Posts

Showing posts from May, 2011

Tomorrows Mercy

Image
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning;
Great
is Your faithfulness.Lam 3:22-23
I don't deserve the goodness of God. I seem to make so many mistakes. In fact there are days when I get up and want to do only good things but end up making some poor choices instead. I fall short in so many ways. The Bible says that this is true of all of us so I know that I am not alone. I have others that are part of his family that are trying to live a life that honors God and navigate the trials and challenges too. But the news gets even better! I may make a mistake today but tomorrows mercy is not the same as today's.
 He has compassion on me each and every day and he knows my weaknesses. In fact, when I am my weakest, he becomes strength for me! Have you made some big mistakes? Don't dwell on what's done, look forward
to what's coming! New mercies...God's compassion...GREAT is His faithfulness!

We Remember!

Image
It’s the day we remember all that you did
Using weapons and fighting, when still just a kid
You defended our honor, our freedom you bought
Sacrificial giving in every fight that you fought
We remember your faithfulness, a life that you gave
For the land of the free and the home of the brave!
God bless all of those who paid the ultimate price
for the freedom we enjoy! May God bless us all on this
Memorial Day

Tradeoffs

Image
"Life is a series of tradeoffs. If we’re going to grow as influencers, then at different junctures of life, we’re going to have to let go of what we have to take hold of something better. We must give up to go up."
The words from John Maxwell seem simple: let go, trade off, give up to go up! Brilliant!
But if you feel like millions of others, you are certainly aware of the difficulty in doing this. We hold on because it's comfortable. We trade-off because we can't maintain what we have. And most of us just give out before we even get started.
The fact is that we can't do everything and we will have to make choices. Tough choices. Moving from complacency to our place to be will take determination. Today try to give up. Try to position yourself for the greatness that God has already set you up for. Pay attention at each crossroad. Watch for signs. Make a decision to go up! Tradeoff your weakness for God's strength!

HELLO

Image
One of my favorite lines in Jerry Maguire is when he's trying to win his girl back and keeps babbling and then she says, "you had me at hello". Hello! First impressions are so very important in every aspect of our lives. Most people decide how they feel about us in the first minutes they meet us. After that, the strength and depth of the relationship hinges on time spent together and mutual respect. I've taken these simple letters today and put together a very simple thing to remember every time you say hello.


Honor the person-put their needs before your own
Embrace them-a simple hug or firm handshake can do wonders
Love them by looking in their eyes and listening to them
Liberate them by allowing them to be themselves with you
Overwhelm them with generosity and kindness

Think about these simple things the next time you say hello and you will be on your way to a meaningful and long-lasting relationship.

Power Outage

Image
Luke 11:20But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.
22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.
23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Yesterday the fury of tornado season ran through Oklahoma. It started in the west and moved through the state throughout the day. When evening came it was at my house. A furious squall as scripture calls it. I always wanted to be a storm chaser. So I ran after this one, camera in tow and a prayer in my heart. 
As I was filming south of my home I caught several explosions...transformers were popping in the city of Haskell Oklahoma while I was shooting. It seconds their power was completely out.
I thought of this verse. Power was fine and functioning until something more powerful came and …

A Kodak Moment

Image
After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Mark 9:2-4
It's hard to imagine what it might have felt like to be one of those inside the circle of trust Jesus had. Peter, James and John were part of the inner circle and got to be a part of things that no one else did. In this text Jesus took them up to the top of a mountain and he changed right before their eyes! Bright white light consumed them and then suddenly there appeared Elijah and Moses talking to Jesus! Unbelievable! Talk about a Kodak moment!
The closer we get to Christ the more amazing life can become. This same trio went as support to the Garden before he was arrested and crucified. They also got to go inside Jairus' home to watch the 12 year old…

Use YOUR Mat

Image
In John 5 there is a story of a gathering of sick people by the pool of Bethesda. There was a man there that had his condition for 38 years. Jesus makes a visit and asks him a simple question: "do you want to get well?" He begins to make excuses for his condition, he blames others, timing, everything and everyone but himself. But Jesus is merciful and his grace is ALL sufficient. And like everyone else who encountered Jesus , this man is raised up healed and was off the mat! Then Jesus does something that surprises me. Jesus told him to take up this mat and go. That’s a bit unusual. After laying on this bed of illness for 38 years, the last thing I would want to take into my new life is this disease mat! Fact is, your mat may stay with you forever. You don’t get over everything…you endure…you look forward with hope. When Jesus told this man to rise and take up his mat, the thing we must see  is that for the very first time in 38 years, the mat did not hold him, he held the mat…

