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Showing posts from March, 2013

Have a Blessed Easter!

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God bless you and your family as you celebrate our Risen Savior!

Take the Stairs

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John 1:51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.” There is a way to live life on earth in such a way that your eternity is guaranteed. God called Jesus the way, in fact Jesus is the original and only stairway to heaven!Many folks don't like the stairs. They look for easier ways...escalators, elevators...they move you upwards quicker. Spiritually speaking there are no fast-track ways into our eternity with God. No elevator ride to the pearly gates and no escalator to get you there by doing nothing. You and I must keep walking. Step by step, we find that each one represents another part of the walk we are taking with Christ. Think of each step as one good decision after another. Escalators can fail to work.(at our mall one of them is always broken!) elevators can get stuck. But you can always take the stairs!As you participate, and I hope you w…

Holy Thursday

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It means Holy Thursday and it commemorates the final meal of fellowship that Christ had with His disciples...the Last Supper. Jesus would wash the feet of those closest to Him and they would break the bread and drink the cup. It would be a time of intimacy and securing a deep relational attachment that we would still talk about many years later. When I think of the Last Supper I think about family meals today. In this culture we have today, time with the family around the table is harder and harder to facilitate. Our schedules are so busy, our stress level so high that we often grab what we can, when we can and we miss these special moments.When was the last time you got everyone together and sat around the same table to break bread together? It was important to Jesus because He knew how connections work and that eating together breeds "community". You may do this everyday and if so, keep at it. Don't let those moments be stolen away. For some of you it may be a struggl…

KABOOM!

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This is what God says..."Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it? There it is! I'm making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.(Isaiah 43:17-18 MSG) Too often we get stuck in the mudd of the past. If we are not careful, we may find ourselves playing the reel of disaster over and over agaiin our heads and feeding our doubts and depression. God says, forget about what's over and be in the moment. He wants to make you a road through the desert! Something new is about to spring up, burst out and show up in YOUR life! Can you see it? Look closely! There it is! KABOOM!

Fly My Friends, Fly!

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Have you ever thought about the fact that the way in which you look at things affects the way you deal with them? Think about this... is the glass half empty or half full...OR...is it twice the size it needs to be? Perspective changes everything!
Sometimes I immediately jump to looking at the negative side without even allowing myself the opportunity to consider another perspective. That's silly, don't you think? Perhaps I do this because there is a part of me that really wants some drama that I can talk about and share with other? NOT! Who wants life to be filled with more drama? Maybe I just go to the dark side at times because I'm miserable and misery LOVES company! I love this little picture for it reminds me of a very simple truth...I am who God says I am. How others see me is not as important as me seeing myself as He does. When I see myself through His eyes, I am Superman!
You are blessed today to be the type of person that will soar over every obstacle! Fly my fri…

Are You All Tied Up?

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Luke 19:28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30“Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” 32Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34They replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.  The Palm Sunday story often overlooks the wonderful truth that comes in verse 30. Jesus needed a virgin colt to ride into Jerusalem on. Riding in on a the colt would be symbolic of there being a season of peace. Still it's interesting to note that Jesus knew exactly where the…

Servants Heart

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The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23:11, 12 NIV)I have to remind myself often that the Lord has called me to serve others. In fact he said that to be great I must first master being a servant to others...to develop a servant's heart. Humbling myself is often difficult. And I've learned that if I wait to long to humble myself, the Lord goes ahead and does it for me! Choose to honor the needs of others ahead of yours. Show your servant's heart. Fight to bring unity over fighting to win. Serve. Then you will be great!

You are Worthy

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As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  (Ephesians 4:1-3 NIV) How do we live a worthy life? One that blends with the calling that the Lord has on your life? You start with humility. Add a bit of gentleness. Mix in some patience. Make allowance for the faults of others. Do whatever you can to keep unity and preserve it. Honestly the only way you can live "worthy" is to have Jesus in control. He called you to this life and he gives you all that you need to live it. So be of good cheer today because you are worthy! Now go live it!

