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Showing posts from February, 2013

Humility is...

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Once you think you've got it, you've lost it!
Humility. The opposite of being proud.
In Luke 14:11 it says "everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Humility does not mean you that you think less of yourself:
 it means that you think of yourself less.
Helen Nielsen said, "Humility is like underwear:
indecent if it shows!" The Bible tells us that it is always best to let
someone else praise you. It talks of taking the a less prominent seat at the table and allowing the host to move you to a more prominent spot.
Too many people fail to realize that our promotion comes from the Lord. When you do the best that you can do, God will begin to do the best He can do for you! He gives grace to the humble.(James 4:6)
If you need a better job, be the best person at the one you have now. Ask God to help position you for the next step and then trust Him with the timing. Be specific when you pray for a new job. What hours do you …

The Other Side

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In Mark 4, Jesus made a simple statement to his disciples: "let's go to the other side". Reading this story again from my book TRANSITIONS, has led me to look again at the many lessons in this event. A couple come to mind today. Two questions that immediately rise up in me are 1-why are we leaving at night? and 2-whats on the other side?  The Bible says that he made this request at the end of the day. It just does not seem "natural" to want to row across a lake at night when visibility is zero. But this was a faith test. When physical visibility is gone, spiritual visibility kicks in. When you can't see Him, you have to trust Him.  And why are we going to the other side? What's wrong with this side? I know where everything is and I'm comfortable. You are taking me out of my comfort zone at an uncomfortable time! Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance of what you hope for. It's the evidence of what you have not yet seen. Faith doesn&#…

Bring it Out!

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Mark 4:21-22 Jesus went on: "Does anyone bring a lamp home and put it under a washtub or beneath the bed? Don't you put it up on a table or on the mantel? We're not keeping secrets, we're telling them; we're not hiding things, we're bringing them out into the open.
Our lives were meant to be lived out among other people. We were made to connect with others and develop relationships. The best way to grow relationships with people is to grow your relationship to Christ. It's so easy to want to detach and live life for ourselves. To take care of ourselves first and then look outward. That simply does not work. Jesus described it himself later in this chapter when he said: “Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes."  Giving IS the way. Give your life to Christ. Give your life to others. Give your life to what Christ is doing: time, talent and treasures. Bring it all out into the open. You were made to be a li…

The Barnabas Project

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2 Thessalonians 1:11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Imagine waking up each day with a beautiful word of hope that ignites your heart, makes you smile and ushers a positive attitude into your life. We have begun a new endeavor at our church called The Barnabas Project. Its named after Barnabas in Acts 4 whose name means Son of Encouragement. I've asked each of our partners to pray, sit down and write out notes and cards that would encourage the one who reads them. Each week during the month of March, they will bring these notes and cards of encouragement which we will collect in a bin in our lobby when they arrive. As they leave the service they reach into the bin and pull out a card for themselves. It should make for a special Easter celebration on March 31st!Now imagine that the very words on that card or note apply to your spe…

Love Fulfills

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The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:9-10 I've always been a big believer in being a dispenser of hope and encouragement to others. In fact, its why Cup of Joe started way back in 2007...to be a rich blend of inspiration for your daily grind.  Many times we are quick to spout off the "you shall not" requirements for being a believer and by the time we go through this list, we've lost the person we were trying to engage.  It would seem to me that we could be so much more effective by having a dialogue than spouting off a religious diatribe. When we can have healthy conversation we can create a healthy environment and the chances for LOVE ruling the day will be so much greater.  Love God. H…

Snow Day!

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Snow Day! That is what Wednesday was for me right here in good ole Oklahoma! It was 62 degrees and sunny on Tuesday and the very next morning it looked like this!  As a kid I remember hardly being able to sleep whenever there was a chance that we might get out of school due to the weather. Some of those years were in Liverpool, NY where they could have 40-50 inches and it really wasn't that big of a deal! People were used to it there. Now that I'm older I don't lose sleep over snow days but I am still excited when I get a chance to be spontaneous. I enjoyed a latte, a trip to the grocery store and then reading some good articles and scriptures. We even gave our church folks a night off so they could stay safe and I still sent them a word of encouragement. We are OBSESSED this year and we won't stop sharing God's Word just because the snow comes. Can I get an AMEN? Amen! If you need a little word, I leave it for you today as well:)

