.

The career is not worth it. An affair is not worth it. Money is not worth it. One more drink is not worth it. Your girlfriend is not worth it. Even your “ministry” is not worth the sacrifice of your children.

Suppose you’re on the fence about your marriage and your responsibility for your children. Suppose you’ve walked out of your marriage and your kids’ lives. Suppose you’re in an affair or about to enter one. Even the promotion in work or ministry could take you away from your wife and kids. Consider the impact on their lives and future and our culture before you walk off the cliff of selfishness. It is not worth it, men!

Go back home to the wife of your first love. Go back home to the family you’ve left behind. Go back home to the most extraordinary life a man can live. Rescue your wife, save your children and save your legacy!

Reconciliation becomes possible when fathers turn their hearts back towards their children, taking responsibility and becoming accountable for them. To reverse the curse, which is undeniably present in our culture, we fathers must turn back to God and walk in His ways so that we can again point our children to a greater Father to embrace, love, and walk with throughout their lifetime.

The success of marriage and unconditional commitment to our wives and children must exceed the failure rate of broken families and absent fathers. If this tide cannot be turned, then as Malachi has prophetically declared, our land will indeed become cursed and worsen rapidly.

Repair the breach, men! Turn your hearts back towards your sons and daughters. Repair your marriages and live up to your commitments. Turn your hearts back to God and walk with Him as your True Father and listen to His advice and wise counsel. After all, He is the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Wonderful Counselor, and Prince of Peace. God is everything we need as men to become the fathers our sons and daughters need and our land requires.

To those sons and daughters that have lost their fathers due to death, you can still turn your hearts back towards him. Forgiveness is your most significant path to a new life, to a new future, and to become healed from your heartache.

This is the only path to a cure; to reverse the curse and restore our great Nation through restored families! Get it done, men!

…It may only take “20 seconds of courage.”

Make this your New Year’s Resolution, a Revolution For the Love of your children.

Prodigal fathers, come home!

“Just Do It!”

My Glorious Breaking – What God Is Teaching Me Through My Wounds – By Thomas Koester

Have you ever considered that your wounds may be a perfect gift from God that can serve others in profound ways?

“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” - Brennan Manning

It is not the breaking of our bodies that should be our focus, not the illnesses we may suffer from time to time, no matter how severe. It's not our sicknesses we should buffer or how broken we may become while here; there is something else to consider, something other is near.

It’s not the betrayals or deceptions we may encounter, even if our hearts have been shattered. Our souls are emptied and filled only with fear, but the Life that remains in us, which may be covered by grief, pain, and despair, like snow-covered green grass in winter, shall be unveiled when spring again fills the air.

For even the faintest heartbeat and most shallow of breath, there lies hope. Life does not come easy, even for the most wealthy, yet life is a choice to be made. And if we so choose to believe it, beauty shall be our reward each new day and each new year.

Authentic living shall bring forth such brightness to dispel and vanquish such desperate despair.

Our most gloomy nights filled with impatient anger can be transformed into powerful meekness and care; such sweetness to our bitter sorrows are waiting; such eternal wealth for our poverty is near, and such fullness to satisfy all hunger to our hungry souls shall there be the grandest affair.

All for those who shall be rewarded of mustard seed faith to compare; of glories unknown to the healthy and sick such treasure laid bare; for beauty and ashes shall be traded, but none for the self-righteous to spare.

So kiss your chains, which bind you to all sorts of suffering, and thankfully say: "Good morning" to the pain, which lingered throughout the night and, yet, remains into the days, weeks, months, or perhaps years, because, in all things, even the bad and ugly work out for our good by God's care, which does not add to his glory, for He is complete in all the attributes he bares, but it does add to your ultimate healing and refined glory to credit to be shared.

We who believe, and are true sons and daughters of God, are broken to be given and to become children who bear a lesser yet increasing glory of the Most Glorious Father of our hearts and souls.

So let's not waste our suffering on complaining and blaming, but rather let us all rejoice in our transformation, which is to follow if we endure and not despair!

Your brokenness is making you beautiful and a wellspring of Life for other sufferers to drink from, and that, my dear sisters and brothers, is the Christ of all Healing, The God of all Comfort, and the Everlasting Father of all fragile Hopes.

The Greatest gift that God could give required his only Son to suffer an ignominious and terrible death so that through Christ's suffering, we would have everlasting life.

My business takes me to people that have lost their homes and sometimes their loved ones to fire, flooding, or earthquake. Knowing this, I've added the following words to the reverse side of my business card: Living a scarless life is not living at all...

…Sometimes, our greatest triumphs lie in our most significant defeats. In all things, I am a child of God and never a victim. I do not, therefore, interpret tragic circumstances as mishaps but as a divinely scheduled trip to God’s beauty parlor.

…God is making you beautiful!

Merry Christmas!

The Power of Inner Peace – By Thomas Koester

How To Become A Peaceful Warrior

Your inner peace expressed outwardly is a greater force than a sword or spear.

