Posts

Showing posts from March, 2008

Retreating...

I have gone into the Ozark Mountains to finish a book I am writing called TRANSITIONS.I am on what you may call a spiritual retreat. Often when we think of retreat we may think of giving up and walking away. My retreat is all about giving in (to God) and running into ALL that He has for me. Getting away from the white noise of the daily grind can do wonders for your hearing!

When you are tired and weary, the most spiritual thing you can do is to REST. Perhaps you are ready to abandon your dreams and stop moving forward. You may not be confused or depressed, you may just be tired!

Retreat into the loving arms of a Savior that cares about you today. See yourself being nurtured, refreshed and replenished.

Called and Gifted?

When we are wired to be “called and gifted”, why has the church become “stalled and sifted”? For over almost 25 years my life has been consumed with helping other people find their unique purpose for living on planet earth. You might say that I spend my time helping them learn how to spend theirs! What I have witnessed in this endeavor is simply amazing…this world is filled with some very talented and gifted people! Even at a very young age you can see their gifting and when they are put in an environment that exposes and develops their gifts, these little dreamers shine!

I think God put us all here to connect and share. When I meet you I find out what is important to you and I share what’s important to me. It’s an exchange of information that takes place each and every day. God plants His dreams in the heart of mankind along with a genuine desire for that heart to pursue and find Him. We are “called” to Him by His spirit which He has breathed into us. Why then are so many people not u…

Confession of Hope

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful" Hebrews 10:23

Realize today that you have the greatest part in shaping the type of day you you will have. You can begin talking about things that you desire to see and people you want to interact with and start thinking about what that meeting may look like. I have no problem in the thinking part of this but when it comes to what I say, well, that can be another problem. I try to think positive all the time but often my mouth negates everything that I have thought.

This verse talks about a 'confession of hope'. There are many situations that I am holding out hope for and when I learn the power that comes in talking about those things the world begins to shake. Imagine every word that you speak today becoming a brick that is placed on an incredible dream house called your life. You have the plans within you to build what you have always desired. The key is to not waver and p…

Anticipation...anti...ci...pa..a....tion...it's making me wait!

Yesterday we looked at painful seasons and how God can bring newfound strength to us in those times. Eccl.7 tells us that he is the God of the good times and the bad. remember that your destiny or divine purpose is never tied to what leaves you but rather what stays with you. If the Lord takes something away from you and does not give it back, believe that He has something even better for you...a job...a friendship...a faith-filled family of believers!
When we exert energy to try and hold on to things that God is trying to remove, its like stepping on the gas and the brake at the same time! (please don't try this at home!)
What are you looking forward to today? Have you asked God to surround you with a shield of favor? (psalm 5:12) Picture this day being planned out for you by your Creator and He has the most incredible joy-filled day of peace waiting for you to enjoy. Why not anticipate that? In fact, today, I'm not praising God over what I've lost...I'm praising God ov…

Feel the 'pain'...

Three years ago around this time I was going through a very tumultuous season. As things were unraveling in my life I remember feeling sorry for myself. It’s funny how God will try to speak to you through any vehicle he can. I was watching television and heard Mel Gibson say, “Pain is a precursor to change”. I think he was talking about a movie he was making but it made me stop and “feel” the pain I was in. It’s OK to feel pain. It’s the only way that we learn how to manage and deal with it. The Marines have a saying: “pain is just weakness leaving the body”. Today whenever I have painful moments in my life I think about those things. I realize that change is occurring and I try to embrace it. And then I smile because I know that I am being made stronger through the challenge.

Today, if you are going through any painful situations in your life, remember that God is still in control. He may be strengthening you and getting you in position for a great season ahead!

The Scary Side of Resurrection...

