Grace Martial Arts Fellowship Newsletters 2004-9

Grace Martial Arts Fellowship began in 1990, went online with a website in 1995 and began publishing newsletters to the Christian martial arts community in 1998.

Because of the quality of information found in those early newsletter articles and the fact they are no longer available online, we’ve decided to re-publish many of them in the coming weeks and months. Our hope is that a new generation of Christian martial artists will be blessed by the wisdom of those who were on the path before them.


September – October 2004

Welcome to the GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.

Thoughts from the Master

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” Matthew 7:24-29

Jesus Christ

” For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

The Apostle Paul

Wisdom Notes

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”

Proverbs 11:30

Teaching Wisdom To Our Children

Step One


Sensei Mark McGee, GMAF Director

(This article is the second of six in a year-long study about teaching children and young people about wisdom and character development through Christian martial arts programs. GraceLife Ministries and Grace Martial Arts Fellowship present this series in the hope it will help you in your life and martial arts ministry.)

There’s an old saying that a person should not teach what they do not know or what they cannot do. An important part of teaching anything is making it part of your life first. A martial arts instructor is first and foremost a martial artist. We practice what we teach. We would practice the art whether we taught or not, whether we were part of a class or not, whether we had a partner or not, whether anyone watched or not. We are first martial artists because we love it; then we are teachers.

The same is true of teaching wisdom to our children. We must know wisdom and practice it. Wisdom must be part of the very fiber of our life. We are first wise, then we are teachers of wisdom. How do we become wise? How do we practice wisdom? God makes the process clear.

• Love Your Soul

The first step in becoming wise is to love your soul. That’s what we saw in our previous study about wisdom. “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.” (Proverbs 19:8.) We know getting wisdom demonstrates we love our soul. Soul-love is love at a deep level. Jesus answered a question about the greatest commandment by saying, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) The greatest love is love God with all our heart, soul and mind. The next greatest love is to love our neighbors as we love ourself. A person who loves God with all their heart, soul and mind is wise. A person who loves their neighbors as themselves is wise. “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul.”

• Fear God

The second step in becoming wise and teaching wisdom to others is to fear God.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Psalm 111:10

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:5-7

Wisdom is the “principal” thing in life and it begins by having a reverential fear of God. Having a healthy fear of the Almighty God is a good thing. It prepares our hearts and minds to receive knowledge and with knowledge comes understanding. To teach wisdom to others we must first fear God. It’s like the fear a child has for their father. They love their father and their father loves them. The child wants to please their father in every way. They do not want to displease him. When they disobey their father, they see the displeasure and disappointment in his eyes. They don’t want to see that. They don’t want to receive his discipline. Wise children obey their parents because they love and fear them.

The Hebrew word for “fear” in Psalm 111 and Proverbs 1 is yirah. It is translated by many English words, including “fear, piety, reverence, awesome and revere.” Wisdom begins with reverential subordination to God. Most people in the world have made themselves “god” and glory in themselves. They are wise in their own sight. If they do worship a god, it is one of their own creation. Billions of people through history have made gods from wood and stone and made up their own religions from their human wisdom. God has laughed at them and destroyed their gods and attempts at human glorification.

The Apostle Paul told the sad story of the folly of human wisdom in his letter to the Christians in Rome.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:18-32

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” How true that is. Go to any bookstore or library in the world and you’ll see how the human race professes itself to be wise and in doing so they become fools. There is no wisdom outside of God’s Wisdom. There is no truth outside of God’s Truth. God Knows everything; He is All-Wise. The beginning of wisdom for any person is to fear God. That’s where it begins for us; that’s where it begins for our students. If we do not fear God, we cannot teach our children and the children of others how to fear God. If are “afraid” of God, we cannot teach reverential fear. We must know, understand and experience God’s Love as the great love of the greatest Parent Who has ever Loved. Our fear of God must be based on love and respect for God, not fear because we don’t want to get caught or be punished. If we fear God for the wrong reason, we play games with God, others and ourselves. We cannot model Godly fear for children that way. They’ll see we’re phonies and hypocrites and either walk away or learn more devious ways of playing the self-righteous, hypocrisy game. Each generation of game players becomes worse until faith loses all meaning and purpose. We must be real with God, real with ourselves and real with others. That’s difficult but necessary to having wisdom and teaching wisdom.

Having fear of a physical attack is healthy. It teaches us to be aware of our surroundings and be prepared for an attack that could come at any time, by any method and from any direction. We teach children and young people to defend themselves in scary situations in life. We introduce our students to ways of defending themselves against attacks that would frighten most people. We teach children and teens to defend themselves against yells and threats, grabs and holds, punches and kicks, tackles and throws. We teach them how to face someone carrying a stick, knife or gun. That kind of training would give most adults a severe headache. The training we give our students develops “knowledge and understanding” that leads to “wisdom” about how to deal with physical and mental attacks. They develop godly confidence and self confidence during their training that prepares them for the real thing. Being “afraid” doesn’t protect people. That leads to freezing or panic; just the reaction an attacker wants. “Fearing” an attack works because it leads to knowledge gained through training which produces skill and the wisdom to use it.