Inner peace equals outer peace. You can’t have one without the other. The world’s peace is fragile and flimsy. You’ve not been given worldly peace.

Jesus’ Gift of Peace

“Peace, I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” John 14:27

Jesus tells us that his peace transcends the world’s concept of peace. So much so that our hearts must not be troubled or fearful. To be troubled or fearful means that our focus on Jesus has been compromised. We’ve allowed something other than the peace of Christ to work its way into our hearts and minds.

This doesn’t happen overnight. A slow and steady diet of false peace that the world offers; that is, peace in persons, places, and things, is nothing but empty calories, so to speak. We think that if we live in the world that we must act like the world. But honestly, we are no longer of this world. Our hearts and minds should be in heaven, the same place our treasures ought to be.

It’s the world’s trouble and fear which makes us think that way. Closeness to Jesus, resting in his authority, his Holy Word, and abiding in the Holy Spirit (The Comforter) is how we have peace when the world and our Nation are in turmoil.

Are you aware that turmoil and chaos are just around the corner?

Are you ready?

Will your peace weather the storm?

The world has its warriors, but you men and women are sons and daughters of The Most-High God. Heirs to Christ and possessors of the Holy Spirit. You have no trouble like the world has and nothing to worry about.

I’ll repeat it; you have no trouble like the world has and nothing to fear. Instead, quiet the world with the peace of Jesus Christ.

Your Savior is the Prince of Peace, and he resides in you! But you also must live in the Words of Jesus, in his promises and commands.

What can make your trouble troubling is when you forget that Jesus has made you an overcomer. Jesus never said if we believed and belonged to him that, we’d have no problems. On the contrary, here’s what Jesus has said:

“I have told you this so that through me you may have peace. In the world you’ll have trouble, but be courageous—I’ve overcome the world!” – John 16:33

Your inner peace expressed outwardly is a greater force than a sword or spear. If you have faith, trust, and obedience, your true enemies will know of your qualities well before you arrive — well before you pray and before you speak. You will be known as God’s Peaceful Warrior.

Being a peaceful warrior devastates the devil and his wretched plans. It reminds him of the Messiah’s resurrection, and he scurries away, instantly defeated.

“Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10

…And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us, a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6

Rest in the Peace of Jesus, and join the army of peaceful warriors.

The Father-Hearted God – By Thomas Koester

We are children of The Father-hearted God.

With long days and even longer nights, I have written more and have done a great deal of thinking and searching. Each time I do, more memories and tears bubble up. But these are good tears because what was once tragic is now increasingly becoming a blessing.

So, I’ve added more stories and more insight. It’s been the hindsight, coupled with new understanding, which has been revealing the fingerprints and mastery of a loving Father-hearted God, who, by the way, took all my days of good and evil and is progressively showing his artistry through all of it.

His color palate contains far more colors than just “black and white,” which is what many cold and lifeless religions preach to us. He is an unlimited God, with shades of an eternal spectrum yet to be discovered, and a profoundly intimate God, motivated with an ever-expanding Father-heart. He is filled with grace and wisdom. His love utterly humbles me, and if you can believe it, speechless at His unconditional Grace and Mercy towards even a guy like me.

Thank you all for your prayers and kindness. I genuinely hope and pray that whatever you may be battling or struggling through that, it too is woven into something beautiful, no matter how difficult or painful. God loves a “stacked deck,” the more complex your life may be, the more impossible for a solution or cure, the more grace will appear — for our God loves, absolutely loves to come through!

So then, in our weaknesses and fragility, we can boast about God’s grace and that we’re also co-siblings with The Great Overcomer, Jesus Christ. We are children of The Father-hearted God. We are vastly wealthy and greatly loved!

So, notify your soul and face, and show the world how great our God is. From your sick beds to your busy offices and lives, from your living rooms to the dressing rooms of Macy’s and Kohl’s — in every shopping line, and especially at Walmart, For our God is a great God, 24/7!

He loves to reveal his Father-Heart to broken and lost people. Our God would rather hang out with the despised and rejected than dwell with kings and queens…

…That’s just how special you are!

No need to be anyone else than you. No need to be with anyone else than with The Father-hearted God.

Say What You Need to Say – By Thomas Koester

Don’t let silence kill your life, joy, or your future. Speak from your heart and live.

You may agree that the three most powerful words are “I Love You.”

Can these three little words indeed be so powerful and significant?

After all, for many, these words fall from our mouths so casually and regularly that we miss their true meaning and worth. But what happens if, for some of us, we’ve never heard those words from our moms or dads; or the most important people in our lives?

Well, that was my story…

I lived through nearly four decades of silence from my father. I hated my father because of his silence and uninvolvement in my life as a boy. His career and extreme work ethic took him from me when I needed him.

When I heard that my dad was dying from esophageal cancer, I initially refused to visit him. My anger held me back for a little while until my siblings ganged up on me.

