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Showing posts from October, 2016

Just Get Rid of the Devil

"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Many folks are going to open to the supernatural this week. It's Halloween and spiritual sensitivities are peaked high. In 1 Peter 5, we are told that the enemy prowls around looking for someone who is not strong in faith: able to be devoured. The devil is not interested in helping you succeed. Per…

Are YOU Engaged?

No, this isn’t a question about your relationship status…or is it? The other day I was in a discussion about church growth, engagement and membership. Granted these are not the “cool” parts of church (lights and sound, staging, facilities) but they are foundational things of a living church. Seems these days that we put such a strong emphasis on “attending” church. Did you realize that Jesus never said “attend me”. His call was to “follow me”. We don’t attend the church…we ARE the church! I remember the temptation as a Lead Pastor for 15 years to always want to come up with new ideas; unique and creative strategies to “attract” people to our church. We often asked why the growth was not happening at the same rate as we were creating this amazing attraction. Then the light build moment happened for all of us: perhaps we should stop trying to attract people and start trying to engage them! Fact is, attendance grows out of engagement. When people become engaged, they find a personal way t…

A Little Lift Can Be Such a Gift

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Can you believe that it's less than 2 months till Christmas!! The stores already have their decorations going up! As you prepare for your holiday festivities, we want to make sure that you consider some of the resources we have available for you. Personally, I am a huge e-book fan so I want as many of my books to go with you wherever your mobile devices take you. What could be better than getting a new tablet or phone and then being able to read a book right away? Cup of Joe on the go! One of my favorite holiday selections is “Christmas Cookies- Edible Treats for Your Body and Soul”. Not only are there a dozen great devotionals in this book; there are also a dozen of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes! Feed your soul and enjoy a tasty treat at the same time! Now that’s a holiday! Another personal favorite and one that so many of you have enjoyed is the "Cup of Joe" book as well. In this one you have 150 of my favorite articles: a rich blend of inspiration for your da…

Effective Productivity

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2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV God has given us: 1- Everything we need(to live a godly life)       2-Great promises            3-Precious promises So that by adopting these(assimilating), living with a belief and understanding of them, we might PARTICIPATE in His divine nature and escape the garbage all around us. He’s provided a way for every one of us to experience EFFECTIVE PRODUCTIVITY.
Here’s the EP protocol:
FAITH: it all starts here…assurance….confident hope Goodness-virtue…moral goodness Knowledge-general intelligence: knowing what the Christian life is Self-Control-temperance…balanced Perseverance-endurance, patience, patient waiting Godliness-reverence and respect Brotherly kindness-phileo…love for each other LOVE-it all ends here…agape love
If YOU possess these things in abundance(abound)… If you don’t just have them, they have you They will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive Ineffective-barren, empty, lazy, useless Unproductive-not yielding what you are supposed to yield
We have been given EV…

What Does a Real Successful Leader Look Like? Pt 3

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We have been discovering some of the characteristics of a real successful leader from the story of David and Ziklag in 1 Samuel 30. Today we finish this thought by recapping what we know so far...
a real, successful leader will be vulnerable…authentic…self-motivated and faith driven: all great things to see in those that you follow. 
Here's another one you will find;

#4 Prayerful Real successful leaders are prayerful…their lives are full of prayer. They know how to find strength AND tap into it. Let me say it like this: its one thing to find strength and another thing totally when strength finds you. Prayer is the activator…the connector to the conduit by which the divine intel from God can be downloaded.
Read verses 7-17 of 1 Samuel 30: Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will cer…

What Does a Real Successful Leader Look Like? Pt 2

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Monday we looked at the first characteristic of a real successful leader...vulnerability. Today we continue our search. We are looking at our text in 1 Samuel 30. Let's look at a few more characteristics staring in verse 6...
David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters.

#2 authenticity This one goes hand in hand with #1. Vulnerability…authenticity…even transparency. David was distressed. It showed. We need to remove the cloak of secrecy…those hidden emotions. I know that you are real when I can witness the fact that you experience pain just like I do. Hurt, pain and suffering is no respector of persons. We all live in the same broken, hurting and evil world and strength is not found in emotionless masked behavior. Be vulnerable. Be authentic. That’s real. And there are a couple more...

