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Showing posts from June, 2009

The Word

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes..

There are many people today that are afraid to stand up for what they believe. They say if you are unwilling to stand for something, you can fall for anything. Paul gave us a hint into a powerful principle here. He was not ashamed of the Gospel for IT was the power of God. The power is in the Word. That Word, when spoken or read, will lead a person to salvation!

Simply stated, when you don't know what to say, you can't go wrong talking about the Word of God. It will not return void: it will always accomplish its purpose. I've learned this first hand as the Sr. Pastor of one of the greatest churches on the planet, The Landing Community Church in Glenpool,OK. The most moving services are those that are centered around the Word of God and not around what I want to say.

Pray today for boldness. Ask God to give you a heart for those that have not yet made …

How Can our Nation Change?

Righteousness exalts a nation...it's from the book of Proverbs. It means that our nation will not rise out of the funk it is in until we take a turn towards righteousness. We can put all the programs we want into place. Bail out every American family. Why we could even take away paying taxes and we will still not rise up to be the nation that we were created to be. Why? Because it is RIGHTEOUSNESS that exalts a nation. Making the right choices at the right time for the right reasons. It means taking a stand for what is right. Right is not relative. Right is what the Word of God says it is...the Bible is our blueprint...a manual for learning how to put together a life that will be blessed and successful.

In Proverbs 11:11 it says that "through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted". Now if we combine the wisdom of these two scriptures we could begin to understand that when the church becomes the church it was designed to be, the nation will rise to the level it was…

Nevertheless Brings Alwaysthemore

Yesterday we launched out...to the deeper places. It means we are supposed to intensify our ministry and go deeper. When Jesus spoke to Peter, who had just pulled an all night fishing expedition, going back out was just part of what He said. He gave them one other instruction...

2: Let down your nets The nets are your tools, your skill set, your talents, abilities, and resources. When we take what we have, surrender it to the Lord and go deeper…miracles will happen. At The Landing we have experienced a small taste of what this feels like…to go deep, to put our talents back into the water and GET A CATCH! Cancers have been healed, relationships restored, marriages saved, and finances blessed...all because we did not stop and fold up the nets!

Most churches, and people only get half of what Peter said> “but we have done this before, we’ve been out all night and caught nothing…its over, we are done!" This is where they stop. This is why they are dead, lifeless, lacking power, visi…

Launch Out!

In Luke 5 there is a great picture of Jesus getting ready to call the first disciples. Jesus is back from the desert, refreshed, refueled and once again surrounded by a multitude of people. He finds himself by the edge of the water with no way to minister to ALL of the people. Peter and his boys had just come in from an all-nighter…a huge fishing expedition and they were putting their nets away. Jesus took one of the boats that had just been docked and used it to maneuver himself into a place where He could minister to those that were there. It’s at this moment that we see His plan…to enlarge the teaching team. He notices them folding up the nets and putting them way. And the lesson begins!
As soon as he was done teaching the people by the water, he focused on those that he was choosing to help him get the message of the Gospel out to the world. He looked at those fisherman that were folding up their nets and putting them away and he said to Peter, “Put out into the deep and let down…

When it's Time to Go....Just Go!

The other day I was in a discussion with someone who
was trying to determine how to move into the next
season of their career. It was time for them to make
a transition and they were like most folks...the hardest
part of this type of change is the leaving. Today I want to
give you a short excerpt from my story when I left
the Christian music biz to transition into becoming
a full time Senior Pastor, Founding a Non-Profit Ministry
Center and a Church.

"When God tells you that its time to change
jobs and you stay longer than
you were supposed to, things may get very difficult
before you leave. The longer you stay where you are
not supposed to be the harder it will be to leave. I
often wonder why He seems to move us when
things are somewhat comfortable and going quite
well right where we are. I don’t like to move. But I
never want to stay anywhere longer than I am
supposed to. I realized that when I first became rest-
less in my job in the Christian music industry. If I
were hones…

Ending in a Better Place

“If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires.” – Galatians 5:16 (CEV)

Can you think for a moment about what is directing your course in life today? Are the circumstances you are in the middle of dictating the end result for you? Do you often find yourself in the middle of other peoples battles, wondering how you ended up there? Maybe you engage in activities, people and events without contemplating what you will be investing. If you are always ending up in a bad place, todays cup is for you!

