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Showing posts from September, 2010

Cravings and Appetite

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Constant craving...its that longing, yearning and desire for more. Whenever we talk about craving we almost always talk about food. That desire is what fuels our appetite. When we feed ourselves the wrong things our appetite becomes insatiable. That feeling of never feeling satisfied is what leads us to become "addicted" to certain things. Perhaps this thought captivated my heart because the Tulsa Fair begins today and food is all they have been talking about! Fried butter(ugh) and the heart stopper: two Krispy Kreme donuts with a hamburger in the middle! People will be craving this one!
Jesus told us to hunger and thirst for righteousness. To crave doing the right things at the right time and for the right reasons. What are you hungry for? Is it more of the life that His spirit has to offer or are you craving things that the world provides? The appetite for worldly things will always leave you wanting more. Jesus is the only One who can completely satisfy your appetite. Wh…

Real Help

But you,God, shield me on all sides;
   You ground my feet, you lift my head high;
   With all my might I shout up to God,
   His answers thunder from the holy mountain.
I stretch myself out. I sleep.
   Then I'm up again—rested, tall and steady,
   Fearless before the enemy mobs
   Coming at me from all sides.

Up,God! My God, help me!
   Slap their faces,
   First this cheek, then the other,
   Your fist hard in their teeth!

Real help comes fromGod.
                             psalm 3:3-8msg


We all need help. You may even pray like this and ask God to slap down your enemies! I have to admit that seeing God punch my enemies in the mouth does seem appealing.When you have real trouble you need help from a real God...real help! Look at what He will do for us: we will be shielded, grounded and our heads held high! Because we exchange our limited strength for His unlimited power, we find ourselves rested, tall and steady and no longer afraid.


Honesty is Such a Lonely Word...

That's right, it's Billy Joel today! Remember this classic:
Honesty is such a lonely word.
Everyone is so untrue.
Honesty is hardly ever heard.
And mostly what I need from you.
I heard the song yesterday and besides the fact that it took me back to high school, St. Elmo's Fire and bell-bottom jeans, it also made me think about how true it really is. Ever had a friend tell you they would do something and then not do it? Have you ever made a promise and not kept it? Can we even imagine what life could be like if we said what we meant and meant what we said?
Honesty is not possible when we are not obedient to the Lord. In Isaiah 59 it says:
So justice is driven back,
       and righteousness stands at a distance;
       truth has stumbled in the streets,
honesty cannot enter. IS 59:14
Sin not only alienates us from God, it keeps us from being honest and righteous. You can't tell the truth when you lie to Him!
 How about deciding today that you are going to be truthful. Speak from t…

Forgive and Remember

Corrie Ten Boom once wrote that "forgiveness is setting the prisoner free, and realizing that you are the prisoner." For the past few weeks at The Landing our series has been Forgive and Remember. It only makes sense that since we can never forget, that we develop some skills to turn a memory into a memorable benefit to our lives emotionally, physically and spiritually.
I had a very moving moment for me at the start of the series. I brought in an entire set of luggage labeled with things that people deal with every day...abuse, betrayal, shame, guilt, sin...this list is huge. As I placed my bags around me to discuss I began to see a picture of why it is always so hard in our churches to see a genuine, authentic move of the supernatural. I saw a picture in my mind of every person at the church, and there were hundreds there that day, bringing their own full set of luggage into the worship center. Imagine 300 people, each with at least a 6 piece set, and see the picture of all…

Where is God?

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. These are the words of Paul from 1st Corinthians. It offers us some encouragement when dealing with prayer: answered and unanswered prayer.
When you talk to young people today they seem to want to discuss unanswered prayer. "Why is God silent? "they ask. When faced with a difficulty they may say "where is God now?" But talk to some of our seniors and you may get a different perspective. They have been praying a long time and to be honest, they have seen many mir a les in their day. It could be their years of experience. Or perhaps it is their view of life and the fact that they have not been so desensitized to the things of God and spiritual activity.
Are you a "where is God?" person or a "there is God!" one? We may never see it all until the day we crossover into glory but for now, let's look for Him in all that is a…

Let Your Attitude Be...

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. It's one of the beatitudes given by Jesus in Matthew 5. We are to strive to let our attitude be the be-attitudes! I heard a cute story that gives us a good visual of mercy that I want to share with you.

One night in 1935, Fiorello H. La Guardia, mayor of New York, showed up at a night court in the poorest ward of the city. He dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench. One case involved an elderly woman who was caught stealing bread to feed her grandchildren. La Guardia said, "I've got to punish you. Ten dollars or ten days in jail." As he spoke, he threw $10 into his hat. He then fined everyone in the courtroom 50 cents for living in a city "where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat." The hat was passed around, and the woman left the courtroom with her fine paid and an additional $47.50.  That my friends IS mercy. MErcy begins with ME. Whom have you shown mercy …

Facelift?