#3 self-motivated and faith-driven David was riddled with anxiety; distressed by the circumstances that …

What Does a Real Successful Leader Look Like? Pt 1

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We live in a time when true leadership is getting harder and harder to find. People are a bit unruly…or as the Bible calls it, lawless, and when we all go rogue, chaos is most definitely imminent. We need leaders for our companies, our country, and our homes... good leaders, real leaders. So it begs the question…what does a real successful leader look like? Since I believe that the Bible answers every question that life could ask of us, let me turn to it to offer my thoughts regarding this question. It’s a story packed with emotion found in 1 Samuel 30. Let’s read the first 5 verses. 
30 David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way. When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughte…

Hope IN Heaven

the faith and love that spring up from the hope that is stored for you in heaven” Colossians 1:5
As I read these words today, I stopped right after this verse…hope that is stored up for me? In heaven? I never really thought about that. I’ve heard that we have hope OF heaven but never fully understood that I have a hope account that is stored up IN heaven! This is great revelation! My HOPE account IN heaven is managed by God and I can connect to it, withdraw from it and use it at any time. It's an account that is never low and won't ever be depleted. I exchange it for faith to believe in the purposes and plans that God has for me. I exchange it for love…His love…that allows me to treat other people with respect and grace. Because I have hope IN heaven, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So if you feel your faith waning, if you are finding it hard to love others, check the balance in your hope account. God is not diminishing. God’s power is not fading. In fact …

It Won't Be Long

How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? 3Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.
4Therefore 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? Then just hold on, hope on and get ready! It won’t be long!

I Am Blessed!

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Joetry

Many years ago I started a little notebook of thoughts and rhymes that I called "joetry". 
I thought I'd share one with you:) 

"Children"
Watch the children laugh and play, their innocence refreshing;
girls and boys with noisy toys, bundles of Gods blessing.
See them smile, hear them sing, God's joy they are reflecting.
They show His peace, express His love,His praise they are perfecting.
So when that joy turns to rebellion, and when they disobey;
just take a breath and hold your tongue,
cause YOU were once that way!
#joetry#cupofjoe

It's a NEW Day!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come!” There are so many people today, so overwhelmed by things, mortgages, relationships, businesses, etc. that the idea of new can seem a bit unreachable. Say something positive today...say it out loud; "it's a brand new day!"  So many folks have already adopted the idea that mediocrity and “used” is just the way it is and they settle for that as "good enough". Let's not dwell on good enough. Let's look to a God that is MORE than enough! A big market for consumers in this economy is engaged through items that are “refurbished or reconditioned”. The first thing we must realize is that when Christ makes you new, it is not the same as being refurbished (i.e. to restore something to good condition:usable) or reconditioned. You are not simply “repaired”. When Jesus comes to live in and through us, when we ask Him to be our Lord, we are “born again”. Spiritually spea…

Starting Over

"But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over."  The potter was not happy with the way things were shaping up so he crushed the clay and started over. We are the clay. When we allow ourselves to be made by the One that made us, we can begin again. Just because you are down and out doesn't mean that you are completely out. You may feel "crushed" right now, but its not over. The marines say that "pain is weakness leaving the body". I have to say, I never knew that much weakness was in me because I've experienced some pain! Let's embrace God's strength and press through the challenge.We will become the beautiful vessel that He intended when we trust God in the process. And remember this... once the clay was fashioned into the right shape, it was then put into the fire. Fire purifies and stabilizes the clay so that it can stay together and not crack. It's not done …

3 Steps to Happiness

Happiness...ahh, everyone is in search of it. It was Abe Lincoln that said, "most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Fact is, true happiness depends on you. I want to give you three quick ways to get back on the happy train and start living in the joy that God intended you to have.

First, Act like what you desire to see happen is happening. When you were a child you probably used to play make-believe when you were alone or when you wanted to put yourself in another place. You became the person that you wanted to be. Some of you may actually be doing the things you acted out as a child. Before I became the founding pastor of The Landing, I prepared teachings and studied out ideas that I thought could help people. I committed to use my skill set for any size group of folks that God placed in my path. I acted as if I was already the preacher of a church that had not yet been founded! Another form of this comes in visualizing the end result that you ex…

I Don't Know Where I Am Going!

Welcome OCTOBER!!! Can you believe that we are officially in the fall season...you call it autumn if your from Ohio:) I have been reflecting back to a year ago and what was going on in my life. On this day last year, I left the town where I had lived for 25 years,(half of my life) to head for a new adventure...whatever God wanted ...a bit nervous but really excited! Kind of like this scripture in Hebrews 11:8...
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. After all of the sad goodbyes and tears, I drove to South Carolina to see my sister and parents. What I found was the historic flood of 2015...one like they had not seen in years! After the waters subsided and the visits ended I headed south to Ft Lauderdale. About I month later I had landed in the place God had been setting up for me...(or maybe I was finally ready); the place with a grand God-sized vision...in Dallas Texas! …