Madman to the Talk of the Town

Image
Mark 5 tells a story about what happened one time the disciples and Jesus made it to the other side of the lake. As soon as Jesus hit the shore he was met by a madman. The Bible says “He lived there among the tombs and graves. No one could restrain him-he couldn't be chained, couldn't be tied down. He had been tied up many times with chains and ropes, but he broke the chains, snapped the ropes. No one was strong enough to tame him.” You don’t have to go much further in the story to find this man described as perfectly clothed and completely sane. The Message Bible says that he was “the talk of the town”. How do you go from being a madman to being the talk of the town? You have a genuine encounter with Jesus. It doesn’t matter how far out of sync you are right now. You may have made a million mistakes and squandered countless opportunities. One moment with Jesus takes away the madness and brings you supernatural gladness. How can you have your own personal encounter? Read his Wo…

A New Name

Image
The nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will bestow
. IS 62:2
The other day I was singing an old hymn in my head; maybe you remember it? It went, "there's a new name written down in glory, and it mine, yes it's mine!"
After spending over 52 years on this planet I can honestly tell you that I have been called many names. As a child I was a bit stocky. Some of the kids in my neighborhood gave me the name "Fat Willie". It honestly made me want to eat more!
And my mom did not help me. She would buy me jeans that had a big brown label on the back that said HUSKY! 
I heard it, I wore it and I was becoming it!
One day, I asked Jesus to come live in my heart and be my Lord and Savior
and he gave me a new heart and a new name. Now I was a child of God,
an over-comer, more than a conqueror. I was a Christian and I was fearfully and
wonderfully made! Everything began to change.
It does not m…

Ordained,Sustained and Maintained

Image
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
ps 37:23                                                                                 
The Bible tells us that the steps of the righteous man are ordained by God. He is the director of the way for the man who makes right choices at the right time and for the right reasons. When we live surrendered lives, we are promised that the steps will be ordained, our life will be sustained and our path will be maintained. Let today be the day that you set your agenda aside and let the Lord guide, guard and govern every detail of your life. You will be able to walk through the day knowing that the places you are going, the things you are doing and the people you are meeting are part of a much bigger picture. He will direct your steps and even your stops!

Quiet Desperation

Image
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and
go to the grave with the song still in them.
Henry David Thoreau
I've always been intrigued by this quote. Perhaps it's because the term "quiet desperation" carries with it such an ominous weight every time I hear it. What does that mean? Does despair have a distinct silence?
Some have defined this phrase as "silent hopelessness". Most seem to feel that quiet despair is feeling despair but going on with your life anyway without letting on that you feel it.
Despair is prolonged hopelessness. When we lose our reason for living and deny our passion for the pursuit of something larger than we are, we are setting ourselves up for unsettled minds and lives that are saturated in quiet desperation.
Christ in you IS your only real hope. You can't rely on people. You surely can't put all your trust in your job or the nations economy. You can however hope in nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.
How do you …

What Do You Hear?

Remember the time that Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on the water? It was right in the middle of a huge storm and the winds were blowing and the weaves crashing. They saw a shadowy figure walking on the water and they were all afraid. Jesus knew they were scared so he quickly said, "don't be afraid, take courage...I am here". Then Peter said, "Lord, if its really you, tell me to come." Jesus said, "come."
There are many times when you and I go through things that are challenging and we can't see Jesus in any of it. You may wonder if he is even around. Peter gave us something to think about here. If you can't see him, listen for him.
Peter could not see Jesus so he asked Jesus to keep speaking so he could follow the voice. What, or should I say, whose voice are you listening to? Make sure it's Jesus and it won't be long before you are walking on top of the things that sink everyone else!

A Special Cup for a Special Guy

Image
Today was supposed to be another birthday for someone I shall never forget: Tony Jones. He was not related to me by natural blood but by the supernatural blood of Christ, we were partners in ministry. Tony captured hearts and changed lives with a smile and a powerful testimony of the goodness and grace of God. He saved more people in his final year on the planet than most of us will all our lives. He was an incredible evangelist.
Today, he watches over his wonderful wife and two children and all of those family members that remain to endure his loss but to look forward to their reunion tour. One day we will all gather together again and enjoy the laughs, the smiles and the incredible stories of how we had time together to tell people about Jesus and we did it! One of Tony's legacies came when God showed him how to take his name and start a movement. Tony Jones, how do you do that? Simply turn his first name around and give him the last name of the One that saved him: Ynot Jesus!…

Supernatural Solutions

Image
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. Isaiah 43:1-5 ESV
What an incredible word today for those who are enduring the many "natural" disasters of life. This morning I began my day praying for those that lost houses in tornadoes just a couple of weeks ago. And then I moved on to those that saw floods…

So Close!

Image
"Many of life's failures are people who
did not realize how close they were
to success when they gave up."
- Thomas Edison 
I often wonder about "timing" and why most of the things I pray for don't show up until the final hour. Have your ever experienced that? Let me keep it real simple today...it's always too soon to quit. If you are thinking about giving up on a dream or idea take a moment today to ask yourself this question:"If the blessing you were waiting on was coming later today, would you still stop moving forward?" If you are normal, you would say absolutely not! 
Don't give up! Trust in the Lord and don't lean on what you know. Hold up your head and hold out your hope! You could be soooo close! Don't quit...do it!

