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Showing posts from July, 2009

Light it Up!

Matt 5:14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Jesus called YOU the light of the world. Light is meant to illuminate...it should be visible...it should shine! I want you to hear me tell you today that YOU have a gift...to light up the space that you occupy...in the office...in the kitchen...at the grocery store or in the restaurant. You were created to be lifted up, a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
Too often we take this light and hide it. We lack self-esteem and confidence. What's the problem? We've forgotten what Jesus said about us. The circle of influence that you have is waiting to be "lit up" by you today. When you walk into the office, light it up. When you come home …

His Word

“I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.”- Psalm 119:93

I cannot imagine what life would be like without the Word of God. In my 50 years on the planet I have seen many highs and lows. The highs have been amazing and the lows have nearly destroyed me. During the highs I found myself praising the Lord for success and favor. And in the lows, I was crying out to Him for help to make the pain and depression go away. There were many times that no one was around to talk to or pour out my heart to. It was in those moments that the words on the pages of scripture came alive and gave me perspective and hope. The wisdom of the Lord has been the single most important factor in me keeping it together when life was falling apart.
The Bible is living and active which means that it works when we can't. Yet most of us will pick up a newspaper today before we think about reading God's Word.
Let me encourage you today to acquaint yourself with His precepts. His t…

A Way of Escape

1 Corinthians 10:13 (New International Version)
13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

During this last year, I have come across this verse more than any other time in my life. Read it carefully because it is full of wisdom to help. The first thing I always notice is that when we are tempted, we MUST remember that we are not alone! You are not the first person to go through this nor will you be the last...its common if you are a human being. God is faithful. He does not allow you to be bombarded with more stuff than you can defend against. And He provides a way out.
Now I have always read this and simplified it like this:
1: Im not the only one going through this
2: God is faithful and I wont be pushed beyond what I can bear(with HIM)
3: He will provide a way of escape
I usually stress that "way o…

Changing Seasons

One of the most difficult things I have encountered in ministry is the change of seasons. It shows up in directions that God takes our church. It also shows up in personnel and leaders that develop their gifts, receive an impartation of God's power and then feel compelled to move forward towards their own personal calling and ministries. Seasons of change are everywhere!
I remember when The Landing started and the seasons would change I would become so discouraged. When our ministry changed due to situations out of my control, I took it personally and was critical. When people would move on, I really took it personally. The bible says
Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
Moving from the spring to the summer, the summer to the fall, the fall to winter and winter to spring can be difficult at times. Transition and change requires adapting to the change and being flexible. When we trust in the Lord and lean upon His unders…

God has not...

For the last several days I have been meditating on a verse that I have heard for years. It comes from 2 Timothy 1:7 and says,"God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind." It has been bouncing around in my head because I am certain that there are many things I do not engage in because of fear. Another translation uses the word "timidity". As a believer filled with faith and the love of God, I am supposed to be bold, declaring His goodness and driving out things that do not belong!
Unfortunately, I still wrestle with timidity. Maybe you do too. You want to jump in with boldness but you start to worry about what a person might say or how the situation may change. When all we should be thinking about is obeying the voice of the Lord.
God has not given us fear. That comes from the dark side and is not productive. It paralyzes. It prohibits. It procrastinates. By its very definition fear is actually being afraid of "impending" da…

Blessed!

Have you ever been moved up to the head of the line for no apparent reason? Perhaps you were in a restaurant and someone payed for your meal without you expecting it? When blessings occur that you have nothing to do with we call it "favor". The favor of God surrounds the believer. That means good things will happen to you and come into your life that you did not make happen...God did! God wants to bless you! (Say that out loud!)
I was once in a meeting where many people had gathered to hear the speaker. I arrived about 10 minutes prior to the event with a friend of mine and we sat where the open seats were, all the way in the back! I did not mind, I wasn't grumbling, I was just happy to be there. In a few minutes someone that I had met one time many months previously, recognized me and came to say hi. Then they asked me to get up and follow them to the very front row and even gave me a bottle of water to drink! They happened to be on the staff of the person that was speak…

