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Showing posts from July, 2013

In the Nick of Time

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Today I was thinking about Abraham. God asked him to take his son to a place that he would show him and sacrifice him. Besides this being such an overwhelming request, God did not tell him where to go. He said you will know it when you see it. What a great way to start the day! Imagine walking out towards an undisclosed location with knife in hand knowing that soon you will have to give up your kid. It seems somewhat overwhelming. But Abraham was an amazing man. He had already left his family and friends to follow God with no destination mentioned. What's more is that he left not knowing where he was going. I guess the lesson is that obedience is more important than revelation. Could knowing who is sending you be more crucial than knowing where you are going? The answer....absolutely! As Abraham reached the mountain he knew this was the spot. As he raised the knife at that altar to sacrifice Isaac a ram rustled in the bushes. God had sent the real sacrifice so that Isaac could li…

Do You Need Refreshed?

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A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25
Imagine our amount of refreshing and prosperity being contingent upon how well we bless and refresh others. Think about that. You may need to be refreshed today and the way that it will happen is that you help to refresh someone else! Give refreshing and you too will be refreshed! A giving person prospers because the things that they are giving are always "in play". Each day is an opportunity to spend time, talent and money to make life a little better for those around them. And who couldn't use a great refreshment stand in their home? Consider giving some time away today to bless the life of a co-worker or friend. Perhaps you can buy lunch for someone that you have wanted to get to know a bit better. Maybe you can pick up an encouraging book or card and give it to a person that has been a little bit depressed. Be pro-active and get your resources out there and in the game…

Are You Praising Yourself?

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I was in 2 Corinthians and the 3rd chapter reading the other day and it begins like this: "are we beginning to praise ourselves again?" As I read that part of the verse I began to think of how many times each day that something good occurs and I start to think about how good I was or how great that thing I did was. I have to admit that there are times in my life when I can take the credit for things that were most certainly set up for me and accomplished by God. In fact scripture says in James 1 that "every good and perfect gift comes down from above..." When I trust in the Lord with ALL my heart and lean upon Him, every need that I have is provided for. My physical body is touched by His grace. My financial life is blessed by His grace. My spiritual life grows in that grace. I praise HIM because He is my Lord.  Who are you trusting in today? Are you beginning to praise yourself again? Look to Him and you will always find grace in your time of need.

Distinguished and Wise

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Proverbs 17:6 Old people are distinguished by grandchildren;children take pride in their parents. I have just enjoyed an amazing week with my brother and his family and my mom and dad. Mom and dad are really quite special. They always invite us to gather together in the summer and spend some time together. As we played this week I realized the amazing truth in this scripture. My brothers children and mine really do help make them distinguished. Your welcome, mom and dad! Not that they are old! Can I say that seem wiser each summer we get together! (Mom will read this) Fortunately we do not drive them crazy and make them want to go on vacation alone!The other part of this verse says that children take pride in their parents. Watching them work together,and play together I am always reminded how much I am like each of them. I see them show up in my words and in some of the things I do. My prayer is that my kids will take pride in me like I do in my mom and dad. Today the trip ends but …

Lifting Praise

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Psalm 113:1 1-3 Hallelujah!You who serve God, praise God!Just to speak his name is praise!Just to remember God is a blessing—now and tomorrow and always.From east to west, from dawn to dusk,keep lifting all your praises to God!There is noing more powerful than the name of Jesus. How awesome just to speak his name in praise! God is a blessing to everyone of us: now, tomorrow and always. And His desire is to continue bringing you through all that you're going through! In the midst of hardship we need to remember to praise Him. Sometimes the "lifting" of praise is heavy and hard to do. But you are getting stronger every time you lift it up. Breakthrough is coming...the storms are passing...keep lifting all your praises to God!

Sea Storms

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Psalm 93:3 Sea storms are up, God,Sea storms wild and roaring,Sea storms with thunderous breakers. Stronger than wild sea storms,Mightier than sea-storm breakers,Mighty God rules from High Heaven. There is nothing like waking up in the morning and watching a thunderstorm sweep across the ocean. The sights and sounds are powerful and remind you just how wild and roaring storms can be. Our lives can also experience thunderous outbursts that seem ominonous and even dangerous. The good news is that God is mightier than the storms and He will always show up right there in the midst of them. As I finished my morning cup of joe, right in the midst of a storm there was a beautiful rainbow today! Thank God you are mighty to save!

Steady and Straight

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Psalm 119:1 1-8 You’re blessed when you stay on course,walking steadily on the road revealed by God.You’re blessed when you follow his directions,doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;you walk straight along the road he set.You, God, prescribed the right way to live;now you expect us to live it.Oh, that my steps might be steady,keeping to the course you set;Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel.I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.I’m going to do what you tell me to do;don’t ever walk off and leave me.What an awesome reminder that we can indeed live life on the right path! It's really quite simple: here's three easy things to remember...1-walk steadyPace yourself as you go but always keep going. Don't let the bad stuff stop you from moving ahead. 2- follow the directionsIf you are like me you often try to "wing it". I cook like this. I don…

I'm Going to Hurl!

