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Showing posts from June, 2010

Top Dog

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Deuteronomy 28:1God will lavish you with good things: children from your womb, offspring from your animals, and crops from your land, the land that God promised your ancestors that he would give you. 12 God will throw open the doors of his sky vaults and pour rain on your land on schedule and bless the work you take in hand. You will lend to many nations but you yourself won’t have to take out a loan. 13 God will make you the head, not the tail; you’ll always be the top dog, never the bottom dog, as you obediently listen to and diligently keep the commands of God...
God always promises to bless the people that listen to Him and trust in the plan He has for their lives. Doors of opportunity will swing wide open and showers of blessing will pour from the heavens. Your daily schedule and your work will be blessed. You'll have money to lend. You will be the head and not the tail. And you will always be the top-dog and never, ever the bottom-dog!
Today, act like the person you were c…

Ignorance is Bliss?

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1 Corinthians 12:1-3What I want to talk about now is the various ways God's Spirit gets worked into our lives. This is complex and often mis-understood, but I want you to be informed and knowledgeable. Remember how you were when you didn't know God, led from one phony god to another, never knowing what you were doing, just doing it because everybody else did it? It's different in this life. God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can.


One translation of this verse tells us not to be ignorant about the gifts of the spirit. Ignorance is the state of being uninformed...not unintelligent. We've got a lot of ignorant people out there that are saying ignorant things! Al Gore once said "a zebra does not change his spots". It was Gerald Ford that said "things are more like they are now than they have ever been." And who could forget Miss Britney Spears who said, "I get to go to lots of overseas places, like Canada."…

Make a Difference

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Today read Isaiah 58 and see some of the benefits we have that enable us to live fully devoted lives for Christ.
If we stop trying to carry the burdens of others and our own and surrender them to the Lord...if we stop pointing fingers of blame at others...if we quit backbiting and gossiping; then we set ourselves up for some great things. Let's look at a few...
“our light shall dawn in the darkness, your darkness shall be as noonday” It’s a promise that the divine gifts that have been planted in us will be utilized. Harvest time will come. Hold on to faith…hold out hope. We will be a blessing. People will respect us because we shine when the world tries to cast a shadow over us. There will be nothing “dark” or “overcast” in our lives. Even the “nights” of our life will be like noontime. Illumination!!
the Lord will guide us…continually.” We have a divine gps that tells us what route to take. Even the men, who may seem to get lost and not ask for directions: contrary to popular opinion…
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"But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life."

We Are Family!

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Romans 1:11-12 "I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith."
We are family. Those that profess that Jesus is Lord are part of a faith family. We are chosen by God...hand-picked and tailor made. Part of the wonderful plan of God is to create "community". We were made to work together. To serve together. To minister to others together.
Realize today that your life, your words and actions may be the only encouragement someone else gets today. Doesn't that change the way you want to approach the day?
Impart a spiritual blessing upon someone to close out this week and bring in the weekend. We can encourage each other. Are you ready to have your spirit made alive? We ARE family!

Flaming Enthusiasm

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"Flaming enthusiasm, backed by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success."  Dale Carnegie
What a quote! Good ole' common sense and hanging in there till its done is the foundation and recipe for a successful life. But what keeps it all cooking is that "flaming enthusiasm". As I think about my own level of enthusiasm in any of the things that I am doing, I would be hard-pressed to describe it as flaming! It's hard to get folks excited about anything these days.(except for the Iphone 4 out today!) We've seen everything and heard it all. We watch as great starts fizzle out and fade away. In order to keep our enthusiasm flaming we must keep our life moving forward and stay connected to other people.  Busy folks are the best ones to give a project to

 because they add it to the pot and just keep cooking. If someone has lots of time on their hands, you can bet there is a good reason for it! So where is your enthusiasm level …

Heat Wave

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The weather in Oklahoma has been brutal the last few weeks. First it was the thunderstorms and the tornadoes. Now it is the heat. Heat index over 105 yesterday! I began to think of this Psalm and the Lord being "my shade" when the heat gets turned up. Many times life can be uncomfortable. We need the Lord to watch over us. When things get "heated" it will not harm us. Why? Because the Lord is always looking out for our best interest. He will watch over our going out and our coming back home. He soothes the heat wave!
After my 2 mile run yesterday(where I thought I would pass out!), I was craving a cool down. Standing in the shade was so much better than running in the heat!
Today, let the Lord be your shade and cool you down when tempers fire up. Realize that nothing can harm you because He is looking out for you...both now and forevermore! So chill!

psalm 121:5The LORD watches over you—
       the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by d…

Ynot Jesus?