Live Generously

Image
I was reading in Matthew 10 this morning about the calling of the first dozen guys that would be used to take the message of Christ to the world. Times seemed so much easier then. In fact Jesus told them to not worry about raising a missions budget or leasing the right equipment. He just said go, pack light and live generously. Their lives, submitted to Him, was all that was necessary to start this movement.
This story even made me a bit nostalgic. I thought back to when I started to do things that would point to the love that Christ showed to me and talk to others about Him. So many times I thought that I needed the right sound equipment, a polished powerpoint presentation and some cool clothes. And all Jesus wanted to do was use me.
I've been involved in some pretty spectacular events that were fashioned by the very hand of God and I know that without grace and mercy, no good thing could have come from my life. The Lord has been so generous to me that it makes me want to try and…

Good News!

Image
This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. Colossians 1:6
Too often the impact and effect of the Gospel is minimal. Many people think that spiritual growth is on a decline and that the power is gone from the church. Fact is, the same words that were printed in this word to the church where Paul was do still apply today. 
This Good News, that Jesus saves, is going everywhere. It's global! And because it NEVER returns void, it's bearing fruit everywhere that it goes. Jesus changes lives.
The question today is "are you in a place where that Good News is being shared?" Don't just visit a Bible preaching local church, get plugged in. It won't be long until you see that power is everywhere, fruit is coming forth and lives are being changed. That IS the Good News!

Happy Mothers Day!

Image
It takes a very special woman to be a mom. Today we honor you and your tireless effort in making us who we are today. It's true that a mothers work is never done and that ALL mothers are working mothers!
May your day be blessed with joy and may the love of God embrace you in such a way today that you know how much you are truly loved!
To my dear mother, Barbara Jean Jones, thank you for always being there to listen and lead and for helping me out of the holes I fell into.
I love you!
Happy Mothers Day!

If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been.  ~Robert Brault

Don't Quit!

Image
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.Galatians 6:9
I am a pretty good starter in most things. I love to develop and initiate new programs and projects and all that goes with them. I'm usually full of ideas and thoughts for how to begin. The hard part for me and most of the people that I know is not starting...it's staying the course and finishing. 
To help me stay in the fight and to keep punching I have to know the last part of this verse. If I don't give up, if I don't quit there is a promise. I'll reap at just the right time. Of course that refers to the fact that I have been planting seeds too. You reap what you sow.
Maybe you are having a hard time taking courage and staying in the race. There is a wonderful harvest of blessing if you don't quit!

Where Are Your Serving?

Image
Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them. Luke 4:38-39
Jesus was all about helping others. Everyone he went he healed sickness and disease. Even at the home of Peters mother-in-law! She had a fever and Jesus spoke not to her but to the fever and it left. He was teaching us how to get beyond pain and hurt and to a healthy place. Speak to the root of the trouble. Kill it. Now notice what happens next. The whole, completely well mother-in-law got up and took care  of everyone at the house. Right there, right away!
In my nine years as the lead pastor at The Landing, the trend I have seen more often than not is people getting well and then moving on. Peter's mother-in-law got right back in the game and took care of those in the house that she was healed in. She served wher…

Who's Helping You?

Image
One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick.Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Luke 5:17-19
Who is helping you stay close to Jesus? A pastor, or business partner? A family that lives by you? Your employer? Maybe a parent? There are so many distractions and disruptions in life today and it would seem impossible to stay the course and fight the fight of faith alone. 
The man in our story was unable to move. He had tremendous needs in his life and there may have been much more than the physical that was obvious. He needed to be touched by Jesus. But ther…

I Desire Prayer

Image
I desire therefore that the men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and disputing.  1 Tim 2:8
There is nothing as powerful as prayer. I would love to see everyone intent on prayer every day. Prayer is talking to God and developing a relationship. You cannot have a good relationship with anyone that you won't talk to. And that friendship won't grow properly if the only time you talk is when you want something.
Paul had a desire to see people of all races and backgrounds coming together to pray. He longed to see people put aside differences and disputes and embrace the One who puts all of those things to rest.
Next week our country will focus on prayer during the annual National Day of Prayer. We know that God said he would heal our land and forgive us if we would just talk to him. No matter where you are today, you can develop your prayer life. Just start talking! Talk to God throughout the day and not just during a scheduled quiet time. Get to know Him...I m…

Well Done!

Image
Last night the nation was informed that one of our greatest adversaries to national safety in this country, Osama Bin Laden was captured and killed by our military troops. The social networks were buzzing with a variety of comments. My thoughts immediately went to those families sitting in living rooms without people that they loved because of the evil heart of this person and those he inspired to act it out. I thought of the countless men and women in the US Armed Forces who have sacrificed beyond comprehension to go after those that threaten our freedoms and hurt our people. I also thought of George W. Bush and the incredible resolve he must feel knowing that the men and women that he sent into battle have been applauded, validated and justified by the period that they have placed on this season. Well done! President Obama then reminded us that when America sets its mind to something, it can carry it out. Unity is a powerful force and when people act together, just like these special…