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Showing posts from January, 2017

Living Life Upside Down

The other day I broke out some of my old Cd's (remember those?) and listened to a CD from a group named "TRUTH" that contained the following lyric:

"What if we've fallen to the bottom of the well, thinking we've risen to the top of the mountain.
What if we're knocking at the gates of hell, thinking we're heaven bound.
What if we spend our lives thinking of ourselves when we should have been thinking of each other.
What if we reach up and touch the ground to find we're living life upside down."

It made me think about life here in 2017 and our culture and beliefs. We save the earth and kill unborn children. We lose those we love to "find" ourselves. It seems that what used to be wrong is now right. Are we living life upside down? Can we ever discern the difference between what is good for us and what is harmful? How is that even possible? The answer is the Word of God. It's our blueprint for life, living and active. It helps us to b…

One Good Shot at a Time

My Sunday afternoons sometimes can be filled with some relaxation while watching the best golfers in the world. These guys play on some of the most beautiful places in the country and having this on television just brings peace to the home!  Most of these courses they play have one thing in common: you better stay in the fairway. Going off to the right you will find some rough conditions. And should you go off to the left you may find a trap filled with sand. From this vantage point I see similarities in life too. To be successful in this life its always best to stay in the fairway. Unfortunately we make some bad choices and slice off to the right to find ourselves in rough situations and seasons. Some of us may make hook ourselves off to the left and find that we are in the trap, buried by some difficult circumstances. For the seasoned golfer, getting out of the rough or out of the trap just takes one good shot. For the believer, the fully devoted follower of Christ, getting out of …

Things to Remember...

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Not every battle you are faced with is yours to fight. 
Pick them wisely.
I'm finding that 
I show up to fewer 
and fewer arguments 
every day:)

Answer Me

Psalm 4:1Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 

Maybe you have noticed like I have just how many calls don't get answered today. Wireless carriers are boasting about having the best and fastest networks, and people let many of their callers go directly to voice mail. And if you have any trouble with a product that you recently purchased, pray before you call that you will somehow miraculously arrive at the one person in the company in customer service that can actually solve your problem! David often cried out to the Lord. Like all of us, his life was filled with ups and downs. He needed help. He called the right person at the right time and always got an answer! If you need relief from trying circumstances and difficult times, call upon the Lord today. His mercy is everlasting. His grace is more than sufficient. With the Lord there are no dropped calls and only YOU can disconnect. He will hear, he will an…

Prevailing Purpose

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Pro 19:21 Have you ever wondered if there were more than one “perfect path” for you to travel? You grow up deciding what you want to do, who you want to be with and where you will live and work. What if I make a mistake and choose the wrong path? Jennifer Aniston was being courted to join SNL before she turned it down to be on a new show called Friends. Sandra Bullock was the star of the movie Blind Side but that role was originally offered to Julia Roberts. Will Smith could have been Neo in The Matrix but after some convincing from his wife chose Men in Black instead. In each example there were two different ways to go but it would appear that either of them could lead to success. Call it prevailing purpose. Perhaps many times we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be right all the time. We may even be afraid to make a mistake and choose the wrong way feeling we may never recover. Oftentimes the …

I Thank My God

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:4-6 Yes, it’s been one of those weeks. The kind where you are kind of busy and then there’s a gap…a vacant hole where your mind wanders and wonders about where you are and what you are doing. You start thinking about people: the people that have crossed your path and shared their stories with you. It may have only been for a short time but they left a mark and the memory is seared into your soul. I think that’s what Paul was experiencing in this verse. Thanking God for the times, the seasons and the people that come in and out of our lives. A partnership in the things of God-working together to make this planet and all that is part of it a better place.
As this day marks the beginning of …

When People Leave

Today on this midweek cup, I wanted to go back into the archives and pull out a little "joetry". If you have ever had someone close, a friend or loved one leave your life for any reason, you already know how difficult it is. I spent a long season as pastor of a church and I watched many people walk in and out of my life over the years. I sat down one afternoon and wrote a few thoughts about those emotions. Though people go on to other ministry opportunities and adventures, I may miss them but I certain that after all is said and done, many of them I will see them again.  Hope you enjoy some "joetry"!
When People Leave
It’s hard when people walk away And leave your life in haste I never have the words to say Was the time we shared a waste? I take it personal at times My heart feels broke in pieces I sit alone, sometimes I cry As I eat my bag of Reese’s Maybe God has got a plan as people come and go Just do your part and share your life It’s not always about you, you know? The tim…

Do What You're Told

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I would imagine that at some point in your life, you have heard this little phrase, "just do what you're told." Maybe you heard them from a parent, a teacher, or a boss. What you may not have realized was that it was biblical. It's part of a simple reminder to respect authority, pay attention and be obedient which is found in Colossians 3:22-25 MSG: Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work. Earthly masters are those that the Lord has placed over you throughout your life. Not people that Lord their power over you but rather the people that have been made responsible for you and y…

Thank you!

