Monday, July 11, 2016

An Open Letter to NewSpring

I write this with a heavy heart, knowing very well the myriad emotions that flood your hearts and minds at this hour. A man you've known and loved is gone... just like that. In many ways it feels like a death in the family, even though Perry Noble is very much alive.

As a brother I'm putting out this appeal to those of you who journeyed with Perry at NewSpring. My heart is to see that this painful experience is maximized for God's glory... that restoration, healing, and fruitfulness would abound.

For those of you who are members, this is a time to freshly assess where you are in Jesus. Are you secure in Him, freely serving with your gifts in the ministry God has for you, or have you been content to be a mere spectator or even a busy religious worker bee serving as an extension of someone else's "ministry"? God created you to be much more than a cheerleader in the stands applauding and building into the "ministry" of a celebrity preacher. Do you even know what your gifts are?

In Ephesians 4, the Lord lays out his plan for the church, for apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to build you up for the work of ministry. In reality this rarely happens. Most real ministry does not happen from a pulpit on a Sunday morning. It happens in work places, in neighborhoods, in the streets during everyday life. And God uses people like you to do it, not paid "professionals".

I recently had the privilege of interviewing and getting to know a new friend who has written an awesome book called "Sustainable Church". Walt Russell lays out a vision for churches with every member operating in their gifts. If this resonates with you, a good starting place would be taking the spiritual inventory test available at this link:

There is also an excellent book on leadership that provides much needed adjustment to our understanding of leadership in the Church.

Jesus is building His Church with people growing in mutuality, serving and loving one another. Is this the desire of your heart?

As for NewSpring, my hope and prayer is that no one replaces Perry Noble. Truthfully, we've practiced at least 1700 years of religious dysfunction, building "churches" around "pastors" rather than Jesus. (And I'm still waiting for someone to show me the title of "senior pastor" in the scriptures) I know this is heresy to the modern day church growth movement, but we need to reexamine several irrefutable truths:

-Jesus truly discipled (pastored) only 12 men. He equipped them to serve others relationally, not to build ministries around themselves

-The Church is a living 24/7 organism, not a meeting or an event.

-The American "church" as we know is dying. Membership and attendance are declining across the board, even in megachurches, and if we are honest with ourselves, we will acknowledge much of what we have done is simply "Christian laundering", moving people from one religious venue to another. For the most part, growth is not happening because we are making new disciples or welcoming new believers in Jesus.

The religious landscape in America is riddled with wounded and damaged believers still recovering from man centered McChurches in Chicago and Seattle, just to name a few. God will not be mocked.

It is too easy to believe in the veracity of our own press releases. At this critical hour I urge the leadership at NewSpring to get objective perspective from outside the church growth echo chamber. There are faithful servants who can provide timely wisdom in how to proceed at in a way that exalts Jesus, the true builder of the Church. (I can recommend several who have deeply enriched my life and others).

For those believers outside NewSpring, in the Upstate and beyond, now is not the time to self righteously look on in judgment at the failures of one man or organization or rejoice in the opportunity to expand our own religious empires... to profit from the likely turmoil at NewSpring. (be honest, for some of you this is an opportunity to get one up on the "competition". If we are wise, we will see that self examination is in order for us all. The same issues and questions apply. The size of the religious institution doesn't matter. For our Father, it’s all about our hearts.
Above all, this is a time for us to look to Him to fulfil the promise to build His church, not to build ours.

1 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Vince Coakley
Greenville Radio Talk Show Host

P.S. Finally, pray for your embattled brother. To the extent you are able; please reach out to love on Perry Noble and his family. His greatest need is not accountability or any of the other religious mumbo jumbo nonsense we've manufactured. Now more than ever he needs to experience the love of our Father directly, and the love of his brothers and sisters in Christ... love detached from the titles, positions, and roles he's embraced, and those imposed on him from others.  

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Morning Time Slowed Down

The morning of Wednesday April 30, 2015 time slowed down. It started like any other typical day. I usually wake up around 6am visit the bathroom and go back to bed for a little more sleep before starting the day with an hour walk. On this morning an unusual sensation hit me. I frantically sought a way to resolve this feeling? I began pacing. I tried lying down. Nothing worked. It slowly dawned on me: something was seriously wrong. I needed help. I woke my wife up and she called for help.

She was clearly startled by what was happening but quickly grabbed the phone and dialed 9-1-1. She told the dispatcher about my symptoms: chest pain, and difficulty breathing. She followed his prompting and gave me baby aspirin. Interestingly enough the aspirin was so easily accessible because I had put it close to the bed only days before.