OK so yesterday was what the church calls "Resurrection Sunday". After Jesus rose from the dead and revealed himself to some of those that had been touched(more than 500 folks), people were amazed...ok, they probably freaked out!
There is a rejoicing when something that you love that has died comes back to life. But what happens after it has risen again? For those that followed Jesus it meant that this thing is for real and it will stick. A Judgement Day is coming when you will have to account for your actions and your words.
The scary side of resurrection is that we can often resurrect things that we should have left alone. Now, I am not talking about Jesus! I'm talking about things that we may think in our head we need and want and the fact of the matter is that should that thing actually manifest, our lives would be worse, not better. Some things seem to come alive on their own and they may even have a tendency to throw everything off.

People say, be careful what you pr…

Good Friday?

Today is the historical day we look back at the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. We call it Good Friday. For years I have wondered why we refer to it as ‘Good’ Friday. Inn German, for example, it is called Karfreitag. The 'Kar' part is an obsolete word, the ancestor of the English word care in the sense of cares and woes, and it meant mourning. So in German, it is Mourning Friday. And that is what the disciples did on that day—they mourned. They thought all was lost.

Perhaps the English language translates as 'good' Friday because we look forward to facing life's challenges and overcoming them just as Jesus did. We know that he endured horrific things but we also know that because he pressed through,those he created have power to endure things too. All is not lost. God is in this day. God is in everyday. You can call it what you want but I can assure you that if you face your giants, if you never lose hope and you never back down from adversity you will turn this Friday…

Joy, Joy, Joy!

A cheerful look brings JOY to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Proverbs 15:30

Have you ever considered that a simple kind look towards a stranger can bring JOY to their heart? As you walk through the aisles of the grocery store next time, take a good look at the faces of the people around you. They are looking for joy-givers. People need joy to be brought to them.

Statistics say that we are about thirty times more likely to laugh when we are with other people than when we are alone. People in "good spirits" may laugh 100-400 times per day. Here is another great reason to get connected to other believers!

There are sad hearts and weak bones all around you. This is the day the hearts smile and health comes to their bodies. You've got the JOY of the Lord IN you...so BRING IT!

When people leave...

I have been the pastor of a church for a little over 6 years now. It is so much different being in a church than working with a ministry organization like I had done for 20 years previously. There are many wonderful benefits and drawbacks and this week as we all look to our relationship with our Lord, I have taken a look again at some of my own emotions. The hardest thing about being a pastor to me is when people leave the ministry you are called to. Every time that a family or friend moves on to another season I feel it. Though I am getting used to "dealing" with those feelings I often have a much harder time managing them. Sometimes they are supposed to move on and other times it does not feel that way. Discerning the difference is what drives me crazy.

Always remember that God has a BIG picture. We should look positively at any amount of time we have with those that He surrounds us with. Instead of feeling as if people are taken away, consider that their season around you …

What are you looking at?

I read a scripture yesterday that I thought about all day long.
Matthew 6:22 and 23 says, "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.

The eye is the lamp of the body. If they are good, the whole body is good. If they are bad, the whole body is bad. I know that it is important when you run a race to think about finishing but if I take this to heart I must SEE myself finishing too. I must visualize myself winning at work, closing the deal, starting that friendship. Why? Because it seems that what I put before my eyes I allow to permeate my being. Remember that last terrible movie you went to that you felt so awful about afterwards? The only way to stay lit up is to fix our eyes on the ONE that IS light...Jesus. That is what it says about Him in John chapter 1. I look at Him because He is able to shield me from harmful things that could effect my entire life.

Take a…

Don't forget the benefits!

Bless the Lord, Oh my soul and all that is within me!
Bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and
forget not His many benefits. Psalm 103:1,2

Think about that today…benefits. Chances are if you are part of the working class you have an employer that provides you with a salary package that includes benefits. Those benefits can include a car allowance, a health insurance plan, and an expense account for trips or a variety of other things.

