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Showing posts from March, 2016

Build Yourselves Up

JUDE 20-21But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life! 22-23Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.

Jude is a little book with a lot to say about living life. Life has a way of bearing down hard on all of us at times. It can take your breath away and leave you completely exhausted. Sin can find its way in and "stink" up our lives. But we overcome...we can build ourselves up.
You build yourself up in the most holy faith by praying in the Spirit. You stay in the sweet spot of God's success and love by keeping those arms outstretched and open wide. God will send the mercy, the strength and the refreshing. Faith …

It's Not What You Gather...

Matt 13:19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. We have to strive for understanding so that the enemy cannot snatch it. 
You are a seed. Your words are seeds. Your thoughts, seeds. And YOU are responsible for learning how to plant yourself and your gifts and resources into what God is doing. God has planted His Word into your life. He wants all of us to strive for understanding so that the things he has planted in us cannot be snatched away. Unfortunately many times when we do not understand something, we simply leave that thought and go on to something that we do understand. God wants us to know His plan for OUR lives.  The fourth verse talks about the birds snatching the seed. Birds aren’t the only things that snatch seed. The wrong people in your life can eat the seed. Being in the wrong places too. Careers have eaten many seeds. Negative tho…

Prayer for Easter

There was a moment on earth when everything good appeared to be gone and evil had won the day. A moment when darkness was in control and hope had left town. Jesus was no longer able to heal or to save. I think we all have such moments today. Moments when we spiritually blackout and wonder if God even hears the words that we are praying.

But it wasn't long until something changed. The darkness began to lift. Obstacles were rolled away. Suddenly the hope that was suspected to be lost, like a morning sunrise appeared over the horizon and Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. Death could never win. Hell no longer has a chance. It's called resurrection and in order for there to be a resurrection there has to be a death. When Jesus died so did our sin, our limitations and our hopelessness. And because He rose, buildings will be filled up all over the world this weekend giving glory to the only One to defeat death and bring eternal life. 
My prayer is that today will be about a &quo…

Making Good Friday Great

Imagine your life being completely turned upside down in one week. Going from sounds of laughter and singing to the chilling sounds of iron breaking bone. Jesus went on a physical and emotional roller-coaster during his final week on earth. And through it all He stayed on point and completed the mission for why He was sent...to be a living sacrifice that would save mankind for all eternity. Skies turning black, the earth trembling and the Messiah breathing His last breath on the cross is probably not what anyone would describe as a good Friday. But for those that choose to follow Jesus and the teachings of His Word, these things fulfilled prophecy and made a way for us to be saved and healed. That makes it a goodGREAT Friday! This weekend is one of the most attended weekends for churches all over America. People come to church that don't come at al the rest of the year. Our prayer is that what they will see and feel will be so full of Jesus that they will allow Him to be their Lo…

You Won't Believe It!

How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted. Habakkuk 1:2-4
Ever felt like this? Like all of your prayers are bouncing off the walls and God can’t hear them? Discouraged by the fact that so many wrongs seem to be tolerated and justice seems distant? I think we all have. Seasons come and go and though we face times when “darkness” would seem to prevail, it wont be long until JOY returns! It did not take long for the Lord to answer and He said,
For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.

Are you ready to see and experience something unbelievable? Things that you wouldn't even believe though they were told to …

Don't Go to Church

A Special Cup of Gratefulness

As I cross over the midway point of the 3rd month of this year I wanted to take this day and use my blog to publicly thank the Lord for every single thing that has transpired in the last year of my life. For most of my time working in ministry, I thought that I truly knew what it meant to sacrifice for the Lord and walk by faith through each day. When the Lord began to talk to me about changing seasons while I was leading a church and living in the same city as my children, I honestly didn't know the right questions to ask nor how to process all that was going on. I never did say, Holy Spirit, what are YOU saying in this? But I did remember a night I stood on a stage at Texas Stadium in front of over 71000 people before a Carman concert and hearing the Lord saying that I had completed what I was sent to do for Carman and his ministry. Because I had just relocated my family to Nashville and was so comfortable with my quality of life, it took me 5 years to actually let it go. When …

