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Showing posts from May, 2012

Be Prepared

Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching . 2 Timothy 4:2 If you are a fully devoted follower of Christ you have an obligation: to be ready whenever and wherever you are needed to testify to others about how Christ has changed your life. The Bible refers to this as being ready in season or out of season …in other words, you must be ready at any time! Why is that so important? Because a time is coming when people are going to be caught up in all kinds of things that are not true. You need to be ready to set the record straight. You must point people to Christ and the truth that comes in His Word. That may require you to patiently correct, even rebuke a wayward friend or co-worker. The bottom line is that you become an encourager. And the only way to do that successfully is to use something encouraging to lift up their spirits. That One thing is the Word of God. That,

Angels Unaware

Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Hebrews 13:1,2 Maybe you have never thought about the fact that your actions and words may have been done in the presence of divine helpers that God has surrounded you with. Imagine taking a few moments today to help that person that just happened to come across your path and finding out that God had sent an angel into your world to see how you would respond. We never really know whether we have been in the presence of angels but many people, myself included, can attest that they have “felt” angelic moments. The goal in this life is to let brotherly love continue and to watch what you are doing. Live life as if God’s special messengers were right there witnessing your devotion and faithfulness.

His Plan

I know that the Bible tells me that God has a plan for my life: one that brings good things and always turns out for my benefit.(Jeremiah 29:11) finding out what it is, well that is another story! I wish that there were signs like this one in the elevator that would speak clearly to me so that I would not make mistakes. But then, aren't mistakes part of the learning too? Why does it always seem like i get off on the wrong floor? Perhaps we should just keep moving forward, keep trusting Him and let Him lead the way through the good AND the bad. I am certain that when it comes time to exit this season and move to the next, the way will be made known!
Thank You and God bless YOU! Your sacrifice is remembered and today, as a nation we choose to honor your memory and bless the lives of your family and friends. May God bless America on this Memorial Day!

Thank You!

From all of us to you and yours...may you have a blessed and safe Memorial Day weekend, and may we all never forget those that gave their lives so that we could live ours. Thank You!

He Makes Me Lie Down...

He makes me lie down in green pastures ... As we saw yesterday, sheep will not lie down until 4 things take place: first, fear must be removed. After fear its friction that has to go… think of it like the people that “ butt ” up against you the wrong way. We butt into each other jockeying for position … to get ahead, sometimes to make ourselves feel better. And many times because of this friction people are hurt.   After the removal of fear and friction, the aggravation is dealt with. Sheep are annoyed by nasal flies and ticks. At times they can get so tormented by these flies that they will actually rear up on their hind legs, shakes their heads and rush off into the bushes. Sounds like some of the believers I know! Why is it always the little things that drive us so crazy? Has anyone really “ bugged ” you?  Don ’ t go rearing up on your hind legs and shaking your head and jumping in the bushes! The Good Shepherd makes you lie down . So how does he do that? For

My Shepherd

I have enjoyed teaching at The Landing the last few weeks on Psalm 23. We've been taking it verse by verse to get a more in depth understanding of a shepherd-sheep relationship. We started with the understanding that the Lord IS MY shepherd . He cares about what happens to me and what I am going through. We know from scripture that he will leave the other 99 sheep to come after the 1 that is lost. He wants to look after us. And when we come into the right relationship with our shepherd, we shall not want anything. He takes care of everything that we need! Last night we looked at the verse that begins..."he makes me to lie down in green pastures". One of the most interesting characteristics of sheep is that it is almost impossible to make them lie down unless four requirements are met. They must be: 1-free from fear  2-free from friction w/others 3-free from pests  4-free from hunger Look closely at those things: fear, tension, aggravation and hu

Pray for All

1 Timothy 2:1   I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3  This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4  who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth . Have you prayed for those that are "over" you today...your boss, our President, those who are making decisions on your behalf? We are encouraged to pray for ALL people and for those in authority so that WE can live peaceful and quiet lives. So how should I pray? Look closely at the first verse... 1-ask God to help them 2-intercede on their behalf 3-give thanks for them Most days I get so busy worrying about me that I neglect praying for others. I have to slow myself down and remind myself what is most important. Today, take a few moments to pray like this for ALL the people you are ass

Are You Running?

Psalm 55:4   My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. 5  Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking. 6  Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! 7  I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. 8  How quickly I would escape— far from this wild storm of hatred . Perhaps the most natural action to feeling scared, confused or overwhelmed is to run. People run from jobs, from people, from family and even from God. David says in verse 6, if I had wings I would fly away!  In my own life, I have realized that running was not really my problem. It was the destination of my running. I know now that there are really only two ways to run: you can run away from God or you can run to him.  So take a look at where you are running and make sure that where you end up is in the arms of a God that is bigger that all of your problems!

How's Your Appetite?

