Staying Sharp in The Spirit Realm

Photo: Aryea Gottlieb

Everything begins in the Spirit realm.  This is much like storing and accessing data from the “icloud”.  Most of us learned early on in Sunday School that God has created each man and woman to be a triune being. This means, we possess a physical body, a mind with an independent will and emotions, and a Spirit.  Every believer relies on God’s divine information needed for successful living and desired outcomes.  For believers, the fear of God begins in the Spirit realm.  What I mean by that, is we hear God and behave accordingly. God is Spirit.  But, in order to process and interpret His directives we must not doubt or interfere when it comes to hearing accurately His voice.  His divine directives are transmitted through the voice of the inner man (connected to God via the Holy Spirit).  Also, God uses His angles in our daily circumstances according to His plans for our lives.  Finally, we must employ the important task of reading the mass library of instruction, ethics, real life scenarios, laws, poetry, praise etc. known as the Bible.  We must allow the scripture to speak to us.

I have compiled some proven techniques for Staying Sharp In The Spirit Realm.

1. Hearing the Voice of God.  Jesus said “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me.”  Hearing God’s voice begins with listening for his voice.  Many times we learn God’s voice from a posture of hind sight. “I knew God told me to do that.”  Consider yourself trained after that illumination, not condemned.  God will instruct in small things, so that you do not miss the big one.  We can’t hear His voice if we don’t listen; or deliberately distinguish who or what is speaking to us. ( John 10:27).

2.  The Holy Spirit teaches you…over and over again.  Effective teaching uses repetition.  No one knows that better than the Greatest Teacher; the Holy Spirit. Familiarity will not only kill your hunger for learning, it will dull your daily communication with God.  Familiarity disallows fresh revelation and can contribute to resentment and indifference to God, His Word, and His realm.  The Holy Spirit is our teacher, our helper (Paraclete), and the most important relationship we will have on earth. (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is in fact, a person.  It is important to recognize this fact and aspire to know Him on a personal basis.

3.  The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth, not speaking on His own initiative, but what He hears from God to let you know what is to come (John 16:13).  As believers, if we train ourselves, we have access to inside future information. This is based on two things, what God has done in the past, and current flow of revelation.  Revelation is always flowing like a river.  We are sharpened and attune if we practice sensitivity, staying abreast of current events, and listening for Gods’ promptings and timing. Oversensitivity can serve a positive purpose; it is much better than indifference or dullness. The angels will help you.

4.  Talk Less.   Perhaps, it is my perilous military experience that reminds me of the old adage, “Loose lips sink ships.”  The enemy does not have the ability to read your mind. General fellowship and edification is not only healthy, it is commanded; however, I’m not a fan of group discussion about what God is saying.  A personal relationship with God is just that, personal.  Don’t feel obligated to “prophesy everything you hear.”  Wait on the Lord for the strength to deliver a word, or a message.  God needs to be able to trust us.  Much talk comes out of the imaginations of the mind, parroting the current religious narrative.  Listen, watch, observe, pray, and above all, think more, and talk less.  Proverbs 21:23 tells us “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from trouble.”  We all know the tongue teachings.  This leads to number five, and “those tongues.”

5.  Pray Always! Seriously!  If you have the gift of glossolalia (tongues and the interpretation of tongues as described in Acts or I Corinthians 12:8-10), use it, a lot.  If you do not have that gift or were told it’s not for today, seek God first, man second. What you are ashamed of will never work for you.  This gift of glossolalia is literally mind boggling in its power.  It is God’s gift of divine communication that the enemy cannot decode.  Your brain (understanding) may be bored, but you have the power to move heaven and earth with that divine language.  I love learning languages.  It takes time, study, and practice.  The gift of tongues is given by God and can come instantly upon request of Baptism of Holy Spirit.  If you don’t’ want the gift of tongues or do not believe “a new tongue will I speak to these people” stuff, there is no pressure.  If you choose to pray aloud in your first language, use a lot of scripture to back up your declarations and petitions. Sometimes I pray in Hebrew, in as much as I have learned, or Spanish, as it gives my mind rest.  God speaks all languages as do His angels. Prayer changes things.  As a believer, you have a right for your prayers to be answered.  Prayer is not all you have; prayer brings all He has to you.  Jesus was a fan. Luke 9:18,29; John 17; Mark 1:35; Matthew 18:18-20; and Matthew 21.

