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Showing posts from January, 2018

Shout Praise

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Romans 5:3-5 There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.

I like to imagine each and every day that what I am living in the midst of is not all there is. There has to be more to come. I like to dream BIG, to look beyond the horizon and to expect the absolute best in every situation. For me all things have to come together for good. Isn't that Biblical? In order to live life with that kind of expectancy, there is something that I must do every day. I must shout praise even when I am hemmed in with troubles. I must strive to keep my spirits up even when the circumstances are moving down. How is that possible? In order for you and I to live the life that the Lord imagined for us, we need to understand that trouble can be positive. Trouble can lead…

Choose Forgiveness

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Most of us would say that we would never knowingly tether ourselves to anything that could kill us or diminish our quality of life. Yet when we do not forgive those that have wronged us, this is in fact what we do. We build a connection to a conduit filled with poison that contaminates and annihilates anything its attached to. In Matthew 6 we are reminded this in the words, "But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins." If you ever need forgiveness, you are going to have to have some forgiveness in your tank. Forgiving another does not take away their responsibility for the actions that hurt you. It has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you! When you extend forgiveness you sever the connection to the poison thoughts, actions and words that often go with an unforgiving spirit. So the only thing you must decide today is whether you want the best quality of life you could have or that you would rather be attached to something that …

The Comparison Trap

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Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Galatians 6:4-5 It's easy at times to compare yourself to someone else. Often we look at what we are doing and how well we do it by holding our efforts up against another person's achievements. People today seem to feel like they don't match up many times because they see themselves as they relate to things that are not real. By comparing ourselves we fall short. We think we aren't pretty enough, tall enough, rich enough, smart enough and so on. Teddy Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Scripture encourages us to pay careful attention to our own work...to mind our own business. You can only be completely satisfied when you know that you have done your best for the Lord and not for anyone else. WE are accountable for what WE do and what WE say. So do…

Let Your Conversation be Attractive

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The other morning as I read these words: "let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone." Colossians 4:6 NLT Can you imagine having the right response at the right time for every person that you meet? It seems somewhat unattainable to me at times. Still, I see that by letting my talk be gracious and attractive, I become equipped and empowered to respond properly. In my job we are trying to change some processes and the structure for the way we communicate with each other and the people of our church. Our staff is large so at times you can be in a room with many opinions, not all of them beneficial. Sometimes people may even attack other people with words that are just not attractive at all. If you want to have the right response for everyone, let your conversation be gracious and attractive. Attractive conversation draws people to you. It creates an environment for growth, hope and encouragement. And that is what ever…

Reveal Who You Are

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Father, Reveal who you are. Set the world right. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.”
I love the Message version of these verses in Luke 11.It’s my hearts desire that the Lord would truly reveal Himself. Each day I pray that He could intervene and set things right in this world, bringing all of us back on to His path. I ask Him to provide for all MY needs according to His riches. I hope that He will allow forgiveness to be given and received within all of my relationships. And lastly, I ask Him to protect me from myself and those forces and people that desire to harm me in any way. We call this the Lords Prayer but every morning, this is MY prayer. And I’m grateful He gave me this outline so that I could follow it and allow the power of these words to shape my life.

How do you start your day? Could you use a new revelation of Christ in your life? How about some of the blessing of His provisi…

Pure Heart

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The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 1 Timothy 1:5 I love it when a plan comes together. There is nothing more exhilarating than everything falling into place. The Bible tells me that Jesus has a plan for me. He wants me to succeed and to find hope for an amazing future. He knew that the HOPE I needed was connected to Him. Fortunately, life's storms and hard times seemed to carry my ship in His direction and every time I cried for help, I cried for Jesus. Out of a pure heart, I reached out for Him. Jesus is and has always been the answer. In communities of faith all over the world many things are taught. So many of them seem to divide people, upset them and even cause them to walk away from faith. In today's Word we can clearly see that His plan for teaching is that people would leave satisfied and filled with love. He desires the kind of love that shows up in a way th…

In the Wilderness

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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 loveless deeds. Then I noticed that he had been "filled" before he would be drilled. It's easy to relate to this as most of my hardest challenges come right after my greatest victories. 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 yourself being led into a wilderness area, know that God is getting ready to strengthen you so that you will be able to rise higher and do more!

