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Showing posts from February, 2010

Every Blessing!

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Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Today I am going to smile, lift up my head and say thank you Jesus for this wonderful word! I may not truly understanding it but I can BELIEVE it! I don't understand alot of things...like why we park in a driveway and drive on a parkway. Or why isn't "phonetics" spelled like it sounds? And some things really confuse me...things like if olive oil is made from olives, what is baby oil made from? Or if ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?
All kidding aside, I am blessed. YOU are blessed...not just with some good fortune and luck. YOU and I are blessed with EVERY spiritual blessing in Christ! Key word...EVERY! There is a great deal of blessing from God to be thankful for today! So why don't you join me and smile, lift your head up and thank God for EVERY spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus!

Return to NEVERland

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How much fight is in you? What would you be willing to do to be healed? I've been doing a series at church called Return to NeverLand. I'm going back to the place in my spirit where I NEVER give up and I NEVER back down!
I was thinking about the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5 and how desperately she needed to be healed. She tried everything and used all her resources but was still sick. She heard that Jesus was coming. Multitudes were around him and following him. She ran towards the fight of her life!
She found a way to get through the crowd to touch his coat. As soon as you touched him, power was released to her. Jesus did not have to authorize it. Her faith opened the conduit for the blessing and the healing to come. There were many people surrounding the power of Christ. But only this woman who tapped into that power.
There is a difference between association and assimilation. Many people who are Christians associate with Him but fail to assimilate Him in their dail…

Enough.

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ENOUGH. One of my favorite scriptures, actually favorite chapters is Ephesians 6 where it talks about the armor of God. I need armor because there are some crazy things that are thrown at me every day. Here's what it says...
Ephesians 6:13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
There is armor and then there is the FULL armor. To me, the full armor covers everything. God's got me covered. When I have this on I am protected and protected in such a way that I can stand in the midst of the battles and make it.
I am in the middle of some situations in my life that have been battles. I have fought and fought and just when it seems like I get out in front of the battle there is a new twist. I'm at the place now that our scripture talks about...having done all you can do...STAND. I have said, alright, enough is enough! It's that place where you are sick and tire…
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The bible talks to us about being "wise as serpents". There are two kinds of wisdom according to the Book of James...wisdom from God and wisdom NOT from God. The other day I was watching a commercial on television for a sleeping pill. It was the middle of the night so I guess it caught my attention. The commercial depicted a person in a deep sleep, enjoying rest and being refreshed with some beautiful music and a lovely little butterfly buzzing through the room. Towards the end of the ad was the "disclaimer". It was that legal part which releases the company from any possible dangers and side effects. I thought I was asleep and dreaming when I heard it and had to rewind it on my DVR to make certain my ears were working right. Here is what it said...(actual disclaimer language from the ad)
"Walking, eating, driving or engaging in other activities while asleep without remembering it the next day have been reported."
Suddenly, all of those walks in the park I …
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Mission impossible? Nothing is impossible with God! I’ve heard it all of my life. You have too. The question is, do we believe that? Do we REALLY believe that? In Mark 10 you will find that verse where Jesus is talking about real life things…and then the rich young ruler is told how he can be saved…sell what you have…give to the poor…follow me…WOW, that’s a tall order! But remember…Nothing is impossible with God!
You see if we really BELIEVE that then we will act differently…we will talk differently…we will take risks that require faith! You know what I have learned about the “impossible”? Things are only impossible until somebody does it. Somebody is always breaking a record that others thought would be long-lasting. The fact is that records are broken by those that BELIEVE they can break them! I want you to take a look at that word today…BELIEVE…now let me highlight a piece in the middle that usually gets in the way of our belief system…BELIEVE. See it now?
Some of us only see the li…
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“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”- Romans 8:38-39
You and I have been hard-wired to believe in our Creator. We were made in the image of God.Yet so many people today have their wires crossed and look like the image of something that looks nothing like God. Reading this verse it would seem that there is absolutely nothing that has the power to disconnect us from the love of God...nothing that is except ourselves. Poor choices, negative words, poisoned thinking all have a way of breaking the love connection. The good news is that God gave us free will. The bad news is that God gave us free will! When we surrender our plans to follow His then we begin to strengthen and connect the wiring that God gave us. I have a will to win today because my desires are…
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I don't own a Toyota. I have been following the news about all of the troubles they are facing. First it was the news about the gas pedals and sudden acceleration. Now they are talking about the power steering problems and veering off the road. As I listen to all of this I think about many things. I wonder how many other manufacturers have troubles but it is never publicized. As a preacher I also see some spiritual lessons in all of this. I think about how we have the same kind of troubles in our lives.
Many times I have accelerated too fast for no reason and wound up in a place that I did not want to be in but was in nevertheless. It's almost as if the speed was out of my control. I have also found myself veering off the course that I was on and losing control of my life. It becomes harder and harder to steer. The faster I go the more chance I have of veering off course.
To stop speeding away recklessly and steering off the path, I have to do what Toyota is doing. First, admit…