6.  Gut Check.  Listen to the check that comes from another realm.  The circumstances are not always the truth.  Deception is so sensuous, attractive, and believable at first glance. Take a second examination, and then a third.  Listen and dig deeper.  Deception and lies go deep.  Truth is found by digging deep into the circumstance, talking to God, and pairing scripture to the current situation.  Practice questioning everything.  If the pieces do not snap into place, it may be a dupe of the truth.

7.  Finally, we need strength to Stay Sharp in the Spirit Realm.  Isaiah 11:2 states it best.  “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord…”  Pray this over yourself while inserting your name.  Then hold fast to Isaiah 40:31 “They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength…”, finish reading this on your own.  This edification will encourage you.  II Corinthians 10:3-6 lays out the obstacles of the spirit realm. 

We must acknowledge and recognize our battle and understand our God given weapons.  You already know this.  We do not always have to be on the defensive or have an answer to everything.  Repeat step 5 often.  Apologetics can wear one out if they are not anointed for that.  Knowledge is great, but disseminating that knowledge and effectively communicating a doctrine or practice takes strength and discipline.  A common strategy used by the enemy is to wear you out, to argue for the sake of argument.  You will tire easily always feeling that you need to defend God. 

I love the Apostle Paul’s advice to Timothy: “Avoid foolish questions, genealogies, contentions and strivings” (Titus 3:9).  More importantly, Jesus gave us a clue to power.  He withdrew to pray often.  He always remained in Shalom (peace, tranquility, security). Shalom is the attribute of divine grace.  Ecclesiastes 5:2 instructs us to “let your words be few…”  There is a useful quote by Sun Tzu, a legendary Chinese warrior, “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.”  

Disconnect from the news, and other outside stimuli, at least once a day.  God speaks volumes through nature.  Recently, my little Papillion, Golda, woke me up at 3:00 in the morning.  Although I was not happy, I let her outside, only to witness the most amazing constellation and starlit sky.  I was immediately reminded, this was the favorite hour for Jesus to pray.  It was at this hour he gained the strength as a man to confront and conquer demonic giants.  And conquer, He did!

May this teaching empower you to conquer, possess, and live more in the spirit realm than ever before in your walk with God. 

Is This the Prophesied Great Revival? Not so fast.

Every great crisis causes both the Believer and the secular world to question if this is this the beginning of the end.  No doubt, we are in the end times; but this is not the end.   

The Corona Virus is only a precursor of things to come.  The good news is that the virus is causing many to question their faith, and in the case of the non-believers, to question their lack of faith. 

The Reverend Billy Graham preached about a sickness for which there is no cure. That sickness is sin.  This global pandemic is only a minor precursor of things to come in the end times.  However, that time is not yet.  Until people are ready to give up sin and wickedness, preaching will continue to fall upon seared minds and hearts. 

As the virus reaches its apex, countries, including the United States, will begin to lift stifling restrictions and we will see a Global Reopening.  This will be marked by an end to painful isolation, while people search for ways to resurrect the global economy.  In a relatively short time, we will return to a sense of normalcy, and unfortunately, much of the economic surge will lead to a Return to Sin.  Any hope of the Great Revival will be gone as most realize this was not “the end”.  

The revival will only come to those who truly believe we were once again spared. For those who continue to practice sin, repentance will come much later during a Great Period of Tribulationwhich squeezes and chokes their choices, their minds, and their freedoms.  Once again, this is only a moment in time for God and His people to demonstrate miracles, mercy, forgiveness, and hope. 