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If you donated to Cup of Joe, Inc. in 2016, be looking for an email this weekend of your gift for your charitable giving records. We are looking forward to providing resources to churches, organizations and missions in 2017 in a greater way than we ever have and we thank you for your prayers and support. To God be the glory!  Thank you in advance for helping us encourage others all over the world!

There is Always a Light

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The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 It's been quite a week around here and in the midst of all of the activity, this scripture rings out loud and clear. Life throws a lot of things at us. It can change in a moment. But in the middle of the darkness there is always a light. When God is with you there is nothing; no thing that can come up against you that you cannot overcome. Fear will give way to faith and when faith rises up life is good. Today I pray that the Lord becomes your stronghold and that He brings faith alive in you. Be strong and very courageous and the light of the Lord will keep you safe! Keep a strong hold on Him!  One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27: 4 NIV)

That's Just So SAD

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at a certain time of the year, usually in the winter. Symptoms can occur in the late autumn and winter months and then go into remission in the spring and summer. Not surprisingly, people who live in places with long winter nights are at greater risk of SAD. In fact 5 percent of the U.S. population experiences SAD. And rates of SAD are even higher in northern states where there’s less daylight in the winter.  That's just so SAD. In reality, the weather is just a small part of what can lead people to isolate and insulate themselves from others. Tough work conditions, financial struggles, and lots of critical and negative people can also make you sad. There is a way to help turn that frown upside down! Get outdoors and take a walk in the sun. Get up early and spend time with the Son. (Jesus) Light is one of the key treatments for depression and anxiety. Maybe that is why Jesus wanted us to be the light of the world?…

No Visibility

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I remember one day waking up to a dense layer of fog. Visibility was near zero. You couldn't see very far at all. I thought about times in my life when I was severely discouraged; a divorce, resigning from a job that I had held for 20 years, even a time when I moved from one state to another. It was as if a heavy layer of fog was over my life and I was unable to see anything but the pain that was surrounding me. When you are in a place like that there seems to be nothing that you can do on your own to get out of it. There are no words said that will comfort you and no activities to be involved with that can motivate you. You just can't see anything good at all. No visibility. All of this crossed my mind as I stared out the window. Suddenly, a small glow of light surfaced on the horizon. It was faint and seemed very distant but I could not stop watching it. In just a matter of minutes it rose higher and shone brighter. In less than an hour it was bright orange. And all of the …

This is the Essence of All

Matthew 7:12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Now that's some good counsel right there! Imagine a world where we all operated under this principle. Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you! You can't just stop reading after those first four words and be ok!! "Do to others whatever..."  Can you picture an office space where people treat each other like they want to be treated? How about a church where the people actually honor each other and are praying for the success of their brothers and sisters in the Lord? It may seem a bit up unreachable but if we approached our time with others intentionally behaving like we want them to behave around us, things would be different. It begins with one conversation, one meeting, one day. You want people to be kind to you, be kind. You want people to support you, support them. This IS the essence of all!

Living Hope

Praise to God for a Living Hope 1 Peter 1:3-9 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith…

Anticipation

Well we are into the middle of this first week of 2017 and I've got to tell you, I’ve not felt a year yet when there was such “anticipation” in my spirit. So much so that I decided to look closer at the meaning of the word and here is what I discovered: Anticipation: the action of anticipating something; expectation or prediction. You may remember the song that played along with a popular ketchup bottle that was being poured out while the singer sang that word…anticipation; it’s making me wait! Expectation is a huge part of this emotion. So I am asking myself, what am I expecting? Why this anticipation? It seems that this year I have an overwhelming sense that God is about to do something supernatural and incredible in me, through me and for me. I smile as I type out those words. It’s strong and it’s consistent. And I like the feeling. I am expecting to be “surprised” by His divine blessings-His intervention at any moment! In fact, in many of the birthday wishes and blessings I rece…

Are YOU Ready to Go All In?

Last night I began my New Year in a worship service as part of the First Conference at our church.  Our mandate is to offer the first of the year to the Lord and prepare for all that He desires in the coming months. Franklin Graham was our guest speaker for the evening. You may remember him and his mission this past year; to pray on the steps of each states Capital Building. God used him in such a mighty way to ignite people with a passion to truly pray for our nation. It all started with repentance. What may have seemed like an outlandish goal was "no biggie" for the Lord! And our nation, you and I, are better for it. He took a few moments to provide a simple bible study for all in attendance and I wanted to share it with you. He called it C-E-O. Count the Cost Jesus told those that were going to follow Him that if they were going to get in on this, they needed to get all in. He must come first. Following Jesus is a commitment. You may not be liked. It won't be the most…