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Showing posts from December, 2007

Surrender vs. Giving Up

As we put a period on the year 2007 many people leave the year discouraged and defeated. What usually happens is that the attitude they leave this year with becomes the attitude they enter the new year with. By throwing in the towel at the end they harm the wonderful potential of the new beginning. I have always said that your past cannot poison your future unless it is invited into your present.

All over our world people are being destroyed by disease, debt, divorce, depression and the list goes on and on. The battle is so hard that they give up to these things. Surrender is not giving up, it's giving in. You give up to things that are not more powerful than you, you surrender to what is stronger than you. When we surrender to Christ, we no longer are able to give up because greater is He that is in us than what is coming against us. We are not just conquerors, we are MORE than conquerors. As believers we need not give up to the attacks on our finances, our marriages or our emotio…

What's in Your House?

In 2 Kings 4 there is an interesting story of a widow with two boys. She was scrapping to get by and the creditors were coming after her to take her sons away because of the debt. She takes her problem to the man of God, Elisha. Elisha asks her, "what do you have in your house?" She says "nothing at all, except this little jar of oil."
She was overwhelmed, challenged by life circumstances and dealing with being responsible for her kids. Many of you may feel just like this at the end of this year. You want help, you are sick of answering questions and people wanting things from you and you are looking for real answers. The trouble with each of us in this situation is that we are unaware of what we have. The way we get through the pain of what we lost is to look at what we have. What's in your house?
Stop talking about what has been stolen from you and what is overwhelming you. Stop looking at what you have as nothing at all. The woman took care of her need by fi…

Write it down, make it plain...

I like to journal my thoughts. As I was playing back this year and some of the entries in my journal I noticed something. I was spending alot of time looking for God in the middle of my situations. I noticed that I had grown a little bit spiritually over the last year because this year I was not writing down things I didn't like as much as things I did. It seemed when I compared notes that I was learning how to apply revelation or divine intervention into my everyday life.

The bible tells us to write down what we learn and make it plain so that all who read it may run with it. In other words, you have endured some things this year and come out victoriously not just for your benefit but for others too. Share your story, even if it means writing it down and reading it to someone else. Talk about what you have learned and encourage others with your testimony. There is nothing so moving as hearing someone share what the Lord has done for them.

So what are you writing down about today?

A Clean Heart

OK, you have six days left to tie up loose ends and prepare yourselves for the New Year. Perhaps there is someone to forgive, someone to bless or something still to do. Our exit from one season sets up our entrance into the next.

Take the initiative before this weekend to get your business straight with the Lord. One of the most common hindrances to prayer being answered is unforgiveness in your heart. David prayed a simple prayer after being caught in the sin of adultery and murder. "Create in me a clean heart, O God". He asked God to renew the steadfast spirit within him. To restore him to the place that he was before he made the mistakes. And in His grace and mercy, God granted his requests. There were still consequences that had to be paid for the bad choices but David was restored to God.

There is no better way to leave this year than restored to friends, family and most importantly God. Ask Him to create a clean heart in you too!

Merry Christmas!

May each and every one of you experience His joy and peace throughout this season, and carry it with you into the New Year! May your cup of joe runneth over!
Merry Christmas!

investing in interest bearing accounts

What are you expecting this Christmas? Did you realize that it takes more out of you being negative than it does to be positive? This holiday is all about people...the people that God has surrounded you with. Invest in relationships rather than stores. Play games rather than buying them. When you invest in people you always get interest.

Faith and fear are opposites. Faith expects the best, fear the worst. Start your day this Christmas Eve by asking God to surround you with favor and goodwill. Then go out and engage with those that He places in your path. Spread the cheer!

Relax!

As I was driving towards town today I was noticing the many different expressions on the faces of other drivers. Most of them looked frazzled and busy and overwhelmed. I chuckled a little bit and thought to myself, we all just need to relax! Take some deep breaths and let God do what HE wants to do. This is a time when miracles happen, when love ignites and new life begins.

