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Showing posts from September, 2011

T.G.I.F.

Another week comes to a close!!! Tomorrow is Saturday!  For most of us that means we can create our day rather than having it dictated to us. We can grab some extra time in the morning to read or write and things are not as rushed as they may seem during the week. Life is filled with so much to do that we need to learn how to "balance" all of it.
My life is made up of work and play, worship and rest. Most everything I do fits in these four categories. Work seems to take up a huge chunk and if you put sleep in the rest category, it already has an allotted segment as well. Worship and play need to be scheduled. If I am honest with myself I have to admit that reading God's word and prayer don't always just happen. I know, I'm a preacher that has to "make time" for the things that help me live! I have to schedule time to play too!
I think that life should be well-balanced and that there should be time set aside for work and play as well as worsh…

Courageous Faith

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It takes "faith" to please God. Faith, like followers of Christ seems to come in all different sizes. Some people have great faith and believe for things that others think could never happen. For many faith is used only when necessary and extends only to the point of possibility in our own mind. And some never ever step out of their own power into a dimension of "God power" or faith in motion. I am so grateful that God puts all of us, wherever we are on the faith spectrum, in the midst of the Body of Christ to learn and grow together. I want that kind of faith that makes people notice the awesome power of God and give Him glory. Faith that makes history. Joshua had courageous faith. Once when he was in battle the Lord told him to completely kill of the army: leave no one alive. The problem he had was that his battle was not over and the daylight was. He needed more time. Some folks would have given up and simply said they ran out of time. No one had ever thought of …

True Heroes

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Every good thing I have comes from you.” The godly people in the land
are my true heroes! Psalm 16:2-3
Each and every day I realize more and more that every good thing that comes into my life comes from God. It compels me to thank Him continuously for the blessings and the favor. It also makes me more aware of others around me that serve him and use their gifts to tell his story.
in a world filed with red-carpet events and celebrity worship, it would be so amazing if those that served the Lord with their lives became our true heroes. 
Who are your heroes? Who influences you? Who are you following on twitter? 
God wants to bless you. He wants to surround you with godly friends and good influences. Let the godly people be your true heroes!

No Shortfalls

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Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing
. PS 34:10
Imagine today that you could live life in such a way that there would be no shortfalls. No shortfalls emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. Sounds like a perfect way to move through the day!
Trusting in the Lord sets us up for the best possible life that we could live. When He is in control then we can know that the people will meet, the conversations we have and the places we end up are being somewhat divinely guided or inspired. When we please the Lord, the Lord pleases us. Therefore there is no lack because you have a new understanding that all things are eventually going to work out for your benefit.
So what are you thinking about today? Are you staying positive and trusting God? Then you can know that He will make a way to satisfy all of your needs!

It's Time!

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“When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. 7It is time to break camp and move on
Sometimes we get stuck. Like the TinMan in the Wizard of Oz, life rains upon us and before long we are rusted immobile.Those that were following Moses out of egypt to the land that God promised them also saw moments of idleness and seasons that were unproductive. Maybe that happens when you take forty years to go a journey that should have taken 11 days!   Moses often had to remind the people what God had said. What he told them, let me tell you today. You have been in the rut long enough. It's time to stop circling the mountain, break camp and move on. It's time that your get up and go got up and went. It's time! This is the day that everything begins to change. It's time for the blessings to fall upon your life and those that you love. It's time for your finances to increase and your giving to double. It's time for you…

Build Your Dream Life

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful" Hebrews 10:23

Did you realize that you have the greatest part in shaping the type of day you you will have today?
You can begin talking about things that you desire to see and people you want to interact with and start thinking about what that meeting may look like. I have no problem in the thinking part of this but when it comes to what I say, well, that can be another problem. Maybe you are like me and you think positively but when you open your mouth you negate everything.

This verse talks about a 'confession of hope'. There are many situations where we hold out hope for an expected result. Imagine every word that you speak today becoming a brick that is placed on an incredible dream house called your life. You have the plans within you to build what you have always desired. The key is to not waver and place that hope in the One who is always able to be relied …

Hall of Famer

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Mickey Mantle, the late Hall-of-Famer for the New York Yankees, was a teenager when the Yankees sent him back to the minors in 1951. Convinced he couldn't make it as a ballplayer, Mantle called his father, who came to Kansas City and found a tearful Mickey ready to quit the game. 'OK, son, if that's all the guts you have, you might as well come home with me and work in the zinc mines,' the elder Mantle said. His dad's challenge stung Mantle back to reality, and he went on to greatness. Mickey got back in the game!  How about you? Are you sitting in the dugout on the bench because your feelings were hurt? Are you carrying a grudge to the plate that you should have released long ago? Life is too short to miss the moments of joy that God has prepared for you. Keep swinging! You have to get in the game! "If that's all the guts you have..." hear the challenge today for you. It's time for a new Hall of Famer to arise!

