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Showing posts from December, 2009

Entering and Leaving

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Today I left the bedroom and went into the bathroom. I left the bathroom and entered the bedroom again, left the bedroom and entered the living room. I left the living room and entered the kitchen. OK, you get it...every time I leave one room I enter another. Every season that you leave is a transition which allows you to enter another. Tonight, millions of people will have their eyes on a large ball in Times Square that will drop as it counts down the final moments of 2009 and welcomes in 2010.
By this time tomorrow you will once again have a clean whiteboard in which to draw out all of your goals, plan your activities and develop a system that will accomplish all of it!
I encourage you to leave the baggage from 2009 in 2009. Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead is what the Bible tells us to do. How you leave this year will determine how you enter 2010. This could be your best year yet. You can start getting excited about it now! You can celebrate the end of a…

Goodness and Mercy

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PS 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.
There is nothing like knowing you have got some backup. There are so many times in our lives when troubles seem to ambush us. Things like disease, divorce and depression...I usually call these the killer D's. But you are not fighting alone. This wonderful psalm lets us know something about this personal security we have. Imagine for just a moment not having to watch your back because there are a couple of big angels, Goodness and mercy that have you covered. So now all of your attention can be on looking forward!
There's only one day left in this year to take inventory of what you have done this year and get your life in order for the New Year. I want to encourage you today and let you know that Goodness and Mercy will be following you into 2010...and ALL the rest of the days of your life! Your personal security will lead you into ete…

Restore Your Soul

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PS 23:3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Tulsa had a blizzard roll into town on Christmas Eve. It was amazing to watch and even more incredible to drive in! There were eight inches of snow in my backyard and it took me some time before I could carve out a path for my dog to make it to his favorite tree! The things we will do for our "best friend"! I was in the house for three days unable to go anywhere and do anything. At first I was thrilled, then less thrilled and then thrilled again. When I am busy I want to rest and when I can rest I want to be busy...what's the matter with me?
It was then in the middle of that waffling spirit that I made a decision: to use the downtime that I had been given to rest my body and restore my soul. The TV stayed off. There were no distractions...no noises except for the cracking of the first winter fire. And it was in this moment of peaceful solitude that the Lord refreshed …

Finishing Strong

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We are in the home stretch now for 2009. How we finish is very important. We must finish strong!
Several years ago I ran in a Race for the Cure event here in Tulsa. It was not a long race but I wanted to run in honor of my mom who has beat the cancer trifecta. She's a real champion! As I started the race I was very excited and proud and filled with energy. I was doing great! I was going at a pretty good clip, talking to people and smiling all the way. About half way through the race a somewhat portly old man came up beside me and then left me in the dust! I stopped talking to people and the smile turned to my teeth being clenched together as I turned up the speed. But the tank was empty. There was nothing left within me. I had started the race with so much but like a balloon I let it all out at once. I had nothing left. I finished the race with what seemed to be a group of granny's decked out in pink bows and t-shirts!
You and I have four days left. My prayer if that we would ha…

Twas' the Day After Christmas...

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Twas the day after Christmas
and all through our dwelling
The ham, bread and pies
made our stomachs keep swelling
The stockings were empty
but the tree still gleamed bright
And there’s guests in my house
for at least one more night
The snowfall was pretty
I’m a White Christmas believer
But now I must get out!
I’ve got cabin fever!
I’m ready to go out
And stand with the others,
The fathers, the children,
the grandmas and mothers
To trade in the pants
and the shirts, oh so small
It’s been 20 years since I
could wear that size y’all.
But I’ll grin and I’ll bear it
Cause it’s what I must do.
Twas the Day after Christmas…
Was it good for you?

Merry Christmas!

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Today we celebrate the humble birth of the One who changed our lives forever! For unto us is born, in the city of David, a Savior...Christ the Lord! May you and yours have a blessed and memorable holiday.

