Posted in Freedom, The Word, Theology

Why the Armor of God? Hasn’t Christ Already Won?

Question: Our only confusion with last night’s content has been the seeming contradiction that the battle has been won but yet we are to put on the armor of God and do battle / war.  Is it as simple as taking our stand and claiming the victory?  It’s not so much that we have to engage against Satan (we are in a war?) but to simply stand victorious, right? 

This is a very good question and one that we need to understand!  Let’s look closer at the tense of some of the verbs in this passage.  (NOTE a word-for-word translation like the King James, New American Standard, or ESV shows this much more clearly)  Here is the ESV of Ephesians 6:13-18

13 Therefere take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Neil Anderson writes about this passage

“It would appear from the verb tenses in Ephesians 6;14, 15, that three of the pieces of armor—belt (truth), breastplate (righteousness) and shoes (peace)–are already on you: “having girded . . .”; “having put on . . .”; having shod. . . .” These pieces of armor represent the elements of your protection made possible when you receive Jesus Christ and in which you are commanded to stand firm. The Greek tense of “having” signifies that the action it refers to was completed before we were commanded to stand firm. That’s the logical way a soldier would prepare for action: He would put on his belt, breastplate and shoes before attempting to stand firm. Likewise, we are to put on the full armor of God after having already put on Christ.”

This is so powerful!  As with so much of Christ’s saving work there are past, present, and future ramifications of His victory. From this passage there are things that have already been done at salvation and these give us the power to stand in victory!  Yet the victory is not automatic.  We have responsibility to take up the shield of faith (believe), take up the helmet of salvation (renew our mind), and to pray (asking our Heavenly Father for His Spirit to help us and each other).

We are already seated with Him Ephesians 2:6, yet at the same time we are here on this earth, working to carry out His kingdom work.  Christ has already won The WAR and declared PEACE and He sat down, but the “Rebel Prince of this Age” continues to battle in pockets of resistance he has been temporarily allowed to have.  As the sons and daughters of God we are representing Him and proclaiming His PEACE to our generation; until Christ returns to finalize all things.

This past, present and future work is so clear in Hebrews 10:12-13, which reads:

But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,  waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected (made perfect) for all time those who are being sanctified (are being made holy).

This is also illustrated in the Old Testament when God told the people that the “Promised Land “ was already theirs, given to them as a free gift of God. However they had to be obedient to march around Jericho (on one occasion), and at other times to engage their enemy.


I hope help this helps all of us as we stand in the Victory that Christ won as we do our part. Praying that the eyes of our hearts may be open to see God’s amazing authority and power for us who believe!  Remember we don’t have to dispel the darkness, we just need to shine His Light in our own lives and in our world!

Posted in Books, Money, Storm, The Word

PREPARE – My Notes

I’ve posted before about Ethan Pope and his ministry. I do believe in what this book is communicating. Ethan takes the first portion of the book and reiterates his primary points of his last book “America’s Financial Demise.” Below are some of notes. I consider myself a realist and I’m not making a bomb shelter, however I am planning with this in mind and as you can see from the scriptures; throughout history the wised have always made provisions for times of trouble. Find out more at

As Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” Proverbs 27:17

“The wise see danger ahead and prepare; a fool ignores the facts and suffers the consequences.” Proverbs 27:12

“The sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do” 1 Chronicles 12:32

“Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God.” Ecclesiastes 7:14

“The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.” Proverbs 21.:20

We must demonstrate to those around us what it means to trust God and prepare at the same-time.  To put Matthews 7:24-27 into practice (Building on the rock knowing hard times come to all.)

In history God has given wisdom in advance to Joseph

  • Joseph Gen 48:4-8
  • He had to learn his Spiritual Context before his physical context Gen 45:5-8
  • Understand the Joseph Principle Gen 41:35-36 0 Save during good years, knowing famine will occur

God ordained for us to live at this time in history Psalm 139:16

  • Nehemiah Nehemiah 2:17-18
  • Ester  Ester 4:14
  • Jeremiah Jeremiah 1:5

“Don’t just sit at Home watching movies; PREPARE!”

