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Showing posts from August, 2008

Perseverance

Hanging in there...never giving up. The dictionary defines it as steady persistence in spite of difficulties or obstacles.
Perhaps we tend to give in right on the verge of a breakthrough. What if you quit a project the day before a windfall of blessing comes your way? Someone once said "its always too soon to quit".
What things are you giving up on today when you should persevere? Paul said to run the race in such a way as to obtain the prize. I want to win. I want to finish strong. Steady ALL the way to the end.
If you give up too easy get a buddy that will keep pushing you to keep pressing on. When two people get together there is more strength and power. So don't hang it up...hang in there!

Discipline

Paul talked to us about he was running the race of life. He ran in such a way as to win. The silver and the bronze were not acceptable. He went for the gold!To achieve that he said that he had to "discipline" his body. His mind was focused and he knew that his body would do whatever it was told. He told it to keep running. Though adversity increases, keep running. Don't stop and acknowledge the pain. Press on. Press through. You will win the race when you take control of your body. Keep your eyes on the prize, your mind focused and run with all your heart in it. God is looking and waiting for you. YOU are a winner! joseph jones
www.dreams2destiny.com

Pushed, Pulled or Led

I was thinking about some of the activities in my life and the things that capture my attention. Some of them are not always good for me yet it seems that I am being pulled in their direction.

I realize as someone trying to shepherd people that there are all types of influences and influencers "pulling" for my attention. As I wrote on a sheet of paper some of these things I began to classify them as to whether I was pulled to them, pushed into them or led to them. Scripture says that we are to be "led" by the spirit of God. As I put them all on paper I noticed that many of the things that pulled me or pushed me were not the best things I could be doing. All of the things that I was led to were beneficial and life giving.

As a spirit being I am being led on a spiritual path if I just allow myself to be guided. God has a plan for me and a path for me to travel. Most of the times I get into trouble it comes from trying to push something through and then being pulled in …

Forgiveness is the key

Some time ago I wrote of song about forgiveness. The verse and chorus went something like this:
When the pain runs deep within you
unkind words that have been said
and bitterness and anger dance around
inside your head
I can point you to the answer
for it lies in just one word
that makes you forget the pain
and all the things that you have heard

Forgiveness, can open heavens door
forgiveness, won't remember anymore
those feelings you keep holding to
give them to the Lord and you will see
Forgiveness is the key

Each of us has gone through or are in a season where we must use this key to unlock the door to our future. Without forgiveness we will be trapped forever. The natural response when something comes against you is to fight back. You know, eye for an eye mentality. There are times when you get ambushed and the attack is so terrible that you cannot do anything due to the shock. But the shock will wear off and when it does, anger and revenge are the next emotions to arrive. But remember this:…

Sword of the Spirit

One of my favorite weapons Paul mentions in Ephesians is called the sword of the spirit otherwise known as the spoken WORD of God. In the midst of an enemy attack, what we read and understand may need to be spoken out. The sword was attached to the belt we mentioned last week. The written word will have to be spoken in some situations.
The sword was heavy and of a broad design. It was used for stabbing and cutting. It was sharpened on both sides so that it could cut when swung in either direction. It required substantial effort to use it because it was so heavy. To memorize God’s Word and make it available to be used when necessary will require some effort but you can do it. Our kids are doing it. You can too!
When sickness hits...we say "by Jesus' stripes, I am healed" 1 Pet 2:24
When feeling pursued."no weapon formed against me will prosper" IS 54:17
When financial crisis hits "My God shall supply ALL of my need according
to His riches" Phil 4:19
When you…

Special Saturday Edition: The Helmet of Salvation

Ephesians 6:17
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The helmet weighed nearly 15 lbs. And though the breastplate was the most beautiful, the helmet was the most noticeable. Your salvation..the way you live your life as a believer is what people are going to notice about you.
The helmet also will keep you from “losing your head”. When you have the helmet on, its very hard to be steered off course.
Salvation has a broad meaning…it’s more than being chosen for eternity with Christ…
One person described it as a material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension. It’s preservation, pardon, restoration, healing, wholeness and soundness!
When you keep your helmet on, you keep yourself focused on Christ.
“Though shall keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee”
It’s important to keep your mind…put on the helmet!

