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Showing posts from February, 2008

Dynamite!

One of the wonderful things about the Christian life is that it is ever changing. It’s not static, its dynamic. In fact when we read about the power that Christ gave to us…what he referred to in Acts 1:8 and said that the disciples should wait for…the word for power was “dunamis” where we get the word dynamite…dynamic power. If we can get our eyes on Christ, replace our agenda for His, then we open ourselves up to unlimited potential and possibility. The power that we tap into is explosive and transforming.There are no boring days when we wake up each day to serve a God whose mercies are "new every morning." His guidance is a steady stream flowing into our lives… constant and consistent…he’s the tour guide that never gets out ahead of you…. the tour guide that makes it possible to understand Him as He is giving directions. Someone once defined success as a progressive realization of a pre-determined goal.

Maybe today you are wondering about your own success. Perhaps you hav…

May God bless you..

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you will live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, opression and exploitation of people so that you will work for justice, equality and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you will reach out your hand to comfort them and change their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done.

Today, make a difference!

A thorn in the flesh

In scripture Paul was often irritated by things that were not godly and people who did not believe the things he was teaching. He was in a position to receive an abundance of divine revelation. God was speaking to him and ministering to others through him. In fact Paul is the one who penned much of the New Testament.
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 we find him being attacked by this intense, wearying difficulty which he called a "thorn in the flesh". As most of us would do, he prayed that God would remove it. It lingered. He prayed again. Nothing. A third time he specifically prayed for the removal of this hindrance and still nothing happened to the hindrance. God was silent. But something happened in Paul.
Paul learned about "grace". He learned the definition and magnitude of "grace". For the Lord told him through this adversity that His grace was sufficient and that His strength would rise to the top when Paul's strength diminished. It changed the way Paul t…

How generous are you?

There is a grace in giving. We should excel in our willingness to be generous to others.(2 Corinthians 8:7) Yet so often we are hindered by things like fear, pride and anger. I wonder sometimes how many of us are not consistent in our giving too our local church because we are angry or maybe we are afraid that we won't have enough money for other stuff at the end of the month. How often have I missed God's best for me because I was hesitant in giving my best to another?
Proverbs 11:25 says that "a generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."
The best way to get out of a rut is to be generous. Generous with your abilities, your time and your finances. Consider buying a meal for someone today or donate some time at your local church or non-profit. If you are especially talented, use those gifts to give glory to the Lord and bless others. Be the first not only to give but to have a desire to do so. And believe me, YOUR refreshing will co…

What are you working for?

People all over the world are getting up today to go to work for a variety of reasons. Some are working for the money to go to college and increase their knowledge. Some are clocking in so that they can buy a bigger house or a nicer car.

Colossians 3:23 tells us that "whatever we do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward." Did you get that? Whatever you are doing, you should give all your heart to it and do it for the Lord...it is the Lord you are serving. And there is a promise that you have an inheritance coming when you work with the right motive and attitude.

I had a season where I worked for people that never said thank you. No matter how good a job I did it seemed to go unnoticed. When I read the verse above, I realized that somebody important was watching me and they saw my heart. They saw what I was putting into my job. I realized that I was working for the Lo…

Prayer for the weekend...

God can do for you what you cannot do for yourself. It may also require you and I to rethink the way we do some things. There may be some habits or activities that we should lay down for a while in order to free our hands up to receive what God is trying to get to us.
What you are willing to give up will determine what He is able to bring you. Use this weekend to ask Him for clarity of purpose. Ask Him to show you a glimpse of the future He has planned for you. May your weekend be filled with new divine revelation.

Why get even?

Let's continue in the theme from yesterday about how to handle words that come against you and people that attack you..
Matt 5:11,12 says "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
It's hard to consider yourself blessed when people insult you. It seems there is something inside of us that loves revenge. We call it getting even. But really, God would rather keep you ahead rather than bring you down to the even level of those that say all kinds of false things about us. Don't get even today. Take the high road. Rejoice and be glad...something great is on its way to you!

Avoid strife...

It is to a man's honor to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel
Proverbs 20:3

Each day we have opportunities to engage in harmful discussions. Harmful because of the words that are said, the people that are talked about and harmful because they damage us when we put ourselves inside them. It is to a man's honor to avoid strife. We are called to be peacemakers, not piece-makers.
Being quick to start arguing or defend yourself when attacked is not the godly approach, in fact its foolish. You may even be involved in an argument right now that simply ignited and you have no idea why it seems to mean so much to you.