As believers, this is a time to continue to petition God for His mercy, for Him to push back apocalyptic events, and for Him to fulfill His promises for long life in His Word.  His body of Godfearers will continue to occupy the earth and dominate through prayerful petitions.  As witnesses to His love and mercy, this will be a time to demonstrate what God truly has to offer. Our hope is that the secular world will be persuaded by His goodness and mercy much more than His wrath.

Make no mistake, we are in the end times.  This is just not that time.  However, this is our opportunity to prepare the body of believers and the secular world to call out to God and turn from sin.  Only after True Repentance, will we see Global Revival.  

Second Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Journey Into The Darkness

I recall a movie I once watched while in Kenya.  The movie, “The Ghost and the Darkness”, left me without sleep for several days.  This true story portrayed “mystery” lions dragging humans off to their death in the night hours. I believe the lions were demon possessed. By nature, lions do not have a taste for human blood.  We know from New Testament theology that demons’ first choice is to possess humans; however, they will inhabit animals, houses, empty neglected spaces, and so forth.  The lions in the movie were eventually killed, and their heads are now mounted in a Chicago museum.

Today, the COVID-19 pandemic is much like the movie “The Ghost and the Darkness.”   The mystery of not knowing at what hour, or when the disease my strike, or infect, can be tormenting.  Sometime ago, a Baptist minister by the name of Howard Pittman, witnessed the “mystery demon” as revealed in his book describing his near-death encounter.  On August 3, 1979, his aortic artery ruptured. Within hours, he suffered physical death. Pittman was lifted from his body by guardian angels and allowed to see the second heaven and Satan’s dominion. Upon his return, Pittman revealed that he witnessed demons, their hierarchy, and their operations.  One demon especially worth noting, was the “mystery demon”.  This demon was just that. He was a non-descript demon who inflicted mysterious sickness and disease.  

Is this global pandemic demonic?  While it most certainly is not engineered by God, many of the “cloth” would argue that the Corona Virus is God’s judgement, or some green earth climate imbalance.  At certain times, as recorded in scriptures, God was ready to smite many.  However, the prayers of a few righteous halted His decree, and turned the situation to one of rescue.  As this pandemic coincides with Pesach (Passover), we see the commandments to obey God, anoint the doorposts of our homes, and trust the angel of death to “Pass Over” our homes and families.

The journey into the darkness requires the luggage of faith, physical preparedness, prayer, and teamwork.  It requires all hands-on deck, placing bickering aside, establishing home altars, and partaking in communion in covenant with God, and above all, in Shalom (peace).  As in Psalm 23, God is pleased to prepare a table in the presence of this enemy.  Though “A thousand fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it (evil, disease) shall not come nigh thee”(Psalm 91).  We are “thee”.  We have very specific promises.  It is possible to even prosper in crisis (Psalm 23:5), if we remain anointed and calm.

We petition God not out of fear, nor self preservation, (although nothing is wrong with that), but rather out of a covenant of hope and partnership with Heaven.  We are encouraged to pray about everything, tell God our needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers.  No prayer is too small, too insignificant, or ignored.  God is open for business twenty-four eternal hours a day to hear our petition. Even a small child understands how to present a need, desire, or concern.  All prayers for healing, mercy, gratefulness are received at the throne of Heaven. 

We are going to make it through this journey of darkness and will all see brighter days ahead.  We will all see joy as we witness God’s miraculous intervention.  Fear not, all is well that ends well.  Turn to God for life, not just during the crisis at hand. The light is not at the end of the tunnel; rather, the light is bright to guide us through the shadowed, mysterious, uncertain tunnel.

I’ll leave us with Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”  Thy is, HaShem, Adonai, and He is faithful!

**Lion image courtesy of National Geographic Gallery, Honolulu, Hawaii.

It Will Appear

The fear of missing out, also known as FOMO, is a condition described as an individual or individuals fearing that they will miss out, or not be a part of some signifcant event.  This fear can produce negative emotions that could potentially result in dangerous behavior.  This behavior can manifest itself as anxiety or panic, hoarding, financial liquidation, or other fight or flight responses, which do not promote sound peace or spiritual well-being.