The scripture today tells us a couple of things. We can be guided by the Spirit. Imagine having someone else making the tough choices for you! Yet too often, we make our own choices, based on how we FEEL and not on what is best for us. What is best for us is to allow the Spirit of God to steer the course of our life. Why? Because when the Spirit is in control, you don't give in to emotional, selfish activities. Oh, you will still have those selfish desires at times but …

Do-Dads

Yesterday was Fathers Day. Dads were being honored and celebrated all over the country. Dad's that do the job were enjoying a day of their own...I call them do-dads. Dad's are thoroughly equipped to do the job. They have a three-fold anointing: to guard, guide and govern the home.
As the guard they keep the family protected. They can discern the difference between thing that are harmful and things that are helpful.
As a guide they are able to lead. This comes as they set and example, teach their children how to do certain things and show the power of love within the family unit.
And they govern, they control the pace of life and the actions that the family takes. They set the tone.

The way we learn how to be the best fathers we can be is by developing our relationship with our heavenly Father. That anointing dad has to guard, guide and govern comes from God and enables and empowers us to keep the family unit safe, sound and secure.

The day of celebration may be over but the job …

Wisdom Gives You Patience

A man's wisdom gives him patience;
it is to his glory to overlook an offense.

Another nugget of wisdom from Solomon. Wisdom gives you patience. The power to be able to count to ten before you respond. It's the wonderful ability to think through something rather than just talk off the top of your head. If you have even been surprised by news that was not so favorable, you learn very quickly just how wise you are. If you immediately start running around in circles and screaming then you may need to meditate on this word today. The real translation of the word patience in the Bible is perseverance, not waiting. That is why we hear the phrase "will you wait patiently?"
When you learn how to develop the skill of waiting with perseverance, or hanging in there until more information is gathered, you can survive anything. The second part of this verse talks about how good it is at times to overlook an offense. Simply stated, you don't have a responsibility to share…

Humility

PHIL 2:1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

The bible tells us that humility comes before honor.(Proverbs 18:12) Humbling ourselves is often misunderstood. It comes by looking out for the interests of others. Humility does not mean that you think less of yourself...you just think of yourself less! Today, you can move towards humility by taking some time to make the life of someone else a little bit better. And as you humble yourself, God will begin to raise you up...to exalt you and cause honor to come in your direction! Get ready...you are about to rise up to a…

Live a Little

Ephesians 5:1 Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.


Freedom is a good thing. It's even a God thing. Christ HAS set us free so that we can live a free life. To do so will require us to make adjustments. Why? Because freedom doesn't always mean liberty. Think about it. When the children of Israel were liberated out of Egypt, they were set free of the bondage of Pharaoh. But it wasn't long until the could be heard grumbling about the way it was over where they were. They had to learn to adjust to the new found liberty and take a stand IN freedom. As Moses began to lead them and God began to orchestrate a plan to bring them to Canaan, they had to deal with this new life and the "rules" that God was setting up for them so that they could live the free life. They began to look at this freedom as a new kind of bondage. They were seeing this as a harness of slavery rather than an avenue of f…

Sent by the Holy Spirit

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In Acts 13 we can read about how Paul and Barnabas were called to ministry by the spirit of God. It was that spirit that sent them out to do the work of the Lord. I had the honor of sending out a large group of young people to camp on Sunday morning. You could feel the excitement in the room as they gathered together on the stage to be prayed for. It was then that I felt that the Lord wanted me to practice what I preached and tell each of these young people what I saw in them. Yesterday we talked about seeing faith...what did Paul notice when he looked at the man that had never walked? As I looked at each of these young people the Lord allowed me to speak into their lives and encourage them on their spiritual journey. It was incredible! This all happened after a large group of folks gathered around the altar of our church and were asking God to help them "see faith" too.

