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Showing posts from October, 2009

Trick or Treat

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Peter told Mark about a time when the Pharisees were trying to trick Jesus with questions. They were trying to get him to give some wrong answers. But Jesus was ready for them. The Pharisees asked Jesus to pick out his favorite Commandment from God’s ten best ways to live. By picking his favorite he would leave nine important ones out. It was at this time that Jesus offered up a "treat" for us all. He simplified this walk of faith.
Read it in Mark 12: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these." What Jesus was saying is that if you and I could do these two things, we would not find ourselves in a position where we would compromise ourselves or our faith. Love rules the day.
The enemy of our soul will continue to try and trick us with words that tickle our ears but poison our hearts. Remember to t…

Sixty Minutes

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Very early Sunday morning you and I get a gift this weekend. You did not have to ask for it and you don't have to do anything to get it. It's free. It's time to set our clocks back which means that we are given an extra 60 minutes. Like most folks I will set my clock back when I go to sleep. I haven't met anyone that actually gets up at 2am to reset their clock! That would be silly, wouldn't it?
I am already thinking about that hour. How important could that hour be? What if I were to find something I liked to do and then I did it again in my extra hour. That could be fun! Or I could use that freebie sixty minutes to rectify a mistake I made in an earlier hour...kind of like a do-over!
You may think that an hour doesn't mean much. I remember when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying about the calling upon his life and knowing that the religious authorities had already sent a group to arrest him. He asked Peter, James and John to watch and pray while he …

This Is It?

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THE TIME HAS COME
THE TIME HAS COME
THE TIME HAS COME
IT IS NOW I SEE AND FEEL THAT CALLING ONCE AGAIN, TO BE PART OF A MUSIC THAT WILL NOT JUST CONNECT BUT,
MAKE ALL FEEL ONE, ONE IN JOY, ONE IN PAIN, ONE IN LOVE, ONE IN SERVICE AND IN CONSCIOUSNESS
MICHAEL JACKSON

Last night all over the world people gathered towards the music and the man. It was a world premiere that saw part of Michael's vision to connect and make all feel one come to pass. As I watched everyone gather in this celebration of a talented life, I could not help but think of another music that will usher in an incredible celebration.

The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Theref…

Living Life Upside Down

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The other day I broke out some of my old Cd's and listened to a CD from the group TRUTH that contained
the following lyric:
"What if we've fallen to the bottom of the well, thinking we've risen to the top of the mountain.
What if we're knocking at the gates of hell, thinking we're heaven bound.
What if we spend our lives thinking of ourselves when we should have been thinking of each other.
What if we reach up and touch the ground to find we're living life upside down."

It made me think about life and our culture and beliefs. We save the earth and kill unborn children. We lose those we love to "find" ourselves. It seems that what used to be wrong is now right. Are we living life upside down? How should we discern the difference between what is good for us and what is harmful?

The answer is the Word of God. It's our blueprint for life, living and active. It helps us to be wise and to make the right choices at the right time for the right reason…

Ultimate Survivor

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Saturday I enjoyed watching our young people in the annual Survivor event at The Landing.They were so full of energy, so vibrant and so lively! They competed in several challenges that were patterned after the popular TV show and the day ended with a Christian concert in the youth worship center. By the end of the day the energy level was dramatically down, the bodies were tired and the the faces showed it! But they were champions...they had finished the race and they had overcome the challenges!
I thought about the goal of Survivor: outwit, outplay and outlast the competition. As believers we are in the ultimate challenge: a challenge for our soul. There is a very real enemy that longs to steal, kill and destroy. But there is also Jesus...the son of God that gave His life for you! His desire is for you to have an abundant life. Transforming yourself by the renewing of your mind and running the race with perseverance. Keeping your eyes fixed on the prize and running in such a way as to…

