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Showing posts from June, 2008

Ambushed by the Enemy

There are things we face that attack us that we are prepared for. There are also things that surprise us. They come from concealed places or people and they are totally unexpected. In 1 Samuel 30, David is on his way home from battle. His season with King Achish had ended and he and his men take three days to make it home to Ziklag. As he comes up over the hill, what he would see would bring him to his knees. The land where he lived was completely burned down and no one was around. All of the people were gone. They had been kidnapped. All the women and children. Scripture says that David and his men wept until they could weep no more. They cried until there were no more tears left in their eyes. The men in David's army were so overwhelmed by the ambush attack that they got angry at David and even thought about stoning him. Now David was not only grieving, he was distressed by the feelings he was getting from those closest to him.

Maybe you have been hurt by someone close to you. Yo…

Loss of Direction

When years have been stripped away, enthusiasm wanes and our heart is broken, loss of direction is just a default. It’s DE-fault of the enemy! Spinning around in circles and going nowhere takes alot of energy. Then there is the inability to make a decision. I like to call it perception deception. In other words, objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear. Why don't you try using that little rear view mirror slogan for the blessings and favor of God. Your blessing may be closer than it appears! Losing direction is unsettling.This locationally challenged spirit brings us back to the first place the enemy hits us…isolation….being alone…being lonely. Loneliness is not a loss of affection. It’s a loss of direction.

Today I want you to see the power of your choices. You can take the high road or walk the crooked path. You have set before you life and death and today you can choose life. What have you got to lose? Your family. Your friends. Your happiness. Your peace. Your soul.…

Loss of Heart

Colossians 3:23 and 24 tells us that whatever we do should be done with a whole heart as unto the Lord and not for people. Imagine today that you are clocking in at the office for the Lord Almighty and not Mr. Smith. How is your day going to be different because the Lord is over you? Understand today that God is with us and in this for the long haul. We should be too. Men ought always to pray and not lose heart Jesus said. When our heart stays in it, it stays in our heart. Most folks that start feeling detached and disengaged have stopped putting their heart in it. Someone once said that when you are rowing the boat, you have less time to rock it. Love the Lord your God with ALL of your heart, and soul and mind and strength. It’s not how many hours you put in, its what you put in the hours that counts. And here is a clue…unless the Lord is in control of that heart, the heart is not capable of giving ALL. Are you losing heart?

You can swing the momentum today simply by applying ALL of y…

Loss of Enthusiasm

I think about Moses going to the mountain to speak to God and get direction. Forty days and nights he was listening and downloading divine intelligence. Scripture says that he was gone too long so the people built a golden image to worship instead of waiting for Moses to return. Their excitement over the water coming from the rock and the food raining from heaven had dissipated. So often in our culture today we start out strong. We have all kinds of ideas and joy when we begin but the real test comes later. Getting a new outreach or project off the ground has a lot of buzz around it and is exciting. But the real power comes when the day to day details and drama does not extinguish the joy of the journey. One or two years into doing it over and over again. How are you dealing with your loss of enthusiasm?

Loss of Time

525,600 minutes per year. 86,400 seconds per day. In God’s kingdom it’s not how much we save but rather how much we spend and how we spend it. That is a lot of time to invest. Many of us feel like we have lost too much time…we have gone without so long…we’re too old. I think about Joseph who experienced such great trouble for “dreaming”. He saw himself as a champion, a winner, a ruler. His own family could not deal with that. So they snuffed out his dream. In the pit, sold into slavery, rising to power in Potiphars house, falsely accused for rape and imprisoned, called to interpret dreams for the baker and butler, then forgotten and left in jail. He was 17 when he received the dream God gave him. He was 30 when it actually happened. It would be 13 years from the dream until the actuality of the dream! We can't wait 13 minutes for our food! Time must be used wisely because when it is gone, its gone. How do you deal with loss of time? Invest it wisely. Choose how you spend it and wh…

What Have You Got to Lose?

