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Showing posts from November, 2010

Yes & Amen

2 Corinthians 1:20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God . I have heard many times this verse quoted like this: "the promises of God are yes and amen" to the believer.  It usually always gets a shout of praise or and amen from the audience when it is uttered. As I read it in the TNIV translation, I noticed something I had not seen before. It reaffirms that His promises are YES but the AMEN is spoken by us! It's very important to have His promises in your heart when you need some comfort or reassurance. When you are going through a physical illness, you need to know His promise is YES to heal you. When the money is gone and the bills keep coming you need a YES to the promise that He can and will supply your every need. Amen can actually be translated as "so be it". When you read His Word, when you meditate on the precious promises of God, YOU are the one that

Adorned With Beauty

This entire year I have focused on a keyword: illuminate . As I drove back to my house last night after dark I was reminded about this word again as I looked at all of the beautiful Christmas lights that shine in our community. I realize that light can do many things. I have been talking to our church all year about three "powers" that light has: it enhances, enlightens and exposes. As I drove through some of the neighborhoods by my house I thought about how these little colorful bursts of light enhance the space they shine in and adorn with beauty the homes. It made me wonder if I was shining like I am supposed to be. Do I add to conversations and bring God's glory in when I arrive at my meetings? Is my language a reflection of Christ in me? Would Jesus be happy with the way that I am "illuminated" right now? As you look at the Christmas lights around your home and admiring their beauty, think about how much beauty you are adding in your circle of influence.


Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus . It's hard to believe that buy the time this blog posts this morning, many people will have been shopping for several hours. All to get that special deal on that hard to get item. Whenever you have an abundance of people going for a limited amount of items, there is bound to be some tension. From the traffic on the road to the lines at the registers, its easy to become impatient. So today you have some good counsel from the Word of God. REJOICE always and in ALL WAYS . Stay happy as you move through your day. You have a choice today to be happy or to be overwhelmed by negativity. Rejoice! Paul tho

Recipe for a Perfect Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Today, let me make it very simple: a recipe for a "perfect" thanksgiving holiday. You will like this one because you don't need any measuring cups or spoons. You can add as much as you want and it will always taste good! It comes right from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Start with a heaping helping of joy ! Joy is your joy, no strength! Add a generous portion of prayer . Prayer for everyone at the table. Pray during the day, even while you cook! And last, give thanks IN everything . No matter what happens, bless the people and God is pleased. This can be the tastiest thanksgiving yet! On behalf of all of us that work with the Cup of Joe blog, the Dreams2Destiny Center and The Landing, Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Learn the Lesson

Proverbs 24:32-34 I applied my heart to what I observed  and learned a lesson from what I saw:  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man .                                      I hope that I am becoming more and more like the person that applies their heart to do what they understand and learn the lesson the first time. I always hated taking tests over and over again. Solomon was one of the wisest people to ever walk the earth and that wisdom came from observing, learning and doing. The lesson here was that we should not become inactive in a season where activity is needed. Don't get me wrong, there is a time to rest. But every time we shut down we run the risk of not being able to start up quickly when necessary. Failure to act may lead to failure to produce and that brings a shortfall into every area of your life. When you continue to stay in motion you gain something we they

Tribute to My Best Friend

Midnight(Midi) 2001-2010 There are many reasons I am writing this special article today. There are moments in life that turn into seasons which you never forget because of the impact they have on you. For the last decade, I have had an incredible friend to sit with, an energetic buddy to take long walks with and a friendly partner to watch movies with at home. Of course, for those of you that know me, you know I am talking about the most amazing miniature dachshund ever...Midnight. (Midi) When a favorite pet gets sick or finds themselves in terrible pain, many people talk about "putting them down". For my best friend I choose to say that we "sent him up". Since I am completely certain that God loves animals and I know through scripture that when Jesus comes back He will be riding a white horse, and because He knows how much this special canine meant to me and my children, I fully believe that I will see him again. I will spend lots of time missing him right now