Spread the Light

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Edith Wharton once said, "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
I often think about how I am perceived by others. I guess I am like most people that truly want to be loved and appreciated. When we are not treated in this manner most of us have a tendency to say "what's wrong with me?" We think about things we said and did and wonder what our problem is.
The Bible tells us that you are I were created in the image of God. When people look at you they see His workmanship and the beauty of His creation. You are a refection of Jesus! You were made to do some great things! Not only that but Jesus said that we were the light of the world and that we would be able to shine bright. His desire was to place these fearfully and wonderfully made people(you and me) on display so that His glory could be made known and that others would want what He was making!
So the truth of the matter is that you can be the light AND reflect i…

The Big Kahuna

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I've always wanted to learn how to surf. I spent some time one year long ago in Maui during the windsurfing championships and saw some of the best windsurfers from all over the world. It was amazing! I am certain that there is nothing quite like being in the curl of the big wave...the Big Kahuna. The bible says in Psalm 5:12 that God's favor surrounds us like a shield. I'd like to think of that like a wave. Favor is wrapped all around me and I am in the middle of this powerful wonderful experience.
This is a season of favor for God's people. Increase is showing up for them while others lose hope and see things diminish. The wave is here. Your wave is here! And when a wave of blessing shows up, you and I need to learn how to ride it through. Don't get off the board in the middle of this season. Ride it through! This is going to be an awesome day! Aloha!

Called to Be a Blessing

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1 Peter 3:8Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
I love to play the piano. I enjoy hearing a new song and then teaching myself to play it. I am amazed at how many songs can be written with just a handful of notes. Think about it: 7 white notes and 5 black ones in an octave. A total of 52 white notes and 36 black ones on the entire keyboard. That's 88 notes. Every song that has ever been written has utilized these 88 notes by positioning them in different places at different times.
People are like notes on a piano. Much can be done with the right group of folks! God wants to position us in such a way that we produce harmony with each other. Unfortunately, many people fail to make a sound. Others are way out of tune and need to be adjusted. And then there are those who…

Train Yourself!

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In 1 Timothy 4:7,8 it tells us to have nothing to do with godless myths in these last days. Don’t be swayed by the increasing amount of old wives tales. BUT rather, TRAIN yourself to be godly. People are believing some crazy things these days! In order to be able to make wise choices and take the right path, we need to stay in a learning mode. We need to keep on training.
Think about your training techniques today. Are you learning everything you know from the experience of others rather than having experiences of your own? I am always amazed when I talk to people that believe what they do about life, love and God simply by the things they have observed in others. Some have chosen to believe in God and practice that belief a certain way simply because mom and dad did. They have what I call "inherited learning". It's important to explore and understand for yourself. You and I need to learn how to train ourselves.
Training ourselves to be godly will require some reading of …

Off Speed Curveballs

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While watching the ALCS, I started thinking about curveballs...life's curveballs. Standing in the batters box to hit a fastball is easy once you get your timing right. It's the off speed curveball that catches us off guard. I've watched many batters back away as it looks like the ball is going to be high and tight only to watch it curve right over the strike zone. Once the batter has seen it, they usually don't get fooled again. The curveball doesn't surprise them and when it comes they connect in a big way!

When life throws curveballs it is easy to back away and be caught off guard. Things happen that we have not prepared for. Even if we had, they still cause us to rock back on our heels. Sometimes you even look foolish backing away from something that is not even going to hit you! But after facing a few of them, it gets easier to hang in there, plant your feet firmly in the box and hit the ball. There is nothing more amazing than watching a hitter take that curveb…

Words that Work

Proverbs 12:18
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
I am trying to be more disciplined about the words that come out of my mouth. I must admit that I can be guilty of saying things that can be damaging to others; "like a sword" the scripture says. Perhaps you have had those moments too when you thought to yourself, "did I really just say that out loud?"
The text today also says that our words can bring healing. Jesus sent His word and healing manifested. At our church we have been talking alot about favor and what God desires to do for us. We've talked about it so much that our people are really believing it and healing has come. Arms, backs, colds, even cancer has been miraculously healed, not by a mighty preacher, not by an emotional service. Our words have brought His presence.
Try an exercise on your own today by watching what you say. How much of your conversation is critical and negative? Replace the piercing words wi…

Two Forces

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”- Romans 12:2
There are two forces at work in the world: one that seeks to make you like everyone else and the other that is ready for you to be like Christ. One pursues you while the other you pursue. The pattern of this world is the one that we see every day through television and magazines. It changes with the culture and the trends. The pattern of Christ is consistent and does not follow trends or fashions. To become like Christ you and I have to renew our mind. We must reprogram ourselves to know what Christ is like rather that conform to what the world places in front of us.
Notice that you and I cannot begin to understand anything about the will of God until this change or programming takes place. His will is good, pleasing and perfect. You were made in the image of God. You…

If God is for us...

