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Showing posts from July, 2011

Lucky 13?

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When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it. (Joshua 6:20 NLT)
You've probably heard about someone who was superstitious about the number 13 as being unlucky or Friday the 13th being destined for some weird darkness. Joshua was leading a group of people into the promised land and found a monstrous city with fortified walls called Jericho standing right in the middle of the lot for their new home. God had a plan to demolish that city. It was strange and a bit repetitive. They were to march around the city every day without saying a word. I have to believe that somewhere around day four or five the people were getting suspicious of this plan. When will the city be ours and why are we walking in circles?
On the seventh day they were to walk around the city 7 times. On that 13th lap everything changed! God showed up, the walls fell and…

Bless You

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There is a blessing in Numbers 6 that I often quote over the people of The Landing and my children too. In fact Jewish parents would pray this blessing over their children every day and those children would grow up to be very successful. A powerful word of truth spoken at the right time always produces something wonderful, even miraculous.
In the New Living Translation these verses read:
‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’
Protection, grace, favor and His peace all wrapped up in this short little blessing from God. What do you need today? Someone to watch over you and be kind to you? Someone to do you a favor and end the chaos? That's what God wants to do for you and your family. Speak this blessing over those you love today and rest assured that God will do His part.

I'm with Stupid!

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The other day I was doing some fixing up and cleaning up around the house. I was just going about the business at hand and suddenly I did something that was not very smart. To be honest it was stupid...so stupid that I actually ended up saying out loud, "joe, you are so stupid!" As soon as those words came out of my mouth I realized that what I had done was not very beneficial to my success. In fact, I used words to tear myself down. I heard myself say something about me that was simply not true.
In Psalm 139:14 it reads, "Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it." One translation reminds me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I'm not stupid at all and I should be one of the first ones to confess that!
What types of things do you say to yourself? Maybe you have done what I did to yourself before. Faith comes by hearing but so does doubt. It's time to change our language and speak blessing and succ…

What Really Matters?

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In the first book of Philippians, Paul writes from prison these words...
9I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 
Everyday we must get up and face a new day with new challenges and potentially new victories. We will have to be quick on our feet because life comes at us fast and will require of us split second decision making.  Our goal will be to decided "what really matters" and focus on those things.
It's easy to become distracted by troubles or detoured by well-meaning acquaintances. The only way to stay on track is to establish filters in your life that help you in your decision making process. I have one core value(filter) that helps me choose every day what really matters. If the thing that is proposed to me will help someone identify and realize their callin…

Are You Ready to FINALIZE?

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I noticed this message the other day when making a DVD copy of one of our services. I was attempting to "finalize" it. That is the last step in the process of having a DVD that is useable.
There are a couple of things I learn from the process that can apply to life too. Though I recorded the service, if I do not finalize the disc, everything that went on it is for nothing. You can look at the back of the disc and see clearly that something is on it but you cannot enjoy it until it is finalized. The other lesson for me comes in this warning: "no recording allowed after finalizing". Once I have done this to the disc, I cannot re-record over it.
You and I have some events and circumstances in our lives that are in desperate need of "finalizing". Every difficulty and challenge you have endured or are enduring has a purpose for you to grow through. I don't like the word "closure" because all of those dark seasons seem to "hang" around a…

Are You Hungry Yet?

God blesses you who are hungry now,
for you will be satisfied.
 Luke 6:21
God is looking for people with a hearty appetite! In fact we know that when we hunger and thrust for the right things, we will never go hungry. God promises a full belly.
The other night I was watching someone with a hearty appetite on Man V. Food. I was astonished by the amount of food that host "Adam" ate during one show. Everything was big and if he wanted to conquer the challenge he had to bring his "A" game and a humongous appetite!I have to condition myself to lean towards the things that God wants to feed me. There are so many choices that bid for my attention and its up to me to choose wisely. Lots of food can bring comfort but only a few things can satisfy.  How's your appetite for what God is cookin'? Praise can bring what you crave right to your door. God has prepared the table and dinner is served! It's time for a blessing that will satisfy every need in your life. Are you…

Speak Up

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When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” 
In Luke 6 Jesus said this when speaking about a Roman officer who longed to see someone who worked for him healed. Being an officer in charge of many men, the man explained that the Lord need not come to his home for he was not worthy of such a visit. (humility) He then said that he knew how the men that are under him respond to his words(authority) so he asked Jesus to just say the word and that would take care of it.
This man realized that you don't need to be in a special place or touched by some peculiar person. The power is in the Word and Jesus IS the Word. Jesus was so amazed that he said he had not seen such a great understanding of faith anywhere! Of course when the man returned home he found the worker completely well. Jesus sent the Word to heal.
If you are a follower of Christ, you can practice this concept too. You can s…

Attractive Conversation

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The other morning as I read these words: "let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone." Colossians 4:6 NLT
Can you imagine having the right response at the right time for every person that you meet? It seems somewhat unattainable to me yet in reading this I see that by letting my talk be gracious and attractive, I become equipped and empowered to respond properly.
I thought about some of the conversations I have overheard others say int eh coffee shop or in line at the grocery store. I have heard words with no grace and talk that was absolutely NOT attractive. attractive conversation draws people to you. It creates an environment for growth, hope and encouragement. And that is what every one of us needs today.
So when you speak today, let your conversation be gracious and attractive. I believe that you will hear some amazing things coming out of your mouth as you learn how to respond properly for everyone.