Merry Christmas and may your cup (of joe) runneth over!

Ponder as I Wonder

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Let's finish looking at how to have a Mary Christmas today. If you want to have a MARY Christmas, not only do you treasure up all these things…you ponder them in your heart. Our challenge will be getting our head knowledge into our heart. Mary thought about all of the things that had been said, all that had come to pass, all that had happened to her when she found favor. As we become consumed by what we have treasured up, we become renewed…though outwardly it appears that we are wasting away…we have a changed heart and inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Heart trouble comes from treasuring up the wrong things, the wrong acquaintances, the wrong life props. The bible says where your treasure is, there your HEART will be too. Don't let your heart wander! There is nothing more wonderful than a life lived for the Lord! We must PONDER while we WONDER!

I made a decision this year to have a MARY Christmas. I completely believed that NO THING was impossible if God was in the equa…

Find Favor and Treasure Up!

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We are talking this week about how to have a Mary Christmas. Mary had to believe that nothing was impossible with God. Mary went on to FIND FAVOR. To have a Mary Christmas you need to find favor too. PS 5:12 tells us that the Lord blesses us and surrounds us with that favor. It simply means that acts of kindness come your way, preferential treatment, approving attitudes encamp around you…everything lines up for your benefit. Now I know that this is a hard thing for many of you to digest today…you have been discouraged for so long, you have been the object of scorn and attack for so long and you have learned how to live by maintaining yourself in your present condition.
If you want to have a MARY Christmas you have to start thinking differently. You are highly favored and right now, today, you are at a place where you can find favor!

If you want to have a MARY Christmas you have to learn how to TREASURE UP. Our text in Luke 2 says that when she was visited by the shepherds and they told…

How Can We Have a Mary Christmas?

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Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying i…

New Growth!

Last week I caught a story on television about Dr Anthony Itala. He works at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Growth in North Carolina doing what they call REGENERATIVE research. His job is unique: he makes body parts. The reason he is does this is a result of the fact that many people die every day waiting for organ transplants. So if he can make a liver, a kidney or even a heart,many lives could be saved. What they are attempting do is manipulate cells to cause regrowth.

As I watched this story I was so amazed at the capacity of the human mind and the passion of the human heart. They say that we actually only use 10% of our brains capacity. That could be more evident in some than others! These scientist have realized that the body grows in a fetus state. If they can convince the body to think it is in the early fetus stage then new growth is possible. Remember Jesus said that "you must be born again." Interesting. When asked how he gets these complex cells to grow…

Doubt Rules Out

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Luke 1:11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. 14He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.[b] 16Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

18Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in y…

What's Your Favorite Christmas Cookie?

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Proverbs 3:1 My child, never forget the things
I have taught you.
Store my commands in your heart.
2 If you do this, you will live many years,
and your life will be satisfying.
3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
4 Then you will find favor with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;

do not depend on your own understanding.

6 Seek his will in all you do,

and he will show you which path to take.
7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.

Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

8 Then you will have healing for your body

and strength for your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth

and with the best part of everything you produce.

10 Then he will fill your barns with grain,

and your vats will overflow with good wine.
There are some instructions in the recipe for a long life…a …

Something good...

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"Something GOOD is going to happen to you today!" It rang through my ears in the fall of 1978 as I landed in Tulsa Oklahoma to apply at Oral Roberts University. I was enrolled at University of Cincinnati and on a music scholarship but the Lord came into my heart in my college dorm room and my life was about to change. I wanted to be accepted in this university where I could "expect a miracle" and practice what Oral Roberts called seed-faith.
Oral Roberts changed the direction of my life. Though I did not get out of the university all that I could have(because of my own choices), I still believe that it was a catalyst for me to give my heart to Jesus and my life in pursuing His plans and purposes. Today I am a Senior Pastor, a life-coach for others and oversee other ministries that reach into the soul of our community with tangible acts of love. Why? Because a man long ago kept reciting a mantra, "something good is going to happen to you" and I heard it u…

Another Christmas Cookie

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Isaiah 9:1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

9:6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
 7 His government and its peace
will never end.
 He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!