Going From Yellow to Red

Life is always full of emotions. A typical day might be easily expressed like the picture today...why even the typical hour may take you from smiles to frowns too, from yellow to red. If you have followed Cup of Joe for any period of time then you are very familiar with my very best friend, a miniature dachshund named Midnight. "Midi" as I call him is the joy of my life. He makes me smile:) A few weeks ago he got sick. At 2am yesterday morning he got up and acted very strange. My face looked like the green one...I was shocked and helpless as I don't speak very good "dog". At 7am we went to the animal hospital and he was barely moving at all. I left him with the doctor and went to preach to our church about love, hope and courage. It was one of the hardest services I've done. By noon I was back at the hospital and was told that Midi has pancreatitis. They had him on an IV and pain medicine to make him feel better. The red face was now dominant. In several ho

We're Off to Make a Difference...

This weekend I will finish up one of my favorite things we do at The Landing …a series called The Gospel According to the Wizard of Oz . I am always thrilled as a pastor when people comment about how a series touches their heart. I am quite certain none of our people will ever look at this movie the same again! The common lesson that is seen throughout this classic is the fact that each character was searching for something: something that they had all the time. Many believers today are in pursuit of their “destiny” because we have taught them from the pulpit that they must find it or they will never be happy. So they take a journey and keep searching for something that they never really know whether they have found or not…is this it? Am I doing what I am supposed to be doing? Consider today that where you are right now is where you were supposed to be . If you love God with all your heart and have asked Jesus to be Lord of your life then you my friend are walking that yellow bri

Cup of Joe Classic Series: "Serendipity"

Whenever someone asks me what I do I will sometimes say that "I spend most of my time teaching others how to spend theirs." When I wrote my third book called “Dreams2Destiny” I told my personal story of going from one career to another; from the contemporary Christian music world to starting a church and being a pastor. It is my destiny. I teach about destiny. Some call it purpose. Others may call it fate. Some may look to the stars. As a Christian, I look to the One who made the stars. My destiny is to walk on the path that God has set up for me. It’s what all believers strive for. We want to do what we were created to do. The word “destination” is derived from it. We want to be where we are supposed to be.  One of my favorite movies is called “ Serendipity ”. Serendipity means " the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for ." I call it destiny. Some call serendipity "luck" or fate. They say that sometimes th

Sharing a Cup of Joe

I like spending time with people in one on one settings and sharing a cup of joe . There is nothing more exciting than an idea or a dream that is launched or initiated by a casual meeting in a coffee shop. In fact, when I think about how the Lord would engage with people if He were walking around today, I am quite certain that stopping by the local cafe' would be on His agenda. Encouragement is a powerful tool that we can use to lift up someone's spirits, help them through a rough patch or simply fuel the passion that already exists in their soul. One of my greatest joys comes in helping others to realize their life purpose and get moving in the direction of fulfilling it. It's where the ministry of Dreams2Destiny Center comes from. Making scriptures, quotes and inspirational teaching available 24/7 is my passion. It's been that way from the time that D2D started to the launching of The Landing to the creation of our daily Cup of Joe blog. Today, I am thrilled to b

Another Gospel

Galatians 1: 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ . Key words here- I am astonished at how quickly people leave solid teaching of God's Word and relationship with His people for another gospel. " Another gospel " really refers to any type of activity, place or person that becomes a substitute for the real thing. What is the real thing? Look at Romans 1:16 where Paul says, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for IT (the Gospel) is the POWER of God that LEADS people to SALVATION . It's easy to feel detached, disconnected maybe even abandoned by people of faith. Having been in ministry for nearly three decades, I have felt the emotion of people coming and going repeatedly. Honestly there have been many times I wanted to leave!

