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Showing posts from April, 2012

Put Your Team Together

Most of us reach a place in our lives when it becomes very clear that we cannot do life alone. We need a team. It certainly does take teamwork to make God's dream work.
In Acts 6 there is a picture of the disciples facing all sorts of dissension and discord. People were talking smack and things were getting out of control. The chaos had become not only a distraction but a disruption the prayer and praise life of the disciples. So they got together and decided to build a team...a great team that could help carry the load and allow them to keep serving the Lord.
Is the load you're carrying dampening your spiritual life? Have you been trying to do everything by yourself? The best way to build some great friendships is to find a local church family to connect yourself to. We all need each other and God longs to use us to fulfill His purposes on the earth. Lets do it together! Build YOUR team!

So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend …

Life and Health

My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. Proverbs4:20-23

There are so many health products on the market today: protein shakes, diet pills, energy boosters and a variety of whole foods choices. With all of these things coming at you it's easy to get overwhelmed and then simply take comfort in whatever you want. My two vices are peanut butter M&M's and BIG Cheez-it's. I know, go ahead and pray for me!

Though it's important what you put into your body when it comes to food, it's even more important how you feed your spirit. Faith comes by hearing the Words that God has preserved for us through the pages of the Bible. Keeping those words close so you can see them and close so your heart is filled with them is imperative. Why? Because they are LIFE to you and HEALTH to your body! A rich life and fulfi…

Falling Apart?

Last night we had a friend of ours, Van Crouch, come to minister to our church. He is a blessed man with many years of wisdom and a plethora of one-liners. I was excited because I knew that his latest book was called "What to Do When Everything Falls Apart". Life is filled with surprises and oftentimes we are not quite ready for what comes at us. Some of Van's counsel was to take a look at ourselves and also to check out how active our praise life is. Can you sing through the tough times?
So appropriate was the word he shared for me. No sooner than I walked into the door at home my washer stopped working, full of wet clothes. I wanted to scream!!! But then I remembered what had been fed to my spirit hours earlier and I went into my room to sing instead:) It did not change the way the washer worked, just me.
Now I just have to sing as I search for a new one!! So when everything falls apart, don't fall with it!

Purr...

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Anyone who has a happy cat knows that sound it will make: a gentle little purr. I have even heard people refer to a car engine that is running smoothly as making a "purr" sound. Makes me wonder how to make my days "purr" a little. Can you actually have that little purr and if so, how?
Let me suggest that if you want to "purr" it takes peace, unity, repentance and restoration. The Bible talks of believers of having a peace that goes beyond what they can comprehend. That peace comes only when the mind, body and soul is synchronized and there is unity. This kind of unity happens when we repent and turn towards the Lord deciding to do things His way and not ours. And when all of these things are in operation, well, there is complete restoration. If you want life to purr you need to strive for peace, unity, repentance and restoration.
Oh and if you add to that flaming enthusiasm and Christlike talk well...that purrfect!

Who is He?

"And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”
Read closely those words today: this person that is being talked about would turn many people to God. He would operate with the spirit and power of Elijah. He would turn hearts of fathers towards their kids and would cause rebellious people to accept godly wisdom. Sounds like an amazing guy! Any guess who it was?
It was John the Baptist: the locust eater that wore funky clothes and stood outside telling people to repent and turn to the Lord. You may think after reading the scripture from Luke 1 today that the man being described had a global, worldwide ministry that spanned decades. That this man was the author of many books and teacher of students worldwide. Nope, it was just John. J…

Slow Motion

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Life can interrupt you sometimes and throw things in your path that you did not expect. It also moves so quickly that we miss a lot of the things happening and get caught away with the motion of living.
What is these challenges we face were God's way of dramatically altering the pace of life? Slow motion changes everything. When you slow everything down, you begin to see with more clarity and you see every detail. The seams on a baseball pitch, the dimples in the golf ball, the water droplets leaving the wave. No matter what it is, slowing it down allows you to get a better look at it and make adjustments. For most of us, its another chance to evaluate our decisions, our relationships and our future.
Today, rather than running into the week at full speed, grab a cup of joe and allow God to slow down the speed of your life events and give you a better look at whats happening and how it affects you and those connected to you. You may be surprised by all that you begin to see and the…

Compassion Showers

Many years ago I had the privilege of going through the memorial to the victims of the OKC bombing which occurred this week in April of 1995. Little did I know that the experience would change my life forever.
As part of the tour, I found myself in the middle of the room where the notes and personal items of the 168 people that lost their lives were located. The emotion of that moment was overwhelming. I began to break down and cry and felt as if I had known each one of these people personally as I read some of the notes and looked at the family pictures. Not only was I moved to tears as most are but I began to wonder why I felt so connected to these people that I had never met in my life. It was in seeking that answer that the Lord spoke to my heart and let me know that what I was experiencing was true compassion. Compassion is more than sympathy for another...its the feeling of actually being in their shoes(empathy) and going through something as if you are actually with them. It…

