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.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Reasonable Response to the Mayor’s Declaration

By Vince Coakley with Dr. Steve Crosby

It is intriguing that as our esteemed Mayor prepares to leave our city to fill a Cabinet position in Washington, we learn about the true spiritual convictions that apparently undergird his beliefs and policies.
In case you didn’t know, Mayor Anthony Foxx, going against the grain of others who will “turn to God in a day of prayer and meditation,” argued in his proclamation May 2 was better served as A Day of Reason because "the application of reason, more than any other means, has proven to offer hope for human survival on Earth."

Mayor Foxx is also mistaken in his history in implying that our forefathers based our republic on the thoughts of the Age of Enlightenment and reason. No, Mr. Foxx, that is what the French revolution was based on, and the result was beheadings, secret police inquisitions, and imprisonments. The American experience was not a theocracy of state religion as in the blood-soaked soil of Europe, but neither was it the perfection of secularism that Mr. Foxx would have the naïve believe. It was a hybrid of the Age of Reason infused with a Biblical worldview. Our forefathers were a mix of theists, deists, and atheists and even the atheists were positively disposed to the teachings of Christ, though they despised organized Christian religion (with good cause, I might add!)

Mr. Foxx wants to excise the portions of history that don’t suit his progessivist agenda. The battle cry of the revolution, “No King but King Jesus,” doesn't fit Mr. Foxx’s very prejudiced progressive spin of the history.

Let me help Mr. Foxx with some history that he probably didn’t get at New York University:
·         The first and almost only Book deserving of universal attention, is the Bible. – John Quincy Adams
·         It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible. - George Washington
·         What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ. It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors. - George Washington
·         . . . God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever. – Thomas Jefferson
·         I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ. – Thomas Jefferson
·         Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us. - John Hancock

Well, enough. I could go on.

The facts are such an impediment to a progressivist agenda. It ruins their mythology.As Karl Marx taught, any lie is all right if it accomplishes the dream. Truth be damned--it’s so “inconvenient,” as Mr. Gore might say.

I also want to say that I have no problem with people who have views that differ from mine.  We do live in a pluralistic society and I respect that.  But I do believe the convictions of some “leaders” reveal a type of intellectual arrogance that has proven to be illogical and unreasonable…and in some cases, deadly.
I am a man who believes in the ultimate authority of God and his sovereignty over the earth.  I also believe that through revelation we learn some foundational truths and values that are not negotiable.  Man does not reason his way to understanding them.  If he is wise, he simply bows before his Creator and accepts them.
And yet in this God does not relegate us to a position of being mindless robots. He appeals to us, “come let us reason together.”  The key though is to understand that we are not equals. Because He transcends us, it is logical and reasonable that we would recognize He knows better and His knowledge, reasoning, and wisdom should prevail.

With this in mind, I am suspicious of people who don’t recognize these realities.  What it usually means for those in political office (or aspiring to be) is that they believe themselves to be THE authority, and that the power of their reasoning is what we should bow to. This is the ultimate definition of Statism: the State replaces God. Need an example?  How about this?  One name of God revealed in the Old Testament: Jehovah-Jireh, or Yahweh-Jireh. It means “Yahweh will provide.” So what does it mean when the government insists on taking on this role? Very simple: those who promote dependence on government programs are really promoting a rival god… and too often those gods prove to be themselves.
We all know that the reasoning of most politicians has not been serving us well.

On the local level, what kind of reason compels us to bleed hard working citizens with onerous taxes to pay for sports complexes for millionaires and billionaires?

What kind of reason promotes wasteful transportation projects like Light Rail and Street Cars?

What kind of reason compels a Mayor to disrespect the hard work of a man who spend decades building one of the biggest engines of economic growth in the city? (Charlotte Douglas Airport) …and for that matter, insult leaders of one of Charlotte’s biggest employers?

And we should ask a few questions about the man Mr. Foxx may soon be working for, President Barack Obama:

What kind of reason causes us to run up a debt topping 16 trillion dollars?    Worse, yet, what kind of reason compels a President to proclaim that there’s no real need to balance the national budget, let alone start paying off the debt?

What kind of reason motivates the man who will be his boss to chase terrorists around the world with drones, and yet send military supplies and $250 million dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt?

What kind of reason would motivate so called leaders to promote lax border and visa policies, leaving our homeland vulnerable to terrorism?