By now it felt like the hands of time had slowed down dramatically. Although the first responders probably arrived within 10 minutes, it seemed like an eternity. Immediately they did an EKG and confirmed what we all suspected: I was having a heart attack. One of the men made a comment about heart surgery. It was at this point that I started a mental countdown to what I thought would be relief in the form of general anesthesia. Not only did that not happen, the journey to treatment was painfully slow. I was hyper conscious of every single moment, every simple movement, and every painstaking step in every process on the way to the treatment that would save my life.

I was taken from my bedroom, in an evacuation stair chair, down the steps to the first floor, and then outside to a waiting stretcher. Again it felt like forever waiting as the Medic administered nitroglycerin and established an IV line. Inside my soul was crying out: “why aren’t we moving yet?”

Then finally! The siren sounded and the ambulance pulled away. I could see a couple of curious bystanders outside the window sporting looks of concern. Though time seemed to creep by, I sensed that this was not the end of my life’s journey. I did wonder how long that awful pain would continue and when I could finally rest.

As the ambulance made its way through early morning traffic, I felt way too aware of every street on the way to the hospital. I noted the roundabout leaving my neighborhood, the boulevard and the exit to the interstate. The speed increased a little more on I-85. Fortunately we were able to zip through, even along areas where traffic had come to a standstill. As we weaved through the heavily congested ramp to I-77 South, we slowed down a little but fortunately never stopped. What seemed like eons later I glanced out the window again: still on 77. I told myself “we’re almost there”. We moved to the collector lane to get on the final freeway. Three more turns and we’re there.

I expected quick preparation for surgery and felt anticipation building for the anesthesiologist to ‘put me under’. Instead I found myself in a strange lab with heart monitors and other equipment. One of the men told me “we’ll have you feeling a lot better in just a few minutes.” Next I was warned to expect a sharp stinging sensation on my wrist. He also mystified me by saying I was about to get a local anesthesia. LOCAL? Isn’t that for the dentist office? Thankfully, that was one of my last conscious thoughts. Sometime later, I woke up in ICU to learn I had had a stent installed to restore circulation to my heart. My crisis was over.

This “adventure” was certainly not what I expected just days away from my 50th birthday. But I am thankful for God’s hand of protection, the quick response from my wife, the first responders and the medical team.

There was never a question in my mind that my assignment on earth is not complete. I will be intrigued to see what unfolds during Act II, as the clock has returned to normal speed.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Love, Strength and Wisdom: The Example from a Grieving Mother

It is a sad routine. Two worlds collide when a black man encounters a white officer. The encounter results in the officer fatally shooting the man.  Race is immediately assumed to be the motivation.  Certain elements in the community express varying levels of rage and anger.  The media turns a local collision of two souls into a national crisis.  The “Grievance Industry’s” troops parachute in to fan the flames of dissension. The end result, more often than not is the generation of much more heat than light.  Race relations continue to slide as mistrust and bitterness are cultivated and regarded as virtues.
In this latest saga, a motorist was shot to death by a North Charleston Police Officer.  Walter Scott was shot in the back.  This time around there is damning video that leaves little doubt about what happened, though the whys and wherefores are yet to be discerned.   Judy Scott, the grieving mother of the dead man is a refreshing presence in this maelstrom.
In an extraordinary interview conducted by CNN’s, Anderson Cooper, Scott quickly made it known that in this dark hour “the Lord is my strength”.  She continued by expressing her hope that God is the reason she has hope for true justice.  Scott also declared that the very presence of the person who shot the video is evidence of divine intervention.
The most strident communication she expressed was about “dirty cops” in the department, which is evidence of her wisdom and restraint.  She did not spew wild and reckless accusations of a racial motive. 
To top it off, Judy Scott described what people would probably expect from a grieving mother in her position: to be “angry, upset and raging.”  She did not say she won’t be. Better yet Ms. Scott said she can’t… because of the love of God in her, “I can’t be like that,” she told Cooper.  Instead she extended forgiveness from her heart, to Michael Slager, the man who gunned down her son.
Judy Scott’s interview was a journey into the supernatural.  She is empowered internally by her relationship with God.  And this stands starkly in contrast to what the modern Civil Rights industry fosters. So called “reverends” profess but clearly do not possess what resides within Ms. Scott.  They project and promote the antithesis of what she is and does.
It did not take long for so called “civil rights leaders” to speak out of step with this exemplary mother.  During a call for the South Carolina legislature to stop “dragging its feet” on a bill which will require all officers to wear cameras on their uniforms, Dot Scott, Charleston’s NAACP President said such legislation will “lessen the chance that any more black men will be used for target practice as Mr. Scott was”.  Really! This kind of rhetoric is a great sound bite for a local television newscast, but it is not helpful in any effort to promote racial harmony.
There is such a thing as righteous indignation and a desire for justice is perfectly appropriate. However, the challenge is walking out these things without the venom, unproven racial allegations, and just pure rage.  We can only hope that people follow the lead of Ms. Scott, a grieving mom, who is suffering the most. This mother’s example can light the way with love, strength, and wisdom.