Shield of faith

Ephesians 6:16
6 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Remember that the shield and the belt were linked together. Without the word of truth you can have no faith. The shield of the Roman Soldier was door-shaped and completely covered the man. It was not little and lightweight. They were made of multiple layers of animal hide ( 6 layers woven together) Yet because it was made of leather, it required a lot of care. If leather is not conditioned properly it gets brittle and starts to crack. So the soldiers were given instructions on how to care for them Each morning when they awoke they would use a small vial of oil and begin to rub it on to the leather to keep it soft and pliable. To insure success, they had to apply the oil everyday. What does that mean to you? Without a fresh touch of the Spirits power, your faith can become brittle and start to crack. Faith ignored will almost always break down and c…

New shoes

Another weapon were the shoes. These shoes were not made for comfort but rather to insure firm footing in battle. You need to know where to stand and how to stand. These shoes were tied on to the soldier and on the bottom were spikes..civilians had spikes that were 1” and the soldier had 3” spikes.
The gospel can be tied around you in such a way that every step you take is blessed by His presence. These shoes, tied on and strapped properly, enable us to do many things. They prepare us to love the unlovable...to reach the unreachable...to bring hope to those that have lost it.
Instead of “putting up with people” we are able to “put them up”..to honor them or esteem them above ourselves. And this type of attitude brings peace.
These shoes gives you a solid foundation. Firm footing.
Remember this...if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

Breatsplate of righteousness

Righteousness is defined as virtue, honesty, justice, purity and holiness. This piece of armor was stunning…it was constructed of two pieces of metal held together at the shoulders by two brass rings. One piece came over the front and one piece over the back. It went from the bottom of the neck past the waist and to the knees. From the waist down it looked like a skirt. It was the heaviest piece weighing 40-125 lbs. Depending on the soldier. It was kept polished so that even the glare would disable the enemy.
First impressions are crucial…this was the first thing you would see on the soldier…the shine and condition of the breastplate. Those who do not put this on, walk around discouraged and depressed because they are unaware of the luster and shine that being righteous in God can do in your life.
Notice that this piece covers your heart.
When your feelings are hurt, you need to know you are righteous. Guard your heart and your heart will guard you.

Belt of Truth

Last week I promised to address some of these "divine" weapons that God has made available to us to help us live our lives on this planet. These are the weapons that are mighty through God to help you pull down strongholds.

The first one that Paul mentions is the belt of truth. The belt is not usually the first thing you notice in some body's outfit. I've never gone up to anyone that I can remember and said, "Hey, nice belt!" Paul said stand firm with that belt of truth buckled around your waist. On the roman soldier the belt held his entire outfit together. The belt of truth represents the written Word of God...the bible. The bible should be the centerpiece of our lives...the filter by which our decisions are made.
It needs to stay fastened so that everything does not fall apart.

Truth is not relative. Truth is not what you make it. Truth is Christ. Jesus said I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life. Make it your goal to keep Him in the center of your life, f…

Realize your Dreams!

Yesterday our church began a new series about the life of Joseph. As we started into the book of Genesis, Chapter 37, it was obvious why this story is so popular among believers. Click on the link on this page and listen to it if you get a chance.

Joe had quite a life. Talk about ups and downs! God gives him a dream and as soon as he shares it, those closest to him hate him! His own brothers conspire to get rid of him! Sounds like an episode of The Sopranos doesn't it?

