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Showing posts from March, 2010

Let the Redeemed...

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of the Lord say SO! Psalm 107:2 is a command...if you are redeemed then you are to tell others about how you found redemption. The word redemption means to buy something back, to improve something. In the church we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. It was Christ's death on the cross that bought us back from a life of sin. His blood was the atonement for that sin. Redemption is not what we do, it's what He did for us. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!
As you go about your daily routine, take a moment to thank the Lord for improving you...for buying you back...for being a living sacrifice and atoning for your sin. It's really what this Holy Week is all about. Christ came, He suffered, was crucified(our sin nailed to the cross with His body), then was resurrected and today is in heaven praying for a favorable outcome for your life and circumstances. The good news is that your sin does not have to kill you. When Christ is in your heart you are dead to sin and alive in H…

God Inhabits Praise

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Yesterday afternoon it was a real spring day! Great weather and sunshine…I started to smile☺
I decided to go for a walk so I loaded up with music and left on my adventure.
I was listening to the music from our upcoming Easter production called “Illuminatus”. In 2006 I wrote a book called Dreams2Destiny which told a story about a man named Jairus in Mark 5. He was a synagogue ruler and had his life together in every way…that is, until his 12 year old daughter was deathly ill. The music for the play was written by several folks from The Landing Community Church and the play was birthed in my heart during Christmas of 2009. It's truly a miracle that it has come together and we will be presenting it this weekend! With God, ALL things are possible! And with some incredible people too!
As I was walking around the school that is close to my house, I remembered the scripture that says that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. That simply means that wherever His praise is, He reside…

What Are You Running After?

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Yesterday was Palm Sunday. It derives its name from the very fact that it was palm branches that they waved as they lined the streets awaiting Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem. The atmosphere was festive…celebratory…it was a street party. It was a party that erupted on account of a miracle. Everyone was gathering to see the One who raised Lazarus from the dead!
Now this made me think of church today in the 21st century. In 2010 its seems so important to have video screens, powerpoint presentations, multiple instruments and singers and of course…lights. The more colorful and dynamic your presentation is today the more that people seem to show up at your location. Churches are erupting today. Are the modern day churches seeming to erupt the same way now that they did then? …over the manifestation of the supernatural…over the appearance of the miraculous. What are we running after? Are we are spending too much time chasing healing when we should be chasing the healer?
When we go over a movem…

Guardian Angels?

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Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Hebrews 13:2
Read that verse again and think about that thought! Not only is hospitality essential, but you may being hospitable to a special messenger of God!
There are many folks who say they have been in the presence of angels. Billy Graham thought each one of us to have two guardian angels based on the fact that scripture says,"He shall give His angels(plural) charge over you". I've never actually seen one of God's angelic beings but I am certain that I have been in the presence of special grace and power.
Several years ago I was in a car accident. I broke my hand and my shoulder and back were hurt. I was laying out in my car waiting for the ambulance. My car was filled with many valuable things. I remember a lady peeking her head into mine to see if I was ok. I was sprawled out in the front and confirmed that I was hurt but I didn't think it …

Come Forth!

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In John 11 there is a story about a friend of Jesus...a man named Lazarus. Let me paraphrase a bit for you. Lazarus had gotten sick and died while Jesus was away. Mary and Martha were upset that Jesus did not come when they called for him because they felt that he could have saved his life. They were about to learn something that I learn everyday...Jesus' time table is not mine!
Eventually Jesus shows up, explaining that his tardiness was about to make sense and His father was about to be glorified with a miracle. Hope had dissipated as he had been buried in a tomb for 4 days. The world had given up. But not Jesus. He arrived at the tomb and told those around to roll away the stone. And then he called Lazarus by name! Lazarus...COME FORTH! What they all witnessed next had to be astonishing as this "mummy" limped out of the tomb into their presence! The crowd was amazed and while they all stood there with their jaws open, Jesus told them to unwrap him.
I am certain that man…

Be Still...and KNOW!