Turn the Page

The other day I was reading a book on my IPAD. It only takes a simple swipe of the finger to turn the page . It's so easy to go forward but it is also easy to go backwards. I started to think about the chapters of my life and how I turn the pages every day to begin a new journey, a new dialogue and a new season. I like to look ahead to all that God has in store for me but oftentimes I swipe the page and fall back. What I am learning is how to retain the lesson learned on each page and spend more time writing new pages rather than rereading old ones. Like Paul I have realized that I have not yet become all that I am designed to be. And neither have you! I encourage you today to turn the page and keep moving forward. It's easy to be fascinated with past victories and live in the glory of what has been so often that you miss what has come . God is doing new things all over the world and you have something new, something incredible that He is ready to write on the pages of yo

Friends (part 3)

Friends forever...always and in ALL ways! We have been talking about how important it is to have people in our lives that can help us get to where we need to be. Like the paralytic on the mat in Mark 2, perhaps we all need at least four solid things(people) to help carry us to where we need to be. The first two posts on our mat were occupied by FAITH and HOPE . A powerful duo that always seems to help us better ourselves and get into a position to be blessed by God. On post three, we have LOVE . Love ignites the project, the relationship, the church and keeps faith and hope alive . In fact scripture says that these three remain after all else is gone, faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is LOVE. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love never fails. Love looks for another way in when the door is crowded shut. It was love that took faith and hope to the roof. Without love, hope may have diminished and faith would have fizzled out. Love lets you imagine the best

Friends (part 2) friends forever...those folks are pretty special. They stick close when everyone else has left the building. Yesterday we talked about a man who could not move or speak and was paralyzed. It's a story in the Bible in Mark 2. He had four BFF's! Picture for a moment this paralyzed man laying on a mat and unable to feed himself, get a drink, write a sentence or do anything. He was in desperate need of a friend. You and I were created for be connected to people. Like the man in this story, we can never be whole, never be well unless we have the right people in the right places in our lives. I like to picture this man on a mat with a post on each corner and the only way the mat can be brought to the place where Jesus could heal him was to have someone on each corner. Let me give you the four corners...four posts that we all need to get us in a position to be saved, delivered and healed. The first corner is FAITH. Without faith we cannot make God happy.

Veterans Day

Today we remember all of those brave soldiers that defend the freedom that we enjoy. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness would need be possible if these men and women were not making huge sacrifices for each of us. Mom's and dad's that are away from families and children, men and women that have protected and served for decades. Today, and every day, we say thank you for your gift. You have given to use an opportunity for peace. You have helped make it possible for us to learn and grow. Life and happiness would mean nothing without liberty. Thank you to your loved ones, who let you go to fulfill this calling. Thank you to your spouses and children who waved goodbye but made sure to say "I'll see you soon!". Thank you to those that are praying for you all over the world as you make this sacrifice. Thank you to all of the soldiers that have gone before you, those who showed you the hurts with their blood...those who washed away the pain with th

Friends (part 1)

Many, many, many years ago there was a song being song in auditoriums all over the world as people linked arms, held up lighters and felt thankfulness in their hearts. It's a Michael W. Smith song and the chorus went like this: And friends are friends forever If the Lord's the Lord of them And a friend will not say never 'Cause the welcome will not end Though it's hard to let you go In the Father's hands we know That a lifetime's not too long To live as friends Everybody needs friends. Someone once said that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer. In other words, make friends with as many people as you can. In Mark 2 there is a story about a man that was paralyzed. He could not do anything for himself, in fact, we don't know if he could even speak. He was immobile and unable to function in his life. There are many people today that are spiritual paralytics. They don't talk, they can't move and when it come to doing even t

Rooted in Him

Col 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness . Living the life of a fully devoted follower of Christ is challenging AND rewarding. Continuing to make the right choices at the right time for the right reasons is a learned skill. We are to be " rooted " in Him. That means we get into a place where we are spiritually fed and we plant ourselves . You cannot grow roots without good soil. We all need a local place of worship to connect to. You were created to have fellowship. We will be built up in direct proportion to the depths of our roots. The deeper they flow, the higher you go! When we use our faith(in God) we strengthen our spirit man. As faith is exercised it grows. As it grows you become a thankful person: not just giving thanks but living thankfully! Check the soil you are sitting in and ask God to help you e

The Right Question

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”  Jesus said, “ You’re asking the wrong question . You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. (John 9) What would change today if you looked at challenges, trials and difficulties as opportunities to minister? The disciples saw this man's blindness and wondered who caused it. "Who sinned, the man or his parents?" Jesus said that is the wrong question. You are missing the point. Asking the right question is important. Seizing a godly opportunity is too! As you move through your day, don't look to blame, look for God. Don't miss the "what" being distracted by "why". God is ready to show His power to all those that ask the right question.