Four days before my father passed, I had the opportunity to stay overnight with him at the VA Hospital in Martinez, CA. (My father was wounded in action by a missile attack during the Korean War on September 19, 1951). He had served in the Army as a Private, 1st Class Medic.

After the lights went out in my dad’s hospital room, courage rose within my heart, and I spoke the three most important words that I could say to the most important man in my life:

Dad?

“Yes, son.”

Dad, …I love you!

It felt like an eternity of silence orbited the darkened hospital room…

…Then, from my dad’s weakened condition, I heard what my heart and soul had so longed to hear during the 39 silent years I had lived:

“I love you too, son.”

Suddenly, unspeakable joy filled my heart, and tears rolled down my face. I called out to my dad several more times that night, saying:

Dad?

“Yes, son.”

Dad, …I love you!

“I love you too, son.”

I heard my father say he loved me, which washed all the years of hurt, anger, and loneliness from my body, soul, and mind. My father’s words were a healing balm that would change my life from that day forward.

My father’s words also helped me to accept my Heavenly Father’s love for me.

“I am my beloved, and he is mine; his banner over me is love!” Songs of Songs

“See, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreaded day of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest when I come, I strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6

Jesus came to me late on October 8, 1998, at night in that VA Hospital room in Martinez, California. He bound up my wounds and healed my broken heart. He freed this captive and released me from a prison of loneliness, despair, and anger. He lifted the curse from my life, and by becoming my father’s beloved son, I became God’s also!

“Come away with me, my love, my lovely one, come. For you, winter is over and gone. The snow has melted, and the flowers are in bloom; the cooing of the turtle doves can be heard throughout the land. Come away with me, my love, my lovely one, come. Your face is beautiful; your voice is sweet. Come away with me, my love, my lovely one, come.” Songs of Songs

My Dad became my hero and went away to be with the Lord of Life on October 12, 1998. I stood at his right side, holding his hand until he breathed his last breath. He looked up to the ceiling, smiled, and then was gone. We all wept so loudly as a family that our cries could be heard throughout the hospital wing.

A few moments later, I stretched my hand over my father’s face, and I closed my father’s eyes.

Yes, words do matter. Be brave, be courageous, and allow your heart to speak its words before it is too late. The “I love you, dad,” unlocked my father’s heart, which echoed those desperately needed words from him into my hungry and hurting heart and soul.

There is unspeakable power in the three simple words; “I love you” or “please forgive me.” While these words are simple, it takes great courage to say them. Please, don’t be stubborn and don’t be afraid, dare to speak and listen for the reply; “I love you too.”

Scripture says, “If you hear God’s voice today, don’t be stubborn. Don’t be stubborn like those who rebelled in the wilderness.” Hebrews 3:15

Don’t let silence kill your life, joy, or your future. Speak from your heart and live!

Watch this John Mayer Music Video and

“Say What You Need To Say”

…And let your heart speak.

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 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!

Mission Impossible – By Thomas Koester

The question, is it impossible? Maybe the right question to ignite your faith.

Faith is not what you can do but what you can’t do. It’s not where you go but where you cannot go. Faith moves you towards the impossible, or it’s not faith at all.

How many biblical stories have you read whereby God sends his man or people to face impossible odds?

God’s missions are not missions unless they are impossible by human standards. But you’ll never know until your faith meets up with your obedience to his mission.

Belief in God is not only about his existence but more so about our obedience to his existence and his call on our lives.

If we cannot see the works of the Father, it is because we are too wrapped up in our own work, and yes, this can include “church work.” We may not need faith for our work, but we can only do God’s work by faith. Christian populism and “the power of positive thinking” has diminished faith to mere “tips and techniques” or following “principles” without a relationship to the Prince of Peace.

His work often makes us risk our comforts and, sometimes, even our safety. His will requires passionate courage to obey. Our work brings enslavement, sweat, and at times, depression and boredom. Many of us are killing ourselves for a paycheck.

If we believe and obey God and join him in his work, we will no longer live as enslaved people but as free men. “Wherever the Spirit of God is, there is freedom!” Freedom to move towards adventure and risk with God is core to walking by faith with him.

As noted Author, John Eldridge has penned;

“Asking God, how? …Is a faithless question.”

Obeying God and following his will, means that the “how” is already worked out by God. Trusting God with the unknown details and acting on his will without knowing how is the definition of faith.

God’s will for us must become as essential as eating food. To move in faith, we must become vitality dependent on God’s will and preplanned purpose for our lives.

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” John 4:34

“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:50

Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23

Faith and obedience lead to Intimacy with both the Father and the Son. You can’t exercise faith apart from an intimate relationship with the Father and the Son.

If you try and do things apart from knowing God, you’ll be in danger of practicing lawlessness or unauthorized acts of whatever you call “righteousness.”

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Find where God’s Spirit is working and go there quickly and passionately. It’s only there that you can do the impossible and find a real and meaningful life.

Ask yourself, do I need God to accomplish this? The answer may require you to do the impossible…

…That is your mission if you choose to accept it.