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Showing posts from March, 2009

Is Your Sign On?

One of my favorite donut shops is Krispy Kreme. When our family used to vacation in Florida we would rent a house that was by the beach AND by the Krispy Kreme store. It was heaven!
The reason I like KK is because of one significant factor: their Hot Now sign. How cool is it that they tell you when fresh donuts are just coming off the line? No guessing, no hoping, the sign says it all.
Wouldn't it be great if people had a sign that would let us now their mood and how they feel? You could decide if you wanted to talk to them based on their sign!
As believers, when it comes to sharing our faith, our Hot Now sign should be on ALL the time. The bible says to be instant in season(and out of season). Always be ready to give an account of why you believe what you believe.
So, if you had to flip on a sign which described you, would yours invite people in or keep people out? Why not start today with a Hot Now sign and see what happens? You might just make an incredible difference in the lif…

Here Comes Trouble!

My family used to say that about me I am sure whenever I walked into the room. Seemed like most of my childhood was spent either by being trouble or being IN trouble!
This weekend some of the youth from our church went to a Teen Mania Ministries event where the them was Here Comes Trouble. When I read that the first time I was confused. It was unclear to me what they were trying to say. But as I did some research into the theme of this two day event I was ignited in my spirit because they were talking about passion and making an impact in our culture like Jesus did. Wherever Jesus went He stirred things up. He changed the atmosphere, the climate and the people!
I realize today that we have been empowered by God...given power by His spirit at work in us to make an impact on people everyday. So why aren't more people making an impact? Personally, I think that we don't realize what came with this package of salvation from asking Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. There is a potency …

Adapting to Change

If there is one thing that I have developed in my life by living in Oklahoma, its my ability to adapt to change. When life morphs from one thing to another with no advance warning it is easy to be caught off guard. Often when these surprises come that we were not ready for, we panic. We start to think about all of the negative aspects of the changes and the inconvenience that this will be to our comfortable way of doing things. Fact is, change is unstoppable.
Knowing that you will be subject to many changes in relationships, weather, health, career, etc., you and I must be ready and able to adapt. To adapt means that we change to meet the requirements. We make the adjustments necessary to benefit the most by the change.
Ironically , my ability to adapt to change is determined by my stability to live in Christ. My surrender to His plan and any changes that come with it help me to be transformed into the person that He designed me to be.
So if you are going through some changes today, tak…

Do You Know the Plan?

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

This scripture is one of my favorites. Perhaps because as I talk to people about turning their dreams2destiny, I need them to have hope and actually believe that what God said about them is true. I am always saying things that God said about me...things like "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me" or "with God ALL things are possible". I have found that encouraging yourself in the Lord is a very powerful way to lift up your spirits! You can be your own cheerleader!

This scripture talks about what the Lord knows: "For I know the plans I have for you..." He has a plan. A plan for you and me. The challenge for each one of us is that we need to know the plan too. You know the plan by hanging out with the planner; following the game plan. That plan is to give you hope. That plan is to de…

Imagine

Today I was going over some notes regarding things that I felt in my heart and spirit years ago. As I read through these journal entries one captured my attention. I was sitting in the Pastors Study of a church I was preaching in and looking out the window. I wrote..."as I was praying today, I looked out the window and I saw a building that would be full of families, and I saw myself preaching in that building."
I was seeking God and what to do with my life. This entry was done on January 9th over 15 years ago. Today, I am the Senior Pastor in a building that is 3 miles from where that office window was! I was letting my imagination run wild and those images developed just like I saw them!
So what are you imagining today? What do you really want to do? How can you use your talents to glorify God? Imagine yourself giving all that you have wholeheartedly to God. It can happen!

Tech-NO-logy!