This weekend I talked to our church about loss. As we began we took a look at some of the strategies that seem to be used against us to stop us from moving forward.Even in moments when we are in sync with God’s will, difficulties can arise. As we get stronger and develop our God given instincts and abilities more and more ideas and opportunities come our way and we are required to become more responsible. To whom much is given, much will be required and if we do not deliver…well what happens then? Things disappear.

The enemy has a strategy. It starts with division. DI-vision…separation from the vision. If he can get you away from the pack…if you can be isolated and alone, you are an easy person to pick apart. Once division occurs, its not long before the feeling of defeat shows up. Panic and fear overwhelm us and we start to believe that we are out of chances. The third phase of this attack is discouragement. It means you dis-courage…there is no courage left. No strength to fight, no…

Location Frustration

How many times in your life have you found yourself unhappy about where you are? Maybe you are unhappy now? Frustration with your current location. There is a certain expectation that we have in our life. Things that we look forward to and things we expect because of where we are. I have prayed often in my life to be at the right place at the right time. When we are walking with the Lord it is the way we should live. And in that place, the place I prayed for, there was so much adversity and struggle and even pain. I prayed for an answer to why am I being attacked for being here? Am I in the wrong place? And the answer was interesting...I felt that what the Lord wanted me to know was that the hardships and attacks of my enemy upon me where I was were molding me. I felt as if he was saying that I was being attacked because of where I was going not where I was. The devils not fighting me because of where I am. He does not like where I am going!

Perhaps you have location frustration today.…

What you may be dying to know...

It's the tagline of a new class we started at The Landing. It's all about health and healing and led by one of our church folks Joe Nelson. He began the class by taking each one of us to the word of God and showing us in scripture what God's plans were regarding health. God wants us to live healthy, prosperous lives. In fact Jesus said he came to earth and went through all of our earthly experiences and died on a cross so that our sins could be forgiven and we could have life: or as he called it "abundant" life. We went to Psalm 91 which I referred to the other day. As you read it you see that God will deliver us from all kinds of bad stuff. Disease and affliction are just a couple of those things. He wants us to have a satisfied life and a long life! ( you can listen to his teaching today by downloading the mp3 audio at the top of the left side of this blog)

I was so proud of Joe as he poured out the foundation for his class. You cannot build something that stand…

Straining towards what is ahead

Here we are in the middle of the week again. Maybe you have had an incredible start this week. What usually happens is that our strength and determination start to waiver by midweek. One of the best ways to create momentum is to live in the moment. Forget what has past and strain towards the future. Keep something out there to pursue. Too often we sit with what has not happened and wish for something better. Don't sit here in the valley between Monday and Tuesday and Thursday and Friday. Take aim towards finishing something by the end of the week. Even if you have to strain forward to reach it, keep reaching. Not only will it energize you it will keep you from settling in the valley. This is your moment. Momentum is building. Keep reaching!

Standing on the Promises

Causing someone to expect something is what we term a "promise". When we make a promise we assure the person that they can be absolutely certain about the outcome. Think about how many times we may have said it. "I promise I will be home soon." "Keep doing your job and I promise I will give you a raise". All too often people make promises that they cannot or will not keep. When a promise is broken, credibility is breached and trust diminishes. Face it, you and I are only able to make good on promises if things line up the way they should or that we hope they will. We are fickle. God is not. In fact scripture tells us that Jesus is always consistent. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. About the only thing we can hope to promise to anyone is that we will do our best.

The bible is filled with thousands of promises for you and I that are guaranteed by the Lord. They are absolute facts and to put it in very simplistic language, you can take them to th…

Holding on to your confidence

The bible tells us in Hebrews 10:35 that we should not throw away our confidence because it will be richly rewarded. When you learn how to persevere you learn how to win. Winners always stick with it even when odds are stacked against them.