Jesus called things that were not as though they were. He created out of what He saw in the spirit. I want to talk to you about naming your baby. One of the most important things you do for your child is name them. Some folks name their first child after their father, or a grandfather an…

Overwhelming Victory

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Romans 8:35 and 37Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us."

Often in our lives we face some challenges. There are many things that ambush us without warning. Bad things happen to good people: divorce, bankruptcy, automobile accidents, loss of job, heart attacks and other health issues...the list goes on and on. You cannot plan an ambush attack. But you and I can prepare for them. It's not these attacks that determine our outcome but rather our response to them.

The most important gift you could get this Christmas is mas Christ...more of Christ! To have a personal relationship with the Lord. Once you have encountered His love, no thing can separate you from from it. No trouble or calamity, no painful trial, no accident or ambush attac…

Letting Go

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During this season there are many people that are unable to truly enjoy the celebration because they are holding on to things that they should have let go. It's important to know that letting go doesn't mean giving up. It's moving on. Letting go requires faith because you do not know what may happen when you release it.
Starting at birth, we grasp on to anything we can get our hands on, and hold on as if we will cease to exist when we let go. We use the things we hold on to as our dependence for nearly everything! We feel that letting go is giving up, quitting, and that as we all know is cowardly. But as we grow older we are forced to change our way of thinking. We are forced to realize that letting go means accepting things that cannot be. It means growing up and going on, no matter how hard you have to fight yourself to do so.
Our happiness is not tied to a mate, a machine or even a ministry. True JOY can only be found in the Lord. Let go of the past...that situation, thos…

Putting Our Life Back Together

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We need an answer to how to put life back together after an unexpected package of surprises.
First of all, you can’t really put it back together, it will take God. You will only frustrate yourself like all the kings horses and all the kings men. Remember Humpty Dumpty?

1- read the instructions…why do we always want a shortcut? If you are like me, I often look at the picture on the box and simply try to imitate that. When pieces are left over and it looks slightly different than that picture, that’s when I go to the English translation of those directions. There are so many translations and none of them help except the one I understand. The bible is life's blueprint. Find one you can read! Then read it…don’t look for a crib note version to get by…forget about the seminars and how you can be rich in 30 days by buying homes for no money down! As painful as it may be for you, read the instructions. That’s a great place to start.
In 2 Timothy 2:15 it says…Do your best to present yourself…

Some Assembly Required

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Some Assembly Required. It doesn't set in until after a jubilant moment when you are proud of yourself for buying something that is just perfect for your children. You get home so proud that you had purchased their favorite toy and kept it hidden until Christmas and now they are asleep and it’s late on Christmas eve and you bring it to the living room where the tree is. You ignore the SAR warning on the box as you rip it open. Often you are more excited about this gift than anyone. What you see when that top is opened sucks all of the oxygen out of the room, makes the Christmas music your listening to go flat and causes the recently drank egg nog to almost come back up! There it is…a plethora of plastic pieces, taped to Styrofoam that keeps breaking on the floor, laying on top of countless plastic bags. Upon closer inspection you notice that each one of these bags has about 300 tiny screws and bolts in them. You’ve gone from being a jolly little elf to the grinch as you take each …

Man's Best Friend

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Man's best friend. You have heard that phrase before I’m sure. It’s the name we give to our beloved dogs. The reason they have been given this title is because they are consistent, faithful and always loving. No matter what happens, they stay close. Even when they do something wrong and tuck their tail, its just moments till they are trying to get back into our good graces again.
My dog's name is Midnight. The other day he went out to the backyard and came back to the door several minutes later. He looked like he had been rolling in dirt. I grabbed him up and put him in the bathtub to clean him off. I was so mad at him for getting all muddy. In a moment the water was all red...he was bleeding! Something had attacked him in our own backyard and I didn't even know it! I was mad at myself for getting mad at him! I felt like I let him out into a cold, hard world. Still, after I nursed his wounds and got him better, he was right there beside me and closer than ever. I thought a…