The other day my iphone stopped working. It was early in the morning and I had an incredibly busy day ahead. There were many conversations that I had to have and many calls I was waiting a return call from. Needless to say I was a bit perplexed. I called my carrier and before you know it, I was on the phone with the manufacturer of my phone and my carrier at the same time. They were trying everything to get my phone working. Fortunately it was Spring Break and my daughter was home so her phone was working. It was at that moment, with no connection of my own to the outside world, that i felt the uncomfortable sense of being an outsider. I have no home phone as I just use my cell. So I was truly lost. What did I ever do before cell phones? How did I survive without being able to talk to someone right now without even getting up off the couch?

Technology has advanced and to be honest with you, it has me in its grip. Gone are the days in informal banter and superfluous dialogue. Now I sen…

Simplicity

1 THESS 4:10 But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

Isn't life supposed to be simple? Why does everything have to be so complicated? Chaos, confusion, anxiety, stress and clutter often keeps us from the simple things. For my birthday this year I got a book called "Simplify Your Life". Well, it was really called 101 Ways to Simplify Your Life. 101 ways! Like I have time for that...I need one way! Ever wonder why we can't get the 12 Step program down to 6 steps of 3? Does God want me to live a quiet life? How do I do that?

Psalm 46:10 tells us to Be still and know that He is God. Stillness calms the spirit and takes us to a place free from confusion and chaos. Trusting God to help in whatever way he chooses knowing that His way is bette…

Prayer for the Weekend

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Today as you work your way into another weekend, this is my prayer for you. His Word must find its way into our life...to dwell in us. Take a few moments to let your heart sing this weekend and smile while you look up to heaven and thank the Lord for another day of LIFE! And the last part, whatever you do...WHATEVER you do, do it all in the name of Jesus. When you work for the Lord nothing that you do is in vain.

Have a great weekend!

Facing Your Giants

I was reminded of this again last night as my new friend Darrell gave his testimony at The Landing. Darrell was in a severe car accident in 2006 and suffered many injuries. The force of the crash collapsed the car and Jaws of Life was called. Darrell said it was his first helicopter ride and he only wished he had remembered it! His ride to the hospital was followed by surgery and many months under the careful eyes of the doctors and nurses.
But his story has a twist. Darrell found himself in a place that could only be described as heaven, angels in a row singing and worshipping the Lord. There was a door behind him. As he was listening to the angel voices, suddenly they started singing louder and going crazy. He wondered why? The door behind him had opened and Jesus had come though the door to stand beside him. I've heard so many people talk about these types of experiences but never did the Lord remind me of His presence like He did last night. Darrell's work here was not done…

Strange but True

The methods that Jesus used to meet the needs that were presented to him were not always conventional. In fact many times they were just strange. In our culture we always seem to be taken back when we experience something that we have never seen or heard before. Maybe it is in a healing service or a prophetic utterance. When you and I are walking with God, things may not always happen the way we thought they would but we can always be assured that they are happening the way God intends.
I thought of Naaman in 2 Kings 5. He was the commander of the kings army...a valiant soldier but he had leprosy. Imagine being so strong and influential but having an outcasts disease. Naaman wanted to be healed. The prophet Elisha came upon the scene and wonders why Naaman has been sent to him to be cured of this disease. At first he thought it was a strategy to start a battle. Nevertheless, Naaman came before him and was given the plan for healing...go wash yourself 7 times in the Jordan. Naaman went …

Luck of the Irish

Luck of the Irish to you! The saying refers to the fact that the Irish people have come through such overwhelming adversity and have come out on top and kicking! It must be luck... or true perseverance. As a college football fan and watching the last two seasons of Notre Dame's season, that saying just would not make sense!
You don't need the luck of the Irish today...you and I need the love of the Lord. It may sound a little Christianese but if we could go after God's way, life would have a wonderful way of resetting itself. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL these things shall be added to you. Luck is for people that do not understand destiny.
God has a plan and a purpose for our lives. He set things up ahead in advance so that we could choose His way and have the life that He wanted us to have all along. So if you are going to celebrate today, make sure that you acknowledge the One that is making all things work together for your good. It's n…

You Shall Eat...

Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
who walk in obedience to Him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Psalm 128:1-2

Fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It's the place where all of the great things of God start. Being obedient to what He is asking of us is the initiator. But what intrigues me today is the next verse. You will eat the fruit of your labor. Think about that for a moment.
What if the food you were to eat today was to come from what you are doing? What would you be eating? How much would be on your plate? Would you be looking at a feat or a famine?
A blessed life is a direct result of a working life. With so many people feeling the crunch of unemployment we may have to be creative in our approach to labor. There are many kind acts that can be done that cost nothing. These random acts of kindness are part of the obedient life and the life that fears the Lord. Being considerate to each other is the way we move towards the blessi…

Valuable

I was thinking about how important it is to be valued as a person. Everyone wants to be loved and appreciated. In the climate that we are in right now in this country, many folks that have found their identity and worth in their jobs are being emotionally depressed and discouraged because they have lost their jobs. The problem: their value came in what they were doing.
I want you to know today that you are not special because of what you do. You have great value and worth because God loves you. He created you for a distinct and special purpose that only you can carry out. He values you so much that He gave up His son so that you could choose to be driven through life by His spirit and not your selfish interests. Your job did not define you. Your source and livelihood was not in that job...it was and should continue to be in the One that made that job possible for that season.
Well, maybe now the season has changed. Don't sulk and get yourself all down and out. You are up and coming…

Mother Nature Menopausal?

Surely Mother Nature is going through the "change"! Here in Tulsa we have experienced increased mood swings, hot flashes and chills...sometimes all in the same afternoon!
Today I am thankful that I don't know that many people who are as fickle as she is. I like balance in my life. Balance emotionally, physically and financially.
So don't worry about Mother Nature. Just love her, prayer for her and when she stands on your last nerve, realize that she will act normal again soon. If you live in Tulsa, it may be within the hour!
Have a blessed day!
[Posted by iphone]

Do You Understand?

In Proverbs 4 we read many verses about understanding. Solomon is giving us counsel on gaining wisdom. He says that wisdom is supreme and to pursue it. But in that pursuit, in all of your getting, get understanding. Though it cost all that you have, get understanding.
Some folks spend their entire lives in that pursuit. Understanding is that important. Think about the many things that you do today that are a direct result of you following the lead of a mentor, a parent or friend. Do you understand why you act like you do? Our churches are filled with people that believe but have little understanding. We need to know how we arrive at the place we arrive at. Pray in the spirit and with the understanding the Word says. Solomon was the the wisest man on earth and he alerted us to the importance of understanding.
We gain understanding through study and prayer. We get understanding by asking questions and working through problems. When I was in elementary school, our math problems had to be …

What Have you Given Up?

The Lenten season is upon us. Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days.
The Sunday before the season started we baptized nine people at The Landing. Since that time, many people are sacrificing something and focusing their prayers and lives on God's purposes and plans. This is such a special time for Christians. We are gearing up for the holiest of days, Easter and the celebration that comes as we worship the only God that has resurrection on His resume.
Taking time to do a personal inventory of your life can be exhilarating. Reflection is good for the soul. During this Lenten season, why not spend some…

Courage

Throughout scripture you can read two words that can help you in any harmful situation..."take courage". It would seem that there is a choice when faced with impending danger...to take or not take courage. As Christians, our courage comes in hearing the Word of God and standing upon it while the situations are happening.
My heart goes out to Pastor Winters in Illinois and what must have transpired yesterday. In a matter of moments he was approached by a man with a gun. I wondered what the final words must have been in the exchange between the pastor and this man. One minute you are in service and the next moment everything has changed. After reading about the pastor and seeing the fruit from his life, I am certain that Pastor Winters took courage.
Today, let's pray for God to give us more understanding of how to take courage. This is our time to stand up for what we believe and to shine in the midst of the darkness. May God bless the First Baptist Church and the family of…