It isn't just a season of advent, it's a season of advent-ure! You are the light of the world and this is the time to let that light shine!

Spare not!

Enlarge, stretch out, lengthen, strengthen, spread out…it’s an awesome thought!

What keeps folks from following God’s expansion plan?

Look at Isaiah 54:4 – He says, “don’t be afraid – you’re not going to be embarrassed.” “Don’t hold back – you’re not going to come up short.”

When we lengthen our cords (faith); when we open up the curtains, when we clear large pieces of property – we begin to think of impossible as possible. If our adversaries can get us to listen to the thought that says “you are in over your head” or “what if it doesn’t happen” then the mental mind games can hinder our progress.
Here’s the facts: God is the builder – you’re His tool. That's right, I called you a tool! God stands behind you – He goes before you and He will always support you. Don’t worry about being embarrassed. It’s His deal! You won’t feel like a widow when you know that God will never walk away or abandon you.
Even youthful humiliations (past times that did not meet expectations) will fade away when…

spread out...

Spread out to the right and left...
I went to the Fiesta Bowl this past January and got a taste of what it means to NOT be able to spread out. The stadium was oversold and we were all packed in there with more bodies than seats. Unfortunately, I like to spread out. What we learn is that living large will include the opportunity to spread out. You are going to need lots of elbow room cause your family is growing. People that you never knew will line up with the dream and vision God is birthing in you. Activity will increase. And not only will it affect your world, you will affect others. You’re going to take over nations, whole nations! You’re going to resettle abandoned cities! Ghost towns will become Holy Ghost towns because you are tying your thinking to God’s ability and not limiting it to yours.
When you truly catch the vision and dream that God has for you, others gather to assist you because God uses people to bring about His purposes. Make an impact to the left and to the right..…

lengthen and strengthen...

Lengthen your cords; strengthen your stakes
Isaiah is talking to us about vision and stability. Cords represent our faith. Stakes our beliefs. Some folks have no problem letting loose of lots of cord. The more rope, the bigger the expansion. Think BIG! You are only limited by where you drive the stakes. What do you believe God can do? Use plenty of rope and then drive the tent pegs in deep. You can do anything He says you can do. Your vision should always be bigger than you. If you can acheive what you are shooting for on your own merit and strength, you negate the need for faith to be used. Invite God in. Do something so big that if God does not show up you will not make it. Watch what He can do if you give Him enough cord! And remember, God is using you to accommodate others while He blesses you.

stretch out the curtains...

Stretch out the curtains – open them up and let the light in – open them up and take a good look at what is all around us. Look with spiritual eyes at what God has set before you – who God has placed around you. Listen with spiritual ears to the call He has given you and the directions He is dispatching your way. Don’t hold back! Loose yourself to be all that He says you can be!

Once the ground is tilled and leveled and all obstacles to our visibility have been removed, it’s time to determine just how much enlarging we want to do. On a clear day, you really can se forever. When you open up the curtains, not only can you see outside, but others can also see inside. So you may become a bit more vulnerable and transparent. And that is what God is looking for. Real, genuine people that know how to be who they were created to be. Start stretching today...open the shades and let the Son shine in!

enlarge your footprint...

Yesterday we decided that it was time to move the dirt around and prepare for God’s expansion. Perhaps you are feeling a bit restless and know that God wants to do something wonderful in and through you but you need a plan. You begin with an end in mind...an end that you desire. In Isaiah 54 we are given some solid counsel to help increase the impact of our life and the effectiveness of our calling. The next step is clear…
Enlarge the place of your tent – clear lots of ground! You need to expand your perimeter because more people are going to be involved. You see, we’re not building a kingdom; we’re accommodating His kingdom people. Too often we establish a boundary that we can handle, something we can manage. We put up our walls; we shut the doors, pull the curtains and rejoice with a select few while others are left on the outside looking in. But God wants to do so much more with us and we would do best by letting Him take control and follow His easy steps. How big is your financial …

Living Large!

