The Gospel According to the Wizard of Oz

"A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others." Wizard of OZ Many years ago, I preached a series called The Gospel According to the Wizard of Oz. It was one of my most favorite and enjoyable messages. I am always amazed at how the Lord chooses to speak to me through art, music and the movies. I get ideas from so many of the things I see and hear. There are many quotes from this movie that spoke to me in a personal way. Can you learn something about God from the Wizard of Oz? Absolutely! Each character in this movie was in search of something...something that they possessed all along. It just hit you didn't it? Glinda tells Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, where the Wizard of Oz might be able to help her get back home. On her way, Dorothy meets and befriends the Scarecrow, who wants a brain, the Tin Woodman, who desires a heart, and the Cowardly Lion, who is in need of courage. And Dorothy, well you've al…

Choose Forgiveness!

Most of us would say that we would never knowingly tether ourselves to anything that can 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 may a connection to a conduit filled with poison that can contaminate and annihilate 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 action. It has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you! When you choose to forgive, you in no way change the past but you certainly do change your future. 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 qual…

Break Camp and Move On

“When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on. Deut. 1:6-7
Sometimes we get stuck. Like the TinMan in the Wizard of Oz, life rains upon us and before long we can become rusted immobile.Those that were following Moses out of Egypt to the land that God promised them also saw moments of idleness and seasons that were unproductive. Maybe that happens when you take forty years to go a journey that should have taken 2 weeks!   Moses often had to remind the people what God had said. What he told them, let me tell you today. You have been in the rut long enough. It's time to stop circling the mountain, break camp and move on. It's time your get up and go, got up and went! This is the day that everything begins to change. It's time for the blessings to fall upon your life and those that you love. It's time for your finances to increase and your giving to double. It's time for your …

Fire that Cannot be Tamed

Every God-begotten person conquers the world's ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. The person who wins out over the world's ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:4-5 MSG There’s a strong force that comes against people that stand up for Christ and try to live the life of a fully devoted follower. Righteousness will exalt a nation and we have an enemy that does not want this nation, or us to become better and stronger. Sometimes our challenges are so trying and long-lasting that we even start to think that we won't ever get the upper hand. Daily struggles and circumstances that overwhelm us attempt to keep our faith pushed down and inactive. Let me remind you that you are not just a conqueror; you are more than a conqueror in Christ! Your conquering power is FAITH. Stepping out in faith means to trust that God will take care of you and bring you through anything that comes against you. You can and will w…

As They Went...

There is a story in Luke 17 about ten people with leprosy. This illness prohibited them from human contact and personal interaction. They lived in a village with people like themselves and had no contact with anyone outside of the colony. One day Jesus passed by on his way to Jerusalem. As he passed by they lifted up their voices and asked for pity. They cried "Jesus, Master" signifying that they were appealing to him as a teacher. They did not ask to be healed, only to be pitied. Jesus gave them a task: "go and show yourselves to the priests". It was at that moment that we can see the ten experience something they have never felt before. Something inside of them must have agreed with the reliability of the One that spoke to them because they went at his command. And "as they went" they were healed! Know this today in the midst of your life and situations. When people can't REACH you, JESUS can. What people can't TEACH you, JESUS can. They obeyed the …

Beating a Path

Seek the Lord while He may be found,  Call upon Him while He is near. IS 55:6
I used to think that prayer was simply asking the Lord for something that He desired to give me and I would receive it. As I continue growing in in my understanding of his Word, I can see that sometimes asking needs another level...sometimes I need to put some legs with the words. Jesus said ask me and then He said SEEK me. Once you have you vocalized your petition, you can start to motorize it by moving in the direction of the answer. In Christ there is a 100% guarantee. Jesus said that those that would SEEK him would FIND him. There’s no frustration, no disappointment.  It reminds me of my kids when they were little. They loved to play hide and seek and my two boys were a bit older than my daughter Jordan so they would have a little edge. When Jordan played she would always go hide, and wait only for a short time and then she would call out, "I’m over here!"…she wanted to be found! I believe that i…

Every Single Day

Last night I had the great joy of being the MC at our churches Singles Game Night. When you put great BBQ, games, and ice cream in a room with nearly 100 people, it's a party! What made this so much fun was that every one of us happened to be in a "single" season of our lives. 

I had been reading earlier in the day and came across an article whose title jumped right off the page at me. It read, "Choose Happiness Every Single Day of Your Life". For some reason when I read it I heard choose happiness every day your single! The thought is simply this; we can choose whether or not we are going to be happy. It's not tied to our performance nor our circumstances. It's a heart and soul issue. We need to talk to ourselves positively and use scriptures to feed our faith and strengthen our spirit. You take the Word of God and meditate upon it. In other words, you think about the things that matter to the Lord. Here are a couple of good scriptures:

For the LORD is g…