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Psalm 46:10"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
Yesterday I made the mistake of flipping through the channels and winding up on a news network. They were in the middle of a debate about health care reform in this country. As the conversation went on the language became more and more negative and the volume of the debaters increased. It did not take long before I was disgusted and going crazy. I reached for the remote again and shut the television off. All of a sudden it was completely quiet. Anxiety seemed to leave the room and my spirit began to change. It seemed as if God was causing me to be recharged while I was being still.
Often you and I can find ourselves in conversations that we really do not belong in. Life can pull you into places you did not intend to go and cause you to do things you did not desire to do. Arguments, envy, and jealousy can create a vortex that pulls you in and downwar…

Be Strong

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"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.”- Ephesians 6:10-11
There is a dramatic difference between my power and the Lords power. Mine seems to give out at the exact time that it is really needed! In today's reading from the Bible we are told to be strong. Not in our power: strong IN THE LORD. How do we do that? By staying IN HIS mighty power.
Several years ago I wrote a little mini-book on the armor of God called "Fatal Affliction". In it I refer to this scripture where we are asked to put on the FULL armor. If you are like me(and I bet you are!), you run out of the house sometimes without the essentials...a jacket...an umbrella....a hat....you know what I mean. My kids never want to wear their coats so they are not FULLY clothed and prepared for the possibility of bad weather. Why is that important? Because in Oklahoma it can be 72 degrees one day and 27 deg…

Two Weeks

At The Landing we have been talking about a 25 year old king named Hezekiah that made a decision to bring positive change to the church. He started by establishing a covenant relationship, a mutually binding contract with God to change the way things were because he knew that it was not right the way it was. This was a time for activity, not negligence. It was time to spring forward!Today it's time to tell yourself that YOU Matter!
So how do you begin? Where do you start? What do you do?
Sometimes you don’t know what to do…you only know what not to do
*There is no better time than right now to make up your mind that things can be different in your house
*There is no better time than right now to say that a good, God-fearing marriage is possible
*No time better than now to renew your commitment to the Lord and living a life that would please him
The first thing Hez did was to get rid of all of the things that were displeasing to the Lord
We make room for His goodness by removing our garba…

The Organizer

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If I told you today that I had a wonderful new wardrobe for you…a large collection of clothes for you to wear but in order to get them from me you had to toss out the ones in your closet…what do you suppose would happen? I believe that I would get a few different reactions. Most of you may say OK, bring them on. My closet will be empty later today!
Some of you would ask me what kind of clothes they were. Because style is important. Some of you would turn the offer down because it’s just sounds too good to be true. Still others would be unable to receive my gift because they would not be willing to make room for it. If we are unable to receive anything new because we are unwilling to make room, it may be because we have not organized our life: our life has organized us. It is true that if you don’t do something with life, life will do something with you.
For many years I moved from one house to another and kept taking the same boxes from place to place. Then I had a moment of clarity...I…

Pure Joy!

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James 1:2 " Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Pure joy...can you imagine a shot of "pure joy" today? It's hard for me to even think about anything that is pure...my food is filled with preservatives, my tap water has chemicals in it and house needs an air filter to catch all the pet dander and dust that is in the air! Anything that is pure would be a welcome change to life!
What James is encouraging us to do is to lift up our heads and be up even when things are down. To not be defeated by the trials but to allow them to build up something in us. Whenever my faith is tested I am developing my ability to be patient and persevere. And if I let patience(perseverance) do its thing I will be fully developed and lacking nothing.
So if something goes terribly wro…

St. Patricks Day

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St. Patricks Day is the celebration in our country of everything that is green and Irish! But few really know juts who St. Patrick was. St. Patrick was very religious and is credited as the one who explained the trinity to Ireland.
He was also known for converting the pagans of Ireland to Christianity.
St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the trinity, or the understanding of God as three distinct persons - God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost - in one godhead. It has three leaves with one stem on it, and that is how he explained the blessed trinity to that people, who happened to be a pagan people at that time.
According to Catholic.org, Patrick was born in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick, and was the son of Romans living in Britain. At the age of 14 or so he was captured by raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep.
While living in Ireland, Patrick learned the languages and practices of the people there - mostly Druids and pagans. At the age of 20 he escaped follo…
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1 Timothy 6:12 "...pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith."
There are many things in the Word of God that we are instructed to stay away from. I've known so many people in a variety of denominations in my life and each of them has had a long list of "do not's". Seems like we sometimes want to take all of the don'ts and amplify them until the world hears us. Jesus seemed to have another approach. He always pointed to the positive. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Do good. Whatsoever you DO, in Word or deed, DO it as unto the Lord.
As I have grown older I have gravitated to think more like the way Jesus taught...I strive to focus on the do's. In the scripture out of 1 Timothy today we are told to pursue some things that will be very important to us. Righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
What I have found in my life is that the more I pursue …