Vince Coakley is a veteran broadcaster now hosting a daily radio talk show for WORD in Greenville, SC
***You can watch Anderson Cooper's interview with Judy Scott at this link

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Wisdom from Across the Pond

In recent months I’ve watched with interest as a growing movement makes an impact on the United Kingdom’s political system.

I was especially thrilled to see the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party invited to CPAC this year.  The insights he shares should strike a chord for those of us who have an unswerving belief in our Founding Documents.

By now it should be clear that devotion to political parties and personalities will lead us through a mindless journey of dead ends. 

I encourage you to take 20 minutes to listen to Nigel Farage.   Then we all need to have a conversation about where we need to go from here.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


We’ve just passed the ninety day mark since the November elections and by now it should be clear what was sold to Republican voters during the campaign season is out of sync with what is getting delivered.

Any casual observer can see a pattern of behavior that hardly deserves commendation.  In 2010, we start with zero control of 2 branches of government.  We’re promised a certain agenda once we get at least the House of Representatives.  On the wave of the Tea Party and Liberty movements, Republicans take over the lower chamber, putting John Boehner at the helm. 

Then we see bad deal after bad deal, raising the debt ceiling with little or no strings attached and continuing resolutions rather than real budgets to keep a bloated federal government growing.   We’re told that with only one half of one third of government there’s only so much we can do… we must have the Senate as well. 

In 2014 Republican Senate candidates tell us we must elect them so we can fire Harry Reid and stop the President’s destructive agenda.  There was never a unified positive agenda offered to take the country in a wholly different direction… only promises to stop destructive economic policies and a pattern of Executive overreach.  

On election night, there’s celebration.  The Republican Party clearly gets a mandate to do something different by getting control of the Senate.  It would seem this momentum would be enough to empower a bolder approach to promoting Constitutional and fiscally responsible policies.   And it was.   But the hearts of the politicians would soon be revealed during the dreaded Lame Duck session of Congress.

First the Republican Conference convenes.  Rather than taking the opportunity to forge a new direction with new leadership, the status quo is simply affirmed.  John Boehner is nominated and affirmed to continue as the Speaker of the House for the new Congress in 2015.  On the Senate side, Mitch McConnell became Majority Leader, simply because Republicans now outnumber Democrats. Then, we watched the creation of the abomination that came to be known as “Cromnibus”.

No true Liberty lover believes it appropriate to run the government with Continuing Resolutions. And it should be clear by now that there are fewer pieces of legislation more destructive to fiscal discipline and good governance in general than Omnibus bills.  These “everything but the kitchen sink” leviathans are Exhibit “A” for what is wrong with Big Government.  So it can hardly be seen as anything but betrayal that any respectable leader would vote for, much less promote a combination of these misguided legislative concoctions.   Frankenstein’s monster is a friendly children’s cartoon character by comparison.  But the Republican leadership made the deal and most Republican lawmakers complied.  

In all honesty I must say I never expected anything different.  Nor was I surprised to see a repeat of this pathetic display this past week on funding for the Department of Homeland Security.  A good friend who is a member of Congress correctly characterized that vote. It was not about Homeland Security. It was not even about Amnesty.  The foundational issue was Separation of Powers.  On this basis, The Republican legislature voted to affirm its irrelevancy.  Harry Reid remains the de facto leader of the Legislative Branch.
Why, you ask?  The dirty secret is we officially have a One Party system in the United States. There is no real opposition party. 

As a radio talk show host I am guilty of calling Boehner and my former Senator McConnell “cowards”.  That is not completely accurate.  The truth is these politicians have no real Constitutional convictions, and the men and women who follow them into the abyss of intellectual vapidity don’t either.

When I was a Republican candidate for Congress, I reminded people my campaign came under the banner of the party formed to abolish slavery.  I suspect that since Abolition, the Republican Party has no real demonstrable reason to affirm its existence, other than self preservation of a brand. 