Ash Wednesday

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Today is Ash Wednesday; it is the 7th Wednesday before Easter and the first day of the Lenten season. It’s called Ash Wednesday because worshippers used to place a cross of ashes on their foreheads as a symbol of humility before God…the mourning and sorrow at the death that sin brings into the world. Ashes were not offered to everyone, only those that made a public confession of sin and sought to be restored to the fellowship. We know that scripture says that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Thank God for His mercy extended to us and His grace that is sufficient for all of us.
As I child I heard the word Lent many times without really knowing what the significance was. People would ask, "what are you giving up for lent?" People would give up pepsi, television or chocolate...things that if we were honest, we could give up without much sacrifice on our part. As you go through this season from now until Easter, consider making a broader commitment to the Lord. Len…

God's Perfect Timing

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There is something incredibly wonderful about perfect timing. Nothing produces successful results like being in the right place at the right time. The other day I was reading a verse that talked about the "waiting" process. Seems like I am always waiting on prayers to be answered...or am I? Maybe God's waiting on me? Look at this verse out of Isaiah 30:18...
So the Lord must wait for you to come to him
so he can show you his love and compassion.
For the Lord is a faithful God.
Blessed are those who wait for his help.
He is waiting on us in the first part, we are waiting on Him in the last part. Well, if He's waiting on me and I am waiting on Him, how will we ever meet? The issue is NOT about waiting but rather about doing. The Lord wants to be gracious to us and bring about His will in our lives. I like to imagine that the Lord is "longing" for me to come to the realization that I need Him and I must trust Him. As a father of three children, I kn…

Grace for the Place

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Romans 12:4 "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us."
Yesterday at The Landing's Valentines Day service I looked out at the variety of folks that make up our incredible congregation! We are one body that is made up of many members. What we notice right away is that we do not all do the same thing: we serve different ways. Yesterday we added some new parts to the body and placed them in different positions. It was awesome to see folks spread out through the church, using their gifts in such a way as to glorify the Lord. We have different gifts according to the grace that is given to us. That grace comes from the Lord!
Today, you and I need to be who we were created to be. God needs all of us and He needs us to get in the place that He set up for us to be in. He gav…

Love, Love Love!

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Once Jesus was asked a question that many of us want to know..."Which is the first commandment of all?" 29 Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' F61 There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12
Most of us grew up in a "religious" life that showed us a more liturgical side to faith. People tried to teach us how to pray, what to wear, what we could and could not do...it was all part of learning the discipline. There were readings, and prayers and times to kneel and times to bow, times to sprinkle and times to dunk...it goes on and on! Most of the things we learned were probably the ideas and thoughts of those that taugh…

One Loaf

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I was reading about some wonderful miracles that happened with Jesus and da boys.(his disciples) The stories are found in Mark 6 and Mark 8. Seems that great crowds of folks were gathering around to hear the teachings and they were in such a remote place that food was not available. The disciples wanted to send the people away so that they could get some food and chill. But Jesus wanted the people fed. The disciples pointed out to him that it would take many months worth of wages to have the funds to feed all of these folks. Can the church afford it? Can our treasury take the hit? Jesus said, "can the church?...YOU DO IT!" And then he asked them "how much bread do you have?" In other words, what is available right here and right now.
Two accounts: 5 loaves and two fish in one setting, 7 loaves and a few fish in the other. 5000 gathered in one and 4000 gathered in the other. Both times Jesus took what they had, gave thanks and blessed it and gave to the disciples fo…

Where's Your Head At?

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Yesterday I spent about 4 hours in a recording studio laying down some tracks for The Landing's Easter program. This year, along with our keyword ILLUMINATE, the Lord prompted me to try and write our own Easter musical. I've never done this before so it has been great so far getting together with our creative people and setting the plan in motion. As I sang through the songs that had come out of my spirit, I felt like I was in another space and another season. I felt as if I was becoming the character that would sing the song...in other words my head was in another place altogether.
As the session finished and I went away it took about thirty minutes before reality ambushed me again!
I wondered what could happen for all of us if we could get our head in the place that God has already designed us to be...our mind thinking on His plans and our bodies following in obedience? Too often my head is not in the game that I am playing...and I am certain that the Lord is probably yellin…