There is a significant difference between the need to buy extra supplies and the compulsion to overstock (hoard) which can be very expensive and exhaustive.  Is there a better way in times of crisis?

It Will Appear is a better way, designed by God, and available to those who put their trust in Him.  A study of secular as well as biblical history, demonstrates heroic interventions and other miracles and tales of joyful survival during times of need.  I would like to share just a few of my personal miraculous encounters.

During a recent vacation to Hawaii, I realized I needed, or rather wanted a few things for my comfort.  I could have easily purchased these items.  However, there was no emergency, I was only kvetching (which is Yiddish for complex undesirable dilemmas).  

First of all, I wanted a different shampoo other than the coconut scented shampoo provided by the hotel.  I needed limes for my water, some disposable drinking cups, and one or two umbrellas for the seasonal rains in Hawaii. 

My husband and I left our room to venture out for the day.  On a long community table, there appeared several items for the taking:  one large container of Pantene (premium brand) shampoo and another of Pantene conditioner, along with several red SOLO plastic cups, and three limes.  We collected our angelic-provided find and took the “booty” back to our room.  Our next stop was to check our dinner reservations at a local restaurant for our 40th anniversary.  While confirming our reservations, we encountered one of those seasonal rain events.  Behold, free famous named brand umbrellas were sitting in a bin for our use.  At the end of our trip, we donated those umbrellas along with several other items.  Not only did we repay someone else’s kind gesture, we sowed seed, and we paid it forward.   

While in Hawaii, my husband and I were tracking the events of the new Corona Virus.  We discussed ordering a few things to be delivered to our home, just in case.  There was no anxiety, only stock smarts.  Upon returning home, everything we purchased now seemed like a necessity, rather than a routine purchase. Those items were no longer available for purchase upon our return. It was only because we were at peace and responded to God’s promptings and timing that our products were available and delivered. 

God is not confused, fearful, or poor.  Angels are on assignment prompting us with thoughts and inclinations to act in peace.  These angelic promptings appear in front of us in store lines providing tips to where to go and what to do.  We must be at peace as we sense, listen, believe, and act when we have a “random thought” that requires immediate action.

The Bible gives us countless examples of how God meets our needs.  Isaiah 30:21 tells us, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying: ‘This is the way, walk ye in it, When ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”  This scripture reminds us to incline our hearts and tune our spiritual ears to the promptings of God.  In the Bible, we are also told that the ravens fed the prophet Elijah, Jesus fed 5,000 with two fishes and three loaves of bread, and Elisha multiplied the widow’s oil after her offering.   

Our continual giving (sowing) ensures a future harvest when we need it.  This strategic tenet ensures our continued needs will be met.  I would encourage everyone not to over analyze this principle, but rather to sow when prompted. 

I warmly recall a story from a missionary friend of mine while on a trip to Africa.  Shireen’s husband shared with her the exciting news that they would be hosting visiting ministers for dinner.  The only glitch to his dinner plans was that it would wipe them out of their remaining food supply.  However, they fed the ministers as prompted.  The very next day, a basket of bread and other food supplies “mysteriously” appeared at their front door.  

In the past, money has not only “mysteriously” appeared in my empty wallet, but in some cases, it has also changed denominations.  Upon paying for lunch one day, I emptied my wallet in front of my husband with only a soft crumply fifty-dollar bill.  We proceeded to the mall across the street from the restaurant.  I pulled out the fifty dollar bill to pay for a new shirt.  The fifty I pulled out transformed into a crisp $100.00 bill.  At the time, there was no pressing need for the multiplication.  However, that experience now serves as a perpetual reminder to encourage me that God will supply all our needs according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus!

These personal accounts are just the tip of the provision iceberg in my life. Airplanes, money, food, and so forth., miraculously appearing have become all too common for me.

