Showing posts from 2015

Destruction: Spirit, Soul And Body

When Adam and Eve sinned, death entered into the species of mankind. Through propagation of the species sin and death is passed on to each generation. Did you ever wonder why if death entered in, then why didn't they actually die in that moment? Well, they did die.

The part of their being that died instantly was their spirit. The death of their spirit separated Adam and Eve, and therefore mankind, from God. Without a living spirit within to communicate with the living God, a relationship was not possible.

In a cascade effect from sin entering in, the fall of mankind impacted all of creation. God cursed the creation and the redemption of the universe is tied to the redemption of mankind. Whoa!

God Is The Only Source Of Life The Spirit of God is the source of life. Sin destroyed the spirit of man and the effect was a soul and body that although not dead began a process of expending the life that was present, unto a final death.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which…

3 Functional Systems, 1 Person

We interrupt this broadcast for this critical update... We are not just an insignificant machine subject to the mere physical world. It doesn't take too much observation to get a hint that we are much more than flesh and blood plodding along in the universe.

The scriptures give us the insight of our entire being. They illustrate our make up and detail the many facets of who we are and where we have impact in this world.

When God, took the dust of the ground (to form the body) and breathed into it His breath of life (the spirit of a man) Adam became a living soul (soul).

Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. - 1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT

ITCZ 101 - A Sincere Approach

A key part of getting In The Cool Zone is coming to the Lord in a sincere way. We want to always approach others in a sincere manner as well. Your sincerity is a super power and it comes from a thought process that is seeking the truth.

Truth Is Armor The first piece of armor listed in the Armor of Godis truth. Seeking the truth in all things, in every encounter keeps us from trying to, "win" arguments or "always be right" about a topic. We do not need to force what we know into a topic, situation or discussion.

We can sincerely have a discussion and have no other objective other than seeking and delivering the truth.

Other powers to add to sincerity are forgiveness, listening, curiosity and a willingness to learn. There are many more super powers to discuss but for today, let's raise our awareness on our sincerity and seeking the truth.

ITCZ 101 - The Holy Spirit Leads 2

In part 1 we learned that when we go into the world and deliver the Gospel we have a part to play and the Holy Spirit is doing His job as well. Now in reference to going into the world it's easy to pull up thoughts of the disciples in the New Testament going out two by two and talking to strangers in various cities.

I also think of Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron from  Living Waters and The Way of the Master ministries, standing on their soap box on a  crowded street preaching the Gospel to everyone passing by.

Well that's not really how most of us get our opportunity to share the Gospel. Our opportunities come with friends, family, co-workers and folks we interact with for services or merchandise.

Let's make the most of our opportunities and develop our ability to create opportunities where they do not seem to exist.

Throwing the Switch

The first lessons of In The Cool Zone came through difficult encounters. As a server in a fine dining restaurant, providing impeccable service with a sincere attitude, grace, eloquence and a smile was the main function. Unfortunately, the steps of service can breakdown pretty quickly and suddenly.

Every once in a while this led to an encounter with the chef that included a very harsh exchange. Both chef and server screaming at each other certainly would make for an unpleasant evening. The toughest part here was the server had to immediately go back out to the dining room with a smile on his face and a calm, cool demeanor.

Have you ever gotten so mad at someone you wanted to scream? Uh huh.

What if in the next instant you have to be sweet and empathetic? That can be a tall order... unless you have the right reasons and a bit of practice to motivate you and get you there.

There Before You Know It The arguments with chef would come out of nowhere. Before I knew it I was in a knock down, …

ITCZ 101 - A Calm, Cool Demeanor 2

Emotions are our friend. They are neither good or bad when talking about intrinsic value. How we place them in our thought process will determine their value. Do our emotions lead? If they do, they are clouding our thinking. I submit to you, emotions that lead us become our enemy!

Recovering Our Thinking What can we do when our emotions get out in front? If we "throw the switch" and recover with a calm, cool and peaceful thought process the emotions are moved to a place to supplement and support our thinking.