My Life Has a Soundtrack

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Every life has a soundtrack. There is a theme; a wonderful blend of highs and lows, majors and minors all orchestrated in such a way as to let YOUR song be heard in the world. It's funny how many of those in the same genre seem to gravitate towards each other. I was thinking about my diverse musical tastes today and just how weird this mix tape I was creating was.
In November of 1977 I saw a concert in Columbus Ohio that confirmed my life's direction. That night I made a decision to pursue music as a career. The concert was...wait for it...Barry Manilow! What an incredible songwriter he was! I launched into writing the songs that made the young girls cry while spending a weekend in New England! During my college years I got to go to Oklahoma City and meet my favorite band of all time...Journey, underneath the Myriad in the private parking garage as they got out of their tour bus...what a moment! And my plethora of musical tastes was delighted as one of my college jobs was ushe…

Be the Champion

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Super Sunday is over and the champions have been honored. Congrats to the Saints and the city of New Orleans! The confetti has fallen and the city of Miami will start to detox from all of the festivities. This IS the NFL. Unfortunately in life, you have to keep on playing...everyday, all year long and there is no off-season. Paul said that we all run a race and that we should run the race in such a way as to win. To win in life, to be the champion you have to have 3 things: desire, determination and discipline.

#1 To be a champion you must have desire
You gotta have a want to. Let me say it like this: you gotta have a wanna
Great desire is to want something so bad that you can taste it. For the players on the field today, winning this game is everything. For you and I as fully devoted followers of Christ, winning in life is what counts.

J. Vernon Mcgee, a bible teacher said, “the highest desire that can possess any heart is a longing to see God”.
Run to win! Give it all that you have got.…

Stuck in the Middle

Have you ever had a decision to make that was difficult to arrive at? The kind that just when you make a decision to go one way, you begin to doubt yourself and then stop moving? I am in one of those places. I'm stuck in the middle. The decision is not a life and death one but it does require a commitment. No, I'm not trying to decide whether or not to get married!
The only scripture that comes to my mind and rises up in my spirit is out of Proverbs...
3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight
There are several things that the Lord uses in these verses that help me. The first is to TRUST. To TRUST IN HIM! Not only to trust in Him but to do so with ALL of your heart! Now that's commitment! TRUST means total reliance upon someone trustworthy. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is consistent.
At the same time we are trusting in Him with a…

MErcy Begins with ME

Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. Matt 5:7

Mercy is not simply sympathy for someone. It implies an “active sense” of compassion or pity for someone suffering or in distress. I used to have a hard time discerning the difference between GRACE and MERCY. Then I heard it like this:
Grace is what God gives that we don't deserve. Mercy is what God doesn't give that we do deserve.

I am putting this mercy thing to practice. I am extending it to others so that it will come back to me! I am certain that there will be a time when I need mercy and if I do what God says, I will get it when I need it. I am also learning more about the Lord as I read through His Word this year. If you don't read it every day I encourage you to start. I came across Psalm 41 the other day and the first three verses really picked me up as I gleaned some insight on what God can and will do for us as we help others. It says...
1 Blessed is he who has regard for the weak;
the LORD delivers him…

Flip It!

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When you first look at Matthew Chapter 5, commonly referred to as the Beatitudes, you may be surprised by what you read. Look at verse 3...
"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule". In the NIV it says "blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God". The literally translation of the word "blessed" is "oh how very happy" and "oh to be envied". At first glance it seems very wrong to imagine that life is good when you are at the end of your rope! But God's way of doing things is a bit different from the worlds. The first shall be last. The person that saves his life will lose it. The greatest of all is to be the servant of all.
Like most people I want to live a blessed life. I want to be happy. And happiness comes when we pour ourselves into others even if it is hard on us. What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you. Do you need p…

The Best Day Ever!

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Happy Groundhog Day! I would imagine that nearly every person in America has seen the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. Every time this day arrives I wonder what it would be like if I could keep living the day over until I got everything right. I think of that movie whenever I hear "I Got You Babe" on the radio! Unfortunately I always come back to reality and realize that even if I repeated the day over and over again, the chances of me getting it all just right are probably very slim!
But this year is different. I can win in 2010. So today I am praying for the best day ever! And I am going to do my part to live life to its fullest...to seize the day and get the most out of every minute! I will not be disappointed by anything! Whether there is a shadow or not, whether there are 6 more weeks of winter or not...it really doesn't matter!
What will you make of your day? If God were to give you this one over and over again, would it be the kind of day that you could live …

Confidence

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Hebrews 10:35 "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37For in just a very little while,
"He who is coming will come and will not delay. "
Confidence is a huge factor in following Christ. In fact we know that the person that comes to God must first believe that He is. And that He rewards those that pursue Him with all of their hearts. Because we believe in Him it becomes possible to make our approach to Him with confidence: to pray and to seek His plan and purpose for our lives. Confidence is the certainty that we feel when we truly believe that what God said He would do He will do. It's different from arrogance. Arrogance is unmerited confidence...misguided belief...usually self-serving.
Don't throw away your confidence(in God) because at just the right time it will be richly rewarded. You and I need to stick with it...persevere…