Home / page 120

“You’re Threading on Dangerous Grounds… Careful!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

The Word coming from most pulpits today is weakening, rather than empowering God’s people. Careful!  The apostle Paul wrote to his young protégé, Timothy, warning him to do the things that will avoid the trend we are now seeing in the church. “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” {2Tim. 4:1-5}. I tell you, as shepherds of God’s flock, preachers should have no scruples to preach the Truth as it is found in God’s Word. Let the Truth cut. So what! The Truth always cut one way or the other. I have been shown that why ministers have not more success is they are afraid of hurting feelings, fearful of not being courteous, and they lower the standard of Truth. But I come to tell you that the Truth must be made pointed, and the necessity of a decision urged. As servants of God we must cry aloud, and spare not, and leave the result with God.  STOP SUGARCOATING the Word of God and Preach the Word of God, AS IS!

Yes I often speak candidly. That is because I have been given a mandate by God to Sound the Alarm! And I only speak the way God instructs me.  If you didn’t know God has called some to bring positive words of encouragement and comfort and hope. Some He’s called to be those who exhort and rebuke and correct. I just happen to be the latter. But in the midst of all the “uprooting and tearing down and destroying and overthrowing,” hope is offered beyond judgment.  You know, like Jeremiah {Titus 2:`15} God said to me, “You are not going to have a delightful, prosperous ministry, because when they hear what you have to tell them, they’re going to reject it and they’re going to reject you, despising you and your words the whole way through, but I’ll be with you.  God knew Jeremiah, chose Jeremiah, and appointed Jeremiah. He was known by name, hand-picked by God, and commissioned to serve. And the Lord did not give Jeremiah a joyful message of deliverance to announce, but a tragic message of judgment. Consequently, Jeremiah was misunderstood, persecuted, arrested, and imprisoned. More than once his life was threatened because the people did not want to hear the Truth. But Jeremiah told them plainly they were defying the Lord, disobeying the law, and destined for judgment, and He has called me to do the same. You are “Threading on Dangerous Grounds – Careful!”

Listen, God expects obedience, immediately. If we don’t we are in danger of God’s wrath.  Immediate obedience is the only appropriate response when God calls.  Has God called you? Then He will fulfill His purpose in you, He will equip you, He will enable you, He will protect you, He will accompany you.  He will accomplish his purpose no matter how the people respond. Woe to you if you do not preach the gospel and even greater woe if you preach it in error. Remember you will give an account for what you have said. So Preach the Word, not just part of the Word. Preach the Word completely, totally, comprehensively. Paul said he did not hesitate to proclaim the whole will of God {Acts 20:27}.  Do not dilute the Word. Do not distort the Word. Do not delete the Word.  Do not substitute the Word. Preach the Word always, and don’t let your life contradict the message you Preach and do not allow the fear of men to silence your Preaching.

According to Peter, writing in Chapter 3 of his letter, we should, first keep our minds on the will of God. Besides, who is there to harm us if we should prove zealous for what is good? And even if we should suffer for the sake of righteousness, we are blessed. So do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence, and keep a good conscious so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better, if God would will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.

Don’t you know that Jesus was never motivated by how His message would be received? In fact, He reduced His congregation to just a faithful few after preaching on sacrifice. They walked away. He didn’t chase after them. He didn’t change His message to cheer them up. When they sought sweet words, He gave them Truth. It is essential that we teach the whole counsel of God. I tell you, you are “Threading on Dangerous Grounds – Careful!”

Listen; do not be afraid of men. We have the promise of God’s prevailing, “Today, I am the One who has made you a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priest, and the population. They will fight against you but never prevail over you, since I am with you to rescue you” (Jer. 1:18-19) Notice the architectural terms: a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls. They are solid and unshakeable like the God who conceived us and the prophet whom they would come to characterize. God reassured Jeremiah. Attack you they will… overcome you they can’t. Let me say that again. Attack you they will… overcome you they can’t. So the person who stands with God will prevail.   So No Corners-cut, No Pacifying, No Round-about Way! Don’t trim your message to fit the masses. Preach the Word continually, exclusively, completely and courageously. If you don’t you are, “Threading on Dangerous Grounds – Careful!”



