Father’s day part 1 – Paul Coon

I thought I would take this weekend to talk about fathers since it is father’s day tomorrow, there are two days in a weekend and I have been blessed with a great father and great step-father. It seems to work out nicely!

For those of you who don’t know, my dad passed away over 8 and a half years ago at the age of 49. He was far from a perfect human being, but he was perfectly picked for me and my family. He didn’t do everything right, but those aren’t the things that come to mind when people think about him.

My dad was a loving, godly, generous and hilarious man. My brother and I definitely get our sense of humor from him (no offense mom!). There were times when Ben, him and I would just crack each other up. We all loved to make other people’s day a little brighter with a well-placed joke.

The things I remember the most about my dad were the lessons he taught me while living his everyday life and I want to share of few of those with you, especially any fathers out there so you can have an example of how to model things for your children.

1. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made in order to do what you believe in. My dad left a pretty decent paying job to start his own business that evolved into a business that helped people with developmental disabilities. A lot of people with developmental disabilities are ignored or viewed as less than others, but my dad fought for them and helped them because he knew that God created them that way for a reason.

2. Spending time with your loved ones, no matter what it is your are doing, is always worth it. My dad used to teach classes on the weekends all over the state of Ohio and one of my favorite things was to go with him. He taught most of the day and so when it became an option for me to go he didn’t think I would want to, having it be just us two was enough for me.

3. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Dad made mistakes, whether it was arguing with my mom, taking jokes a little too far or a multitude of other things, but he also tried to mend the fences.

4. Help others.

5. Probably the most important thing my dad showed me was how to be a man of God. He read the Bible on a regular basis, studied it on his own and in groups and he helped others grow stronger in their faith.

Feel free to make comments below about your own father and share with everyone why we honor fathers tomorrow.

Stole this and it’s worth a thought

If you read a previous post of mine you would know that I have been receiving e-mails from gotandem.com now for quite some time. Well they sent one today and it is good enough on it’s own to generate some thought for me and for you. Here it is:

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (Ephesians 6:18)

What does it mean to “pray in the Spirit”?

How is your prayer life?  Why?

God, Weight Watchers and Satan

Most of you all know that through most of my life I have had a battle with being overweight. Five years ago I weight over 400 lbs and got the weight down to under 230 at one point, but since then I have gained close to 70 of it back. I think I finally figured out why.

Whenever people would ask me how I lost the weight, I would talk about how I started eating better and I started working out more. Notice a theme in that sentence, yeah I thought I did something special and I wanted people to know what I did.

For most of the time that the weight was coming off it was a constant battle with Satan to overcome my addiction to food. My phone’s background simply said “remember.” In my pocket, every day, was a piece of paper with 1 Peter 1:13-16 written on it to remind me of how I should be living with God in mind, not my old ways and yet when people asked me how I did it, I told them how I did it, not how God held my hand through the process.

13So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16

When it comes to food, I have slipped back into my old ways to satisfy my own desires, but no longer. I joined Weight Watchers the other day and with that program and my reliance on God to help me with temptation I am planning on getting to the best shape of my life before I move to Germany.

New ministry timeframe

I thought I would take a few minutes and share with you my new ministry goal. There are several goals I have for when I get over to Germany but right now my priority is to get there as soon as possible. So what does that mean? Well, in order to get to Germany I have to be 100% financially supported of which I am about 65% of the way there. In addition to that I have to attend a training in either Colorado or North Carolina for five weeks. I need to be at 80% supported in order to register for the training. Here is what I am praying will happen and I hope that you will join me in this prayer.

Training:

September 16- October 26th in Union Mills, NC

Final Visits: All of these times below are estimates since I really don’t know when I will get to 100% funded, but my goal is to be completely funded by the time I am going to the training.

October 27th-November 10th – Toledo area

November 11th-November 18th – DC area

November 19th(ish) – depart for Germany

 

Originally I had hoped to be in Germany much sooner, but I am living every day in God’s plan. I am working towards the goal and am waiting for those people He has called to join my ministry partner team. Please join me in prayer for my current and future ministry partners.

Eight Things I’m Gonna Say

Yesterday my sister Kim sent me a link to an article on Relevant Magazine’s website. The article was title “Eight Things Christians Don’t Want to Say.” and I liked it, a lot. The whole idea was that Christians are afraid to tell the whole truth, even to their closest friends. We are afraid of something, afraid that our “friends” might judge us, people might shun us, kick us out of church or at minimum give us that nasty stare that we all have seen before. I have always been annoyed by this fact, but what have I done about it, not a whole lot. Well, now it all changes. I’m going to take the 8 things from the article and discuss them here. I will put the list the author talks about, but if you want more information check out the article.

