Category Archives: Christian Coaching

Life lessons for applying the Word of God.

A Spiritual War – by Guest Blogger, John Lemmon, Australia

A Spiritual War

(2 Corinthians 10:1-3)

Here is a reminder to all Christians, especially when they are under attack and feel everything is just too much. When you reach that point where you think you can’t go on, you need to remember that we are at war.

The war of the spirit must be fought by the spirit

The war of the spirit must be fought by the spirit

The war we are fighting is not against the people of this world, but is a spiritual war. We are contending against a spiritual enemy whose whole purpose is to try and tear us away from the Lord Jesus and His salvation.

Those who choose to follow Christ have not chosen an easy path. Christians are put down, ridiculed, presented as pariahs, and treated as if they are of no account. Christian views are stomped on by those who oppose the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet they believe they are in the right to do so. However, if a Christian were to dare stand up for himself or herself, we are falsely accused of all manner of evil. That is why we must always remember this is not a worldly war and we should ask ourselves the question…

Who is the Real Enemy?

To put it bluntly, the real enemy is Satan, the devil, the opposer of all that is good and the accuser of all who follow Jesus Christ.

When we are being falsely accused, as indicated in the paragraphs above, it is not the people saying the words who are making these accusations. It is the devil who is behind those people, putting words into their mouths and pulling the strings as an evil puppet-master. He is the one responsible for ALL of the attacks that are made on the people of God.

As Christians, when we know and understand this, it becomes quite liberating because we see with new eyes. We see that the falsehoods and lies, the persecutions and accusations brought against us, and the arguments meant to tear us down are not human motivated, but are motivated by the evil spirits.

As a consequence we are able to overlook the people attacking us and see the real enemy for who he is. The devil who tries to remain hidden and who uses subtlety when he lies according to his own evil nature is manipulating people to do his will. And why not? He is the master manipulator who pushes people’s buttons to make them act contrary to sound judgement.

So as Christians we are able to forgive and have compassion on the people who attack us. They are simply being used by the devil to try and tear us down.

This is why Jesus counselled us to pray for our enemies in Matthew 5:43-45

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45)

When we understand that the real enemy is not the person attacking us but rather is the devil, then we can pray for the person. And many times the Lord has turned around the hearts and minds of His opponents and they have become Christians. Just look at the Apostle Paul who violently persecuted the early Christian church, and yet became one of the greatest teachers and preachers of the truth of the gospel.

War on the Flesh

Now we need to also understand that there is another war going on which the devil will use against us. It is one thing to use other people against us, but the devil is also a master at using ourselves against ourself.

He will plant seeds of doubt in our minds to try to destroy our faith. He will attack us with our weaknesses by tempting us over and over again on the things that can bring us down and makes us fall. Consider the alcoholic who is continually tempted to go back on the booze. Or a drug addict whose former friends turn up unexpectedly with a stash. Or the chronic gambler who has to pass stores that sell lottery tickets and betting agencies that seem to pop up everywhere, and now are so easy to access through cellular and mobile phones.

It is the devil who orchestrates all of these things and more by causing the passions of our flesh to flare up and lead us astray. He wants us to be out of control so he can toss us about and wreak havoc with our minds, emotions and our faith. He wants to rip us apart so that we will forgo good judgement and reject the faith we have in Jesus Christ.

That is why Paul reminds us, and we MUST remember that we are at war, not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

A Spiritual War

This is a spiritual war and if we are to win it, we need to learn how to fight with and in the Spirit.

The Lord has not left us without the ability to fight and wage this war. Ultimately it is a war of good versus evil, and in order to win this war we have been given weapons that are spiritual by nature. We cannot fight this war by using worldly weapons. The war in the spiritual realm is not fought using guns, knives, explosives and the like. There are different weapons that we must use.

In my next post we will look at the weapons of this warfare in greater detail, and we will learn how to employ these weapons so that we can fight and win.

Of most importance right now though, is to understand that even though we are in this war and fighting this war, it is not our war. This war has been going on since the beginning when Satan was first identified as evil and cast out of the presence of God. From the beginning of the creation of the world, the devil has had it in for man, as we saw when he caused the fall of man in the temptation of Adam and Eve.

