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Showing posts from November, 2007

Just live upright!

Have you ever wanted more wisdom? Seems this is at the top of my list this year for Christmas!Proverbs 2:7 tells us that God stores up wisdom for the upright. I think that many times we feel inadequate and unable to get our minds to make the decisions that life forces upon us. The fact is that you and I have a limited amount of insight to deal with the daily grind. We become intellectually and spiritually “halted’ all because we have not yet realized one important fact: the amount you take in is determined by the amount you give out. We are containers that carry God’s thoughts and plans to the circles that we run in and then unload every chance we get. Once we have “emptied” ourselves, we can come back to God for another refilling.
Today, right now, God is storing up for you decision making, life changing wisdom that will pour out to you in an unlimited supply as you draw from Him. So you think you need more insight? Just live upright!

Cleaning House

So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You've had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God's pure kindness. Then you'll grow up mature and whole in God. 1 Peter 2:1-3msg There is no better time to begin to make a clean sweep than this time of year leading into a new year and a clean slate. If you look deeply, you can see that God has had His hand upon you and your journey all year long and though there have been times that nothing made sense, you can be assured that one day very soon you will see things much clearer. As believers we are supposed to be getting stronger and more and more healthy every year...fully mature and fully devoted to God. Imagine how silly it would look for your teenager to be drinking out of a sippy cup and having a pacifier tied to his t-shirt. Yet, many followers of Christ seem to be bottle fed year and after year and deny themselves the wonderful experience of the real meat of Go…

Harmony

Acts 2:44 talks about how the disciples had gathered together in "wonderful harmony". As a musician, there is nothing that I love more than listening to a group that sings in harmony. You need at least two voices to acheive this remarkable sound.
As I thought about harmony, I began to recognize in a very real way that in every song that I will be a part of today, I am one of the voices. So when I arrive at that meeting or receive that phone call, I am engaging in a song that is already playing. My obligation as a believer is to make beautiful music for the Lord and bring harmony into each and every situation. If I think harmony, I will hear it in my spirit and it will ring in my heart. And out of all that is in my heart my mouth will sing. My voice can make all the difference, for good and for bad. James 3:6 says, "A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send t…

"As they went, they were cleansed."

There is a story in Luke 17 about ten people with leprosy. This illness prohibited them from human contact and personal interaction. They lived in a village with people like themselves and had no experience with anyone outside of the colony. One day Jesus passed by here on his way to Jerusalem. As he passed by they lifted their voice and asked for pity. They cried Jesus, Master" signifying that they were appealing to him as a teacher. And they did not ask to be healed but to be pitied. Jesus gave them a task: "go and show yourselves to the priests". It was at that moment that we can see the ten experience something they have never felt before. They must have had something inside of them agree with the reliability of the one that spoke to them because they went. And "as they went" they were healed!
Know this today in the midst of your life and situations.
When people can't REACH you, JESUS can.
What people can't TEACH you, JESUS can.
They obeyed the words o…

What are you called to do?

What are you called to do? A "calling" is not something that you can choose...it has already been chosen. It's something you discover. In fact our vocation comes from a Latin word, vocare, meaning "to call". It's where we get our word for voice. But to get our voice, we have to use our ears. Listen. Listen to the voice of God. He is the CALL-er and you are the CALL-ee!
You see, God wants you to have a very specific and pronounced VOICE in this world. As you explore the things that you do well and the abilities that you have which bless others, you learn how to use that voice. When you really learn how to use it, your impact is what makes God smile. He's been waiting for you to "speak" all the time. So, what are you called to do?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Be happy and give thanks in the midst of everything surrounding you...for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. The bible tells us to be happy and thankful in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5. It's not a suggestion. Scripture says that it IS the will of God for us.

It's not based on whether you like all of the people around the table today, whether you have money in your accounts or that your life is free from drama. Most of us live in the real world. There is pain, illness and many of those closest to us are depressed and discouraged. Often this runs off on us. Rather than let yourselves be infected by all that is around you, choose to be happy. Make a decision to thank the Lord in the middle of all of your circumstances.
If you are not surrounded by family and friends today, know that you are still not alone. Right there in the center of your living room, be happy. Be thankful. God is up to something. He's getting all of the pieces in their proper places and set…

Who's following you?

I was reading Psalm 23 the other day and had a moment of joy as I read that “goodness and mercy” were following me every day. I have a great picture of that in my own life. I have a little miniature dachshund named Midnight ( I call him Midi) and when I come home from work, he is thrilled to see me. He always acknowledges me and I noticed the other day as I walked through the house that he followed me wherever I went. No matter what room I went into or how long I stayed there, he stayed with me and moved with me. As I laughed at his companionship I thought about God’s goodness and God’s mercy. Goodness to help me make quality decisions and mercy to help me when I don’t make such good decisions. It’s always nice to know that whenever we take a hit in life’s journey, whenever we are attacked with such a strong force that we fall backwards…that we will fall into the goodness and mercy of God that is following us all the days of our lives. Who's following you?