1. “I haven’t read my Bible in, like, three months.”

3 months doesn’t happen to me often, but there are definitely times where a week, two weeks and maybe even a month will go by without taking time to read the Bible for personal growth.

2. “Totally fell asleep during that prayer.”

Oh, my gosh this has happened to me more times than I can count. What happens more often though is I will start praying, my brain will stray to some random topic, I’ll realize that and then go back to praying and then the cycle repeats itself multiple times.

3. “Has anyone ever read the book of Zephaniah?”

I have read the whole Bible, but could I tell you where that one verse is, or who wrote each book or any other detail like that? Probably not.

4. “Church was really, really boring today.”

Ummm, yeah that definitely happens. Sometimes it is the topic (parenting and/or marriage since they don’t apply) and sometimes it is the mood I am in.

5. “I loved The DaVinci Code.”

The DaVinci Code was good (book, not movie), but I didn’t love it. I do love other books though that discuss things like murder and things like that. My favorite author, David Baldacci, writes mostly about CIA, FBI and other acronym organizations. Do I let it change my actions throughout the day or change my beliefs about killing people? Nope, sure don’t!

6. “Have you guys been to that new bar?”

This one I have never had a major problem with, in fact my Bible study used to take trips to wine tastings and when asked how we knew each other we gladly told them Bible study and then proceeded to drink responsibly.

7. “I’m probably going to forget to pray about that.”

This was my favorite one, because I am glad I am not the only person who sucks at this. I have told so many people that I will pray for them and then promptly forget. I have tried to stop this by praying immediately, out loud or silently, but that doesn’t always happen either. If you ask me for prayer, ask me to pray for you right then, that will probably guarantee you a prayer.

8. “I have no idea what any of this means.”

I can honestly say this statement about a lot of Christian books and some books/verses in the Bible. I have never studied the Bible in school or anything and I’m not the best with big words or old-school language so that’s probably why I struggle, but nonetheless I often read and reread the same verse/paragraph several times.

Well, there is some truth for you! I hope I don’t get any of those nasty stares.

Will work for launch fund

Most of you know that I have to raise financial support in order for me to go to Germany which I am hoping to complete in time to go before the end of this year. Well I have to raise two different amounts. One is a monthly contribution amount that will provide funds for the time I am in Germany and the other amount is what we call a launch fund. The launch fund covers all of the expenses that are one-time expenses like language school, flight to Germany, shipping container, etc.

One of my ministry partners has asked me to do a few things for their business and themselves personally in exchange for a contribution to my launch fund. I have worked at their Mobile Home Community and house/dog sat for them. Now I am offering my services to anyone who might have some odd jobs that they need done. If I can work it into my flexible schedule then I would be more than willing to help out with a variety of jobs. I really want to get to Germany to fulfill God’s plan for me, so if I can get there a little faster by helping other people around the house then why not!

Obviously I still have to raise monthly support so my week is not completely free (I have to work 32 hours/week to get my stipend), but I could fit in 10 hours or so a week if I can get it. If you have a job for me you can comment on here or e-mail me and we can figure out a good time. I could use your help!

Psalm 62 and a step-dad

A little while back I asked for some prayers for a ministry partner meeting and my step-dad e-mailed me Psalm 62 in reply. It was a much needed reminder and maybe there are a few of you who need this reminder just like I did and constantly do. I hope this brings a blessing to you like it did me.

Psalm 62

1 I wait quietly before God,
for my victory comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will never be shaken.

So many enemies against one man—
all of them trying to kill me.
To them I’m just a broken-down wall
or a tottering fence.
They plan to topple me from my high position.
They delight in telling lies about me.
They praise me to my face
but curse me in their hearts.

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge.

Common people are as worthless as a puff of wind,
and the powerful are not what they appear to be.
If you weigh them on the scales,
together they are lighter than a breath of air.

10 Don’t make your living by extortion
or put your hope in stealing.
And if your wealth increases,
don’t make it the center of your life.

11 God has spoken plainly,
and I have heard it many times:
Power, O God, belongs to you;
12     unfailing love, O Lord, is yours.
Surely you repay all people
according to what they have done.