With practice your emotions begin to emulate your core values putting a turbo on your resolve. Activate your faith in the Lord which provides a clear thinking process. Doubt clouds the mind and keeps you off balance. Take a moment to review, Faith… Updating Your Definition for quick recap.

And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. - Isaiah 32:17 NASB

ITCZ 101 - A Calm, Cool Demeanor

Getting In The Cool Zone comes from a willingness and the practice of choosing a state of mind that is calm, cool and peaceful. This is the initial objective of In The Cool Zone and our namesake. When a situation is thrust upon us how do we respond?

A "Go-To" State Of Mind When events begin to unfold around you and you find yourself in a stressful, frustrating or scary situation we need a mechanism and thought process that we can lean on. A true "go-to" state of mind to set us up to react appropriately and powerfully when we need it most.

Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. - Romans 12:2 KJV

ITCZ 101 - The Holy Spirit Leads 1

In the process of preparing our mind we need to be clear about who does what in the process of salvation and growing in the Lord. Remember that we want to do the things God told us to do and just as important, we need to let God do the things He said He would do.

Delivering The Gospel When we obey the command to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, that is our part. The Holy Spirit will bring the conviction. He will bring the salvation. He will bring the growth.

And He (the Holy Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; - John 16:8 NASB

When we deliver the Gospel, do the works He gave us to do and let the Holy Spirit do his job, we stand in faith. We are not required to convict anyone. We actually can't. That is a job for the Holy Spirit. Let Him do His job.

ITCZ 101 - Foundations of Fortitude

The core value of In The Cool Zone is in the techniques for putting our mind, emotions and body in a position to support our thinking so we can do the work the Lord has given us to do. That work as we define it is thinking like Jesus thinks, delivering the Gospel and teaching what we have learned. These are the same goals declared in our Vision Statement and Mission Statement.

ITCZ 101 Foundations of FortitudePreparationIntroduction
You Must Seize This Reality Count The Cost The Holy Spirit Leads Calm, Cool Demeanor A Sincere Approach
Forgive, Forget Seek The Truth Willing To Learn Wise As A Serpent
Harmless As A Dove
Required: Daily Prayer List
Developing Expertise

In The FieldDeliver The Gospel
Curious Unto Salvation
Your Elevator Pitch
Fellow Christians Body Language A Place Of Power An Attention Grabber Actively Stay On Topic An Expert Listener
Ask Questions Set The Premise
Not Looking For Agreement Take Away Their Argument Say What Needs To Be Said

Finish StrongIt Is OK To Be Wrong It Is OK To…

The Puzzle Analogy - Part 3

We pick up today with our continuation of the Puzzle Analogy.

Seeking The Truth Have you ever been able to connect two puzzle pieces together and later realized they shouldn't be connected?

Oh sure! Some of the die cuts on the puzzle pieces allow for pieces that are not meant to be connected, to actually fit together. In some cases you really can't determine that two pieces do not go together until you build up the cluster. The colors match. The pattern matches. However, those pieces do not go together. The new pieces connected around the original two revealed the wrong placement.

In the same manner, you may connect ideas that you discover do not go together the way you originally thought they did. In many ways the ideas fit but new information revealed the wrong placement. It could even be that the idea was just wrong. That's ok. Don't panic!

The Puzzle Analogy - Part 2

Now that we have built the framework of our puzzle we are ready to deal with the pieces that are much more challenging to organize. The pieces in the center.

The Unknown When you pick up a puzzle piece and do not know where it goes, do you throw it away?

No! If you throw away the piece you can never complete the puzzle.

In the same way when you get a piece of information that is confusing, don't throw it out. All information is valuable. Simply, place that info on the table and as you get more information you will eventually be able to understand it and integrate it into the rest of your knowledge.

The Puzzle Analogy - Part 1

In the article, Galvanize Your Heart, we talked about how and what we should be thinking and we focused on the priority of thinking. Getting your thought process out in front of an initial emotional shock will keep you thinking when you need it most.

Now let's discuss organizing your thinking process. I present to you "The Puzzle."