Spring Forward

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OK, the clocks have changed and we had a chance to spring forward this weekend. For many people spring is the time of year we move outdoors and become active once more. In addition to an increase in "physical" activity, many people go through an annual ritual of "spring cleaning". It's time to move the winter clothes to the back of the closet and find the shorts again. It's time to pray and hope that the spring shorts will still fasten around our winterized waists!
In the Bible there was a boy named Hezekiah who became king at age 25.(2 Chronicles 29) He was determined to make a positive difference in the world and use his authority and power for good. His dad had closed the church, broken the sacred objects of the church and done many things which angered the Lord. The good news is that sin does not have to be hereditary! Hezekiah made a decision to repair the house of God and restore order. And the Lord was pleased...in fact he was called one of the 3 most…

Double Dip

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I Peter 5:7, TLB. "Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you."
Look around you today at the faces of people. What you may see are frowns and black circles under the eyes. Unhappy stares and faces showing the signs of an incredible amount of wear and tear. Anxiety and stress are taking a toll on many people today. We worry about whether our children will be safe. we worry about whether we are going to lose our job or even our house. And we worry about whether or not people are going to like us and what we do. Each of these things has been covered by the Lord already!
The other day I was walking the dog through the neighborhood and heard an old familiar sound...the song of the little white ice cream truck. As it drove passed me I felt happy...peaceful and excited as I watched the little kids run to the next block to meet him. They were about to forget their troubles with a double dip of sweetness!
The Bi…

Up, Up and Away!

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In 1 Peter 3 we can read “Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy”.
Do you talk about your faith? I have to admit that I could do more than I do now. People are in search of genuine, authentic believers and when we are able to articulate WHY we believe what we do, transformation can come. It is the WORD that has power and when you are able to talk to others about why you live the life of faith you live, YOU can make a dramatic difference in this world. It will serve YOU well too…let’s read on…
“Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They'll end up realizing that they're the ones who need a bath.”
Imagine having a teflon coating so that none of the critical and negative words can stick to you! Again, it comes by speaking UP not looking down!
Today I want you to know that YOU matter and YOU can make a difference by just being YOU! Speak UP...look …

A Test of Obedience

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In Genesis 22 the Lord asked something "huge" of Abraham...to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Here is what the Bible says in verse 2...Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." He told him what to do but not exactly where to do it. He said to go to the mountainous region of Moriah and that he would recognize the place when he got there.
As I have been contemplating future things and the vision of my life and the church I pastor, I thought about the moments that I have felt like I was being asked to let go of something precious to me. Maybe you have been through that as well. To end the life of a business...a relationship...a job path. Often we find ourselves in this dilemma between obedience and our own agenda and the hardest thing to do is to kill our agenda and let the obedient life live.
In 2000 the Lord inspired me …

Vision

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I have been thinking a great deal about vision casting and future things this week. People die because they lack vision. I do not want to be one of those casualties. In the book of Habakkuk it refers to the Lord answering the prophet as he was seeking some explanation to the current events. The Lord answered...
"Write this.
Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters
so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness
pointing to what's coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
And it doesn't lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It's on its way. It will come right on time.
A friend of mine once told me that when it is on the paper it is off the mind. He was encouraging me to write down things so that my mind would not get cluttered and overloaded.To this day, I journal and draw, make lists and take notes to help me catalog my thoughts and secure my ideas for eternity. I like this scripture from the Message bible because o…

