Walk in faith

Almost every little boy loves playing “Cowboys and Indians.” However, kids pretending to fight in the Wild West is quite different from real warfare with real weapons. Take, for example, the frontier practice of staging surprise assaults using flaming arrows. This tactical strategy caught the other side off guard. Flaming arrows would start a fire on a canvas covered wagon, disrupting military lines and causing the occupants to focus on the blaze rather than the attacking enemy.

Flaming arrows were not primarily meant to kill or destroy; they were meant to distract.
Your enemy wants to distract you, sister. So he can blindside you. And listen to me—he is not indiscriminately shooting these arrows of his. He is tailored in his strategy. He’s studied your tendencies and habits, your deepest fears and weaknesses, and has aimed at those areas in particular. He knows he can’t destroy you. You’re eternally secure in Jesus. But he fully intends to sidetrack your attention by setting any number of internal fires ablaze in your life—like insecurity, intimidation, anxiety, worry, or busyness. He wants you to be unfocused while he sneaks up from behind.
In Ephesians 6, Paul conveys the belt, breastplate, and shoes as a spiritual uniform that should be worn by believers at all times. Minute by minute. Day by day. But with the shield of faith, he commands for it to be “taken up.”
Look at it this way: A nurse might wear scrubs every day to work because it’s her uniform. But when the need arises, she will pick up a stethoscope, blood pressure machine, or any number of tools to use on her patient. Likewise, we must always wear our daily, divinely given uniform, but also be prepared to “take up” the others when required.
The first of these pieces of armor is the shield of faith. The moment when we first sense a flaming arrow infiltrating our life in some way, we activate faith as a shield of protection over our lives.
Don’t miss the irony here. The enemy sends flaming arrows into your life specifically when you are being called to walk in faith. Those arrows are deliberately intended to disable you from doing the only thing that has the power to extinguish them: walking in faith!
Faith causes fiery arrows to fizzle. What is God asking you to do? Do it! In Faith.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Ephesians 6:10‭-‬20 NIV




Sometimes just as G.K Chesterton writes – “It’s not that they can’t see the solution. They can’t see the problem.” Question to lead people deeper in their quest

Coaching is a powerful and meaningful relationship that helps your people think-through their own solutions within a time-frame through powerful questioning and way forward thinking. You might be wondering if Jesus was a coach. Or does Bible prescribe coaching? The answer is a clear No! Jesus was not a coach and neither does Bible prescribe ‘coaching’ in obvious terms but there are elements that we can learn from the Bible. Coaching like any another other development focused relationship at its core has an intention to help and is fundamentally based on few aspects – goals, thinking, own solution generation, questioning, listening and accountability and Bible does address about all these aspects including questioning. Jesus asked more than 300 powerful questions, that stirred people’s hearts, made them think and reflect and more importantly gave them insights!
If Jesus had to ask us – ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ What would our answer be? Blind Bartimaeus heard it was Jesus of Nazareth and shouted ‘have mercy on me!’ With increased snubs and rebukes he received his shouts grew louder, he had caught Jesus’ attention and Jesus asked him – What do you want me to do for you? Bartimaeus simple reply was ‘Rabbi, I want to see’. Wasn’t it obvious to Jesus about Bartimeaus’s plight? He knew but Jesus wanted to know if Bartimaeus had faith or if he reflected on believing in God not just for sight but for everything as a follower? The deeper reflection helped him gain both sight and insight! 
Just sometime earlier Jesus meets a rich official who asked Jesus – ‘Good teacher – What must I do to inherit eternal life’ as Jesus helped him learn about being detached to his riches and follow him, the man’s face changed, he went away very sad. Why? Because that man didn’t have enough faith in God, his whole world view and trust was based on his wealth but Bartimaeus was different and that’s why the Master asked him ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The humble, loving and generous question helped the Blind man to gain insight. Are our questions helping our people gain insights, more than often we ask our people questions for us to gain insight but rather if our focus would be like our Lord to help others gain insights wouldn’t our teams be amazing? 
Sometimes just as G.K Chesterton writes – “It’s not that they can’t see the solution. They can’t see the problem.” Question to lead people deeper in their quest.   
Prayer: Father, I need your wisdom, wisdom to ask deeper questions. Amen!