The process of building a puzzle is very similar to the process of organizing information. We have an overwhelming amount of information coming our way every day. From our scriptures to politics to work, dealing with family, friends, strangers, finances etc. It's a lot to take in.

How do we begin to put it into perspective?

Think about how you approach a puzzle. There are dozens if not hundreds of pieces. You have one guide which is the picture on the box cover. For our purposes, the pieces are information and the picture on the box is the truth.

Galvanize Your Heart

Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. What and how you think about life is extremely important. There is also another aspect of thinking that needs to be considered as well. That would be the priority of thinking.

The scripture in Romans 12:2 NLT does not ask us to change the way we feel. We need to change the way we think. Thinking is the part of your heart that the Lord is working on. So let's put a high priority on how we think.
Pray. Think first. The emotions support and reinforce our resolve. The body gets us there and does the physical work. God is glorified.
Think Like Jesus Thinks So what and how do we think? Have you ever noticed that when Jesus answered a question, he either asked another question back or answered the question they should have asked to find salvation? Jesus certainly did answer their question but more importantly He would first give another answer to a question they did not ask, but they should have.

The questions that we…

Count The Cost

As a Christian we are going to get resistance. There is no way around it. We live in a violent world that is diametrically opposed to the Word of God. If the world hated Jesus, we know the world hates us. Let's get the right mind set so we do not get taken by surprise more often than we should.

Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. - John 15:20 NLT The core issue comes from walking in the manner the Lord has told us and standing up for the truth. Certainly, we are not talking about dropping "truth bombs" as is said, just to antagonize someone, but representing the truth when we may suffer consequences for doing so. This will come many times when sharing the Word of God or it may present itself in some situation that may arise.

Skill Development As you grow in the Lord and become more skilled and effective at sharing s…

Prerequisites: Building Fortitude

When we ask and believe, we are in faith. We may not feel like our faith is effective if the Lord takes a while to bring things around. The good news here is He knows exactly what He is doing.

Many requests that we make we cannot bear, regardless of how bad we want them. The Lord knows this and instead of granting a request that will crush us, he builds within us the fortitude we need to take on the blessing.

Remember that the scriptures tell us that the blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it? This is true of things we are asking for. Our Father hears your request. He is building a foundation in you to bear the very things you are asking for.

Walk By Signs or Walk By Faith?

Have you ever had an important decision to make and you just hope and pray that the Lord will give you a sign? Oh, sure. We've all been there.

As new Christians we have a tendency to initially seek a relationship with the Lord where we desire for Him to make decisions for us rather than understand God's ways and walk in them. Let's change our mind and seek to understand God's ways and make them our own.

Faith Killer Seeking a sign takes us out of faith. Take a quick look at the definition of faith in the article, Faith… Updating Your Definition. The act of faith is to know the character of God, put our trust in Him and take action.

So let's keep our focus on the things He gave us to do (How Do I Serve God?). Our Father has tasked us to pray, gather information, make a decision and continue in prayer. At the same time we let the Lord do what He said He would do. He does the miracle (Let God do His Part).

We do not want to put ourselves in a position of being a drone…

Can't Decide? God Expects You To

Walking in the Spirit isn't about the specific decisions you need to make. It's about acknowledging the Lord. Our Father understands that you have to make decisions through the course of your day. He wants you to make those decisions with confidence.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. - Proverbs 3:6 NKJV

With every decision you have to make there is information to base that decision on. God wants us to make good decisions based on His wisdom and council and He has armed us with the faculties to do so.

We are not robots and we don't want to be robots. Nor, does our Father. We are alive to Christ and He wants you to put Him first and learn to think like He thinks.
The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control." - Psalms 32:8-9 NLT Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,…

Faith… Updating Your Definition

Imagine a friend. Now imagine that you and your new friend are tasked with saving the world. The way you do this is you each have a button to push. Both buttons must be pressed within 3 seconds of each other and within a close proximity, once a day.

What if you fail to depress the buttons within the time given? You both suffer a painful death and so does the rest of the world.

