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Showing posts from August, 2009

The Spirit of the Lord...

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me... Because of where we have been , what we have come through and now knowing who we are, you and I have to really understand this. The only way for us to live a spirit led, spirit guided and spirit filled life is to understand this and believe it in our heart. There are things we have been called to do that are totally impossible if the Spirit of the Lord is not upon us. It’s the Spirit of the Lord that makes the difference. In fact, if you read Luke 4 you will see that Jesus made this very same proclamation before he began to do the marvelous things that His father had intended for Him to carry out on this planet. Say it today..."the Spirit of the Lord is upon me!"
It’s how you can walk into the office and give 120% or work all day at home and manage 3 children and still be smiling when your husband comes home…it’s the Spirit of the Lord that is alive in you compelling you to talk to Him and be in His presence though you may want to run a…

What's Your Story?

This week at The Landing we did a run through of our latest endeavor: we call it C4 which stands for Community Cell Church Connections. We have been in a series called What's Your Story?" and thinking about what our life would be like if it were a movie. Who would be cast in each role, where would the filming take us and what will this movie say about us? It's been quite an exercise for all of us. So many folks have a great trailer but it really is not reflective of their movie(life). I've seen some great trailers and then left the movie within the first half hour because it was clear that all of the best scenes were in the trailer!
As I asked each person what movie best reflected their life we had answers like "The Notebook", "It's a Wonderful Life" and "National Velvet" to "Gran Torino" and "The Wizard of Oz". What we started to realize is how much we start to act like those things we see and hear. Art imitates li…

LOL

The bible says that a merry heart does good like a medicine. I have a picture in my house with Jesus laughing. I like to think of him enjoying life and smiling and laughing out loud. Every time I look at that picture I smile. When was he last time you laughed out loud?
I was spending a nice quiet Saturday afternoon at my home getting ready to watch a movie and I had just gotten myself a big bowl of chips and a large glass of tea. I was so excited to have a break and ready to enjoy my snack and a movie. As I sat down in my recliner and leaned back the back of the recliner broke! I fell backwards and found myself pelted by a bowl of chips and drenched by a large iced tea! I was trapped in the middle of a broken chair, stuck on the floor and unable to do anything but laugh out loud! It really was hilarious. I picked myself back up, cleaned up the mess, all except for the chips that my dog Midnight ate, and just kept laughing at how funny that was and what that might have looked like. I ha…

Testing, 1,2,3...

What kind of learner are you? Do you learn from observation or from trial and error? Some people gain most of their knowledge from watching others and patterning their lives after them. Others jump into new ideas and situations and learn from personal experience. There are benefits of both but chance are that you are dominant in one of these.
The bible says, "Test everything. Hold on to what is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21 I spent most of my adult life in the contemporary Christian music business learning by trial and error. The ministry I was working with was very creative and many times we were pioneering new approaches to videos and recordings and especially concerts. When you pioneer a work you are the first one to do it that way. So many times in my job I would have to test the waters, try something and then hold on to what was good. I made a lot of mistakes! I would miss the mark many times. But I would never quit. Winners never quit and quitters never win.
You cannot wi…

A Grand Design

Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG
It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

What are you living for today? Is it a bigger house, a nicer car, a new suit or maybe even for a spouse? Paul reminds us in today's scripture that we find out WHO we are and WHAT we are living for IN CHRIST. Notice what it also says in this verse: He had his eye on us and He had designs for us to live a glorious life! It was part of His plan and purpose that we find out about that plan and walk it out. You can't get your hopes up until you've got His plan down!

You can live on purpose and live by design of the One that created you and laid it all out for you ahead of time. How do we start? Just ask Him today to direct you. Trust in the Lord with all your heart...lean not upon your own under…

Slips and Falls

“When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”- Psalm 94:18-19

Everybody slips. Everybody falls. Sometimes the fall is painful. Sometimes it leaves a mark. When I was a child I was playing wiffle ball in our backyard. You remember the skinny little yellow bat and the plastic ball with the holes in it. My friend Jim was at bat and I was pitching. I threw the infamous slider and Jim took a huge cut. The bat "slipped" out of his hands and flew towards my face. I was looking up to catch the ball and the bat hit me right on the chin and I "fell". The bat cut my chin wide open and it was hanging down and bleeding. I was more shocked really than hurt but there was alot of chaos and confusion that day! And today when I think about it, I laugh about what that had to look like. I no longer have the pain though I still have the scar!

I have experienced many spiritual sli…

Huge Week of Investing!

What an incredible week of investing! This week I spent some wonderful time making some huge deposits. I have watched as my account has grown bigger...not my bank account...my love account! That's right, I've been investing in people. This week was peppered with a plethora of meetings and conversations. It was awesome! It feels great when there is so much activity happening around me! I am surrounded by an amazing group of people that want to use all that is in them to serve the Lord. And I am serving Him right there beside them. Together we are building people. When you build great people, you build a great church. And whenever you build there will always arise situations where things can become confusing and the plans can be hard to read. I have found that in order to keep a project moving forward, you must stay connected to the people you are building with.
This week I spent some time thinking about The Landing and the way that we began. We rented out a room at a technology…

Keep Running

Galatians 5:7 "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? 8That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9"A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough."