Remain in Shalom (peace, reassurance, and blessing).  Angels are working on behalf of those who put their trust in God.  God is your Savior; He is your Healer; He is your Provider.  What do you need?  Rest assured, It Will Appear!

Intelligent Faith

Intelligent Faith

As those who have entered into a covenant with God, we are not to follow him blindly, but rather through intelligent faith demonstrating diligence in His word and the teachings of Jesus. Intelligent faith is guided by certain principles. The below list a set of principles to help you employ intelligent faith. It is not meant to be all inclusive. It is just a guide.

Intelligent faith:

  • has a personal relationship with God, as David demonstrates in Psalm 42, 114, and 119.
  • comes by hearing the word of God often and then embracing it.
  • knows and can interpret scripture.
  • is not mental ascent. We steadfastly rely on God’s word and his unbreakable promises.  God’s word is His bond.
  • remembers God’s past performance and fidelity in our lives to project and produce more rigorous faith.
  • is black or white; it believes or it doesn’t.
  • recognizes a trial or rough patch as an opportunity for a miracle.
  • works with man and God toward an expected, celebrated outcome. In other words, God wants others in on your miracle.
  • ambushes doubt and defeats the lie of “God just doesn’t care.”
  • despite the circumstances, reaches up through the flood waters with outstretched hands, not in search of a life preserver, but rather in full worship and surrender. It demonstrates that God has not lost first place in our lives.
  • does not parrot the words of “fantasy faith,” which only disappoints. Fantasy faith declares, “I have divine health, bless God,” “I choose when I die,” or “I command the miracle in this moment.” Intelligent faith knows the parameters of the authority given it; the measure of faith built for the particular circumstance and surrenders the rest to God. Intelligent faith understands there must be present, the tangible unction or supernatural propulsion behind the decree.
  • recognizes when to make a request, to trust, to rest, and then witness God’s intervention. (Ephesians 6:13). It is in standing we witness God’s miracles.
  • has elements of endurance, links with others’ faith, and moves as a unit with God, the prayers of the righteous, and the angels.
  • counts all prayers of the righteous as important. The faithful fervent prayers of the righteous avail much. It doesn’t judge levels of “spirituality.” It looks upon the heart.
  • is ready and expectant for a positive outcome or miracle.
  • is not tested in the sunshine; it emerges out of a resolve to walk with God as a friend, partner, and life coach through the flood.  Intelligent faith knows that God sticks closer than a brother.
  • collects all the data when recognizing God’s hand in the situation. Every trial is considered part of God’s plan no matter how negative it may appear. “All things work together for the good for those who love God, and are called according to His purpose; not ours.
  • refuses to ask “Why have you forsaken me?” knowing full well that God does not forsake us.
  • knows the answer before it becomes tangible. Intelligent faith knows those who stand in the gap on our behalf, including the Holy Spirit, to effect a joyous outcome.
  • hears God all the time, even when tempted to rebel against His ways.
  • restores things better that before. Intelligent faith adds the victory to the case for God and His love for us.
  • knows his or her authority, the weapons of his or her warfare, and the difference between intelligent faith and blind faith.
  • knows we are never alone, and that the supernatural is always in operation. Intelligent faith apprehends the eternal as well as the temporal.





Come Back In, The Water is Warm

God is standing with open arms to receive those back, who in reality, never left. The Bible tells us that no one can snatch you from his grasp. We leave God in our heads when we listen to the enemy’s analysis of us. Those falsehoods propagated by the enemy against God and his children, are just that…propaganda.

Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub, demons or whatever label you choose to ascribe to the prince of darkness, is a master communicator. His lies are brilliantly packaged. Mayhem and entrapment are brilliantly executed. When God creates something, it’s perfect in every way…until man’s will intervenes and then Satan’s gift makes room for him through his lies, hatred of God, and hatred of God’s redeemed.

