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Showing posts from May, 2013

You Have a Gift!

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1 Peter 4:10-11 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. Read that first part again...slowly: God has given YOU a gift! So let's start today by realizing how special you are and saying thank you for this gift. You are gifted because God wants to use that special ability to bring hope, happiness and healing to others. It doesn't matter what you do, you just need to do it for Him.Take a couple minutes and think about the last part of this scripture. Speak as though He was speaking through you...because He is! Help others with all of that God-given strength that is being provided for you. Using your gif…

Go get em, gorgeous!

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1 Peter 3:3-4 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. I have always been the type of person that can get ready very quickly for the day. Picking out clothes is not too difficult and as for fancy hairstyles, well, you know that can't be hard cause theres not too much of it left!I love the lesson that the Lord wants us to get here: outward beauty comes from letting inner beauty out! In other words when we have the right spirit, we will always glow with the love and peace that only comes from knowing Christ. If we would take as much time preparing the inner beauty for the day as we do the outer, we might just start to see some amazing things happen. So grab your Bible first and pump up your heart by feeding your spirit. That gentle spirit is so precious to God and …

Shout YOUR Praise

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Romans 5:3-5 There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.
I like to imagine each and every day that what I am living in the midst of is not all there is. There has to be more to come. I like to dream BIG, to look beyond the horizon and to expect the absolute best in every situation. For me all things have to come together for good. In order to live life with that kind of expectancy there is something that I must do every day. I must shout praise even when I am hemmed in with troubles. I must strive to keep my spirits up even when the circumstances are moving down. How is that possible? In order for you and I to live the life that the Lord imagined for us, we need to understand that trouble can be positive. Trouble can lead to passionate patience an…

Thunder in the Desert

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John 1:19-20When Jews from Jerusalem sent a group of priests and officials to ask John who he was, he was completely honest. He didn't evade the question. He told the plain truth: "I am not the Messiah."21They pressed him, "Who, then? Elijah?" "I am not." "The Prophet?" "No."22Exasperated, they said, "Who, then? We need an answer for those who sent us. Tell us something—anything!—about yourself."23"I'm thunder in the desert: 'Make the road straight for God!'
John the Baptist was an influencer. He made a way for others to find their way to the Messiah. He was unconventional and perhaps a bit eccentric. And in the Message Bible translation he describes himself as “thunder in the desert”. Thunder is loud, powerful and rocks the area in which it rumbles. In other words, it makes an impact that is noticeable. John may not have been the most eloquent or best dressed, but he knew that he would make noise that wo…

Memorial Day 2013

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To every man and woman who surrendered their freedom to protect ours, who gave their lives to save ours, we remember and we thank you! God bless you and your family...and God bless the USA!

My Light

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The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1It's been quite a week around here and in the midst of all of the activity, this scripture rings out loud and clear. Life throws a lot of things at us. it can change in a moment. But in the middle of the darkness there is always a light. When God is with you there is nothing, no thing that can come up against you that you cannot overcome. Fear will give way to faith and when faith rises up life is good. Today I pray that the Lord becomes your stronghold and that He brings faith alive in you. Be strong and very courageous and the light of the Lord will keep you safe! Keep a strong hold on Him! One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27: 4 NIV)

Guide My Life

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Galatians 5:16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Yesterday I took a very long walk...in fact I took two of them. For the last several weeks I have been seeking more wisdom and clarity in every decision that I make. As I continued to walk my mind started racing(along with my heart) and rather than finding clarity I began to hear many voices. Some were shouting and some whispering and none of them were completely understandable. It seemed that all they were assigned to do was give me a headache!It was in the midst of the noise that I simply asked the Holy Spirit to guide me. There are just some things that cannot be understood except by the Spirit of God. Once that prayer left my mouth I felt some of the voices leave and the peace of God consume me. The Holy Spirit changed everything around me.It is a gift of the Holy Spirit to be guided through life...to see the choices of places, people and things all line up for o…

Do What You Can

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Romans 12:13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Once again my heart is warmed and my spirit encouraged by the character and kindness of people. As quickly as the devastation hit our state, people from all walks of life began to gather together and do what I spoke of in the blog yesterday…bounce back and rise up. Our church,The Landingis in a small community and we have some really amazing folks around us and within our faith family. In only took moments for some of them to organize their support network and soon our folks were joined with some amazing folks who raised money and put bags of supplies together for people and their pets too! I thought about this scripture in Romans and how we are encouraged to share and to practice hospitality. Do what you can, where you are with what you have. If there is a silver lining at all within this terrible tragedy, it is that mankind does indeed rally together and do all that is in their power to do for others. Fr…

Okla-HOME-a!

