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Showing posts from December, 2013

I Have Run the Race

Well we have finally arrived at the last 24 hours of the year 2013. This is my last opportunity to tie up loose ends, finish anything I wanted to finish this year and make my last year end donations to charity. But more important than that it is my chance to tell those that are closest to me how much I appreciate them. I also can ask forgiveness for those that I have treated unfairly. I want to end the year right.
Tomorrow when I get up things are going to be different. But tomorrow is a day away. What I do right now will put the exclamation point on a year that was filled with so many ups and downs. I've had some of my highest highs this year. But I have also seen the lows. I've attended more funerals this year for friends who had lost loved ones. But I have also seen more people saved by grace through The Landing Community Church than any year before. The good news is I have fought the good fight of faith...I have run the race this year and in just a few hours I will cross …

Ask Me

John 14:12-14 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! Did you get what you asked for this Christmas? There have been years that I received just about everything on my list. As I get older the list changes from stuff to things like more time to invest in my kids and better health with less aches and pains!
Jesus said we could talk to him about the things that we need and if we are asking right, we would always receive. Some prayers are answered quickly just like we wanted. Others take time. Fortunately, some of the things we pray for don't happen because they just aren't right! It's time to spend your life in such a way that you have something to show for it...a legacy of love and hope for this that follow. Tak…

Customer Service

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 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, as a fully devoted follower of Christ you have access to 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 …

Christmas Hangover

Is it possible to drink in too much joy and happiness? Are the sounds of laughter and the noise of celebration sending you over the edge? Sometimes we get so consumed with the consumerism and the celebration that immediately afterwards we have one of the lowest lows of the season. I realize that this will not resonate with everyone but some folks out there may just get too much at one time and the body, mind and spirit start to shut down. How do you beat the Christmas hangover? Take a few moments for YOU and settle down with what else, a fresh cup of joe and relax. Don't think about the presents, the food, the parties left or anything that is coming just relax. You are stronger than you think and you will rise up out of your power break to join back in the holiday festivities and the gift of hospitality that you so amazingly show! Jesus brings Joy, why He is joy and when you stop to catch your breath you will reboot your body and refresh your spirit. So what are you doing reading…
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Wishing you and your family
the most amazing and joy-filled
holiday ever!
May you feel the power of Christ
and the peace of His presence as
you celebrate your Christmas today!

Merry Christmas from Cup of Joe!

Twas the Day Before Christmas

Twas’ the day before Christmas and I’m stuck at home cleaning, got the sweats on, and the fire, with my Christmas tunes streaming The stockings are hung by my chimney with care; But they’re just d├ęcor cause there’s nothing in there. The candles are glowing and the tree lights burn bright to be blessed like I am well, that just can’t be right. And to all you who follow and share cups here each day, I am asking the Lord to send more blessings your way! I’m so thankful for friends and great partners that know… you just can’t start a day without
a good Cup of Joe!

Glory to God!

Luke 2:12-14 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”You really can't ever judge a book by its cover. Who would have thought of finding the Savior of the world in a barn, wrapped in ised clothes and lying on a bed of straw? People still find Jesus today on many places where you would least expect them to. You don't have to go to church to be saved. There is no "special sauce" to find to become a believer. You just ask Jesus to be not a part of your life but ALL of your life. And when you do, the angels go wild singing praises to God and rejoicing over the chance one day to welcome you personally into heaven. Glory to God, we are washed clean of our sins. Let the peace of God warm your heart as you begin your week. Don't let Monday…

Good Tidings:Great Joy

Luke 2:8-10 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. I'm guessing that many of you need some joy this weekend. It's the final shopping weekend before Christmas and chaos is in the streets and in the mall. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the season and all that is happening around you then you are probably missing the real reason for Christmas. An angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds and the glory of the Lord shone around them. It was one of those moments they could bring fear and panic. But the angel said fear not for I bring you good tidings of great joy. Good news that will cause great joy! Of course we know the joy is Jesus and the joy of the Lord is our strength. So don't get ov…

Why are You Treating Me Like This?