Have you ever wondered from God’s presence, “fallen from grace”, and felt separated from the love of God? Romans 8 tell us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. We can all return to the warm water. It is always there, always yours. The truth is, you never really left in God’s mind. He knows those who are His.

But, how do we return to God? The answer lies in our senses. Satan’s lies are sensual, tangible, appealing to the flesh. Our senses are likened to an imitation cubic zirconia diamond. Satan’s lies looks real, but has way too much flash to be real.

Satan is not defeated by wearing a cross, or speaking “I bind you.” He is defeated by quoting scripture until he relents. We overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and power of the Word. I never understood “plead the blood”. The operation and function of the atonement are at work all day, every day. That circular cleansing that operates in us is constantly in effect. Talismans, chants, and clichés simply do not work. Far “less spiritual” folks get a lot further simply by quoting the words of Jesus or Psalm 91.

Perhaps you have gone all the way around the mountain, and the water, as God remains on His throne. However, God was with you the whole time. Come on back where the warm water is awaiting you. Return to His love and learn to use the “weapons of your warfare.” Come back for a cleansing and a fresh garment. God knew your situation all along. He has a place reserved for you, and will redeem the time!


Painting courtesy Yehoshua Wiseman, Israeli artist

The Misunderstood: Humility

We all ask God to help us be more humble; yet humility is one of the most misunderstood divine attributes. It is important to understand just what humility is, why it matters.

Humility may be the vital element missing in moving forward in life, business and relationships.

Humility begins with gratitude to Adonai (God) for everything. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. True humility recognizes God’s gifts, is amazed at the results, and then falls to the ground in awe of God’s willingness to bestow these gifts upon us.

Humility does not come natural to humans. It is the Mount Everest of virtues; seemingly impossible to attain. It requires us to be self-aware; very aware. Sometimes this awareness manifests itself in self-doubt. Can this virtue that God so genuinely prizes be truly achieved? I will share a little secret with you. If it were not possible for man to truly be humble, God would not require it.

It is possible.

Humility does not involve self-deprivation. We are made in God’s image. We are not worms; God refers to us as Kings and Priests. However, humility is God’s way of keeping us tight with Him in our earthly walk. Those who fail to seek humility often fall prey to pride which is the snare of darkness. It doesn’t work. As a matter of fact, pride goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18). Haughtiness is pride’s precursor, as it only results in a fall. It is pride’s warning light.

I have observed several people who truly walk in humility. They are more concerned with the whole team and God’s preferred outcome rather than what’s in it for them. They serve, contribute, and expect nothing but God’s excellent results in return. They are secure in themselves. They are not afraid to take a lower position to gain a higher level. They are competitive but play within the rules of the game. Their reward is helping others succeed.

Do not mistake greatness for pride. Do not mistake the operation of divine power in us for pride.
Do not mistake strength for pride. We need these.

Those who walk in pride often consider themselves to be self-made men or women. They act with disdain and arrogance toward those who walk in humility, treating God’s people as if they are of little value. And then there is pseudo humility which appears super humble and contrite. This comes as a result of not having a proper understanding of one’s true relationship with God. Pseudo humility is a nuisance, and in reality, is a form of self.

The devil is the prince of this world. He uses the venom of pride to destroy our destiny. Only knowledge, love of God, and vigilance can ensure avoiding this demon. We have to ask ourselves, does our prayer go like this, “God make me great so I can serve you” (already signs of pride), or does it go like this, “God anything I can do for you, with your help, I WILL it”?

Theodor Hertzl a Zionist forerunner once said, “If you will it, it is no dream” concerning the Zionist state of Israel. We can will to be humble and achieve God’s joy in seeing his will in action.

Humility is an hourly decision of the will. It must be a conscious part of our lives. Humility destroys pride, and renders to God a pure conscience. Humility understands there are two sides to everything. Humility understands it needs heaven’s intelligence as our information resources are limited. Humility gives the benefit of the doubt; it trusts God and his people. Humility leaves judgement for a later date to be reviewed by God.

