About The Author

Don S Coffeen

Don Coffeen is a hard-working businessman who understands the importance of the lay-teaching ministry in the local church. His reverence for the Lord and love for His Word, especially the Old Testament, influence the insights he draws from the narratives in Scripture. God has prepared him for this time in the history of the church to speak prophetically and clearly into the hearts of believers. His various struggles, both personally and professionally, have produced in him an authentic trust and deepened love in Jesus.

Don loves to ocean fish, and believes that anything caught in fresh water should be bait. He is a father to Nicole, whom he coached in soccer for 11 seasons. He has taught Bible studies for men and home groups for many years, and has organized prayer efforts which have helped to establish believers more firmly in their faith. In addition to his writings, Don and his wife Debra also head up a disciple and mentoring program for their church.

Christ Dog Tags

What Inspired Me

Inspiration can come from so many sources; pain, pleasure, victories, long periods of adversity and many times from periods in your life you thought you had forgotten, but somehow found stapled to your psyche. Let me take you to a time in my life when I had to come to grips with the fact that I might not be able to handle things the way everyone else does. I call it my desperate fatalistic approach to survival.

Sometimes you just can’t help it. You can’t talk your way out of it, you can’t run and you can’t go back in time to change the outcome. There is going to be a fight, so you better try to be the winner when it’s all over. I know all of our dads have given us that kind of speech to get us ready for such a cataclysmic event, but until you are in it, it’s only a good suggestion to follow. Does this sound familiar? “Be sure you throw the first punch; he will probably run away after you hit him. Oh yeah! Don’t forget, “Go for the nose.” Sounds like great advice, but chances are you are going to get your butt kicked real bad and have to face the embarrassment of having been the punching bag for the faster, meaner and stronger opponent. You can’t wait to tell your dad how it just didn’t go the way he said it would go.

Christian Direction

I was thirteen years old. I wasn’t very fast for my age, but at least I was small. I was not very experienced in winning fights in the playground either; in fact, I’m pretty sure that they bid on me a few times to see who would go next. My dad did what he could with his advice but none of it worked. So my Dad (God bless him) made the therapy filled life decision to enroll me into a karate class.

Sword

It was clear from the start that I was going to be a huge project for my Sensei (karate instructor). I learned from some of the other kids in the class that the Sensei’s six years in Vietnam made him a little jumpy and quick tempered. They told me to keep a low profile so he doesn’t choose me to be an example of how to receive punches all the time. I took their advice and not only kept a low profile, but I also stayed in the back row so I would never be selected. It worked. He never picked me or asked me a single question. The problem was, I never really learned how to use Karate or how to fight. For a whole month all the kids in class called me “Whitey,” not because of my skin color (which by the way is beige) but because I was only a white belt after a whole month.

I remember one of the lessons I had in the class. The Sensei sat us all down and gave us the same speech our dads gave us, but his was just a little different. He told us, “avoid a fight in any way you can, but if it is still going to happen punch them as hard and fast as you can right on the nose.” Now here is where his six years in Vietnam made his suggestions a little different from how our dads would advise us in this situation. “As soon as they grab their nose you kick them as hard as you can in the nuts and then you will have the respect and fear of all the other kids at school. You may get suspended when they find out you take Karate but don’t worry, it will be worth it.” I listen to him like he was my hero. It sounded so simple; I couldn’t wait to try it out.

Well it didn’t take too long, three days to be exact. I was riding my bike to karate class and did what my Dad said never to do. “Don’t wear your karate gear while you are riding to class, kids will make fun of you.” He was wrong; they didn’t make fun of me, they saw me as a target. I wasn’t a block from karate class when this big kid and two of his friend jumped in front of me and said, “Nice karate dress.” Everything my Sensei told me three days earlier came flooding in to my mind. This is it, I said to myself. It’s now or never, I can do this. Then, like a cat, I turned to my right, pulled my fist back and swung the hardest punch I could have ever thrown right at his nose.

Victory

I guess he wasn’t at the same class as me; I know this because when I swung at his nose, he did the unthinkable, he ducked. That wasn’t talked about in my karate class. All of a sudden he grew two ten pound fists and proceeded to give me a bloody nose and TWO black eyes. He beat the heck out of me.

I don’t remember to much more about that psychologically scarring part of my life other than this. I have better learn how to run faster than I do now or I’m gonna get killed.

In any playground fight you will be the puncher or the punched. So how do you gain any ground when you are the punched rather than the puncher.

This story pulled from my youth was actually part of the inspiration for me writing this series. I was always the one kid who had to learn the hard way and in some situations the painful way, on how to rise from the ash heap of life.

As a seasoned believer, I have been blessed with an opportunity to not only learn from those periods of my life, but to use them as fuel for igniting the lessons I teach in my books. You don’t have to have a history of being a literal punching bag to understand and take to heart what is laid out for you in these pages. You, as well as me, have been the recipient of the world’s beatings throughout our entire lives. We have to get above the stigma of feeling like a victim in a way that shouts to God’s throne, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” Romans 8: 37.

Look at the writings from the series, “Old Testament Boot Camp for a New Testament war” as a launching pad that takes us to the place our God has called us.