Don't get caught in the crossfire of someone elses fire. Avoid strife and when it is at all possible where you are involved, bring peace. It will help you live a peace-full life.

Know when to fold em.....

Acts 19:8,9 says..."Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them."

I like the fact that Paul was bold about what he believed. I also admire that he was persistent in doing things that would spread the Word. Here scripture says that he spoke bodly, even argued for the sake of Christ. It also says that he did not get through and that eventually, Paul left them.

How much time are we spending today arguing with people about our faith? Some hearts are going to receive the good news and others are never going to get it. We must realize that it's not our responsibility to make them believe...it's Gods. As Kenny Rogers sang, "you got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em: know when to walk away, and know when to run." Choose your words carefully. Spend your time wisely. God will do…

Commit to the Lord....

Proverbs 16:3..
"Commit to the Lord WHATEVER you do. and your plans will succeed."

The other morning as I got up I felt a desperate need for some instruction from the Lord to handle a porblem I was facing. I wanted a specific word from Him so that I could simply follow it and succeed. I expected a three step approach with a couple of prayers in the middle. What I got was the scripture above.
No specific guidance, just a promise that WHATEVER I commit to Him WILL SUCCEED!

I thought about that and then ran to the dictionary to look up the word COMMIT.
Here are just some meanings of commit...
to give TRUST (to the Lord) to give in trust for preservation
to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance
to entrust for safekeeping
to pledge to engage (hook up with the Lord)

So He was telling me that as I TRUST Him and ENTRUST Him with my troubles, as I pledge to engage Him, He promises to make WHATEVER I do successful.

I cannot lose! I guess that is why the scriptures tell us that…

Your weekend prayer...

Take care of YOU this weekend and be well. If you are not 100%, you cannot give 100%.

"May the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word." 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Strength, comfort and grace to YOU!

What is Love?

The Beatles sang that All You Need is Love. Tina Turner asked us What Love Had to Do With Anything. Jesus said great love is found when you give your life for another.
Love is not self-seeking. Loves never gives up and doesn't strut or have a swelled head. It does not force itself on others or fly off the handle. It doesn't keep score. It always looks for the best and never looks back.
To find true love, find God. Trust God steadily, hope unswervingly, and love extravagantly.

What do you do with insults?

The bible says "do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing..." The natural response we have to anyone that insults us is to come back with an insult of our own. If you have ever put lighter fluid on a buring fire than you know what happens when you return an insult for an insult.
What we engage in will determine what surrounds us. When you learn the art of blessing those that curse you or insult you, you set in motion a lifestyle that brings blessing into your life. You are saying no to negative joy-stealing words and yes to all of the possibilities that come from a life filled with faith and hope.
Don't attach yourself to an environment that you do not want. Inherit a blessing by being a blessing today!

Hating correction is STUPID!

Did you know that those words are in the bible? Proverbs 12:1...it says that a man who hates correction is stupid. In this day and age nobody likes to be corrected. In fact we often rebel against anything or anyone that attempts to make straight our errors. When a correction is made there is a clarification of a misunderstanding.
What I am realizing is that being corrected is a good thing because your life and your situation is being made straighter and is becoming more purposeful because all misunderstandings are being dealt with.
The first time I read these words I was at a golf school in Florida. I was taking some lessons and trying to "clarify my misunderstandings" of the game. My first day with the golf instructor was brutal. It seemed that nothing I did was right. My grip was wrong, my swing was bad and he even noted that my clubs did not fit my body! It would have been easy to say "well, what do you know, I do just fine with these clubs!". I was somewhat emba…

No benefit of the DOUBT...

