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Showing posts from July, 2010

Help, I Need Somebody!

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Yesterday we highlighted Bezalel from our scripture in Exodus 31. He was given special skills.  The spirit of God was working in him. He had God-given ability and knowledge to be a superior craftsman. God needed someone like this so He put it all together. Can I encourage you today to understand that what the Lord needs is you and when He moves you to do something for Him, He will bring people together. Not only did the craftsman come, God raised up another helper! "I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him."
Oholiab was brought on the scene as support so that the project could be accomplished. The Bible tells us that two are better than one. 
Many years ago I had a ministry partner; someone that worked side by side with me to accomplish what God had placed on our hearts. Together we were like Batman and Robin, Bacharach and David, Starsky and Hutch. It was during this season of ministry that I realized the special way that God puts people, sk…

Designed by God

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"Then the LORD said to Moses,"See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts-to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze,to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you:the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent-the table and its articles, the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories, the altar of incense,the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand-and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests,and the anointing oil and fragrant in…

What Will He Find in YOU?

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"The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.  The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD." Imagine being the only man alive that God was pleased with. God was grieved over the wicked lifestyle of every being that He breathed life into except for this one man Noah and his family. When God was looking for a person on which to place His favor and blessing he only found one that was prepared…Noah. I wonder what God would find if He looked at you today? What would He hear coming out of your mouth? What would He see you doing with the talents and resources that He has …

Catch Your Breath

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I think we all have times when we get our lives so filled up with activities that we find ourselves weary and tired. Oftentimes when we feel this way, it doesn't mean that we need to quit , it may just mean that we need to catch our breath. Runners experience something when they go long distances. As they gather in packs and make their way through the course they starts strong. After sometime on the road they feel fatigue set in. They get tired and seem to run out of air. But then something strange takes place. It's as if their entire body gets rejuvenated in an instant and they get a second wind. This newfound air propels them to finish as if they had just started!
Maybe you need to catch your breath today. When adversity comes over and over again, when the challenges are seemingly insurmountable...pause...catch your breath and keep going! Run the race in such a way as to WIN! Keep your eyes on the prize and lift your eyes to the skies...your help is coming from the Lord!

The Grace of Giving

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Paul said in 2 Corinthians 8 that we are to excel in everything…in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness in our love for others---he said see that you excel in thisgrace of giving
There is a measure of grace associated with the ability to assimilate this principle in your life. God gives us grace to give. We are to excel in it!
The question is how do we excel in this grace of giving?
You do it and you keep on doing it. The amazing thing about giving is that you don't have to believe in it for it to work. You sow, you reap. What you sow produces a harvest ALL the time.
Why not target some folks to "practice" giving on? As you step out with a generous spirit, you will find more and more grace to keep on being a giver. It's time to excel in the grace of giving!

Who Do YOU Say I am?

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“But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”-Matthew 16:15-16

At some point each and every one of us will have to answer the question: who is Jesus to you? Peter had just finished letting Jesus know what others were saying but Jesus did not care what others thought; he wanted to know what Peter thought. Many people are trying to live their Christian life on the experiences of others. It's clear that Jesus wanted each of us to have our own encounter...to develop our own relationship with Him. When your finances are low...who do you say He is? When your spouse walks out on you...who do you say He is? When your boss says the company is letting you go...who do you say that He is? It all comes down to your answer of that question. My prayer today is that you will be able to boldly profess, as Peter did, you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!

Staycation

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Today begins for me my very first Staycation. I will not vacate Tulsa. I am STAYing right here. The good news is that my entire family is coming here and that means fun, activity, and little rest. What rest do we really need anyway and just what doesnit mean to rest?
Jesus said in Matthew, "come to me all of you that are weary and overwhelmed by life's burdens and I will give you REST". in God's eyes rest has a different definition. When He says that he will give us rest he really means that he will carry the heavy stuff and give us a more manageable load. You see when we are not overloaded, we can enjoy our day and when you enjoy your work, its really not work at all!
So today, make an exchange...your heavy burdens for what God has designed you to carry. You will smile more, laugh more and find sweet rest in every way!
Now, I gotta go...there's 13 Joneses about to invade T-town!

