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Showing posts from December, 2010

Goodbye 2010!!!

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Have you fought the good fight? Have you finished your race of 2010? Can you get excited about all that transpired this year? No matter what happened or didn't happen, who showed up and who left, what promotion you got or didn't get, this chapter 2010 is over today!! Can I get an AMEN!
I encourage you today to pray through the final moments of this year and into the first minutes of the next one. Be sober-minded and alert. Act as if the decision you make today were going to determine the future you wake up to tomorrow. How you leave 2010 will determine how you enter 2011. It's all up to you right now.
Tie up those loose ends. Forgive freely, trust voluntarily and love unconditionally. Close out this years business and speak some positive words over the upcoming one. Say it with me..."my God shall supply ALL of MY need according to His riches in glory!" Can I get another AMEN!
You may have had some rough patches this year. For many that patch may have lasted 12 m…

Where Are You?

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Back in January of this year we began the year with a simple question, "are you happy where you are?" The scripture used was 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. When we are devoted to the Lordand living for Him, we can believe that our steps are being divinely ordered by Him. We give, we pray, we fast and then we can expect that God will help guide us to the places we should be and to meet the people we should meet.Being in the right place at the right time  and for the right reasons should produce the right results and then we should be happy with where we are. I've met so many people this year that seem unhappy. I've had seasons of sadness as well. Times like these can take all of us back to the place we were way back at the beginning of 2010 asking this question, "am I happy where I am?" I don't think you can be truly happy with where you are unless you kn…

When You Fast

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Matthew 6:16 When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
I'm pretty sure that Jesus wanted "fasting" to be a lifestyle choice, just like giving and prayer. Often I confine this to a season of the year or a time of the month. I'm going to try and adopt a lifestyle of fasting in this coming year. I want to make more sacrifices regarding my agenda so that I can be prepared to receive more blessing in His. When fasting becomes natural, life can go supernatural! It's been said that prayer moves the hand of God. If that is the case then fasting can move His fingers. You can target a specific illness…

When You Pray

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Again from Matthew 6 we find the instructions of Jesus. Verse 5 begins...
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him
Our prayers should be motivated by our desire to see needs met. Pray changes everything. Many people today do not pray because they are worried about saying the right words. They feel like they are not eloquent enough so they don't press in to the place of provision and power. Jesus said WHEN you pray. You must learn how to talk to Him. Let me ma…

When You Give

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Jesus taught many wonderful lessons in the short period of time ministered here. In Matthew 6 we can see a few nuggets of wisdom. Each of these come after the words "when you" indicating that you and I should absolutely be doing these things. Matthew 6:2-4“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Again notice that this text says WHEN YOU GIVE. Giving is a lifestyle not an action or task. You and I are to be generous on every occasion. We are givers. But just being a giver isn't the only requirement. We know God loves a cheerful giver. God loves a generous giver. God loves a subtle giver...one who doe…

To You and Yours...

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From all of us at Cup of Joe to you and your family and may this be a blessed holiday filled with the favor of the Lord. We pray that you enter the most incredible year of peace, joy and hope yet! May we share many more cups of inspiration together. Merry Christmas to YOU!

The Nativity

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Throughout the country you see them, manger scenes with different figures placed in position around a baby. Some of them even have “live” people! We call this the Nativity. It’s supposed to be a snapshot of that miraculous moment when Mary and Joseph gathered around the “promise” of God and welcomed in the Savior of the world. Each time I gaze upon a nativity scene I think about this humble and simple entry into the world and how interesting God’s plan was to rescue mankind from sin. I love looking at the generosity of the wise men as they offered their gifts to the baby. They were moved to give their best because they felt something greater than themselves coming forth. This beautiful scene captures the wonderful moment when life changed for all of us. The plan was set into motion and all we had to do was hear it and adopt it. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the arguments over language and phrases this year. One of the greatest tragedies we face is losing the awe and wonder o…

Simplify

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As I get closer to the end of 2010, I've been thinking alot about my life and the things in it. This word, SIMPLIFY, keeps rising to the surface and begging me to hear it. To simplify is to reduce back to the basics, the eliminate stresses and anxieties, to streamline. We have no guarantee of another day so the hours and minutes we use should be meaningful for us and for those that God has connected us to.
As part of this personal inventory I am taking I am looking at the work that I do, the people that I talk to and the way I not only spend my time but my money.
So many people today spend all of their time and energy in an acquisition mode and never get to enjoy the fruits of the work that they have engaged in. The work and the money should never be the objective. The joy is in the journey. The excitement is often in the risk.
For many years I never asked myself what I enjoyed or why I was doing what I was doing. I have to force myself to "streamline".
As you draw clos…