The Fantastic Four

Yesterday we looked at that preparation phase the disciples went through while waiting for the power that God promised them. Once that power hit, they were ignited and initiated into doing some incredible things for the Lord. Take a moment today to read a short little scripture in Acts 4:32-25. You will notice something in this group of new church folks that should exist in all of us today.
There are four definitive characteristics that stand out in the first assembly of faithful followers in the Bible. I'll call it the Fantastic Four because it really can change the circumstances. They had one heart, one mind, great power and great grace. This formula is one that breeds a positive outcome and blessed results. Whether you are in a corporate setting or a ministry one, you cannot fail if you strive to allow these things to manifest.
One heart speaks to the passion. Where your treasure is, your heart will be as well.
One mind is the focus...keeping our eyes on the prize and pressing f…

Wait for the Power

After the resurrection, Jesus visibly appeared to more than 500 people in person to put an exclamation point on His ministry: to convince them that what He had said about life and eternal life was true. It was to be the catalyst for the beginning of the "church", i.e. the assembling of believers together. The church is not a building, it's not a place, it's you and me.
In Acts 1:4 he gives some of His faithful followers the first instruction over a meal: "don't leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about." In verse 8 He would clarify: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

They were going to be given POWER...wonder-working power. It would change them from the inside out and it would em-power them to transform others too. It would be a landmark moment for people of fa…

This is the Confidence We Have

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Confidence...it's something that each and every one of us needs to develop in our lives. Someone once said that it was the feeling you have before you understand the situation. Another definition describes it as self-assurance that comes from having faith in our own abilities. Confidence is not arrogance. Arrogance is confidence without reason and wisdom. Arrogance causes you to be separated from others. Confidence draws you into the pack. Confidence in God helps you be all that you were meant to be in the midst of others.

The scripture says that we are to approach God with confidence...with a firm trust. That comes because we know that He is reliable and trustworthy. We communicate in this manner with Him because it is how we receive mercy and grace when we need it the most. It requires us to know who we are and why we are here on the pl…

Light and Momentary

2 Corinthians 4:16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Are you ready for a great week! You should be! You cannot afford to "lose heart". It may appear that you are diminishing but things are not always what they seem. Remind yourself that no matter what it looks like on the outside, inwardly God is building you up and strengthening you so that you can come through victorious on the other side of this trial. The things that you are going through are not going to kill you, they will make you better. And they will always seem "light and momentary" when you compare them to the eternal glory that is waiting for you!

Yesterday, my garage door broke and my car was sti…

Living IN Him

Colossians 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ is the beginning of a wonderful life of blessing and favor. There will still be some challenges but the good news is that God can help you overcome every trial!
How do we continue to live IN HIM once we have made the decision to follow Him? Today's scripture gives us some insight.
1: We must be rooted and built up in Him
Roots will come from reading His Word and learning the heart of the Lord for each situation. The deeper the roots, the taller the tree. So the deeper you become rooted in Him the higher He is able to build you up.
2: Strengthened in your faith
Faith comes by hearing: hearing the Word of God. Read verses of scripture out loud to yourself. Things like "I AM more than a conqueror through Christ" or "My God shall supp…

Grace and Mercy

1Timothy 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

These are the words of Paul. Remember the story from yesterday's blog and that dramatic conversion experience he had on the road to Damascus? Praise the Lord for Ananias and his willingness to obey the Lord and impart the power of the Spirit to Paul!

Paul reminds us that it doesn't matter where we have been or what we have done because God extends to us mercy and grace. Grace is what God gives that we don't deserve. Mercy is what God doesn't give that we do dese…

YOU make THE difference!

