Discernment is needed in these times when so much deception abounds. The Luciferian spirit is one that tempts gifted leaders and potential leaders in the Body of Christ. It targets those in close proximity to the senior leader, especially those with musical and spiritual gifts such as healing and miracles. Here is a teaching on how it operates and how to stay free.
Leaders are often faced with the unpleasant consequences of people who act out of immaturity, wounding, rebellion, and deception. For the benefit of the individual and community, it is often necessary for leaders to confront and instruct.
Unfortunately, too often people are (in the name of “mercy” or “tolerance”) left unaccountable for the damage they bring to ministry or family or the Kingdom. Because so many people do not understand Biblical leadership, authority, and accountability, a leader who dares to confront may be called unloving or legalistic, at times through anonymous notes left in the offering or mailbox. Genuine authority owns its actions and does not hide behind anonymous notes. Continue reading
Seasons come and go, whether we want them to do so or not. It is far better to adapt to colder temperatures with heavier clothing rather than to wish for summer and shiver. How often people resist the change of seasons and remember with longing the way things used to be!
We can learn something from the birds. They know when it is time to migrate. They are called to the South and months later, they are called to the North.
Joshua waited 40 years to enter the Promised Land due to other people’s behavior. When it was finally time to enter, he was insistent that their hope was guarded from negativity and fear, by not allowing the people to talk as they marched around Jericho.
A leader is a dealer in hope, and a leader will persevere when others quit.
These stories were written for our instruction that we might have hope.
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Coaching for Living a Life of Balance
Wellness incorporates much more than food and exercise. Just as some people are overly focused on a career to the detriment of family, so are others singularly centered on an eating plan or workout regime to the point of exclusion of other aspects of life. Often times, there has been so much talk, time, energy, and money given to losing weight and getting in shape, that a person may not even remember what it is like to dream again about other parts of life. A coach gives hope and inspires dreaming.
Wellness implies a balance in life that includes peace, stability, and personal growth, even when faced with difficulty and painful circumstances. Wellness gives the ability to bounce back from setbacks and disappointments. Continue reading
In the children’s story of Doctor Doolittle, he finds an animal like a llama or antelope with two heads at opposite ends of the body, called a Pushmi-Pullyu (“push-me-pull-you”). When it wanted to move, both heads tried to go in opposite directions. Each mind had its own idea of what to do!
Can you relate to this dilemma? Continue reading
In the Church, the roles of the mentor and counselor are accepted and understood, looked to for instruction, direction, and advice. Coaching is a less understood function, a fact complicated by the numbers of people calling themselves coaches, whether or not they have received specialized training.
A life coach or leadership coach has been trained (and coached) in a different skill set than a mentor or counselor. The mentor imparts knowledge; the counselor seeks to heal and restore. The underlying premise of coaching is that God has made you the steward of your life, not the coach. Therefore, a coach does not tell you what to do, but works with you to help you discover what course of action to take and why. A Christian coach is interested in helping you understand what work God is accomplishing within you at this season of your life.
“Mentoring is imparting to you what God has given me; coaching is drawing out of you what God has put in you.” ~ Dale Stoll
In the Biblical book of Genesis is the story of creation. God created the heavens and the earth, and Adam to live in the Garden of Eden. Adam had everything he needed and was content and happy.
Then God said it was not good for man to be alone and that He would make a helper for Adam. God knew Adam had a missing part of his life, but Adam did not, so God began to create a situation which would indirectly reveal it to him.
Interestingly, the action God took was to first make animals and bring them to Adam to see what he would name them. As the animals came, I believe they came to him male and female, causing Adam to note the difference between a lion and lioness, a rooster and a hen, a bull and a cow. These examples stood in contrast to Adam who did not have a mate. As all of the animals came to be named, God was awakening a desire in Adam for a mate, whom He subsequently made and presented to him. Continue reading
How are things going for you today? Before you answer too quickly, remember:
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” ~ Prov 18:21
Knowing the importance of speaking words of life, you may hesitate at times to find a positive answer.
It is important to be truthful, and when you are in pain, to pour out your complaint to the Lord. However, optimism can become a habit as surely as pessimism. Continue reading
Whereas God’s intention is that we are blessed (which according to the Amplified version means: happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable), many people are waiting for something or someone outside themselves to make them happy. Many are trapped in a prison of pain, rejection, and self-pity. It is time to learn how to be free and to be miserable no more!
Spirituality has been in vogue for several years now, and many are looking for spiritual answers and experiences outside of the Church. In the desire to hear God, get answers, have experiences, or know the future, people (even some Christians) have sought psychics and mediums.