It is good for workers to have an appetite; an empty stomach drives them on. (Proverbs 16:26 NLT) Have you ever noticed that when you are trying to eat the right things, every commercial on television is promoting the wrong things? Or you are not really hungry and sitting at home and then suddenly, that ice cream commercial sends you running out for your favorite pint! The marketing companies know that if they make you think you are hungry, you will go after what they want to feed you. Your hunger, your appetite will drive you on. Now consider that God has given us a taste of the bread of life(His Word) that when eaten, will make you want more:) His hope is that your hunger for more of Him will drive you on towards more of His plan for you. So rather than watch the commercials today and chasing pints of mint chocolate chip, take another taste of His Word and increase your appetite for God. If your spiritual stomach feels hungry, feed it faith-filled bites of hope from God. That's

Facing More Than You Can Bear?

We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it .  In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God , who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety . 2 Cor 1:8-11 Each one of us can probably relate to the idea of facing something that absolutely overwhelmed us beyond our ability to endure. Paul is describing some pretty dark times when hope was gone and so was the belief that they could survive. I guess he could have just pulled out the white flag and given up. He could have th

Don't Write Them Off

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie." This little story out of the Book of Mark makes me wonder about how I judge people today. John wore clothes made of camel hair and ate bugs! Would I be compelled to listen to his message or would I ignore him because of what he looked like and his strange habits? It's easy to glance at folks and write them off rather than trying to imagine what they are going through and accept them for who they are. I would have to be honest and say that a man standing in the ri

Are You Glowing?

The way of right living people glow with light ...that is what Proverbs 4:18 tells us. It says that the longer they live the brighter they shine. There is a unique light that shines on and through people that trust in the Lord. Many times life can bring some unwelcome "cloud cover" that can try and keep us from glowing. There are days when things seem so bad that darkness permeates everywhere. The good news today is that no matter how dark it gets, you can always let YOUR light shine. Light not only dispels darkness, it can also chase away depression and counteract discouragement. So today, make the choice to trust the Lord with all you say and do. It's time for you to "glow"!

Just a Spark

It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell . James 3:6 All of us have started some type of wildfire with words. It’s easy to see the negative impact a wrongly placed word can have and unfortunately, what comes out cannot be taken back. Imagine running the world with the way you talk! You may think that is not possible but I can tell you that it will surely ruin your world. You can create trouble where no trouble existed and even destroy the reputation of another person. Knowing this, I wonder why we don’t think before we speak more often? Don’t be in a hurry to offer up your verbal assault. Take a few deep breaths and ask God to bring peace to your spirit and spice(the good kind) to your words.

I Can't Take It!

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I'm an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful— I can't take it all in ! PS 139:1-6 Sometimes I shutter to think that the Lord knows what I am thinking! Though the Bible says that I have the mind of Christ I must confess that sometimes I don't use it properly. I take comfort today in knowing that I am on the mid of God every moment and nothing surprises Him. He surrounds me with protection and prepares me for anything that I will face. You have an ally today that is looking out for you. You can rest assured that your best interest is on his heart and mind every day. So

Happy Mothers Day!

Here's to you MOM, for all of those things you endured as you taught me about the things that matter. Thank you for allowing me to grow, learn and become the person that you always hoped I would be. For that I am so grateful. And here's to all of those women out there, who always wanted to be a mom but situations and life took them other directions. Your concern and care for others is maternal in its own way and the world rises up to call you blessed today.  Our happiness always comes not in looking at what's missing but rather in looking at what is around us. We are ALL connected in this life with a bond of love that is unshakeable and unbreakable. May this very special day be blessed and may the Lord's favor shine upon each and every one of you for the rest of your days!

All Access

On your feet now— applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence. 
Know this: God is God, and God, God. He made us; we didn't make him. We're his people, his well-tended sheep. 
 Enter with the password: "Thank you!"  Make yourselves at home, talking praise . Thank him. Worship him. 
 For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever . Psalm 100 What better way to finish a week than with some encouraging commands from the psalms! Every time I read this I see a morning routine that is sure to make the day go better: applaud the Lord, laugh a little,sing until you feel it,thank Him, and keep talking praise. Try this today! Start your day by giving it up for Jesus and all that He means to you. Then sing your way into His presence. Access all that He has designed for you today by using the password: thank you Lord! And then make yourselves at home in the presence of God, talking praise all day long. Not

Jesus is Lord

At The Landing we often talk to people about making Jesus the Lord of their life. They know that He died on the cross for our sins and became our Savior but what does it mean to be our "Lord"? The dictionary defines lord as "a person who has authority, control , or power over others; a master, chief, or ruler ". So when we ask Jesus to rule and reign in our life as Lord we are asking Him to be the one in control, top dog, the Big cheese, the chief! We acknowledge that He is in charge and then we utilize His power to live our lives. So when He is Lord we should not ever grow weary because His strength is from everlasting to everlasting. He does not grow tired. We don't have to worry about what others may say about us because He's in charge. Making Jesus the Lord of our life is the most important decision we can make. It means that we no longer have to worry about what happens, good or bad. He takes all things and mixes them together into somet

Coping with Problems?