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If there is one thing you learn very quickly living in the Midwest, its that the weather is unpredictable, extreme and sometimes devastating. This past couple of days in Oklahoma has been unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Unbelievable winds in the form of tornados, often wrapped in rain have taken a toll on the people of this great state. What I have realized about the people in this state and across our country is that we are truly resilient. To be resilient means that you are able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed. In other words we are strong enough to bend but we can never be broken. For all of those families and young people in Shawnee, Moore and surrounding towns of this amazing state, we pray to the Lord for healing, health and hope. Life may be fleeting but know faith is increasing as we gather together, arm in arm and heart to heart to rebuild, replenish and restore everything that has been taken away. God bless…

Seeds of Peace

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Wisdom is imperative each and every day. We need to know how to properly apply wisdom in every decision we make. The Bible gives us a great description of what godly wisdom looks like. Lets take a look in the book of James...James 3:17-18 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
Pure, peace-loving, gentle and willing to yield to others puts us in the proper position to be blessed by the Lord. Our lives should be full of mercy and good deeds. Start your day today with a plan to use godly wisdom. Plant some seeds of peace and get ready for your harvest of righteousness!

The Best is Yet to Come!

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In Proverbs 16 we are told “God made everything with a place and purpose”. Many of those that I am connected to are going through a transition this month and graduating from one season of life into the next. Sometimes that move to the next part of life’s journey is a bit intimidating. It will serve you well to always remember that God has an amazing plan and that He will take everything that happens and turn it into something positive if you let Him. At our church I am constantly encouraging people to believe in themselves, to trust in the Lord and to dream BIG! You are going to dream anyway so you might as well dream BIG! The BEST of your life is the REST of your life! With God, ALL things are possible. You can do anything that He says you can do. This weekend, I will be encouraging our graduates to keep walking with the Lord and enjoy the journey that they are on. We all deserve to do something that makes us happy. So, let's go do it! We've got a special place and an incredibl…

"By My Spirit..."

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Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’                                               says the Lord Almighty. Zech 4:6
There are many lessons that I have felt the Lord has taught me over the years and the one in this little verse is perhaps one of the most meaningful. There are just some things that cannot be done except by the power of the Spirit of God. There are some opportunities that won’t come, some relationships that won’t survive and some incredible dreams that will never come to fruition without the Spirit of God breathing upon them. Too often I think that if I can just learn enough, if I can simply train enough I can be everything that is necessary to succeed in every situation. When I start to think that way I realize that I am becoming more selfish and inward focused.  I need to be self-less instead. My power and might are not as important as His Spirit. Join me today and take a moment to surrender your plans, your relationships and your dreams to the Lord. Then say th…

Those Who Wait

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Isaiah 40:29-31 He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary,And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;They shall mount up with wings like eagles,They shall run and not be weary,They shall walk and not faint. Nobody likes to wait. My local McDonalds has 2 drive-thru lanes now which you would think could cut down on the wait time but NO! You wait twice as long! So now we can double the wait and double the weight at the same time!Waiting is part of the journey. All the heroes of faith did it. Moses waited 40 years. Abraham waited 25 years and Joseph 13. Jesus waited 30 years before his ministry began. So keep your head up, you are in good company! Get ready for your strength to renew and your life to begin soaring. Power comes in the waiting.

Which Way Should I Go?

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Psalm 107:4-6 Some wandered in desert wastelands,finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty,and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,and he delivered them from their distress. Sometimes it seems that no matter what direction you go, you end up in a place you never intended to be. Its like every sign you see leads to a place that has nothing to do with your desired destination. The children of Israel experienced many years in the wilderness enroute to the place that God intended for them from the very beginning. So how did they get out of the rut?They cried out to the Lord in their worst seasons and the Lord delivered them into their best ones. What happened for them can happen to you. If things are bad and there seems to be no good choice in front of you, just cry out to the Lord. He will make a way!

The Home Button

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The "home" button...the simple one touch secret to getting back to where you started. We have gotten used to this feature which shows up in many forms on today's devices. On my phone I have a few options to choose from to let my home button know where to take me. I set mine to call Siri so that when I am lost or in need of assistance, Siri and I can have a conversation. One click and Siri and I are talking about the closest sushi place! I just hit that button and asked Siri to take me home and she pulled up a map for how to get there!!! Dorothy clicked her heels to go home. John Denver took the country road. On my phone I click this button. Oh that a simple button could take us to that place where we are safe, secure and comfortable. Imagine finding yourself in a place you don't want to be...click and you're home! Stuck in an uncomfortable situation? Just click and you're home! Want out of that negative relationship? Just hit the "home" button! The…

Love You Mom!

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There are some wonderful characteristics in Proverbs 31 that describe a capable, intelligent and virtuous woman.(vs10) To all of those strong and powerful women of God, we bless you in the name of the Lord!May God's grace and mercy overwhelm you today as you enjoy the life He has carved out for you. You are loved and highly favored!Proverbs 31:29“There are many virtuous and capable women in theworld, but YOU surpass them all!”

