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Showing posts from August, 2012

Enjoy the Journey

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.  ~Walter Elliott
You and I are part of life's greatest race...the human race. Most people are focused on their destination rather than the journey. Happiness is usually found in enjoying the journey en route to your destination.  One of the challenges of this journey is coming upon detours, road blocks and dead ends. No one has ever gotten real excited about changing direction or finding out that they way you were going leads no where. In fact every time that I see one of those signs on the highway that says Expect Delays, it usually has the word LONG right in the middle of those words! Imagine how much fun life could be if you looked at every detour or obstacle as a way to grow, see something new and find another way to get to where you should be. So if you see any of those signs today, lift up your eyes, thank the Lord and smile:) Perhaps the journey may even BE the destination.

Harmony

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
I love to play the piano. I enjoy hearing a new song and then teaching myself to play it. I am amazed at how many songs can be written with just a handful of notes. Think about it: 7 white notes and 5 black ones in an octave. A total of 52 white notes and 36 black ones on the entire keyboard. That's 88 notes. Every song that has ever been written has utilized these 88 notes by positioning them in different places at different times.Amazing isn't it?
People are like notes on a piano. Much can be done with the right group of folks! God wants to position us in such a way that we produce harmony with each other. Unfortunately, many people fail to make a sound. Others are way out of tune and need to be a…

Hangdog Skulking

I usually read my daily readings in the Bible in translations that I can understand. Most of the time I turn to the New Living or New International version. When I am still confused I go to the Message translation which always seems to break it down in layman's terms. Today as I read a book in the Psalms out of the Message, I came across something that I'd never heard before...
"My head is high, God, held high; I'm looking to you, God; 
No hangdog skulking for me." Psalm 25:1 MSG
I like holding my head up high, looking to God but Lord, am I a hangdog skulker? What is that? From what I have learned now I know that someone who is crafty or shifty, feeling guilty and tries to lurk in the shadows, out of sight is known as a hangdog skulker. We are to approach the day with joy and peace, fixing our eyes on Jesus and lifting our heads up high in the confidence that comes from knowing Christ as Savior.
So, keep your head up, look up and praise God right now! Don't be a …

Firm Grip

It's crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we've heard so that we don't drift off. Hebrews 2:1 MSG There are many things today that can try to derail you and take you off the course that the Lord has designed for you. Some folks are blind-sided by financial woes. Others have relationship issues that send them off track.
Whatever the situation, we must be careful to not get sidelined by difficult times and challenging people. It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on the Good News that we are hearing from the Word of God and the people God has chosen to speak into our lives. Drifting leads to shifting. Don’t drift. Hold tight without wavering to all that God has promised you. 
He can be trusted to keep His promise! Hebrews 10:23

Keep Running!

You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. Galatians 5:7-8 Sometimes life throws you a curve that was unexpected. Things change, people change and circumstances almost always change. Often when tough times come I hear people asking God why He would do such a thing. God is not the author of confusion or the instigator of bad happenings and people that do evil things. That kind of influence comes from the enemy of our soul. God called you to freedom...to walk through life with victory and to be more than a conqueror when facing challenges. You were running well...keep running and keep trusting Him! The finish line is just ahead!

Thankful

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? 1 Thess 3:9
The last two weeks have been brutal in many ways. The emotional roller-coaster that I somehow got roped into riding has been a bit unsettling. But here I am with you on Friday, sipping some joe and getting ready for a spectacular weekend! How do we get through it? People. Good people. God's people. Though the trials and challenges are great at times, joy comes when we trust in the Lord and hang with His people. I am surrounded by some of the best folks on the planet. They encourage me, pray for me, give me cards and notes filled with scripture and even buy me my cup of joe sometimes!
Life is hard because of some people. But life can be great and filled with joy because of some people too. 
Check the group you hang with today? Do they help you soar or make you sour?

Featherless Pillows

Peace, peace wonderful peace
Coming down from the Father above.
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray,
In fathomless billows of love.
Peace is something that everyone of us probably needs a little more of. We are asked in scripture to let peace guard our hearts and minds. We hear of a peace that goes beyond what we can understand. It is the peace of God that keeps you and I from falling to pieces.
One day while singing this song I heard one of the children sing the last line, "in featherless pillows of love". I laughed and than I told them its fathomless billows and of course then they asked "what's a billow"?
A fathomless billow of love is a great wave or surge of God's compassion and love. It's so incredibly amazing and powerful that its hard to wrap words around it when describing it to someone else.
Life has a way of overwhelming you. Some people choose "pillows", get depressed and sleep for hours as they isolate themselves. Others let the …

