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Showing posts from November, 2014

Black and Blue Friday

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NIV) Last night I was completely surprised as I dashed into the store for something only to run head first into the Black Friday sale that had started at dinner time Thursday! It was clear that people were on a mission. They were looking for a great bargain and a way to stretch their money for holiday gifts. As I passed through my usual glance at the electronics department someone yelled my name and after a brief conversation, I realized how easy it is to get caught up in the "experience" that was happening. By this time the store was filled with people lining up and getting ready for something special. Don't let Black Friday turn into Black and Blue Friday:) Today, you may still be out looking for deals or you might have just returned home and be headed for some rest. My prayer for you is the prayer that I pray for m…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Aesop said, "Gratitude is the sign of noble souls." Today millions of folks will gather around tables, in kitchens and living rooms to enjoy conversation, tons of food and football. Others will not have family to enjoy, food to eat or a television to watch. The people that will benefit the most are those that take time to thank the Lord right in the middle of whatever they are in. Thanksgiving is not a holiday but rather a lifestyle. We have so much to be grateful for. Today I pray that your day is full of joy, memories of good times and that the Lord would ignite in you a passion to pursue Him in a deeper way in the future. If times are good, rejoice! If times are tough, rejoice! Thanks giving leads to thanks living!

The BIG Give

Have you ever tried to do something good for others that was so huge that without the intervening of divine support, it would be impossible? The Landing Community Church in Glenpool,OK is taking a leap that looks impossible through a normal lens. It's the first annual Christmas Offering. When you take care of others, God takes care of you. And God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask, think or imagine! The Christmas Offering has three targets that will benefit the world, the community and those closest to us. They will complete an orphanage that can house 8 children in Uganda for $13,000. They have already raised $7,000 in the last 11 months. They are going to feed the community during their Tuesday FREE Lunch program for a year at a price tag of $6,000. And to make it even more personal, they will select five families in the community to bless with the most incredible Christmas ever. The budget for that is $3,500. For many this may seem like a simple an…

Serving Others

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There are things that we get to do during this season that change our lives...our FREE Thanksgiving dinner is one of them for me. Each year we host a special meal during the week of Thanksgiving for our community and anyone can come. What makes it special is watching the faces of folks that join us light up as they eat till they are full and get loved on by some amazing people. This year, find a place to serve and help others. Take some coats or blankets to the homeless. Serve in a soup kitchen or join a church that is hosting a free meal. When you live with thankful hearts you change the lives of those that you touch but more than that, you will change your life too! Jesus loved hanging out with people. Be like Him this week!

I'm So Thankful!

Yesterday at our church we were thankful...not for the horrible year we have had, or for the financial trouble we are in or even for the illnesses that plague so many we know. We were thankful IN the middle of all of this. Rejoice, pray and be thankful IN everything...its the will of God for our lives and the recipe for a perfect Thanksgiving!  As I listened to a wife that lost her husband two weeks ago and a mother who stands against cancer as it attacks her daughter, and preach in a church that will not make it to the end of the year financially without a miracle, I am so grateful that God is BIGGER than anything that comes against me and the rest of the followers of Christ I serve with. I am thankful because I came home to a lovely house, a warm meal and am surrounded by people that love me and pray for me all the time. I am thankful for breath in my lungs and diving health in my body. I'm thankful for my children and how God has blessed them in so many ways. I'm thankful …

Leave Outcomes to Me

Have you ever trusted the Lord for something so huge and as you walked through it, you found yourself starting to interfere with His process? The other day the devotional book I was reading started off with this: leave outcomes up to ME. Follow me wherever I lead, without worrying about how it will all turn out. Right in the face that hit hard and I began to see just how often I try to take back the reigns of what I have already surrendered to the control of the Lord. It seems I want to create the outcome, to manage it, perhaps even predict it. But outcomes are not predictable and things do not turn out like you want them all the time. However, when you live a life that follows the Lord and leans upon His understanding, no matter what the journey and the course, the outcome will be His. Its time to learn to enjoy the rhythm of life lived close to Jesus. What beat is your life drumming to? Can you jump when He says jump? Can you rest when time has been given to you to relax? Leave out…

No Power?

2 Timothy 3:5..."having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people." One of the gentle reminders that God is coming back again will be seasons of lawlessness, chaos, wars, earthquakes and other phenomenon. People will be lovers of themselves and their money. They will boast of all THEY have done.  They will be unforgiving, rash, conceited and full of pride, lacking any self-control. You don't have to be a genius to recognize that many of the characteristics of 2 Timothy are up close and personal on the news today in this world that we live in. Yet with all the horrible things happening we should not be afraid but rather be compelled to get closer to Christ. Some people will have a "form of godliness". I always wondered exactly what that meant. Perhaps it means that they will talk the talk but fail to walk it out. Or they will use the name of the Lord but never see a manifestation of His power. How could anyone deny that the …

Unlimited Patience

"But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life." God offers grace to those that need it most. He gives a chance to exercise faith and share His love. That love was displayed; it was shown by what He did on the cross. And that was the reason referred to in our verse today. Greater love has no one than this, that they give their life for another. He has UNLIMITED PATIENCE! When I read this verse out of 1st Timothy I think of my life and how fortunate I am that God sent mercy my way. Mercy came running in my direction. Mercy offered me a clean white board, a second  chance and the opportunity to right wrongs and walk His walk. Thankfully He had patience without limits!

Is Jesus a Myth?