Wonder-Working Power

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Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” The power that is ushered into our lives by the Holy Spirit is an amazing thing. Recently at our church, there has been a special "presence" of this power that has brought about things that often words cannot explain. People talk to me about how God healed their bodies, married folks on the brink of divorce suddenly reconcile, and even those with deep emotional wounds have spoken of a comfort that they've felt just being in a service.As a regular boy from Ohio with a great deal of insecurity and sometimes a little fear, I know that these incredible things have nothing to do with me and everything to do with Gods power. When we ask Jesus to live in our heart, we activate this awesome power to begin to work in our lives. It "comes upon us" and things ch…

Full of Goodness

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Romans 15:13-14 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. I am fully convinced, my dear brothers and sisters, that you are full of goodness.I've had many people in my life that probably thought I was full of something! Knowing Jesus as my Lord and walking by faith as a follower of Christ, I know today that I am full of goodness! I think that many times we make premature judgements about some of the people in our lives. We see things on the outside or hear things said and decide what lies on the inside. Perhaps I am too trusting many times but I'd like to think that we are all filled with goodness. I'd like to believe that our bad associations and choices cover up the goodness at times but its still there. When we strive to be completely surrounded by joy and peace by trusting in Chris…

Gaps in Our Faith

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How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence. Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill the gaps in your faith. (1 Thessalonians 3:9, 10 NLT) As I read this verse I started to think about these gaps. Each of us strives to walk by faith and to utilize our faith to live lives worthy of our calling. Gaps in our faith could be things like wavering or negativity. It's hard to remain faith-full if you find yourself using negative words all the time. Gaps in our faith could also be our limited knowledge or understanding in dealing with life circumstances. The bottom line is that we need more gap fillers. Gap fillers are things like prayer, praise and teaching from the Word of God. Reading the Bible on a consistent basis and speaking it out loud is a great way to start filling the gaps. The Bible says faith comes by hearing! We need to listen to the right…

Bring the Heat!

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psalm 121:5The LORD watches over you—
       the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
       nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
       he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going                   both now and forevermore
Welcome 80 degree plus weather in Tulsa! Every time it starts to heat up here I think of this scripture: the Lord is my shade and the sun cannot harm me! Encourage yourself today with this word that confirms you will be kept from harm and that the Lord will watch over YOUR life-your coming AND your going! Thank Him for watching over you and then go out and enjoy this weekend! You deserve some happiness! Blessings to you and your family!

What's Your M.O.?

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There are so many days in my life when I find it hard to get motivated. Once I am in motion its not hard to keep going but those first steps are hard to get going. When we ask to be motivated we are really asking for the "motive" to come alive. Motive is something that incites us to action, it causes motion. Some folks are motivated by power, others by money, some by status or position. Motive is very important. What will it take to motivate you?
God not only cares what you do. He is interested in why you do it. God in us should be the compelling factor. Look at what it says in Philippians 2:13,"for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." In other words God not only gives you the want to, He also provides the power to carry it out.
So what's your M.O. today...your Modus Operandi...your method of operation...your reason to move through the day and impact the world? If you are finding it hard to get motivated go back to His Word…

Beautiful Praise

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Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous ones;
praise from the upright is beautiful. PS 33:1
Some of the most memorable moments I have enjoyed are seeing my children in productions where they act, sing or play an instrument. Whether it was an elementary school function or a church worship service, the feeling was always the same...a proud father with a huge smile on his face loving what he was seeing on the faces of his children.
This scripture out of the psalms tells us something that we must never forget...praise looks good on you! There is nothing more beautiful than watching a room filled with true worshippers.
I can imagine my heavenly Father watching from heaven and seeing my face and hearing my voice as I exalt His name and sing His praises. I believe that just as I felt proud and grinned from ear to ear watching my children praise, so too He smiles and loves the way that the praise looks on me!
The Bible tells us that when we are overwhelmed, when we are under heavy stress and anxiet…

Fisherman to Fishers of Men

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And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Matt 4:18-20

Have you ever thought about why the first two folks on the list of recruits for Team Jesus were fisherman? As he put together the people that would "do life" with him during his ministry on earth he went after fisherman. And when he came to them, they were doing what they loved...fishing! "Follow Me", he said, "and I will make you fishers of men". Perhaps he went after Peter and his brother Andrew because they understood what it was like to cast out a net and wait. People may respond to the Gospel like fish at times, wiggling away or trying to swim through the net. Or maybe it was because their character was not to quit just because the nets didn't have any fish in t…