Eye Witnesses

Whenever I want to find out about certain things that occur and what happened, I always look for an eye witness. I am not a big fan of "hear say". When we talk to people that have been there, done that and bought the t-shirt we have a first hand account of the situation. While reading 1 John today I was encouraged by these words...
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning,t whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
The goal of our sharing the things we have seen and heard IN CHRIST is to bring people t…
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2 Samuel 22:34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.
This summer while in Lake Lure, North Carolina I saw many beautiful deer. It's not often that they are still and while this one was, I took his picture. I thought about that song "as the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after you" and smiled.
When I think about the imagery here I see a fleet footed, graceful, deer running quickly through the woods. They are able to move quickly break to the right or the left. leaping when necessary. Sometimes I wish that I had their graceful feet when I am in difficult situations so that I can make a quick cut away or a mad dash out of the difficulty and into the wide open spaces. The deer is able to move to high elevations because of those feet.
God makes us like the deer...able to climb higher and to move suddenly and quickly in any direction. I encourage you today to be flexible. Take the high road and look a…

Leave a Mark

"I was here. I lived. I loved. ... I want to leave my mark so everyone knows I was here," sings Beyonce. A mark, a legacy, whatever you want to call it, you and I should impart something of value to those that we love and that are connected to us. In a world filled with new social media opportunities, it becomes easier and easier to leave a mark that bruises and wounds rather than one that lifts up spirits and brings hope. You can only use so many words and have so much influence: why not use it for the good of all?
Today, as you go through your day and become engaged in this culture, leave your mark. And let that mark be one that brings life, love, strength, power and hope to those connect to you. Beyonce can sing...you can live it!

Amen!

So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!— to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. 2 Tim 2 MSG
This week I was able to witness God's people in action. The true definition of being TENACIOUS came through crystal clear. In fact, what I discovered is not only how much I can learn about me through others but also how much I learn about the love of God through them as well. People are strong and when they are pressed up against a wall, the fully devoted followers of Christ will show His strength by staying in motion and pressing through until they get the end result they desire. Reliable leadership is competent leadership and also filled with a divine ability to reproduce themselves. Goal reachers make great teachers. If you are going through some challenges today, find yourself some reliable leaders and walk through the test with them. You will see things you never saw before and I believe t…

You Can't Put it Out!

From the pages of John chapter 1 is this reminder...
Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out. MSG
Jesus said you and I were to be lights in this dark world. Many things and sometimes even people will come along to try and snuff out your light. Take courage today in this promise...your light cannot be put out! Darkness has NO POWER over you!
So let your light shine today and put an end to some of this darkness!

Pure Joy

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Many people are going through difficult circumstances these days. And some folks are experiencing difficulty in dealing with others simply because they are so discouraged and defeated by what is happening around them. In the Book of James we are told to consider it pure joy when we face various trials. It goes on to say that this testing season we stand in will make us more persevering. Fact is that we will get stronger and stronger as we face challenges head on and endure them. Blessed(oh how very happy) is the man that perseveres under a trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised!
So keep your chin up today...you have got a personal promise from God. You get it by standing your ground and hanging on when you want to let go. Today, try to count i…

He Has a Plan

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:9

It was God's grace that put us back on our feet and set us up for success. We had no way of living "in Him" until he gave the life of his only son(Jesus) to pay for our sins. Grace is usually described as being unmerited favor. We did not deserve this but we became rich in our life at the expense of Jesus. This was his plan from the start.

Remember today that the plan of God is for you to be well, to prosper in all areas of your life. He wants to heal you and not harm you. He wants to show you his grace which is more than enough for any situation. Give his plan a try today. If you already know him, tell someone else about this wonderful plan God had from the beginning. I know it will make their day!


Yours Forever

Have you ever lost anything? Yours keys? A favorite shirt? One of the most discouraging things we face in our lives is having something and then losing it. It's frustrating to forget things but the older I get the more I see that forgetfulness taking ahold of me. The other day I opened the refrigerator and forgot whether it was to get something out or put something in!
Yesterday I was speaking at The Landing and talked about the gifts God has given us and the calling He has placed on our lives. They are beneficial, precious and a huge part of our personal success in this life. Then I reminded them what God said about those gifts and that call in Romans 11:29. He said they would never be withdrawn from us! You can't lose the gift of God that's in you! It's yours forever!
So today take comfort in the assurance that what God has put in you is there to stay. Know that He will finish the work in you that He has begun!



Wisdom

Today I was in the Book of James reading this...
"But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness."
I always try to do the right things though sometimes I seem to fall short. God's wisdom is pure and will always lead and direct me to the places that He desires me to be.  His way is a way of peace. His way is not antagonistic or filled with conflict...it's quiet and gentle strength. 
Life should be easier than we make it sometimes. Today, try to operate in the wisdom of God and be a peacemaker.  Plant the right kind of seeds and you will reap the right kind of results!

Worried?