If GOD is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
Most of us have no faith in what we are able to do with God on our side. Yet in His Word we discover that there is no power greater than His power. Greater is HE that is in me(God) than the things that are coming against me.
If you read on in this chapter it says, "what can separate us from the love of Christ?" Tribulation? Hardship? Persecution? Danger? No! NO THING can separate you from His live...nothing except YOU!
In all of these things above YOU are more than a conqueror. That means you are super victorious, an over and above conqueror in every difficulty and situation. Not because of WHO you are, because of WHOSE you are!
You can be confident today that anything God has begun in your life will be finished. When the Spirit of the Lord is upon you and Jesus is your Lord and Savior, the only thing that can stop you is YOU!
So stand up, take a deep breath and walk into your day! This IS the day that the Lord has made. It…

What Are YOU Thinking?

I have found myself saying this little phrase over and over again as I have watched the news. Some of the decisions that are being made make me wonder what is in the minds of hose making the decisions! I look at my TV and say, "what are you thinking?"
It's clear that the things you think about have a tremendous impact on you. Why just yesterday I was watching three doctors list the difference between the common cold, the flu and the H1N1 virus. They held up little cards to show the differences. The flu had things that the common cold didn't like headaches and stomach trouble. All day long I kept seeing in my head these cards with the words headache and stomach trouble on them. The more I thought about them the more I thought I had a headache and stomach trouble. Now I am not minimizing the fact that many of us may show signs of these symptoms and may even get the flu. I just want us to know how powerful our thought life is and the fact that what we focus on WILL devel…

Monday, Monday...ba da,ba da da da...

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I would bet that if I took a poll across this country, the majority of people would not be thrilled about Mondays. Monday always gets a bad rap because to comes after a thrilling two days off. We call that the week end. Everybody looks forward to the weekend. What if we could change our perception a bit and look at the awesome possibility of Monday? Its the beginning of the week! So many possibilities and opportunities are juts waiting out there for us to seize.
We often look at things backwards. In Jeremiah 29, God's people were carried from Jerusalem to Babylon. They were isolated and separated from society-they called it exile- and God brought them there. Of course they were there because of the decisions that they were making. They needed to be regrouped and reprogrammed. Fact is this was the first ever TIME-OUT and it was a huge one! God was going to keep these folks in this place for 70 years and then He would be able to take them back to where they could have been all along…

Drop it Like it's Hot

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In Isaiah we are reminded that when we wait upon the Lord we can renew our strength. We can also "mount up with wings like the eagle." The eagles wing span can stretch to nearly seven feet! Their appearance is quite majestic when they are caught in flight. But their awesome flight ability does not come easy. The eaglet finds itself in comfortable surroundings for many weeks until the mother eagle determines that it is time to leave the nest. Mom stirs up the nest by flapping her wings making it very uncomfortable to help them move towards leaving. Maybe you've done that with your 23 year old too!
When it is time to learn how to fly the mother scoops up the eaglet and soars high above the terrain. As the little eaglet is enjoying this new perspective, suddenly the momma drops them off of her back. Imagine this little eaglet while in a free fall thinking, "hey, what's that all about!", "I'm going to die!". As the eaglet draws closer and closer …