However, we are exhorted to seek God instead.
“When they say to you, ‘Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people consult their God?”… (Isaiah 8:19 NAS) Continue reading
Recently a video has been circulating online of three-year-old Hannah praying with her parents before bedtime. This is no “Now I lay me down to sleep” rehearsed kind of praying!
Hannah not only makes requests, but she makes declarations and praise. She starts off slowly, and then the passion begins to rise. She goes on for several minutes with her mom saying, “That’s right, Hannah. Yes, He is!” This little one is learning to be a spiritual powerhouse! Continue reading
What was the meaning and importance of the scroll in Revelation 5, and why was no one worthy to open it except Jesus Christ? What are the qualifications to be worthy to take the scroll and break the seals?
Jesus is the Perfect Redeemer.
Many people living near the ocean enjoy crabbing as well as fishing. Once the first crab is caught, it is placed in a bucket and is likely to crawl out. However, when a second crab is placed in the bucket, the crab-catcher knows that neither will escape. The reason is that when one crab will attempt to crawl out, the other one will pull it other back down. Neither crab will allow the other to get out.
The crab is not getting out itself, but it does not want the other one to get out either! So both stay in the bucket and become somebody’s lunch.
Seeing what Israel had done in battle against the Amorites, King Balak of Moab was afraid that his people were next in Israel’s strategy of intended conquests through the wilderness. Worried that his army was not able to withstand the onslaught, he sought supernatural help to oppose them.
Balak sent messengers with payment to the highly-regarded pagan prophet, Balaam, who had a reputation for releasing blessings or curses. If Balaam would call upon his spiritual resources and curse Israel, then perhaps Moab could drive them back and defeat them. Continue reading
While many teachings deal with wilderness experiences, Laura Houck draws from the life of John the Baptist who was a wilderness dweller.
A man told me of the time he was painting the spiral staircase and said, “Lord, I’m not going to paint the bottom of the three lowest stairs.”
As clear as a bell, he heard the Lord say, “We both know someone who will notice.” Sure enough, later on, his wife came in, inspected the paint job, and said, “You didn’t paint the bottom of the last three stairs.”
I wonder how many of us carry on such conversations with the Lord. Continue reading
As the plague was devastating Jerusalem, King David prayed for mercy. The Angel of the Lord commanded the prophet Gad to instruct David to build an altar and offer a sacrifice on Ornan’s site. When Ornan heard of this, he generously offered to freely provide the oxen, wood, and wheat.
But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price; for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, or offer a burnt offering which costs me nothing.” Continue reading
Have you had an injustice? Do you have a grievance? The Righteous Judge wants to execute justice on your behalf.
A petition is a formally drawn request to a higher authority soliciting some favor, right, mercy, or other benefit.
It is time to petition the Court of Heaven where Jesus our Advocate is seated at the right hand of Father God.
A few years ago, I saw that some confusion began to develop regarding the role of the local church and also fivefold ministers when it came to the marketplace.
Fivefold ministers: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher (See Eph 4:11)
For years, the expectation was generally held that ministry was done by those in the pulpit and inside the church building. Then the understanding came that all are called to some form of ministry, while most are not called to pulpit ministry.
Whereas those who have entered into this revelation are finding much freedom and joy as the Lord works with and through them apart from the pulpit or even the church service, there is a common misconception about what quantifies spiritual ministry. Continue reading
If you watched the science-fiction movie, The Matrix, you may recall a scene in which the main characters are sitting down to a meal of mush as their only food, day in and day out, which was said to be nutritionally everything a body needed. One of the men commented how it just did not satisfy him the way a sizzling steak did!
Although not limited to a daily meal of mush as in the movie, so many people do not allow themselves the pleasure of enjoying what they eat. Continue reading
In this season, many are dissatisfied with the current operation of ministry found on Sunday mornings. They long for the corporate experience of worship as the people of God in which His presence is felt and His power is demonstrated. No longer satisfied with the basic milk of spiritual food, they long to be fed something they can sink their teeth into — something meaty which gives them pause and makes them stronger.
God in His wisdom knew we would need help if we were ever going to mature and become conformed to the image of Christ. So Jesus left His mantle of leadership here on the earth and called men and women to take up that mantle and enter into His service. Continue reading
As the man swung the axe, the axehead slipped off the handle and fell into the river. He was immediately distressed for he had borrowed it.
