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Showing posts from July, 2017

Never Give Up!

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Did you know that Sir Winston Churchill took three years to finish the 8th grade because he had trouble learning English? Ironically years later he was invited to speak at the commencement exercises at Oxford University! As he arrived in front of the very appreciative applause of his admirers he walked to the podium; cigar, cane and top hat in tow. He removed the cigar from his mouth, set down his top hat and looked right into the eyes of the audience and said, "never give up!"After several seconds of silence he shouted once again, "never give up!" A profound silence gripped the crowd as he grabbed his hat and cigar and descended from the platform. His speech was over. That six-word exhortation was undoubtedly not the most eloquent speech given at that distinguished university. But I am certain that every person in the audience on that day remembered this one big message for the rest of their lives. Discouragement has stopped many people from achieving their dream…

Throw Something Back

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"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back." Maya Angelou
What a great thought! When we spend all of your time catching everything we become fat and lethargic. We were created to move, to flow in the stream of life and to reciprocate acts of kindness. It's the Golden Rule: "do unto others as you want them to do unto you". We are conduits of blessing and when we "don't throw back" everything gets plugged up. 
So take this counsel to heart. Don't walk around with two catchers mitts on. You weren't created to catch it all! Someone is depending upon you to throw something back.

Filled With the Spirit

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Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,being tempted for forty days by the devil. (Luke 4:1, 2 NKJV) It always seemed strange to me that the Holy Spirit would lead Jesus to a miserable place in the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. For forty days he was bombarded with selfish thoughts, evil ideas and even hunger pains. Then I noticed something very important; he had been filled before he would be drilled. Filled with the power of the Spirit. There was power in Him that went with Him into the wilderness.  I am able to relate to this as most of my hardest challenges come right after my greatest victories.  Many times I am just beginning to rejoice in the win when a new challenge arrives. Perhaps that is your story too. There is nothing that you and I will ever be subject to that God won't give strength to endure or a way to escape. You can face anything with faith and win! So today, if you find yours…

Sing a Song

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Isaiah 54 contains an awesome word of encouragement for people that are ready for change. If you have ever experienced a season of spiritual dryness or non-productivity, you will love it. How do you shake the drought? You SING! Right there in the pit of discouragement and with your lacking, non-productive life…SING! And what is the initial reaction to that type of counsel? People say, "what have I got to sing about?" Seems we need a reason – need to see some progress – an increase in our check at work – straight A’s on our children’s progress report – then we’ll sing! Give me a winning lottery ticket and just watch me burst into song!  But Isaiah also provides us with a reason. To put it plain and simple he says you may never have experienced “labor pains” but you’re ending up with far more children than all of those childbearing women! In other words, YOUR blessing is on the way! That good news is this... it’s coming! It’s just around the corner! Just a little further! So …

Confidence Collector

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"So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!" Hebrews 10:35
I am becoming less and less of a hoarder. Well, at least I am trying. I used to keep just about everything I had gathered because I firmly believed that I would need it some day in the future. And there is nothing more frustrating than needing something that you had but got rid of! I would take boxes upon boxes from one place to the next and never even open them! In fact, I still have items in storage from a move two years ago that have been there so long, I can't even remember what's in them! Like I said, I am trying to become less of a hoarder:) One thing that I won't toss out is confidence: the confident trust that I have in what the Lord can and will do in my life. I guess you could say I am a confidence collector. God is interested in everything that happens to us and He truly wants some amazing things to happen through us. We must not only believe t…

That's Groundbreaking

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Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break upyour unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12
Sow for you! Imagine that...the idea of planting something for YOUR life! YOU will reap fruit…however you may have to do some groundbreaking things! If you want something you have never had you are going to have to do something you have never done. Break up the ground that is unplowed. It’s the first thing we do before we build…groundbreaking. We are seeking something so we prepare the ground to accommodate what we are seeking. The instruction is to break up the ground and get it ready for what is coming. That's groundbreaking. God is getting ready to bless you and you want that blessing to find a fertile spot to land in. Some may ask how long do we seek the Lord? Hosea said it best…until He comes and showers righteousness on you. Seek Him until you find HIM. Until ALL these things are ad…