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Today I'm going to hurl! No, I'm not sick! I just need to release some of the trouble and weight that I am carrying because the Bible tells me to. Too often I get so tired and annoyed by things that should not even be having any impact on me. Jesus knew I would feel like this. He was aware of the weight imbalance. "Casting all of our anxiety on him" simply means to hurl it in the Lord's direction. To let go of the burden, the struggle, the personal agenda and let him take care of it. Why? Because he cares for you and wants to. Besides, it's not doing you any good either!If you feel overwhelmed, tired and like you are carrying the weight of the world upon your shoulders, maybe you need to unload that stress and anxiety today. Go ahead, hurl!1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Don't Just Give to Live: Live to Give

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I'm getting up and starting this day in a very positive way. In the last ten days I have been overwhelmed by a spirit of compassion and generosity. I've always liked to think I was a giver but this season has taken things to another level entirely. I've found myself in situations where it was so easy and so rewarding. It seemed to come naturally. It is in times like these that I start to see scripture really come alive in a personal way... Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Cor 9:7-8 Whether we are giving your time, donating your energy and abilities or pouring into things financially, the Bible reminds us to do it cheerfully. This initiates God's ability to bless our lives in ways beyond anything we have ever seen. So follow your …

Confidence

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Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Confidence...it's something that each and every one of us needs to develop in our lives. Someone once said that it was the feeling you have before you understand the situation. How true is that?Another definition describes it as self-assurance that comes from having faith in our own abilities. Confidence is not arrogance. Arrogance is confidence without reason and wisdom. Arrogance causes you to be separated from others. Confidence draws you into the pack. Confidence in God helps you be all that you were meant to be in the midst of others.

You were created to do good things for God with your life. You were born with natural and supernatural ability. You are in the place you are in today because of your character, your personality and your God-given skill-set. Now, it's time to use them all for the glory of God and watch the world op…

Happy Place

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Where does your mind wander when you go to your happy place? Usually I start to see so incredible ocean waves, the beach and a beautiful sunset. Suddenly, the stress dissipates and a peace washes over my entire being:) It's the peace of God and its truly amazing!When Jesus said He would give us peace He clearly stated that the peace He gives is not at all like the worlds peace. The peace that our world offers is temporal and fleeting. The peace of God stays: it can rule our hearts and quiet our minds down in any situation. It's so good that its impossible to wrap your mind around it!Today, if things get a bit chaotic, close your eyes, take a deep breath and go to your happy place. Chances are His peace will meet you there too!John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Ease on Down the Road

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Psalm 25:5 EASE me down the path of Your truth. FEED me Your word because You are the True God who has saved me. I wait all day long, hoping, trusting in You. Ease me down the path...boy would that be nice! More often I feel like I'm being pushed off a cliff! Then I realize that somehow I missed the truth. Somehow the Lord and I got apart and I need to get closer.His ways are not like mine. His ways are not always as short as mine. But His ways and His strength are always perfect in every situation. As He eases me down the path He feeds me through His Word so that I have everything that I need, every time I need it.So whats feeding you? Why not let your nourishment come from Him. Aren't you tired of trying to make things happen? Keep hoping and trusting in Him. Join me today and let's ease on down the road!

Happy Birthday Rembrandt

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Rembrandt would have been 407 yrs old today. He is praised for the way he used shadow and light to draw attention to events and figures in his paintings. His most famous piece is the Night Watch. Well shadow and light always draw attention to people and places in real life too and not only masterful paintings. What I keep learning in my life is that these two seem to follow each other all the time. Shadows keep hidden and light exposes. Shadows call attention to my weaknesses and light brings out my strength. After a dark season of trial and difficulty I usually see some light. As I am enjoying the blessings of clarity and purpose it isn’t long until another shadow can appear. And the cycle continues. It often feels like I am on night watch just waiting for the darkness again! Maybe you also experience this rollercoaster of ups and downs, lights and shadows. Don’t let your commitment to the things of God stay lurking in the shadows. It’s time to bring everything out into the light. Why …

Two Small Coins

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Mark 12:41-42 Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, where people came to bring their offerings, and He watched as they came and went. Many rich people threw in large sums of money, but a poor widow came and put in only two small coins worth only a fraction of a cent. I remember reading this scripture and thinking how intimidating it would feel to have Jesus standing across the room and watching me write my check to the church or fill up my offering envelope. I thought about whether the look on his face would be stern or would he be smiling and giving me a great big thumbs up! Seriously? Then it sank in. He knows everything about me. He has planned out my future! He knows what I give to the things He connects me to and more importantly, He knows what I keep! In fact He is watching me all the time. Jesus said the woman that put in two small coins was more obedient than all the others. Were these special coins...maybe rare ones? No! They represented the sacrificial giving that she was …

Check Your Vital Signs

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Acts 2:42 The community continually committed themselves to learning what the apostles taught them, gathering for fellowship, breaking bread, and praying. Check your vital signs! What good is it to have the nicest clothes and make-up if the body is comatose? There is a formula to living the life that God intended us to live. It started with the first church in Acts 2 as the community continually committed themselves to some important things. Let me break it down...1- teachingWe need to learn the Word. Through meditation, listening to it preached and taught in classes we will grow and mature in faith. 2- fellowshipThere is nothing as powerful as teamwork...belonging to a group...a family of faith. Common unity or community breeds life, enthusiasm and powerful believers. 3- breaking breadEveryone that goes to church knows how important a meal can be to the gatherings. Not only are church meals good. The meal at the Lords table(communion) is the catalyst for finding our center and begin…

AIM High!

