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Showing posts from April, 2009

A Mind Controlled

"The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace..." Romans 8:6

Sometimes I am restless. Sometimes I feel like everything is in chaos. Sometimes I am simply out of control! Here in Tulsa we have had several days where the rain and clouds have overwhelmed the skies and the sun is nowhere to be found. It's been gloomy and dark. Funny how the weather has an impact on how I feel. In the last few days I've felt down, gloomy and tired. I have beard that psychologists often use "light" therapy to help those that get discouraged find some happiness again.
Today, it's another dark and cloudy day. The storms through the night pounded against the house and disrupted my rest. When I opened my Bible this was the scripture that I read. Life and peace are the by products of a mind controlled by the Spirit of God. If you keep reading this chapter you will read how that Spirit can even compel you to action and propel you forward. That same Spirit that raised Christ f…

God raised up judges...

I know that there is this feeling of chaos in our country right now. Many folks are "hoping" in government, employers and even their families to help them stay positive and endure this tough season. The good news is that this isn't the first time the country has been in chaos. You can go back to the Bible and see that we've been in chaos over and over again throughout history. Today I was looking at the Book of Judges. There was a season after Joshua died when the people were without hope and in turmoil. They were asking "who is going to lead us in this fight?" They wanted a leader. And Judges 2:16 tells us that when there was no direction GOD RAISED UP JUDGES. God gave them leadership when they were without it. Pure Leadership. Fourteen Judges led Israel during this time. And believe it or not, the people did not agree with the leaders that God has positioned and there was still a struggle.
Not much has changed here in 2009. We still want to be led rather t…

L.E.A.F.

A couple of years ago when my book "Dreams2Destiny" came out, I went on a mini book tour. I did several television programs like Daystar and the Harvest program with Lesea Broadcasting. As I was going from from city to city I had lots of time to think about what I was doing, the books I was writing and what God may be wanting me to do. It was a time when He and I talked quite often and His revelation was being downloaded to me. It was in that season of time that this acronym was in my mind...L.E.A.F. It stands for Laziness, Exaggeration Apathy and Fear.
You see every time that you begin to let that DREAM God gave you come alive, these things seem to fall over top of it. As I was traveling I realized that I was kind of a "LEAF" blower and part of my mission for that year was to help blow laziness, exaggeration, apathy and fear off of the dreams of God's people.
So today, don't let a LEAF pile up in your life. Keep your focus on Christ and the dreams that He i…

Do the Right Thing

“Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” Mark Twain

Today we are going to do many things. In the midst of our "doing" we are most certainly going to be put in the position of making choices. In some instances, there may be a right way to go and a wrong way to go. In Mr. Twain's quote he wanted us to understand that doing the right thing should always be the default.
Sometimes the right thing isn't always best for us. The right thing may even have a negative ripple effect to those closest to us. But we must not get lost in that effect so much that we miss the moment of doing the right thing.

Your day is filled with choices. Good ones will help you and bad ones will harm you. The bible says that we have before us the choice of life and death. Choose life. So Choose wisely. Do the right thing. In the end, everyone will win!

Making it Count

God created you so that the days of your life could count:
not so you could count the days of your lives.
How do you spend your time?
Are the things you are getting ready to do today meaningful? How will your life affect the life of someone else today?
I am trying to be more diligent in planning my days so that I don't waste time. Like the country song said, "this killing time is killing me!" I want to make a difference in each day, not just for me and those closest to me, but also for those that will come in contact with me. Sometimes its as easy as casual conversation at the coffee shop. Perhaps a phone call of encouragement or an email that says I'm thinking about you and praying for your success.
Today I am praying for you and that you will make this day count. May you have a positive impact on someone that comes across your path this weekend. Enjoy it...God's favor is upon you!

In His Image

This week I have been thinking about this whole "created in the image of God" thing. In the book of Genesis we can read about creation and how all of us came into being. God breathed life into man and gave man some incredible power. He said, "let them rule over the fish, the birds and the earth...oh, and yes, over all the crawling things on the earth. God gave man authority and then put in him the ability to exercise that authority. God created me in his image!
I have to admit that I do not often feel like I am a great representation of the Creator of the universe. And when I think about being made in His image, I feel a responsibility to speak like He would speak and to have the same objectives that He did. Still too often I do not have the right opinion of myself and I fall short.
You and I need to know today that we are special. We are loved. We were born with power and ability to change this world in a very positive way. The Creator of all that is around us thought en…

Trust in God...