Each of us comes equipped with dreams and visions that guide us on our journey to God. When we do what He made us to do, not only do we win but those closest to us win also. Unfortunately, many people abandon their purpose in this life when adversity shows up. Joseph's brothers hated him for his dreams and for the way he talked about them. But he kept talking. He knew where we was going. He knew what God had shown him. And he went after it with reckless abandon!

Have you ever identified the reason you are on this p…

Serendipity

Serendipity: it means "the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for." Serendipity, it's one of my favorite movies featuring John Cusak. Some use terms like luck or fate. They say that sometimes things just happen. It was the Native Americans when needing water, tapped into a maple tree and made the first maple syrup as they boiled off the sap. Another moment of serendipity came when Mr. George Ballas was in his car at the car wash and noticed the strings of brushes cleaning his car. He looked at them on the rotating brushes and an idea "popped" into his head. I wonder if a nylon cord, spinning around at a very high speed, could trim the grass and trees around the house. That's right, the Weedeater was born!
God is the master of serendipity. In fact the bible says that he is able to give to us "exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or think(imagine). Things don't just happen...God is orchestrating our st…

Bittersweet

Today is bittersweet for me. It's the first day of school for my youngest son and daughter. It's bitter because the house and the familiar sounds of laughter and yes, fighting will be gone by 8am. Quite mornings will now be filled with some SpongeBob and waffles. It's sweet because my life changes again as if I have a new career because I have seven hours to work and accomplish all I can get done before they return home!

Last night we blessed all of our kids at church. We do this each school year to send them out with some spititual covering and prayer. It was special for me and I know that it will be an awesome benefit for the kids as they embark on this years educational journey. There are many attitudes and personalities that they will each face and I know they are ready. Our kids are going to excel and rise above each and every trial. This will be their best year yet! And it can be yours too!

Take a moment today to bless your children and then why not try to bless yourse…

Put on the FULL armor...

In Ephesians 6 Paul tells believers that they will have to put on the FULL armor of God if they want to withstand the enemy. The enemy is scheming to disrupt our lives and we can withstand those schemes when we are outfitted properly.

But the secret is that YOU have to put it on. Too many people never grow up spiritually and are always relying on someone else to "dress" them for the day. When you were a kid that was alright. But as you and I mature, we must learn how to put our outfits on by ourselves. You may or may not have friends around you when adversity attacks. Paul is assuring us that no matter what comes, if you will put on your armor, you will survive.

Stop depending on others to get you ready and to get you through your struggles. Put on the entire outfit that God has provided for you. We will look at some of our wardrobe options tomorrow.

Growing Weary?

Life is all about sowing and reaping. Planting and harvesting. You've probably heard someone say whatever you sow, that's what you will reap. Now really think about that for a moment. Is it becoming clearer? If you want more time, you have to sow...wait for it....TIME! Farmers know that you plant seeds of the produce you wish to harvest. If you want a harvest filled with kindness, then you must sow kindness. Now the one everyone should remember, you need more money, you have to sow money. Not saving, sowing. Don't get me wrong, saving is a good thing but sowing will produce so much more. I am always baffled by how confused some people get at harvest time. They wanted money but they planted time. They were critical and they expected some kindness. Whatever you plant, you will grow!

When was the last time you truly planted something? An hour. An act of kindness? An offering? We need to always be looking for places to plant so that we will be able to harvest what we have desir…

Social Network

Some time ago I joined one of those "social networks". Let me give you straight up what the definition of a social network is: a person's family, neighbors, and friends with whom they are socially involved. The key word here is "socially".

Funny thing about this network I belong to...you only see me the way I want you to see me. I choose the picture. I can show you what I've been up to IF I WANT. You only get to hear about the things I want to write about and when I want to tell you how I am feeling or what I am doing, I have complete control. Sad to say, I do not have to ever talk to you in person again unless I choose to meet you "in person"! Social?

