Friday, January 20, 2017

Welcome Mr. Trump.

Amidst a mixture of protests, praise, and peculiar behavior of all stripes of people in America, I would like to say congratulations President Trump.

When I first heard of your announcement for the presidential bid in the primaries, I thought it was a joke or self aggrandizing. I proceeded to dismiss you as a possibility as I continued to air my support of my choice of candidates. I thought that you were useful in the primaries in that you forced subjects to be addressed,  but didn't want to see you as President. I was a #neverTrump type. When you won the primaries I went third party for the general election, as I still had reservations about your character, and I do not vote for the lesser of two evils, I vote for who I believe best will run this country.
In light of my lack of support of your bid for office, it may be peculiar for me to welcome your presidency, but I honor you for the office you have obtained. My hope is that your business sense will help you to address paramount issues like the overwhelming debt of this country. I also hope that the reports of your accepting Jesus Christ as your savior are not only a political move, but a sincere heart decision.  The days ahead of you will not be easy one, as we have many matters of state that need to be altered, amended, and outright repealed. I know that you do not have the authority to do these things unilaterally, so do what you can to win people from opposing view points. In this do not compromise integrity, but personal preference will have at times to be forgone.  Seek divine counsel and that of spiritually minded people around you, and you will do well.

My hope does not rest in you President Trump, however you are at the helm of this nation, Treat your office with the respect it is due. Win both political enemies, and enemies of the state over to being friends. My prayers are with you sir. Lead well.

Stephen Coder      

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A farewell salute

As I write this I realize many of you will disagree with this, but I am okay with that.

This post is a salute to outgoing President Barack Obama.

President Obama,

I disagreed with many of your policies and actions over the past 8 years. However any idiot can point out a persons flaws, and while I disagree with you on a fundamental level politically and ideologically, I want to thank you for leading this nation over the past 8 years. The position you held in not one easy to be in, as you had a nation's worth of responsibility. In your position there are many difficult choices to be made, and I do not envy your responsibility. I would like to thank you for the value you continued to give your family while in office. In a nation where fatherlessness is paramount, you led your family well. You also were the first of your ethnic background to obtain our highest office, and I congratulate you on that.  I wish the best to you and your family as you move on to what is next for you.

I write this, not because I am some star struck millennial, but because honor should be shown to one's leaders.  

Thursday, December 25, 2014


December 25th – a day of many traditions. To many people, this is Jesus birthday. To some, it is the day a fat elf invaded their house and left gifts. To one group , it is a magical day of wonder. And there are others that view it as paganistic rituals perpetuated on the winter solstice.

This isn't to discourage you in what you do. It's simply a survey of a holiday – marred by my worldview.

The tradition my parents decided on was to not lie to their kids. So, I grew up not celebrating Christmas. A tradition that as I reached adulthood have decided is worth keeping with.

If you and your family do Santa Clause, you are aware it is a lie. Sure it's innocent and keeps wonder and magic of the holiday. Alongside the lie you tell your children, do you also tell them the Birth story of our Savior Jesus? As they mature and find out you lied to them about one, on what grounds should they trust you concerning the other? So I pose the question here: How much should you lie to your children about?

Secondly. There is no proof for it being Jesus' Birthday, and your nativity scene is probably wrong.

According to scripture, the only clue we are given on timeframe is in Luke 2, which tells us that the shepherds were in the field with their flocks. The latest this occurs is into the fall, September or October: Which sets the stage for His birth to have been during one of the Biblical feasts; Also known as God's holidays. All the other major aspects of Jesus' life were set by God's calendar, why would His birth be different?

Now, as for your nativity scene being wrong. 3 wise men- Biblically inaccurate. There was a caravan large and impressive enough to be stopped and questioned by the governor of the region as to their purpose. There is a train of thought that there may have been as many as 50 wise men.

They didn't see Jesus in the manger. After 8 days Jesus was circumcised, and after her purification: another 33 days she presented her offering of 2 turtledoves; an article of the law made for the poor that could not afford a lamb ( see Leviticus 12) and if the wise men had presented their gifts fit for a king, then Mary and Joseph could have easily afforded a lamb. There also is no Biblical proof for Mary to have had a donkey to ride, and knowing that they couldn't afford a lamb, it is reasonable to assume they didn't own a donkey.
My question here: Why then December 25?

