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Showing posts from September, 2012

Thank You!

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This week many young people all over the country stood around their local school flag pole. They were praying and asking God to heal this land. The numbers were not like those political rallies nor is the media frenzy stirring around them. Still, they cry out to a God that heals ALL of our sicknesses and who provides comfort to those that feel lost and alone. These young people still realize that there is only one party worth getting behind and that is the one that God is throwing for those that trust Him. Fact is we need God more than anything right now. For a few moments Wednesday morning, students were able to acknowledge Him and ask Him to direct their paths. And I believe God smiled:) The Good News is that you don't need to be gathered around a flag to pray. You can pray in your car on the way to work. Pray in the office you sit in. Pray right before the teacher starts that class and gives you the test for the week.  We are one nation, under God, trusting God and asking God …

Three Things...Part 2

Yesterday I started my short list of things you can do when visiting a local church for the first time. 
#1 was to open your mind.


2. Open Your Heart If we were all honest, we would admit that we very rarely if ever put our whole heart into anything. Jumping in with both feet is replaced by sticking a toe in the water to check the temperature. If its comfortable we might wade in but jumping in is not really an option. As a “visitor” in this new worship experience, you will not be heart tied to anything yet. In fact, more times than not you will guard your heart and shield yourself from allowing anyone to hurt you, offend you or embarrass you. Remember that you are investing your time into something that is on the very heart of God…fellowship with His people. He gave ALL that He had. So enter His gates with thanksgiving in your heart and enter with ALL that is in you. Give yourself to the worship, the prayer time, the message and the fellowship.
3. Open Your Mouth Prayer is one way you can …

Three Things to Do Before Visiting a New Church

Years ago, I had just finished up a ten year run of ministry working in church staffed by most of the members of my family. My season had ended because we were relocating to another state. Besides finding and adjusting to a new home and new school for the kids, we had to find a new church. After working “in church” so diligently for so long I was determined to just sit and enjoy some services and never be in the position to be a leader, teacher or musician in one againJ As I sat in my first service at one of the churches, (after visiting several others) I realized that I had not yet listened or engaged in any of those we visited. I had analyzed the service, critiqued the music and evaluated the biblical, entertaining value of the sermons. If you asked me what any of the services were about, I would not have been able to answer. Simply stated, I put nothing in and got nothing out.
As the Founding Pastor of a church in Oklahoma today, I see people come and go all the time. I’ve had many …

Build Yourself Up

JUDE 20-21But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!
22-23Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.

Jude is a little book with a lot to say about living life. Life has a way of bearing down hard on all of us at times. It can take your breath away and leave you completely exhausted. Sin can find its way in and "stink" up our lives. But we overcome...we can build ourselves up.
You build yourself up in the most holy faith by praying in the Spirit. You stay in the sweet spot of God's success and love by keeping those arms outstretched and open wide. God will send the mercy, the strength and the refresh…

New Construction

By wisdom a house is built,
 and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled
 with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24:3-4 Wisdom, understanding and knowledge…what a powerful trio! Being wise starts with having a reverence for the Lord that leads to obedience. That obedience brings to each of us an understanding of the things that should be important to us for our well being and success. And with that understanding comes a thirst for more…deeper revelation…knowledge.  Thinks of it like this: wisdom starts the process and builds the shell for your life to grow. Understanding sets the foundation in place and brings stability. And knowledge furnishes every space with precious and beautiful things for your life.  Today let these words soak into your heart and prepare for some new construction  to start right where you are!

We Can't Lose

Proverbs 16:3..
"Commit to the Lord WHATEVER you do. and your plans will succeed."

The other morning as I got up I felt a desperate need for some instruction from the Lord to handle a problem I was facing. I wanted a specific word from Him so that I could simply follow it and succeed. I expected a three step approach with a couple of prayers in the middle. What I got was this scripture.
No specific guidance, just a promise that WHATEVER I commit to Him WILL SUCCEED!

I thought about that and then ran to the dictionary to look up the word COMMIT.
Here are just some meanings of commit...
to give TRUST (to the Lord) to give in trust for preservation
to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance
to entrust for safekeeping
to pledge to engage (hook up with the Lord)

So He was telling me that as I TRUST Him and ENTRUST Him with my troubles, as I pledge to engage Him, He promises to make WHATEVER I do successful.

