Posts

Showing posts from January, 2010

What am I Thinking? (Special Saturday Edition)

Image
Have you ever had a dream that was just crazy? I mean so crazy that you actually woke up? On Friday, in the early am I guess my mind wanted to race to a place it had never been. I was dreaming about making a "dessert". What am I thinking? It was so vivid and I was right there in the moment like Julia Childs putting together this incredibly tasty treat! The crazy part is that it was so specific. Want to know what it was?
OK, so I had this tray of very large walnuts...the big kind that you usually just like to put in your hand and munch on. On a tray next to them I had made several little pastry dough strips which I placed together as little "+" signs. After that I placed a single huge walnut in the center of the dough and brought the edges together...made it look like a little knot...and then...just like the Tulsa State Fair...I deep fried it! You know that you can deep fry anything today! I would even get creative and place frozen chocolate pieces in before frying t…

Frozen Grass

Image
Well it happened again...a significant icing event in Tulsa...ice, ice, baby! This morning the yard is glazed with a layer of ice. As I walked outside and looked at the impact of the ice the lawn glistens and stands at attention. The ground is so hard that my little dog can walk on top of the grass without breaking it!
Some folks today think of the church like this...they have even named its people the "chosen frozen". The reason is because many times we can be so cold and chilly to others. We appear to them like the frozen blades of grass look to me...still, lifeless and very cold. A church filled with people like this needs to have something warm, something soothing, something like God's Spirit! The Spirit of the Lord is often symbolized in scripture by fire. When His Spirit is flowing in a body of faith-filled people, there is a warmth of fellowship, an aroma of love and the feeling of peace and joy. You can't walk all over a church like that!
As it gets warmer toda…

You Are Alive!!

Image
EPH 2:4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
What a great scripture which gives us a wonderful picture of a "restored" life. With the variety of uncertainties in our world today and the numerous people that have seen devastation and felt heartache, restoration often seems out of reach. But God has a plan! We are prone to make mistakes but God is rich in…

"Honk" if You are an Encourager!

Image
Romans 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
Imagine God putting all of us here at the same time, together, to help each other. We are all in different stages of the journey at different times. So when we are strong and healthy, we are to help carry the load for those that are still struggling. This is NOT to make us happy but rather to please God. By pleasing God we are able to help others, get them to a better place and build them up. The actual work that we do in making this happen is certain to bring us happiness too! It really is a great deal the way that the Lord set this up.
When I think about helping each other out, I think of the Great Northern Geese. They fly in a V formation to make it easier for the pack to get along. They honk as they fly by which is their way of encouraging each other. When the bird at the head of the V is tired he falls back and…

Drift Away

Image
I was listening to an oldies station the other day and heard this old Dobie Gray song: “give me the beat boys and free my soul; I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away…” As I listened and, well, yes sang too, I started to drift away in my mind to a place I was when I heard that song long ago. Though this was a remake of the original, the music caused me to go way back.
When I came to myself , back in the present moment I thought about how easy it is to be distracted from what we are doing or thinking. How easy is it to drift away?
Hebrews 2:1 tells us to “pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” The Bible tells us that as we live our lives in these days, some people are going to abandon their faith and turn to things that FEEL good over things that ARE good. We must be careful to pay attention to the subtle shifting that occurs in our lives. We cannot afford to give the “devil a foothold”, which means to open up a crac…

United WE Stand!

Image
I am certain that many of you were able to catch the benefit for those in Haiti this weekend. It was on every channel! As I watched this program I was touched to see something that God wanted us to be a part of long ago...community. Define that as a common unity among people. I am amazed that it takes a huge "shaking up" to get each of us to lay down our weapons, drop down our guards and simply love one another. In Romans 14:13 it says..."Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way."
More than 100 celebrities on the telephones and using their gifts and influence to help bring relief to others, well that's what the first church did in the book of Acts. In Acts we can read that people would sell their stuff to get the resources necessary to help their brothers and sisters. So this is not a new concept. What happened to us? When did we stop really being conce…

Ask For It!

Image
When I started The Landing in 2002 I was under the impression that God and I could do anything. I did not ask for help with anything that was happening. I remember "telling" God that I did not want to ask for anything, no help and no money. I remember telling God that if this was His deal He would have to take care of it. We were doing well as a church and the growth was steady though we really weren't going anywhere. It was the fall of 2006 when the Lord finally broke through the hard candy shell of my brain and helped me realize what James 4:2 says, "you do not have because you do not ask God". I had heard all of that before...ask and you will receive...seek and you will find...knock and the doors would open. The Lord prompted me to make the Keyword for our church in 2007 the word ASK. I began to apply that principle. I realized that by not asking I wasn't being humble and Christian: I was being silly and even prideful. I began to ask for help with the mi…