We know the feeling of success, a completed project, recognition, even consistent excellence in all we do. Yet, God laughs. Humility and praise to God, acknowledging him in all, may very well open the door to another dimension of progress in our life. A door of opportunity we never dreamed to make a difference will open. True humility will lead to a Tikkun Olam (repairing of the world).

Albert Einstein never credited his great research, or his genius, to himself. He publicly credited his Theory of Relativity to a dream God handed him in trust. Even Einstein was surprised with what God had trusted him with. The proper response was to honor God and not himself.

We must walk with God in rhythm. We must be obedient to his word and to his will. Leave the impossible with God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Humility is the quiet hero, the empowered servant. It is the hidden secret of favor with God, that is, really, no secret.

#KEY: New Testament theology states in Galatians 5:22, the importance of the fruits of the Spirit.  Humility is the master of all these disciplines.


The Coach In You

A new phrase has arisen in Christian Ministry which is causing confusion. The term “Life Coach” sounds good, but has no biblical basis. There are Five-Fold offices; teachers, perhaps even mentorship. However I am hard pressed to find reference to a ‘life coach’. I want to offer my thoughts in describing this newly coined niche among ministers.

If I were to offer a description of Life Coach, it might read, “One who was once called to ministry but was compromised between God and man. A professional rebranding designed to save face after God’s termination of ministry service.”

Parallax vs Paraclete. We already have one called to be a Life Coach. The person of the Holy Spirit is the believer’s life coach. He is available to intercede and guide.  In Hebrew, the פרקליט (transliterated praklit), is our legal counsel. He is holy and is ready to  make you holy, whole and complete.  Parallax is the former ministry hybrid termed Life Coach. A Life Coach can be obscure in mission, offering no guaranteed outcomes, with non-biblical advice.  This ministry hybrid changes in the vision of the observer.

Jesus on the other hand remains constant, the same yesterday, today and forever.

A Life Coach is what you get when ministers try to tone down Jesus in order to make His message more palatable to those who love the world.  Life Coach is what ministers become when they no longer believe the message God sent them to deliver. I liken it to a large diamond that is clarity enhanced. It is fracture filled to improve clarity to an otherwise undesirable stone. It is a stone which may look good to the untrained eye, but one that has not increased in value. Fracture filled is ok, it’s just not natural.  It’s flashy, but not more valuable.

A Life Coach should not be confused with rehabilitative counseling in the case of our U.S. military veterans, or others who are experiencing a life crisis.  The life coaching I am referring to is self-help for self; unlocking more of self for self’s sake.  You get the idea.  After all, if someone gets addicted to the Life Coach he or she will also need the latest book or CD which of course includes some scriptures and scant reference to God.  Jesus may even have a brief cameo to justify the schemed theology.

A viable alternative would be sixty six referential library books with tons of self-help principles along with sound advice for teaching a person to fish and develop his or her own thirst for living water. I love the Hebrew word for drink or rather to cause one to drink. That word is (lahashkot-transliteration), and is more beautiful in Hebrew להשקות*. Some call it the Tanakh, or the Bible. It is referred to and inferred by Jesus in New Testament theology as living water. Can God actually cause us to drink? This is hope. This is the beginning of living again.

Check it out at a life—I mean a library near you. Finally, I would add, take the advice found in the sixty six self-help books I mentioned and add some quality time in prayer. You will receive all the help you need.

L’Chaim to life and the coach in you.



*Ulpan-Hebrew, Hebrew English lexicon


Angels Among Men



This article could be titled, “Angels and Debra, The Supernatural Norm.” I could fill volumes with my personal encounters with angels. I have found myself in countless situations where I was abandoned in the mountains, stranded in foreign countries, or in need of an airplane. I was once rescued off the side of a mountain by three huge mysterious “men” and a woman, in what appeared to be a hopeless situation. Several times, I have experienced the sudden appearance of money when there was none. I have appeared at hotels where reservations where mysteriously made for me. Was that a man, a woman, or an angel? Poof! They are gone in an instant.

