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Showing posts from February, 2011
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I was thinking about this social network revolution and how important it is to people today. Then I thought about Jesus.  Would he use it? If Jesus had a Facebook profile what would it look like? Can you think outside of the norm for just a moment today with me? What kinds of posts would you find on his wall? How about…

“Getting ready to walk across the see again…really freaks out those fisherman”
Or maybe you would read… “Did you know laughter is like good medicine LOL?”
Or “keep using MY NAME in vain and I’ll make rush hour longer!”

How about his status updates? Things like “just fed a bunch of folks with a little boys sack lunch…love to see the looks on their faces when the bread multiplies!”
Or “so thrilled I just got to help my buddy at his wedding…they ran out of wine and I blessed their water and GLORY! Thanks dad!
Or maybe something like this: “BRB, I’m spitting in the mud so I can heal the eyes of this blind man”

Would Jesus post photo’s of himself or of the people that he wa…

Cup of Joe has Been Poured!

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In 1997 while I was serving as the Executive Director of Carman Ministries, I was giving a wonderful opportunity. Carman wanted me to take the back corner of our monthly newsletter and write something to encourage the people. I think it started as "From the Desk of the Executive Director". It didn't take long before something a bit more catchy arrived and I called it Cup of Joe.  I loved being able to write my thoughts and share them in a newsletter that was touching the lives of so many people that loved Carman and his music. Once I started I couldn't stop.  When I resigned from CM in 2000 and moved back to Tulsa, I kept writing. Short little paragraphs became pages and chapters and I completed two books, Dreams2Destiny and Transitions. When The Landing was started in 2002 I went back to writing the monthly Cup of Joe articles for my church and on our web page. In 2007 I decided that I would challenge myself and I launched a web log(blog) called...you guessed it, Cup …

When it rains...

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"We also glory in our sufferings(pressures, hardships), because we know that suffering produces perseverance;4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.5 And hope does not put us to shame(disappoint us), because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-4
When it rains it pours. You've probably heard that before. That phrase usually describes an overwhelming season of difficulty and tribulation. The way we handle adversity can truly determine the way we receive blessing from God. Everyone struggles. People from all walks of life go through challenging, hard times. According to scripture, we shouldn't fear those times we should embrace them because they have the potential of bringing about some incredibly good things in our lives.
Suffering brings patient endurance, or perseverance. Perseverance helps to build character. Character is who we are when no one is looking. Talent takes us before grea…

Form of Godliness

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2 Timothy 3:5..."having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people."
One of the gentle reminders that God is coming back again will be seasons of lawlessness, chaos, wars, earthquakes and other phenomenon. People will be lovers of themselves and their money. They will boast of all THEY have done.  They will be unforgiving, rash, conceited and full of pride, lacking any self-control.
You don't have to be a genius to recognize that many of the characteristics of 2 Timothy are up close and personal on the news today in this world that we live in. Yet with all the horrible things happening we should not be afraid but rather be compelled to get closer to Christ. Some people will have a "form of godliness". I always wondered exactly what that meant. Perhaps it means that they will talk the talk but fail to walk it out. Or they will use the name of the Lord but never see a manifestation of His power. How could anyone deny that the Lor…

Look Again!

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I took a walking tour yesterday of some of the hotels that I always wanted to see while here in Las Vegas. As I walked into the Venetian(my fav place-dream trip would be to go to Italy!) I was snapping some photos and caught this one. For a second it may appear that you are outside and the natural light was coming in. Upon closer inspection you realize that this ceiling has been painted! Most of the things that I have seen while visiting here have been "unbelievable"!
I wonder how many times in my life I make assumptions or hasty decisions without really looking closely at what is in front of me. It seems that we can be so reactionary sometimes.
Today I pray that you will be able to discern what is that good and pleasing thing that the Lord desires you to do with your life. He has painted a lovely blue sky over your life if you just stop and appreciate it every once in a while. Blue skies are smiling at YOU! Look again!

Paris!