Sure, we can point to pockets of successful accomplishments by Presidents and Legislators who advanced some Constitutional principles over the years.  But when looking at the big picture, the so called Progressive agenda has advanced, even with Republicans in power.   The Federal Reserve, the 17th Amendment, and the explosive growth of alphabet government agencies with extra Constitutional authority have proliferated over the 20th century, directly assaulting rights our Founding Document “reserved to the States” and to us as individuals.  And even when Republicans had complete control in the first few years of this century, they affirmed their belief in Big Government, not only by refusing to dismantle it, but by making it even bigger.

Perhaps the most insightful perspectives on our One Party system have come from abroad.  At the recent CPAC 2015 gathering, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage described the reason he stepped out in faith to lead this revolutionary movement to shake up the political system across the pond.  He observed the unholy trinity of Big Government, Big Banks and Big Business.  They create a regulatory environment where small businesses and individuals cannot compete.   Ultimately no one speaks for us.  Now Farage declares that UKIP is the party for aspiration.  In fact, the appeal of this new brand is greatest for those at the lower end of the economic scale: those who “make enough to get by, but can’t seem to get ahead”.   They’ve realized the two parties that ruled the country through Corporatism, overregulation and Big Global politics don’t work for them.  UKIP is successfully cutting across the class divide.  

Back here in America, those of us who don’t operate in the upper echelon of this party need to listen to the counsel from the prophet Haggai:

Consider your ways. jYou have sown much, and harvested little. kYou eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who learns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.  Haggai 1:5-6

Haggai’s divinely inspired to the political leaders is one need to take on today. We must consider our ways.  We’ve voted for this party. Many of us have canvassed, made calls for, and advocated for this party.  And we all know ridiculous amounts of money have been spent in the name of this party.  Let’s be honest: What do we have to show for it?    At best we’ve played a “holding game”, and a pathetic one at that.

I contend it is time to put up or shut up.  Either we fight to uphold the integrity of the Constitution or we don’t.  Most of the labels we hear thrown around mindlessly mean little or nothing.   Here is the end of the matter: our Republic stands on the precipice of collapse in every way and the path of “moderation” is a path of appeasement to those who want to “fundamentally transform” America into what it has never been and was never intended to be. 

Voters in November clearly wanted something that could be categorized as “other”.  But we could all sing in unison the words of a popular 80’s song from U2:“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”.   We still supported this party only because it seemed to be the only viable and immediate vehicle to oppose the continued assaults on the very foundations of America. 

I suspect that without a major turnaround between now and 2016, this once highly respected institution will become the new Whig party.  And only the ruling political class will bother to mourn. The people I talk with who are most committed to the values in our Founding Documents are checking out and changing their affiliation to Independent or Unaffiliated.  The Republican Party has betrayed our trust. 

Vince Coakley is a Radio Talk Show Host for WORD in Greenville, SC.  Vince is a former Republican nominee for Congress, and former television news anchor and reporter.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Gift of Contentment

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Contentment.  She's a great gift.  You can have a lot and not be content with it, always scheming for more and envious of those who have it.  And you can be content in the valley of the shadow of death, because you know you're not alone even there and that better days and better times are still to come.  Even death is not final.
Contentment rises from the growing conviction that I am deeply loved and my whole life is in the hands of a loving Father.  Nothing is going on in my life today that escapes him and no matter how tragic circumstances might be, he can still work good in my life through it.  It means I don't have to be afraid of the unknown and I don't have to be in control to feel secure.  It embraces the reality that what is most important in life is the simple things in reach of us all—the hug of a loved one or a glimpse of beauty in the Creation.  It makes the best of what I already have and doesn't waste time worried about what I don't.   
Contentment lets me savor every joy, celebrate every friendship, enjoy each moment, and be grateful for the things that matter most.  It is an act of defiance for those advertising executives who want me frustrated with my existence so I'll spend more money to try to find joy where joy cannot be found.  
Today in the States we celebrate Thanksgiving, a day to acknowledge God with gratefulness.  It used to be more meaningful to me when thanksgiving was a discipline I practiced.  Somehow I lossed that along the way.  Gratefulness surfaces in my heart now multiple times per day as a spontaneous awareness of God's hand in the course of my day.  It's not something I have to work at anymore.  It is just there now that I have lost my frustrations with life as I wanted it to be, and simply embraced it as it is.  I don't expect life in a broken world to be fair. I no longer assume that living with integrity will get me ahead of those who lie and cheat, and that everyone who pretends to be my friend really is.  Call it cynical if you want, but losing my expectations and the naiveté that went with them didn't leave me jaded, just willing to take life as it is and not demand all my desires be fulfilled in it.  As somone said, expectations are only resentments waiting to happen.     
No, all my days are not filled with joy and glitter.  Some are dark and painful, but I have come to discover that no matter how dark the day there is enough love, grace, and joy in it when you look beyond the darkness and realize something more important is going on than my temporal comfort or well-being.    
It now seems a bit silly to give a day to thanksgiving.  So I don't think I'll be more thankful today than I was yesterday, but I will enjoy a day and a home filled with people I love who get the day off to hang out with each other.  I hope your day has much joy in it as well and that you, too, are discovering the joy of contentment—the gift that keeps on giving!  