Take the Call

This morning there was a pull from heaven to begin to pray. I simply felt a "call to prayer". It was a divine call for those that were in my life and those whose lives I am connected to directly and indirectly. I took this "call" as a divine mandate to tune it to God and listen. As I prepared to pray many others allowed me to join with them regarding specific needs that they had in their world.
Something began to happen. It was as if a window in heaven was opening up and God was pouring out some amazing, life-transforming blessings upon his people. I felt life "shifting" and re-alinging itself with His plans and purposes. I felt a connection, a spiritual connection to everyone that was in prayer with me.
As I sit here now rejoicing over these moments that I have spent talking to God, I am so glad I "took the call". Maybe he is calling you today too? Don't let it go to voicemail and never let yourself be too busy to stop and talk. Take the ca…

Form of Godliness

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In 2 Timothy 3 it talks about how bad things will continue to get as we move towards the return of Christ. After a list of terrible characteristics it speaks of people who will have a "form of godliness but deny its power."
Godliness seems to have many forms today. People are saying and doing alot of things in the name of religion. What separates the Christian from the non-Christian is the use of the power. If we are doing the things that we were designed to do we would see mighty power, miracle working power manifesting itself in our lives when it is necessary. On other words we don't have a form of power, we are tied to the source of that power! We acknowledge it and it works. Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he must flee! You cant deny this power when you experience it!
You may need a miracle today. Your power may be gone and you feel like all hope is lost. Don't deny a change, embrace it. Acknowledge your dependence upon the Lord and watch…

Be A Blessing

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The bible says "do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing..." It seems much easier to say than it does to do. The natural response most of us have to anyone that insults us is to come back with an insult of our own. If you have ever put lighter fluid on a burning fire than you know what happens when you return an insult for an insult. Rather than engage in a rage just turn the page. Move on!
When you learn the art of blessing those that curse you or insult you, you set in motion a lifestyle that brings blessing into your life. What you do to others always seems to be done to you...so bless them!
Saying no to negative joy-stealing words and yes to all of the possibilities that come from a life filled with faith and hope will change everything. Don't attach yourself to an environment that you do not want. Inherit a blessing by being a blessing today!

Last Day

This weekend we are hosting three performances of a play called Last Day. It deals with the subject of where you spend eternity and the possibility of what may happen when life here is over. As I watched the final practice last night I thought about the choices that I make each and every day. Some of them are great and take me to fantastic places. Others are not so great and can cause some serious and troubling consequences. As I pondered these choices I thought about what I would do if I had just 24 hours left. How would my life be different if this was my last day?
Who would I have conversations with and where would I go? What kind of emotions would I be feeling? Life has many choices but eternity only two: to spend it with God or to spend it without him.
Take some time today to take inventory of where you are spending your time, using your talent and investing your money. Place all these things into the hands of the Lord and he will shape your life into something that matters here …

Hold or Fold?

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Acts 19:8-9 says..."Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them."

I like the fact that Paul was COURAGEOUS and bold about what he believed. I also admire that he was persistent in doing things that would spread the Word. Here scripture says that he spoke boldly, even argued persuasively for the sake of Christ. It also says that he did not get through and that eventually, he moved on.

It made me think about how much time we spend today arguing with people about our faith. Some hearts are going to receive the good news and be changed while others are never going to get it. Realize today that it's not our responsibility to make them believe...it's Gods.  Kenny Rogers sang a song with some great insight; "you got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em: know when to walk…

Seasonal Ministry

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Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2
There are many things in life that are seasonal. Nature changes colors, groceries and produce markets change foods, clothing stores change clothes and people change too. Our attitudes may become different, our outlook on life, even our willingness to work may be affected by the seasons. After reading today's scripture I see that ministry too is seasonal. You and I are to "preach the Word", which means share the story of Christ IN and OUT of season. In other words, ministry should take place each and every day of every month in every year. 
The commandment is to get prepared and be ready because you may never know when it will be your time to speak, pray or simply show up to be a friend to someone else. Ministry is seasonal...every season!

Making Your Approach

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If I were to be brutally honest with you I would say that many times when I go to the Lord it is with the wrong attitude. When things are difficult or something dramatic happens, of course I run to the Lord for help. But what about developing a simple and powerful routine for communicating with Him each day? In Psalm 100:4 it says, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."
We need to make our approach with thanksgiving and once we have made the connection, let praise elevate us into a position of sincere thankfulness. So today, before you start to pray, think about just how you are entering his gates and courts. Your attitude will definitely affect your altitude!

Nothing at All?