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes... In the last few months I have seen and heard more stories about folks that claim to be atheists. There are even billboards promoting Jesus as a myth. I've always wondered why anyone would have to work so hard to reduce or diminish a God they don't even believe exists! In my personal (yet humble) opinion, I believe that these folks are simply believers in progress. At some point in our lives we all are faced with that reality.  God created us for connection with others. He also wants a personal connection with each of us. We ARE His creation. The Bible tells us about His life and the life that we are destined to live.  Today I can say that I am not ashamed of those words written about me. It's those words that led me to make Him my Savior. It's even brought that decision about to all of those that I have the privilege of introducing Him to.  …

Just Believe

James 1:6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.7 Those who doubt should not think they will receive anything from the Lord... There are many times that I find myself praying and talking to God only to sometime shortly thereafter, act or talk as if what I was believing for was not really possible. How many times do we allow our words to diminish our beliefs and redirect our actions? Are you your worst enemy? The Bible is clear about this...BELIEVE and do not doubt for the person that doubts is double-minded and unstable. Doubt cause us to waver and be unsettled in every area of our lives. The warning goes on to say that the person who has doubt in his heart should not even expect God to answer! So the prayers that you are praying this morning...do you REALLY believe that God is able to bring you through your trial and deliver you from all of that office drama? Is God bigger than your problem? Th…

Unwrap It

This week I was part of a little conference in LA where all kinds of creatives gathered to discuss making and promoting movies. Being an Oklahoma resident stepping into Hollywood sometimes can feel a bit overwhelming, especially when you see so many people doing things that you are in the process of doing. I felt that way when I started The Landing. Why should we place another church in a city like Tulsa where there are churches everywhere and new ones starting weekly? What I learned about the church I am also learning in other areas as the Lord 'validates" the tools he has placed in me. I was with several other folks on this trip and all of us felt validated in a huge way. When you "validate" someone or something you "recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of it." Let me encourage you today...you are smarter than you think you are and God is able to amaze you when you actually step out in faith and trust Him. If you wait for peo…

Remind Me SIRI!

One of the things I love about my Iphone is SIRI. I can tell my phone to remind me about a meeting, a list or a person at any time and it will set a reminder and notify me about it! Why is this important? Because I need to be reminded of some things!
Titus Chapter 3 begins like this:
1Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. It helps me to take a few moments and think about the things that are important to God. They should be important to me as well! Things like obedience and doing good. Things like speaking nicely and not maliciously, never spreading gossip and being peaceable whenever possible. So today, I am taking this little reminder to heart and choosing to start my day by praying for my city leaders, our teachers in the school system, the police and fire departments, city hall, and then I'm praying for the White …

Serving Others

The way to measure success as a fully devoted follower of Christ is much different than the way our culture measures it. We see ads that tell us to make more money, get more stuff and move ourselves to a prominent position and then we will be a success. Jesus said in Mark 10 that if we want to be great we must first learn how to serve others. Service IS success. To be healthy and happy we must learn this.

A man spoke with the Lord about Heaven and Hell. "I will show you Hell," said the Lord. And they went into a room which had a large pot of stew in the middle. The smell was delicious and around the pot sat people who were famished and desperate. All were holding spoons with very long handles which reached to the pot, but because the handles of the spoons were longer than their arms, it was impossible to get the stew into their mouths. Their suffering was terrible.
"Now I will show you Heaven," said the Lord, and they went into an identical room. There was a similar …

God Bless Our Veterans!

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Today we remember all of those brave soldiers that defend the freedom that we enjoy. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness would need be possible if these men and women were not making huge sacrifices for each of us. Mom's and dad's that are away from families and children, men and women that have protected and served for decades. Today, and every day, we say thank you for your gift. You have given to us an opportunity for peace. You have helped make it possible for us to learn and grow. Life and happiness would mean nothing without liberty. Thank you to your loved ones, who let you go to fulfill this calling. Thank you to your spouses and children who waved goodbye but made sure to say "I'll see you soon!". Thank you to those that are praying for you all over the world as you make this sacrifice. Thank you to all of the soldiers that have gone before you, those who showed you the hurts with their blood...those who washed away the pain with their tears. Tho…

Lose a Lot, Have it All

Did you know that what you are willing to walk away from determines what God is able to bring to you? In other words, there are some things that God has in store for us right now but until we walk away from some of our harmful habits and critical friends, the conduit by which the blessings come is  hindered.  Consider Abraham…he left his own country and family in search of a place that God said he would give to him. He took Sarah and Lot with him. Somewhere down the road things got complicated. There was so much in both of their lives that it was time to separate. God said it was time to walk away. So Abraham gave Lot his choice of land and they went in opposite directions. Suddenly Abraham started to be blessed again and again. He learned an important lesson that day…if you want it all you may have to lose a Lot! What are you clinging to that keeps you stuck in neutral? Do you have a Lot in your life? Perhaps its time for YOU to lose a Lot so that you can have it all!

Love to Give

Some people are always greedy for more,  but the godly love to give!
 This little reminder in Proverbs 21:26 can dramatically change the way we live our lives! Generosity begets generosity and a person that gives to others will be given to. That is a lesson that godly folks learn quickly...giving is a way of life not a simple action.  Fact is that when you give with love you will love to give. For many years I was in a gathering mode. I wanted to get more so that ultimately I would have more. What I realized was that I would never be able to accomplish MY selfish agenda. Things do not satisfy desires...Jesus does. As I grew in Christ I understood that God was always interested in me and me having what was necessary to live a godly life. The older I get the more I see that what I need is indeed what I want! So work hard, keep moving forward and when God blesses you, turn around and bless another.  Pass it on. Godly people LOVE to GIVE!

The God Virus

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". In verse 3 we get some insight on how to spread the Good News. Bind the Word on your fingers and write the Word on your heart. We already know that whatever is in your heart is going to come out of your mouth. His words should be imprinted deeply on your heart. When you bind the Word to your fingers you place His impression on everything you touch. Imagine a world where everyone was in sync with their divine plan and all day long we just kept spreading this virus:the God virus! Today, check your heart and your fingers. When you get God all over your …