I have always had a hard time meeting new people so this makes it very easy for me to develop a group of people that I could possibly become socially involved with. It plays right in to my need to be protective and secure. Maybe our culture has become so non-engaging that we have to play out our lives…

08-08-08

Pretty amazing day with the eights! Eight is the number of new beginnings. It signifies the chance to start over with a clean slate and without regret. Many businesses are using this day to launch their newest promotional campaign. I saw a car commercial last night that says they are featuring $8 down payments and $88 monthly payments today!

All of us make mistakes and find ourselves behind the "8" ball at times. Think of today as a chance to erase the white board, get a brand new marker and start designing the future. Nothing that has happened comes in to play. The past is over and cannot show up on this board again. All that is important is looking at where you are and mapping out where you want to be. You have been destined for greatness and there is a beautiful plan for your life that will bring you joy and also bless those that are connected to you. This day can be YOUR new beginning. What have you always wanted to try? Where have you always dreamed of going? Are you rea…

Casting down imaginations...

It's what we are to do with any thoughts that rise up contrary to the Word of God...cast them down. We are born with incredible minds that are full of imagination. When imagination is used creatively it can unleash beautiful things. However, when our imagination runs wild, watch out.

Whenever images in your mind start showing up that don't fit in the context of a life lived for Christ, you and I cannot afford to let them develop. In our spiritual "dark room" as we see them beginning to develop we must cast them down and hurl them away from our lives. Take captive those thoughts...demolish them before they demolish you!

I have an exercise that I do when an image is in my head that was not invited and does not belong shows up...I say out loud "delete". In my mind I am pressing a button like the delete button on my computer and erasing that image. Then I immediately place a positive image in its place.

Is your imagination running wild today? Maybe its time you di…

Demolition Day!

2 Cor 10:3-6
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

When you are on a spiritual journey, that is pursuing Christ, there will be challenges and struggles. You have to fight for what is important to you. That fight is what we would refer to as "spiritual warfare". Because it is spiritual, we do not wage war like you may naturally think about war. In fact are weapons are not man-made, they are divine. They have divine power to empower you to pull down strongholds. A stronghold is anything that has a stronger hold on you than Christ does. We cannot let a stronghold keep a s…

Losing the Baggage

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

We are part of an incredible team that God is putting together. In fact, if we are sensitive to His spirit we will see that we are surrounded. And if we are to compete and win on this team, we are encouraged to lose the baggage. Notice that it does not just talk about sin. Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that entangles. There are some habits that we do not need to keep feeding. There are attitudes and emotions that are like weights we must lay aside. They ca…

Incredible!

Image
This weekend I watched more than 100 children get school supplies and backpacks for school because of the Glenpool Community Outreach Center. 55 of them got haircuts!
Therer is nothing as moving as watching a child get something wonderful as a gift they did not expect. My heart was touched. I went over to one little boy who got a brand new Spiderman backpack that he showed me. And he was really excited about the Spiderman pencil case that came with it!

I love these types of events. I also met a terrific young man named Chris Gabriel who heads up a ministry called Rapid-Fire Paintball. They set up the portable arena right there in our parking lot and everyone enjoyed that activity. Afterwards we went into the auditorium to hear the music of Silver Lining and a short message from Chris. I would recommend this ministry to anyone trying to reach kids. They are professional, hard-working and a pleasure to work with.

Overall this weekend can be summed up in one word...INCREDIBLE!

Ready, get set....

We have been preparing for a huge outreach event at the Dreams2Destiny Center this Saturday. From 10-2 we will be passing out backpacks and school supplies to the kids in our community and we have the Police and Fire Departments involved in helping us do everything from free haircuts to blood pressure checks and even giving blood. There will be hot dogs and chips and drinks and then at 2:30 Rapid Fire Paintball starts in their portable arena. Live music will be happening inside the D2D Ctr and the entire day of fun, food and fellowship is FREEEEEEEE!

Just show up on Saturday...go South on HWY 75 and turn WEST on 141st St in Glenpool. The D2D Ctr is on top of the hill. Ready...get set.....now GO!