So I can't lose! I guess that is why the scriptures tell us that…

The Way of Goodness

Proverbs 2:1 My child,listen to what I say,
and treasure my commands.2Tune your ears to wisdom,
and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver;
seek them like hidden treasures.5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD. Many people are unaware of how bad wisdom longs to be a part of their lives. Reading the proverbs you can see many benefits in gaining the wisdom that comes from God. Wisdom is close, ready to be summoned and ready to preserve and protect your journey.  The Good News for today is that what you need to live a righteous life has been stored up in you if you have stayed on the right path. You have in you a special insight and ability to handle anything that comes against you. Feel confused? Listen to the Lord, treasure His counsel, tune in and concentrate. Be diligent in your pursuit of finding Gods way of doing things and you will gain the understanding you need. Follow the steps of …

You Have Won!

Today I saw something interesting in 1 John 2: 12-16 (NLT)
 that became a little cheer for my day. Here is what it says...


"I am writing to you who are God’s children
because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.
I am writing to you who are mature in the faith
because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I am writing to you who are young in the faith
because you have won your battle with the evil one.
I have written to you who are God’s children
because you know the Father.
I have written to you who are mature in the faith
because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I have written to you who are young in the faith
because you are strong.
God’s word lives in your hearts,
and you have won your battle with the evil one."
Meditate on this today:  YOU are God's child,  forgiven, mature in faith,  you know Christ,  you are strong  and you have won!

Grace in Change

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. (Acts 20:24 NLT). Life is filled with change. It seems like we are in the midst of some sort of transition everyday. I remember going through a divorce seven years ago and the mental and emotional instability that came with it. To be honest with you I felt like the spiritual things I was doing were bringing all of this pain and dysfunction. I'd question faith, shy away from people and my ability to trust anyone was greatly diminished. I can't tell you what day it was or exactly what I was doing but the feelings encapsulated in this verse became my mantra as well. There was a plan for me. Jeremiah 29:11 popped out in bold print and hope began to rise. There was something I was put on the planet to do…

Baptized and Energized

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After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Matt 3:16-17 Yesterday I was honored once again to baptize some folks at The Landing Community Church. I usually have a variety of young people that just get saved and want to do what the Bible encourages them to do. Baptism is a public profession of a personal decision to follow Christ. To take this step in the presence of church family, personal family and friends is quite an emotional experience. Jesus was baptized by John to validate the process and to validate His mission and lineage. He was making it known that He was here and ready to do the will of His Father. But what deeply touched my heart yesterday was the two young ladies that were 71 and 75. One of them shared with me that she was raised in a way that she never understood about salvation th…

First Gleam of Dawn

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The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18 There is nothing like those first few moments in the morning as the sun begins to rise on the horizon and the earth comes to life for another day.This is the view from my back porch in the early hours of the day. I like to spend these moments with my cup of joe, sitting in the quiet dawn and thanking the Lord for another day of opportunities to bless and be blessed. It’s in this first gleam of dawn that I feel my potential come alive and my soul is refreshed for the day. The righteous life should experience this peace and brightness every day. As you begin your day, know that every time the sun rises, the Son also rises in you. And you will just keep shining brighter as the day goes on!

Favor

Have you ever been moved up to the head of the line for no apparent reason? Perhaps you were in a restaurant and someone payed for your meal without you expecting it? When blessings occur that you have nothing to do with we call it "favor". The favor of God surrounds the believer. That means good things will happen to you and come into your life that you did not make happen...God did! God wants to bless you! (Say that out loud!)
I was once in a meeting where many people had gathered to hear the speaker. I arrived about10 minutes prior to the event with a friend of mine and we sat where the open seats were, all the way in the back! I did not mind, I wasn't grumbling, I was just happy to be there. In a few minutes someone that I had met one time many months previously, recognized me and came to say hi. Then they asked me to get up and follow them to the very front row and even gave me a bottle of water to drink! They happened to be on the staff of the person t…