From Victim to Victory

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Imagine being kidnapped as a teenager and brought to a place where you'd stay for more than 60 years. Once you were there you would be told what to eat and what to drink; how to talk and how to live. And if that wasn't enough, they'd even change your name!
This is Daniel's story from Bible. He was taken to Babylon; a place so large that slaves were being trained to govern the area because of its enormous size and need. From all appearances, nothing seemed to be in Daniel's control. He could have been depressed because he was a victim of circumstance.
But Daniel had something more than teen spirit...he had an excellent spirit. (Daniel 6:3) And because of that spirit, God was bringing him into favor and blessing even in the midst of terrible circumstances. He purposed in his heart to follow his convictions and stay true to his God. He was holding on to faith.
Regardless of what you are facing today, God is in control. He controls governments, situations and people. H…

Be You!

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I was in my favorite coffee chop the other day to get my usual tall, extra bold coffee to jump start my day. As I waited for the barista to say my name(always makes me feel good to begin my day), I found myself chuckling at the specific detail many use in ordering their morning brew. "I'll take a tall skinny non-fat vanilla soy latte". I would like a caramel frapp, no whip, with an extra shot of caramel". After they shouted out the names of these drinks, they came to my little regular coffee and it seemed so bland. I wanted to have a special tag...no whip, skinny, soy latte...oh well...I guess I am just a regular cup of joe! I have to admit some of the names were so long I could not remember what they said by the time they finished saying it!
The Bible tells us that each of us was made in the image of God. You were hand-crafted and the Spirit of the Lord was poured into you from the very start. You are incredibly special just the way you are! Oftentimes, we have a t…

This Little Light of Mine...

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Do everything without complaining or arguing,so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universeas you hold outthe word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.


These words penned by Paul in Philippians 2 encourage us to live life without complaining and arguing. Can you imagine that possibility? What would it be like to get through a day without murmuring and gossip, slander and malice, complaining and arguing? It would be awesome!


When it is at all possible, at least where we are concerned, we are to try and live at peace with everyone. Sometimes that means you remain silent. Other times you disengage so you can't enrage yourself. The life that Christ intended for us to live, the one that Paul was pleading for us to adopt was a life without arguments and anxiety ridden discussions. Why don't you try to think about what …

Prayer Makes a Difference

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Today I want you to take
time to pray for YOU...
that's right, pray for yourself!
Many times you can get so
wrapped up in the needs
of your friends and your
families, your co-workers
and your church folks and
you forget the greatest asset
you have...YOU!
You matter to God. And you ought to matter to you too! In John 17 Jesus showed us a formula for maintaining a healthy and effective prayer life. Read the chapter throughout the day...you can even break it down into breakfast, lunch and dinner sections. The first thing he did was to pray for himself. Praying for yourself is not selfish, it's crucial. If you are not steady and stable you will never be ready and able. Jesus showed you the process. He gave you and I permission to pray for ourselves.
Secondly, Jesus prayer for believers. Pray for those in the faith that are connected to you. Pray for those believers that are not directly connected to you but impacted by your life and calling. Pray for those that make decisions that…

Making a Clean Break

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Sometimes we attach ourselves  to things that we shouldn’t.
Making a clean break requires  letting go of some good things  to be able to handle some better things. Think about it...if you can't release  properly, you can never receive properly.
                                                                                Dr George Sweeting was on a trip to Niagara Falls with his family. Being springtime they watched as ice rushed down the river. Frozen inside the ice he could see the outline of dead fish. They made for easy meals for the seagulls. They would land on a block of melting ice, chip away at it until they could get to the fish, eat it, and then fly off before the ice disappeared over the falls. One feasting gull was not so lucky. As it approached the falls and spread its wings to fly away, it had spent so much time on the block of ice that its claws had frozen on to it. It struggled and struggled until finally the ice when hurtling over the falls with the bird unable to brea…

Questions?

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Today, an excerpt from some of my "joetry"...

What makes a flower open up
to show its inner beauty?
What makes a child giggle
when others call them "cutie"?
Why does it rain in parts of town
while other spots stay dry?
Why does the vision start to fade
with years, upon each eye?
Why do all insects scream and chirp
when darkness steals the day?
What makes a child drop their toy
rather than put it away?
What makes the heart grow hard and cold
and turn real love away?
What makes a person turn their back
and let crime have its way?
Why is the driveway where we park
and the parkway where we drive?
Why can each hand and foot we have
only count to five?
Why do we go to war for peace
then pray for peace from war?
Why are so many so well off
while others are so poor?
What makes Starbucks taste so great
and Folger's taste so bland?
Why do we praise performers
by "giving them a hand"?
Who started all the boo-ing
when the team we play arrives?
Why do some words h…

The Best is Yet to Come!

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Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
       whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. ECCL 11:4
Sow your seed in the morning,
       and at evening let not your hands be idle,
       for you do not know which will succeed,
       whether this or that,
       or whether both will do equally well.
ECCL 11:6
Farmers often watch the conditions around them when planting. The bible for planting and harvesting has always been found in the wisdom of the Farmers Almanac. They pay attention to the weather when they harvest. 
When we follow the purpose of the Lord, we are encouraged to not make our decisions on what is happening around us but rather to listen to the still small voice of the Lord. We have a promise from the Lord that when we acknowledge Him and are obedient to His plans, we cast our bread upon the water and it comes back in waves of blessing to us! (ECCL 11:1)
If you wait till all the conditions are right to believe, you will never believe. It's time to trust in the Lord and …

Too Difficult?

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Have you ever quit something or someone too soon? Maybe you stopped trying before you finished the task? We all have. Someone once told me that its always too soon to quit. Big shots are just little shots that keep shooting!
We used to sing a song in church that said "Ah Lord God, thou has made the heavens and the earth by thy great power. Ah Lord God, thou has made the heavens and the earth by thy outstretched hand(arm)." Then we would get to the chorus and sing at the top of our voice the words that the Lord was trying to get us to understand..."nothing is too difficult for thee!" Nothing is too hard for the Lord!
I can get tired, want to quit, or stop prematurely. But God is omnipotent...He's all powerful. There is nothing that He cannot do. There is no situation that He cannot turnaround for your benefit. Jeremiah 32:27 says,“I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?"
The answer is emphatically NO! Trust the Lo…

All Things Work for the Good...

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In our ministry headquarters we house an outreach to the community known as the Glenpool Outreach Center (GOC). This ministry provides food to families in transition and utilities support when the services are about the be shut off.
After the incredible amount of rain we received early Thursday morning, the area that takes cares of all of the families flooded. The water flowed in through our children's ministry area and ruined carpets and many other things. My first reaction was "why this ministry?", "why now?". What added to my pain was the fact that the water leaked in through an area damaged by a recent tornado that should have been fixed already but insurance issues are slow in getting resolved and the work has not been done yet. After taking a few deep breaths I sent up a prayer of thanks to the Lord for the good that was going to come out of this terrible ordeal. I even let a little smile out as I thought of how God could use this flood to raise the stan…

The Light

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There is a great deal of construction happening on the roads in Tulsa right now. Along with the road work come the detours and in many of the detours you come to an intersection.  Some of them seem like you stay and wait while everyone else keeps crossing in front of you. Others are four way stops where everyone waits to see who will inch out first. Intersections can often be hard to get through unless there is a light to tell each side when they can go and when they should stop. Driving through an intersection is dangerous without a light. The light can make all the difference in the world!
When you come to an intersection in your life, the light can make all the difference too. We could all use more illumination when it comes to knowing the right choices to make, the right turn to take and the road to travel on. Jesus told us that He is THE way. He also said that He would let His Word "light" our path. Paying attention to the LIGHT at in intersection at work, in a relation…