The prophet Elisha asked where it fell. Then he cut a stick and tossed it in the river in same spot and the axehead floated! (2 Kings 6)
Does that story make you wonder why he did that? Why didn’t he just command the axehead to float the way Elijah commanded fire to fall from heaven? Continue reading
There are a lot of reasons why people discourage others from pursuing their dreams. Many seem to be altruistic – an effort to protect someone from failure or pain. But we can’t protect someone from the pain of life, and certainly not at the cost of their dreams.
Jesus did not get his identity from what people said about him, he got his identity from what the Father said about him!
All things are possible – so, do you believe?
Two Responses to Challenge
God knew that after 400 years of slavery, the Israelites were not ready to enter their Promised Land. They needed to have a new perspective of who they were and of the God who had delivered them. In His mercy, with the cloud by day and the fire by night, He led them along an alternate route, rather than a direct one.
After a time, they grew discouraged in the wilderness because of the way. (Num 21:4) Their trek was longer and more challenging than they had expected. They fell into ingratitude and grumbling towards the man they had once praised for his vision and leadership. Mutinous plans to return to Egypt were formed, but God squashed the rebellion. He intended that they move forward into their inheritance as a sovereign nation. Continue reading
Are you on hold? Wishing and hoping?
What kind of life are you waiting to have?
“Someday my prince will come.”
“Someday my ship will come in.”
“Someday I will be happy.”
“I’m just waiting on God.”
Did that last statement bother you? Numerous people use that last one as an excuse for why they don’t have what they want now.
It was a catastrophe.
David and his warriors returned to their home base at Ziklag and were shocked to discover that the city had been raided and burned and that all their wives and children were carried away captive. The men were in great anguish and, in their pain, blamed David and were ready to kill him.
David was greatly distressed. His own family had also been taken, and his life was now in danger from his own men. He was grieving and at a loss what to do.
At that point, David made the choice to strengthen himself in the Lord. He did not wallow in grief-stricken self-pity. As he stood alone, he turned to the One he knew to be a refuge in the day of trouble. He encouraged himself in the Lord.
Why was David alone able to find strength and encouragement?
God has set leadership in place so that all believers would be “equipped for the work of the ministry”. While most are not called to “pulpit” ministry, all are called to minister one to another with the gifts God has given.
Ministry and service is extending yourself for the benefit of someone else.
Whether regardless of a primary to call to public ministry, business, family, etc., all believers are to live balanced lives that include service and ministry to the body of believers!
One observation I have heard visitors to the States often make is that Americans are always in such a hurry, and that we don’t seem to know how to relax. In contrast, people in some countries work fewer hours and have much longer vacations. In some cultures, a nap is just part of daily life. The idea of “hurry” and “overtime” just doesn’t fit in with my idea of Tahiti.
When was the last time you took a break to just enjoy a beautiful day? Can you take a real day off? A real vacation? Do you feel guilty when you do? Continue reading
The prophet Samuel declared that the shepherd boy, David, was destined to be the king of Israel. After Samuel went on his way, David returned to taking care of his father’s sheep.
In those days of waiting, God was at work, preparing David to be a mighty warrior king. Long before he faced Goliath, he fought and killed a lion and a bear who were after the flock. The lonely days of watching his father’s sheep were spent developing courage, faithfulness, and a heart of worship. He was being prepared to rule the Lord’s sheep, the people of Israel.
What you think about will change your emotions, attitude, actions and circumstances – for the better or the worse!
Sometimes we lie to ourselves rather than facing the truth of what we really think. But your spirit knows the truth about what you think.
By taking an honest look at our thoughts and submitting them to the higher truth of God’s thoughts and meditating on HIS truth, we can make our way prosperous and successful!
Relationships take work! In dealing with people, we are sometimes hurt by their flaws or sins. We are then left with the choice of how to respond. It can be really complicated at times!
“The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.”(Prov 15:28)
Thoughtful believers want to walk in Christlikeness, however tempted to attack or withdraw. God calls us to relationship and fellowship, knowing that we will rub against one another from time to time. We might be called on to extend mercy and overlook a wrong, or it may be time to speak the truth in love.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1)
Just as the earth experiences the change of seasons, so do we, spiritually speaking.
In the spring of our walk with the Lord, everything is fresh and alive. We were born again into spring, as spring lambs, to whom every day is warm sunshine in the love of God, and refreshing showers of joy in the Holy Spirit. Life is exciting and couldn’t be better! Then the seasons begin to change and summer appears. It is a time of much work and the promise of harvest. The days are long and glorious. We begin to mature and gain strength, walking in authority and spiritual gifts. At this time, we begin to take on the characteristics of mature sheep, bearing wool, producing for the Master. It is a time of exhilaration in the things of God.