Comfort My people!

There have been many seasons in my life where I felt "comfortable". Usually that means that I have settled in and developed a routine. As I was reading the first two verses of Isaiah 40, I noticed something about being "comfortable"...
"Comfort, oh comfort my people," says your God."Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem, but also make it very clear. That she has served her sentence, that her sin is taken care of—forgiven! She's been punished enough and more than enough, and now it's over and done with." I receive comfort for one very important reason...to share it and help someone else feel it. I am realizing that there are times when I do not want to stretch out and comfort others because I am enjoying my own feelings of comfort. But as I press through and begin to esteem others before me, God begins to work in me too. Isaiah was comforting the people with words from the Lord that they had done…

"Spiritual Pyromaniacs"

The other day I saw a man in my home state of Ohio set himself on fire and jump into a waterfall. He started this practice 30 years ago. It was on all of the news stations across the country…you could even watch it on the web. Everyone was watching this human inferno and cheering from the sidelines. Me…I thought of what could happen if the church could catch fire like that. What if a young, spirit led church could become a raging inferno of God’s power and presence? Wouldn’t it be great if we were so “hot” that people just gathered at our churches to watch us burn…just like the man in Ohio. When he jumped off the ledge into the waterfall, the fire was put out, people cheered and the next day it was all over. The Holy Spirit of God is often symbolized by fire. It burns in us and enables us to become “spiritual pyromaniacs”…that’s church folks that want to set the world on fire. And the great news…that fire won’t go out and the impact will never be over. So let’s set ourselves on fire t…

Make up your mind!

Has anyone ever asked you to make up your mind? For many folks, its hard to make a decision. We want to analyze everything and gather more information before we decide. When we are walking right with God, it’s easy to make decisions because we are operating in His wisdom. The book of James tells us that there is wisdom from God and wisdom from that other guy. It also says if you lack wisdom ask God for some because He pours it out for everyone that asks! Wisdom is supreme. It goes deeper than understanding. Understanding is the ability to take things apart, wisdom is the ability to put them back together…with no parts leftover! You can put your life back on track today just by asking God for the wisdom to make good decisions. So what are you waiting for? Make up your mind!

Can you lose a lot and have it all?

What you are willing to walk away from determines what God is able to bring to you. In other words, there are some things that God has in store for us right now but until we walk away from some of our harmful habits and critical friends, the conduit by which the blessings come is hindered. Remember Abraham…he left his own country and family in search of a place that God said he would give to him. He took his Sarah and Lot with him. Somewhere down the road things got complicated. There was so much in both of their lives that it was time to separate. God said it was time to walk away. Abraham gave Lot his choice of land and they went in opposite directions. Suddenly Abraham started to be blessed again and again. He learned an important lesson…how to lose a Lot and have it all! What are you clinging to that keeps you stuck in neutral? Do you have a Lot in your life? You too can lose a Lot and have it all!

What is a commitment?

Commitment…yes, I know, that’s adult language. We have such wonderful intentions when it comes to doing great things. How do our intentions become stronger commitments? You make a decision to truly dedicate yourself to something or someone and you stick. You may say, "I help the men’s ministry at church, I coach my son’s ball team, I even give some of my cash to God! It seems that every time I do something for the right reasons, I get sidetracked". Commitments are intentions wrapped in actions and delivered with consistency. Commitments take time and energy. Commitments take doing some things even when you would rather do something else. Commitments take determined hearts and perseverance. One thing is always true: you can be assured that when you commit to things that God is doing…it won’t be time wasted! In God’s kingdom it’s not how many hours you put in but rather what you put in the hours. It takes determination and even patience. And when things go the wrong way, don’t…

Anointed

Psalm 92:10 "I have been anointed with fresh oil"

Perhaps you are not a Monday person. You work for the weekend, enjoy them to their fullest and when Monday morning comes around, it's hard to put a smile on your face. This verse out of Psalms is for you today...YOU have neem anointed with fresh oil so that their can be no friction today. Consider the fact that things will go smoothly today for you in every area. To be anointed means to be spiritually covered and flavored by the Anointed One who is Jesus. Today you are going to walk in favor and great blessing. If you read on in this Psalm you will see that you will flourish, bear fruit...one translation says you will be fat and flourishing! Spiritually speaking that is! So get up, smile and get ready...you have been anointed!