If we look for it, we can see faith. We can see what God sees when he looks at people. And when we speak …

See Faith

Acts 14:8 In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. 9He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
Paul was sent out to minister by the Holy Spirit. Divine direction. I really love this miracle. One thing about Paul that I pray will also be in us is that ability, that divine ability to “see faith”. He was able to look upon a seemingly helpless and hopeless situation and see something that only God sees. He SAW that the man who had never walked had something that could be ignited, activated and bring about his deliverance and so he spoke to that faith…Stand UP! Not only did the man stand up, he jumped to his feet and began to do something that he had never done before.
When we are delivered we need this kind of response…to jump up and get out there and do what we have been prohi…

Lengthen your cords...

The last part of the verse we looked at Wednesday says that we should "lengthen our cords and strengthen our stakes." If the tent represents our life, and we are encouraged to open up the curtains and let loose, it would seem a naturally progression to to let out a little cord. The cords represent our FAITH. When your dream is about to enlarge, it can only grow to the level that you have faith for. If you want something you have never had, you will have to do something you've never done. Lengthen your cords...let your faith be exercised. Your faith is tied to your life...and its tied to the stakes which represent your beliefs and convictions. Someone once said that beliefs are things you hold, convictions are things that hold you. Our stakes need to be firmly secured into the foundation which is Christ. When the stakes come out, the cords are no longer secure and the tent falls down. Do you get the picture?
What are you wanting to do with your life that has not happened y…

Open the Curtains!

Yesterday we went under the Big Top looking at Isaiah 54:2...
"Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes

Let's keep going and look at the next part of this scripture...it says "stretch your tent curtains wide and do not hold back."
Imagine yourself trying to look out your window at home with the curtains closed. You couldn't see very far could you? If you are getting ready to expand your ministry, your family, your career or your business you need to think BIG...after all this is the Big Top remember? The further you open the curtains the farther you can see. Our vision is only hindered by what we keep ourselves from seeing. Don't hold back...jump into what God has for you with both feet! Give everything that you have...pour yourself into it...let yourself go with the flow of the spirit of God!

Curtains are a barrier to your visibility. People pull the curtains shut when they wa…

The Big Top

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Every kid loves the circus...the sounds, the sights, the fried food and oh yes, don't forget the Shriners in their little cars!
Today I was thinking about life and how it can feel like a circus at times. Often we get caught up watching everything happening around us and what we don't realize is that we are being pulled into the event all the time. You actually become a part of all that is happening! As I thought about all the elements of a "circus" environment, what stands out to me is the huge tent that holds the attractions. They call it The Big Top.
Consider your life this big tent. It covers everything that you do, the people that you know and the places you will go. Somedays you feel like the ring leader while others you feel like the caged tiger or the person balancing on the tight rope.
Now read this from Isaiah 54:2...
"Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
streng…

Check Your Splitter

This morning as I went through my usual routine of pouring a cup of joe and then writing one, I was unable to connect to the internet. This happens occasionally and if I just power off everything and turn it back on it comes back. Today it didn't. I was offline...disconnected. That's right, I had no connection to the world wide web, the research, the information, those that read this column and worse than that, no way to update my Facebook and Twitter accounts! I was shut down! Though the internet did not work, my phone did and I called the cable company to report the problem. After five minutes of troiubleshooting the modem was back online and so was I!:)
The trouble...I had a splitter that connected the TV and the modem to the outlet and the splitter was bad. You see I had two sources feeding one outlet and when we took away the splitter and there was only one source, everything worked.
There are many days that I feel I have multiple splitters connected to me and if it just b…

Milestones and Landmarks

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There are some moments in our lives when we realize that we are part of something greater than ourselves. There are signs that we see along our way to help us chart our course and there are significant events and happening s that occur that have a profound impact on us. Yesterday at The Landing I had one of those moments.
I have felt that we were moving into a season at our church where God wanted to help us lay down some things that we have dragged along with us for years. The word DELIVERANCE came to my mind: the act of being rescued or set free. I was talking to our people about Peters miraculous escape from prison which I alluded to the other day here in my blog. And then I felt compelled, perhaps prompted is a better word, to ask our people to do what Peter did. That was to respond to the call of the the Lord. Peter had to get up and follow the angel IF he was going to be delivered. And he did. Many folks stood to their feet and walked down to the front of our church praying for t…

Get Up, Get Dressed and Get Going!