God Fingers

Proverbs 7:1 My son, keep my words, And treasure my commands within you. 2 Keep my commands and live, And my law as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart.We need to stay focused on what God is doing and wants to do on the earth. He longs to download His plans and purposes to the ones that will treasure His commands. Holding His Word dear to our hearts is how we truly live the life He created us for. In verse 3 we get some insight on how to spread the Good News. It encourages us to bind the Word on our fingers and write the Word on our hearts. We already know that whatever is in our heart is going to come out of our mouth. His Words should be imprinted deeply on our hearts. When you bind the Word to your fingers you place His impression on everything you touch. Imagine a world where everyone is in sync with their divine plan and all day long they just keep spreading this virus:the God virus!Our youth pastor once urged our church to …

A Little While

1 Peter 5:10-11 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen. No one likes to suffer. Yet it would seem that suffering for doing good is an absolute certainty when you try to love a righteous life. The benefits of being challenged by circumstances and situations is that they produce things in you that you need: patience, endurance and strength just to name a few. The hardest part of this scripture for me are those three little words "a little while". How long is a little while? I want to know the time frame I must endure!Resistance never feels good at the time but it does develop your strength as you continue fighting against it. Just as physical muscles get larger by lifting more weight, spiritual ones grow too. So keep fighting! Soon you will be restored and strength wi…

I Can't Come Down!

God is good all the time! And what he requires of us is to do good with what He has provided to us. In Nehemiah 6, we find the adversaries trying to disrupt the progress on the wall...
"When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that there were no more breaks in it—even though I hadn't yet installed the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent this message: "Come and meet with us at Kephirim in the valley of Ono." I knew they were scheming to hurt me so I sent messengers back with this: "I'm doing a great work; I can't come down.
Nehemiah knew that this was a distraction. Anytime someone tries to get you to go to the valley of O-No, its probably not good! Nehemiah stayed focused and did not stop. It took five times for this resistance to stop! Don’t get discouraged today by those who want to take you into an attitude of O-No. Say O yes to the Lord and keep building. It won't be long until you see…

Oppressed?

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I noticed this year that many people I have met have been affected by life in such a way that they fell into a slump. I, too, felt as though there was an enormous amount of reassure on me that I could not pinpoint. How could I feel oppressed in a year that I am striving to be obsessed? I did begin to identify some of the things I was carrying that should not have been with me! I could only describe this feeling as being oppressed. For a while I thought it was just me but after having several conversations with others folks, they too have described this feeling of being burdened, held down, broken and all tied up.  
The Good News today is that there is a way out of oppression, a way to have that “spirit” lifted off of us. It comes by letting go of trying to “make” things happen and letting God DO what He desires to do. He is a refuge, a safe place for you to stay while you let Him deal with the things that overwhelm you. This oppression affected every area of my life…my daily routine…my…

L.O.V.E.

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Lifting Others Value Everyday...its a simple reminder of what love really is. As we start this day it should be part of our mission to encourage another person and make their life better. Are the people that you influence treated as though you value their friendship?
Someone once said, "what you respect you will attract and what you don't respect will move away from you." Valued people will create valuable things. In other words as we lift up the value of others, they become even more valuable.
You may be doing the cards and the chocolates today to say that you care. Don't forget to let people know how much they mean to you too.


There is a Time

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Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. This is one of those chapters that gets more difficult the farther you go. I'm ok with the fact that everything has a season. But I only usually love time for things that feel good or make me happier. I don't like a time for bad things to occur, even if they do make me a stronger person.What I do love is that we love in a nation that celebrates freedom, diversity and for the most part, working and making a living while living a life. I need to be more grateful for my opportunities and for the people that have been placed in my life. Like all of you:) thank you for your prayers and for encouraging me when I am going through my bad "times". I would be unfulfilled without your love extended towards me and without your comments that keep my cup full. God bless every one of you. Glad there is a time for that too!

Love, Love, Love

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Love, love , love…some say its all you need. Some sing that its what the world needs now. Others tell us that love is the answer. Love isn’t a song, a noun or just a good idea. It’s God’s plan for mankind. In fact God IS love!
Faithfulness may seem to be a diminishing commodity these days. With a culture that is so selfish and a world that is so humanistic, we need to realize that the only way we can be the kind of people that we were created to be is to understand that we are made in the image of God. With His help we can be full of faith, or faith-full. Read 1 Corinthians 13 this week. It’s known as the LOVE chapter in the Bible and it will help you understand more fully what TRUE love really is.

Oh My!