Isaiah 54 contains an awesome word of encouragement for people that are ready for change. If you have ever experienced a season of spiritual dryness or non-productivity, you will love it. There will be a few parts so this so stick with me for a few days and we will come out of this living large and supercharged!
The very first thing it invites us to do is SING! Right there in the pit of discouragement and with your lacking non-productive life…SING! And what is the initial reaction to that counsel? What have I got to sing about?
Seems we need a reason – need to see some progress – an increase in our check at work – straight A’s on our children’s progress report – then we’ll sing! Give me a winning lottery ticket and just watch me burst into song.
But Isaiah also provides us with a reason. To put it plain and simple he says you may never have experienced “labor pains” but you’re ending up with far more children that all of those childbearing women!
Your blessing, it’s on the way! That good…

The Joy of the Lord

If you have ever walked through a season of unhappiness or loneliness and you are surrounded by people of faith, then someone has probably told you to the following:
Keep your chin up remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength!
That type of encouragement used to get under my skin because it was like telling someone who ran out of gas on the side of the road that they need gas. Add to that the fact that I did not truly understand what the joy of the Lord was.
I always took that to mean that my happiness would come if I would just get into God. I am learning that my happiness only comes when God gets into me I was burdened by the pressure of not being good enough the way I used to see it. Now I realize that all I have to do is let the Lord in and stop dogging myself. When He arrives He brings His peace,His love and His joy. And the joy that comes in with Him gives me the strength to endure.
Maybe life is hard right now. You may even feel a bit overwhelmed. Just remember, the Joy of…

Lessons in the Ice Storm

Can we really learn lessons from the things that are happening around us? As we sit inside today looking outside, there is more than a couple of inches of ice on tree limbs and hanging from the edge of the deck and roof. Imagine for a moment that this is just water. Liquid that we use everyday and now there are branches on huge trees that are breaking in half and falling to the ground. Beautiful bushes when touched fall to pieces. And guess what happens if you walk under one of those icicles as it falls from the roof? That's right, you get the point!

This liquid is dangerous because it has frozen. People can be dangerous when they are frozen. The church has been referred to by those outside of it as the chosen frozen. There is an overwhelming possiblity of snapping when we are not utilizing our gifts ad doing what the Lord has asked us to do. There is even the possibility of breakage when people try to touch us in these seasons. So our question is how can we thaw out?

We need the fi…

Don't Curb Your Enthusiasm

"Oh, not just one wish. A whole hatful. Mary, I know what I'm going to do tomorrow, and the next day, and next year, and the year after that. I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Coliseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things..." --George.

It’s a line out of the most popular Christmas movie of all time, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I like George’s enthusiasm. I think it’s because I like dreamers and builders. I prefer to hang out with people that see things others miss. It all starts with your outlook. When was the last morning that you got up and had that kind of enthusiasm? It continues with your uplook. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. Imagine yourself doing the things He desires today and being with the people He wants you to be with. Let positive energy begin to rise up in you. You will bui…

Stay inside the lines!

People today like to take risks. We are often putting ourselves in situations where we as they say, “push the envelope” or “live on the edge”. People tell us to go ahead and “take a trip to the wild side”. As I look at life for us and the type of life that God has set up in advance for each of us, I see an orderly approach that is meticulously laid out. Consider today if you would that walking by faith is NOT risky, it’s the best way to go. Total dependence upon God. To live an unlimited life within His boundaries.

We learned that at a very young age when we were given something to color and some crayons. We were told we did a good job when we colored inside the lines…stay inside the lines they’d say. As a very young child, it was hard for me to control the crayon and therefore many times are pictures looked somewhat…unique. I was reckless with that crayola and I was lovin it! As I got a bit older, I gained more control of the writing instrument and I started to stay within the boundar…

Where did that come from?