No Condemnation

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Romans 8:1-2 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. To be condemned is to be pronounced wrong or morally deficient. People who feel this emotion never think that life can get any better and that no one approves of anything they do. It's very important to realize that when you follow Christ, your approval ratings goes off the charts. Jesus is a game changer! Those that ask Him to be Lord never carry the load of condemnation again...they are FREE!Don't let anyone tell you that you can't rise up out of fear and despair. There is no condemnation when you serve the Lord. Let that life-giving power release you today! You are blessed and highly favored!

Lend a Hand

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Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Phil 2:4 MSG
Some will say that we live in a dog eat dog world. In other words, if you don’t look out for yourself, you will get run over. Looking out for number one seems to be the counsel of those who want you to get ahead. Today I want to encourage all of us to be on the lookout for each other first and think of ways to make someone else’s life a bit better. What you and I make happen for someone else, God will make happen for us. We ourselves get ahead by lending a helping hand to another.
Take a moment today to write that note, send that card or make that call and lend a helping hand to someone connected to you. Helping others IS the best way to help yourselves. Be blessed!

Rest

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Most of us arrive at the middle of each week in need of some rest. The labor force and the trials of life have already beat at us this week and we need a refresher...replenished in our spirit and our body. I love the midweek services at our church because they do that for me.  Yesterday I was given some lyrics that spoke to my heart and began to soothe my soul in the midst of this weeks chaos. They went like this:
Rest, the Lord is near
Refuse to fear, enjoy His love.
Trust, His mighty power fills every hour of all your days.

There is no need for needless worry with such a Savior.
You have no cause to ever doubt,
His perfect Word still reassures in any trial

There are a few more great lines of calming reassurance in this song, written by Phil McHugh and Greg Nelson many years ago. Take a moment today and let your mind be quieted and your spirit refreshed and replenished as you learn how to rest. The Lord is near!

Here's a link to the song: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-W3B3OUkN0‎

Breaking Ground

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Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break upyour unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12

Sow for you! Imagine that...the idea of planting something for YOUR life! YOU will reap fruit…however you may have to do some groundbreaking things! If you want something you have never had you are going to have to do something you have never done. Break up the ground that is unplowed. It’s the first thing we do before we build…groundbreaking. We are seeking something so we prepare the ground to accommodate what we are seeking. The instruction is to break up the ground and get it ready for what is coming. God is getting ready to bless you and you want that blessing to find a fertile spot to land in.
Some may ask how long do we seek the Lord? Hosea said it best…until He comes and showers righteousness on you. Seek Him until you find HIM. Until ALL these things are added unto you. Perhaps that …

Can You See It?

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Acts 14:8 In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. 9He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
Paul was sent out to minister by the Holy Spirit. He knew where he was going and who was sending him. I really love this miracle. One thing about Paul that I pray will also be in you and me is that ability, that divine ability to “see faith”. He was able to look upon a seemingly helpless and hopeless situation and see something that only God sees. He SAW that the man who had never walked had something that could be ignited, activated and bring about his deliverance and so he spoke to that faith…Stand UP! Not only did the man stand up, he jumped to his feet and began to do something that he had never done before. When we are delivered we need this kind of response…to jump up and get…

I Am Alive

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EPH 2:4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.What a great scripture which gives us a wonderful picture of a "restored" life. With the variety of uncertainties in our world today and the numerous people that have seen devastation and felt heartache, restoration often seems out of reach. But God has a plan! We are prone to make mistakes but God is rich i…

Simmer Down

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Proverbs 15:1 tells us that a "soft" answer can turn wrath away. Staying calm, cool and collected is a learned skill. It does not come naturally but super-naturally. Some time ago I bought my first Crock-Pot. I was looking for something that would cook for me and do it without very much attention and the Crock-Pot fit the bill. They even make dinners pre-assembled now that you just have to mix up in the morning and then in 8-10 hours your meal is waiting for you! Now the interesting thing about this item is that it can be on all day and not burn up what is inside. The temperature that it cooks with is perfect! It made me think about this scripture in Proverbs and I realized that many times I am a microwave of angst and emotion when God would rather I be more like my Crock-Pot. If I could just allow myself to remain at an even temperature there would be no sudden outbursts or explosions that leave messes. At the end of the day I could enjoy the grace of God that has been coo…

Is God With You?

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There is nothing better than being in the right place at the right time for the right reason. Everything seems to come together and it feels as if life was just set up for your benefit. As Moses was trying to prepare the children of Israel to get into the right place at the right time, it was important to him that they always had God with them. Nothing mattered as much as being in the company of God.
It seems that too often we more concerned with being in the right group or getting the right notoriety and we have little or no regard for God in the mix. When Moses was confused he talked to God. When he needed guidance he talked to God. You can read about one example of that in Exodus 33. He would go into the Tent of Meeting and a cloud of God's glory would come down and hover over the entrance. All of the people would watch and bow in reverence. When Moses came out of those private instruction sessions, he was visibly changed. When we have God walking with us and talking to us, we …