Candlelight Communion

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Throughout this week, many churches will host candlelight communion services. For me the significance is obvious. Jesus IS the light of the world. When we meet around the table for the Lord’s Supper(communion) we remember all that He did to show us how light works and what light’s purpose was. The He said to you and I, YOU are the light of the world. Don’t let your light be hidden. Set it up high and let your glow illuminate everyone in your circle of influence. As each person lights their candle a glow permeates the room and before long that light can be seen on the face of everyone attending. Perhaps the most significant part of the service for me is the reminder that we are to carry that “glow” and spread that light as we leave. The light must not be confined to a church building or a special service. As you gather around your tables this Christmas with family and friends, don’t forget to shine to those you love and let the light of the world be seen in you. Jesus came into the worl…

Quiet Life

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1 Thess 4:10 Yet we urge you, dear friends, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
It seems in our culture that we have pills for everything. Can't sleep, we've got a pill for that. Can't stay awake, we have a pill for that too! Imagine my surprise when I read this scripture about trying to live a quiet life that we even have a pill for that! Of course we know that medicating ourselves is not the best answer. When you take care of yourself you will be able to take care of others. Do your work, give your best, respect others and let your only dependency be upon the Lord. This will lead you to the kind of life that Christ gave His life for you to have. If you must take a pill, try the Gos-pill:)

Silence

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And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which shall be fulfilled in their proper time” (Luke 1:20)
After the angel had delivered the good news to Zacharias about the birth of a son to Elizabeth in her senior years, it was too much for him to to grasp. Before he had a chance to think about it all, he blurted out some negative words of doubt. God knows that you and I have a habit of speaking before we think. So in His awesome graciousness, he did Zach a favor. He stopped him from speaking until the baby was born!
I wonder if Zach was upset about this? I would think not as this was definitely a sign from God that what God was promising to him would come to pass.
What kinds of things are you saying today? Do you agree with the promises of God or are you speaking words of doubt that could hinder your progress? Sometimes I think my future could benefit by God keeping me from hurting myself wit…

Here's to Good Health!

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A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
gloom and doom leave you bone-tired
. Proverbs 17:22
We are just one week away from Christmas and people are showing some signs of wear and tear. Patience is wearing thin, exhaustion is invading our bodies and that means for many their countenance is changing too. Their disposition is taking them out of position to be blessed and highly favored.
Life will wear you out. It's true that if you don't do something with life, life will do something with you! Maybe you have been stressing over family gatherings, gifts and getting everything on your to-do list completed. Now, you are just bone-tired. 
A cheerful disposition is good for your health. A smile can add days to your life. a merry heart is like the perfect prescription. How you move through the next week as we get closer and closer to the holiday depends alot on how you look. If you are discouraged, find some joy in remembering what God did for you by sending Jesus. Think of that …

It's All Good!

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Proverbs 16:2 Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
God probes for what is good
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I am noticing just how much I am influenced by what I see, hear and smell. The other day the weather was warm and I had the window down as I passed a Burger King. The scent of flame-grilled burgers filled the air and though I haven't had a burger in months, I really craved one! A few moments later I was at a stop light next to a Starbucks sign and suddenly, I wanted a peppermint mocha:) I got to work and heard some folks talking about Christmas cookies and...well you know what happened!
Human beings are "satisfied" by whatever looks good. We often fail to endure through something to find its real center: its true meaning. With people we look at the outside. With circumstances and situations we make our assessment from what we are seeing and we are satisfied with that. But God works differently.
He looks at the heart...he goes deeper...to the core and to the root...he probes for what I…

In The Ditch

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The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track;
the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch
. Proverbs 14:8
I wonder how many times in your life you have found yourself "in the ditch". Maybe it was an actual ditch but I would venture to guess that many times you have been emotionally derailed or mentally side-swiped and found yourself "off road". Being off-road sometimes feels a bit exciting, sort of like a rogue agent, but I can assure you that it gets old quick. You were not designed to be Bond-like. You were made to have a bond with Christ! You were designed to stay on God's highway of favor. Imagine a road where your vehicle is not destroyed by potholes or a stretch of road where uneven lanes don't cause accidents. Life is full of obstacles in the road and God can help us to navigate our way through the difficulties and get back "on track"again. Wisdom is making the right choices at the right time. Wisdom is what keeps you and I on track. Isn&…

What Are You Hungry For?