Confidence comes when we combine COURAGE and CONSISTENCY. Taking the initiative to step forward with courage and keep stepping.

So today, don't throw away your confidence. Your reward is about to arrive!

Commit your way...

Here we are at the end of a "fret-less" week hopefully. We got started by relying on someone who is always there and will never leave us hanging...we trust in the Lord. Yesterday we brought out the idea of being happy...delighting ourselves in the Lord. We close our week with the next verse of Psalm 37...verse five says to "commit your way to the Lord".
We must all make a decision about the path we are going to take. Robert Frost wrote about the two roads that split in the woods and that he took the one less travelled by. When we have developed our ability to trust God and be happy about it, choices will come much easier than they do when we are completely out of fellowship. When we commit to something we say that we will continue whether things are good or bad. And the good news continues in that once we have committed the way we travel to Him, he validates our life in the clear light of day and puts His stamp of approval on us.
One thing I am certain of as I past…

Delight yourself also in the Lord!

The fretting will begin to stop, or at least diminish when we learn how to trust the Lord. And things really start to turn around when you develop the art of delighting yourself in the Lord.

God wants you to be happy and if you are not right now it could be a variety of reasons. Look at those you are attached too. Look at the way you spend your time and your money. You can really only experience delight for yourself in the Lord when you have found a place to live that He is in. Outside of that, you are always going to be looking for the things that tickle your ears and satisfy your taste buds. The Lord can satisfy every need and craving in your life. As you learn how to delight yourself you will find that you are doing the things that you have always wanted to do. We call those things the desires of your heart and it is those things that the Lord not only planted in you but that He wants to extract out of you. All for the benefit of those connected to you. And as you benefit others yo…

Trust in the Lord!

Are you still fretting? Trust in the Lord! And do good! I see many people that trust the Lord but continue to do harmful stuff. That just does not work. You need the dynamic duo...trust and good things. Good actions and good words. Proverbs 3 tells us to Trust in the Lord with all of our heart and not to lean upon the way we see and understand things.

How do you start trusting. The rest of verse 3 gives us some insight. Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Live your life...move on...take steps forward and keep reading your bible and praying. To dwell in the land means to establish life and to produce and reproduce. In other words do not detach and fall away. Feed on the things that bring you life and happiness. Don't dwell in the land of negativity and despair. Remember, do not fret!

Trust today. It stands for total reliance upon someone trustworthy. The only one worthy is Jesus!

Fret Not...

I want you to read a short little psalm in the bible today. Psalm 37. There are many suggestions for a good life in this chapter and it all starts in verse one. It says, "do not fret". It means not to worry. One translation describes fretting like making a hole with constant rubbing. Replaying a bad situation or a traumatic time in your life can make a hole in your spirit. We have got to stop looking at others and making our own assumptions about the why and what of our dilemma. It will always look like the people that hurt you are doing great. They call that "deception".

Verse 2 reminds us that people that hurt us will one day answer for the hurts. It says they will be cut down like grass and wither away. Life is too short to fret over things that may or may not be true. This week we will look at some of the ways to overcome that constant rubbing that makes holes in our lives. First of all, stop fretting. Don't worry, be happy!

Church Camp

This is the week that our youth group at church goes to camp. I am somewhat envious of them as I never went to church camp. I hear all about the experiences from the kids and can only imagine what it feels like to spend a week together with your friends with only cold water and terrible food!

Seriously, I have noticed that camp time solidifies relationships that have started prior and gels a youth group together like nothing else. Perhaps it is because they play together, they pray together and they stay together. It's not about the speakers, the cabins or even the music. It seems to be about getting away from the familiar and trying something different.

There are many choices for all of us to make each day. Choosing to spend time with friends is a great choice. Whether you work together, workout together or worship together you can develop some lifelong friendships that you will always cherish.

Today take your own personal inventory. Like me, you may be a bit too old for camp. Who…

Learning to Float

I was watching some kids in a wave pool the other day. The waves were man-made to bring excitement to the all of those in the water. There was alot of splashing and thrashing in the water. But there was one little guy who was just floating. And no matter how big the waves got, because he had learned how to float, he would always be lifted up by the wave!

Face it, we all go through some difficult stuff. Waves of adversity come crashing down around us every day. If we could learn how to float we may end up like that little boy...floating on top of what was trying to bring us down. Surrender was the key ingredient to floating. You have to believe that your body is going to stay on top of the water and then let yourself go limp. In other words...let go of the control! If you try to move, if you panic, well you know what happens then!

Jesus said to come to Him if we were weary and overwhelmed by troubles and that He would give us rest. Maybe that means he would teach us to float. Don't w…

Pains and Bruises

Have you ever got out of bed in the dark and hit your toe on the bed post? Ever shut your thumb in a door? How about slicing your finger with the edge of a piece of paper? You can almost feel the pain that each of these things brings when I say them can’t you?

I have learned that if you are going to move at all in this world you are going to hurt yourself. Often we hurt ourselves by putting ourselves in places that we know we should not be. Many of the pains in my life and the bruises to my ego are self-inflicted. Whenever I hurt myself as a child my mother would warn me to be careful. I would. For an hour! Then I was back to my reckless life of fun and frolic.

The good news is that pain goes away. Remember that toe question I asked you? The pain will probably go away before the bruise does. Eventually all of the evidence that you were ever hurt will fade from your being. Our key to maturing in this life will be to learn the lesson but stop replaying the accident. When we rewind w…

Where He leads....

These first two steps deal with God speaking to us and preparing us for what lies ahead. Step three involves His LEADING.We cannot move into the “leading” phase until we have responded to what He has already done. Once we begin to take steps towards what He has shown us and is teaching us, then He begins to lead us down the path that leads to fullness of joy and life everlasting. We walk by faith and not by sight…His Spirit does the leading.
Today, you may be looking for “the way out” of life’s drama and the way into a world full of blessing and possibility. You may long for purpose and be starving for just a glimpse of what may be in the future. It all starts by looking in the right places and at the right things. I encourage you to fix your eyes on Jesus…he started the journey of your life and he will be there when it is over. He is the author and the finisher of the faith that you profess as a believer. Tell yourself that you are going to follow Him…trust in His leading and be aler…

Are you Teachable?

We are talking about the ultimate tour guide this week. Guidance for daily living is so important to all of us. We started this three step program by looking at how God SHOWS us the steps. Step 2 moves to the classroom and how He teaches.

TEACH:Once He has gained our attention and He’s got us looking He goes deeper. The word “teach” means to show the fundamentals or skills of something or to impart knowledge. In this season His plan is planted in us. Most people do not know that they come with a plan for a great life already deposited within them. God provides us with an incredible strategy for success. But that process must be walked out each and every day. Unfortunately in our culture people think that learning only happens for a season and then you graduate. Receiving instruction and learning is a lifestyle. Proverbs 24 says that through wisdom a house is built, through understanding it is established but it’s rooms are “filled” through knowledge. We need to be TEACH-able. Did you k…

The Ultimate Tour Guide

One of the wonderful things about the Christian life is that it is ever changing. If we can get our eyes on Christ, replace our agenda for His, then we open ourselves up to unlimited potential and possibility. There are no boring days when we wake up each day to serve a God whose mercies are "new every morning." His guidance is constant and consistent…he’s the tour guide that never gets out ahead of you…. the tour guide that makes it possible to understand Him as He is giving directions.
Some time ago I went through a drive-thru fast food window with a friend who pastors a church in Nashville. We were getting some food and when the person came over the speaker to get my order, his language was muffled, distorted and foreign. I looked at my friend, he looked at me,(like the two guys in the Sonic commercials) we chuckled and then I put my hand partly over my mouth and began to give my order in that same garbled dialect. You could almost hear the frustration on the other end a…