There is nothing more discouraging than running and having someone cut in on you. It not only hinders your progress but may also cause you to stumble and fall. It only takes a small compromise to lead to a great fall. The bible tells us that life is like a race and we are to run that race with perseverance. To keep our eyes on the prize and run in such away that we win!

In this race we call life, there are very real deterrents which come from the enemy of our soul that wants to cut in on us and stop us from running this race. To not only distract us but to disrupt us as well and even knock us down. We have to make certain that we take heed to the advice to keep our eyes on the finish and to persevere so that we can run right through the obstacles. Yes…

Can You Hear Me Now?

It’s what we say to someone as we leave their presence. Many times we do not really want them to call, it’s just a way for us to end the conversation and get out of there. We have ways to eliminate folks from communicating with us today. Caller ID tells us who is calling, voice mail takes their message and call forwarding sends them to another number altogether. In fact, you don’t have to talk to anyone today if you don’t want to. You can even be in another state other than your own and no one could tell the difference. Your voice mail at home can call your cell phone to tell you if someone left a message. So what’s with all of the tricks?

We have made ourselves so accessible that most of our day can be tied up in just answering the requests of those that want to reach us. Between email, voice mail and texting you can go absolutely crazy. When I worked with Carman Ministries, I was usually on call 24/7 which meant at any moment I could be called upon for information or to solve a probl…

Preserve Love

"Disregarding another person's faults preserves love; telling about them separates close friends." Proverbs 17:9

At some point in our lives we will have to make a decision...to cover an offense or to gossip about it. In this scripture we are told that we preserve love every time we cover the faults of another with the love of God. Unfortunately it is so easy, in fact it's natural to lash out and attack a person that attacks us. Or to point out the faults of another if it will make our way easier. Getting ahead at the expense of another. When we are backed into a corner our natural instinct is to look to divert blame and point the finger at someone else. That is not the way Jesus handles these situations. To turn the other cheek takes discipline and self-control. And the Word of God tells us that love covers a multitude of sins.
Not everything you hear or everything you find out is meant to be spread out. Some things are meant to be covered...by the blood of the Lamb an…

Purify Yourself

“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”- 2 Corinthians 7:1

A few weeks ago my office computer was contaminated. It was more than a virus and it was nearly impossible to eliminate. I tried all of the tricks, all of the programs and still he virus was there. It would have been easy to quit, get frustrated and even stop using this computer. But I decided that I would be DILIGENT and keep after it. I was finally able to get it off the computer but I had to go to the "root" of the trouble. Once it was removed from the root, the computer was no longer infected.

Our bodies are infected the same way. Viruses and programs attack us to bring sickness and disease and keep us from performing at full capacity. Our verse today talks about getting rid of everything that contaminates the body and the spirit. Masking the problems will not eliminate them. Denying that t…

Let God

All week long we have been talking about letting go...of guilt, of wounds and of our need to know everything. What a difference adding that little "d" to the end makes! One small letter ushers in an answer to the release and gives permission to the Lord to intervene in all that is happening.
Have you ever thought about how many things you went into alone and tried to fix by yourself because you did not invite the Lord into your situation? How often did He desire to help me but I just did not let Him? He did say ASK and you would receive. He wants us to dialogue with Him and to talk about what is happening in our life. Like I'm taking to you today...simple conversation with the ONE who breathed life into yours! One of the easiest prayers in the world is just one word....HELP!
Letting God requires the letting go. You cannot hold on to one end of the circumstance and give Him the other. Hopefully this week you have felt the release of that guilt and the release of that resent…

Let Go of Your Need to Know

For many years I was bothered by anything that I couldn't figure out. I had what I call a "need to know". Whenever anything happened to I always had to try and figure out why it happened. When someone did something nice, I wanted to know the motive. I spent so much time analyzing that my faith was paralyzing! I couldn't grow because I didn't know!
The bible says that we walk by faith and not by sight. Walking by faith requires us to experience things that cannot be explained. Like how we could be "peaceful" when there is chaos all around. Or how the money to pay the bills just seems to show up at just the right time. Perhaps the Lord would instruct us to relax and realize that there are many things in life that come on a "need to know" basis. But know this...God working things out on our behalf.
Let me help you today. You won't figure everything out. You could go crazy trying or you could just 'trust in the Lord with all your heart and l…

Let Go of the Wounds

Let go of your wounds. Lies, broken promises, conflict, and betrayal are a few of the things that wound us emotionally. And internal wounds are much more serious than external ones.
Remember falling as a kid? You don’t remember the cuts, scrapes, and bruises you got on the playground as a kid but you probably do remember the painful words that were said to you. I don't know who said that playground phrase, "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me!" but it's just not true. The names often hurt the most!
We remember emotional wounds a lot longer than physical ones. We cannot afford to keep playing the tape over and over again of the things that wounded us. We've got to let it go!
There’s a word for rehearsing a hurt over and over again in your mind – resentment. It literally means, “to cut again.” Every time you nurse an old would, you’re cutting yourself again. Now that sounds pretty stupid doesn't it?
The Bible says in Psalm 37:8 (GW),…

Let Go of Guilt!

No one wants to hear another somebody's done somebody wrong song! Yet we all seem to love singing it! Being wronged is very difficult to let go of. This week we are letting go of some things that should not continue taking the journey with us. Yesterday it was worry. We let it go.
Today we have to examine those feelings that come with being wronged. Being falsely accused or being subject to a terrible situation that is out of your control is a horrible ordeal. The sooner we are able to release them the better. When you hold on to the emotions surrounding being wronged you experience guilt. Do you know some folks are still carrying a grudge from something that happened decades ago? Guilt not only takes you off point, guilt sucks the very life out of you. It negatively affects your mind, your health and more importantly your relationship with God. We've got to LET GO of guilt!
God has given us a wonderful promise in 1 John 1:9 (NIV), “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and jus…

Let Go!

As we embark on another week, many folks that sat in church yesterday missed an opportunity to start fresh. Why? Because of the things that they won't let go of. I see it happen every week! All of us seem to want to hold on to things longer than we ought to...things like worry, being wronged and being wounded. We cannot afford to walk into a new season in our life carrying the old luggage of past hurts and wounds.
Today we look at worry. Let go of worry. Proverbs 12:25 (NLT) says, “Worry weighs a person down.” What could you do if today, right now, you were able to let go of worry? Worry will take away your strength and worry will make all of your problems look bigger. Why not introduce that problem to the Lord today? Everything looks different when you hold it up to the Lord!
Worry will stop us from moving forward in the plan that the Lord has for us. It paralyzes and prohibits growth.
So how can I get rid of this luggage of "worry"? Psalm 55:22 (NCV) says, “Give your wo…

Raise the Tide

"A rising tide raises all the boats in the harbor"

If we attempt to use our talents and abilities and resources to bring positive change upon others the impact is exponential. They say that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. Well one good apple can make all of the other apples look appetizing as well. When you raise the standards at your office or your church, you bring everyone else up a little bit. It's a ripple effect that can dramatically change our results.

It's time for each of us to raise the standard...speak up and speak out for righteous living and take our businesses, our families and our churches to a higher level. We were made to succeed and we a re blessed to be blessings! You may think that your wave will not make a difference. Just remember, all the boats are going to come up as you raise the tide!

You Are His Workmanship

Ephesians 2:10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Can you wrap your head around this verse? You were made in the image of God, His workmanship. You have been crafted and created by design. That design was set up before you were born so that you would accept the Lord and start doing good things that glorify God. You've had other options. All of us have. But at some point we all realize that someone has their eye on us. Someone is watching over us.
Your life has purpose and that purpose is to bring His glory into the lives of those that you are in fellowship with. As you build your relationship with Him, you will begin to see that design and enjoy all that comes with walking it out. Blessings will overtake you! Favor will surround you!
So many times we are bombarded by bad news, ambushed by difficulties and adverse circumstances. That is part of life. But when we realize that we were made to survive in …

Community?

Community: a group of people practicing common ownership. At The Landing our vision is to "bring community to the church and the church to the community." When you think about what makes up a good community there may be several factors. Safety, integrity, proximity, activity, connectivity...the list can go on and on.
In a culture where we always connect via a cell phone, a text message or an email, it is growing more and more challenging to develop sense of community. I know people that think they actually have friends because they show up on their Facebook profile!
A friend is not someone that accepts you in cyberspace, a friend is someone that will sit across from you and hear your heart, share your hurt and allow you to be yourself. If the truth be known, if you have thousands of friends on MySpace and Facebook, you may be neglecting some REAL live friends right beside you!

How hard would it be for you to lay down that Iphone or Blackberry and have a real discussion withou…

No More Excuses!

“But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”- 1 Samuel 16:7

There are many folks that never find their sweet spot of success because they make excuses. You'll just keep on losing if you keep on EXCUSING! To say you aren't tall enough, pretty enough or that you don't have the right clothes or live in the right neighborhood. Let me tell you today that God just doesn't care about all of that! When He looks at you He does not see clothes or height or weight or neighborhoods. The Lord does not look at what people do. People look at all of those EXTERIOR things but God looks at the INTERIOR. He is interested in your heart...your motivation...your longings and your desires. You see He knows that your heart is the location of your treasure so that is what is most important to Him. Without heart, y…

Build Yourself Up!

JUDE 20-21But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!

22-23Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.

Jude is a little book with a lot to say about living life. This weekend, our church was involved in an outreach that touched several hundreds of people in our community with some tangible love: that's love you can feel. So many hours went into the preparation and the set-up and then all day Saturday we were facilitating the event, loving people, serving them and then cleaning up. At the end, the weariness was not in the eyes of everyone, it had reached our bodies too. I felt it. As the pastor, I knew that many folks would …