This war has been raging for a long, long time. We must remember that in order to fight this war in the spirit, we need to use the power of the Spirit to overcome. God has not left us helpless but has provided for us so that we can learn to fight the good fight. So in my next post we will look at how we can defend ourselves against the devil and win by using the many weapons that God has given us to be able to fight a spiritual war.

Jesus and the Angels!

Unknown-10Tonight in  our new Twitter Chat  on Angels of the Word, some confusion came up when someone tweeted, ” Jesus was made Lower than the angels”. This seems so contrary to all we know about Jesus, yet it is in the Bible.  So let’s sort it out and put it in context.

____________________
The Supremacy of the Son of God- Colossions 1:15-16                                  15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

_________________

This is one of those awesome scriptures that show us Jesus has always been! He wasn’t just born at Christmas. He was always with God and shared the creation of even the angels.   What more can we learn about Gods intent for Jesus?

____________________                                                                                                             God’s Final Word: His Son – Hebrews 1                                                                                                     In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
The Son Superior to Angels                                                                                                For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;
    today I have become your Father”? Or again,

“I will be his Father,
    and he will be my Son”?

And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

In speaking of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels spirits,
    and his servants flames of fire.”

But about the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
    a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
    therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
    by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

10 He also says,

“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.”[f]

13 To which of the angels did God ever say,

“Sit at my right hand
    until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet”?

14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

_______________

So that makes the diety of Jesus pretty clear! So what is this stuff about him being lower than the angels???

______________________________

 Jesus Made Fully Human – Hebrews 2:5-9
5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking.                                                           6 But there is a place where someone has testified:“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,a son of man that you care for him?
7 You made them a little lower than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honor
8     and put everything under their feet.”
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them.                                                                              9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
__________________________
So there it is!!! No contradiction at all! Jesus willingly condescended to the level of man to be fully human and to fully taste the hurt, pain and death that comes with being human. For a time he willingly gave up His supremacy over the angels. He suffered and died with no angelic rescue so that we may be redeemed through His love and grace forever. When he arose triumphant, He was once again a part of our Triune God with the authority over all the Universe. And he left with the promise of GOD that He will return to take authority over sin and all the fallen angels on earth. He is no longer lower than any angels! HALLELUJAH!!

What Turns ON Young People for GOOD?…#Baltimore or Anywhere!

I have been involved in youth ministry much of my adult life and I know they can be engaged to give their lives for GOOD and for GOD.

Teens in PrayerThese are all TEENS in prayer! They respond powerfully to the Love of Jesus & the Holy Spirit!

If we are to be relevant today, we must be talking about #Baltimore and the YOUTH REBELLION taking place there! I have listened nonstop to press conferences about all the police being called out to put down the riots they expect again tonight.  Not ONE public official considering an approach that might change that dynamic.

I have a vision of a YOUTH Fair of Christian Worship Teams covering the streets of #Baltimore to minister to the young people. I devoted the morning to tweeting for that ministry approach. I have seen lives transform miraculously when inspired by the Word of God. That was where Dr. Martin Luther King derived his power! But somehow, today, his message seems so yesterday to so many.

ButGod’s Word is not yesterday, it is relevant for #Baltimore and anywhere today. No I am not stupid enough to think that prayer alone will transform a community in chaos. But that community needs to come together, talk together, plan together, and forgive one another together, heal together. This is the only way they will involve everyone, even the youth, in planning for tomorrow. That is where God’s Word will get a community doing loving things together for each other.

The only bright spot last night was when a group of spiritual leaders marched the streets of #Baltimore singing gospel. Unfortunately, led by politicians, they seemed to be there more for the cameras than for solving problems. Things visibly calmed down as these leaders did their half hour march. But everything erupted as they left!

Christians dedicated to being disciples of Christ, need to go into these angry streets and stay there to minister to the people. Love them into  better versions of themselves.

Just when I was losing hope for #Baltimore, a bright light came shining through. Over a thousand citizens stepped up to begin cleaning up the mess and helping devastated business owners. Then came my new HERO, Pastor Donte Hickman. He is pastor of SouthernBaptistChurch.org and was building the senior citizen housing center that was burned to the ground last night. Admitting that he was disheartened last night, he said he faces today with new resolve to help #Baltimore transform. HALLELUJAH! He also said he had called the leaders of his church to meet him and go to the streets to minister…”out of the view of the cameras’. YAY!!! May God bless this strong Christian leader and send more to support him!