You Really Matter

I just finished watching the season of Confessions of a Teen Idol. Watching these former child superstars process life with and without fame was quite interesting to me. Dealing with being in the public eye versus being publicly forgotten has many challenges. The emotional ups and downs were heartbreaking to watch but well worth it by the time the season was over. Each one of them had to come to grips with who they were now and what they really wanted.
Each one of us has a desire to be part of something greater than ourselves. We need to be valued. We need to know that we matter. For me, that kind of love and appreciation only came from Jesus. People will let us down. Even best friends seem to fall by the wayside. But Jesus Christ is a friend that stays closer than family. He heals the hurts. He mends the torn relationships. And He brings balance to the emotional roller coaster.
When we look for our love and appreciation to come from people, we may find ourselves lacking that feeling of…

Sowing Seeds

In the book of Matthew Jesus began a picture story with these words.."the sower went out to sow". Not an unusually strange statement. It's what sowers do...they sow. Farmers understand this principle completely for they live on it most of the time. They know that there will be no harvest unless you first plant a seed.
I began thinking about this when the nation starting spinning out of control. It seemed everyone was looking at the stocks and growing more and more depressed. Retirement income was half of what it was worth and the news just keeps getting worse. But we are not supposed to focus on the worlds financial system. As Christians, we operate in a different system. Jesus was talking about us...the sowers, and we are to sow no matter what is happening around us. All of us have held back out time, our talents or our finances for fear of lack at some point in our lives. But right now is the most incredible time of sowing that we have ever had. We know that when we so…

Refresh

How often do you get to reboot? I mean really shut down and then start off again with a fresh perspective and new energy? I wonder how often we are supposed to refresh the page of our life so that we can see all the new things that may be added to it.
Refreshing is important to our body, our mind and our spirit. We can get so busy. Oftentimes the busyness causes us to grow weary and even get sick. Refreshing is the only thing that can make us well again.
So how can we refresh ourselves? Sometimes its a conversation with an old friend. Writing a letter or a poem. Turning on the CD player and listening to your favorite band. Maybe just sitting down with God's word and reading a psalm or a proverb. I like to talk to people that fix problems and find solutions. Maybe that's why prayer is so special to me. I know that God holds the answer to the questions that my mind and my heart keep asking. As I sit in His presence, I feel the refreshing come. And once I have been energized, well…

Happy Anniversary to The Landing!

Today is the anniversary of our churches beginning...7 years ago! That means that we will begin our 8th year as a community of faith. To think that God started this whole thing with a couple of people talking about ways to share God in practical ways that would help them understand just how much He loves them...well, that's really special. I feel so honored to be part of a place where people actually believe that they can be all that God designed them to be.
The Landing was a special place for me to grow and develop. When divorce hit my home I wanted to die. I felt like I let God down because the commitment that I made would not be able to be followed through. As I read the bible and talked to God(no one else was around) I found that God was still very interested in me and the story that He was writing with my life. Somehow, I kept reading and sharing what I was learning with the people that would come. Without The Landing, I would not have survived. When I wrote the book Transiti…

Oil Can!

Yesterday at The Landing we continued our series The Gospel According to the Wizard of Oz. Our focus was on the Tinman. There are so many spiritual truths wrapped up in that marvelous story. The Tinman was after a heart. Before he could begin his journey he had to be "oiled" because he had rusted solid. Two words he muttered to Dorothy tell it all...oil can, oil can. I thought about today's church culture and how many have rusted immobile while they were just doing life and trying to make a difference. When the rains come, if we do not take care of what's important, we too will find ourselves rusted right in the middle of a chop.
The oil that the Tinman needed is symbolic our our need for the anointing of God to help us begin to move again. Oil can stop friction. Oil can keep things running smoothly. Oil can keep us from overheating. And once we have been "oiled" we can move into the things that God has called us to do with our whole heart.
Are you stuck rig…