The first day is going to be unnerving to say the least. With a 3 second window you want to be precise. The consequences are real. You and your friend get together and decided to go on 3. 1, 2, 3, press! You just saved the world.

Little Faith It didn't take much faith to believe your friend would press his button. He was as invested as much as you were and he was standing right in front of you. You were able to communicate as well as acknowledge each other.

20 Years Pass Now fast forward. You've been successful for 20 years coming together and pressing the button and saving the world over and over. Each …

Study Like You Have To Teach It

In the article, How Do I Serve God?, we began to lay our foundation in the Lord with prayer, reading and connecting with other Christians. We then answered the question, What Should I Study? Now that we have discovered what to study, let's learn an important approach to study.

Study like you have to teach it.

As followers of our beloved Father we know we are new creatures created in Christ Jesus and our primary goal is to know Him. To become like Him. As we do this we are building ourselves up in the Lord. We are on the right track!

We are also tasked with building up our brothers and sisters in the Lord so that they can know Him as well.  So let's keep them in mind as we dig in and learn. Thoughtfully develop your own style and prepare to dispense your knowledge and wisdom at every opportunity. It takes time to develop effective teaching skills so integrate this approach early on.
You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach th…

Curiosity… The Hijacked Virtue

We have lost something.

It was something we had but it has been taken from us. When we were very young and the world was new to us we craved knowledge. We wanted to know everything. Not only did we want to experience the world we wanted to become experts at it.

However, our culture is designed to drive curiosity from us. We have been shamed, intimidated, frightened and physically exhausted into mental submission. Even though we may still learn. We are not thinking. We are slaves to our culture. We are not curious.

Take back your curiosity!

As a society we have become mediocre in in the mind. We have lost our fortitude for curiosity, creativity, innovation, adventure and discovery. We did not just get old. We did not just get comfortable. We have given our minds over to this world. With the Lord's authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have clos…

What Should I Study?

Have you ever asked, "What should I study in the bible?"

Getting started is generally our biggest challenge. It doesn't take too long to discover that there is a vast landscape of topics to dig into. In fact, the more you learn, the more you will realize how much you don't know. So where to begin?

Solution What is interesting about God and His Word to you? That's what you study!

Is it faith? Is it prayer? Is it God's plan? Maybe it's creation or prophecy in the scriptures.

The best place to start is the very thing that is on your mind. Revive your curiosity about the Lord and run with it.


God Hears You

God hears you. He is with us constantly. Yet somehow when we talk with Him we can get the sense that He doesn't hear us. Most of this is because we don't see Him nodding back at us saying, "Oh yea, sure I hear you. I'm on it."

Have you ever had the sense that you didn't ask the right thing? or ask the right way? or use the right scripture? This may be because you didn't get a typical acknowledgement.

Most of the time when we make our requests we know God's Word concerning our situation or we can quickly look it up. Then we make our prayer but never get the instant satisfaction of acknowledgement. At least not in the ways we are accustom to be acknowledged.

With a friend we get the reassuring, "Ok" or "I heard that" or "I'm with you." It's kind of annoying if they don't let you know they heard you. With the Lord we merely have his Word.

Merely? Ha! Well His Word is better than a hearty, "You betcha!" …

Praying for Wisdom... Debunked?

Wisdom is an important concept to thinking like Jesus thinks. Praying for wisdom has been taught in a way that creates problems and encourages doubt.

Let's fix this one! :-)

The Dilemma Should we pray for wisdom? Oh yea sure you betcha! On the subject of praying for wisdom the scriptures encourage us to ask our Father for wisdom and He will give it to us generously.

Then follows the warning:
"Be careful when you pray to the Lord for wisdom. Look out! There are going to be problems coming your way. If you want the wisdom, you are inviting a storm and will get hammered so you'll really understand." Recovering Our Faith Our Father most certainly did not ask us to pray for wisdom so he could pound us into dust and we would have to learn the hard way. He told us to pray for wisdom so the Holy Spirit could provide the solution to problems we both have now and for the challenges that lie ahead of us.

Prayer by Design

Can you pray? Yep! Do you have time? You have all that there is!