Visalia First
May 13, 2017
05/14/2017 Visalia First: From Bitter To Sweet
By: Mike D. Robertson
Lead Pastors | Mike & Karen Robertson



“Your expectation more than anything else determines your REALITY.” – Forbes Magazine
The negative thoughts we have are not the thoughts God has toward US.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 KJV
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord , thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.


God said: “I have thoughts of an expected END.”
He did not say an expected MIDDLE.
expected END.
God Knows the end when we are in the middle .
There are times we hit turbulence , but that doesnt mean it’s the end.

Ruth 4:13-17 NASB
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.


Ruth 1:19-21 NIV
So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” “Don’t call me Naomi, ” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”


There is good in both stages of life.
Don’t discard ”Old” People – they have experience.

Naomi meant joy .
She believed God was against her. 1st her husband then her Children

The Slow Death of Wrongful Expectations

1. It is a painful thing to let go of an expectation, when your expectation has become an IDOL.
Our faith is sometimes in the expectations – not in Godwho does all and knows all.
God promises the thoughts in His mind not the plans We have

The Slow Death of Wrongful Expectations

4. The weirdest thing: It said NAOMI had the baby.

The moment you give up on what you had in mind, God will begin to do what is in His mind.

He did not promise what you had in mind, but what He had in mind.

The Slow Death of Wrongful Expectations

2. The UNEXPECTED middle made her change her name.
Life Lables us or we Lable ourselves. We call ourselves things we may not be
We live with the what if.

what if?
Thank you Jesus for being the lord of My whatifs.

The devil may have taken the “what” but don’t let him have the “who.”

The Slow Death of Wrongful Expectations

3. Ruth said, “My faith has no REVERSE.”
stop looking in the rearview mirror .
She began to forget about herself and invested in other s ~ Ruth .

Naomi gets an unexpected blessing – being the Grandmother of David

get beyond survival
to success
to legacy.

Anytime your faith turns backwards, you are using it for something it was not designed to do.
Deut. I will give you what you did not earn- Last year S of naomi’s life. was the best years.

Surround as with your Presence, that we would stay near you .

Olympic analogy . silver medalist is frustrated . Bronze medalist is just happy to be there.



Jesus had very powerful conversations, and one of reasons he was able to have such conversations was his innate ability to listen – Listening to not what his disciples were saying but what they were not saying. One of the challenges people have is in substituting words for their emotions and expressing them, most often what they want to say is not how it sounds and we realize that latter but it is of little help.

In John Chapter 13, Jesus comforts his disciples after he talks about his death and predicts both Judas’s betrayal (John 13:18-30) and Peter’s denial (John 13:31 – 38) and in this context he talks about preparing a place for them and he mentions – ‘You know the way to the place where I am going’ to which Thomas replies ‘‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus listens to what Thomas is trying to say, he addresses his perplexity, confusion and anxiety for he had just told them about his death. In a single, simple message Jesus assures ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life…’ 
Just sometime earlier Peter had asked a very similar question – ‘Lord, where are you going?’ to which Jesus replied ‘where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later’ (John 13:36-37). Here Jesus listens to what peter is trying to say and he addressees Peter’s self-confidence and the trust he had placed on his.
Jesus always listened not to question but to the questioner.
At our workplace in our daily coaching conversations we need to be aware about ‘what people are truly seeking’ listening and paying close attention to what they are not saying or trying to say and then help them reflect to move forward. Even though Jesus tells peter that you will disown me, he did invest time with Peter and meet him after his resurrection by the Sea of Galilee to prepare him to feed His lambs and the gruesome death he would die to glorify God.  Listen to help people reflect. In the process they will seek ways to develop and grow. The denier now turned the glorifier – what a transformation.
Prayer: Father, help me to be slow at speaking, that I’m listen to what my people are seeking. Amen!


This word is timely.  At 50, I am surprised at all of the drama that grown women like to be involved in.  It makes me sad to know that I have gossips and simply, unkind people on my team. 

This morning I woke up, thinking about what others may be saying about me.  That I am a weak leader, because I havent done anything.  Lord, when things come to me, people dont want to address it. 

Please use my weaknesses for your glory.  Make me more like you. Show me how to lead as you would.   More often then not, Jesus knew there were people out there that wanted to kill him, but he didnt go to them. He went to the ones that wanted what he had to give.  His love, and wisdom.