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Yesterday we sent off an amazing man of God to heaven as we celebrated his life.  He was a wonderful partner of our ministry and a great friend. His name was Tony Jones.

Tony was more than a father, a husband, and congregant. He was a man chosen by God to endure some tough times in order to reach some tougher people. His mission was clear…tell others about Jesus because when you have done all that you know to do, He is there to bring you through. Tony touched more people in the last 800+ days than most of us will have the chance to touch in a lifetime. A smile, a word of hope, a note of inspiration, and other ventures that will continue to minister to people from all walks of life…his voice was heard and the Lord’s presence felt. 


We feel pain and will mourn at his loss but one day the Lord will turn our mourning into dancing! Tony is happy, healed and now watching over all of us, especially his wife Johanna and his children Joel and Eden. Part of his ministry calling was the development…

Days of Prayer

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Yesterday was declared a Day of Prayer in Louisiana as the people began to seek "other" assistance for the horrific damage occurring because of the oil spill. When you see the aerial shots of just how widespread the oil is you can see that special assistance is needed. The people have realized that mankind is not having much impact on the situation so they are turning to God. And there are some signs of this that appear to have biblical proportions...remember the plagues of the Old Testament?
My heart is thrilled that we are publicly declaring that we need some help and we are turning to God for help. Louisiana seeks a miracle. Can you imagine what would happen if "supernaturally" the oil would dissolve? If God caused it to disappear? God does promise us that when we call upon Him He would listen. But He also says there are consequences for poor decisions.
Lord bless all of the people and the business of the Gulf Coast and may your divine intervention suddenly shin…

Happy Fathers Day

He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
This passage from Malachi 4 spoke about a chance God was giving to the people to pull themselves together. A prophet named Elijah was to come and he would attempt to bring the hearts of the children and the hearts of theirs fathers together. If unsuccessful, a curse would come to the land.
Here we are in 2010 and our prayers this weekend will be for our fathers and for the children that they have influenced one way or another. Every child needs a father and as we celebrate Fathers Day, let us pray that the hearts of the kids would turn towards dad and that dad would turn his heart towards his kids.
How can we possibly get the ball rolling in that direction? Well, if you are a child, why not give dad a call today and tell him you love him. Whether he made all the right choices or not he is still your dad! And dad's, take…

Life is Like a Roller Coaster!

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Some folks say that life is like a roller coaster. I guess that is probably true. We never know exactly what each day is going to bring. Some days are wonderful memories and others painful lessons. Some are filled with joy unspeakable while others are like a day in the ER!
As I look at the landscape of the next four days...kids coming home from church camp ignited by God, a wedding for a beautiful young couple, a worship service filled with encouragement and inspiration while honoring fathers and a funeral for a young man of God taken too soon...well, I have to say that sounds like no roller coaster I have ever been on! I feel like I am being slowly taken up to the top to be let go on a ride that will change my life! I will be changed because each of these events involves people, personalities, talents and fellowship! I'm so thankful to be on a roller coaster rather than a carousel! I get tired spinning in circles in one place!
Drink in the moments of every day. Love the people th…

Discernment

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HEB 5:12-14 12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

There is alot to be said for having a gift of discernment. It's a skill set that can be developed by living a righteous life.We make choices everyday and its crucial to know the difference between right and wrong, what helps us and what hurts us.
Often as believers we fall away from godly wisdom and find ourselves in need of "milk" and not solid food. There comes a time when we have to fully mature and move living on milk to being fed the meat of the Word of God. Too many believers are nursing when they ought to be asking for the …

Manilow Magic

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Most of you know that I am a fan of the 70's and 80's music. In fact I was inspired to go to music school after seeing a Barry Manilow concert in Columbus Ohio in 1977. I've never forgotten that. In fact as I preach and share my life with the folks at The Landing, I see and hear God speak in a variety of ways. So as a tribute to Mr. Manilow, here is a daily thought featuring song titles.