Overwhelmed

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Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king. He inherited the throne during a time of war and the enemy was swarming around him. The country was disheartened and disorganized. All the stuff you don't want in your first term in office! This 25 year old king was overwhelmed by the garbage. And I want to encourage you today that whenever you are overwhelmed by garbage, the first thing you should do is carry it out! Hezekiah called together the priests assistants and told them to sanctify the Temple. The first thing he did when he took the throne was not to buy new office furniture or print up new royal stationary. When we get rid of the clutter, we start to feel better.
Before we can build anything that is stable, a ministry, a family, our faith, we have to carry out the garbage. Start where you are and make one solid decision after another. Eliminate the things in your life that take time and produce nothing. Be a good steward of every minute of your day. Take that overwhelming IN…

Humility

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Once you think you've got it, you've lost it!
Humility. The opposite of being proud. In Luke
14:11 it says,
"For everyone who exalts himself will behumbled, 
and he whohumbles himself will be exalted."
Humility does not mean you that you think less of yourself:
 it means that you think of yourself less.
Helen Nielsen said, "Humility is like underwear:
indecent if it shows!"
The Bible tells us that it is always best to let
someone else praise you. It talks of taking the 
a less prominent seat at the table and allowingthe host to move you to a more prominent spot.
Too many people fail to realize that our promotion comes from the Lord. When you do the best that you can do, God will begin to do the best He can do for you! He give grace to the humble.(James 4:6)
If you need a better job, be the best person at the one you have now. Ask God to help position you for the next step and then trust Him with the timing. Be specific when you pray for a new job...what hours do you …

Harvest Time

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Jesus once told a story about a growing seed. Notice what he said...
"He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come." Mark 4:26-29
The kingdom of God is like a growing seed. Your life as a follower is a growing seed.Things of God are planted and scattered around and they grow. We don't really know how growth comes; it just does. 
You can see it with our churches. Some grow large quickly and others take some time.  the speed of growth is not as important as the timing of the growth. The one central truth is that when God is in the mix, growth is definite. The growth is necessary because what is growing is going to be used to bless others.
Maybe…

Day of Deliverance!

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Our 2nd President was John Adams.  He understood the value of being set free and celebrating it. It was President Adams that said..."I am apt to believe that it (Independence Day) will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as a day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty”. God is on a rescue mission...to deliver us from evil and bring us to the place He destined us to be. Freedom, true freedom can only be found in Christ. From Peter’s miraculous escape from prison to the healing of the crippled man that had never walked…to the worship center of your local church…God is still saving, still healing and still setting people free. Today, lets commemorate our nations freedom with solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty! This is a great day to break out of any of the chains that bind you! Stand fast in that liberty that Christ gives: He set you free!

Burning Desire

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"WHEN Edwin C. Barnes climbed down from the freight train in Orange, N. J., more than thirty years ago, he may have resembled a tramp, but his thoughts were those of a king!
As he made his way from the railroad tracks to Thomas A. Edison's office, his mind was at work. He saw himself standing in Edison's presence. He heard himself asking Mr. Edison for an opportunity to carry out the one CONSUMING OBSESSION OF HIS LIFE, a BURNING DESIRE to become the business associate of the great inventor.
Barnes' desire was not a hope! It was not a wish! It was a keen, pulsating DESIRE, which transcended everything else. It was DEFINITE." excerpt from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Burning Desire is what set Mr. Barnes part from all of Edison's other assistants. As I read this story instated to think about some life lessons I have learned, specifically one piece of advice that was given to me: "don't burn bridges!" it was usually in the context of relat…

Bless Me!

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"Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, 'Oh that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, and that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that iI may not cause pain!'  And God granted him that which he requested."1 Chron 4:10 This simple prayer was written about in a book not too long ago that spread like wildfire across the world. Apparently it touched a nerve in people everywhere. What did they resonate with? Personally I believe that we all want to be successful. We want to be needed, be loved and to belong to something greater than ourselves. Jabez wanted more than status quo…he wanted more influence…more intimacy… and more insulation from evil.  He was seeking a blessing from God.                    Everyday when I get up I pray that God would direct me to the people and conversations that would please Him and bless me. I don’t want to waste time doing things that aren’t eternal.         I, too, seek more influence. When y…