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Last night I spent some time enjoying a variety of musical tastes and presentations. I always watch the Grammys to see what kind of things are happening in music around the world. I had quite a few Oh My! Moments this year!Chatting with others and commenting on the social networks makes for some great and playful banter back and forth. It seems there is something for everyone and no matter how I feel about a certain style of song, someone out there just loves it!We are all unique in our own ways and when I see so many types of things as I did last night, I think about our church and many types of people that go there. Each one has a specific and unique calling that benefits the entire Body. Put them all together and you have one special place. Celebrate the different people and personalities in your life today. Enjoy the differences that we have and laugh a little. A cheerful heart is like good medicine:)

The Trumpet is Sounding

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When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall. But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon. All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm. Then I explained to the nobles and officials and all the people, “The work is very spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!” We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard. I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants coul…

Angels Watching Over Me

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Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!
Hebrews 13:2
Read that verse again and think about that for just a moment! Not only is hospitality essential, but you may being hospitable to a special messenger of God! Imagine entertaining an angel!!
There are many folks who say they have been in the presence of angels. Billy Graham thought each one of us to have two guardian angels based on the fact that scripture says,"He shall give His angels(plural) charge over you". I've never actually seen one of God's angelic beings but I am certain that I have been in the presence of special grace and power. Several years ago I was in a car accident. I broke my hand and my shoulder and back were hurt. I was laying out in my car waiting for the ambulance. My car was filled with many valuable things. I do remember a lady peeking her head into the car to see if I was ok. I was sprawled out in the front and c…

Business vs. Busyness

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Many people today tend to confuse activity for achievement. They may be busy but they aren't really achieving anything. I heard someone describe the difference between effectiveness and efficiency. Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.
Let me expound on that  and say that excellence is doing the right things right. Those who know Christ and are filled with His spirit and trust in Him do the right things right at the right time.
Many times we spend so much energy in doing things that we fail to achieve the results that we aimed for. Remember Martha when Jesus went to her house and Mary was there? Martha was running around totally service motivated. She was very, very busy. She was busy doing "stuff". It was all good stuff. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus. Jesus looked at Martha, the busy one, and said, “Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things”. What he was telling her is that there is a difference in busyness and business…

Seasick People

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There are many people these days that seem to be getting seasick. I mean that they are not committing themselves wholly to the things the Lord wants to do with them. They have difficulty making a decision and they second-guess most of the ones that they do make. James 1 tells us in verse 6: "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God" because he will not hesitate in giving insight to you. It then goes on to warn us about "wavering". Wavering is what happens when we become indecisive. We are unsettled like a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. That leads to double-mindedness and what I call seasickness. Seasick people are unstable in ALL ways. You and I won't always know what the right thing to do is but the Lord does know. And all that is required of us is to ask and then hold on to our faith in what we know He can do. The winds will blow and the waves may rise. But you can make it through the storm if you hang on and trust in the captain of th…

When the lights...

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When the lights go down in the city....I had a little Journey moment last night during the Super Bowl. Nearly 70,000 fans of this event did too! In seconds, the New Orleans Superdome went from bright lights and fanfare to the game being suspended and power out on half of the dome. This was one night that everything had been taken care of, every detail in place and no stone left unturned, wasn't it. Still, for thirty-four minutes everyone waited and progress halted. It was hard at first to imagine that something like this could happen.  And then I realized that lights go out everyday on marriages, careers, businesses and spiritual journeys. Fact is, darkness has always been a hindrance to moving forward. That is why "the light of the world", Jesus, had to come. He came to teach us about the damaging effects of darkness and how to handle power outages in our lives. And when his mission on earth was over, he gave us the keys to keep power on and to individually BE the light…
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Happy Groundhog Day! I would imagine that nearly every person in America has seen the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. Every time this day arrives I wonder what it would be like if I could keep living the day over until I got everything right. I think of that movie whenever I hear the song "I Got You Babe" on the radio! Unfortunately I always come back to reality and realize that even if I repeated the day over and over again, the chances of me getting it all just right are probably very slim! But this year is different. I am more OBSESSED than ever in pursuing what God wants for me and those connected to me. Today I am praying for the best day ever! And I am going to do my part to live life to its fullest...to seize the day and get the most out of every minute! I choose to not be disappointed by anything! Whether "Phil" sees a shadow or not, whether there are 6 more weeks of winter or not...it really doesn't matter! How about you? What will you make of your…

God Is Good!

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Psalm 86:5 O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help. God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good.You've probably heard that before. It's a fact that God is in the business of being and doing good things. Today's scripture reminds us that He is so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love and that He is good. So why are there so many who have yet to experience Him in a personal way? Because they fail to ask for help.Did you know that there is a responsibility you and I have if we desire anything from God? Our work is to ask. Ask for the things that matter to Him. We don't have many times simply because we don't ask. Lets turn things around today. Check out your motives and what's lacking in your life. Do you believe that what you need is important to your heavenly Father? Then ask! Open up the lines of communication and see how situations and circumstances begin to change. Don&…