Faith

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Hebrews 11:1-2 The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors,
set them above the crowd.
One translation calls it the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. This is what faith is…evidence of what you cannot see…it’s the substance of all of the things you are believing for. This entire chapter is filled with men who had learned how to use FAITH…how to activate that substance and present that evidence. "Evidence" refers to the clues left at the scene of the crime that lead you to the one who committed the crime. Faith is what God leaves out there for you and I that if we follow it, will lead us back to Him. Always follow the evidence!
This TRUST in God is what pleases Him. It IS the foundation that we should use to build the life that He intended for us to liv…

Take Courage

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Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”- Joshua 1:9
These are the words of the Lord to Joshua right after the loss of his mentor, Moses. When life changes abruptly before us it can have a negative impact on us. We can begin to feel that things can never be good again. Then, somewhere after the pity-party and self-doubt we get the Word from God and its then that everything changes.
Joshua was told two things: don't be scared and don't be discouraged. When we dis-courage we open ourselves up to high levels of doubt and a spirit of unbelief. To inspire Joshua the Lord gave him a reason to not be discouraged: the Lord said I will be with you wherever you go! It's easy to TAKE COURAGE when you know that the Lord is with you all the way.
So whatever you are in the middle of right now, don't allow fear to rise within you. So be strong and TAKE COURAGE. Stand in the midst of the storm with the …

Be in the Moment

Psalm 3:3 But You, O LORD, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.

Yesterday we discussed the positive affirmations we can make about who we are in Christ's eyes. All of this is possible because of todays verse. Why do we have hope in hopeless situations? Let's look closer...

Lord you are MY shield (protection). All around me…I am completely covered by the power of the Lord. On my right and my left, ahead of me and behind me. No weapon formed against me can prosper for I am unable to be penetrated!

Lord you are MY glory. David was a prominent man with status and position. Yet he knew that his identity and his value was not in his job or military rank…His validation came from God! Your identity is not tied to your past…your value is not tied to your performance…He is YOUR glory…your validation comes from Him not people! You are divinely defined!

Lord you are the One who lifts my head. In those days when the king lifted up your head it meant that you …

Affirmation

"A declaration that something exists, or is true." It's the definition of the word AFFIRMATION. Many people today are not living up to their potential because they make the wrong affirmations. Whenever we say "can't" or "won't" or "couldn't" we are declaring those things to be true even though they may not be! The bible tells us to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind". We allow our thoughts to be aligned with what God says. When our mind is clear, then our words should match those thoughts. And the good news is that when the mind is on track and the words line up, the body will follow!
Let me give you a couple positive affirmations to use today. These are things that God says about you and they ARE true.
• I am a child of God.
But to all who have received him--those who believe in his name--he has given the right to become God's children … (John 1:12).
• I am a friend of Jesus.
I no longer call you slaves, becau…

A Cute Story...

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The other day I attended an event for Tulsa area ministers regarding an event coming to our town. At the end of the evening, one of the gentleman stood up to close and shared a story that made me laugh all the way home. Today,let me share it with you. It's for those of you that are facing a mountain of blessings and overwhelming opportunity but seem to be stuck in neutral or afraid that you don't have what it takes to do what is required.
There was a little boy who had a chance to go visit the chocolate factory in Hershey Pennsylvania. (I've been there before so I can smell the chocolate as I share this story!) He was taken on the VIP tour which ended up in a room filled with every kind of chocolate that you could imagine! His eyes got big as saucers and his smile stretched from one ear to the other as he gazed upon this sweet, sweet mountain of chocolate. It was then that the tour guide said to him, "you can have all the chocolate that you want." After a few seco…

The Sweet Spot

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There are moments in your life when you can see God all around you. At The Landing yesterday I had some of those moments. During worship at our church I had the opportunity to baptize several folks. Later in that same service we had prayer time where people throughout the church wrote their struggles on a piece of paper and then came up front to nail them to a cross that was erected there for this Season of Lent. While they pounded nails into the cross a Chris Tomlin video called, “God of the City” played on the big screen.
As I watched the faces come up out of the water during baptism as new creations, washed by the water of the Word I was thrilled. As I heard the hammers pound nails in the silence of prayer I was moved to tears. As I looked upon the people with their hands lifted in praise professing that He is the God of this city I was energized to make a positive difference in my world for Christ. Every moment was a bit different. Every moment was filled with emotion. And every mo…