This Time Tomorrow...

2 Kings 7:1  Elisha said, “ Listen! God’s word! The famine’s over. This time tomorrow food will be plentiful—a handful of meal for a shekel; two handfuls of grain for a shekel. The market at the city gate will be buzzing. ” I want you to picture today, the delivery into your life of this encouraging Word from God. Listen! Your time of lack, doubt, disease and depression is over! The market at the city gate will be buzzing as people exchange thoughts, ideas, dreams and services! You are about to get the best deal you have ever received! Your cart will be full and your accounts will be flourishing! Can I ask you what would be different in your life today if you knew that your season of "not enough" was going to end first thing tomorrow? How would you prepare yourself for an overwhelming blessing and supernatural favor? The trouble with most of us is that we simply do not believe that this kind of life is possible. Too long and too often we have heard things that feed our

Things are Heating Up!

Setting the temperature...regulating the climate...controlling the environment...what kind of an impact are you having in your world? Jesus told us that we could live a great life: an abundant life because he paid the price for our sin. That means that I places should change when we arrive. People should change when we show up. We control the environment. Think about it; if someone starts to argue with you then you can choose to argue back or diminish the altercation. Your words and your actions change your surroundings. Do you just let people know what the temperature is or do you change the temperature? Today, pray like you truly believe your prayers have His power running through them. Pray like you expect results. Speak the Word boldly and resist all of the darkness. Make an impact...use His influence in you...I think things are starting to heat up !

Absolutely Everything

For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him . Col 1:16 For many years of my life I searched for meaning and purpose in various people and a variety of things. Like most people, I thought if I hung out with the right folks and participated in the right activities I would gain popularity and find value for my life. And again, like many, all of these pursuits fell short. This scripture could have saved me a great deal of time and heartache. Everything got started in him and find its purpose in him. Everything? Absolutely everything! A life devoted to things is fruitless. Our purpose can only truly be realized when we are in relationship with our Creator. The closer we get to him the more we act like him. What kind of people are in your life? Do they build you up or tear you down? Are the things you are involved in lifting up peoples spirits or simply usin

A Leadership IV

There are many formulas and strategies for developing leaders. There are also many people who believe that they are leading. If no one is following you then chances are real good that you are not a leader. As we continue to build some great people in our city and become the church that the Lord designed us to be it will be crucial for us to develop leaders for the many outreaches and ministries that the Lord is birthing within our ministry. Without leadership, the ministry will become stagnant, stall and eventually die. I've been spending some time praying and thinking about the qualities that you will find in great leadership candidates. If you are having trouble sustaining leaders, maybe you need to hook up an IV.  Intravenous therapy gets what is needed directly into the veins to expedite recovery. Here's my potent IV for health so you can get some energy and strength into your leadership program. I NTEGRITY Integrity is defined as moral soundness and honesty. If we can

What Do YOU Want?

There was a blind man that heard Jesus was coming to town. Jesus had a reputation for making things work that didn't work. This man could not see but he could speak, in fact he could yell. And that's just what he did! Jesus, have mercy on me! His voice was heard and could not be ignored. Jesus stopped and had him brought closer. When the blind man was standing before him, Jesus didn't touch him, he didn't pray and he did not anoint him with oil. He simply asked him a question. What do you want me to do for you? It was a pivotal moment in his life. What if he would have said "I want to win the lottery and I need some winning numbers?" Or "I'd like to have more money than I could ever spend." Bartimaeus could have focused on things but he didn't. Jesus knew what he wanted and when Bartimaeus said it, faith collided with power and a miracle was born! Imagine today that the Lord is standing before you and waiting for your words to agree with