Once upon a time, at a church I used to attend, Pastor Dustin delivered a message on Koinonia. I used to hear that word when I was in the Lutheran Church, but hadn’t heard it in many years. It is from the Greek and is indicated in several forms in the Scriptures. Koinoneo, Koinonikos, Koinonos.
This word is so interesting because it has several different meanings and references such as partnership, participation, communicate, communion, distribution, fellowship.
There is a word close to Koinonia and it is Koinos. Koinos has the negative slant on it meaning profane, common, defiled, unclean, unholy. We cannot confuse the two.
Koinonia is a respected term, highly encouraged throughout Scripture. As Christians we should have communion and fellowship with each other. We should be able to share our burdens and our bounty. Our joys and our sorrows. That is the kind of relationship we are meant to have with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We should be able to trust and rely on those around us that share our faith in Christ. We should be acting like we are preparing for eternity with each other in Heaven. We should be acting like we really care about each other….like we really want each other to succeed spiritually and otherwise in life.
Pastor Dustin had an unusual way of approaching the Gospel message at times. Sometimes when he is witnessing to people he asks “are you SURE you want to become a Christian?” As if he is issuing a kind of warning. It is a warning. Becoming a Christian is not merely ‘fire insurance’. It is a way of life and a way unto life eternal. Narrow is the road. It is not an easy life, nor was it promised to be. Being a Christian does not guarantee a life of abundance and joy in the terms of the world. It may mean sacrifice, ridicule, heartbreak, isolation, poverty, and much more ----at least in earthly terms.
The world is cruel to the Christian and sometimes the Christian community is cruel to each other. That is why God brought Koinonia into our vocabulary. He knows what is it like trying to live for Him. He knows we need each other. When we are woven tightly together by the love of Christ, it is harder for the Enemy to break through the fabric.
As we mature in our Christian faith, we come to realize that the ‘abundant life’ as promised means far more than rubies and riches. Grace, peace, hope, strength, promise, and LOVE far more precious abound in life with Christ. And a future with God in a mansion built especially for me is well worth the effort.
So you have a new word today. Look it up in your handy Greek dictionary. Study your Bible concordance. See if you come to the same conclusions that I have. We need each other!!!
Remember the story about doing a good deed and then passing it on. Random acts of kindness…you know, touching someone else’s life and then in turn, they touch someone else, and so on and so on.
My daughter was reminded of this recently when she traveled from her home to the other side of Atlanta to a meeting. She had to leave very early in the morning to avoid the traffic, which is impossible at best. So she stopped at an IHOP for breakfast. As she pulled into the parking lot, she noticed an old (?) woman sitting on the curb. Julie became obviously aware that the woman was a homeless white woman who was trying to sleep.
Someone from the IHOP came out and told the woman, ever so gently, that she had to move. She would not be able to sleep in front of their restaurant. Another lady (a woman of color) got out of a car and walked up to the homeless lady---let me call her Sally, since I do not like repeating the phrase “homeless lady”. ‘Mrs. Black’ told Sally that she was going to buy her breakfast.
Julie watched as Sally and Mrs. Black went into the IHOP. Sally was able to order anything she wanted and a huge breakfast she had. As Julie observed she was able to hear that IHOP picked up at least some of the tab for that breakfast. Sally, who had black finger nails, shabby clothes, dirty, and could barely stay awake long enough to eat, ate ravenously. And she ate everything with her fingers, no utensils. She crammed her food in her mouth like there was no tomorrow…..and maybe there wasn’t for her.
Julie noticed Mrs. Black did give her a book of some kind and some other written information. Julie guessed that it was a phone number, maybe her own phone number. Julie was really shaken by this encounter and she called me when she finished breakfast. She could hardly speak as she re-played the scene she had witnessed. How it touched Julie’s heart. Several things were going through her mind. “Poor woman.” “How blessed am I.” “Do I do anything to help anyone?” “What can I do today to help someone?”
Where Sally went from the IHOP we do not know. We do know that she had at least one meal that day and a kind person who tried to talk with her. Where she slept that night, where her next meal will come from, and who will be the next one to care for her, are all questions unanswered.
I have no answers, no wise words to share about the homeless or for that matter any other situation where a person is in extreme need. But I am certainly glad there are still Americans out there who stop to share and care in this precarious world.
Pass it on.
I have held in restraint any comments from the past few months about what our government is doing, what our court justices are doing. I have had to pray over my thoughts, my heart, my opinions. Over and over and over. But now the time has come for me to put on paper what is bursting inside of me.