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Romans 12:1 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. This week our young people have taken their gifts and talents to the local city park. It's part of what they call AIM which is a vacation Bible experience for our city. Watching them prepare and then seeing the excitement and energy they use to bring this about reminds me of this scripture. They are truly taking their life and placing i…

Are YOU Weary?

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Gal 6:9-11 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Have you ever been so consumed by activities and “stuff” that you just grew weary? It’s easy to get tired out by all that has to be done these days. Most of the things I find myself involved in seem to be good things! Yet, weariness sets in. Jesus told us that we could exchange our tired bodies for His rest.(Matt 11:28)
The Bible encourages you and I to stick to it cause we WILL get through it! The blessings and the incredible results that we are aiming for will surely come as we keep moving forward. We will reap a harvest! 

Don’t quit! Do good to ALL people and know that when you become weak and weary, God will become strong in you and begin to work through you!

Perfect?

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Psalm 18:30 God’s way is perfect.All the Lord’s promises prove true.He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. Everyone wants to find the path of least resistance when dealing with life circumstances. TV ads target our inner desire to be better looking, richer, and more intelligent. All these actors and actresses have perfect lives, right? Face it, we want to be perfect!The Bible lets us know that there is only one perfect person and his name is Jesus. His ways are perfect. That does not mean they are the ones with fewer challenges. It means that when you walk with Him you can overcome them. His promises always prove true and He desires to watch over you all along the way.So this week, stop looking for the easy way out or the simplest way through. Look for Jesus and trust His leading as you go and you will come out better than you ever imagined on the other side.

Somebody

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For all of those times that you feel alone or 
may be a little afraid, you need to remember this:

somebody is thinking of you. somebody is caring about you.
somebody misses you
somebody wants to talk to you.
somebody wants to be with you.
somebody hopes you aren't in trouble. somebody is thankful for the support you have provided.
somebody wants to hold your hand.
somebody hopes everything turns out all right.
somebody wants you to be happy.
somebody wants you to find him/her.
somebody is celebrating your successes.
somebody wants to give you a gift.
somebody thinks that you ARE a gift.
somebody loves you.
somebody admires your strength.
somebody is thinking of you and smiling.
somebody wants to be your shoulder to cry on.
Everyone needs SOMEBODY!


Happy Fourth of July!

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Hope you have a safe
and blessed fourth of July!
Thank God for freedom
 and God bless the USA!


Proclaim Freedom

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The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up(heal) the brokenhearted, to proclaimfreedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners... IS 61:1
FREEDOM is an amazing power. To realize that you have been set free after being in any type of bondage is exhilarating. The Bible tells us that once Jesus sets us free from sin, we are completely free! So why is there so much turmoil and why do people keep fighting each other?
Perhaps its because some folks use freedom as a license to do what they please. True freedom is not being able to do what you want, its living the way that the Lord wants you to live. We are to stand firm in that freedom and not allow ourselves to get all tangled up with the very things that we were released from. Don't revisit the past. Live in the present and walk into your future. It's our responsibility to use our freedom to set others free. Preach GOOD …

Physical Training is Good...

I will try putting Cup of Joe in any form to get some hope into your life. So far I've tried JOEtry, Joe on the Go, the Cup of Joe blog, Joe in the Flow, JOE-Mama, JOE-daddy(ok, the last three Ive never done) I pray that every day you are able to enjoy a cup with me and then share it with your friends:)
Today, I am going with JOE in MO-tion! While I was out walking the Lord dropped a scripture into my heart and the rest just came together. Here's the scripture...

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8

And this word led to...


Grow!

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Luke 8:15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. I want to be good soil. I want the things that I plant with my life to grow and bless others. I also want the things others plant in me to encourage the lives of others. It all starts win a healthy, good heart. The heart brings life to everything else. Nothing lives without heart. Maintaining heart health requires a plan. You feed it the right things. You get the blood flowing by staying in motion. There's a simple process...a reminder in this scripture to help you keep your heart strong and your life healthy. Read the Word. Start your day with a scripture. Read it or listen to it. Get the Word-get life!Retain that Word. Retention will come from consistent and constant application. As you apply it to your situations it begins to work. Reproduce a crop. We were made to reproduce. God is growing people, ideas, and innovative inventions t…