By My Spirit

Image
At The Landing we have been sensing a new spirit recently. Not that God's spirit has not been there before! It's just a bit different. And when things start to become different, many times we as believers become critical. Nobody likes change. Nobody likes to be around something that they cannot explain, yet, in my personal experiences with the Lord, there have been many things that I could not explain.
In Acts 2 in the Upper Room 120 folks gathered in one accord. They were perfectly synchronized: body, mind and spirit. The bible says that suddenly there was a sound like a mighty rushing wind blowing through the house. This wind filled the house. And then it says that what appeared to be like tongues of fire came down and rested upon each of them. And they began to speak in other languages as the spirit prompted them to do so. They spoke in tongues. This has been such a controversial subject in the church since I can remember. I never really wigged out over that. I often wondere…

The Simple Life

Image
Each day as I begin the day and read a psalm, proverb or another scripture I am amazed that Jesus tried to simplify the walk of a follower. Having grown up hearing various faith beliefs and denominational doctrines, I found many times that I was confused by all of the"extras" that people added to His Word. I can read things like...
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”- Matthew 7:12
Treat people like you wish to be treated. I can remember that. It's so simple! And then when all of those religious leaders of the day tried to bring confusion to His Word, He made it simple again...
Mark 12:28"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is …

How Far Can You See?

Image
The other day I woke up to a dense layer of fog. Visibility was near zero. You could not see very far at all. I thought about times in my life when I was severely depressed...after my divorce...after resigning from my job that I had held for 20 years...even a time when I moved from Oklahoma to Tennessee. It was as if this heavy layer of fog was over my life and I was unable to see anything but the pain that was surrounding me. You may be in such a place or know someone who is. When you are in such a place there seems to be nothing that you can do to get out of it. There are no words to comfort you and no activities to motivate you. All this crossed my mind as a stared out the window.
Suddenly, a small glow of light surfaced on the horizon. It was faint and seemed very distant but I could not stop watching it. In just a matter of minutes it rose higher and shown brighter. In less than an hour it was bright orange. And all of the fog had disappeared!
God taught me something that day. He e…

Stand the Test!

Image
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Many people are going through difficult circumstances these days. And some folks are experiencing difficulty in dealing with others simply because they are so discouraged and defeated by what is happening around them. In the Book of James we are told to consider it pure joy when we face various trials. It goes on to say that this testing season will make us more persevering. fact is that we will get stronger and stronger as we face challenges head on and endure them. Blessed(oh how very happy) is the man that perseveres under a trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised!
Keep your chin up today...you have got a personal promise from God. You get it by standing your ground and hanging on when you want to let go. Today, try to count it all joy when the test comes. …

The Lions Den

Image
Tonight is the annual Lions Den event at The Landing. It's a 12 hour mega-ministry event. Worship, different leaders from local churches and ministries and some much needed fellowship. It's a great way for us to remember Daniel and what made him different in the Word of God. Daniel was distinguished above all the other men of his day because he had an excellent spirit in him. In fact when it came time for the king to look for more assistance, Daniel was one of those men that stood out. He was chosen to go through a 3 year boot camp to separate the men from the boys. It was at the beginning of that training that Daniel resolved to NOT defile himself with the food and drink that they were offered. It was the kings food. You see, Daniel had a system in place that worked for him. He had his prayer life in sync. He knew what God expected of him and he lived it!
Daniel was presented with a choice that compromised the way he lived his life and he stood by his convictions. You and I c…

Expecting...

Image
ACTS 3:1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Peter and John were going to church to pray. Everyday there was a certain man right by the gate who begged for money. He had been crippled from birth and was placed in the same spot at the same time every day. On this particular day as Peter and John walked by the man asked them for money. The bible says that Peter looked right at him and said, "look at us". They were attempting to get this man to FOCUS on something other than his condition. So the man gave them his attention. He EXPECTE…

Let Your Light Shine

Image
So far we have looked at two aspects of light: it enhances and it enlightens. The last one I'll give you this week is this: light will also EXPOSE. Everything is made known by the light. Where the light goes there can be no darkness at all. Many times we think we may be getting away with bad behavior by not talking about it and not acknowledging it. When you and I are illuminated by God we realize that this is not a good strategy. What is exposed to us is for our benefit so that we can deal with it and become stronger followers of Christ.
Light should show off all of those godly characteristics that He has embedded in you. But the power of that light is that when people look at it they don’t give you the credit, they give God the glory. Only when we try to OWN what God has provided can this be messed up. People will recognize that God is at work in you, that God is ALL over you and they honor the Lord for that and give Him glory.
Don't try to hide your light. Let it shine. In f…

Light up a Room

Image
Yesterday we talked about one of the meanings of the word ILLUMINATE. When you illuminate something you enhance it-you decorate it so that it can bring splendor to all of those that see what it is lighting up. Matthew 5:14 says that you are the light of the world so you should enhance others lives by just being around. Not only does illuminating enhance, it also ENLIGHTENS. When we think of that word we think of revelation...divine knowledge that comes from God to enable us to do specific things. Light brings a level of understanding to the situation and a measure of clarity.
The bottom line is that believers ought to make a remarkable difference in the lives of those that we touch. The environment should be lit up when we are around. Someone once said that we should be thermostats and not thermometers. Thermometers just tell you the temperature: thermostats regulate it. Our involvement should change people and places. Your face, your smile, your speech, and your actions should truly…