I have not done the research on other traditions of this holiday . Like the tree, Which is possibly referenced in Jeremiah 10:3-4, although that passage is arguably referencing carved idols made of wood, silver and gold.

Anyhow, I like to do my research on these matters and decide if they are Christian. We certainly were never told to celebrate the day of Jesus birth. There are however Holy days that at least the children of Israel were told to celebrate forever, and every Major aspect of what God has done in history was based on those days. But we tend to disregard them, and say our traditions honor Christ....

Merry Christmas yall

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Here are some of my thoughts on prophesy, or rather prophesying.

There is the possibility that I am posting this because I need social interaction that I am able to release my thoughts on this subject in. I write because my thoughts are more organized this way and I wont know if you just stop reading in the middle. ( hence why I am a writer and not a preacher)

Prophets are weird, they come in different types that hear in various ways ( Hebrews 1:1) but they are different. Possibly because of the way in which they hear from God

( Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, shall make Myself known to him in a vision.
I shall speak with him in a dream.
“Not so, with My servant Moses,
He is faithful in all My household;
With him I speak mouth to mouth,
Even openly, and not in dark sayings,
And he beholds the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
To speak against My servant, against Moses?”

Numbers 12:7-8)

So Moses was the only prophet that God spoke plainly to, the rest it was in dark sayings, dreams and visions, and parable. So being a prophet is well...weird. However it is a guarntee that what you see from God , or speak from words just coming forth, that it is the revealed plan of God.

(“For the Lord God does nothing
without revealing his secret
to his servants the prophets.
The lion has roared;
who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;
who can but prophesy?

Amos 3:7-8)

So we see that we have God's word that He will not act without first revealing it to the prophets, my personal thoughts on this are that any can hear what is spoken, in the same way that a lion's roar will bring fear to all, God's speaking can be heard. That does not mean it is understood.

(“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had
thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. John 12:27-30)

The entire crowd heard, but there wasn't even an agreement among them as to what had happened. There are however ways to hone how you hear from God. Spend time among prophets, either people
you know that prophesy or reading the prophets, and most importantly seeking God on how. One of my other thoughts is that it's not just the church that is hearing the voice of prophesy, it is all with ears to hear; saved or unsaved. In Joel 2 and Acts 2 it says that God will pour out His spirit on all flesh, your sons and daughters shall prophesy, it doesn't say to all who are saved. But back to hearing, and spending time with the prophets. In 1 Samuel 10 King Saul ends up among the company of the prophets, where he begins to prophesy, so strongly that a parable goes throughout the land " is Saul also among the prophets?" When I am operation under prophetic unction, and get a word, usually my wording in ways resembles Isaiah, that is where I spend much of my time in scripture. However there have been visions and encounters that I don't know how to put into words, or what I can say on them doesn't mean anything to people other than me. ( once again being a prophet is weird )

I have more I can say on prophetic acts, how I think the outpouring on all flesh is seen through media, how prophesy and intercession should go hand in hand, how the Exodus story is in play today, how prophesy is not for the purpose of destruction but to build up (anyone can see that someone has a problem, prophesy shows their potential). But I am finished for the moment.
Stephen T. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Paradigm shift

        Last week marked a change in my life as it shifted my thinking. I have not yet finished thinking through aspects of the foregone conclusions, and the subsequent questions raised. This shift came as a result of CFNI's Missions focus week.  I came to CFNI to train to go into the missions field, as that is the direction I have been bent towards since about age 12. I didn't realize how necessary workers were needed in " the harvest" abroad, About 41% of the worlds population belong to unreached people groups .....what about the needs at home? 90% of trained ministers live in America. As I have reflected on things like this I realized that ( Apart from at CFNI) the number of missionaries to foreign countries I have met in my life I don't even need to use both hands to count.
       So what are some of the conclusions I have drawn from this?
.1 I need to take serious this 3 years of training I have before me, A task for which College is wholly inadequate to accomplish in itself. ( I need to A. learn to minister cross culturally B. develop speech-craft ; I can't for the life of me open a conversation with someone I don't know   C.  Learn effective street evangelism; I went with a friend Saturday to do some evangelism at a local mall, and found my ability to be lacking. )    .2 get others involved; If I go to China, or India, spend the rest of my life there and see 10,000 souls saved, then there has been no distinguishable dent made in the 2.9 Billion out there without the good news. So the solution becomes, before I leave get as many people as possible into the field, or supporting the ones there.  .3 Be able to effectively argue the case for missions: In a world that claims that truth is subjective, what need is there to tell people what the truth is? There is a moral relativism that is embraced by most, and my shift in thinking this past week is when I realized I had bought into it ( More on that when I have thought more about it).....