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In 2 Kings 4 you can find an interesting story of a widow with two boys. She was scrapping to get by and the creditors were coming after her to take her children away because of the debt. She takes her problem to the man of God, Elisha. Elisha asks her, "what do you have in your house?" And then she gives an interesting answer. She says "nothing at all, except this little jar of oil."
She was overwhelmed, challenged by life circumstances and dealing with the responsibility for her kids. You may feel like this today. You want help. You're tired of answering questions and people wanting things from you and you are looking for real answers for yourself.
The trouble with each one of us is the same as the woman in the house. She was unaware of what she had. The way we get through the pain of what we lost is to look at what we have. We need to take inventory of all that we have and put it in the hands of the Lord for help. What you have combined with who God…

I AM Fabulous!

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I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.psalm 139:14-16                                           When was the last time anyone told you that "you are fabulous!" Well, you are! Today, look in that mirror, smile really BIG and say to yourself: "I AM FABULOUS!" Throughout this fabulous Friday, whenever you start to forget this simple fact, just say that again and again. God says you were wonderfully made. There is a reason for you being where you are and doing what you are doing. This is going to be a great day! So tell me...what have you got to say for yourself?

Broken Hearts

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The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit
.PS 34:18
If you have been on this planet any length of time, you have probably experienced a broken heart and a crushed spirit. We are unable to control what happens to us or what people may do that affects us. What we are able to control is our response. When our lives are centered in Christ we have some blessed assurance: the Lord will be close when our hearts are broken and he will save us when our hopes are crushed.
When your heart is broken you have difficulty trusting anyone and you may tend to isolate yourself from others. When your spirit is crushed you may even go so far as to give up. The good news is that when everyone else walks out, Jesus will walk in.
So keep your head up and your hope held high. People may let you down but Jesus is always there! You've got a friend!

You Never Know

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Yesterday I walked through a home that had been devastated by flood waters a couple months ago. If you looked closely you could see the water line that showed just how high the waters rose. The crew was already repairing it and replacing things that were ruined and honestly, if you did not know what that house had gone through, you would never have known just how bad it really was.
I began to think of relationships and conversations that I have with people everyday. Many of them have been in floods of turmoil. They have been emotionally and verbally abused, uncared for and overwhelmed by rising tides of pain and struggle. And to be honest, many times I make judgments about them and decisions without ever considering what they have been through or are going through. In fact, when you see them you would never know just how bad it had been.
God is love and God gives peace. Peace in the midst of storms. Sometimes we look for that peace like valuable objects lost under water but if we keep…

Sing!

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"Be filled with the Holy Spirit,  singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts". EPH 5:19
There are many ways to sing unto the Lord. Here in Ephesians we are reminded to not get caught up in everyone else's spirit but rather be completely filled and saturated with God's. Did you realize that you can sing your way out of anything? All of us have done it. Singing at the top of our voice in the shower or in the car. What are you singing about? Are you singing somebody elses song?
Just begin to lift up your voice today. Begin to sing His song. Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs can usher in His presence. Songs about Him, sung to Him and songs from Him deposited into your spirit will change your environment and change you too! So sing!

Enjoy Labor Day!

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There are many folks today that would love to be a part of the labor force. So many Americans are out of work and struggling to simply survive in the midst of our terrible economy. Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who has today off as a holiday from your job. What if we could all take a few moments today and pray for our brothers and sisters who have no job? What if the windows of heaven could open and pour out new jobs all over the country?
Ask the Lord to make a way, through all of the obstacles and strongholds and open up the hearts of employers and companies to begin to build up their work force again. Ask the Lord to bring out those creative talents that can start new companies and create incredible new inventions. Ask God to forgive our poor choices and make things right for us again by using all of the incredible talent that is in each one of us.
With God, ALL things are possible. We can turn this around! We don't need an act of Congress we need a move of God. Thank yo…

Making Allowances

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Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2
I once heard someone say to to a man regarding his spouse: "be careful about criticizing her faults. It may have been those very faults that kept her from getting a better husband!" It takes some work to ALWAYS be humble and gentle. It takes practice to make allowances for each other. Consider what they are going through and what is happening before you to anything. The good news is that it IS possible.
When you begin to think highly of others, God thinks highly of you. Patience is a virtue and allowing yourself time to process things said and done before you respond is important. Whenever you can, live in peace with others.
Practice this through the weekend and see if God doesn't just make things work out a bit better for you!

God's Masterpiece

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For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Are you like most people that find themselves using words and actions that defeat anything good from happening in their lives? When was the last time you got up, looked in the mirror and said, "hey good looking, let's go do some great things today!" I know, it's probably been a while!
You are a masterpiece...a valuable creation that was designed to be on display to others to show the amazing creative power of God. Masterpieces matter. They have an impact on people that are looking for quality.
So what will you be displaying today? God has planned some good things to be in your path today but you have to see yourself as a piece for the Master's use before they can happen.