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It's been quite sometime since I've been around so many people at once. It was a clashing of cultures and beliefs at the same time!
When I walked into the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas I was overwhelmed. I grew up in cities but I guess I've lived in the Midwest long enough to purge masses of people and noise out of my system!
This morning I sit in a French coffee shop and watch all of the people coming by. I think of the wonderful opportunity that Jesus gave us to go INto the world, preach the Good News and make disciples. So many people from various places that still do not know Him.
What a privilege it is to "represent" the King of Kings! No matter where you are today, lye YOUR light shine so people see the good you are doing and give God the glory for it!

Thirty Four Years Later

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Thirty four years ago I sat with anticipation in my seat at the Vets Memorial Coliseum in Columbus Ohio to see this concert. I was graduating from high school and trying to determine what I was going to do with my life.
After witnessing the production and being deeply moved by the emotion and performance of Barry Manilow's songs, I made a decision to follow a musical course for my life.
Since that day I have had the honor of producing over 1000 live events and doing things in the music business that became benchmarks for many other people. Today that musical passion is still used as I lead worship at The Landing Community Church in Glenpool, Oklahoma. In 2000 I founded a non-profit organization know as the Dreams2Destiny Center,Inc. to help people realize their life's calling and purpose and begin to pursue it. I recognize that you must go after the things that you want and when you invite the Lord into the mix, well He is able to turn your dreams2destiny every time!
Tomorrow …

Thoroughly Equipped

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2 Timothy 3:16AllScripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,17 so that the servant of God may bethoroughly equipped for every good work.
The most important book we have at our disposal is the Word of God. At The Landing we refer to it as our sword and blueprint for life.  We profess every week that we can DO anything it says we can do and that we can BE all that it says we can be. I read it because ALL of it is God-breathed. God put its content on the hearts of people just like you and me so that they would write it down and we could read it and apply it to our lives. Not only is it God-breathed...it is useful. In a world full of nonsense and useless knowledge its good to know that there are still some things that are useful. The Bible is useful for teaching others and for providing information to others that can help them correct their mistakes. It's also useful in training people to grow in the wisdom and knowledge tha…

Find Some Balance

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Ten days ago in one part of our state it was -31 degrees. Yesterday it was 73! When they say that "if you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, just wait...it will change" they are so right! When things change that much its hard to set a schedule. That's a wide span of temperature. I like to take walks outside but not when its -31! And I don't like to wear a coat when its 73.  Do I get the shorts out or do I keep them put away? Should I take an umbrella or a snow shovel?
One thing that I've noticed it that the warm weather brings out some nice attitudes. Smiles seem to show up more frequently. One of my friends shared a quote the other day with me that said..."your day will go the way that the corners of your mouth turn." Love that!
Weather changes, jobs change, relationships change, even your spiritual well-being can go from -31 to 73! I think our goal ought to be in finding some balance. Too many people go to each extreme, just like our Tulsa weathe…

The Verdict

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John 3:19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
If you have ever watched Law and Order or served on jury duty you are well aware of the courtroom and what goes on there. Evidence presented by legal teams to a jury of impartial people to determine whether the one being tried is guilty or not guilty.
We use the phrase "the jury is out" to describe a season when the answer is still pending. One of the most stressful times in the court process is waiting for the decision of the jury. We are waiting for the verdict.
Jesus made sure we would realize that when it comes to His love and what it really is, the answer is here. The verd…

Real Love

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Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Real love. Not cheap. Not misguided. Not envious or puffed up. Sincere. REAL. We all search for it. We all crave it. The need to be loved, be needed and to belong. Real love can only be found inside of a personal relationship with Christ. 
When was the last time you hated what was evil? I mean really got angry over someone done wrong or an injustice taking place? In this word today we are encouraged to not only hate the bad but to get a grip on the good. Look for it. See it. Embrace it. It is evident in how we treat each other. By thinking of others above ourselves. You see, you CANNOT "fall" out of real love because it is always thinking of the other person. You fall INTO real love. You choose to walk out of it by allowing your thoughts, actions and wor…