It was God who said first, “I write the songs that make the whole world sing. But I can’t smile without you. You and I are not like two ships that pass in the night. We are One Voice. With me you can weather life’s storms. And you can finally say, I’ve made it through the rain.”
So Even Now, we've got to stop asking ourselves could this be the magic and stop tryin’ to get the feelin’ again. It’s daybreak! Let’s hang on to what we’ve got because it looks like we made it to where God wanted us all along.
Are you ready to take a chance again? You don’t have to ask yourself where do I go from…

Delightful Giving

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2 Corinthians 9 encourages us to remember: "A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving".
I am trying to be generous on every occasion. In order to do that I have to make certain that my priorities are right. There have been many times in my life when I gave my time, talent and treasure to the Lord only after I had used them for something else. Often I would find myself coming up short of time, low on skill and null of any financial blessing.
There is a biblical principle that encourages us to give to the Lord first and recognize that whatever we plant in what God is doing is going to produce a harvest. If I am short on time I need to invest some volunteer hours to help out a ministry or business. If I am lacking financially then i…

The Power of Love

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Romans 13:10Don't run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don't sleep with another person's spouse, don't take someone's life, don't take what isn't yours, don't always be wanting what you don't have, and any other "don't" you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can't go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.
Never underestimate the power of love. The Bible is full of words that support the healing and saving power of love. Love covers sin. Perfect love gets rid of fear. Love never fails! You owe it to yourself to get this inside your heart!
The church has always been filled with people that announce all of the DONT'S to the people. Don't steal, don't kill. Don't what what someone else has. The churc…

Demolish

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2 Cor 10:4 “the weapons of OUR warfare are not carnal(man-made)…they are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary they have DIVINE POWER to DEMOLISH strongholds. We DEMOLISH arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God…
To "demolish” means to tear down completely, to do away with completely, to put an end to: to damage severely.
I think its time we turn things around on the enemy and start damaging him rather than waiting for him to damage us! Being a Christian is a confrontational thing. ! Peter 5:8 tells us to “be sober and vigilant because our adversary, the devil,walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour”.
We are in a struggle…a fight…with things we cannot see…with powers that have been strategically placed: even in places where good resides! This is not something to be taken lightly. The enemy wants to destroy your life, your relationships, your faith. You need some special equipment to overcome these attacks. It’s called…

The DNA of a Storm Chaser

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This whole month I am doing a series at The Landing called Storm Chasers! I get tired of talking to people all the time that are beaten up by the storms of life and the enemy keeps coming after them. Personally, I am ready to turn the tables on the bad stuff- to reverse the curse and start chasing the evil out of my life.
I have always wanted to be a storm chaser, in fact it is on my "bucket list". As I watch the reports and see the video footage of these incredible people I realize that they have something all of us need. Four things that I can identify in the DNA of a Storm Chaser.
#1 They are fearless
When everyone else takes cover, they take off after the eye of the storm!
#2 They are focused
They eat, sleep and breath this stuff. They are thinking about storms all of the time and that consumes their thoughts and energy.
#3 They are fanatical
They are a select group of people that go crazy when Mother Nature goes crazy!
#4 They are finishers
They pursue until its through. They ke…

God on Your Fingers

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Proverbs 7:1 My son, keep my words, And treasure my commands within you.
2 Keep my commands and live, And my law as the apple of your eye.
3 Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart.

We need to stay focused on what God is doing and wants to do on the earth. He longs to download His plans and purposes to the ones that will treasure His commands. Holding His Word dear to our hearts is how we truly "live".
In verse 3 we get some insight on how to spread the Good News. Bind the Word on your fingers and write the Word on your heart. We already know that whatever is in your heart is going to come out of your mouth. his Words should be imprinted deeply on your heart. When you bind the Word to your fingers you place His impression on everything you touch. Imagine a world where everyone was in sync with their divine plan and all day long we just kept spreading this virus:the God virus!
Our youth pastor once urged our church to "check yourself before you wre…

As the Deer...

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2 Samuel 22:34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.
When I think about the imagery here I see a fleet footed, graceful, deer running quickly through the woods. Whenever I am fortunate to see one in a field, I notice how quickly they move and break to the right or the left. Sometimes I wish that I had their graceful feet when I am in difficult situations so that I can make a quick cut away or a mad dash out of the difficulty and into the wide open spaces. The deer is able to move to high elevations because of those feet.
God makes us like the deer...able to climb higher and able to move suddenly and quickly in any direction. I encourage you today to be flexible. Take the high road and look at your difficulties through the eyes of the Lord. It's time to go to new heights.Now start climbing!
"As the deer pants for water, so my soul longs for you."(O Lord)

Comfort Food

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Perhaps the most popular psalm of all time and the words that seem to console the conflicted spirit: it's Psalm 23. I've used it at funerals and at weddings. Last night it was the theme of our corporate Prayer and Praise night.
As the verses were read, worship songs were sung and prayers offered up to the Lord.
I thought about work, family, and my personal decisions and once again this psalm brought peace and comfort to the deepest part of my soul. When I need to know I'm not alone these words ring true. When I'm going through a difficult season, these words stick. They are like "comfort food"!
So as we start another week, I offer these poetic and transforming words to you. Read them. Think about them. Let them bring you some comfort in your situation.

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His nam…

Relay for Life

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Tonight is the annual Relay for Life event in the town our church is in in South County-Tulsa. It a celebration of life for cancer survivors and a time of remembrance for others that have battled this disease.
In high school I ran a 440 relay race. Each of the four runners had a segment to run and when it was our turn we had to time the handoff of the baton and keep the momentum going. The handoff was crucial. But if each person did what they were supposed to do and the handoffs were solid, there was a good chance that you would be very competitive and even win.
My mother has battled cancer and beat it three times. My Pastoral Care Minister's son is beating cancer as I write this blog. The Facility Manager for The Landing has beaten cancer. That leaves another spot for YOU! You can run the last segment and cross the finish line with your hands held high!
Life hands us alarming news all the time. But a doctors diagnosis has no power of a Holy Spirit healing. A relay race gets everyo…

Embrace Your Youth

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1 Timothy 4:12 Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
There have been many times in my life when I felt inferior and out of place because I saw myself as young and inexperienced. This scripture reminds us that age and wisdom do not necessarily go hand in hand. Often, our youth and innocence can be refreshing. Like a child that comes to God without reservation and all of the distractions that more years on earth can bring.
Don't discount yourself. Set an example. In what you say and do. In how you share your affection and your faith. Be genuine, authentic and pure: undefiled.
Sometimes the more miles you have on your life the more cynical you get. While you are young embrace your youth. Stay close to the Lord and live right. Be a good example...better yet be a God example! And when you get older, you can remain wise!

Cast Your Cares

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Most of us learn how to handle the ebb and flow of life. How to endure the pain in hopes of some joy on the other side of it. Living life in service to others has many ups and downs. I have experienced many times when the hurts of others have been so great that I have wanted to help them carry the load. It sets me up for failure every time. You see it doesn't take long before you realize that life hands you enough trouble of your own and you simply cannot carry someone elses burdens too. Jesus did not want us to try to carry any of the load. He encouraged us to cast our cares upon Him because He really cares about what is happening to us. He asked us to help them others but not to take on their pain as well as ours. We are to help them hurl their heaviness in His direction.(1 Peter 5:7) Imagine helping another and helping ourselves too! So how do we minister to others without hurting ourselves?
LISTEN-we all want to know that our voice matters and that we are being heard. Listen t…

Puzzled?

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Have you ever wished that you could figure out your life puzzle more quickly? Ever have a hard time making the pieces fit? I find myself wishing at times that God gave me a longer look at the BIG picture so that I could find the right pieces to put this puzzle together! Unfortunately, He gives me what I call "glimpses of glory". Quick looks at what WILL BE if I just keep putting the puzzle together.
Our family tries to put a huge puzzle together every summer during our vacation. The puzzle has thousands of pieces and it is quite overwhelming at first. I usually take a turn and put the edges together because they are the easiest. Same thing with my life. Setting the boundaries is the easiest part for me. Trying to figure out what all goes inside is the hard part! Same with the puzzle. The inside pieces are the hardest because many of them look the same out it only fits together one way! The picture of the way it should look is always close by for reference. I like that! My br…