Sorry about the unrefined format of my blog, I write straight from where I am thinking, and would probably scrap the whole thing if I started to refine it......Its a point of weakness I have.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A time of repreve, better known as spring break

 During spring break I went on a memorial trip- In remembrance of my brother Bill.
For the trip I visited his grave, and also went and did several of the things I should have done with him while he was still here.
 Mainly, I stopped my life for a day of remembrance, done by getting away from the city, and into the wilderness. So I stent the day at the Wichita Mountains wildlife refuge in Oklahoma. Seen above is Jed Johnson lake.

 This lake reminded me of a lame joke- What did the engineers say when they found a stream here, and they wanted a lake? Dammit.
 And here is the nice little lake that came about from it- Lost lake
 The town of Medicine Park- from the top of Mt. Scott
 And lake Lawtonka, also from Mt. Scott
 and to finish off my day I went to Meers Restaurant, a place Bill was always saying we needed to go to.

and a couple other pictures I took while out hiking.

I miss you Bill.

 Also, one thing I had reiterated while I had this time to think and reflect is this. We need to be taking time to spend with family, intentionally, doing something to make memories, at least once a year would be nice.  I say this because I still feel like a stranger among my cousins, it seems like we only see each other at funerals, and it would be nice to make memories with them. We had a family rafting trip annually a few years back, but it tapered off. Any ideas?  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Life in the fast lane.

   Dallas is a busy city. I should just stop my post there, as it would convey the entire thought of what I am going to say over the course of the next couple paragraphs anyways.  If you know me on Facebook, you may know that at this point I have 2 jobs, and am a full time student. I know, I am as busy as a Jew (sorry, old nature showing).  In all that I am doing, I am trying to prepare for the path I would like to see my life take, and that is on into the missions field.
    So how does all this translate to my life on the missions field? Well, the education I am getting here prepares me to be able to present a clear case for the Gospel, no matter who I am sharing with, as this school encourages you to think, and to listen to people from different perspectives than you have, so that you are firmly established in your convictions. Also, you get assignments that can challenge you to be able to present a case for what is important to you.
    I am currently working on an opinion paper on the love of God, and why that trait of God is important to me. Sounds simple right?
Well, it has had me studying scripture so I am able to present a case for the love that God extends to us.  Yes, it's as simple John 3:16 " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  But you can brk it down to the Greek, and see that the word love there is derived from agape, which is to value something or someone, to put a premium on. As opposed to the phileo love, which is to hold someone in affection, and intimacy. Jesus said that " the best way to show those that you hold in affection that you place value in them is to lay down your life for them" "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for His friends"
      Also, my work is preparing me for the missions field. My first job, as a valet runner has my body going past the point of exhaustion. I worked as a runner for 14 hours Saturday. Most days I am able to run from the lot to the valet sight the entire night. Well, after about 11 hours your muscles don't really want to run anymore.....So you walk a few steps and press on. My second job I start Wednesday, well I don't know what it is teaching me for the missions field yet.
     My student ministry is also an important aspect to consider. I was calculating in choosing it, and that is English tutor for the international students. I chose it because I wanted that skill to help facilitate my stays in wherever God calls me to. I have learned from it how much tenacity it takes to learn a language that is not your primary language. I have to say I am really proud of all these international students that are working towards learning English.
     Beyond the academics, the physical training, the ministry, even the spiritual side of this is one side
that must be there is love (agape), without that element all that I am doing here is for naught. I think that is the most important lesson I have realized here. All of this is good, We are told to love the lord with our heart, mind, and strength. So I will continue to press on toward the high calling I have in  Yeshua.

See, I told you that the next few paragraphs would be worth your time.
Thanks for reading,   Stephen