A New Look

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Reading through the Old Testament can be exciting especially when you read about anything that is being built by God for His purposes. The ARK that Noah was asked to construct was so detailed and so large and to think that he went right on and did what God was asking when he had never seen a raindrop is sort of amazing! And then there is the Temple of God that was so precise and so ornate, and could never have been accomplished unless people were willing to be involved in God's plan and purposes.
For the last several weeks our student ministries department has been involved in a redesign of their youth space which included some very creative wall art, fresh paint and an enormous stage! Their keyword this year is AIM and they have set the bar incredibly high. Last night we unveiled all of the wonderful new things which even spilled over outside into a new flowerbed with lights right in front of the youth center!
Watching all of these people give their time and energy into building …

Fear Not

The Lord is my light and my salvation.Who is there to fear?
The Lord is my life’s fortress.Who is there to be afraid of?
Fear will always rise when faith is low. The Bible tells us that
"faith" comes by hearing...hearing the Word of God. When we hear
the power of the Word that spirit within us will grow and when the
spirit gets strong, the fear is gone!
It's time to feed your faith and watch your spirit soar again. Put on
some worship music today and turnaround your situation. The Lord
is your light...your life's fortress...what do you have to be afraid of?

Spirit Rising

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Many years ago there was a popular song sung by U2 whose lyrics contained the line...
"I still haven't found what I'm looking for." Everyone is searching for something: love, work, freedom, power, money...the list goes on and on. We pursue until we acquire and then something inside us wants to keep looking.  I've been reading this book by Jim Cymbala entitled "Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit".  Why? Because since the first of this year, our church has "felt" different. Great things are happening and there have been many divine interruptions where a greater power than us takes over. You can sense it, you absolutely feel it and you can almost visibly see it as it sweeps over the sanctuary. When this power hits, things change: people are transformed and that is when the church service really becomes special. So I've been looking into all that was said about this Holy Spirit, this third part of the mysterious Trinity, and…

All YOU Need

2 COR 9... 6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound  in every good work. You get out of anything what you put into it. Spend the time, exert the effort, plant the seeds and you are guaranteed a fruitful harvest. God likes people that are happy about being generous.  Today, why not start out by giving some or the resources you have to another: your time, your hospitality, your finances...use what you have and God will always see to it that you have more. Why? So in ALL things, at ALL times, having ALL that you need you will abound! God bless YOU!

The First Fish That Bites

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I know, it's the big TAX weekend! For many its the one time a year where we truly feel financial virtue leaving our bodies! When it comes to money many of us find trouble. Someone once said that too many of us are spending money we didn’t earn to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like. 
Peter was asked if Jesus paid taxes in Matthew 17...to which Jesus had a solution to the tax problem:
27 ...go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth and you'll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for both of us."MSG
Don't we wish that somehow we could go fishing and pull in that first fish that bites finding any taxes due right in their mouth! Jesus paid Peter's taxes that day by using Peter's talent and ability. He was a fisherman. He caught fish. This day, he would catch a coin carrying fish!
Jesus will use your skills and your talents today to take care of all that you need…

Seek the Lord

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Seek the Lord while He may be found,  Call upon Him while He is near. IS 55:7
SEEKING…I used to think that prayer was asking the Lord for something that He desired to give me and I would receive it. As I continue growing in in my understanding I can see that sometimes asking needs another level...sometimes I need to put some legs with the words. Jesus said ask me and then He said SEEK me. Once you have you vocalized your petition, you can start to motorize it by moving in the direction of the answer. In Christ there is a 100% guarantee. JC said that those that would SEEK him would FIND him. There’s no frustration, no disappointment.  It reminds me of my kids when they were little. They loved to play hide and seek and my two boys were a bit older than my daughter Jordan so they would have a little edge. When Jordan played she would always go hide, and wait only for a short time and then she would say I’m over here…she wanted to be found! I believe that is how the Lord is, Jesus wants to b…

Surrounded by Positive Things

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Sometimes when I preach I think of things and find my mind taking a small detour:) I would love to say that every time this happens it is a good thing but I cannot tell I lie! Last weekend I was discussing something to the effect that Christ is an obstacle remover and a stain remover. And then it hit...my mind began to see all of those products in my laundry room that take stains away. I saw the bottle of SHOUT! When I face a terrible stain on my clothes I have to SHOUT it out! Aren't you glad they didn't call that stuff "whisper?" Who ever heard of the "Stain Whisperer?"
After that I simply told all of the folks about how I have surrounded myself with positive things. My dish washing detergent is JOY! My laundry soap: CHEER! And some of the folks were feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit because right in that cupboard of their laundry room was a dryer sheet called "Downy!" I'm not going down, I'm going up...so my dryer sheets are cal…

Run to Win

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This past weekend as I read through many of the resurrection stories from different parts of the Bible, I noticed something in the account given in John 20. It talks about Mary Magdalene getting to the tomb early Sunday morning and finding the stone rolled away. She ran to tell Peter. Peter was with John and the Bible says that they both took off to see what Mary was talking about. They both ran but John outran Peter and though he arrived first it says, "he stooped in and looked and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn't go in."(vs 5) The very next verse says that Peter arrived and "went right in".
As I read these words I thought about so many people that run to see Jesus, stoop in and look around but never go right in. We seem to make it to the Lord quickly when times are desperate and there is an emergency. But do we get close enough to look in and then stop? Peter may have been slower but he was bolder! He went right in...no fear...no hesitation.…

All Things Are Possible!