Stick it Out

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As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. This scripture out of Colossians 1 in the Message translation encourages us to be diligent in knowing and understanding how God works because that directly affects the way we do our work. We need to learn about endurance and the best teacher we could have was Jesus. He had a strategy to finish and finish well. The Bible tells us that it was for the JOY that was ahead, that Jesus was able to endure the cross, despise the shame and deal with all that was put upon him. He learned ow to activate the power of endurance.  You and I have within us the divine power to finish what we start. We can stay committed and remain loyal no matter what the world throws at us. Don't be a quitter. Don't walk out on people or places simply…

No Fear

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Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid?The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? It's difficult these days to not be afraid of something. Our country struggles, our companies face difficulties and our families are attacked every day. People are afraid to be alone, afraid to be in crowds, afraid to try something they've never done...the list goes on and on.God does not cause us to be afraid. He's not the instigator of fear. He is the author and finisher of our faith. Standing in faith can conquer fear. Perfect love can cast out fear. God gives power, love and a sound mind!Its time to face those fears. The Lord is your light and your Savior. He is your fortress and protector. So stand strong and keep fighting the good fight of faith. Whenever fear knocks at the door, introduce it to Jesus!

What is It?

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Proverbs 8:35 For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. Life and favor are the benefits of this important part of our lives. The Bible also tells us that if we lack this thing, we should ask God because He wants to give it to us in abundant qualities. Riches, honor, insight, strength and even joy come as part of the package. Can you guess what it is? Wouldn't you like to have it?It's wisdom! Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgments and actions in keeping with this understanding. When you apply wisdom to anything, it gets better. That is why the Bible says that it is far more valuable than rubies. Today let wisdom be supreme. Pay attention to what The Lord is showing you through the things that are going on in your life. I am certain that everything is being used to bring you closer to the path that he has cho…

God Breathed

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2 Timothy 3:16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,17 so that the servant of God may be
thoroughly equipped for every good work. The most important book we have at our disposal is the Word of God. At The Landing we refer to it as our sword and blueprint for life.  We profess every week that we can DO anything it says we can do and that we can BE all that it says we can be. I read it because there something special about books that are God-breathed. God put its content on the hearts of people just like you and me so that we could read it and apply it to our lives. Not only is it God-breathed...it is useful. 
In a world full of nonsense and useless knowledge its good to know that there are still some things that are useful. The Bible is useful for teaching others and for providing information to others that can help them correct their mistakes. It's also useful in training people to grow in the wisdom and knowledge…

Simple and Straightforward

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My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6, 7 MSG)
I have a goal today: to continue to be rooted, strengthened and overflowing with thanksgiving! It sounds so simple and straightforward but every day it's still hard to stay the course.
I need to be rooted in Christ and allow those roots to run deep just like a tree whose power to stand comes from how deeply its roots spread into the ground. As I use the faith that I have to serve and follow Christ I get stronger and more stable. I can't grow in faith until I learn how to activate it and walk in it. As I grow my roots and I become stronger, thanksgiving …

Light it Up

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Point me down your highway, God; 
direct me along a well-lighted street;

show my enemies whose side you’re on. Psalm 27:11 MSG
I don't like driving that much at night because it's hard for me to see. Especially when I find myself on a road that has limited illumination. I feel much better when I make it to a roadway that is brightly lit up.
My walk with Christ is often the same. Like most folks, I find some places on my journey that seem to have limited visibility and all most no light. So I continue to pray, "Lord, direct me on a well-lighted street so that I might see the way I am going and enjoy the ride". If you feel like you are in a dark place today, ask the Lord to point you in the right direction and then light it up for you. I believe that He loves to light up his children and show our enemies whose side he is on!

In the Hallway

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Yesterday I felt as though there was a subtle shifting taking place in which the Lord was beginning to open some doors and make a way where many of us may have thought there could never be one. So many people confirmed with me that indeed, God was up to something. Why now? What is so special about now? Why should I expect my breakthrough to happen at this time? The Bible tells us that Jesus is consistent...He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is all about timing. Everything happens in His time. But what's so special right now is that we have learned the secret to synchronizing His timing and ours. The secret is what happens in the hallway! When one door closes and you have left that season but a new season and door has not yet opened, you find yourself in that hallway...the uncomfortable space between where you were and where you are going. What happens here is crucial in synchronizing the timing of God. Praise IS the secret. When you praise Him in the hallway you beg…