These problems are spiritual problems that take spiritual solutions so that people will work together to identify and solve the pressing problems of poverty, joblessness, education barriers, and racial tensions. If church leaders will come out of their buildings to the real church, God’s people, and lead them, countries will be transformed.

If my people will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, I will forgive their sins, and I will heal their land. 2Chronicles14:7

Not Sure About Giving Up Sweets! How Hard Is That?

th-1

crown-of-thorns

Today is Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Easter Sunday, our blessed day of redemption. It is popular for people to give up sugar or something for lent. That is not a Biblical command, but a practice and teaching in preparation for Resurrection Day.

Frankly I am not sure giving up candy is enough sacrifice, to grow closer spiritually to Jesus. He suffered torture, slander, and a gruesome death on the cross for our redemption and Grace…our unconditional love & forgiveness. Some candy just doesn’t feel like enough sacrifice to show my gratitude. 

The only reason to give up anything is to show gratitude to our loving Savior and draw closer to Him in preparation for a blessed cerebration of His awesome resurrection from death on that bright and victorious morning for the world. Seems like we should at lease sacrifice a lil pain of our own to say thank you. Maybe kneeling on a hard floor in prayer daily would do it?

Whatever you do to draw closer to Jesus, it is between you and Him. The Bible tells us to keep our fasting sacrifices private. If we go whining about what we have given up to gain the respect of friends about how pious we are, we are wasting our time. If we get recognition from people…we don’t need it from Jesus. And it was all about Jesus in the first place!!!

Matthew 6:16-18 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17 “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

So my prayer is that we will all prepare for Easter Sunday by focusing on Jesus in a personal and sacrificial way that draws us closer to Him each day and reinforces in our spirits what an awesome and matchless sacrifice He made for our eternal salvation. God Bless the 40 days leading up to Easter that we may have a transformative experience with Him anew! HUGS!

Watch Fifty Shades Darker (2017) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Be Still & Stand Firm

No matter what challenge you face, STAND FIRM on our Rock...Jesus!
No matter what challenge you face, STAND FIRM on our Rock…Jesus!

There is no challenge we can face that our God can’t reach us and help us . He not only can, but He wants to and He will! Trust in our solid rock…Jesus.

One of the greatest things God says to us in His Word is Be Still and Stand Firm! Here’s some favorite verses on it!

Be still and know that I am God. – Psalm 46:10

Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. – Exodus 14:13

So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you. –  1Thessalonians 2:15

They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. – Psalm 20:8

If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. –   Isaiah 7:9

For now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord. – 1Thess 3:8

When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever. – Proverbs 10:25

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. – Psalm 33:10

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. –           2 Corinthians 1:21

Your statutes, LORD, stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days. – Psalm 93:5

lincoln Stand Firm

Overcomers

I just saw this in my private messages on Facebook and decided we should all see it. Written originally by Jab Gibson and shared today on Facebook by Rev. Peter Olayinka
th
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. Revelation 3:21

Christians in areas of persecution have used many
metaphors and similes to describe the victory of following
Jesus and becoming an overcomer as He was. Here are
some examples:

In the former Soviet Union, believers said:
√ Overcomers are like nails. The harder you hit them, the deeper they go!

In China believers said:
√ Overcomers are like bamboo. The more you cut them down, the faster and stronger they grow back.

In Iran believers said:
√ Overcomers are like rubber balls. The harder you throw them down on the floor, the higher they rebound!
√ Overcomers are like flowers. The more you crush them, the stronger and sweeter the fragrance.

In the Philippines believers said:
√ Overcomers are like stained-glass cathedral windows at
night. Their true beauty is revealed only when there is light
from within.

In India believers said:
√ Overcomers are like tea bags. You have to put them in hot water to know how strong they are!

You can be an overcomer! And you can stand strong through the storm!

RESPONSE: Today I will be an overcomer standing strong
through the storm.

PRAYER: Pray that all Christians living under severe
persecution will be encouraged and understand what it
means to be an overcomer…as well as anticipate the many
rewards Jesus promises to overcomers.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
Posted by: Jab Gibson on STANDING MY WATCH DEVOTIONAL(Facebook)

Hand Me Another Thread! …By Cheri Douglas

 

Our tapestries appear as chaos from the back.
Our tapestries appear as chaos from the back.