Talking to Dad

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Luke 6:12One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. 13 At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles.
Choosing those that would follow him and start the first church was a really big deal. A major decision and there needed to be some due diligence before it was made. Yet Jesus is not looking over their bio's, he's talking to his father:)
How do you prepare for an important decision? Do you weary yourself in going over details or do you recharge yourself by going to prayer?
As I've grown older I have gained quite a bit more experience in life choices. Yet when I have a life changing decision to make, I still go to my father before I make it. Then I talk to my heavenly Father and its off to the races. Talking to dad makes ALL the difference!
Got a big decision to make today? Set all the papers aside, calm down your mind and open up your heart. Talk to your Father. He will help you to d…

Mind Your Business

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Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.  For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Galatians 6:4-5
It's easy at times to compare yourself to someone else. Often we look at what we are doing and how well we do it by holding our efforts up against another person's achievements. People today often feel like they don't match up because they see themselves as they relate to things that are not real. By comparing ourselves we fall short. We think we aren't pretty enough, tall enough, rich enough, smart enough and so on.
Scripture encourages us to pay attention to our own work...to mind our own business. You can only feel completely satisfied when you know that you have done your best for the Lord and not for anyone else. We are accountable for what we do and what we say.
Pay attention to your life today!

Whatever you do, do it for the Lord and not for men

"Will" Power

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Saw a movie yesterday that spoke of the awesome power in our "will" and how strong it was. Suddenly, a character surfaced that had lost their "will" power and fallen prey to fear. Soon they realized that fear is a powerful force too. So a battle ensued and those using the power of their "will" thought that if they learned how to harness the power of fear they would be unstoppable. The chief character pointed out to them that fear has no power if "will" chooses to use it's full force against it. As the battle carried on, he learned how to exert the power of "will" and fear was destroyed.

How many times have you chosen not to do a task or enter into a deal because you set aside "will" power and gave in to fear? Fear is no match for the one who learns how to love others and do good works. In fact, perfect love will send fear running.

Don't let fear win your battle today. You need to develop your "will" to love …

Fresh Produce

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Galatians 5:22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Most folks gauge their success by how much money they have or how many things they can acquire. They look at all of the things that are said about them and the number of friends that they have. I have always believed that it was ok to have stuff. Just be careful that the stuff does not have you!
The measure of a truly successful life in God is "fruit". We are enthusiastic, sold-out fruit producers! Each day you should become a dispenser of fresh produce
The kinds of things that are important to God are things like love, joy and peace. Being patient, kind and good. Live faithfully and be gentle and self-controlled. You get these by developing a close personal relationship with Jesus and allowing His spirit to produce this wonderful fruit. Fruit is what makes us differen…

Pay Them Back

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Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. 1 Peter 3:9
The first thing I WANT to do when I am insulted or verbally attacked by a person is pay them back. In my own strength I want to take matters in my own hands and bring vengeance on the person that harms me. But scripture offers me another way...a better way. It says to pay them back...with a blessing! A blessing? You mean that I am to bless the person that hurts me? God's answer is simple... YES!
God's kingdom operates differently than what we may be accustomed to. To become the greatest of all we are asked to be the servant of all. To be first we should be last. To receive what we need we should give what we have. It often seems that God's way is often the exact opposite of what we would naturally do. But God's way ALWAYS brings the absolute best result to our situation.…

One Thousand!!

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Cup of Joe has reached another milestone for inspiration and hope. This rich blend of inspiration for your daily grind is the 1000 article!!! In October of 2007 I decided to try and use this space to share my thoughts, my hopes and things that inspire me so that you too may be inspired. I enjoy having a cup of joe with so many people. COJ is read in so many countries like Argentina, France, India, England, Australia, Malaysia, South Korea and many more. I guess we all want to be encouraged!
I often look for things in my daily routine that make me laugh, cry and think and those are the kinds of things that I share with each of you. The key for me is to keep moving, keep writing and not allow myself to let the "joe" get cold.
You won't always feel like smiling but there is always something to smile about. If you don't find the circumstances that you want when you wake up, change them. Be COURAGEOUS and do everything that you can to see the magnificence in life around y…

Who is Your Builder?