Remembering Pearl Harbor

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Pearl Harbor reminds me of a time when America was united and at its strongest. On this famous quote you can read words like "overcome", "righteous might" and "absolute victory". It was a time when as a nation we resolved to do what was necessary to end WWII.
Life has its horrific moments and when they occur we must let them bring us together and not drive us apart. The bible tells us that we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the Word of our testimony. There is no forgiveness without remembering the shed blood of Christ. He is our righteous might in trouble and when we follow His plan in our most difficult times, we will have absolute victory.
Today we remember all of those who shed their blood at Pearl Harbor and how this invasion made us as a people, indestructible and one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The Grinch

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Well THE GRINCH is out again in full force this year! That's right...the despicable, evil, sinister spirit that causes adults to act like rebellious children! While I was preparing for Sunday's message at The Landing, "The Grinch", I am reminded about JOY. This is the season to be jolly, right? So what is going on? Why are police coming to Toys R Us to control unruly crowds and fights over....toys?
Jesus came to give us an abundant life. That means that when you allow Christ to live in your heart you have ALL you need, ALL the time, All-ways. But there is another spirit trying to seduce people. The Grinch steals joy, kills dreams and destroys lives. But according to John 16:22 in the Message Bible, there is a JOY that cannot be stolen from you. It says it like this...
21-23"When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there's no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. T…

A Recipe for Righteousness

In Romans 4:16-22 we are told about Abraham and how he always believed in and moved towards the promise of God. He took God at his word and found a blessed life in the process. The good news is that as fully devoted followers of Christ, you and I are the seed of Abraham. That means that whatever was promised to him is also promised to us. And according to this scripture today, that promise from God is guaranteed!

Here is Abrahams recipe for righteousness.

He did not weaken in his faith
He knew the promise and he moved towards it. We have to be willing to let go of our way to embrace God's way.

He did not waver through unbelief
Doubt cannot rise alongside of faith. As faith rises, doubt will diminish. Sometimes we just have to face the facts and then forget them!

He gave glory to God
You can only fully glorify God when you become fully persuaded that He is able to do what He said He would do. Faith is strengthened as we believe in the power of the promise. I call it G3: give God glory!

T…

Christmas Cookies

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Last year during the month of December I started an annual series at The Landing...Christmas Cookies. Each Wednesday night for three weeks I feature a fresh homemade Christmas Cookie recipe and one of my favorite bites of scripture. At the end of the three weeks, each person that has been a part of the series gets a booklet of the messages and the recipes of all of the edible creations we have sampled while we were taught the Word. It is one of my favorite times at the church. The bible tells us in Psalm 34:8,"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."

We are instructed to "meditate" on the Word of God. To meditate means to go over and over it in our minds or to ponder. Another image is looking at it like a cow chews its cud. The goal is to get each and every nutritional benefit from it. We must allow it to grow within us so that it can go out from us. His Word was sent to heal. His Word will not ever fall short of accomplishin…

Busyness vs. Business

Many people today tend to confuse activity for achievement. Think about it...they are busy but they aren't really achieving anything. I heard someone talk the difference in effectiveness and efficiency. Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things. Let me expound on that a couple of steps further and say that excellence is doing the right things right. And finally, those who know Christ and are filled with His spirit, spirit-led people do the right things right at the right time.
Too often we spend so much energy in doing things that we fail to achieve the results that we aimed for. Remember Martha when Jesus went to her house and Mary was there. Martha was running around totally service motivated. She was very, very busy. She was busy doing "stuff". It was probably good stuff. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus. Jesus looked at Martha, the busy one, and said, “Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things”. What he was telling her is th…