There is an old saying by soldiers in the Revolutionary War that said, "Trust in God, but keep your powders dry." In other words place your life in the hands of God but always be ready for an attack. It is one thing to have faith, another to do something with it!
Often we react when we should trust God first. I heard a story about a woman fed up with her children in the car that were behaving badly. She was at her wits end and though she was three miles from home, she let them out and sped away! I know, unbelievable! Anger that causes these types of actions are not good and this woman was arrested because her behavior was even worse than her children's.
Today is Earth Day and there will be a great deal of talk about "going green". Being eco-friendly in this day and age is a good thing to talk about but until we actually make changes, nothing will change. In the beginning God created the earth and then He gave us the job of caring for it. Making simple and subtle…

Having Only Positive Expectations

Let's stay with the HOPE theme again today. A friend of mine defines it as Having Only Positive Expectations. Well, the only way to make that happen is to realize that some things are juts not in our control. Scripture says, "I CAN do ALL things (through Christ) who strengthens me." It's in Him that I live and move and have my being. My mind can be in a positive place. My words can match those thoughts. But unless my actions and my daily steps are in a positive, forward direction, I will not rise up with hope.
Today they said this recession in our economy may end this year. For many people that news is hopeful. Ultimately, if we keep making good decisions, if we are smart with our money and if we pray before we spend it will indeed change. God says so. Whatever you sow, you will reap. It WILL change because of His Word, not what the FED says.
So today, hold your head up, take steps forward in His power and have only positive expectations. Your breakthrough is closer th…

Hope is alive!

On Sunday at The Landing we discovered something...the difference between emotional hope and spiritual hope. When I say that I hope it does not rain or I hope I can make that meeting I am really just wishing based on my circumstances and the conditions around me. Many people today are living in this type of hope. Their hope is tied to the market, the job, the spouse, the support group etc. The problem with this is that when you tie your hope to people or things, your hope either goes up or down based on what happens. We set ourselves up to be disappointed. But the bible says that hope does not disappoint. So their must be another type of hope...one that will not disappoint us. It's a spiritual hope that comes in Christ. My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. We used to sing that in the church. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
So let me suggest how you might be able to increase your hope level today. Hebrews 11:6 ta…

What a God!

Sometimes you have a day that just sucks the life out of you. I had one of those this week. I was feeling some pressure and being overwhelmed by things that were out of my control. Instead of locking up and stopping in my tracks, I kept pressing through. I remembered the scripture that said "forgetting what is behind, and pressing on towards the mark..." I had a mark. My mark was not only to press through the challenge but to get to the other side of it. What I discovered in this moment was an incredible power and peace that was much greater than me. As I kept moving, God kept me groovin"!
Face it, we are going to have great days and some not so great days. So our ability to learn how to handle the not so great days is going to be crucial in living a well-balanced life for Christ. Know that every challenge comes to make you a better person, to make you a stronger person. You have been "destined" for success and if you just keep going you will have a break-throu…

One Big Message

Did you know that Sir Winston Churchill too 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.
This 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…

Hope Floats

Ok readers I need you today! This weekend at The Landing we will look at HOPE.
I want your thoughts. Just a sentence or two, or some one liners so I may include them in the message.
Hope: what do YOU think?

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Mistakes

We all make them...some of them are wee little ones and others are simply ginormous! Still, we are going to choose the wrong way, the wrong people, the wrong job at some point in our lives. A mistake is just that...a miss-take. The good news today is that you get another take...a second chance...a do-over! Because of the GRACE of God you and I have the glorious opportunity to repent, forgive, and start over.
Perhaps you have been overwhelmed with guilt from some mistake that you made. Why not forgive yourself and let God heal the hurts and mend the miss? You were created to do good things and to be successful in every way. God has even equipped you for those good works.(2 timothy 3:17)
So are you ready to take a chance again? Let God's grace: all sufficient grace make a way where you thought there was no way.

Where Do We Go From Here?

There comes a place in every relationship where you ask this question...where do I go from here? It's often a crossroad or intersection and the decisions that you make next will determine the life path that you will follow. For many people that found themselves at church yesterday in the midst of an emotional and dramatic resurrection service, I am certain that hearts were being tugged upon and emotions were in turmoil. Perhaps some of us even took a moment to say that infamous prayer..."Lord come into my heart today and help me live life the way you planned it." You may have even found yourselves crying and laughing at the same time! And can I say...that's soooooo awesome! Making Christ Lord is THE WAY to great success and fulfillment in your life.
It's Monday now. The services are all over. The tears have dried. The musical drama about the passion of Christ has ended. Monday morning schedules are beginning and the daily grind that had you paralyzed is once again…

Happy Easter Weekend!

I really am praying that all of the folks that read this have made plans to attend the church of their choice this weekend. This is a very special season for the Body of Christ and I believe that if you give Him a chance, He will surprise you with some wonderful things this Easter. God is full of surprises. Nobody expected Jesus to rise from the dead...but He did! Nobody thought that His impact would be felt around the world more than 2000 years later...but it is!
My prayer for you and your family is that you will feel the presence of the Lord in your life in a very real and practical way this weekend. Jesus is still the answer. If you need help at work, at home or in a relationship, He is alive and ready to come to your side and help you go through what you are going through. The tomb could not hold Him but your heart can! Open your heart and let Him come in. Life will change and hope will come! May your Easter weekend be blessed!