The bible tells us that there are benefits provided for the believer too. Things like healing for your body, peace for your troubled emotions and joy for those that mourn. Finances for the poor, strength for the weak, restoration for those broken apart…the list goes on and on. Today, bless the Lord because He is the Lord and Savior of your life. And yes, there are those benefits too! Don’t forget all of that today and start your week off by thanking Him for WHO He is.

Get ready to flourish!

Hopefully after our thoughts about seasons of drought and how to defeat them you realize that you have a voice in how those dry times affect you and shape the course of your life. When we prepare in advance we find that there is a reserve tank we can draw from when times get tough.

I thought about how important this is yesterday as I faced some challenges. I had been reading God’s Word consistently and spending time praying for people that are connected to me: church members, friends, and family. I was making coffee in the morning and looking forward to my day. I was feeling somewhat joyful! Suddenly a phone call tried too ruin my plans, change my schedule and keep me from doing what I had planned to do. I was so “prayed up” that I did not feel the need to do anything but finish making my coffee and get my first cup of joe for the day ready. By the time that my coffee finished brewing and I had my first few sips of heavens nectar, I had received two more phone calls that reversed all o…

Defeating the Drought-4

We are defeating the drought this week. Nobody likes to go through dry spells. God did not create us for drought but He did give us the ability to overcome it. Now that our root system is established and the weeds are eliminated, now that we have endured the sometimes painful pruning process, our next step is to let patience have her perfect work.

Step 4 is to-wait for the harvest
Anything planted takes time to grow. Too many of us have a chia pet mentality when we think of seedtime and harvest. We want to wake up the next day and see it. When we can't see it, we don't think it is happening. That is where patience comes in and continues to trust God. You tell yourself and the spirit that is in you that the drought will soon be over. You stay positive and keep your mind on what you desire to harvest rather than what is trying to steal your harvest.

Rainy seasons filled with the blessings of God are on the way. You will not only see these good things happen, you will experience the…

Defeating the Drought-3

We have been talking about how to defeat seasons of drought in our lives. Scripture tells us that Jesus wants to give us life and life more abundantly. There is no mention of drought there! First we cultivate roots. The deeper the roots, the longer we are able to sustain ourselves in seasons of drought. Second we eliminate the weeds. Don't let things that attach themselves to you stay if they are not speaking life to you. Today we look at another step.
3-understand the pruning process
Pruning is the process by which dead limbs are cut off as well as living ones in order to shape the plant and further its growth. I do not know of anyone that has been successful in life that has not had to go through a time of pruning. The fact of the matter is this: our circumstances, the people in our life do not prune us, God does. He is the only one with the big picture of what our life should look like. Oftentimes he is sculpting a perfectly toned spiritual workhorse and we fail to cooperate. I’v…

Defeating the Drought-2

Yesterday we defined what drought is and began to look at how to remain fruitful in seasons of drought. Developing a root system was how to began. To establish friendships now. To read the Word of God and pray intensely now.
The second thing we must do is eliminate the weeds. Nobody likes weeds. Nobody knows how they get into the things you are trying to keep beautiful but they do. Spiritually speaking a weed is an eyesore or hindrance to what you are called to do. They are distractions that often grow up within the plant, connecting themselves to the growing thing and growing right there with it. Bigger plant, bigger weed. We have got to get the weeds out. Matt 13 gives us an entire parable about weeds. Take a moment today and read it.

Bottom line is this: weeds are a sign of neglect. When you stop doing maintenance in the flowerbed, weeds come. If you continue to neglect, weeds takeover. The same things happens in our flowerbeds of businesses and relationships. And yes, even in our c…

Defeating the Drought

I heard someone once define drought like this… A drought in your life is whenever you must do without something you need, such as time, energy, money, or support.

There are people all around us that are going through a season of drought…financially, emotionally and maybe even spiritually. They are "doing without" something they need all the time. We have been designed to be fruitful and the multiply. In fact scripture tells us that you will know a believer by their “fruit”. To become fruit-full you have to be full of fruit! This week I will give you some help in defeating the drought and keeping your life saturated with blessings and fruit.

