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Showing posts from October, 2012

Who Put a Hex on You?

Galatians 3:1 You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough. Who put a hex on you? It was Paul's question to some folks that were beginning to lose sight of their purpose. Today it might sound like this: "are you out of your mind?" Or "Can't you see what's happening?"

It's easy to get distracted these days. We have television, radio, Internet radio, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumbler...whew, I'm exhausted already and totally distracted from what I was writing! Where was I? Oh yes, that hex. Why do we lose our minds and act so crazy? Let me offer up a suggestion today. If you don't want to lose your senses and get thrown off course, you need to stay focused. Fix your eyes on Christ for He IS the way, the trut…

Into the Wild

Mark 1:12 At once, this same Spirit pushed Jesus out into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by Satan. Wild animals were his companions, and angels took care of him. Remember John the Baptist and how he used "the wild" as a backdrop for ministry? Well, when Jesus showed up and was baptized by John in the Jordan, the heavens opened up and God made it clear about who Jesus was. And then guess where the spirit of God led Jesus? Not to a large arena filled with people. Not to a local village to start a church. He was led "into the wild"!

There is a time of learning and discipleship that every new believer should walk through in order to get a better understanding of Jesus and what living for Him means in their own life. Each of us has a unique and special way to share the Good News. It's important that we discover that way. It may take going through some trials and some tempting circumstances but we must remember that God's spirit ca…

Using Your Platform

Mark 1:4, 7 John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey. As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.” I wonder what people thought when they came upon John the Baptist? We're they drawn to his thundering voice calling them to repent? Perhaps they were intrigued by his camel hair clothing and steady diet of locusts. Whatever the reason, they thronged around him. And he wasn't doing a book-signing at the mall...he was i…

Five Years!

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It's hard to believe but it was five years ago that cup of joe started pouring out a rich blend of inspiration for your daily grind. The comments, emails and feedback that I have received through this blog and through our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/coj.tv) have been so encouraging. There is something wonderful about starting each day with a short positive thought together, even if it is on the world wide web. I began writing this blog as an attempt to keep myself sharp and continue writing. I had written three books and wanted to keep the literary juices flowing:) Yes, that's right, at first it was about me. But as I began to share and others began to sip each cup with me, the focus changed to those consuming the ideas and thoughts percolating inside of me. It became about how to make others laugh, lift their spirits and maybe, just maybe inspire them to dream bigger than they ever had. One of the greatest highlights along the way was when a couple wonderful folks asked …

Bundle Up

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Col 3:14 MSG

The weather is about to dramatically change here in Oklahoma. As we get ready for colder temperatures we become more mindful about what we are wearing. Did you know that what you wear spiritually is also important? In fact, God picked out what you and I should be wearing. And we should never leave home without this garment that is tailor made for us.

So what are out wearing today? Bundle up because the weather is about to change :-)


Where the Action Is

So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective. Colossians 3:2 MSGWhen we start living life with purpose we should be noticeably different. No longer are we absorbed by selfish interests. We are always alert and looming for the people that God is putting in our path: people to work with, hope with and serve the Lord with. Life looks different from His perspective.Today, thank God for this resurrection life you have found in Christ. Lift up your head and your eyes and live life to its fullest. Be on the lookout for the next blessing or person you can bless. Saturate your life with others. That's where the action is!

A Healthy Start

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love." (Psalm 143:8)

Staring your day off right is so important to how that day will go. David understood that getting the right nutrition at the beginning of the day would determine how well he performed during the day and how the day would end up. They tell us to always eat a good breakfast because its the most important meal of the day. That is true spiritually as well!
How you spend your day will help determine how you end your day. Before you
get caught up in all of your activities, take a moment to feed your spirit. Praise 
and prayer will be the bacon and eggs for your soul! If you really want a healthy heart, begin your day with a healthy start!

Give Me My Joy Back

Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Remember that day when you made Jesus the Lord of your life? Something good overwhelmed you and started growing inside of you. Your countenance changed. You began to see people differently, react differently and even the words coming out of your mouth were different. You found the JOY of the Lord!

Now life has continued, challenges have come and some painful seasons have overshadowed that "joy-full" experience. You find yourself tired of trying, sometimes going so far as to isolate yourself from others. You may even feel like no one understands.

David had moments just like that too. You can read about his in the psalms. In Psalm 51, out of the darkness of isolation and within the grip of fear and pain, he prayed a simple prayer: Lord, give me the joy back. Help me to continue being willing to trust you and follow you even when I feel like this. It was then th…

If You're Happy

Psalm 37:4-5 Take delight in the Lord,and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord;trust in him and he will do this: If you're  happy and you know it...remember that little song? You'd clap your hands and stomp your feet. You'd make some noise because you were happy! In other words you would externally express your internal feelings. Someone once said "if your happy, notify your face!" One verse in scripture says that if you are happy you should sing. That's my favorite. Sometimes I just turn up the tunes and sing along until what shows up on the outside matches what I'm feeling on the inside. It's Friday, so roll down the windows, turn up the radio and let your your voices ring! If you're happy and you know it....

Appreciation and Love

1 Thessalonians 5:12 And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love! There is no greater joy than working in ministry with others and seeing the Lord do great things along the way. I am surrounded by incredible people that show compassion and love to others every day. During this month they have truly overwhelmed me with appreciation and love. They turn Pastor Appreciation into a month long celebration!

Today I smile once again as I pray for each of them and thank the Lord for sending these amazing people into my life. I ask the Lord to Help me to never take for granted those that honor God with their time, their abilities and their resources. And I thank Him for using them to urge me on and keep me on the right track! It truly does take TEAMwork to make this DREAM work!

I bless all of you…

Lavish Gift Giving

Ephesians 1:3 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. What pleasure he took in planning this! He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. There is no better place to be than within the lavish gift-giving arms of our Lord. Sometimes I feel so alone and isolated but then I read the scriptures and see that I am the focus of His love. He has a plan and purpose for ME! To be whole and to be made holy!

My prayer today is that you will realize that the Lord has taken great pleasure in charting out the amazing course of your life. And His wish is that you would find that path …

What is the Truth?

Hebrews 2:1 We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. Keep a firm grip on what you have learned! The key to success in this is making sure that what you have a hold of is tethered to something stronger. If you have a grip on something that is not secure, you will drift away for sure.

There are so many ideas and thoughts swirling around in our culture today and sometimes it is very difficult to know the truth. In fact deception is defined as a subtle bending of the truth. We need to pay careful attention. We cannot afford to drift away. Personally, the only way I can even hope to stay on track in my quest for truth is to pray and stay tethered to the Lord. He is THE standard. He knows the best way to steer your life, your business and even our country. Jesus said "I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life". So if I desire truth I'll stay close to Him!

Don't get sidetracked by following things that are false o…

Pulling Power

Mark 5:30-31 At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said, “What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you’re asking, ‘Who touched me?’ Dozens have touched you!” In Mark 5 there is a story about Jesus was walking with a bunch of folks enroute to Jairus' home to heal his daughter. There was a lot of activity as they went until suddenly, Jesus stopped and asked a simple question:"who touched me?"The disciples told him that everyone was brushing up against him. What are you talking about? But Jesus had felt the touch of someone that had "pulled" power from him. It was a woman who had been sick for 12 years. She had done everything she knew to do. But right there on that day in that moment, she thought to herself that if she could just get a finger on Jesus, she could be well. She thought about faith without reali…

Whispering Campaign

Acts 14:1 When they got to Iconium they went, as they always did, to the meeting place of the Jews and gave their message. The Message convinced both Jews and non-Jews—and not just a few, either. But the unbelieving Jews worked up a whispering campaign against Paul and Barnabas, sowing mistrust and suspicion in the minds of the people in the street. The two apostles were there a long time, speaking freely, openly, and confidently as they presented the clear evidence of God’s gifts, God corroborating their work with miracles and wonders. God is up to something big in our country right now. Every election year there is an amazing opportunity for each and every one of us to speak out and make our choice for who will lead the nation.

I wish that there was a rule in this process that banned the candidates from being negative. There are "whispering campaigns" today where the negative begins softly and then grows as it gains momentum. Nothing good ever comes from these types of …

Worn Out

Galatians 6:9 So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. I don't usually notice myself getting tired when things are good. I know that this scripture is speaking to the idea that we can't stop doing the right things for others. Do you get worn out doing good? When I am involved with some ministry outreach or event that is "doing good" there is so much adrenaline and joy that I receive from the work that it often doesn't feel like work at all. In fact I feel myself getting tired when I stop!

The JOY of The Lord is strength for us to keep on "doing good" and not stop. It gets us moving at the start of the day and keeps us moving on our way.

There is a great payoff coming if we keep working for the benefit of othe…

Live Creatively

Galatians 6:1 Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. Living creatively takes some training. We instinctively have within us a desire to watch out for ourselves and deal with our own challenges. People wrong us and we cut them off and may even start talking badly about them to someone else. That's not how God desires us to live.

We are to take care of each other. Be forgiving. Stooping down and reaching out to make life a little better for someone else. Share burdens with each other and soon we will share victories. This is what it means to live creatively. So stoop down, reach out and delete those critical comments. Be creative!

Pour it Out

Ephesians 4:1 In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. We all have a road that God has charted out for us. Part of the wonderful discovery of abundant life is finding that path and staying the course. Yet too often we grow lazy. We sit on our hands and do nothing to engage in Gods plan. And then when we decide to move, we wander aimlessly down a different way than the one that God chose for us. This leads us to the wrong folks, the wrong places and brings into our lives the w…

You're Free?

Luke 13:10 He was teaching in one of the meeting places on the Sabbath. There was a woman present, so twisted and bent over with arthritis that she couldn’t even look up. She had been afflicted with this for eighteen years. When Jesus saw her, he called her over. “Woman, you’re free!” He laid hands on her and suddenly she was standing straight and tall, giving glory to God. For 18 years this woman had been "burdened" by life and illness. So overwhelmed that her physical body was wearing out. And then suddenly, Jesus sees her and says, woman, you are free!" The scripture goes on to tell us that Jesus touched her and she stood straight up and was completely well.

When I pondered the impact of this story I thought about the moment she had between His Word and His touch. For me that seems to be quite lengthy at times. I find myself in the presence of Jesus, I hear what He is saying to me and its encouraging and full of life but my symptoms are unchanged. I need His touch.…

Simple Trust

Luke 7:9 Taken back, Jesus addressed the accompanying crowd: “I’ve yet to come across this kind of simple trust anywhere in Israel, the very people who are supposed to know about God and how he works.” When the messengers got back home, they found the servant up and well. Simple trust? I know it doesn't seem at all that simple at times. Yet this centurion man amazed Jesus by believing that all it took was a word from one in charge to heal. The end result: his servant is well!So many folks are chasing doctrines, conferences and other places today to find what they believe to be the genuine power of God to heal their trouble. They wait in healing lines, throw money at charismatic individuals and desperately keep seeking their life changing miracle. Simple trust knows that it's not by our might nor our power, or anything else we can do that miracles come about. Divine power comes directly from the Spirit of God. The Spirit decides when, how and to whom this power comes. The key…

Head for the Hills

Matthew 5:1, 3 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said: “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

When Jesus saw an increase in people coming around him, when things got crowded and busy...

he didn't take an offering or use the situation for promotion. He didn't celebrate his ministry's success. He headed for the hills! He left the crowd!

At first glance this seems strange. But there is a great lesson here in preparing ourselves for the opportunities that God places us into.

Jesus went off with those closest to him for a quick leadership summit. He knew the appeal was going to be overwhelming, in fact it still is! So he needed to teach, encourage and ignite faith in those that walked closely beside him.

It's ok to r…

Let Loose!

Acts 4:8 With that, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: “Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.” Peter and John were tied to everything that Jesus did and represented. They stood up when others gave up. They boldly confessed their faith and spoke about their beliefs. I love the fact that when adversity came and challenges were in his face, Peter let loose! Not in anger but with the truth that he was not ashamed of this Good News and he wanted to make sure tha…

Heaven Applauds for You!

Matthew 5:11 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

I am trying to visualize the image described in this verse. Heaven applauding for me? I can get the first part of the verse because life is filled with tormentors and people that don't say nice things. I am still a work in progress when it comes to "giving a cheer" when insults come. How I respond to adversity matters. As i read the earlier verses i can see that there are many reasons to consider my life blessed. I can tell that my actions can bring about some amazing things because I matter to God. You matter too! …

My Prayer

Philippians 1:9-11 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Today I wanted to spend some time living what the Word teaches. I am praying for you that love will abound and that more and more divine insight will come into your life. We cannot hope to accomplish all that the Lord designed us for if we do not receive special insight from the Lord.  Our goal is to be filled with the fruit of righteousness: that is overflowing with good and Godly things that make God smile:)
Perhaps you can join me at the start of this week and pray for those connected to you. You too will see an increase in discernment and insight and God will be glorified as  love abounds upon you more and more!
God bless you!