Make a Prayer List Write it down! It's just as natural to read your list to the Lord as it is to pray from the hip. The added bonus is you can nail the scriptures and remember everything you wanted to pray about. When your prayers are organized and it's all in front of you it makes for an energetic and efficient experience.

Can it feel robotic. Yea, a little... at first. However, your approach is one of sincerity and the Lord knows what you are doing.

Start with one scripture if that's all you have. If you woke up every morning and prayed, "Lord, this guy is telling me to pray something everyday. So I acknowledge you and remind you that Jesus wept," then you are off to a great start! :-) Start small and work your way up to the big stuff.

Strategizing When you are consistent with a small prayer list it will begin to grow all on it's own. What is the need right now? Write it down. Find a scripture…

Prayer... Life on Turbo Setting

We cannot see the spiritual world that is pulled down around us but you must engage it. It is engaging us and if we do not participate it's like being tied to a chair for a boxing match. Does that sound bad to you? Uh, huh!

God is always working and your opportunity to get in on it with Him is through your prayer.

The Spirit World The Spirit world has a very malevolent aspect to it that must be engaged and decimated. Does that scare you a little bit? Well it should if you are not engaging. We approach God in prayer because we love Him and He has told us to. It is a chance to connect with Him and also accomplish His purposes.

The benefit is that we get to know Him and become more like Him. We get to participate in His plan. We get to stand up for ourselves, our family and friends and others in ways that we otherwise can do nothing. It is the only way to walk in the Spirit. Jesus engaged the invisible God and the invisible enemy at every opportunity.

Let God Do His Part

[continued from How Do I Serve God?]
When we take ownership of our responsibilities and act on God's Word, the Lord takes on a responsibility in this process. He has made promises that He will unfailingly accomplish on our behalf.

Perspective Do the things God told you to do and let Him do the things He said He would do.

The second part can actually be more difficult than the first. Once we identify our tasks we can put them into perspective and get them done. The second part instructs us to go "hands off" and that can be scary when our faith has not been developed.

Let God do the things He said he would do When we bring our prayers, supplications and requests to our Father we are giving those things over to Him. Right on! Just like He has told us to do. Now let's trust Him.

Example to Illustrate God has tasked us with working. When we need a job we give it up to the Lord in prayer and then we take the follow-up steps of faith.

Prepare our resume.Get a haircut.Press ou…

How Do I Serve God?

Here is a statement I get from Christians who have struggled to grasp what exactly God is asking them to do:
"I don't feel like I'm doing what God wants me to do. I would do what He wants but I just don't know what He wants me to do." ~~~~~~~
The Solution "Do the things God told you to do & let Him do the things He said He would do."

Both concepts are extremely important. Often Believers struggle with these ideas and we fail to grasp where our responsibilities lie and where the Lord's responsibilities lie. Let's focus on the first half of the statement. We'll cover the last half in Friday's post. 
Do The Things God Told You To Do The Lord has given us many responsibilities.  However, we need to grow into them. Getting to know our Father is how we do that. So let's start with the easy stuff and get that nailed down. Then we will continue growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. - 2 Peter 3:18


Are You Disciplined?

The Answer May Surprise You.

When we believe in Jesus and we take him as our Lord, the scriptures indicate that we become something new and different from what we were before.

The challenge is that we have several years, if not decades, of our old self competing with what may be just a few years of our new self in Christ. What chance does the mind of a 2 year old have against the mind of a 28 year old? How about 38 years? 48 anyone? :-)

Note that even if you are new to the scriptures we have the Holy Spirit residing within us now. We have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. So we don't need to out smart our old self. We do however need to put laser focus on our new abilities.

One Step At A Time So let's answer the question. Are you Disciplined?

You Must Seize This One Reality!

"You are a new creation."

Trite?  It shouldn't be. It cannot be!

You are not the person that you think you are. Dig deeper. You are not the person that you once were. When you were born from heaven you became something new. You are now something else and to understand who and what you are you must learn what God's Word says about you, then seize it!