1-cultivate roots
There can be no fruit without roots and the simple fact in ministry and life is that you will need healthy roots when the seasons of drought come. And each of us will face them at some time or another. The deeper the roots, the longer you will be able to survive when your resources are limited. Your roots include your time…

Go deeper...

One day a fisherman had just come in from a long nights expedition. The trip was unsuccessful for no fish had been caught and he was folding up his nets and putting them away. A crowd entered the area by the boat dock and was gathering around Jesus. The boat of the fisherman was right by waters edge so Jesus asked if he could use it to preach from. He got in the boat and began to do what he did best...heal hurts and mend hearts.
When he was done speaking he looked at this fisherman and told him to launch out into the deep water and let the nest down for a catch. The fisherman was surprised for in his mind he was done for the day. His time was over and the end result was not beneficial. And now Jesus was saying go back out there...deeper.
Getting back on the horse was Jesus' idea. Trying again and trying harder was not Avis' slogan.  Jesus said it that day. In fact all of those wonderful motivational ideas and slogans probably have their origin with Jesus.
Have you stopped fis…

What's your net worth?

Let's get back to our fisherman. He picked up his nets again, got into the boat and went deeper. He was guided to an area that he had never been. He reluctantly agreed to go and once they had arrived to the place Jesus had picked, he let down the nets again. In his head he was grumbling,"this is the wrong time of day to fish and this water is way too deep." Still he obeyed.
Suddenly the water began to ripple and in just a few moments there were more fish than he had seen in a while. The nets were filling up and because of the amount of fish they were catching, they began to tear. The fisherman yelled out to his fellow fisherman and asked for help because now the boats were full too and starting to sink.
The fisherman humbled himself and fell at the feet of Jesus for he was sad that he had not believed. He would change. He would listen more. And he would continue to obey!
Those nets represented the fisherman's life. He was putting them away, frustrated and defeated. Jes…

A word of wisdom...

Be at peace.
Do not look forward in fear
to the changes of life;
Rather look to them with full hope as
they arise.
God, whose very own you are,
will deliver you from out of them.
He has kept you hitherto, and He
will lead you safely through all things;
And when you cannot stand it,
God will bury you in His arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow.
The same everlasting Father who cares for you
Today will take care of you
then and every day,
He will either shield you from suffering
or give you unfailing strength to bear it.
St Francis of Assisi

What are you agreeing to?

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” Eleanor Roosevelt

Think about that great quote for just a moment. Did you realize that those things which are causing you so much grief and pain had to have permission to bring you down? That’s right! You have to agree to give the power that you have away to those things. How do you give them permission you may ask? I believe that we make agreements and attach ourselves to things through what we listen to, what we see with our eyes and what we say with our mouths. Choosing to go to a movie with foul language and immoral behavior and situations is a way you allow those things to gain power over you. Letting your mouth say derogatory things rather than edifying things can bring you down. No one in their right mind would do something to hurt themselves, would they?
Ask yourself today what you are consenting to. What agreements are you making without really thinking about the attachment? Are you giving away power that you can’t affor…

Would He be pleased?

I was reading a story today in Mark 12:41-44. It began by saying "Jesus sat down opposite the place where offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury". Jesus watched people give. That thought really intrigued me. He was sitting there and watching what people gave in church.
Giving is important to Jesus. He wants to see how people respond and He is very interested in what they are doing with what He has given them. There were rich people throwing in large amounts of money and then a little widow woman came by and gave two very small copper coins. Jesus was moved.
He used that illustration to teach those closest to him a lesson about giving. And the lesson was that He cares more about what is left than what is given. This woman gave out of all she had to live on...it was sacrificial and it was heartfelt.
Every good and perfect gift we have is from God. The job that pays the bills and puts fuel in the cars. How are you giving? Are you co…