But somehow, in all of our growth and learning, we didn’t yet understand about the seasons of the Lord, even though nature and the Scriptures teach it. We didn’t know that autumn and winter were coming… Continue reading
You have been given the ability to be an avenue of refreshing to others. There is life-giving water from the well of salvation within that you can draw out to give to someone else. (Is. 12:3)
We are living in a time in which people need encouragement. God is sending people your way who need a refreshing drink. Jesus said, speaking of the Spirit, that from your innermost being will flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38-39)
You may not think you have anything to offer that discouraged or troubled one. But as you pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, the Spirit of God will begin flow out of you. You are the conduit to release the love and power of God. You have something to give. Seek to be one who encourages and strengthens. It will return back to you.
“A word in due season, how good it is!” (Prov. 15:23)
Be sure to watch for the next announcement for the Ministering Spiritual Gifts Seminar or contact us to schedule it for your group.
Surrounded by guests at his birthday banquet, King Herod swore to the dancing girl that he would give her whatever she wanted, even up to half his kingdom. Prompted by her mother, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.
Grieved at her request, but because his oath was made in front of all his guests, he agreed. And John was killed.
Keeping your promise or staying with your original decision is a usually a good idea. Far too many promises are made and broken these days.
But sometimes the initial decision, like Herod’s, is faulty. For many people, it’s just easier to stay with the first decision, rather than go to the trouble of attempting a new solution. Additionally, the desire to save face and avoid embarrassment fights against admitting that a change is now needed. This is pride and foolish consistency.
Life is a great teacher. And the older you get, hopefully, the more you realize how much more you still need to learn.
If we apply our hearts to gaining wisdom, we can actually become even wiser than our teachers. But first, appreciate the wisdom your teachers have gained.
God has established the laws of natural realm and the laws of the spiritual. Paying heed to these laws can keep you from serious harm — the law of gravity for example.
I have met so many Christians with little to no understanding of spiritual laws, and who are bewildered and despairing because of those unknown laws at work within their every day life.
God didn’t stop speaking in the past; He still speaks today. It’s normal for God to speak and should be normal for believers to hear Him!
Through the voice of the Holy Spirit, dreams, prophetic ministry, the Word of God and all the ways God continues to speak– we will receive the instruction and life that comes from hearing God speak if we will tune our ears to listen!
In a public place, we often overhear conversations that reveal a great deal about a person’s life, attitudes, and priorities. They talk as though no one were there to hear. Indeed, people on cell phones often talk louder than usual, oblivious to who is nearby.
On the job or at church or at home, we may have heard statements about ourselves or those we love — remarks we were not expected to hear.
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.” (Malachi 3:16)
When the Lord listens to your conversations, does He hear His name? Or is it only at church?
Mention His name today in your conversations. Give Him something to listen to and remember.
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Jesus favorite method of teaching was telling stories in order to convey spiritual truth – parables. When He spoke of seed falling on good ground, He wasn’t giving advice to farmers, but speaking of the Word of God falling upon receptive hearts. When He told of the wise man who built his house on the rock, He taught the importance of a life with a strong and sturdy spiritual foundation.
By speaking metaphorically, Jesus awakened the spiritual ears of His listeners, giving them something to think about. Parables gave them a chance to gradually understand and accept His words as they considered the meaning.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter. (Prov 25:2)
Sometimes we may wish to have been there to sit at His feet and hear His wonderful stories. Yet even now, the Holy Spirit is using the same method to give us personal instruction while we dream. We receive individual “night parables” as He seeks to awaken us to understanding.
Scripture speaks favorably of dreams, and we read of Joseph the dreamer who was able to interpret the dreams of the cupbearer, the baker, also Pharaoh.
Not realizing that God wanted us to understand our dreams, we shrugged them off as last night’s pizza, or ourselves as too unspiritual to figure it out.
In this last days outpouring, God is speaking to you, to me, to believers and to unbelievers through dreams (Acts 2:17). Through study of the metaphors of dreams, visions, and parables of the Bible, we can begin to gain a much greater understanding of our own night parables.
Contact us for the next Biblical Dream Interpretation Seminar.
With the gift of salvation Jesus also gave the challenge that we would take up our own crosses, put away old ways of living and become new creations. God calls us to live a higher life and calling.
Paul used the example of an athlete as how we are to pursue the high calling of Jesus Christ. We are to train, restrain and develop ourselves to come up higher and pursue the calling of God on our lives.