The New American Standard Bible records this familiar passage from Hebrews 13:2, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this, some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

The Bible is replete with scriptural validation of angels and their operations, purposes, rank, and temperament. For example, Luke Chapter 1:11-20 demonstrates the power of prayer and intergalactic operations of angels on a mission. Zacharias got a taste of rank and authority in His encounter with Gabriel.

The angel appeared to the elderly priest as Zachariah prayed and honored the Lord at the incense altar. Zechariah was doing the right things in the sight of God. His actions resulted in a personal annunciation from heaven and a mouth guard. Why the muting of Zachariah? Words have power. Angels are not only messengers, they are equipped to ensure God’s product is fully rendered in spite of man’s fallibility.

Angels are the unseen resistance. They are heaven’s “underground.” They operate in both clandestine and covert fashion. This means they sometimes make themselves known, or not. Angels have a will. They are created beings without a soul in the similar manner of God and man. However, they are not to be worshiped. They can be encountered, felt, commanded, provoked, and on occasion, seen. They are specialists. They operate in, and according to the laws of God. And, they will be judged by the believer according to the New Testament studies. It is important to believe, engage, and work with the knowledge of angels. However, it is also important not to get bogged down in details which are too “lofty” for us mere mortals to understand. Just know this, much of answered prayer is carried out by angels.

What types of angels are there? Good question. I am glad I asked. There are the cherubs; those pure rounded fierce warriors that guarded the entrance to Eden. There are military angels; huge, swift, strong, and powerful. On one occasion, my daughter and I have personally encountered this one. He is assigned to accompany us on dangerous missions and to mysterious places. There are guardian angels assigned to watch over us every day, during our time on earth. And then, there are even healing angels.

Sadly, there are the fallen angels. These are angels which rebelled against God and are no longer privileged to the glory and intelligence of heaven. They are also referred to as demons. Lucifer, or Satan is chief among them and is often referred to as the prince of darkness. No light exists in, or around them. Their only source of knowledge comes from what we say, and by studying our lives and habits. They are unclean, evil, and are constantly seeking avenues to gain unauthorized access into our lives, as well as the lives of our families and friends.

Angels have orders from heaven concerning our individual lives. Angels work in cooperation with those who obey, move, and are sensitive to God’s promptings. Angels appear to always be in a hurry. Their directives are sometimes audible, sometimes physical, and sometimes mind to mind. Angels cannot read our minds. Our thoughts, good or evil, are protected by God’s privacy act. Men will be judged in the court of heaven, on their actions, at a date to be disclosed by God himself.

The issue with most believers is the fear of doing something wrong concerning angels. The reality is that most people believe in the existence of angels. The facts concerning angels are completely uncontestable. The challenge first comes in the awareness of angels. Second, we must accept their operations as the supernatural standard.

Finally, we must understand what we can, and cannot command, or expect of our angels. Angels understand their roles and functions. They work in cooperation with man’s will and man’s words. We find a perfect example in the Book of Daniel, Chapter 10: 5-12, “…thy words were heard, and I am here for thy words”.  Another example can be found in Psalm 103:20, which reads, “Bless the LORD, all His angels of great strength, who do His commandments, hearkening to the voice of His word.”

Unfortunately, God’s humility and practicality is often eclipsed by man’s more “intelligent, logical” mental ascent. Some are too proud to call upon their angels for help, while others simply don’t how to activate them. But, here is an important truth. They are already activated, prepared, and anxious to be called upon. You just need to tune in, be mindful of them, and then command away. Do something for Heaven’s sake, but just make sure you are in line with God’s word.

Like many testimonies, most of my angelic encounters were as a result of taking risk. I put myself in a position knowingly, or unknowingly, where I needed angelic intervention. If you make a mistake, don’t worry; like Zacharias, you may be muted, but only for a season.

Go Ye. Know that God has His angels prepared to go with you. Vaya con Dios, as well as with His angels!