Luke 2:41-48 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”I have always loved this episode of A Day in the Life of the Boy Jesus. All of the powerful emotions of life are …

Confession Time

Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.Today, it's confession time. So here is a confession of a pastor. I want to be cut wide open and show you something personal. I have gone to the altar...I have made my contributions to kingdom purposes at many times in my life with bitterness and resentment in my heart. I have prayed prayers with envy in my heart. There it is...my open wound...truth is I am not perfect:)Sometimes I caused the pain and other times it was inflicted upon me. Either way, I should settle these things and reconcile these actions and emotions before I come into the presence of my savior and Lord. These words from the famous Sermon on the Mount let us know to not even try to move forward in faith if your heart has been polluted by darkness. These days I&…

She's What?

Matthew 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.Very seldom do I ever hear or see the end result or the finish of something occur without me doing anything. In this account of the conception of Jesus, Joseph learns that the Holy Spirit can place things around us, even in us without us ever being aware of them:) I'm quite certain Joe freaked a bit and was beside himself with all of the questions this immaculate conception brought. The scripture says he was concerned for Mary but I have to believe he was wondering what people might say about him too. So many things could have occurred. God was up to something. How would he deal with it?
Look at what Joe did:Matthew 1:20-23 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wi…

Worshiper or Doubter?

Matthew 28:16-20 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”The disciples in this story went where Jesus told them to go. They saw him. Some worshiped. Some doubted.Not much has changed in the past 2000 years has it? Everyday, followers of Jesus go to the places and the people that he leads them to. And each week in places all over the world, people worship him. And many still doubt him.Perhaps that is why the verse does not end with the doubt. It goes on to command us to go out...to move into the world and make more disciples that believe...to …

What are You Building?

Hebrews 3:4-6 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.Did you realize that each and every day you are building something? Every word is a timber, every action a nail putting that word into place. And when all of it comes together it forms the life that you are going to live. Makes you think a bit doesn't it?We need to be careful to let God provide us the master plan for the life we are supposed to build. After all he is the builder of everything. But he needs us to carry the project through. So what kind of house are you building? The wrong words and actions are like warped wood and dull nails. We are Gods house! Be confident, hope in him and get building!

Let the Heat Shape You

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Last night I tried to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies while teaching a little Bible lesson at our church. It was the start of our 5th annual Christmas Cookies series, which you have already heard about. The objective was to bring out four points in baking that apply as well to living the life of a Christ follower: Follow the Recipe * Use all of the ingredients Mix thoroughly * Let the heat “shape” you We were supposed to do this Sunday but were iced out by a winter storm so we just waited to do it in our Wednesday service. As I was using ALL of the ingredients and placing them in the bowl, I ran into a problem: the brown sugar had solidified and was as hard as a rock. I could not do a thing with it! It was right then that I realized the terror of improvisation and the power of Jesus at the same timeJ Eventually we got some useable brown sugar and continued with the illustration.  We got through it all but it got really "hot" up there in front of the church! Sometimes our …

It's Wonderful

Philippians 4:6 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.Worry, when surrounded by praise, will turn into prayers to God. Fact is you and I shouldn't worry because we know that God can use anyone and anything in a beneficial way for us. Truth is, we are going to worry. We worry about safety, money, health and our families to name just a few. That is why it's so important to praise the Lord in the midst of whatever you are going through. A sense of God's wholeness will overtake you and you will begin to see that worry settle.
During this season there are many folks worried about various things. You may be one of them. Why don't you try praising the Lord for all He has already don…

Light it Up!

John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness,and the darkness can never extinguish it.The other night I drove through the city looking at all of the colorful lights that have been put up for Christmas. Trees, bushes, street lamps, all shining brightly in the night. My favorite lights are the bright white lights that are used to outline buildings and rooftops. You just can't overdo it for me when it comes to Christmas lights. Jesus came as a light for this world. Some folks wanted to hide that light. Some tried to cover it up, even put it out completely. But then something happened. He made it possible for this light to be in us. For us to be able to pass it on to our neighbors, our friends and our families. And he promised that the darkness of this world could never extinguish it.This is a great time to let YOUR light shine so that others can see it and give glory to Jesus. Be a light that shines in the darkness!