This is MY day!

Saturday is here! For most of us that means we can create our day rather than having it dictated to us. We can grab some extra time in the morning to read or write and things are not as rushed as they may seem during the week. As I got up today I began to think about "balance". My life is made up of work and play, worship and rest. Most everything I do fits in these four categories. Work seems to take up a huge chunk and if you put sleep in the rest category, it already has an allotted segment as well. Worship and play need to be scheduled. If I am honest with myself I have to admit that reading God's word and prayer don't always just happen. Neither do the times that I throw the rugby ball with my boys or help my daughter figure out how to beat Zelda on her DS.
I think that life should be well-balanced and that there should be time set aside for work and play as well as worship and rest. If we do any of these to the extreme, the others will suffer.
How are you spendi…

What's Your Excuse?

I was reading a story as I prepared for a Men's retreat about a man that had been sick for almost 40 years. The story is found in John 5. I would assume that perhaps his entire life he had struggled with his illness. I would also assume that anytime you live with something long enough, you just get used to it. Some people live with pain. Some live with abuse. Some live with the disease of depression.
One day Jesus came by the place where this man was. Jesus, the One who knows the number of hairs on our head, the One who can tell us what is wrong and how to fix it. And Jesus asks a question..."do you want to get well?". The first time I read that all I could say was DUH! Lord, I've been like this all my life! But the man does not answer. He comes up with excuses. Basically he blames his condition on the fact that the environment that he lives in does not care about him and neither do the people. Jesus knew his answer. He wanted to provoke this man to reallythink about…

Consider this...

You weren't born to die,
you were made to live!

Discipline

Just hearing the word may conjure up images that are not pleasant. Yet discipline for the believer is not a negative concept but a positive one.
Hebrews 12:10 tells us, "God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.(I heard that AMEN!) Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those that have been trained by it."

Notice that the act of discipline is for our good. God disciplines to keep your spiritual life on track. And honestly, I would rather humble myself than wait for God to do it. It is never easy to handle yet it is always productive. It produces a harvest of righteousness and peace! For everyone? No! For those that have learned the lesson that was required. For those that have been trained by it.

Maybe you are in the midst of a spiritual spanking today and it hurts. Let the pain teach you the promise. You are about to see a harvest of right decisions, right relation…

Who am I to you?

It was the question Jesus asked Peter in Matthew 16. Each of us is asked this question. Many people have various opinions about who Jesus is. Peter answered right...you are the Christ! Jesus was pleased by that response and said that He would build the church upon that new revelation.
Jesus is the cornerstone of our foundation as believers. How strong that foundation is will be determined by who He is to you. He is the Lord, Almighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. If you need a WORD today, let me offer you this:
1-God chooses who He uses
2-God decides when and how to speak to His people
3-God is always right on time
There are days when I don't need a Word from the Lord, I need a Chapter! Once we have answered the question, we can move forward into the blessings phase of walking with Him.
Today, make it personal. Answer the question. Jesus says, "Who am I to you?" Is that your final answer? http://www.thelandingonline.com/pages.asp?pageid=28804

my significance

How important am I to God? Have you ever wondered how he feels about you when he watches you live your life? There are times that I go through each day when I ask Him why He is responding or not responding to what is going on. I often will think that He could have approached it differently or more quickly. As I visited a little 4 year old boy in the hospital last week I wondered why he was sick and having to face the things he was facing. Gently, the Lord began to assure me that He was well aware of everything and that each detail, each medication and each prayer were being synchronized for the little boys benefit. He them reminded me that I did not need to figure all of this out. I should pray, encourage the family and help in any way I can.
Today things may not all go the way you intended. Know that in and through it all, God's purpose will prevail. And His purpose will always have your best interest at heart.
I realized that He loves me more than I could imagine and He would ne…

Being the Ultimate Survivor

How many times a day to you feel like doing a good thing and suddenly, the desire to do a bad thing enters the scene and you struggle? It's not something coming from the outside, it's all internal? There is a show in television called SURVIVOR and the three words in the logo give us a map for how to survive this internal struggle that everyone experiences, even the apostle Paul in Romans 7. Outwit, Outplay and Outlast. To outwit the enemy we have to renew our mind. According to Romans 12:1,2 that will “transform” everything else. Take every thought “captive” and delete anything that is contrary to God’s Word. To outplay the enemy we go to our body, the bible calls it the temple of the Most High God. If you are always sick and tired guess what kind of attitude you will allow to be represented? We are to get strong and stay strong so that we are not only able to finish this race as winners but so that we can help others who are not as strong finish too! And finally, to outlast t…