For the last few days I've been thinking about influence. We have seasons of impact and influence that are orchestrated for us by God and we should use it to have the greatest impact for the kingdom of God. So I have been a bit reflective and thinking about how I use my time and the things that the Lord has planted in me. Writing books, blogs, consulting, leading worship, writing songs, teaching a class, preaching at church...am I maximizing this influence. I have so many creative people around me and I am pleased everyday to see them using their talents to lift up the name of the Lord and bring Him glory. I think it is very important to use whatever platform you have to lift up Christ because that is how we will lift up the rest of the world.

Throughout the Word of God, there are many stories about how one person can make all the difference. The key is to be obedient to act when we are prompted to by that "still small voice" inside of us. It may be to deliver a kind word…

Thoroughly Equipped

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Today, as you drink your cup of joe, I want you to let this sink in to your heart and spirit. God sent His Word, the Bible says, and that Word brought healing. It restored relationships. It won battles. It calmed minds that could not find peace. His Word was preserved and protected for us so that we could be trained in righteousness: that is to make the right choices at the right time for the right reasons and produce the right results. And according to verse 17, so that we might be "thoroughly equipped" for EVERY good work.

I will be the first to admit that I have gotten myself into things that I did not feel I was ready to do. If I did not talk myself out of them altogether, I just kept walking hesitantly forward. Each and every time that I entered something that God set up for me…

You've Been Gagged!

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About 8 years ago we started doing these things I call GAGS...its where we give away Groceries and Gas to people that have no idea they are about to be blessed. We were in Bixby,OK at that time and these kinds of things were not just fun to do, they paved the way fort our church and ministry to grow. I have always felt that outreach was the most important thing a church can do to reach the lost. When we show God's love in tangible ways, people are moved in His direction. You always gravitate towards the people or things that accept you.
Now we are in Glenpool,OK and I started to feel that it was time to do some of the things that make The Landing a great church...so we started gagging the city. On Saturday, we went all out and gave away gas at QuikTrip, bought groceries at Doc's Country Mart, delivered groceries to 22 families and even had a FREE car wash. I put "No Donations Accepted" on the sign. We wanted to bless the community and it wasn't about raising mone…

Life is Beautiful!

I was watching the previews of the movie My Sisters Keeper...have not seen it yet as I am one of those guys who cries at movies. Marley and Me tore me up! What caught my attention was the song. It is called Life is Beautiful by Vega4. One of the lines in the last part of the song says,"I will hold you tightly, when the hurtin' kicks in....Life is Beautiful, but its complicated, we barely make it. We don't need to understand, there are miracles."
Something just fired me up when I heard that. If you are like me you want to understand why everything happens and how everything ties together and resolves. However, if we knew it all we would not need faith. Where's the fun in that? We don't need to understand how it all fits together! We just need to know the One who fits it together! He said that ALL things would be mixed and mingled together for our good if we love Him. Part of that process if to love yourself.
When was the last time you got up, looked in the mirro…

Activate the Power!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”- Ephesians 3:20-21

Take a moment and really read that verse. God is able. He's not in a recession and He's not overwhelmed by all of life's circumstances. He's not watching the market to help decide the next move. He is on stand-by, ready to be activated by YOUR faith and words! Ready to bring an unmeasurable amount of blessing into your life. How much? More than you can imagine or think in that limited brain of yours. How does that happen? Because of HIS power that is already working in US. Don't let yourself get sidetracked by the busyness of your day or the negative things that the people around you are stuck in. God has placed something in you already and it is going to exponentially grow when you speak it our with your mouth. Activate …

Blinded by the Light

In Acts 9 there is a great story of a powerful conversion. Saul is attacking believers and seems to enjoy bringing the church down. So God hits him with a bright light while he was on one of his "Punish the Christians" crusades and asks, "why are you persecuting me?" Everyone traveling with him was stunned...they heard the noises and saw the effects it was having on Saul but they saw nothing! Saul was spiritually blind and now, physically blind. For three days he had to be led around, unable to see yet still able to consider the question he had been asked. He ate and drank nothing.