Speak Your Mind

Dear friends, I've dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish. What has happened is that some people have infiltrated our ranks (our Scriptures warned us this would happen), who beneath their pious skin are shameless scoundrels. Their design is to replace the sheer grace of our God with sheer license—which means doing away with Jesus Christ, our one and only Master. Jude wrote this in his letter to James and as I read this today it couldn’t seem anymore appropriate than right here in 2012. As believers we need to be strong, speak out for the things that are important to us. It’s very hard to tell what people really believe only by what they say. Their actions should support their words. Fight with everything you have! Let’s not ever replace grace with a license to do whatever we want. Ask the questi…

We Will NEVER forget

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As we come upon another 9-11, my heart today is on the many people that have to revisit the images, the stories and the events that transpired on that horrific Tuesday morning. I would imagine that many of those who lost loved ones and family members do not go near a television set this week and continue to endure the emotions and feelings that life handed them on that day. My prayer today is that the peace which God says will go beyond our own limited understanding, would surround them and invade their homes and families today. Our country became more united than ever that day as race, color, and background faded from view and patriotism began to shine. May God continue to bless all of us that were connected by LOVE that day. Give us strength to endure, hope to inspire and joy in remembering all of those moments that brought smiles to our faces. We will NEVER forget.

Bear!!

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It seems to me that there have been an unusual amount of bear sightings among the people in public places recently. This picture was from Canada but just this past month I saw images from several cities across the United States. And those of you who know me will understand how my mind works when I say that upon seeing this picture, I thought about people that are facing unBEARable conditions in their life right now. Oh no, he did not just do that? I'm sorry but I just did! "Bear"with me for just a moment:) In Matthew 23 Jesus was talking to the people about the laws and how to live right and then instructed the people to follow the law and not the people the made them. He said...

2 “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses.3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4 They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a fing…

Conquering Power

Every God-begotten person conquers the world's ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. The person who wins out over the world's ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:4-5 MSG There’s a strong force that comes against people that stand up for Christ and try to live the life of a fully devoted follower. Righteousness will exalt a nation and we have an enemy that does not want this nation to become better and stronger. Sometimes our challenges are so trying and long-lasting that we may even start to think that we can’t ever get the upper hand. You are not just a conqueror; you are more than a conqueror in Christ! The conquering power is FAITH. Stepping out in faith means to trust that God will take care of you and bring you through anything that comes against you. You can and will win out over the worlds ways. Let faith rise in you today by taking some time with your cup of joe to read His Word. Try a Proverb each d…

Humility

If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. (Galatians 6:3 NLT)

The Bible has much to say about humility. We know that it will always show up before honor. We also know that if we don't find a way to be humble, God will allow us to learn it through another way:) In my own experiences I have found that its much easier to humble myself than it is to let God do it.

We were put on the planet to help each other. People need people. And when we work together and move in sync there is nothing better. The one factor that starts this journey towards unity and freedom is humility. (Psalm 133:1)

Today, spend sometime praying for a friend or coworker. Send a note to someone that could use some encouragement. Helping others first ushers in the kind of humility that God is pleased with.

Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 18:12 NIV)


One Good Shot

My Sunday afternoons sometimes can be filled with some relaxation while watching the best golfers in the world. These guys play on some of the most beautiful places in the country and having this on television just brings peace to the home!
Most of these courses they play have one thing in common: you better stay in the fairway. Going off to the right you will find some rough conditions. And should you go off to the left you may find a trap filled with sand.
From this vantage point I see similarities in life too. To be successful in this life its always best to stay in the fairway. Unfortunately we make some bad choices and slice off to the right to find ourselves in rough situations and seasons. Some of us may make hook ourselves off to the left and find that we are in the trap, buried by some difficult circumstances.
For the seasoned golfer, getting out of the rough or out of the trap just takes one good shot. For the believer, the fully devoted follower of Christ, getting…

Give God the Run of the House

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. Col 3:15-17 MSG There is a rhythm to life that is available to those that choose to utilize it. It helps you stay in tune with people and bring harmony to situations. It also allows you the ability to "cultivate" thankfulness which means that being thankful becomes a lifestyle for you.  So what's the key? How do I stay in step and remain thankful? By letting the Word of God, the Bible, have the run of the house. I read it, a pray about the things it instructs me to do and it breeds…
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Happy Labor Day!

Be safe and have an amazing day!

"Work willingly at whatever you do, 
as though you were working for the Lord
 rather than for people" Col 3:23 MSG