Maundy Thursday

It means Holy Thursday and it commemorates the final meal of fellowship that Christ had with His disciples...the Last Supper. Jesus would wash the feet of those closest to Him and they would break the bread and drink the cup. It would be a time of intimacy and securing a deep relational attachment that we would still talk about many years later. When I think of the Last Supper I think about family meals today. In this culture we have today, time with the family around the table is harder and harder to facilitate. Our schedules are so busy, our stress level so high that we often grab what we can, when we can and we miss these special moments.
When was the last time you got everyone together and sat around the same table to break bread together? It was important to Jesus because He knew how connections work and that eating together breeds "community". You may do this everyday and if so, keep at it. Don't let those moments be stolen away. For some of you it may be a struggle…

Goodbye Letter

this is a week where there is a lot of discussion about death and resurrection. As we take this journey of faith we will see both over and over again. Several years ago as I was l learning how to cope with divorce and bankruptcy, I decided to do something to symbolically set me free from the pain of the past and prepare me for the blessings of the future...I wrote a goodbye letter. I wrote about this in a chapter of my latest book, Transitions. Here's a piece of that story...
I sat down and I wrote a goodbye letter.
I started to write down a list of all of the things that
I wanted to say goodbye to. I wrote them out on a
legal pad. I said goodbye to all of the things that had
trapped me. All of the stuff that I thought I had to
acquire. All of those attitudes that kept me in
financial bondage. I said goodbye to a life of credit card
debt and bills that could never be paid. I wrote down
relationship things, emotional things and spiritual
things. All this was in my goodbye letter and …

Stay on the Boat!

Charles Kettering once said, “no one would have crossed the ocean if he would have gotten off the ship in the middle of the storm”. I wonder how many things God has prepared for me that I missed because I quit too soon. In most things that we go after for God, a level of perseverance is crucial. The bible often uses patience as the word to say the same thing. The idea is being diligent and hanging in there, no matter how long it takes, until the outcome that you have prayed for arrives.
On Tuesday of the week that Jesus was betrayed, beaten and crucified he went into the sanctuary only to find it turned into a department store. With righteous indignation he rebuked the merchandisers. He wanted the house of prayer to be just that. Why? Because if we are going to develop our capacity to endure, to run the race to finish, then we are going to need a place to pray. A place to refuel, renew and recharge.
You can't cross the ocean if you get off the boat prematurely. Whatever you are str…

Withering Lives

On Monday of the week that Jesus was to fulfill the mission of His Father, the bible says that he came upon a fig tree. He was hungry but the tree had no fruit on it. You find it in Matthew 21:19: Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered."
Does Jesus hate trees? Of course not!
Jesus is upset by unfruitfulness. Withering leaves and withering lives. The fig tree was using space, taking in nutrients from the soil and was not doing what it was created to do. The lesson for you and me is that we must use what the Lord has planted in us to become fruit bearers. Fruit is representative of productivity and purpose. You were created for a very specific purpose and plan of God. Fruit of the spirit should be evident in our lives. You can read all about that fruit in Galatians 5:22. It says that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindn…

Turn up the heat!

We are walking into the weekend...Palm Sunday weekend. It's a big one in the church world as this is the weekend that paves the way for Easter and the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The spiritual world is so much more prominent during this time as many people come back to church to see what changes have come about since last year. This year there has been a great deal of activity surrounding our church and the things we are walking towards.
Palm Sunday was the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the people waved palm branches and children sang Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! But just like the Tulsa weather, it would not take long for the climate to change. Cheers of Hosanna would be replaced by shouts of Crucify Him! Jesus would weep over the lost potential of Jerusalem. He would curse the lost potential of a fig tree. He would be furious about the temple being used to sell merchandise. And he would battle the internal conflict of wanti…

Healthy Choices

After yesterdays verse on foolishness, we may ask "how can I keep from making foolish decisions? How can I develop a good track record of healthy choices? " Let me offer you a simple three step system that can help you.
#1 pray about your decisions: Getting others opinions can be helpful but it can also overwhelm you with too much information…so much that you paralyze yourself and do nothing. Take your request to God FIRST.
You may be surprised with the answer and how it comes.
#2 walk: Take some steps of faith forward…put some action along with those prayers. Why? Because faith without WORKS is dead. When you talk to God you offer your voice up to Him. Next, give Him your body…give Him that living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God which is your reasonable act of service…notice I said reasonable, not foolish!
#3 Praise: We were created to worship the Lord. By prayi…

Be God's Fool

1 Corinthians 16-17You realize, don't you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God's temple, you can be sure of that. God's temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.

18-20Don't fool yourself. Don't think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God's fool—that's the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid.(MSG)

God's temple is sacred...that's you! When we ask Jesus Christ to live in our hearts he does. Being saved is not a game. It's the best way of life that you could ever imagine living. Today is a light-hearted day filled with jokes and pranks and many foolish acts. Don't think you are wise just because you always go along with the crowd. Don't FOOL yourself. The path to true wisdom comes by being a fool for Christ. So don't be an April Fool; be God's fool!