Have you ever heard someone say, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt? When you really think about it , there is no benefit in doubt. In fact people that doubt usually wind up missing God’s opportunities.. James 1:8 says that a double-minded person is unstable in all their ways. Doubt never makes a decision and doubt disengages our ability to move forward. We stay motionless because doubt leads to fear and fear paralyzes our faith. Nothing worthwhile ever happens in the midst of a doubt. But God has an antidote for each one of us and that remedy is faith. Faith is the key for us to be able to eliminate doubt in our lives. God is the author and the finisher of our faith. He places faith in us and enables us to use it to conquer those feelings of uncertainty. Faith gives us the ability to believe the unbelievable, to make possible the impossible, and to reach the unreachable.
Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the confident assurance that what we want is going to happen. The atmosp…

TRUST

Trust in the Lord with all your heart...its from Proverbs 3 and I needed it yesterday. I needed someone to TRUST in, and trust is something earned not given. I was visiting the hospital and praying with people about things that they would undergo. Everything happening was unexpected, sudden, and very negative. In my mind I traded places and thought about what I would do. Then I realized how important it is to have a friend that sticks closer than a brother. How crucial it is to know that there is someone who will never leave or abandon us. Total Reliance Upon Someone Trustoworthy...that is what TRUST is. And if we are going to make it in this life we need to place ALL of it in the Lord.
Does the Lord have your trust today? Are you relying on people or things? When bad stuff happens and you trust in God, do not analyze what you are doing wrong but rather rejoice over what you are doing right. He knows where you are and what is happening. When you acknowledge Him He will direct your pat…

It's time to be diligent...

Are you the type of person that always shows up ten minutes late? Do you find yourself always feeling unprepared? The only way to break a bad habit is to be diligent in doing the right thing over and over again until it becomes second nature to you. We need to become more diligent. So what does it mean to be diligent? Diligence is defined as steady application or consistency. In Hebrews 11:6 it says that” without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.” Not only is diligence crucial in developing good habits; it would appear that our greatest hope in finding our way to God is to diligently seek Him. We know God exists because we see Him in all that He has created. Creation lets us know that there is a Creator. By faith we trust in Him because we know and believe that he cares about what is happening in our lives. Not only does he help us, he is a rewarder to those that co…

Finish strong!

Many times we get involved in projects that start out great but before we can complete them, we lose interest and move on to something else. What we leave behind are many fragments of good intentions. It’s easy to approach a new task with enthusiasm and excitement but what happens when the glitter is gone and the paint fades away? The bible refers to God as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. God does not start projects and walk away before they are completed. Phillipians 1:6 says that he(God) who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. He never quits, never gives up and he will never leave you or forsake you. Many times life can be like a long and grueling race but because He is God you can count on him to be there at the beginning of the race to help you get started. And you can be assured that he will be smiling as he waits for you at the finish line. Remember, its not how you start that’s important, it’s how you finish!

Lessons from My Crock-Pot

Proverbs 15:1 tells us that a "soft" answer can turn wrath away. Staying calm, cool and collected is a learned skill. It does not come naturally but super-naturally. The other day I bought my first Crock-Pot. I was looking for something that would cook for me and do it without very much attention and the Crock-Pot fit the bill. They even make dinners pre-assembled now that you just have to mix up in the morning and then in 8-10 hours your meal is waiting for you! Now the interesting thing about this item is that it can be on all day and not burn up what is inside. The temperature that it cooks with is perfect! I thought about this scripture in Proverbs and realized that many times I am a microwave of angst and emotion when God would rather I be more like my Crock-Pot. If I could just allow myself to remain at an even temperature there would be no sudden outbursts or explosions that leave messes. At the end of the day I could enjoy the grace of God that has been cooking withi…

The Half-Time Show

Yesterday in our church we discussed how the half-time show of the Super Bowl has become even more popular than the game itself. Perhaps because we like being entertained more than we like observing a struggle. It is true that some folks like to watch activities and others enjoy participating in them. When it comes to using your talents and abilities, you and I do not have the option to be spectators. The world needs people that can identify their gift and then get into the game.
What type of person are you going to be? Are you a half-time show or a player? The championship will always be won on the field of play!

If you must "put on"...

There are many people today that play games. They talk one way and live another. They walk around acting like they believe in things that they do not believe in. They are always "putting on" a front. That "put on" is part of a life being hindered by darkness and deception. They think that is they say the right things and hang with the right people, they will get "right".
If you must "put on", then put on the armor of light as it speaks of in Romans 13:12. It goes on to say, "let us walk properly as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy....BUT....If you must "put on" then PUT ON the Lord Jesus Christ. Why would that be so important? Because when you get up each day and "put on" Christ, you make no provision to be led astray by the wrong influences and influencers. We are called to be light in a world filled with darkness. Today, let that light shine so others may see …