We Need Wisdom to

  • Make Sound Financial Decisions
  • Where to Live
  • How to Provide
  • How to Protect
  • Position ourselves to witness and serve
  • Encourage Others to Prepare


  • Prepare Spiritually
  • Reallocate Resources
  • Economize Lifestyle
  • Pay Off Debt

Random Notes:

  • China owns 8% and Japan 7% of US Debt- Page 35
  • Feds have ability to create money at will and they are.
  • Keep portion of emery fund in FDIC insured Money Market account and the rest in American Silver Eagle dollar coins
  • Develop a skill or small business you can run for money
  • Own fewer things.  Get rid of things that are not necessary. The less you have to maintain the better off you will be.
Posted in The Word, Theology

Choosing to Believe God

Belief (Faith), at its foundation, is a choice. My wife recently shared a quote with me that says “It doesn’t take any more effort to believe that one can than to believe that one cannot.” However, in the Bible, there is a significant difference between Faith and Hope. Hope is based on circumstances that we desire to see. A wish that somehow things will turn out the way we want, but Faith in the Bible is based on promises; specifically the promises God has made to his children in the scriptures. One of my favorite verses has come to be 2 Peter 1:3-4

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

So it is placing faith in these “great and precious promises” that we are allowed to participate with God and enjoy the benefits of believe him. Recently, in our Freedom in Christ study, we compiled a list of promises that we associated with doubts and fears that are common to everyone. My wife typed up that list, which I’m providing to you below. Read over these every day and remember that God has ALREADY provided “everything we need for life and godliness”!

  • Why should I worry about the future when God holds the future and tomorrow will have enough worries of its own. Matthew 6:34
  • Why should I be consumed with thoughts about food for man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the son of God and my heavenly Father already knows I have need of food and clothing. Matthew 6:31
  • Why should I concern myself with how I look in my clothes when God says my body is more than clothing. Matthew 6:27
  • Why should I insist on working out for my physical body to be “good enough” when my body is already a temple of the Holy Spirit.
  • Why should I believe that God is distant when he has promised to complete the work he has begun in me. Phil. 1:6
  • Why should I feel that I have to perform and achieve for God’s acceptance when God made Jesus who was sinless to be sin for me so that in him I might become the righteousness of God. 2Cor. 5:21
  • Why should I feel God will tell me no to a promise when all of the promises of God are yes in Jesus. 2 Cor. 1:20
  • Why should I feel that I am alone when Jesus said, I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matt. 28:20) and that he will never leave or forsake me. (Heb. 13:5)
  • Why should I believe I’m worthless when Jesus died for me to have eternal life with the Father. John 3:16
  • Why should I feel depressed when I can recall to my mind and therefore have hope, because of the Lords great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lam.3:22,23
  • Why should I ever be in bondage for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom (2 Cor. 3:17) and It is for freedom sake that Christ has set me free. (Gal. 5:1)
  • Why should I believe that any of my efforts will make me more accepted by God or anyone else when I am complete in Christ. (Col. 2:10)
  • Why should I believe that the enemy’s plan can prosper against me when I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
  • Why should I believe that God isn’t listening to me when I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 2:18)
  • Why should I believe the thought patterns of the enemy when I am free forever from condemnation. (Rom. 8:1-2)

*Adapted from Neil T. Andersons “Who I Am in Christ” p.273

Posted in Ministry, Parenting, The Word


Taken from p.17 Freedom in Christ Discipleship Course Book by Neil T. Anderson and Steve Goss.

 I Am Significant: I am no longer worthless, inadequate, helpless or hopeless. In Christ I am deeply significant and special. God says:

Matthew 5:13,14 I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world

John 15:5 I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
Acts 1:8 I am a personal, Spirit-empowered witness of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:16 I am God’s temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
2 Corinthians 6:1 I am God’s fellow worker

Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

I Am Secure: I am no longer guilty, unprotected, all alone or abandoned. In Christ I am totally secure. God says:

Romans 8:1-2 I am free forever from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that all things work together for good.
Romans 8:31-34 I am free from any condemnation brought against me.
Romans 8:35-39  I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I have been established anointed and sealed by God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
Colossians 3:1-4 I am hidden with Christ in God.

2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

Hebrews 4:16 I can find grace and mercy to help in time of need.

1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

I Am Accepted: I am no longer rejected, unloved or dirty. In Christ I am completely accepted. God says:

John 1:12 I am God’s child.
John 15:15 I am Christ’s Friend
Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1:1 I am a saint, a holy one.
Ephesians 1:5 I have been adopted as His child.
Ephesians 2:18 I have direct access through God through the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 1:13-14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:9-10 I am complete in Christ.

Posted in Books, Family, Kids, Parenting, Prayer, The Word

Family Devotions: Sort Of

While my wife takes on the bulk of the responsibility when it comes to educating our kids, one role that can’t be abdicated by me as a Dad is in the area of Family Devotion. While having a family devotion is not the only way we are to Disciple our kids in Christ, it is one of the main places we can grow our family together.

This does not have to be complicated. It’s best for it to be simple and consistent than to be complex and occasional. You don’t have to have smoke, lights, and musical talent. Neither do you have to have a PHD in hermeneutics.

This is not something I had ever seen modeled before I had a family of my own. I had only read about in a few books (Like Faith Driven Family). I’ve been around Christian families my entire life, but apparently not at the time they were having a devotion. Unfortunately many assume this is what “church” is for. About six years ago, when my kids were between two and eight I started “trying” to have family devotions. The kids would have a hard time paying attention, I would lose my spot reading, and the time seemed more like a wrestling match than a devotion time. The problem was not with the kids, but with my expectations. I was expecting too much. All I had ever seen was the “Church” example. So instead of trying to make it a chore, we tried to make it fun. So here three quick pointers to get you going


Set a time. Nothing happens unless you plan it. For us it’s the first thing in the morning, for you it maybe at night. Develop a family routine so that after several weeks there is an expectation that we are going to do a family devotion. It usually takes us around 10 to 15 minutes for us to do this. Sometimes its longer (because we are enjoying it) and sometimes its 5 minutes in the car on the go (but these are exceptions).


Everyone should be a part. This is not just Dad’s time with the kids. Have mom, dad, dogs and all the babies sitting under the Bible for a few minutes can do wonders for your family. I know this could be more difficult with teenagers, but if you start them young, they won’t know any different.


Keep it simple. We typical Read (the Bible or Devotion), pray and occasionally sing.

When my kids were younger we used the “One Year Devotions for Kids“. (You can download these as Kindle Books and keep them on your phone). These devotions are built around story situations where the kids may learn a virtue or a value. To me it’s important to always to connect these to Jesus and make sure he is the hero.

More recently we use Training Hearts Teaching Minds by Starr Meade (Not on Kindle). It uses the catechisms to teach kids how to respond to spiritual questions. It is broken down into a Monday through Saturday readings that are very short. By teaching the Kids these catechisms, you will give them something to carry with them. We should always encourage participation by asking kids what they think. Never shut them off even when they are wrong. Let them finish their though and gently point out the truth. If you are always correcting their efforts to learn they may become discouraged and not participate in the future (Ephesians 6:4).

Often we will sing. I wish I could play an instrument. But thanks to YouTube we can waste our life, or find worship songs and hymns with lyrics and music all together. We will let one child pick a song and we will watch and sing along.

Here are a few of our favorites (click the links)

Amazing Grace



Finally, I will also often ask if the kids if anyone would like to volunteer to pray for us as a family. Sometimes I pray or mom prays. Other times we ask for prayer request before praying. If one of our kids shares something, we may ask another one of our kids to pray for that request. We want to them pray for each other not just themselves.