Why are we Christians surprised over recent events? The Bible tells us things are going to get worse and worse. There is no fixing it. We the People of the United States are proud to be part of this great Nation and proud of our heritage and proud of our soldiers and first responders. This Nation was built on faith and freedom of religion. No court, no legislative branch, no president, can take that away from us. It is our history.
Now it is time for the Christians to hear the "call". It is as clear to me as hearing the horn blown at the second coming of Christ. We must stand up. We must stand out.
We must respond not as aggressors beating everyone in the head with our 50 lb Bibles. But we must respond as Christ would respond. With love and caring. Not to compromise our beliefs--- no no no. But to treat those that are different from us as Christ treats us with all of our weakness, frailties, faults, sins, etc.
And it is time to answer "the call" by standing out, stepping up, being the light we should have been all along. Many businesses I have been in lately, including a car show room, restaurants, gift shops, etc, are being bold enough to play Christian music. One restaurant has Christian pictures and scriptures on its walls and even the tee shirts of the waitresses. That is what we need to do.
For too long we have been silent. We have tried to be "politically correct" in our speech and our actions which only served to water down our beliefs. Now it is time to be Christ-centered in our speech and our actions. To be bold about who we are and not apologize.
I am one who is rather thankful now that Prayer was voted out of the Public Schools. Yes, I know, but now we would have to tolerate our children possibly bowing to other gods to be "fair" to all religions. But we don't have to do that. If you are concerned, teach your children to pray at home, to pray for their schools, classmates, teachers. The parents need to be bold about this with their children.
I challenge you to be bold, dear Christian brothers and sisters. Know who you are in Christ. Not to antagonize others, but to be the light that shows others the path to true love and peace.
I am passionate about this. That is one reason I am now involved with Victory TV and Radio. The Dottie Coffman Show is back on radio (more about that later). Victory, led by Lisa Bennett, is providing good family friendly programming. If the world does not offer what we can use (what a surprise that it cannot!!!), then we as Christians need to provide what we need for ourselves. That example just may have a huge impact on the world in general and just may bring others to Christ.
Step up, Christian. Answer THE CALL. The time is NOW. Things won't get any better. But don't be dismayed. God takes care of His own. That is the WORD we need to spread.
I know. I am a little late. But this is still sticking in my craw (sp?). (What is a craw anyway?) Many do not find the show Duck Dynasty itself appealing because those people may not see below the surface of hunting and fishing, and eating Ms Kay's cooking. I don't hunt or fish but I certainly eat. I love the show largely because of the values that exude through the interactions of the family. They love each other, they have good solid family values (for REAL). I personally love to see/hear the dinner prayer, the family gatherings, the respect (sometimes playful) they have for each other, the particular respect the men have for their women, the respect and honor the kids are expected to have toward their elders. It is so refreshing!!
Phil is a lively personality who speaks his mind. He is the patriarch of the family, and the cornerstone of the show. If you interview him, expect him to answer honestly because that is who he is. He is not necessarily politically correct nor does he particularly care how people see him. He is who he is and that is why we love him.
Ask him a loaded question, you will get a loaded answer. Specifically, the comments he made about gay marriage. You know, it really irks me that people of other beliefs, of other ways of life, of other "persuasions" can say and do whatever they want and I am supposed to like it. But when a conservative/Christian viewpoint is voiced, all of a sudden it is homophobic---whatever the heck that is. I have every right to express my beliefs and my feelings as long as I am not inciting violence or threatening anyone. Phil very respectfully told the truth of what the Bible says. He has every right to do that. And---AND--- Christianity is not the only persuasion to have moral codes and standards that do not agree with liberal thinkers. But Christians always seem to be the ones targeted and picked at for their beliefs.
I have a dilemma. I love to watch Duck Dynasty but find myself not wanting to support A&E, either through supporting their programming or through buying Duck Dynasty stuff the puts proceeds in A&E's pocket. So ---to watch or not to watch---that is the question. And make sure you are buying Duck Commander products to support the Robinson family.
If the numbers of viewers were down for the new season opener, it was probably for the same reason I did not watch. I have to settle this in my mind. A&E acted stupidly and disrespectfully and I have a problem supporting that. They tried to take away God-given rights to individual beliefs of a Christian.
So, Phil, I love you, man. If you find yourself in the proverbial foxhole, I will be right there next to you.
Article by Dotti Coffman
Boundaries, Dec. 4, 2013
Someone asked me recently, where do we draw the line? Where is the last straw to break? We need boundaries in our lives to be healthy. Boundaries for all ages and all stages.