My daily devotional that I read popped up today with a story about how our coping with problems is like trying to put kittens in a basket: once you get one in another one pops out! Well I can honestly say that I have personally never tried that but I can see the lesson. After a while of trying to put one in while one jumps out you may feel despair and even attempt to give up. Remember that it's always to soon to quit. Be strong IN THE LORD, and in His mighty power. You have strength inside that you can activate through prayer and praise today. And rather than trying to keep putting your kittens in a basket, just get your ducks in a row...that may be a bit easier! Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matt. 6:33

Strong Enough

Romans 16: 26..."All of our praise rises to the One who is strong enough to make you strong , exactly as preached in Jesus Christ, precisely as revealed in the mystery kept secret for so long but now an open book through the prophetic Scriptures. All the nations of the world can now know the truth and be brought into obedient belief, carrying out the orders of God, who got all this started, down to the very last letter. 27  All our praise is focused through Jesus on this incomparably wise God! Yes! There is a way to have the strength you need to make it through anything that comes at you. It will also reveal the truth and bring us to a place where we do what God likes and follow the plan He has laid out for our lives. What's the secret? PRAISE! Praise is a game-changer. If we sincerely want to see positive change in our lives and our nation, we need to get our 'praise" on! Praise the Lord for He is the One who can make YOU strong!

Trust & Praise

O God, have mercy on me,
 for people are hounding me.
 My foes attack me all day long. 2  I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, 
and many are boldly attacking me. 3  But when I am afraid, 
I will put my trust in you. 4  I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid ? Ps 56:1-4 Perhaps you have gone through some of the emotions referred to in this psalm of David. Things like feeling that evil is hounding you or that you are getting attacked by “stuff” all day long. Attacks turn to slander and when the consistency of this battering occurs, you may feel like saying what’s the use. But David wasn’t a quitter and you shouldn’t be either. David rose up and put his trust in God and began to praise him. Not for what was happening but for what was promised. And the end result is fearlessness. The end result is courageous boldness that keeps on going no matter what happens. So, can you rise up, trust God and praise him today?

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Just a Note of Encouragement

There is no better way to end this week than giving you some encouragement and hope. You are gifted. You have every spiritual gift YOU need. God is going to keep you strong. But don't take my word for it. You can read it today from the pages of 1 Corinthians... 4 I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. 5  Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. 6  This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true. 7  Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8  He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 1 COR 1:4-8 You are here, sipping a fresh cup of joe on a Friday with an amazing weekend ahead of you! How does THAT make you feel? Keep your head's going to be a great day!

National Day of Prayer

  2012 NATIONAL PRAYER Dr. David Jeremiah – NDP Honorary Chairman 2012 NATIONAL PRAYER Heavenly Father, Every good gift and perfect gift comes from You. You are a faithful God and Your mercy endures forever. You have promised to bless the nation that trusts in You. Our currency proclaims “In God We Trust,” but in our culture we are far from You. In the words of the prophet Daniel, “We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.” We come before You once more, seeking Your forgiveness and mercy. You, O God, are our only hope… Hear our prayer and, for Your honor’s sake, shine Your face upon this nation. Give our leaders the desire to seek Your wisdom and the courage to follow Your guidance… and watch over the men and women of our armed forces as they sacrifice for the cause of freedom. We give You thanks for all You have done for us, and we earnestly pray that You will help us become, once again, a nati

Trees Clapping Their Hands

You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! (Isaiah 55:12 NLT) It's storm season here in Oklahoma and that means that the winds are indeed whipping down the plain. While taking my daily walk the other day I went through an area where there was little activity and the street noise was minimal. The wind was moving, sort of a rushing mighty wind, and it caused me to think about Acts 2 and what that entire Upper Room experience must have been like. When the wind blows, everything that it touches moves. When the wind(Holy Spirit) touches you, will move too! As it hit the trees I thought of this short little verse in Isaiah. Living in joy and peace and mountains bursting into song with the trees clapping their hands. It was so quiet that it really did sound like a wave a applause as the wing blew through the trees. God is so good and He shows up in everything. You just have to be looking for H

Change of Plans

Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. (Jude 1:3 NLT) It doesn't happen all the time but lately I have found that I can relate to this verse about interruptions in my own agenda. As the pastor of a church, it is always my desire to have the right words for people that have decided to grow spiritually in service to the Lord with me. In the last few weeks there have been many divine interruptions where what I thought I was going to say was changed "on the fly" by the Spirit of the Lord. Life has a way of helping me to move and my goal is to always move towards the Lord. Sometimes I defend the faith, sometimes I preach it. And everyday I strive to live it. Today, if life changes your plans, if it pushes you around, let it push you to the things that bring a smile to the Lords