The Sound of Music

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Each year in the month of February I watch music legends appear on the Grammy’s program. Though you and I may think we are peeking in at the music talents of our world, what we are really witnessing is a voice much stronger than music, a revolution of ideas, dreams and visions. From Beiber to Streisand, Muse to Jagger, Lady Antebellum to Lady Gaga, each year when I see this collage of sometimes cacophonous reverberations, I am reminded of the talent and potential that exists in every human being. There is something is each one of us that leans towards the dramatic. Perhaps we get that from Jesus. Remember when he spit in the ground, made some mud in his hands and then smeared it on the eyes of the blind man? Though he never wore a “meat tunic” he was still unconventional. Unconventional but with a purpose! Messages were being positioned before the masses last night. Sermons were being preached. Hearts were being touched and emotions were running rampant. Posts and status updates were c…

Cheer Up!

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Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up
. Proverbs 12:25
There is nothing quite so overwhelming and burdensome as "worry". Jesus often instructed those around him to not worry. What good does it do? Does it add a day to your life? No! Worry weighs you down and keeps you from soaring like the eagle that you were created to be. Flying high above the trouble! But don't quit there...read on!
Encouragement actually cheers you up! It puts the pep back in your step and turns the corners of your mouth upward. It's so important to find people to surround you that will give you an encouraging word. If no one is around, turn on a praise and worship song! Feed your faith and starve the worry and doubt. Cheer up!
Today is the ninth day in a row that the kids have been out of school due to this history making weather in Oklahoma. I have learned to practice what I am preaching today. As soon as I got the message from the school last night I hit the play butt…

You Can Do It!

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Peter Marshall said "We are too Christian really to enjoy sinning,  and too fond of sinning really to enjoy Christianity. Most of us know perfectly well what we ought to do; our trouble is that we do not want to do it." Something moved inside of me when I read the words of Mr. Marshall today. I find myself being pulled towards things that can harm me so often that I wonder at times if I have the strength to stay the course. The answer is YES! In Him(Christ) I live and move and have my being. With Him all things are possible. In fact Philippians 2:13 says,"for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." He gives me the power to choose the right way AND to follow through on that choice! And that choice should bring the Lord great pleasure! Don't let the pull of what is harmful take you away from Him who can only be helpful. Abundant life in Christ: YOU CAN DO IT!

Wintertime

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Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do - or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so Stanley Crawford
The season is winter is the time when life does indeed slow down and spiritually speaking, it's the time when God can speak to each of us and bring new revelation. More than any other winter, I have had what can only be called "forced downtime". Tulsa had experienced more snow this year than any other time in its history. The kids have had 8 snow days in a row! We no longer call it a snow day, its snow week!
Life moves at a very fast pace and its often hard to unwind after we have become habitually wound up. Yet the Word of God encourages us to "be still" and know that He is God. This can be a time of promise. This can be a time to let God's promises to be whispered to you so that you can start to prepare yourself for a springtime of blossoming and blooming! It won't be long till the sun is shining…

Prevailing Purpose

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Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
   but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails
Proverbs 19:21 Have you ever wondered if there were more than one “perfect path” for you to travel? You grow up deciding what you want to do, who you want to be with and where you will live and work. What if I make a mistake and choose the wrong path? Jennifer Aniston was being courted to join SNL before she turned it down to be on a new show called Friends. Sandra Bullock was the star of the movie Blind Side but that role was originally offered to Julia Roberts. Will Smith could have been Neo in The Matrix but after some convincing from his wife chose Men in Black instead. In each example there were two different ways to go but it would appear that either of them could lead to success.Call it prevailing purpose. Perhaps many times we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be right all the time. We may even be afraid to make a mistake and choose the wrong way feeling we may never recover. Oftentimes …

Happy in Adversity?