Parents especially have to set boundaries. Boundaries for themselves personally so insanity does not creep in. Boundaries for the children and those boundaries change as the kids grow up and parents must make boundary-adjustments. Even adult children must abide by the boundaries their parents set age appropriately, or course. Particularly difficult years, such as teen years, are particularly difficult in the boundary department. I read lots of books when we were raising our four kids.
Choose your battles. Have a minimum amount of punishable rules but make those clear and make the consequences clear. A few times, we had to invoke “tough love” and do some very hard things. Like take the door off a bedroom, read so-called secret notes, approach teachers and leaders with intrusive questions, even following behind them in a car when they were NOT supposed to be in a car, impose strict curfews, etc. Those kids that push the boundaries must be dealt with.
When asked about the kid’s privacy, I answer, “what privacy”. The only privacy my kids got was what they earned, or what we gave them by grace. They did not own the house, did not buy the food, did not pay the bills, and they could not vote. So adult decisions were based on adult responsibility. Harsh? Well, when you go through kids having parties in your house unbeknownst to you, stealing your wine, tramping all through the house, leaving a mess, driving my car underage, skipping school, and a few other behavior boundary-pushers, then all is fair. After all, who is the adult? Who is responsible for the well-being of the child? The parent.
Yep, I believe Dr. Spock ripped the back bone right out of many parent’s skin. Thank God, literally, I had parents with backbones and I was a parent with a backbone and Lordy Lordy, I am even a Grandma with backbone. Say anything you want to me, but say it with respect, and civility. Or I will wash your mouth out with soap…..
The birthday of my twins, my cute little red-haired identical boy twins, is Nov 21. This year in 2013 they are 33 years old. Seems like only yesterday they were little tiny bodies playing football in the living room, coloring at the kitchen table, sitting in Granny’s lap, toddling from the back patio across the yard to Granny’s house (in North Carolina), sitting in the little plastic pool naked, being called Nee-deli and Nat-you. Being notified that we were expecting twins was a shock, but a pleasant shock. Twins run in my family. My mom was a twin, she had triplet aunts, and my paternal grandmother was a twin. But these little guys were the first twins ever on the Coffman side! I always tried to look at the twins as laid back as possible…..as so much fun. They entertained us at night, who needed TV? I was able to comfort other twin-parents who were pulling their hair out because having twins is so hard. But I chose to make it fun. Of course, things like housework, cooking, entertaining, etc. took a back seat, because raising two little ones at a time and 2 older ones, was time consuming. Laundry was a priority and I remember using cloth diapers and hanging out four clotheslines full of diapers---every other day. But my children were of extreme importance in my life and it was no sacrifice to me. Today the twin boys are responsible (for the most part…), mature, faith-centered, adults with wives to match. Having them, raising them, loving them, supporting them, and now watching their adulthood bloom, has been and is a joy. Happy birthday, my precious boys. One day soon, when children of your own come along, you will understand how precious you are to me. Then you can forgive me for all those clingy and overprotective moments that probably irritated and aggravated you, but don’t look for those moments to stop. Never. Happy happy happy birthday!!!
Veterans Day. A time to reflect and honor our brave men and women who serve this country. Those that have lost their lives, those that have lost their limbs, and those who return to somewhat of a normal existence. I don't think normal could ever describe what they go through after serving our country whether in war time or not. So much changes. I have posted an interview with Earl Littman, age 86, WWII vet, who is to this day working hard for the support of our veterans. Earl wants to make sure the veterans have jobs, a place to live, medical care, and that their families are taken care of as well. My new friend Kevin Zimmerman, host of the Kevin Zimmerman radio show, wrote a book on the miracles that occurred while he was in service and rescuing wounded and dying servicemen. Kevin is also working hard to secure the help our veterans need when they return home to a "normal" life.
I want to thank all my relatives and friends who served. I know I cannot list them all but will try: my father, Earl Funkhouser, WWII; my uncle Guy Rinker, WWII; my father-in-law, Ed Coffman WWII; my brother-in-law Bernie Beverly; my uncles all WWII, Korea and Vietnam--Orville Joyce, Dean Joyce, Ivan Joyce, Loy Joyce, Fran Joyce; my cousins Rod Bradshaw and Wilma Stanchfield; my daughter Julie Coffman Taylor; and many friends and acquaintances whom I have met through the years as I worked at the Pentagon for the Navy and then for the Veterans Administration. Thank you one and all for your service!!
This old USA has its faults and problems. But there is still "no place on earth like the USA"!