I Don't Know What To Do for God

It is common for Christians to be excited about their faith and desire to serve and please the Lord. However, for most, it isn't exactly clear WHAT God is asking them to do. To discover the solution we need to begin to line our perspective up with God's perspective.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. - Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB The Dilemma "I would do what God wants me to do but I just don't know what He wants!"

"What does God want me to do?"

This is a fair question. It's the right question! We also want to be sure we don't get down the road 20 years and still be asking it. So let's get it answered by getting our perspective in line with the Lord.

The SolutionFind out what God is doing, then you will discover what you are supposed to do.

How Can I Be Saved?

When we were born into this world we came with a serious defect. That defect is called sin. Sin is in our flesh and we also experience it when we transgress God's law. It is the sole reason we are separated from God.

Are you a good person? Well let's see.

Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen something, even if it is something small?Have you ever used the Lord's name in vain? Have you ever looked upon someone with lust? Jesus said, "anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart." 
Are you guilty?

Well we all have transgressed these laws and these are only four of the Ten Commandments. It is clear that we are sinners and we desperately need a solution to this problem of being separated from God.
The God of the universe is a Holy God. He is perfect in every way. The barrier between you and Him is your sin. To come before God you need to be perfect. There can be no exceptions.

So how then does one come to Go…

What is In The Cool Zone? Part 3

In Part 1 and Part 2 of our introduction to In The Cool Zone we presented what it means to be in the cool zone. We practice techniques that let us think in stressful or uncomfortable situations. This will minimize unwanted reactions and sets us up to use our mind. Now, let us talk about what our goals are once we get there.

Three Complementary GoalsThink like Jesus thinks.Deliver the Gospel.Teach what you have learned. This work does not come naturally or without effort. However, I want each of you to know that you can do these things. Many may already be sharing the Gospel and teaching. Let's continue to build on the foundation we have and increase our effectiveness for the Kingdom of God.

~~~~~~~ Think Like Jesus Thinks Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. - Rom 12:2 NLT

What is In The Cool Zone? Part 2

Getting "in the cool zone" is not only about how one thinks about information. It is also about training yourself to take control of your emotions and your body to enable you to maintain your thought process. 

The techniques shared here help position your emotions and body for success. They get in your way more often than you might think! What we focus on here will allow you to absorb what is coming at you while keeping your thoughts clear, staying cool and continuing to use your mind. 
"Is it possible we don't talk about the Lord more often in public because we might get push back?"Life is moving quickly and we often find ourselves in stressful situations. Sometimes these situations can come as a surprise and throw us off. Other times we know we are headed into the fire. 
Since we know this is the case let's take some time to ready ourselves so we can be the person we know we can be and certainly the person the Lord intended us to be. 

What are the awkward set…

Prepare Your Mind

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. - 1PE 1:13 NLT #inthecoolzone#thinklikejesusthinks — intheCoolZone (@intheCoolZone) September 29, 2015

What is In The Cool Zone? Part 1

When it comes to one's belief system and developing your core values, being In The Cool Zone is about managing the information you receive and processing it with a thoughtful, peaceful mindset. The goal is to come to "the truth." As followers of Christ we understand that knowing and adhering to the truth is of paramount importance. Therefore, it is helpful to develop a sound thinking process.

When do we need to manage information? Reading and studying the Bible.When challenged with unfamiliar ideas and philosophies.It is an essential part of being "open minded."Exercising the skill and ability to receive new information and not dismiss it before evaluating and attempting to understand its value.Following and understand current events.Hearing another's point of view or opinion on a subject.

Mission Statement

The mission is to equip people with the spiritual information that they need most to provide them the best opportunity to make good life decisions, understand God's plan for them and live a peaceful, productive life in the Lord.

Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. - Ephesians 5:17 NLT ~~~~~~~

Vision Statement

Delivering the Gospel at every opportunity and wisely creating opportunities where they are not readily apparent while teaching and developing fortitude in new and inexperienced Christians.

Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.
- Ephesians 5:16 NLT

But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.
- 2 Timothy 4:5 NLT