I Have a Dream

"All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality."
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King is remembered today for so many things and the common thread seems to be the idea of all types of people coming together. Why? Because we are all connected. We live in a time where people look out for themselves and decide that if they can take care of #1, nothing else really matters. That could not be farther from the truth. Perhaps my future is connected to yours. My hopes to yours. My dream may not be realized until you see you have one too. The Creator made us all to function together. Our faith and beliefs…

Celebrate Life!

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Too often we get caught up in trying to make our life be what we see in someone else. When you try to compare yourself or your life to another person, it only leads to frustration. You are not in a competition; you are part of a community. And you are unique. You are divinely skilled to do things that your Creator desired you to do. Can I just say, He has a plan for you to live a pretty amazing life! Are you setting yourself up for disappointment by trying to be someone else? Just be you. Let go of what you think your life should look like and celebrate it for everything that it is! 

Expectation

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ACTS 3:1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
 Peter and John were going to church to pray. Everyday there was a certain man right by the gate who begged for money. He had been crippled from birth and was placed in the same spot at the same time every day. On this particular day as Peter and John walked by, the man asked them for money. The bible says that Peter looked right at him and said, "look at us". They were attempting to get this man to FOCUS on something other than his condition. So the man gave them his attention. It say…

3 Ways to Achieve Your Goals

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Well we have finished the first week of the new year! Congratulations! It's always a good time to take a look at your goal list and determine if you were in your right mind when you created it at the end of last year! I'm not talking about your new year resolutions...you've probably already abandoned many of those:)
Oftentimes, our goals fall by the wayside too because we make some mistakes when we put our goal list together. I want to share three things that work for me each and every year and I hope they may help you to not only make the right goals, but achieve them as well.
1- write them down
When we right them down we create a way for us to periodically review them. Writing them down in a journal or notebook creates a way to help hold YOU accountable. You can track your progress bi-weekly or monthly too.
2- be specific and add the details
This year one of my goals was to begin a Gratitude Journal. If I stopped there, it's pretty wide open and way too vague. I cou…

Do You Need a DELETE Button?

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Could you use your own personal DELETE button? I think that too often our minds become inundated with negative ideas and images that fight against the character and personality that we were designed to live. We are born with incredible minds that are filled with imagination. When imagination is used creatively it can unleash beautiful things. However, when our imagination runs wild, watch out! That's when we usually find ourselves in hot water! Whenever images in your mind start showing up that take you into a downward spiral, you and I cannot afford to let them develop. In our spiritual "dark room" as we see them beginning to develop the one thing that you would do to destroy the development of a picture in the dark room: turn on the light! Light will always make darkness go away. I have an exercise that I do when something pops into my head that I know should not be there. It's my personal DELETE feature. I picture of a bright red DELETE button and I see myself pushi…

Life Savers?

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Life Savers? I don’t think so! Every year, for many, many years, my mom and dad have always given me a collector box of Life Savers. This year was no exception. Along with the usual “nice” gifts, comes this little square, wrapped package that you simply look at a know…yep, thats them! This year I made a personal appeal to move away from the traditional Collectors Edition Life Savers to something that I would actually eat: Dentyne Ice Peppermint Gum. I knew that it would mean doing away with an age old tradition but I just felt like this was the year to make my pitch. I’m not sure whether it landed or not so I decided to take last years unwrapped Life Savers back to this years celebration and hide them in the tree for mom to find when they put the tree away for the year. In the meantime, I boarded my flight home only to be stopped by the TSA and have my carryon sequestered for a private “cavity search”. If that bag was a person it would have felt violated! As the agent unzipped the ba…

I Have a Keyword for 2018

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Today we launch into another brand new chapter of the most incredible story that we could tell…our own. Oftentimes, the first week of January is peppered with resolutions to change something or someone in our lives. We look at all of our shortcomings and make a decision to flip the switch on them so that we can become better. What if we stopped looking at where we failed and making changes there, and started looking at all of the amazing things that have happened or are continuing to happen to us instead? What if we focused on making the good better?  My opinion is that we all spend way too much time looking at what is wrong in our lives rather than appreciating what is right. When you focus on your strengths, your weaknesses will natural get better because YOU are getting better. You have been afforded a gift…another year on the planet to be the person that you were designed to be. You don’t have to try and become someone more appealing, more thin or more beautiful. You just need to b…