I have been looking at many of the faces that I pass during my day and I have to tell you, I'm not seeing much joy! People seem to be stressed out and filled with anxiety. Their faces are wrinkled by the frowns and there certainly aren't many smiles. The Bible says that "the joy of the Lord is our strength." So you can probably deduce from these looks that many people have not yet connected to the Lord's joy yet. Anxiety not only wears us out emotionally, it wears out your face! I once heard someone say that it takes 72 muscles to frown and only 12 to smile. So let me suggest something to you: perhaps today you don't need a facelift, you need a FAITH lift!
Faith is the substance of ALL things hoped for according to Hebrews 11:1. Without it, God can never be pleased with you. So today, let faith arise and see if that just doesn't put a little grin on your face:)!

What's Eating You?

Mark 718-19Jesus said, "Are you being willfully stupid? Don't you see that what you swallow can't contaminate you? It doesn't enter your heart but your stomach, works its way through the intestines, and is finally flushed." (That took care of dietary quibbling; Jesus was saying that all foods are fit to eat.)
20-23He went on: "It's what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution."
What brought on this conversation was the complaining that the Pharisees were doing about what the disciples were eating and how they washed themselves before the meal. They were so consumed by their ritual of scrubbing their hands and not allowing any contaminates to go into their bodies. That's when Jesus gave this explanation.
It's not what you ar…

Go Your Way

There was a certain nobleman that had a son that was ill. Everyone thought that he would die. The nobleman heard that Jesus was coming back to Cana, the place of his first miracle and this man sought him ought to convince him to come to the house and heal his boy. Jesus' response is surprising. It wasn't "sure" or "absolutely". He said, "unless YOU PEOPLE see signs and wonders you will by no means believe". Not quite sure of the tone hear but when you are desperate for a miracle, you just don't hear everything that is said. The nobleman then asked Jesus to come before the child died. Again, Jesus surprises by saying, "go your way, your son lives." What? No laying on of hands? Healing by proxy and not proximity! This is amazing!
Today people seem to chase the latest miraculous event. We run after the concert, the seminar, the place where the last physical healing was because that means Jesus and the power that He gives must be THERE. …

Spontaneity

I used to be a fairly "routine" person with no spontaneity at all. Several years ago, one trip would change all of that. I decided I was going to as they say “wing it” on this trip and do whatever I felt like whenever I wanted to. No agenda, no plan, going by the "seat of my pants". My first impulse came on my flight when I was in Atlanta trying to get to Florida. I decided to try and get an earlier flight than what was scheduled. I waited as #4 on the standby list and got it…I would get to Florida 1 hour sooner! After my first night in the hotel, the noise from construction was so loud it woke me up. Normally I would have pulled out me earplugs(yes, I planned ahead and packed them) and think nothing of it. I got the cheapest, smallest room available and this is the way it is. But I was on a spontaneous week. Everything was “off the cuff”. So I went to the front desk and talked to the manager. After about a half hour of deliberation she came out, apologized for the…

Think For a Change

Proverbs 23:7as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
Think tank Thinking cap Thinking for a change Stinkin thinkin Change your thinking, change your life
Thinking for a change…what could happen if we would stop being so anxious to speak and start being better listeners, allowing ourselves to hear what God says to us directly and through the lives of those around us.When you are “thinking” your mind is focused. It plays the scenes over and over again until a new reel is added. Ro 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 1Co 2:16 For "who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
We have the mind of Christ…yet it is our goal to “renew” that mind daily because our natural mind often takes over. What thoughts get deposited in your heart determine your result. What happens in your head determines how fast you get …

Lonely, I'm So Lonely...

If you find the wave of loneliness is crashing down on you today, know that God understands...and He has provided practical steps to overcome loneliness through His Word. Here are just three:
1.Focus your mind on Christ and understand His desire to pour grace into your life.In Hebrews 4:15-16, we are told, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin.Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."Jesus is ready to give you grace in your loneliness if you will just turn to Him.
2.Strengthen your relationship with the Lord by establishing a daily routine of time with Him.Psalm 91:1 says, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."Take time each day to read the Bible and pray.
3.Learn to rely on God completely.One of m…

Raise Your Hope Level!

In 2 Kings 4 there is an account of a Shunammite woman who had lost her son. Life was going well and then, all of a sudden, right there in her lap he died. She was devastated and had lost all hope of ever being happy again. In enters Elisha the prophet who asks her how everything is going...how's your husband and how's your son? She replies that all is well though her son is dead. Elisha realizes that she is in distress and tries to get more out of her and she replies, "didn't I tell you not to get my hopes up?"
As I read these words I am reminded of the many times that I have had that conversation with the Lord. In fact, most of my life I used to expect the worst to happen so that when it didn't I was happy. If it did, well, I expected it to be bad. So both ways, I was ok. We don't like to get our hopes up because we expect the let down. Yet, if we are trusting the Lord, if we are expecting His power to fall, instead of a let down we can start to expect …

Praise Looks Good on You

Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous ones;
praise from the upright is beautiful. PS 33:1
Some of the most memorable moments I have enjoyed are seeing my children in productions where they act, sing or play an instrument. Whether it was an elementary school function or a church worship service, the feeling was always the same...a proud father with a huge smile on his face loving what he was seeing on the faces of his children.
This scripture out of the psalms tells us something that we must never forget...praise looks good on you!
I can imagine my heavenly Father watching from heaven and seeing my face and hearing my voice as I exalt His name and sing His praises. I believe that just as I felt proud and grinned from ear to ear, so too He smiles and loves the way that the praise looks on me!
The Bible tells us that when we are overwhelmed, when we are under heavy stress and anxiety, we should put on the garment of praise. As God sees and hears your words of adoration, He will remove the …