I really hope this helps. You will NEVER regret any time spent leading your family this way. It is very rewarding in and of itself.

If you have found other resources of things that work for your family, feel free to comment and share for others.

Posted in Books, Church, The Word

A Layman’s Guide to Bible Translations

Thanks to my friend Tim Carley for sharing this. I was/am a huge fan of the NIV 1984 version. Later Zondervan released the TNIV or Today’s NIV which attempted to make the scriptures gender neutral. Later they dropped the T for the TNIV and it became the standard NIV and the NIV 1984 edition was taken out of publication. I’m sorry but I don’t know who created these images.

Posted in Books, Leadership, The Word

Maybe We Aren’t Underdogs? -Malcom Gladwell

I was able to hear Malcom speak a few weeks ago and he blew us away with his insight on the Biblical account of David and Goliath. If you have 15 min. watch the video below, if not then here it is short summary from my notes.

Maybe David was not an underdog? He was well equipped; with his sling which he had practice using over and over. In those days, slingers in the military were a part of the artillery unit, just like the archers. A rock from a sling rotating and 6 revolutions per second is like a shot from a 45 caliber hand gun.

Everyone thought David would fight him in hand to hand combat, but David was too smart for that. While he was made to try on armor, he realized that their armor (expectations) didn’t fit him or he didn’t fit it.

Most importantly he had Faith in God.  David refused to be passive and is the only one who properly understands the situation.

We are not underdogs! We have had our behind the scene experience that have trained us.  We know our skills and we don’t have to fight like others expect us.  We have The Lord al mighty on our side!   The world doesn’t have a chance as we bring God love and grace to bear on those around us.


Posted in Culture, Family, Kids, Money, Parenting, The Word

Who Are We?

Think about your children, what are all the needs they will have in their lifetime? Physical, Social, Emotional. In “The Sensation of Being Somebody”, Maurice Wagner suggests that all these needs could be grouped into three categories.

  • Acceptance
  • Security
  • Significance

How do people go about trying to gain acceptance, security, significance?

  • Work
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Jobs
  • Money
  • Kids
  • Church

All of these are really good things; things we consider blessings. But can we really depend on these to meet our primary needs?

What happens if a relationship fails? Or what if we lose our job or our savings? What if our children don’t turn out the way we hoped? What if the new pastor changes the church we love?

Only, in and through a personal relationship with Jesus can these greatest needs be permanently satisfied. Our faith relationship with Christ is brought into reality through His promises in the Scripture. 2 Peter 3:3-4 reads,

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Below are just a few of these promises. Memorize these and remind yourself and your children that Christ is the truth, not our feelings, and in him all of our needs have been and will be meet.


  • 1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”


  • Romans 8:35-39 ” Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:
    “For your sake we face death all day long;
         we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

     No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ”


  • 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Posted in Football, Prayer, The Word

The Road Back


As most everyone in our area knows, my beloved Golden Eagle Football team had a perfect winless season in 2012. That’s right 0-12. At one point in the season I wanted to blog, Facebook, or tweet, and make some derogatory comments about “The Fall”, but really I couldn’t find adequate words to describe what it was like going from 12-2 in 2011 to 0-12. However sights and sounds from a cold wet week in Hattiesburg are already showing the changes in attitudes that have come with our new coaching staff. Watching this video challenges me.


Watching this caused me to ask questions about the level of my spiritual hunger. Do I desire God enough that when it’s raining on the inside of me, when I’m dreary and don’t feel like it, that I will rise up go out to Jesus. Will I open up the Word and turn up the music and allow God again to remind me that “I am not my own.” We have a choice here. We can either let our emotions determine our Spiritual life, or we can make a determination to push through the resistance of the things that keep us from growing. It make take extreme measures, but let’s get moving. I’m ready to get on the road, back to the top. -TD