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It's not always easy to take the high road. According to scripture we should treat others like we want to be treated and honor others before ourselves. When it is at all possible concerning us, we should live in peace with our neighbor. There are many words of instruction provided to us to help us navigate our lives.
Romans 5 says..
"we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
Let's start with the first part and notice that suffering(adversity) produces: it makes you and I into something more than we were. An airplane takes off and flies higher by going head on into the wind. Suffering can lead the way to a strong, faith filled spirit-led believer. Perseverance comes from going through "stuff".
So if you have really been goin…

Frozen Thoughts

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It's sunny today and the weather man says the temperature will climb above freezing so that some of this snow can melt. He also said that yesterdays 5 inch blast of the powdery stuff would be only 1"! I've got my cup of joe and I was reflecting over the last several days and the things that occur when you are trapped in your own home by 20" of snow.
They refer to several days of isolation as "cabin fever" which always confused me because I associate "cabins" with great vacation places and fun times with friends and family. One of my favorite cabins in in Oglebay Park in Wheeling WVA. I've never felt trapped there!
When the kids were little we would play together on snow days. Then they would run outside and only return for food and new dry clothes. Now they play video games, watch movies, and update their Facebook pages and well, they eat much more food! On my second trip out to the store to get some basics this week I was greeted by empty she…

R is for REPENTANCE

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Well at the end of such a SUPER week, "r" could be for a number of things. It could have stood for REVOLT, something that those in Egypt know so well right now...many revolting for the democracy they desire that would allow their voices to be heard and understood. It could also be for REVOLUTIONARY which speaks to the heart of true worshipers of God that long to see dramatic life change all over the world. Revolutionary prayer could make all the difference in the revolt taking place right now!
But for me, right here in 2011, at the beginning of the second month of the year, I have to say that "r" is for REPENTANCE. I am so grateful that even when I fall short of God's best and make some mistakes, repentance brings me back to where I was before the mistake. It's a 180 degree turn in the right direction.
Maybe you fall short too and could use a little good news at the end of Super Bowl week. The good news is that God loves you! He has an incredible plan for y…

E is for Enthusiasm

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"E" is for ENTHUSIASM! It was Emerson who said that "enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved." Dale Carnegie taught us that "if you act enthusiastic you will be enthusiastic". And Winston Churchill reminded us that "Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
It's SUPERbowl week and we are putting SUPER out in front of the natural so that we can live SUPERnaturally! Enthusiasm is contagious and once you start showing it, God will start growing it. And don't miss my little highlight there int eh word at the beginning os the blog....enthusiasm take US! US, we are right there in the middle of it!  Start a spiritual "wave" today and see what happens! No one has ever grown so old that they outgrew enthusiasm. Get excited, go tell someone about the faith that you have in God and what He has done in your life. Share HIS-story! Be COURAGEOUS!

P is for Power

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It's been a SUPER week so far and we are becoming the incredible spiritual beings that long to bring unity to the world we live in. P might stand for Punxsutawney Phil as today is the day he will use his extraordinary power to predict whether winter is over or hanging around for a few more weeks! Well all shadows considered, Phil can't compete with the Gospel, the Good News, also know as the Word of God. For us P is for POWER. In fact Paul said in Romans 1 "I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God that leads to salvation..." What is the power? The good news of Jesus Christ!
This weekend the two best teams in the NFL will collide on a field of grass and toss around a ball of leather. Muscles will be flexed, energy expended and talent portrayed to the world. Powerful people will make powerful decisions. Power plays will be called as power formations are outlined for the players. Advertisers will spend millions of dollars to position their product in th…

U is for Unity

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How good and pleasant it is when we all find a place of UNITY. Unity doesn't mean that we all think the same way or do the same things. It does however describe the attitude and spirit of people that God desires to use for His purposes. It was only when the 120 came into the Upper Room in Acts 2 with one mind and one heart with one purpose to focus on that the Holy Spirit made its grand entrance.
Today a winter storm rolled in to our city. Blizzard conditions were announced yesterday and as the reports came in, our city acted as if the storm had already hit. Grocery store shelves were bare and schools were already closed before there was any evidence of a storm! It was Unbelievable! I thought, if we could only have as much faith in God as we do this pending storm? What if we acted like God would make good on His promises and lived accordingly? Would we find that unity we need so desperately?
You've been blessed with every spiritual blessing and you are to walk in step with bel…