Illiterate Regarding Life

People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
As I read these words this morning out of Romans 1 as a backdrop for the chaos in our world right now, it's clear that many folks are illiterate regarding life. They have exchanged what God desires for them for imitations. Trading the genuine word of God for man's opinions and interpretations.
From the burning of the Koran to the placement of the Mosque at Ground Zero, religious people of all faiths have many opinions. Christ made it clear that whenever we got involved with a difficulty, we should be peace-makers, not peace-breakers. The farther we get away from God, the…

Whistle While You Work

As I was preparing to teach our church last night, I came across a scripture that is for everyone of us today that is part of the work force. With so much uncertainty in our nation, with all the chaos and people that are disappointed and disenchanted, you and I need to realize something about our work.
Eccl 5:19-20 19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift of God. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life,  because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart. God gave you the work! Have you ever thought about how blessed you are! Your wealth and possessions are a blessing from God! His plan is that you would enjoy them, accept where you are in life right now and be happy that you have a job! Tough boss, thank the Lord! Lots of hours and hard labor? Thank the Lord...that job is a gift! You see when you really understand that truth, your focus is on being thankful rather than cri…

Road Trip

A couple of summers ago my two boys took their first road trip from Tulsa to Nashville. They were so excited to be "going away" without dad and they got their money and things together and left at 6am. We prayed for them to have a great trip and for the Lord to use the time to form a tight bond between them.
I sort of knew what to expect as my oldest son was a bit directionally challenged. They had not been gone 15 minutes before the first call came in asking to make sure they were on the right road. I would talk to them many times that day as they took their journey together.I was smiling on the inside and out as they continued to ask me for guidance and direction.
I think that the Lord feels the same way about us as we take this journey through life. I'm certain he smiles as we ask him for guidance and keep checking in to make sure we are on the right road. We get so excited about the journey sometimes that we lose all sense of direction. Fortunately, the Lord is alway…

Here Comes the Judge!

Matt 7:1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Often we have a tendency to make assumptions about people based on a variety of external things: what they look like, what they are wearing, how they talk and the list goes on and on. Jesus warned us about judging a book by the cover. I have found many times that some of the best books had the simplest covers. Some of the most uniquely gifted people were wrapped in simplicity. Jesus was wrapped in simple clothes and laying on a bed of hay in a barn when he was introduced to the world. Imagine judging his future on his entry!
Don't forget that the way you judge others will be the very same way you are judged. How much you dish out determines how much gets into your dish!
Look deep into the heart of others. It will help you lest you judge too quickly.

Labor Day Wishes...

Blessings to you and yours on this Labor Day holiday!
(click on Labor Day wishes for a wish...)

Balance in Life

What a weekend this is...Labor Day Weekend! The NFL begins, college football kicks off, families take their last summer trips and everyone gets some days off of "labor"! I'm still on an NCAA high as my Buckeyes rolled to victory over Marshall last night. It's going to be a great weekend!
There aren't many times in life where people get synchronized and re-balanced at the same time. Labor Day is a time for BBQ's, fellowship and some quality time with those that you love.
Our God is a God of balance and order. We need some balance in life. We need time for work, for play and for worship. Unfortunately too many folks play when they should worship, rest when they should be working and work when they should be playing! It's a great time to restore balance in your home, at your office and in your church. Take some deep breaths and exhale, letting God refresh your spirit, replenish your body and renew your mind! Have a safe holiday weekend!

Morning Person

Isaiah 55:12 You will go out in joy
       and be led forth in peace;
       the mountains and hills
       will burst into song before you,
       and all the trees of the field
       will clap their hands.
I am a morning person. I don't like staying up too late and when morning is here, after my first cup of joe, I am ready to go! Each day I have the joy of taking my daughter to school. She IS NOT a morning person. Often times I will burst into a song, something I make up with lyrics that don't make any sense. I may whistle and I may clap too. To the observer driving by they may think I am having a seizure! But I am just enjoying myself. As I keep it up, it doesn't take long before my daughter is laughing and watching for the next crazy things her dad is going to do or say. Sometimes even she goes a bit crazy too! Oh, that I could look at the hills and the trees like she looks at me. Listening as the hills burst into song and watching as the trees clap their hands…

Agree-able

1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
There is a great energy that comes when we are in sync with each other. Understand today that to be agreeable with each other does not mean that we always agree. The way we handle disputes, controversies and division is important. Most times we simply ignore them hoping they go away. Or we disengage from the group, which is more like denial. This is where divisions begin. As believers doing the work of the Lord, we are to be "unified"; moving in the same direction though we may use different methods and techniques to get their. Don't get diversity confused with division. We are all to play a part in the Body of Christ. Strive to be perfectly united in mind and thought and see what happens!
Oh how good and pleasant it is when people dwell together in …