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I wonder if it is possible to live a life with “no worries”. Life really is too short to worry about things that we can’t change anyway. So I guess the question is, why do we worry?
1-Perhaps it is because our image of God is not as big as the image of our difficulty.
The reason Jesus tried to teach us about anxiety is because he knew it would come. Anxiety comes from the word anxiousness…being too anxious for something that has not happened to happen or visa-versa. In this world Jesus said you WILL have trouble. There will be lots that you could worry about. But he said BE OF GOOD CHEER, I have overcome the world. I am bigger than any problem that you may face. Don't worry. be happy:)
Could I really believe that God could take this BIG mess and untangle it so that I could enjoy life again? Can I live a good life though my business has folded? Is there life after divorce? Can God use someone like me that has been through things I would never want to talk about? The ans…

Words

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Those who control their tongue will have a long life;         opening your mouth can ruin everything. (Proverbs 13:3 NLT)

It's happened to all of us. We are doing fine, life is going smoothly and then...we open our mouth and everything changes! Solomon was perhaps the wisest person ever and he provided this brief and important insight: if you want to live a long and prosperous life, control your tongue.

It's hard to believe such a small thing can have such a huge impact. Life and death are in the tongue. Use your words wisely. One of my favorite groups, Train, wrote a song called "Words" that also says it poignantly:
Words, they'll try to shake you Don't let them break you or stop your world from turning When words keep you from feeling good Use them as firewood and let them burn
Watch your words today and use them to build up and encourage others. And just like momma used to say, if you don't have anything nice to say…

Made to Succeed

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
 which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:10
Can you wrap your head around this verse? You were made in the image of God, His workmanship. You have been crafted and created by design. That design was set up before you were born so that you would move towards the Lords purposes, accept Him as Lord and start doing good things that put a smile on His face. You've had other options. All of us have. But at some point we all realize that someone has their eye on us. Someone is watching over us.
Your life has purpose: to bring His glory into the lives of those that you are in fellowship with. As you build your relationship with Him, you will begin to see that design and enjoy all that comes with walking it out. Blessings will overtake you! Favor will surround you!
So many times we are bombarded by bad news, ambushed by difficulties and adverse circumstances. That is part of life. But when we re…

Do the Dew!

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There is a Mountain in scripture that is known for its heavy amount of dew. Its called Mount Hermon and it is quite a blessing in the arid country in which it exists. It is used in an illustration of the "anointing" of unity and blessing that is upon us as believers. Psalm 133 says that it is good and pleasing when people get along. It is like precious oil being spilled upon someones head and running down their entire being covering them or saturating them with oil. Oil in scripture refers to the anointing and blessing of God. Picture today that God wants to pour out His anointing upon you, heavy like the dew of Mount Hermon, and to completely cover you with blessing. You will slide through difficult situations and trials today because of that anointing. Imagine the Lord commanding all of heaven to take notice of you today and make certain that YOU succeed. Heavy anointing is yours today...just like the dew...only you don't do the dew, the dew does you!


Joe on the Go

Well my journey has come to its conclusion. For the last two weeks I have gladly taken you on my trip and shared with you thoughts I have had while seeing this great country that God has blessed us with. Joe on the Go traveled nearly 2500 miles through 10 states with some wonderful stops along the way. The first stop was Nashville where I was able to spend some time remembering my kids growing up there, the birth of my daughter and some amazing times in the contemporary Christian music business. I visited my old neighborhood and even stopped in at my church. It's hard to believe that I left there over 12 years ago! From Nashville I drove the curved roads and lush scenery to North Carolina. I was able to spend several days in Lake Lure with my family at the Rumbling Bald Resort and it was fabulous. The family always has a great time, the food was awesome but the thing I will take away from this years trip is the trophy for winning the family golf tournament! That's right, prea…

Opportunity Knocks

Some time ago I read a little story that made me think of opportunity and what to do when opportunity knocks. I cant remember the book I read it in so I apologize for not giving credit to the one who printed it. I am thankful that God gave me a spirit that loves to initiate things and "launch out into the deep" whenever possible. Let me share this story with you!
Years ago Walter took his friend Arthur to see some land in open country where cattle were idly grazing. Walter explained about his dream for developing this area. He told his friend that in time the area would be surrounded by many restaurants, hotels and convention centers. He told Arthur that his plan would take all of his money and he needed others to develop the surrounding area. He wanted his friend to have the first opportunity to buy into this project.
But Arthur thought to himself, "Who in the world is going to drive twenty-five miles for this crazy project?"
He said to Walter that he would think ab…

Salt Life

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While on my drive through the USA for vacation I added another sticker to my window from a popular southern clothing line called Salt Life. I consider myself to be living the "salt life". Jesus told us this: “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor?" He said that we should be salt. Salt adds flavor to anything that it is sprinkled on. When you and I are the "salt" we add the flavor of favor! So this month I will make a special effort to be the "salt" to those around me. I will be flavor-full and favor-filled. I will bring "sodium to the podium" when I preach:) So if you need a little "salt" on your life, just keep sharing a cup of joe with me. You will soon be living the "salt life" too!