It was one of our routine twitter chats when God seemed to flood my soul with a metaphor I have thought of before. But this time the flood of thoughts came roaring into my mind in fine details. It spoke to so much of my life and the lives of those to whom I have ministered lately, that I had to write it down

Joseph of Nigeria, @Josebeth07, was the chat leader, not to be confused with the Joseph of Egypt that he was teaching about. We looked at the scripture about when Joseph was imprisoned unjustly and the baker was supposed to put in a good word to get him released. The baker didn’t bother, after Joseph had given him the wisdom that helped him get out of prison. Scripture reports, “He had to stay in prison for 2 more years”. Chat leader, Joseph pointed out that we should notice the timeframe.

I began to wonder what he saw in that timeframe, I had never wondered about before. Suddenly I noticed how precise it was, as though it were a requirement spelled out in some grand plan. It didn’t say, “longer” or “for a while” or “a bit longer”. It was a measurable 2 years. And that is exactly what it took.

Suddenly dozens of critical points in my life flashed before me and I could see how precise chaos looks in retrospect, when you can see the unique connections. One event puts you exactly where you need to be, at the time you need to be there to connect with someone or something pivotal that God has placed, through circumstances at exactly the same time. So life becomes a series of coincidences, or as I prefer to think about it, divine appointments.

I began to wonder how these things weave together to make a life and I saw the vision of a huge weaving loom. We gather our thread and come to the loom, only to find that our Father God is there beside us to help weave our tapestry into a life. We begin handing Him the threads we have gathered and the tapestry begins to take shape as we, like little kids, try our best to do it ourselves. Our Father allows us to do our thing and it goes pretty well for a while, with the abilities& talents He has given us.

But one horrible day we see we are out of thread, or a knot pops up and the thread breaks. The pattern begins to change and there are days when we feel thread bare and our box is empty. We have nothing left to give the master weaver to keep the picture going. Others can give us thread from their box, but it doesn’t quite fit in our color scheme, because each tapestry is unique. It is at this time our Father brings out his sparkling box. As he opens it and glowing light fills the darkness as He pulls out his threads of pure gold, silver, and diamond dust. He goes to work weave among the dark and dull colors we’ve added lately. Suddenly we are energized and begin to want to help with His plan. The tapestry begins to be a delightful hobby as our Father brings a song into our hearts and beautiful light into our tapestry.

Even though we love what we are doing weaving our lives with our Master weaver, Up close,it still looks like a lot of chaos more than a work of art. We can see only a mass of hanging strings and knots from our vantage point. Suddenly,  one day, the Master weaver says,”Watch this! Your life has become a reflection of Me and the plan I have had for you. We have made something beautiful together.” He steps in front of the tapestry and for the first time, like a mirror, He reflects the front side of the tapestry back. I saw in my own amazement, it had become a beautiful artistic reflection of Him in me. For the first time I really knew I had purpose and my tapestry showed it, all within the reflections of His love….such awesome Love.

I see the darkest places and remember that’s when I felt He had left me, as I had tried disparately to do the tapestry alone. Oh yes and I remembered another place of darkness when I had been treated unfairly, and was sure the Master was no where to be found. Not quite so dark were the places I wove when life seemed a meaningless mass of threads that I kept pulling out of my box to use aimlessly.

Suddenly I saw it! I saw the beauty of the pure gold threads my Father & master weaver had added. When I was the lowest, had nothing to offer, and was sure he was gone, he took over with his golden threads. Against the dark and dull threads I had woven, his beautiful threads popped in dramatic contrast. The effect of the contrast was to truly bring the tapestry to life…my life. Regardless of what I had had to work with and how I had seemed to mess up sections, God had used everything as backdrop and depth for the beauty he filled in.

Now I see the beautiful picture forming and I see just where God is leading me in this amazing tapestry of my life. I have been given so much talent and instructions to accomplish His plan for my life. But I will never achieve it alone, because for the greatest beauty of all He will be there to fill in for me. He completes all my gaps.

Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope and beauty that is in you. 1Peter3:15

DON’T LOOK BACK: Tips for Depression

Reach a bright horizon by keeping your eye on it.
Reach a bright horizon by keeping your eye on it.