The Holidays are coming: Can You Handle Them or Will They Handle You?

Dr. JoAnne Barge

Dr. JoAnne Barge

By Dr. JoAnne Barge

With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, we start the slow methodical progression toward what is, for many, the most stressful time of the year: The Holidays.

Families will be together, in the pressure-cooker of close quarters, and while the proximity has the intended goal of a renewed sense of connection, it unfortunately often ends up with the question of why we put ourselves through the ringer year after year.

Dr. Joanne Barge, a licensed Psychologist based in Los Angeles CA has some tips on how families can better cope with arguments over everything from who the better cook is to which football game to watch; arguments which really are more about underlying tension than the topic at hand.

“Much of the reason we have difficulty with family members stems from a deep-seeded desire to be seen & understood for who we are. When we want to be heard and this doesn’t happen, we feel hurt, rejected and anxious which can easily turn into anger,” explains Dr. Barge.

One of the ways this can manifest is in an argument about who is right. Nothing can be more sabotaging than the need to be right! It is a good idea to ask yourself rather you would prefer to be happy or right? If you want to be happy & enjoy your holiday, forget right, perceptions usually differ & right has nothing to do with anything except ego.

Dr. Barge says, “The key is to let go, find ways to validate yourself beforehand & expect to deal with differing points of view.”

  • Set realistic expectations: The dynamic in any family system has a long history and likely will not change on this one day. Don’t expect it to. And don’t expect the aunt who always says something nasty to be nice this year.
  • Set boundaries: If Uncle Sal usually gets to his third gin and tonic by 2 p.m. and by 3 p.m. the train is coming off the rails, plan to leave at the first sign things are getting out of control.
  • Practice a change of perspective, try to detach with love i.e., Care about your loved ones but detach yourself from the things that bother you so much!
  • Do not attempt to ‘control’ the interaction: Dysfunctional family members view this as a rationale to act even more abusive because you’ve just signaled that you are in the ring and ready to rumble!
  • Practice staying in touch with your own inner source of ‘power’: Sometimes all it takes is a trip to the bathroom to take a deep breathe and remind yourself of a few select quotes that calm you down. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel, but avoid reacting. Don’t jump into the ring (if there is one) but instead decide to look for the best in others.
  • Practice active listening: Focus on what the other person has to say, don’t interrupt, show interest and don’t give advice unless you are asked for it. If all else fails and someone is telling you you’re the worst Yahtzee player that ever lived, a simple response of “you may be right” will diffuse the situation and then you can exit the activity without having to dump the iced tea pitcher on their head!
  • Finally, try to bring the attitude & spirit with you that you would like to see in others & just maybe it will catch fire.

Dr. JoAnne Barge obtained her PhD in Psychology from the University of California Los Angeles and is licensed as both a Psychologist and as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She specializes in the treatment of addictions and in the family members of addicts and alcoholics. Dr. Barge also provides specialized treatment for depression, anxiety, panic disorders, marital or relationship problems, family of origin conflicts and attachment and loss. Her private practice is located in Brentwood, Los Angeles.

Dream BIG. Dream with Intention, Creatively, and Purpose

Ezekiel Azonwu is a spoken word artist that performs all across the globe. He is most commonly seen at P4CM events and during P4CM’s annual Rhetoric event.

Ezekiel Azonwu is a spoken word artist that performs all across the globe. He is most commonly seen at P4CM events and during P4CM’s annual Rhetoric event.

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Calling all of the creative minds and those who support the creative arts. On Saturday, November 22 at California State University San Bernardino, Momentum will be held. The night will be filled a grand creative arts festival featuring a live band and dancers and spoken word from Ezekiel Azonwu and several others.

The doors open at 7 p.m. and the show will start promptly at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students with I.D. and $10 for pre-sale tickets. Tickets are $15 at the door. To purchase pre-sale tickets please visit Jointhemomentum.eventbrite.com. Cal State San Bernardino is located at 5500 University Parkway in San Bernardino.