A Tree is KNOWN by its Fruit

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The Bible tells us that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit. In the same way a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree is know by its fruit.(Luke 6:44) People are known by their fruit: that is the things that they do that bring value to others, the world and themselves. Our good actions, let's say our GOD actions, help people to know where we stand. In tough situations and seasons of change or winds of adversity, people are looking to see what kind of tree you are.We've got to be strong. You can bend but you cannot break. And you must continue to bear fruit.
The fruit from your life is more than just actions, its our words too. The other day someone came into my office and started to vent a little bit. In the venting they used language that was not like them! They were surprised(as was I) that the expletive came out of their mouth! In this scripture in Luke it tells us that this person most likely has some heart issues. For it says, out of the abundance of the heart the mout…

Crossroads

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Every trip has them...crossroads. Others call them intersections. It's that place where one road crosses through another going in different directions. Life too has crossroads. Intersections where decisions must be made. Though many of life's crossroads might be simple and easy to navigate, there are those forks in the road where your decision will launch you on to a place of no return.
Our decisions will determine our destination. It's not in life's chances but in it's choices that happiness comes to the human heart.
Many people just run right through intersections and find themselves on dead end roads. Others take turns that put them on a track that they never imagined. And still others sit at the intersection, unable to make a decision and end up going nowhere.
So if every decision produces a destination, the question today is what choice will you make? Life is filled with tough choices. Prayer can help us not only to decide, but to make a choice with absolute pea…

Window of Opportunity

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”- Isaiah 55:6

After I read this I wondered if we would live any differently if we knew that we had a limited window of opportunity to "find God" or talk to Him. I know so many people that live good lives but have never asked Christ to live in their heart and be their Lord. Being good isn't enough. Getting God is the key.

If I knew that my window was today from 10am-noon, I would make preparations to look for Him while He was in the area. I'd set my iphone to alert me when its getting close to that time. I would call when I knew that He was close enough to hear me. He that wins souls is wise. It's what it says in the Book of Proverbs. Perhaps today you can give someone that you love some encouragement to take advantage of their window of opportunity to draw closer to the Lord. This could be the BEST day that they have ever had!

Complete JOY!

Yesterday at church we talked about having "one voice". We pondered many wonderful scenarios of a church that was hitting on all cylinders. Imagine what the church could do if we were all in sync with the heart of God and used our voice(influence/skills/resources) to bring about positive life change in others! Personally, I am trying to pull myself together and get my mind, my heart and my body working together. It just feels good when every part of me is working together towards one goal. There is great power in agreement.
Today I was reading in Philippians 2 and it says,
2:1If 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.
Notice that being like-minded, having hearts united and spirits in sync is the key to having "complete" joy. Could you use some JOY tod…

Believe it!

I remember Jesus telling Peter and the disciples once about speaking to the mountains in their life and they would be cast into the sea.(Mark 11:23) Have faith in God is what he told them. But there was a condition on that mountain in the sea thing. They could not doubt in their heart. In other words they had to actually BELIEVE the prayers that they were praying and know that FAITH in God could do anything.
The life of a believer is one where we believe it and then see it. As followers of Christ we have a divinely planted inward confidence and assurance that the God who created us is reliable. It's that instinct that allows us to believe first. To the world, seeing is believing. That does not take faith and that is a breeding ground for more and more doubt. Doubt disables your faith. It disengages you from the process of healing, deliverance and blessing. If you can remove ALL doubt, you can speak to anything that hinders you and it will be gone. Believe it! It won't be long…

Don't Quit!

On this day in 1880, October 1st, Thomas Edison opened up the first electric light shop. He held over 1000 patents and invented many things including the phonograph. He built his own science laboratory at the age of 10. He is known to have said,‘Genius is one percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration’.
Though he started out selling vegetables and delivering papers, though he was partially deaf, he achieved so many thing that we benefit from today. The secret to his success was that he never quit. Whenever he failed at an experiment he just chalked it up as another way it wouldn't work and moved ahead.
Today, people quit too easily. When things get hard we look for an easier way. When it takes too long, our lack of patience causes us to give up. We know that life is challenging. We know there will be difficulties. But with God on our side, well, who can be against us? With Him ALL things are possible. He IS the way, the truth and the life. If you stick it out, if you keep moving f…