Meanwhile God was still working his plan. In a vision he speaks to Ananias. To sum it up, he has a mission for him.
17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18Immediately, som…

Commit to Character

There are many times in our lives when we look for people: people to work with, people to start a business with, even people to grow old with. Most companies looking for top level employees hire "head hunters" to find them the most qualified person for the job. I am not sure what the criteria are that these types of folks use but I do know that the most important thing to the Lord is our character and not our talent. That has never been more prevalent than in today's culture where companies are crumbling because of CEO took the money. Marriages are ending because a spouse was unfaithful. Churches close because a leader has gone off course. Character is being challenged every day.Character is who you are when no one is looking. It's the mixture of your personality, your faith and your heart. Character is fine tuned over time and it says more about you than your talent. So if you are going to choose to engage with people in the work, faith or personal arena's of li…

Get Out of the Way!

Yesterday our youth pastor brought a refreshing reminder to our church: that you may be the one thing in the way of getting what God has planned for your life. I began to think of all of those times that I thought I was doing the right things and saying the right words. Yet, my prayers were not being answered. And then I realized that I was doing things the way I wanted but never asking God what He wanted! I was standing in the way of my future: the one that God had planned for me!

Maybe you are confused and feel like things are not happening the way you thought they would. Maybe you don't understand how God works. It's ok! I seem to remember many apostles, men of faith that even wrote letters in the Bible that never understood what Jesus was saying through His entire ministry time on earth! So we are in good company.

Today, let you Spirit take control of your steps and your words and let God take you where He wants. It will be the best place you could be and you will be the hap…

Happy Birthday America!

This is a great day to say a prayer for the nation whose God IS the Lord!
Bless all of you on this day and God Bless America!

Surrender

I was thinking about this word this morning as it is the theme for our youth at The Landing this year. It means "to cease to resistance and submit to that authority." Some may say it means to give up. When we "surrender" to the Lord, we are talking about that moment when we give up doing things our own way. We cease to resist the drawing of the Holy Spirit which is what is pulling us towards making a decision to follow Christ.
I have watched many people come through The Landing since we began over 7 years ago that struggled with a "complete surrender". Most people want to change, to become more of a giver and to live life abundantly but that submitting part is tough. You have to completely let go and let God as they say. Often when we are praying in church, I will throw my hands up in the air and look towards heaven as I worship God. It is my way of opening up my life and my heart to allow Him to take control of all that is happening to me and fashion me i…

If Thou wilt...

Luke 5:12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Jesus is on a journey, being full of the Spirit, and comes to a man whose body is consumed by a skin disease. Leprosy had completely covered him. When he saw Jesus he fell at His feet and begged for healing: “Besought" means to plead”. But then look what he says…
“if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean”.
I want to go deeper here, OK?
This man knew(he had an understanding) that Christ COULD heal, but he did not know if Christ WOULD be WILLing to do so.
This simple phrase says something to me. This man was in the presence of Christ but did not understand the power of Christ…nor the heart of Christ.

“If thou wilt” I have heard this prayer prayed all of my life, in fact it has been prayed for centuries. I’ve been in counseling sessions and asked the person what they desired to have happen and …

Multiplied Seed Meets Every Need!

Last Friday we looked at the fisherman story: letting down the nets and launching out into the deep. In Luke 5 we saw that God takes over when our strength gives out. The fisherman got back out their nets(after fishing all night and catching nothing) and they went out into the deep water. Understand that this was the wrong time of day to fish and this was not the right place in the lake for them to catch fish....NEVERTHELESS, they obeyed and bam! Boat-load of fish!
But I want to look at the initiator of this incredible miracle; the trigger, the seed that caused the harvest. When Jesus got to the shoreline, he needed a platform to teach all the people that had gathered. The people were hungry. The fisherman were tired. The resources were all there, nets, people, boats but they were dormant. Jesus asked for the boat. The men agreed. By giving their boat to Jesus they were planting a seed towards meeting their own need. They needed fish, its how they made a living. They also needed to see…