A Good Name

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There is a proverb that states "a good name is better than desirable riches." Your words are important. Your actions even more so. And your name, well that is beneficial in many ways but a good name, a solid reputation has to be earned. Proverbs 3:1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you.  Store my commands in your heart. 2 If you do this, you will live many years,  and your life will be satisfying. 3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!  Tie them around your neck as a reminder.  Write them deep within your heart. 4 Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. You don't earn the kind of rep we are talking about today through acquisition of things. It's not even tied to your lineage or where you stack up in society. Earning a good reputation comes from storing up the things that God says and using them in daily living. You have to read or listen to the Bible to keep a surplus of those commands. Faith comes when …

R..E..L..A..X

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Sometimes you need to stop, take a deep breath, and simply relax.
Personally, I always have a hard time shutting down and taking time off. I seem to get in a groove and stay there. Perhaps its because I feel like I may miss something when I do:) And you know what? I will miss something but that isn't more important than getting some rest. 
Getting away and taking some time to pamper yourself provides so many wonderful benefits. When done properly, you can be refreshed. Physically, emotionally and spiritually refreshed. Who doesn't need that? You can be renewed. When you finally climb out of the rut of the daily grind, you set yourself up to be filled with new ideas, new thoughts and new patterns. Even a staycation is a great time to start a new hobby. For me one of the most incredible benefits is the change of perspective that rest brings. Being so close to the work and the challenges tends to cloud your vision when seeing a bigger picture. It's the difference in being on…

You'll Know it When You See It

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In Genesis 22 the Lord asked something "huge" of Abraham...to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Here is what the Bible says in verse 2...Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." He told him what to do but not exactly where to do it. He said to go to the mountainous region of Moriah and that he would recognize the place when he got there. As I think about future things and the vision of my life and the church I pastor, I remember the moments that I have felt like I was being asked to let go of something precious to me. Maybe you have been through that as well; the end of a business...a relationship...or a job path. Often we find ourselves in this dilemma between obedience and our own agenda and the hardest thing to do is to kill our agenda and let the obedient life live. Maybe this is what Abraham felt like being in a …

Sow Seeds of Peace

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Wisdom is imperative each and every day. We need to know how to properly apply wisdom in every decision we make. The Bible gives us a great description of what godly wisdom looks like. Lets take a look in the book of James... James 3:17-18 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.  Pure, peace-loving, gentle and willing to yield to others puts us in the proper position to be blessed by the Lord. Our lives should be full of mercy and good deeds. Start your day today with a plan to use godly wisdom. Sowseeds of peace and get ready for your harvest of righteousness!

Stop the Excuse and Put it To Use

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"Then the LORD said to Moses,  "See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,  and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts- to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you: the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent- the table and its articles, the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand- and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, and the anointing oil and…

Keep Lifting

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Hallelujah!You who serve God, praise God! Just to speak his name is praise! Just to remember God is a blessing—now and tomorrow and always. From east to west, from dawn to dusk, keep lifting all your praises to God! Psalm 113:1-3 There is nothing more powerful than the name of Jesus. How awesome just to speak his name in praise! God is a blessing to everyone of us: now, tomorrow and always. And His desire is to continue bringing you through all that you're going through! In the midst of hardship we need to remember to praise Him. Sometimes the "lifting" of praise is heavy and hard to do. Just remember that you are getting stronger every time you lift it up.  Breakthrough is coming...the storms are passing...keep lifting all your praises to God!

Independence Day

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Thankful today for the freedom that we enjoy and the men and women that have given so much to fight for it and preserve it. We are a land of the free because of the brave! Take a moment over this holiday to acknowledge the guidance and power of the Lord and thank Him for orchestrating our steps AND our stops. God bless the United States of America! Have a safe 4th:)