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This year on Easter Sunday I had the honor of joining five other pastors from our city for our first ever community Easter sunrise service. What made this special was the way that the Lord brought these men of God together to do bring a resurrection message to the people of Glenpool and South County Oklahoma.
Nearly three hundred and fifty people got up before the sun did and came to the new multi-million dollar conference center which was transformed into a sanctuary of praise and God's goodness. As each of these men of God shared part of the Easter story of hope, it was obvious that with God ALL things are possible.
Not only was I inspired but I believe hope was once again ignited in this small city in South Tulsa where we are "creating opportunities" each and every day. It encourages me to tell you that you can do anything God lays on your heart...you can bring people from all types of backgrounds together ...God can be worshiped...even in a city building! If you can …
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May the power of His resurrection
invade your life this Easter!

Heaven Sent
Obstacles Removed
People Saved
Eternity Prepared

Stuck in the Middle

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Today we sit within a day, stuck in the middle of a brutal crucifixion and a blessed resurrection. Stuck in the middle of two completely opposite emotions. So many live all of their lives in this space: never moving past one feeling about their faith and into the place where that faith becomes an active part of their spiritual journey on this earth. What if "faith" is not so much about what we believe as it is about using that belief for the good of all mankind? I mean the Bible does tell us that faith without deeds(actions) is dead.
So many people never realize the resurrection power that is available to them if they can move by faith from what is lost to what is coming: or being stuck in the middle. Jesus died for the sins of all of us: sins we have committed, are committing and will commit. He paid the price of all of that death with His life. So today as you remember the life that was given for your pardon, don't forget to look forward to the power that was created b…

God Friday

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Today is the historical day we look back at the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. We call it Good Friday. For years I have wondered why we refer to it as ‘good’ Friday. In German, for example, it is called Karfreitag. The 'Kar' part is an obsolete word, the ancestor of the English word "care" in the sense of cares and woes, and it meant mourning. So in German, this day is Mourning Friday. And that is what the disciples did on that day—they mourned. They thought all was lost.
Perhaps the English language refers to this as 'good' Friday because it is pivotal to our future as we look forward to facing life's challenges and overcoming them just as Jesus did. We know that he endured horrific things but we also know that because He pressed through, we have power to endure things too. Yes, there is agony in remembering the His suffering but we understand that "joy" comes in the morning! Death is not the winner...and later this weekend you and I will celebrat…

Obedience

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There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that everything is taken care of. It reminds me of the way that the Lord prepared the disciples for His departure and what was going to come. He was letting them know that no matter what they needed, He was going to make certain that they were able to receive it.How does all of this happen? Obedience...full obedience. Sometimes people think that its what that do, the good things, the time spent, the money invested into what God is doing that brings the blessings. Fact is it is simple, pure obedience. When we fully obey we start going His way!
Deuteronomy 28 talks about this "full" obedience. When we fully obey we are blessed in every way! Blessed in the city and the country. Blessed coming and going. Our kids, our crops, our friends...everything that is connected to us can receive His blessing because we choose to obey Him.

So as you prepare for this easter weekend, take a look at how well you are doing what the Lord is asking of…

What's That Smell?

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved usand offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Ephesians 5:1,2
A life filled with love that follows Christ's example is an amazing thing. In fact we are called to "imitate" God in all that we do. Loving others unconditionally and sharing that love is as this scripture says, "a pleasing aroma" to God. When something is new, or clean it has a distinct smell. It is pleasing:) I think of that new car or my house when all of it has been cleaned. Now that is pleasing to me!
So what does your life smell like? Live a life filled with love and that aroma that pleases God will surround you too!

Closer Than You Think

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Have you ever noticed that little phrase at the bottom of the mirror on the door of your car? It says, "objects may be closer than they appear". It says that because when you look at whatever is behind you in the mirror, the image is somewhat distorted and looks like it is not that close. Looking closer you see that it may be right there behind you!
Today when you are looking for those blessings and the favor of God to come into your life, imagine this little caption. Though you may think that you are out on the journey all alone you can know that what you need may be closer than you think:)

Powerful Words

Then the LORD reached out and touched my mouth and said,
“Look, I have put my words in your mouth!
10 Today I appoint you to stand up
against nations and kingdoms.
Some you must uproot and tear down,
destroy and overthrow.
Others you must build up
and plant." Jeremiah 1:9
Jeremiah was chosen by God to turn a nation around. As with most prophets, sometimes he was to deliver words that would not be the most popular. When God touched his mouth he let him know that what was going to come out of it would be divine.
Notice that not everything that was going to be spoken would be to build up or plant. Some of his words were going to be used to bring down and destroy the things that had been raised up against God.
Words are powerful and can be used in a variety of ways. Make certain that you know how to use yours. Ask God to touch your mouth and assure you that what you speak is from Him. Then you can rest assured that those very words will have power to pave the path or clear it. Those are pow…