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They say that the housing market has been in trouble for quite some time now. There are many homes sitting unoccupied…great designs, lovely spaces, ornate architecture…but no life. Perhaps it’s also an image of many people…appearance from the outside is wonderful…they seem really happy…lots of bells and whistles going off around them but deep inside their soul…no life at all. Their spirit is in foreclosure…the enemy is coming to take everything away and they have lost all hope.
Let me tell you today that YOU have a hope...hope for good, for health and for your complete well-being. That hope is IN Christ.
Every house has a builder, but God is the builder of everything. Hebrews 6:4 
Each one of us is building something. Your life is being built by every word you say and every deed you do. Your actions are like timbers and your words the nails that attach those actions to your life. 
Each action places another piece to your life and each action is connected by the words that come out of your…

Keep it Simple

The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief.
To increase knowledge only increases sorrow
. Eccl 1:18
Have you ever noticed that the more you know, the harder it is to accept even the simplest of things? It seems like the deeper you get into something the more it weighs upon you. perhaps that is why Jesus gave us a simple thought that could change everything.
He said "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And to love your neighbor as yourself." He also said that this sums it all up. (Matt 22:37-40)
For many people the more they know, the slower they go! I encourage you to not let what you know hinder how well you grow. YOUR wisdom can lead to YOUR grief. His wisdom will bring you true happiness. Seek first the kingdom of God and His way and ALL the rest will come your way. Keep it simple. Love IS the answer!

Overlooking Offenses

Proverbs 19 teaches us that "a man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." There is a great difference in "overlooking" a mishap and and looking over it. Too many folks tend to get into others troubles and analyze them in search of more and more details and dirt. They may even help them become larger than life. They become consumed with looking over what went wrong and what happened. According to scripture it might be better to let God bring a resolve: to allow ourselves to overlook it. We are challenged by people and things that are trying to slow us down and get us off track every day. The simple lesson of this scripture is that there are times when it is better to not say anything. In other words you don't have to engage in every trouble that challenges you. Wisdom helps you use the patience of God to "overlook" things that may draw others to look over. Justice comes from the Lord and in the end it will be as He …

Breaking Camp

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You have stayed at this mountain long enough.  It is time to break camp and move on. Deut 1:6-7
Encouraging yourself is the beginning of "change". It's that "pick yourself up by the bootstraps" moment. God is all about getting after it...or breaking camp.You and I were not designed to stop. We may not always have the end result that we expect bit we always have available the life that He intended us to have. Marinate on that for a moment. What if success and complete happiness in every area of your life was contingent on you breaking camp and moving on? Are you settling in at a location where you were supposed to "overnight" ?.
You've stayed on the mountain long enough and now its time to let your passion for life and the purpose God created you to have to burst forth. So pack up the tent, grab your duffel bag and get ready...a new blessing is just around the corner!

Encourage Yourself!

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1 Samuel 30:4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep
Have you ever had one of those seasons in life when nothing turns out the way you thought it would? You've prayed, you've confessed every good thing and maintained positive thoughts and still, no thing! I have been praying and searching for a place to live that would meet my need and go beyond my expectations and everything that I had working that seemed to be a sure thing has collapsed. I found myself surrounded by discouragement in every way.
I went back to read this story of David in 1 Samuel. He came back from doing what God gifted him to do only to find his home burned down and his family kidnapped. Expecting a home cooked meal and some great companionship only to find ashes and devastation. And what did David do?
He encouraged himself in the Lord. You cannot always depend on other people. The boss may not have a positive word for you. Your family…

Celebrate Independence!

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Today we celebrate our independence as a nation which all hinges on our dependence upon God. God has a grand design for our country. When you know the design and when you have a plan, its easier to build. When you know what is expected, you have a great chance of accomplishing the task. All things work together for the benefit of those that would choose Him to be their Lord and Savior. Those are the few…the proud…the strong and the FREE! Our nation was founded on Godly principles and men of faith. The Faith OF our Fathers is only achieved by our having faith IN our FATHER! We are a Christian nation, a land of the FREE and a home of the brave. You have been bought with a price…you can stand up tall and live an abundant life in Christ!

Thrill & Chew

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Instead you thrill to God's Word, 
you chew on Scripture day and night.
Psalm 1:2
This is how we begin the wonderful collection of psalms that David penned. The person who is able to thrill to what God says and chew on it day and night is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with those who put down others.
One of my favorite things to do used to be riding every roller-coaster I came across. From Cedar Point and Kings Island in Ohio to Disneyworld in Orlando and Six Flags over Texas, my life was one thrill after the next. So I get what a thrill should feel like.
But I must admit that I often have to make a concerted effort to thrill on the things the Lord says because sometimes what He requires is exactly opposite of what I want. Fortunately I always arrive at the place, after much chewing, where I realize that He is looking out for me and that even the tough stuff helps to make me a stronger and more devoted follower.
So strap …