What kind of reason would motivate Mr. Foxx’s future boss to leave our homeland and even overseas employees unprotected through incompetent and senseless policies, and then attempt to deceive us about what really happened?  

What kind of reason fails to recognize that setting records for food stamp dependency is nothing less than a crisis that requires immediate attention?

What kind of reason leads to policies that cause Blacks and Hispanics to lose even more of their wealth? 

Mr. Foxx, if this is the kind of reason you call for, let me just say: no thanks. We’ve had more than enough.  As you do more of your “reasoning” I, and others, will pray that God will open the eyes of millions of Americans to see the bankruptcy of mere human reason. And one more thing:  I pray God will have mercy on us, and spare us from the reason of politicians like Mr. Foxx and President Obama.   

Vince Coakley is host of The Vince Coakley Radio Program.  
Dr. Steve Crosby is a Christian author and lecturer based in the Charlotte area.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

SGM Detox Returns: Thriving Outside The System

A father in spiritual crisis. A family struggling with relational discord.
It is a story with a happy ending.  But it's not really over because our Heavenly Father is still writing it.
Now this father is thriving in sonship.
His wife is free to be a joint-heir instead of suffering in silence
His children are walking in freedom and enjoying their natural and supernatural family.
This is the focus of this week's SGM Detox.

After a Resurrection weekend break, the show returns this weekend with a family testimony.
You'll follow the journey of a former SGM member:  how he went from performance-based religion into relationship with Jesus.  From there, you'll learn how the shock waves of his transformation impact his wife and children.  Now they walk together in newness of life with others.  Yes, there is life outside the system.

Detox has a purpose.  Jesus is removing what is not of Him, so His fullness can be manifest in us.

This is a program you don't want to miss.
You can hear it at this link:

You can hear previous SGM Detox shows at the links below

Thursday, March 7, 2013

SGM Detox Preview: Lifestyle Legalism

You will not want to miss this weekend's "SGM Detox". The focus will be on expressions of lifestyle legalism.  

At the top you will be blown away by a Facebook message posted by former neighbors of ours.  Do you want to get a sense of the impact of what has been purported to be "The Happiest Place on Earth?"  You'll get a greater sense of what is at stake in our professed testimony of Jesus.  

We'll tackle "the family gospel", the challenge of singleness in "family oriented" churches, the home school emphasis, formulaic parenting, and the destructive emphasis on men's and women's roles.  

Also on tap, Dr. Crosby will call out Neo-Reformation leaders for their theological views that establish the underpinnings for abuse and control.  The result is emasculated men and women robbed of functional humanity.  We'll also tackle "full quiver"

In addition, we'll talk church membership, church discipline, and the idol of "the local church".  Also, dating and courtship.  purity and modesty.

We'll wrap it up by delving into the implications of forgiveness.  It is a powerful show you will want to listen to, and share.    Saturday morning at 11:00 Eastern Time at this link:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SGM Detox Update and "The Bible"

If you've followed my posts here and the SGM Detox series, you are aware I often refer to my SGM church as Egypt.  It was first a place of blessing, but later of bondage.  With that in mind I was really struck by this theme as I watched "The Bible" on the History Channel with my family last night.

Obviously some of the Biblical story has been augmented by artistic license.  With that in mind, here are some brief observations:

Pharaoh mocking Moses for following an "invisible" God.  Hebrews 11 (the "faith" chapter) commends Moses for "seeing Him who is invisible".   I believe most professing Christians are, in reality, materialists. Here's what I mean: too many of them don't believe Jesus can reign over his people... that God needs men (i.e. pastors) to "govern" them.   This error is propagated by way too many pastors who also believe that without them, God's people will run wild in rebellion and sin.  The truth is when Jesus truly reigns in His people, they don't need as much governance as they do guidance.  And guidance is only helpful from people who lead by example and relate to other believers in mutual submission, not merely preach down to people in a religious cattle call.

Pharaoh's stubborn defiance in the face of God's judgment.  I've expressed that I believe God is prophetically speaking to SGM leaders (and others for that matter) with the prophetic message "let my people go!".   And yet, despite the stream of revelations of abusive leadership practices, corrupt religious elitism and even allegations of cover up of sexual abuse, too many of these leaders are still standing instead of falling on their faces in repentance and surrender.   We know how this story ends.

A contrast of leadership: Moses v. Pharaoh.  My wife noticed the contrast between Moses and Pharaoh at the Red Sea scene. Again, some artistic license is used here, but the message is powerful.   After the waters start to recede, Moses is the first to go onto dry ground between the walls of the sea and tell the others "follow me". He is leading on a faith journey, not merely preaching to others to do so as he stands "safely" away from the powerful waters.   In contrast, Pharaoh stands behind his armies, driving them into the sea bed to pursue the Israelites.  See the difference?

We continue to receive wonderful feedback on the SGM Detox series, and enjoy wonderful conversations with some of you who are facing some challenging situations.  I'm confident Jesus will be glorified as His sons  and daughters are delivered from religious bondage and begin walking in their true identity and gifting with other free brothers and sisters.

SGM Detox will resume on Saturday at 11am. You can listen at this link:

You can listen to the first 3 SGM Detox shows at these links.

1. Grace...More than a Doctrine

2. Leadership and Accountability

3. Relational Dynamics

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

SGM Detox Update, and a Recommended Resource

We continue to get very encouraging feedback on the program.  Lights of liberty are springing up in souls that have been darkened by perversions of God's grace and counterfeit leadership paradigms for years.

This week, we will wrap up our discussion of leadership and move on to address the path to freedom for victims of abuse.  It is vital to understand how we were taken captive and take responsibility for those vulnerabilities if we hope to move on into a healthy relationship with Jesus and others.

In the stream of social media feedback, we received this note from a listener:

Through a link that I received somehow, I listened today to your interview
with Bryon Weibold, on August 4th.  This interview was... amazing.  And so
timely for what my church is going through.

I don't understand why the broadcasts I've heard of yours don't have scores
of comments.  It was so inspiring!

For this reason I'm posting a link to that blog posting and podcast here.  I do agree that many of the issues we're discussing on "Detox" were covered in my talk with Bryon.   And as always I welcome your "scores of comments" :)    God Bless!

Friday, February 22, 2013

SGM Detox: Unmasking The Perversion of Biblical Leadership

With the true Good News of the Gospel of the Kingdom watered down by parking at  "the cross", the way is paved for some very unhealthy doctrines and practices regarding leadership.

Tomorrow on SGM Detox we'll deal with these issues.  But more importantly we'll talk about the true essential ingredients for New Covenant leadership.

My friend Dr. Steve Crosby wrote a book that the Spirit of God has used in my life...  to rip the veil on much of the tyranny unleashed on the Body of Christ by the perversion of scriptures that speak of leadership.  It is called "Authority, Accountability, and the Apostolic Movement"  You can watch Steve's YouTube description of the book at the link below.  It will provide somewhat of a preview for what we will discuss on Saturday.

And remember to listen to "SGM Detox", LIVE Saturday morning at 11am Eastern Time at this link:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

SGM Detox: Overwhelming Response and Future Plans

As I write this, more than 500 people have listened to the program, either live or as a podcast.
Here is a portion of one of my favorite emails in response to the broadcast:

When you spoke of CJ's teaching of the cross and not moving away from the reminded me of this story.  A few years ago, my husband was reading a bible story to our 2 year old.  It was the story of the cross.  My husband explained to him that at the cross Jesus died for our sins.  My 2 year old starting crying and we could not calm him down.  He finally asked..."that is so Jesus is dead?"  My husband picked him up and told him that that wasn't the end of the story.  That Jesus is alive now.  He stopped crying.  I realized at that moment that I felt just like my son...despair.  I had been living as if Jesus was still dead.  If we stop at the cross we are hopeless.  It was then that my eyes began to open to the lies that we were being taught.  They said the word "gospel" all the time but we realized the whole gospel was never being taught.  But I continued to tell myself that I was the problem...and no matter what church we went to I would be there and I would just make that church worse.  Thanks be to God that He has set me free.  I found hope in your statement that it took 7 years to heal.  So maybe I too am making progress!   
Well, thanks for listening and I look forward to reading your articles and listening to more SGM Detox.
And there will be more broadcasts.   We will resume this Saturday and tackle the huge issues connected to Leadership and Authority.  Once again Dr. Steve Crosby will join us.   It was his book that I read back in 2009 that helped me to understand the heart of God regarding leadership, and how some in the church system have distorted the scriptures in a way that brings God's people into bondage. You can find "Authority..." at this link.

As always, your questions are welcome. You can call in to the show live, beginning at 11am on Saturday, at 805 243 1335.   You can listen to SGM Detox live at this link Saturday morning:

For those who have not heard the first show, you can listen at this link:

Until we connect on Saturday, may the grace of God rest upon you all, not just as a theological concept, but as a living reality.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

SGM Chronicles: A Message to the Local Franchise

It has been many months since I completed a series of blogs on SGM.  Recently, I’ve sensed a strong leading to communicate a message to the local organization connected with this “church-planting ministry.”

My utmost desire is to see Jesus truly glorified, and to see His people conformed into His image. I trust that He will do that with His people--wherever, with whomever, and however He chooses.  Having said that, you should also know He zealously and jealously seeks our devotion to Him.  He does not wish to share that devotion, honor, and glory with people, no matter how gifted they might be.

Anything that deflects our gaze away from Him must be viewed as disposable.  We cannot expect that Our Consuming Fire will allow idols erected by men to stand.   Like the walls of Jericho and the Tower of Babylon, those idols (especially those propped up by men in His name) must fall.   Unfortunately, the SGM organization, nationally and locally, continues to resist His hand of discipline. For that reason, Jesus, in his love for His people has no choice, but to deliver His people from the bondage of this golden calf.

In a previous installment, I referred to the local organization as once a place of refuge.  However, it became a place of bondage, just like Egypt did for the children of Israel.  And I believe the Spirit of God is turning up the heat, and the volume to the leadership of this religious franchise with one message: LET MY PEOPLE GO!  

Just like Pharaoh, the entrenched leadership of mostly older men, have hardened their hearts.  And just as the Egyptian leader increased the burden on the Israelites once Moses proclaimed the prophetic directive to him, SGM leaders have attempted to shift the burden of their crumbling empire onto the people. 

Pharaoh demanded that the people gather straw to make bricks.  Religious tyrants, attempting to save their own Titanic, have pulled the heart-strings of the “passengers” (members), appealing to them to faithfully give to offset the astounding loss of revenue.  From the Lord, these leaders must understand one thing:

Resist this call to your own harm.   God will not be mocked.  Since you’re not inclined to trust complete “outsiders,” I would humbly suggest asking Joshua Harris to help you learn how to repent.   A time of refreshing is on the other side of door on which Jesus is knocking.  Though He will not force Himself on you, He will not allow His people to remain in slavery forever.

To younger leaders:
Some of you burn with a heart for your Father and His glory. You know something is terribly wrong with the direction the older and supposedly wiser men are taking this organization.  You are right. But you also face a sobering reality: you cannot truly allow the Spirit to fully lead you in your perspective in this ongoing crisis, because that will put you at odds with the misguided older men who are walking in the flesh.  Remember, God is faithful.  He will make a way.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:19 ESV)

The same God who provided for you through the organization will provide for you outside this crooked religious system. 

To the “remnant” of members who remain within SGM, listen to the Spirit of God and His leadership.  Some of you haven’t heard Him in years because your ears have been tuned to the pitch of men rather than God.  Your first order of business is to recover your first love: the affection and attentive ear you once had for your Father alone.  The voices of men were once subordinate.  Now they have become front and center in your spiritual journey.   Repent, and be honest about your idolatry and trust Him to restore your gaze, your ears to hear, and your whole-hearted passion for the Father. 

Do not take on the burden of sustaining the organization. That burden belongs to the men who now insist on maintaining it, no matter how crooked their ways have become.  Don’t let them browbeat you into honoring and submitting to them as leaders, serving more, and giving more.  Truthfully, many of you are more mature than those you believe to be your leaders. Leadership is not measured by positions or titles, religious training or degrees.  It is measured by love for God and the appropriation of his love to others.  That love flows out freely, and never demands honor or submission.  It is willing to “spend and be spent” for others without a return. 

Many of you have been so institutionalized, you believe that in this current crisis, something is wrong with you.  While there are areas you may need to grow, your lack of “buying in” to the religious propaganda you hear is not a sign of something wrong with you.  It is evidence of a battle within. The Spirit of God is leading you to resist the bondage men put upon you.  But you wrongly believe the Lord can’t be leading you to disagree with your “leaders” on the fundamental issues causing turmoil within SGM.  HE IS.  Don’t resist the gentle call of the Spirit.

And finally, many of you are fearful.  You ask, “What would we do outside the “covering” of this organization?”  The answer is: FLOURISH UNDER HIS COVERING.  The truth is HE is all you need.  And He will also provide brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers in the Lord to walk WITH you, not OVER you, in this Kingdom journey. 

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
(Romans 8:14-17 ESV)

He faithfully led His people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.  He will also faithfully lead you as you dare to step away from the shackles men have placed upon you.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
(Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV)

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

There is life outside the organization . . . ABUNDANT LIFE!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Announcing: SGM Detox A New Talk Show


Beginning Saturday February 16, 2013, The Renaissance Network will present a special show to help countless believers who have been negatively affected by a church planting ministry known as Sovereign Grace Ministries.

SGM Detox will address the unhealthy religious contagions that have damaged believers, and provide biblical instruction and counsel to help Christ followers move beyond their spiritual bondage and offenses... and into a healthy expression of life in Jesus.   We will also troubleshoot various organizations and entities that have experienced crisis because of failures in leadership as well as doctrines and practices that left people devastated.

Each show will cover specific areas of concern, and time will also be provided for listeners to call  in to join the dialogue.

SGM Detox will also feature resources that will be very helpful for a person who has left SGM or a similar organization. 

SGM Detox will be hosted by Vince Coakley, a veteran broadcaster who spent 15 years in an SGM Church.  Vince will share his journey of ongoing transformation, and the people and resources that have ministered to him and others he currently walks with.

Joining Vince is Dr. Steve Crosby. Dr. Crosby brings his prophetic insight, along with 40 years of church experience. You can access Dr. Crosby's website at this link:

Addressing people who were affected by SGM and similar churches and ministries, Coakley offers this exhortation: "I hope you join us on an exciting journey into freedom, wholeness, and mutuality in the Body of Christ. I especially want to encourage those of you who are afraid to have hope again.  You will find great reason for hope in this special broadcast."

SGM Detox premieres Saturday February 16th at 11:00am.

You can listen:

-on your Android phone with the "Vince Coakley" app

-on your non-Android phone by calling 805 243 1335


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Toxic Churches: Restoration from Spiritual Abuse

The Lord has a way of getting our attention with a message.
This weekend his message to me was simple: "I want you to walk with me and others in the rawness of your humanity."
In the midst of some challenges I'm facing, my response has been to bottle up and simply internalize my struggle.  I met a new friend  on Friday who first challenged me on this .  And as I shared this revelation, and the issues currently surrounding it with two dear brothers on Saturday, they also appreciated seeing their friend in a more transparent way.
And as if to reinforce the message, the same issue is covered in a book I'm currently reading.

Toxic Churches: Restoration from Spiritual Abuse, is written by Marc DuPont. I met Marc at a conference here in Charlotte back in 2010. When I shared my background in toxic church situations, he mentioned this book and sent me a copy.  I'm reading it for a second time and finding new edifying gems.

Here's a portion of the chapter titled, "Ministering with Transparency, the Jesus Style".

Jesus, living in a deep flow of the Father's perfect love for Him, was not afraid to be vulnerable before His disciples. He says in John 12:27, "Now is my soul troubled".  In his intense time of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane He was not afraid to tell Peter, James and John that He needed their prayers. At the Last Supper, which we have already looked at, Jesus was not afraid of taking the place of a lowly servant - washing the disciples' feet with His own garments and being partially naked before them. The removal of His outer garments was just as significant to the story as the act of washing their feet. He was not just instructing the disciples to minister one to another but to be vulnerable and transparent with one another.

The age-old distinction of clergy and laity is actually anti-biblical in its connotations. We are all called to be priests in seeking and serving the Lord Jesus. But it is true that not all are called to serve in the capacity of leadership, or fourfold ministry. Be that as it may, however, too many leaders have established barriers between themselves and the church, which lead to devaluation and sometimes abuse. Unfortunately, the worst barrier is probably spiritual pride. when we see Jesus in the gospels, He lived not only as the only begotten Son of God but also very much as a man of the people. He was not afraid to socialize with thieves and prostitutes. He took delight in their humanness. The thieves, beggars, outcasts and prostitutes had no masks of religious pride or outward respectability to hide behind. It was natural for Jesus to find their company more real than that of many of the leaders. In fact, according to Matthew 21:31 Jesus told the chief priests and elders at the Temple that some prostitutes and tax gatherers were entering the Kingdom of God before them.

I highly recommend "Toxic Churches", especially for those of you who have experienced these kinds of churches first hand.

You can order the book at this link.