Illumination

Image
Every year at The Landing we have a "keyword" for the year. This word will be the focus and the filter for all of the things that we participate in for the year. The word for 2010 is ILLUMINATE.
PS 18:28For You light my lamp;

The LORD my God illumines my darkness.
Illumination was God's idea. In the beginning He said "let there be light" and there it was! And that light changed everything! There are three things that illumination does. Illumination enhances, enlightens and exposes. Today, let's look at the first thing that it does:ENHANCES its surroundings. Having just come out of the Christmas season you probably saw lights on houses, trees and mantles. It enhanced its surroundings as a decoration. And people love looking at the lights...in fact wherever there are lights there are usually people being drawn to them. We drive through neighborhoods and take tours just to see them. Even bugs are drawn to the light!
You are the light of the world.(Matthew 5:14) Y…

Goodbye Gameday!

Image
Well, it is with a heart of sorrow that I say goodbye to the College Football season. From August to early January every year I am ignited by the games. There is so much emotion and power in a stadium filled with 100,000 people all cheering for their favorite teams. But today, the fields are empty, the bowl games are over and the champions have been crowned. Saturday mornings with College Gameday commentary are gone. And in six short months it will all start over again!:)
For the players there is no break. They will start now making preparations for the 2010-2011 season. And those that prepare the best will rise up to be the best this time next year. Success always works that way. If you put in the work, you reap the benefits.
Life works like that too. If you want this year to be better than the last year, you may need to make some changes. Changes in personnel, changes in business partners, changes in routines and habits. If you do what you've always done, you will get what you'…

Turn Up the Heat!

Image
"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." 1 Tim 2:1
There is not better way to start the year than with prayer. As our fasting season started at The Landing, so too does our intensity for prayer. With so many things happening around us and with the great deal of change being proposed to us by our leaders, we must continue to pray. There are decisions being made right now that will impact your life and the life of your children. Whether we agree with those in government positions or not should not keep us from praying for them every day. The Bible tells us that the heart of the king is in the Lords hand and He can turn it in the direction that is best...as long as there is a remnant of believers praying for God's purpose and plan to reign.
Godliness and honesty are the fruits…

Fast Forward

Image
Today I begin an annual season of fasting that will last for twenty-one days. Every January, right after I celebrate my birthday, I begin this discipline to bring focus to my mind, my body and my spirit. I enjoy this time immensely because it allows me an opportunity to more intimately connect to my Lord and Savior and in doing so, become much more sensitive to His leading and direction for my year. I've heard people say that "prayer moves the hand of God". If that is the case, fasting moves His fingers!
I always encourage others at The Landing to join me in this season and many of our church participate. We are seeking more of God as we diminish our desires and amplify His. Last year we all did a Daniel Fast which is one utilizing vegetables, water and some nuts or fruit. What happened for each of us was that this season of fasting became a lifestyle of fasting. In fact for 8 months I had no type of meat at all and I felt the best that I have ever felt in my life!
There i…

Spiritual Erosion

Image
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
I was thinking about some folks that have intersected my life in years past and wondered where they might be now. Some of them went on to further ministry endeavors and others left ministry altogether. And there are those that would fall somewhere in the middle of those two results. The power of darkness seems to be so strong. It's hard to imagine someone that has been healed by the power of God walk away from the God that healed them. How does this happen?
In Psalm 1 you can see something that I refer to as "spiritual erosion". Blessed, or happy is the man that does not walk with bad counsel, stand with people living out of fellowship with God and sitting in places where people make fun of godly things. Walking, standing and sitting. Spiritual erosion is so subtle that you can find yourself sitting in a group of &qu…

Be Happy Where You Are!

Image
1 Timothy 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.
Paul was thankful for a relationship with the Lord and for being afforded the opportunity to work in ministry. Paul was happy where he was. And because he had learned how to make the best out of each and e very situation he was in, God considered him faithful and blessed his life.
Today things are going back to normal. School is back in session here in Tulsa and everyone is going back to work. Unfortunately not everyone will have the attitude that Paul had. If we cannot get "happy" about where we are right now, it's probably a given that you won't be happy anywhere. Oftentimes we think that a change of scenery, a new job or new house will make everything alright. That situational happiness. Our happiness cannot be rooted in things, places, or people. People will change, places will change too and things come and go. Happiness must be t…

Happy New Year!

Image
It's a fresh start to the best part of your life! May you see the goodness of God show up mightily in your life this year and may all of your plans be successful! You are blessed and highly favored!
Happy New Year and a Happy New YOU!