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An appetite for good brings much satisfaction,
but the belly of the wicked always wants more
. Proverbs 13:25
What are you hungry for? According to this scripture, an appetite for the right things will bring a life that is completely fulfilled. But when you crave the wrong things, it always seems that you never have enough. During this season there are many things that I like to digest. There are Christmas parties, programs, special services at the church, special events with the kids, volunteering at community functions...the list goes on and on. It's easy to over-indulge. Not everything that is a good thing is a God thing. I would rather this scripture say, "an appetite for God brings much satisfaction". Seeking the Lord's purpose and plan will always keep your belly full. If you want a stomach ache, spend time trying to swallow things that God is not involved in. Heartburn is not the same as a heart that burns for God! This is a season filled with opportunities to fe…

Dreams2Destiny

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This weekend I had the privilege of watching a kids musical @TheLanding. Seeing these children using their gifts to glorify God touched the very core of my soul. Dreams2Destiny Center Inc. (www.dreams2destiny.com) is a non-profit that helps people identify their gifts and callings and move in the direction of fulfilling them.  Through some life coaching and business consulting D2D helps people and corporations get unstuck. It's what I believe to be my life purpose in this season so you can imagine how excited I was to witness these little dreams moving in the right way! So many people have abandoned what they were designed to do because life happened: things, people and circumstances took them on a path that they did not necessarily desire. After a while they realize that they never did what they really wanted to do and they end up living the rest of their life disappointed, discouraged and depressed. Well let me say to you today, it is never to late to move in the direction of you…

Dropped Calls

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Psalm 4:1Answer me when I call to you,
   my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
   have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 

Maybe you have noticed like I have just how many calls don't get answered today. Wireless carriers are boasting about having the best and fastest networks, and people let many of their callers go directly to voice mail. And if you have any trouble with a product that you recently purchased, pray before you call that you will somehow miraculously arrive at the one person in the company at the customer service office that can actually solve your problem!
David often cried out to the Lord. Like all of us, his life was filled with ups and downs. He called the right person at the right time and always got an answer!
If you need relief from trying circumstances and difficult times, call upon the Lord today. His mercy is everlasting. His grace is more than sufficient. With the Lord there are no dropped calls and only YOU can disconnect. He will hear, he…

He is Divine

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I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” - John 15:5,8
In my front yard there is just one short little tree. I noticed one day as I was getting in the car to leave for work that there was a branch that had broken off of one of the limbs and it was laying on the ground. I thought no more about it and continued on to work just leaving it where it was. A few days later as I was leaving I noticed it again and decided to go pick it up to throw it away. It hardly looked like the same branch I had seen a few days earlier. All of the leaves were dead and shriveled up.
It reminded me of what Jesus said to us in John 15. If we stay connected to Him as our Savior, life can flow through us and even more importantly fruit can be produced from our lives. Scripture even adds an adjective by saying MUCH fruit.…

Bust a Move

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For in him we live and move and have our being.’
There is nothing that feels more liberating than "getting a move on". We were created to be in motion. To as some may say, "bust a move".  Moving the right way at the right time can bring about the desired result.Many people don't arrive where they are supposed to be because they fail to launch out, to just take a step forward...to move!
Have you found yourself stalled and stagnant? Why not ask the Lord to help you get up, get dressed and get moving in a forward direction. I think that faith is like liquid; it flows like His Spirit which God wants to flow in all of us. Living water does not stand still. Let yourself ride the wave today and watch where God takes you! Go ahead, bust a move:)

It's the Most Wonderful Time...

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Silver bells, silver bells....it's Christmas time in the city! The lights are up all over the city and the people are running from place to place. As the song says, "it's the most wonderful time of the year."
There are many ways that we can share the joy this season. Jesus was a joy giver. He said be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven. Be of good cheer I have overcome the world. Be of good cheer, it is I, don't be afraid! Three cheers: you're forgiven, you can get through your trouble and you don't have to be scared!
People close to you need to know that the God you serve is BIGGER than any problem they have. They need to see Jesus. YOU are His hands and feet. Spread good cheer. Nothing brightens the day like good news. Nothing rings louder than an act of kindness. Will you be a sharer of His joy this week? By someone a coffee or a lunch. Drop off a gas card in the mail, just because. Make a card and write some encouraging words about how that person …

Here I Am!

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Ephesians 3:8-10 And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!
One of the things I admire most about Paul is his spirit of humility. Most people that have as much influence as he did and a large following of faithful folks would probably start out with "I am here" rather than "here I am". The first attitude draws attention to you while the second shows submissiveness and surrender. Paul knew that he was preaching and writing about things that he did not always understand. Fact is, if someone claims to tell you that they KNOW all about the riches and generosity of Christ, th…

Some Joe on the Go! VIDEO edition

Trust in the Lord!

Choose Life

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Yesterday I read a quote that I had seen before and it made me think.
"It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities" - J. K. Rowling
Choices. They affect everything and I think that I get what Ms. Rowling was trying to say. Talent is not the main thing. Our cemeteries are filled with dreams that were never fulfilled because poor choices halted progress. Many talented people fail to accomplish their life purpose.
Today I will make choices. I will choose the conversations I engage in, the foods I will eat and the schedule that I will adhere to among many others. These choices will shape my day, shape my body and shape my mind. You will make some choices too!
So what kind of choices will you make? Will they breathe life into you or suck the air out of your sails? You have before you choices that will lift you up or tear you down. In everything that you do today, choose life!
Deuteronomy 30:19: This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesse…