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Showing posts from January, 2013

You're the Ice to my Cream

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Friends forever...always and in ALL ways! We have been talking about how important it is to have people in our lives that can help us get to where we need to be. Like the paralytic on the mat in Mark 2, perhaps we all need at least four solid things(people) to help carry us to where we need to be.
The first two posts on our mat were occupied by FAITH and HOPE. A powerful duo that always seems to help us better ourselves and get into a position to be blessed by God. On post three, we have LOVE.
Love ignites the project, the relationship, the church and keeps faith and hope alive. In fact scripture says that these three remain after all else is gone, faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is LOVE. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love never fails. Love looks for another way in when the door is crowded shut. It was love that took faith and hope to the roof. Without love, hope may have diminished and faith would have fizzled out. Love lets you imagine the best possible outcome: see…

BFF's

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BFF...best friends forever...those folks are pretty special. They stick close when everyone else has left the building. Yesterday we talked about a man who could not move or speak and was paralyzed. It's a story in the Bible in Mark 2. He had four BFF's!
Picture for a moment this paralyzed man laying on a mat and unable to feed himself, get a drink, write a sentence or do anything. He was in desperate need of a friend. You and I were created for fellowship...to be connected to people. Like the man in this story, we can never be whole, never be well unless we have the right people in the right places in our lives.
I like to picture this man on a mat with a post on each corner and the only way the mat can be brought to the place where Jesus could heal him was to have someone on each corner. Let me give you the four corners...four posts that we all need to get us in a position to be saved, delivered and healed.
The first corner is FAITH. Without faith we cannot make God happy. F…

Friends are Friends Forever

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I love the feeling that you get when you
spend time with people that "get" you.
 Many years ago there was a song
being song in auditoriums all over the world
as people linked arms, held up lighters and felt
thankfulness in their hearts. It was a Michael W.
Smith song and the chorus went like this:
And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

Everybody needs friends. Someone once said that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer. In other words, make friends with as many people as you can. In Mark 2 there is a story about a man that was paralyzed. He couldn't do anything for himself, in fact, we don't know if he could even speak. He was immobile and unable to function in his life.
There are many people today that are "spiritual" paralyti…

Shift!

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While typing out some notes the other day I was captivated by the word on one simple key: shift. By its very definition a shift is "to move or cause to move from one place to another". What could happen in your life today if the Lord decided to "shift" your finances in an upward direction? Or if the boss comes in this week and just decides to "shift" your position in the company into one that has more responsibility and comes with more benefits? You would be smiling and shouting wouldn't you? Shifts are happening all the time. God is in the habit of turning things in a favorable direction for the people that love Him. In just a moment your entire day could shift. This week your relationships could shift. The question is two-fold:  1: are you expecting things shift in your favor?  2:what will you do when they shift? Get ready for some good news, some positive changes, some supernatural "shifts". And when things start to shift into your favor…

Hold On

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This has been a very challenging couple of weeks. Going through my annual Fast Forward season always has many changes but this year those things affected me in very personal ways. Change is difficult to endure at times but if you hold on when you want to let go, you usually find strength that you never knew you had. We all know that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger but sometimes we wish that we weren't getting so strong! Today I want to encourage you to keep praying, keep praising and keep fighting the GOOD fight of faith that the Lord has brought you into. You were made to endure and to conquer anything that comes against you. Letting go and quitting is easy. Holding on is tough. But you have others standing with you! So hold on even when its all that you have left to do.

Connect

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Last night at our church I did something I have never done. I read the complete chapter 3 in the book of Nehemiah that was like the genealogy pages of the New Testament. I usually grab a few verses and make some comments hoping to be right in the heart of what God is saying but this night the entire chapter of 32 verses seemed important. It listed all of the people with all of their different skills working together to do the project that Nehemiah had inspired them to do. We closed the service with all of us praying for each other and the new connections that we were making.
People matter in anything that the Lord wants to do. He chose us to accomplish His purposes on the earth and when we are in the place He designed for us, well, it does not get much better than that. You and I were born to connect. Take a moment today to think of all of the folks that are connected to you and how you can work together to make your world a little bit better. You matter. Your special abilities matte…

Keep On

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Matthew 7:7-8 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened". As I was praying today, it occurred to me that things always seem to change the longer they go on. In Tulsa they say that if you don't like the weather, just wait cause in a few hours it could be dramatically different. As I was reading these two scriptures I noticed that a key to effective prayer and to becoming all that we were designed to be is summed up in two simple words: keep on. Keep on! Keep on asking. Keep on seeking. Keep on knocking. Keep on trusting. Keep on moving. If you and I will just keep on keeping on, there is a great chance that things will change for our good. So don't stop and feel sorry for yourself. Pick yourself up and get back on the path. You may be surprised with what lies …

Winter Time

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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". 
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 again and activity resumes.Permit yourself the luxury of having little to do today! It's winter time!

Live the Dream

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"All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality."
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King is remembered today for so many things and the common thread seems to be the idea of all types of people coming together. Why? Because we are all connected. We live in a time where people look out for themselves and decide that if they can take care of #1, nothing else really matters. That could not be farther from the truth. Perhaps my future is connected to yours. My hopes to yours. My dream may not be realized until you see you have one too. The Creator made us all to function together. Our faith and beliefs…

One Special Recipe

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I'm so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry. The only credentials I brought to it were invective and witch hunts and arrogance. But I was treated mercifully because I didn't know what I was doing—didn't know Who I was doing it against! Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me. And all because of Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:12-14 MSG)There's one recipe that can take all of your bad choices and behavior and bring something tasteful out of it. It's a special blend of grace, faith and love. Many times we become bitter and say things we don't really mean. We may even follow up the hurtful words with actions. When we hurt another person we hurt the Lord. He created us to lift up each other, to bring peace and joy to the circle of influence we have. So we started with a poor, distasteful mix and then He added grace, faith and love and poured it into it. He mixed…

Shine On

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Philippians 2:14-16 Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life...I must confess that there are moments that I seem to give in to complaining. I don't like to argue so much but I have to work at the complaining. I believe that one of the reasons we need to eliminate this is that it drains us of our strength. Personally, I get tired very quickly when I complain more. It also leads us to be critical of others which makes us targets for criticism. So how do you complain less? You learn how to shine more! You are the light of the world and you were designed to shine through all of the darkness of dishonesty and greed. You and I shine by holding tightly to the Word. We need to remember all of the good things God says about us.One simple way to be less of a complainer is to be more of an encourager…

Think Right

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It's funny how you begin to notice things more at certain times. Like the fact that during every commercial on television while I am in a season of fasting, there is an amazing looking cheeseburger or pasta dish! Or that when we made OBSESSED our keyword at The Landing for this year, I now hear it used several times a day! I guess when your minds on something you notice it more. Maybe that os why scripture encourages us to keep our minds on Christ and the things that are important to him. Perhaps if I would think of the Lord more, I would notice him more too; in nature, in people and in my circumstances. Just sayin':) Think right and you can always live right!

God Can't Do That!

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Can you imagine ever saying "God can't do that!" I never thought I would ever speak those words until the other day I saw a picture on one of the social networks that was titled "Ten Things God Can't Do". It became a devotion for me that day. Today I wanted to share it with you because when you add up all the things He can't do, you realize that God CAN and WILL do whatever is needed to get us in the place we need to be. Hope it will speak to you too!

I'm Not Turning Back!

I love it when you feel inspiration from scripture that rises up in your spirit and just makes you want to shout. There is a part of Philippians 3 that does that for me:
12I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way,reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. 13Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward--to Jesus. 14I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.
15So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision--you'll see it yet! 16Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it. How about we all say these things out loud this week? I bet we will feel better! You will be energized and motivated by making these professions.…

911 Rescue

So here we are, rolling into the first third of the first month of 2013. Statistics tell us(for whatever they are worth) that many resolutions that were made ten days ago have already been broken or compromised. Some folks may already find themselves in new situations that are challenging and traumatic. The Good News is that the Lord is aware of all you are going through and He wants desperately to help you. He is for you right now! And if God is for you, who can stand against you!One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 91 which is packed with encouragement. So if you are thanking God it's Friday, go a little deeper and read this: Psalm 91:14-16 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
Rescue, protection, answers, companionship, honor, rewards of a long life and eternal…

Leaving a Mark

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Cup of Joe- Mama Edition

One of my favorite people in the world is my mom:) She is the first to like most anything I do and yes, she is the first to point out anything that is wrong too! I try to keep her in devotion material with this blog and sometimes she has some wonderful things to pass on to me as well. You never stop listening to mama so today I am going to share with you some wisdom from the past that she has passed on for all of us. It involves lessons we learn we from the pencil. Of course I have added a sip of cup of joe flavor too because I can:)

Lesson1.) EVERYTHING YOU DO WILL ALWAYS LEAVE A MARK.
some lines are bolder than others but they are all visible

Lesson2.) YOU CAN ALWAYS CORRECT THE MISTAKES YOU MAKE.
thats what friends, I mean erasers are for! When life seems to have flipped upside down, it might be time for a do-over.

Lesson3.) WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS WHAT IS INSIDE OF YOU.
if you aren't showing up and being seen, you will have no impact

Lesson4.) IN LIFE, YO…

Fast Forward!

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Every year in the month of January I like to settle down my system, reboot, detox and start fresh in the new year. The way I usually do this is through a season of fasting and prayer. I choose 21 days as it challenges me and gives me time to break any unhealthy habits or practices.(Daniel 10:3) Most people define "fasting" in terms of eliminating food and though that is part of it, for me fasting has more to do with consecration than consumption. I like to set my mind, soul and body apart for God to begin to mobilize  me and then send me out to do what He desires me to do in 2013. This helps me not waste a moment of this new year. Each year several hundred folks from our church join me and its really quite amazing to see what happens when a group of people start in sync with the Lord and with each other. God brings clarity, healing and motivation.  By now you have probably already started moving towards your goals for the year. You may be tempted to quit when things get tou…

What are YOU thinking?

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Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself, especially when you catch yourself doing things that you never thought you would! I have so many of those happen to me and I'm keeping them to myself! This year, in addition to a keyword to propel me to higher heights, I also have a scripture that is my them and reminder to keep me on course. It simply says,
"whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, 
excellent or praiseworthy...THINK on these things."Phil 4:8
Personally, in order for me to do that, I need to stay away from the local news, the USA Today and any channel surfing through CNN and Fox News. There is so much happening that cannot be placed in any of the categories listed above. So I will try to stick with the plans that the Lord has for me and the path that He is preparing for me each day. Yes, there may be some difficulties and challenges but if my mind is on Him, the Bible promises me perfect peace.
So now you know where my head is at as we start t…

I'm OCD!

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My keyword for this year is OBSESSED! I've heard this word used by so many people regarding trivial things; things that are temporal and not eternal. I was challenged to start thinking more about the plans that the Lord has for me and my family. About what He truly wants me to do with my life. What if I was completely consumed by things like whatever is true, noble, right, pure and lovely? Or things that are admirable, excellent and praiseworthy? My belief is that I would rise to an entirely new level!So this year, I am OCD...that's right I've got obsessive church disorder! How about you? Can I challenge you to think of these things? Go ahead and share this image or email us if you'd like to wear one of the wristbands and let others know about your obsession. How about letting these words dominate your thoughts and affect your words? Maybe you'll be OCD too! Wristbands are available in three colors and are $2 ea or all 3 for $5



I Guarantee It

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The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him. EPH 1:14
Nearly every business and every product these days seems to give you their own "money back guarantee". But honestly, there aren't many "true" guarantees these days. 
A "guarantee" is a formal promise or assurance (typically in writing) that certain conditions will be fulfilled. I know we hear that phrase many times on infomercials and in local retail shops. When George Zimmer says, "you're going to like the way you look" you may even believe him! But when you really try to cash in those guarantees, many times there is a great amount of "small print that makes it frustrating, irritating and annoying".
Here's some good news for you today: you and I have some divine guarantees that we will inherit heaven by living for Christ. He promised this to …

Customer Service

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The other day I bought something that I thought I really wanted until I got it. I was filled with what they refer to as "buyers remorse". I had purchased this item at my favorite store for everything that begins with a W and ends with "Mart". I decided that I would rather keep the money so I repackaged the item and took it back to the Customer Service desk. 
This store makes it so simple because they want to keep the customer happy. And happy I was as I left with my cash once again. It was as if I never bought the item in the first place. 
Wouldn't it be great if the bad choices or regretful ones you and I make were able to be returned without question so that we could be happy once again? Well, you and I have accessto the head of customer service, why He owns the entire chain! It's Jesus and He is ready to erase your mistakes and make all things new again. But you have to take your return to the desk!
So stop living with regret and take that item back to Jesu…

G.P.S.

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At the beginning of a new year we all tend to make some promises. Some folks call them New Years resolutions. They are promises to ourselves to change. Promises to the Lord to be more “spiritual” and to try and be more like Him. Promises to our friends and our family to eat healthier and take care of ourselves. It’s the best time to turn over a new leaf because we are starting with a clean slate. We attempt to have new thoughts and support them with new actions. What we are saying is that we "resolve" to be different.


This year I want to encourage you to develop your own personal GPS. I have one of these in my car that helps me find locations that I do not know. It speaks to me and guides me to the destinations that I am going towards. We need to activate our personal GPS. It’s easy to remember and hopefully it will help you stay on track so that you can follow through on your resolutions and fulfill your promises. What is this GPS formula? Goals, plans, systems.

G: Goals

Se…

It's a Fresh New Start!!

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My wish for all of you friends of Cup of Joe is that your troubles would be few, your joys be many and that you would see the goodness of God in the land that you live in this year. This IS the day the Lord has made and no one can steal the JOY that you were promised unless you give it away. So walk into this year with faith and power and know that God is ready to elevate you to a place of perfect peace, incredible joy and unfailing love! Happy New Year and may your cup always be full to overflowing:)