My favorite place to read and pray is this place on the front porch. My daughter spent a great deal of time cleaning up this area this past summer. Clearing out overgrown bushes, painting shutters, pressure washing the area. I sit in my favorite rocking chair and do my reading. The squirrels skitter around. The birds tweet and flutter. Recently I have spied a cute little chipmunk scurrying around the porch and the wooded area. At first I was frustrated with myself for being so distracted with all this nature activity. But I have come to realize that what I thought was distraction is actually, at least many times, God getting my attention because He wants to speak to me. After all, what I admire in this setting is His creation. I have come to cherish those ADD moments. My long-time goodest friend, Kerry Howard, taught me long ago how valuable it is to be able to listen, I mean really listen to people. Ironic that listening has become my passion and my profession. But I have not always been good at listening to the One whom I need to hear from the most. What a great lesson. We say 'stop and smell the roses'. I say stop and hear God through the distractions in our lives. Those things which throw us off course may be just the things that we need to set us on our right course. So little birdies, keep tweeting and little chipmunk, keep scurrying. And I will keep being distracted in a most excellent way.
By the way, these bushes or weeds or whatever are right inside the wood line and are beautiful. They are probably weeds overgrown but I cannot identify them. They have a white furry top like a dandelion and have grown about 6 feet tall. Anyone know what they are?
Today (September 25) is my oldest son's birthday. A big one. He is 40 years old!! Doesn't look a day over 29. Bradly Earl Coffman was the best baby in the world. Well, almost. He never complained about anything even when he had a fever. He always had a smile on his face. He has grown up and he knows there are many things in life not to smile about. But by and large, Brad is still looking at life with the glass half full. I am so proud of him. He has overcome some adversity in his life including some learning disabilities, three knee surgeries, and a bad first marriage. He has a great benefit from that bad first marriage though and that is his lovely daughter Alexis. I am proud to say he is the man God wants him to be. Brad has yielded his heart and his life to whatever it is the Lord wants of him. And his wife, Rhonda, is on the same page. Brad is the best daddy ever, just ask Alexis (13). He and Alexis bonded from the day she was born and that bond is still strong. And he works hard at his relationship with stepson Tyler since he came into Tyler's childhood late. Humor has always come to Brad rather naturally. He and sister-in-law Amy can converse in a language that is a combination of Cajun and I don't know what and have us all hysterical. And when I was pregnant with the twins, and Brad was about 7, he said to me one day----when he overheard me complaining that I was big as a house and ready for the babies to be born----Mom, the babies can't be born until their are "done". His big sister Julie actually was the first to talk to him about Jesus when Brad was about 4 or so. He came and told me that he had Jesus in his heart. A few minutes later, Julie went out to swing and Brad said he couldn't go. I asked why. He said he was afraid he would swing too high and Jesus would fall out of his heart. Oh how precious!! No, Brad, Jesus won't fall out. And how wonderful it is to know HE is still in there! Happy birthday, Son. I hope being 40 is not too painful.
I found myself watching The Big Valley today on a station (INSP) that I don't usually watch for some reason. I haven't seen The Big Valley in years and years. But I watched the whole way through. I began thinking about the old TV shows, the simple plots, where right was right and wrong was wrong. Where the villain either was killed, or dropped to his knees crying repentance. What happened to those TV shows? Holy cow, what happened to life PERIOD? The simple life. The simple plot in real life and real time. Where, if you steal, you got caught, were punished, you repented and made amends. Good versus evil, plain and simple. I don't think life has changed in reality, the same "sins" then are the same "sins" now. WE, the people, have made it so much more complicated and complex and convoluted. We, the people, have piled layers and layers of garbage on top by adding the "what ifs", "you don't understand", "maybe this" and "maybe that", etc. Wrong is wrong. Isn't it? If it isn't, all those years my mom and dad were teaching me, and spanking me even though that was rare (and I survived!), and washing my mouth out with soap for saying words like "darn", all that effort on their part was in vain. And my parents were the smartest people, the most faithful, the most honorable, geeeesh, just the best parents ever on the planet. Father Knows Best and Donna Reed put together. No, I choose to believe that they were correct and that right is right and wrong is wrong. The Bible tells us so. Not MY words but HIS words. You know, it's coming back around to the ways of the Wild West, and maybe that ain't so bad. We need to teach our children ourselves right from wrong. We need to know how to protect ourselves, provide for ourselves, and so forth without government assistance or interference. Let's dig down under the crap we have layered up and return to the simple. From what I remember of the 50's, it wasn't so bad.....