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

2 Corinthians 1:10-11 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.  There is no doubt that evil is present in our world and bad things happen all the time. In this chapter Paul talks about some of the troubles he had while trying to share his faith and persuade people to follow Christ. Many times, circumstances and situations beyond his control occurred. But every time, God was in control and deliverance was the outcome. Deliverance simply means to be set free. I like this scripture because it assures us that this help in my difficulties is not simply a one time thing. I can attest to that in my life too. I have seen and felt God's rescue in the past. I am experiencing that help right now in the present. And because of this pattern of behavior, I …

The first thing to do today is...

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.  1 Timothy 2:1 MSG
Read this verse again, slowly. Imagine that description of the life that the Lord desires for you and for me...quiet, simple and contemplative. Picture yourself with no anxiety or stress and a genuine concern for your neighbors and friends. Is any of this even possible? Of course it is! We were designed to enjoy our lives and to experience fulfillment in everything we do. We were made to interact with each other and to bring about God's purposes on the planet. So what do we need to do to get things moving forward in the right direction? Pray! Praying every way that you know how to pray. Pray for everyone you know. Say a special prayer for all of those folks that are drafting up la…

Curing the Disease of Discouragement

Pulling COURAGE out of disCOURAGEment…let’s counter the four causes with four remedies that can help us be strong and courageous.
Rest: combat fatigue with rest…something that calms you. The most spiritual thing you can do when you’re tired is rest. Jesus said, come to me if you are weary and I will give you rest. Rest is not always an end to activity but often an exchange of activities. Exchange the things that weary you with some things that will refresh you.
Reorganize: combat the frustration of being overwhelmed by putting things in order…first things first…one thing at a time. Discouragement doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing the wrong thing…maybe you are doing the right thing the wrong way. Try another approach…shake things up a bit. Start little, one space at a time, one pile on the desk…but keep going!
Remember: you take the punch out of fear by remembering God and how he has shown up for others in the past and you too. When you remember him, he covers you with His love…perf…

A Disease called Discouragement

Discouragement infects everyone. The disease of discouragement shows up in many ways in our lives. Sometimes it manifests as depression. The question is how can we pull courage out of discouragement? Today, let's suggest some ways discouragement gets access to our lives.
Fatigue: when you are tired and drained emotionally, you are a sure target for the infection known as discouragement. During fatigue your immune system is weakened, your defenses are low and things always look a lot worse than they are. You see this when you get half way through a major project and lose steam. When you feel fatigue, you’ll lose the intrigue.
Frustration: there is no worse thing than seeing tasks pile up and having that overwhelmed feeling. It’s natural to feel this way. When trivial things show up and interrupt you and prevent you from accomplishing what you really need to do, your frustration can easily produce discouragement. When there’s frustration, there’s no elation.
  Fear: think about this one…

Is it YOUR time to Change? What's God saying?

Friday's Cup of Joe post was the most visited and shared post we have ever had. It's not hard to figure out why. People change. Situations change. Jobs change. And any time that there is change there is a great deal of discomfort. If we can laugh a little in the middle of the transitions we are going through, it doesn't make them easier, just a little more bearable. Cup of Joe has always been about encouragement. (Eph 4:12) So thanks for sipping on that one and sharing it. We'll keep it in the featured section so you can still get to it and continue to pass it on.
Today we will stay in the same arena and topic. Many months ago I was in a discussion with someone who was trying to determine how to move into the next season of their career. It was time for them to make a transition and they were like most folks...the hardest part of this type of change is the leaving and the letting go. Here’s a short excerpt from my story when I left the Christian music biz to transitio…

If You are Going Through a Change...

TRANSITIONS are so difficult. Change can hurt and change CAN help! Transitions are nothing new and they happen ALL the time. Often they are out of your control. Here's a little excerpt from my book, TRANSITIONS: Grace to Navigate the Storms of Change, for all of us that are in the midst of some type of change. (don't miss the last part: I placed it in BOLD to help you!)