In Matthew 13 there is a story about a farmer, a land owner that planted some good seed. He owned the field, it was his property, his life. So he did his part to make sure that something beneficial went into the ground. Because a farmer knows one thing…whatever you sow, you will reap. Seeds represent the things we invest into good soil in order to produce a crop that we can enjoy at harvest time. The farmer was a provider. He was taking care of a family and others with the crop produced in his field. He sowed GOOD seed into the field because he wanted a GOOD crop. One day the men working for him came in to see the farmer. It appeared that right there in the middle of all of the good seed, there was something that did not belong. They told him that the wheat was doing well but that there were some weeds growing there too. They asked, “did you not plant good seed? Where did the weeds come from?” The farmer answered simply, “an enemy did this”.
Let me offer some food for thought. Many t…

Joetry

I wait on God for the steps to take
I wait on God for the choice to make
I wait on God for His inner leading
I wait on God for it’s Him I’m needing
I wait on God till I start to see
That all the while God had to wait on me
IS 30:18

The Spirit of an IronMan

This weekend I watched the Ironman World Championship from Hawaii. I was absolutely touched by the stories of people that were doing that event. Ironman events incorporate swimming, cycling and running. It begin with a 2.4 mile swim(that's right, I said mile), then moves into a 112 mile bike ride and finishes with a 26.2 mile marathon! In between each part of the race there is what they call a "transition area" where the clothing and shoes are changed and anything new is picked up to take on in the next part of the race.
One man running in the race had lost his legs in an accident. Another young man had been nearly killed in a car accident and had rehabilitated himself back to health and was trying to see if he could finish the race. One of the ladies in the race was 65 years old! Another older man, I believe he was in his 70'2 was blind! To watch these people take on this course and basically TELL their bodies what they were going to do was inspirational. They had so…

Why?

Have you noticed that every time something comes out in movie or book form that challenges what we believe as fully devoted followers of Christ, many rise up to tell us to stay away from it? I remember many years ago when people started a petition to ban MTV and get it off of the air so that it would not pollute the minds of our young people.
Perhaps I have been wired differently than these that seem to go off in a fenced in area and worship while the movement or movie infiltrates our culture. My idea was that rather than take the MTV network off the air, we should attempt to develop some good programming and use that existing network to get it to the kids. The problem at that time may have been that our music and our creativity was not maturing and developing as fast as theirs was.
Every day that we live our faith is not only challenged, it's confronted. Still the promise is the same..."no weapon formed against us will prosper". We should begin strengthening our faith so …

Strong Support

"For the eyes of the Lord go to and fro, throughout the whole earth, that He may strongly support those whose hearts are completely His" 2 Chronicles 16:9
Think about that today. God is looking for people. He is looking for people who are surrendered to Him. People that have given Him a place to reign in their heart. And His desire is to strongly support those people. If God is on your side, it really does not matter who your fighting or what the score is...you are a winner!
See yourself today as the object of God's search. Acknowledge His presence in your life and then imagine having some supernatural support system helping you today in every situation, with every conversation and in the midst of every struggle. And rest assured that because you are being divinely supported and your steps are being orchestrated, everything that happens will be thoroughly mixed together for the greatest good of you, your family and your calling.
Where your treasure is, you will find your he…

Some Assembly Required?

I am almost certain that you have been infected with the SAR’s at some point in your life…Some Assembly Required. It often hits right after a jubilant moment when you are proud of yourself for buying something that is just perfect for someone else. Most often it shows up in children’s toys…the cool ones…the ones that everyone wants. You get home so proud that you had purchased their favorite toy and kept it hidden until Christmas and now they are asleep and it’s late on Christmas eve and you bring it to the living room where the tree is. You ignore that assembly warning on the box as you rip open the top. Often you are more excited about this gift than anyone. What you see when that top is opened sucks all of the oxygen out of the room, makes the Christmas music on the stereo go flat and causes the recently drank egg nog to almost come back up…a plethora of plastic pieces, taped to Styrofoam that keeps breaking on the floor, laying on top of countless plastic bags. Upon closer inspect…