You Bring Joy

Mark 1:9-11 One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”I love the picture here. Jesus being baptized by his cousin and then the heavens opening up and God validating the life of his son. Today the orchestra would be hitting some amazing note as fireworks preceded the release of thousands of balloons and confetti cannons:) Jesus is joy!But the very next part of the story is what throws me. Jesus is "led by the Spirit" into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. What? It sounds bizarre doesn't it? As I thought about this, I realized that many times I seem to have wilderness moments on the other side of the celebrations too. Probably because life happens and we are part of the race...the human race. But God always seems …

Joy to the World

Joy, joy joy…the idea of joy would be beneficial to all of us if we could unlock the secret to how to achieve it. Seems like just about everyday, something or someone tries to take joy away from us. The angels announced that they were bringing JOY in the Christmas story of Luke 2…behold I bring you good tidings of great joy…we sing about it during this season, Joy to the World…all the boys and girls …joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, joy to you and me! Why aren’t more people joyful?Helen Keller said, “We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world”.She realized something that many of us never are able to grasp…hard times usher in joyful times.James 1:2 “consider it “pure joy” my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds” Why in the world would I consider my hard times to be “pure joy”? Why “pure joy”? Because YOU KNOW that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.You see we have to know what the end result is if we are going to be…

God With Us

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All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”). Matt 1:22,23
Sometimes I need to stop what I am doing and remind myself that God is with me. I get so caught up in things and circumstances that its easy for me to forget just who is in charge. In the midst of so much confusion and chaos, so many things that happen that we do not understand, we need to cry out Immanuel this year like never before. The lights are beautiful, the sounds of the season delightful and those cookies delicious, but nothing compares to the understanding that no matter where we are or what we are going through...God is with us.
I have a little exercise I am doing and I encourage you to join me. Try saying, "God with us" every time you see Christmas lights, hear a carol, light a candle or receive a gift this season. It's a great way to remember what is the most import…

Season of ADVENT-ure!

Hope requires FAITH to be exercised…after all faith is the substance of what we HOPE for. Claire Booth Luce said, “There are no hopeless situations, only people who have grown hopeless about them”. We all need the power of hope today. Maybe the key during this Season of ADVENT-ure is to not look for HOPE, but rather embrace the HOPE that we already have…our HOPE IS IN CHRIST. You see, when we find Christ, we find the strength to endure any difficulty…we find ONE who will not leave us comfortless…we find a leg to stand on when everything seems to be falling away. Today, before you face the hustle and bustle of your routine, pray for the hope that comes in Christ to overwhelm you. Embrace it and see what joy and peace may rise up in every area of your life. Miracles do happen and this could be yours!ROM 15:15 Now may the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.

There it Is!

Luke 1:29-30 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.More and more these days I am unable to find anything! My keys, my shoes, why last weekend coming out of the grocery store I couldn't find my car!So you can imagine how excited I get when I hear about an opportunity that you and I get to have: the same one Mary did. She found favor! She gota divine impartation of exactly what was needed exactly when it had to happen. What happened for Mary can happen for you this Christmas!So don't be afraid or worried about anything this season. Favor, Gods divine intervention is out there and I believe that you are about to find it!**You can download the new Christmas Cookies book today by using the links on the right side of this page. Available in Kindle and Nook and the paperback can be shipped after Friday! See, you found favor!!!

What Do You Believe?

Good news is part of this amazing miraculous season. How you handle it will determine how you are affected by it. Mary was handed some incredible news that was divinely delivered to her. Check out the story...
Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lordand my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
The good news was delivered to Mary. Notice what she did with it...she believed. You get out of anything in this life what you put into it. If she would have simply laughed it off, the story would have been different. Mary believed so she was in the position to be blessed by God. She realized that her life was about to change and those around her would be changed as wel…