This blog post was written by Wayne Jacobsen.   Wayne will discuss this post on Revolution Radio on Friday December 6th 

You can also access Wayne's website at

Monday, July 22, 2013

Snakes Around the Vine

John 15: 1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. 4 Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t.
- Peterson, Eugene H. (2011-03-11). The Message Numbered Edition Hardback (Kindle Locations 53278-53282). Navpress. Kindle Edition.

As my family knows, and struggles to endure, I am a big fan of Animal Planet and NATGEO Wild programs.  This morning I saw a segment for a second time and a deeper meaning registered in my heart and mind.

The segment covered a very devious and deceptive reptile known as the Vine Snake.  As its name implies, the serpent looks very much like, and mimics, its vegetative surroundings.   However, once it gets close enough to its prey, the poor victim realizes that what looked like a tree branch was in reality a deadly killer.  By that time, deadly toxins are making the target bleed internally. The next step is for the Vine Snake to swallow its meal without resistance.

Here’s what hit me today: This is going on all the time in “Christian” circles.  “Churches,” allegedly places where we are learning how to “abide in the vine,” unwittingly become feeding grounds for religious vine snakes. They look like branches, sometimes even strong branches that support others.  They seem to be connected to the Real Vine.  They talk about Him, preach about Him, sing about Him, and even seem to serve in His name.  But at the time when we are most vulnerable, we come under attack.  The religious predator sinks its fangs into us.  The toxins quickly begin their deadly work.  At the place where the life of Christ flourished, poison starts causing us to bleed out. 

These toxins can take the form of condemnation, shunning, browbeating, and even gossip and slander.  Sometimes, the effects are not so obviously evil.  Our own personality and identity are swallowed up in serving the vision of a narcissistic religious leader who bleeds us of our virtues of time and treasure: the financial treasures of this world, and the gifting God has given us for His purpose.

If we are truly His, our Father will not allow us to be swallowed whole as the Vine Snake does with its prey.  He will allow us to be spiritually gutted when we fail to rightly discern who has access to our souls.  Paul personally warned the Ephesian elders:

Acts 20: 29-31 “I know that as soon as I’m gone, vicious wolves are going to show up and rip into this flock, men from your very own ranks twisting words so as to seduce disciples into following them instead of Jesus. So stay awake and keep up your guard. Remember those three years I kept at it with you, never letting up, pouring my heart out with you, one after another.
- Peterson, Eugene H. (2011-03-11). The Message Numbered Edition Hardback (Kindle Locations 54886-54889). Navpress. Kindle Edition.

So how do we recognize the genuine branch from the counterfeit? I believe that the answer is embodied in what Paul expresses just before his warning. “God himself thought they were worth dying for.”  So it follows that a true follower of Jesus, especially leaders, approach us out of a posture of serving and laying down their lives for us, not seeking to get us to lay down ours for them. 

Acts 20:28  “Now it’s up to you. Be on your toes— both for yourselves and your congregation of sheep. The Holy Spirit has put you in charge of these people—God’s people they are— to guard and protect them. God himself thought they were worth dying for.
- Peterson, Eugene H. (2011-03-11). The Message Numbered Edition Hardback (Kindle Locations 54883-54886). Navpress. Kindle Edition.

The religious landscape is littered with the broken lives of people sucked into a system and then spit out, after their virtue has been drained.  “Life” today is characterized by lifelessness, hopelessness, numbness, and maybe bitterness and depression. 

Today these souls struggle to trust God and to trust others.  They have been bled dry.  They need a blood transfusion and a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit to quicken their souls.  If these symptoms seem familiar to you because they describe you, maybe it’s time to consider who may have taken a bite out of you, and respond accordingly.  Only Jesus has the anti-venom.  We return to Him in faith, and allow Him to restore our soul.

John 7:37-38 On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.”

- Peterson, Eugene H. (2011-03-11). The Message Numbered Edition Hardback (Kindle Locations 52776-52778). Navpress. Kindle Edition.