I invite you to spend the next two months considering what God meant when He said: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Here are some Scriptures to help you in your study. Meditate on His Word and make it part of the fiber of your life. Write your thoughts in a notebook or journal so you will be able to share them with your children and students.

Genesis 22:9-14

Exodus 1:15-21 … 14:31

Leviticus 19:1-32 … 25:17

Deuteronomy 6:1-25 … 8:1-6 …10:12-20 …13:4 …14:23 … 17:18-20 … 28:58-62 … 31:11-13

Joshua 4:23-24 … 24:14-15 1 Samuel 12:14-24

2 Samuel 23:1-4

2 Kings 17:25-41

1 Chronicles 16:23-36

2 Chronicles 19:7-9 Nehemiah 7:1-2 Job 1:1-22 … 28:28

Psalms 2:1-12 … 5:1-7 … 15:1-5 … 19:7-9 …22:22-24 … 25:12-14 … 33:8-9 … 36:1-12 … 61:1-8 … 66:16-20 … 67:1-7 … 86:1-11 … 89:1-7 … 96:1-4 … 102:13-16 … 103:13-18 … 111:1-10 … 112:1-3 … 115:11-18 … 118:1-4 … 128:1-4 … 135:19-21 … 145:18-20 … 147:11

Proverbs 1:7, 20-30 … 2:1-5 … 3:6-8 … 8:13 … 9:10 … 10:27 … 14:1-27 … 15:16, 33 … 16:6 … 19:23 … 22:4 … 23:17 … 24:21-22 … 31:30

Isaiah 2:10-21 … 11:1-5 … 29:22-23 … 33:1-6 … 50:10 … 59:19 Jeremiah 5:24-31 … 10:6-7 … 32:37-40

Daniel 6:26

Hosea 3:4-5

Haggai 1:12

Malachi 3:16

Acts 9:31 … 10:1-4 … 13:15-26

Romans 3:10-18

2 Corinthians 7:1

Ephesians 5:15-21

Colossians 3:22-25

Hebrews 12:28-29

1 Peter 2:17

Revelation 14:6-7 … 15:1-4 …19:5-6

‘Abba’ Father



Founder of Keichu-Do Martial Arts

Dear Abba Father

Well, here I am again, wondering how and why, what and who. You know, HOW am I going to do whatever your will is for me, WHY I am experiencing anxiety about the things I think are necessary to reach the goals set for me. I am not really sure about just WHAT it is I am supposed to do. Then there is the WHO am I supposed to do, whatever it is I’m supposed to do to PERSONAL. I would like to write a column each week that would really reach deep inside of anyone reading it. Something that would bring them closer to Jesus Christ. But who am I to do anything? Well, God has shown me that HE can and does use ANYONE. Wow! Can you imagine? Being a team member with the Creator of all things. Almighty God HIMSELF. I find it difficult to understand what God would have for me to do, since I was such a rotten sinner before, and still fall more than I like to admit. It’s tough to hold my temper, when I become irritated about something. My Alligator mouth sometimes overloads my mosquito behind, much more than it should. It’s easier to be a sinner, than it is to be a Christian. I found that it takes a real man to overcome so many temptations that the enemy sends. Pride is the biggest culprit, with anger stemming from it.

Not many of us are really intelligent enough to actually understand what our relationship with our GOD truly is. Try to visualize that you are the son or daughter of the richest man in the World. OK! Now think how it would be to have a Father that could heal every, and I mean every little or big health problem you had. Think about having a dad who could cure any disease imaginable. A pop, which could cure your children no matter what their condition. Wow! It just blows my mind when I even attempt to realize how Blessed we ALL are who Love Jesus Christ, who has made it possible for us to have a Daddy the likes of GOD. My dad can beat your dad, stuff. Ha! No contest. The Bible teaches us that If God be with us who can be against us? There is also a teaching about The Holy Spirit of God being stronger in us than any enemy spirit in our foes. OH! Yea! We can all be killed, Murdered by stupid terrorist, smashed in an accident, have cancer, or other diseases. How do we explain this kind of disaster? Only God knows for sure. However we can be assured that what others mean for evil God can turn to good. When hard times do come, we must not allow our pride to take control and our tempers to flare with blame at God.

Remember that Psalms chapter 18 verse 6 where it teaches” The Lord is on my side: I will not fear. What can man do to me?” If I die, in that same moment, I open my eyes to see Christ there waiting for me. That is very comforting to those of us who have thought it over and asked God to forgive us of all our sins. We have asked for Jesus Christ to be with in us and for the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us in all we do.

Taking God’s Grace to the World!

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