Supermax: the prison where no one escapes. It's the final exit on a life that went the wrong direction. In Acts 12, Peter was in an earlier version...perhaps known as Minimax. The bible says that he was guarded by 4 squadrons of soldiers. They were at the doors of the entry, at the doors of the inner cell and they were even chained to him. It looked like he was done for soon Herod would make a public spectacle of him and kill him in the town square.
But the Bible says that the angel of the Lord found Peter, all the way inside, on death row and told him to get up. As soon as he did the chains fell off of his body. Get your clothes on and your shoes and follow me! So Peter followed the angel and thought he was dreaming for this was so surreal. They got to the final gate and it opened on its own! Peter walked out of prison, FREE! As soon as they were down the road a bit the angel left to another assignment.
We are all in some sort of captivity. Some folks feel that there is no way out …

Power Trip

In Luke 4 the Bible says something astonishing. That Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit... led by that spirit...into the desert? To be tempted by the devil! That's right, you can be led by the Spirit of the Lord into places that seem isolated and lonely and face temptation! Jesus spent 40 days and nights fasting and praying and using the written Word to fight off the temptation. In 1 Corinthians 10 it tells us that no temptation hits us that others have not or will not face. It says that with every temptation God will always provide a way out!
After the season of fasting, the devil came to Jesus when he was hungry. The devil always plays to your weakness: God always prays for your strength!
The power of the Spirit is how Jesus defeated the temptation and moved out of the wilderness. The Bible says that he left still being full of the spirit...he lost nothing...in fact he gained everything.
What good could possibly come out of a month and a half of severe trials and temptations? Know …

June is Bustin Out!

June is bustin' out all over
The feelin' is gettin' so intense,
That the young Virginia creepers
Hev been huggin' the bejeepers
Outa all the mornin' glories on the fence!
Because it's June...

But it's comin' by dawn,
We can feel it come,
You can feel it in your heart
You can see it in the ground...

Oh that song takes me back to the late 70's when I played the role of Billy Bigelow in Carousel. And every year when we go into the month of June I find myself singing that song. You can feel something is getting ready to burst forth! I think that the Lord sets up times and seasons like this so that all of the earth begins to celebrate with you as you anticipate His blessing and expect the absolute best to happen.
Isaiah 55:12 tells us that,"you will go out with JOY and be led forth in PEACE; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."

Today notice the singing that is taking place around …

What Did You Say?

A careless word may kindle strife.
A cruel word may wreck a life.
A timely word may level stress.
A loving word may heal and bless.

I was in a conversation the other day with a couple of other folks. Two of them started to speak and as they spoke the tone began to elevate and before you know it, they weren't talking, they were yelling! Suddenly, they must have tired out because they looked to me for an opinion. It was in that moment that I realized the power of the words we speak. As they were discussing in an amplified way, I wanted so bad to jump in and join them. (It was like sitting at Chili's for dinner and getting a desert with three spoons...its hard to sit there and let two spoons get all the cake!) But I was practicing my "swift to listen, slow to speak" lifestyle.
When I finally did speak, not only did I have something to say but I was able to completely turn down the volume of the entire exchange with words. What comes out of our mouths is simply a reflection o…

Think About It

PHIL 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

The best way to bring about a turnaround in your life is to win the battle of the mind. Getting our head back in the game is just the first part. Getting our thoughts online is the next. Paul reminds us that what's on our mind is very important. Think about it? Think about what? Whatever is true...noble...right...pure...lovely...admirable. If its a good thing, think about it!

So where's your head at? Replaying a tape of a damaging defeat from a painful past will not move you forward. Read this scripture over and over today as whenever you start to have doubts and diseased thoughts. Transformation will come when your mind is renewed.