…by Cheri Douglas

Our “Don’t Look Back” study on Twitter seems to have had a big impact on a lot of people. We have been studying brokenness and how God makes beauty from brokenness, if we hand the pieces over in prayer, devotions, and submission.

Think of some examples. Beautiful stained glass windows come from broken pieces. Our lives can shine again if we follow God’s lead in putting the pieces together again. Another beautiful example is Lifetime Quilts made with patches from significant fabrics that mark the times in our lives. The lowlights and the highlights of life come together in beauty with God’s artistic inspirations.

But many times we get distracted and God can’t get through to us. When God can’t get through to our spirits, depression sets in and can get out of control. . Sometimes the distractions may be the here and now circumstances we can’t see our way through, so we become obsessed with distractions. Sometimes the distractions are our fears about the future and we become frozen in the present. But even more often people get distracted by things they continually look back at and then can’t move forward. They get stuck.

God tells us so many times in so many ways,”Don’t look back”. The concept is clear in the Old Testament and the New Testament. The most powerful image in the OT was Lot’s Wife.( Gen 19:26) The carnal and immoral cities of Sodom & Gomorrah were destroyed. Lot and his wife were being saved as a way of God honoring Abraham. All they had to do was follow the angel of God’s directions,”Leave and do not look back”. Lot’s wife couldn’t simply obey. She looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. Yes she was stuck, never again to move or look forward. Maybe he should have given her more details. I could have been her. I am so curious! I have had to learn to let go and stop overanalyzing what happened!

Working on this theory, I remembered a verse from the New Testament when Jesus said,”“No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke9:62)He also reminds us to, “Remember Lot’s wife.” (Luke 17:32)That’s because we get stuck too. We can’t function in the present or have enthusiasm for the future when we are compelled to keep looking back and lamenting the past.

When you really stop to think about it, the big picture reason Jesus came to suffer and redeem us was to get us out of the past and save us for a victorious future. The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” The old is gone!! There is nothing there.(2Cor5:17)

At the empty tomb Mary Magdelene was asked, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? (Luke24:5) He was gone!! That would be a good thought to remember when we get stuck in the past. Jesus isn’t there! He can’t help us if we stay there.

The more you think of this theme, the more you see it is the whole broad theme of the Bible, the story of life! We must move forward. During our last monthly prayer hour for depression victims and people with suicidal temptations, I was asked for a list of practical suggestions that have helped me to not look back. So I will list them here.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Before I give you my spiritual list, let me also suggest you make sure you are seeing a doctor if you are plagued with depression. I have had a lot of physical illness that has triggered depression. So I know that is a big problem with chronic illness. Many prescription drugs also have side effects of depression. You need a doctor who will take overall interest in your health whenever you suffer from depression. Some medications can quickly distort how reality looks by causing imbalances in your brain. Those are things you need to know.

The monster is never really as big as he seems!
The monster is never really as big as he seems!

On a spiritual plain…

  1. Ask the Lord daily to lift the dark cloud from your spirit and lead you to see the things that bring energy and enthusiasm today. Take time to rest in Him during this prayer and listen for wisdom to come or pressure to lift. Give thanks for your healing steps.
  2. Memorize …
    1. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
    2. 2Cor 5:17 if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” The old is gone!!
    3. Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
    4. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
  3. Repeat these verses when you feel low. Place them as notes around your house and in your car and office.
  4. Listen to uplifting gospel music to fill your thoughts.
  5. Spend time with uplifting people who will also pray for you.
  6. Disconnect from people who drag you down emotionally or are a bad influence on what you are trying to improve upon in your own life.
  7. Find someone who has overcome depression and will mentor you when you need it.
  8. Keep this phone number incase you get into a crisis and don’t have anyone to talk to – 1800 273 TALK – suicide talk line from National Suicide Prevetion
  9. Create a vision statement for your future and celebrate each small step or accomplishment in that direction.
  10. Find activities you enjoy to become involved with other people on a regular basis. Consider tweeting with our twitter family on the hashtag #GodsLoveChats!
  11. Stay away from depressing movies or books. Watch and read uplifting feel good materials.
  12. Eat well balanced fresh foods regularly.
  13. Find someone to bless each day.
  14. Do some volunteer work to serve someone in need.
  15. HUG someone everyday!