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Showing posts from December, 2012

Let's Get it Started!

As you cross over the threshold into 2013 remember that was done is done, what's past is past and that God has an amazing future in store for you this year. The pages are empty, the story is ready to be written, and you've got the pen! It's time for you to begin that best-seller! This will be a fresh start to the best part of your life!

Three Days Left

As we wind down another year on the planet, how are you closing 2012? They say that the way you leave one year will determine the way you enter the next. It's very important to bring closure and resolve to 2012 before saying hello to 2013. It's hard to forget things that happen to us that are bad. We usually like to keep replaying them over and over again in our heads as if the replay of the events will change the outcome. Life lessons are certainly found in each thing we endure but we must continually move forward towards the plan and purposes that our Creator had in mind when we arrived. For me it's important to keep moving. Traumatic events have a way of defining the inner strength that is in each one of us. You don't know how strong you are until being strong is all you have left. People are amazing. This country is resilient. Storms, shootings, and evil may try to make life difficult, perhaps even unbearable, but you and I have power in us that is stronger tha

Cheerful Givers

Jesus taught many wonderful lessons in the short period of time he ministered here. In Matthew 6 we can see a few nuggets of wisdom. Each of these come after the words "when you" indicating that you and I should absolutely be doing these things. Matthew 6:2-4   “So  when you give  to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3  But  when you give  to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Again notice that this text says  WHEN   YOU GIVE. Giving is a lifestyle not an action or task. You and I are to be generous on every occasion. We are givers. But just being a giver isn't the only requirement. We know God loves a  cheerful  giver. God loves a  generous  giver. God loves


Its easy to allow the holidays to take a toll on your emotions and your strength. This year I watched a lot of packages being unwrapped by little hands that were attached to faces of joy and squeals of excitement. At the same time, throughout the holidays I also saw many people that were coming undone, unraveling right before me as the stress and pressure of this time of year overwhelmed them. God sent Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger according to the Christmas story in Luke 2. But it wasn't long before he began unwrapping Jesus and presenting Him to the world as the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God. And because Jesus was unwrapped for us, we don't have to become unraveled by life. The good news in this final weekend of 2012 is that God wants to unwrap the special abilities He has placed in you. He is ready to present you to a world that needs what you have to become better and stronger. The world is a better place because

It's All About Relationships

Well you never would have guessed that there was some kind of recession in this country if you went through the season I just did. So many toys, gadgets, clothes and specialty was exhausting! Ater all of the gifts were exchanged and all the new items open and enjoyed for a while it wasn't long before everything came back to the most important thing: relationships. People are very Important in our lives and we must do everything we can to stay connected to each other. Your family needs to hear your voice and see your face, at least every once in a while!! Take some time the rest of this week to enjoy talking to each other. Put the toy down and enjoy some hot chocolate with the uncle you never see of the parent that visits during the holidays. Engage in some healthy banter with your brothers and sisters and spread some of that Christmas cheer through the rest of the year!  

Merry Christmas!

  Merry Christmas to you and all of those that you love. May your holiday be filled with cheer, warm friendships and bountiful blessings! Thanks for sharing Cup of Joe with us everyday!  

Rocky Mountain Christmas

Most of my life I have tried to get my children to want to go to Colorado for Christmas. I was never able to quite convince them to leave the relatives and comforts of home for a road trip to a winter wonderland. Most of the kids are grown with lives of their own and their own plans so I thought the dream had dissipated. Until my youngest son and his family moved their this year!!! So I made my own plans to journey to Estes Park and enjoy something I have always wanted to do. As soon as my plane approached Denver I knew this was perfect. My first evening we ate great Mexican food while watching ice skaters on a small ice ring outside the restaurant. Then we hiked into Rocky Mountain National Park which was so picturesque and gorgeous that I felt like I was in a postcard. Spending Christmas Eve warning the brightly lit streets of downtown Estes Park, well that was the icing on the seasonal sugar cookie. And best of all I was doing all of this with family! Justin, Stacey,

I Feel Fine

Well here we are, December 21, about a little chorus from that familiar REM song: It's the end of the world as we know it. It's the end of the world as we know it. It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine. I wonder how many times we will have to hear someone say it's the end before we get it: nobody knows when it's over. Nobody, but God. Read Matthew 24:36. The most important thing we can do is live in the moment the way that our Creator designed us to live. Our mission on earth is to honor and bless others and doing good things for people on every occasion. If you start truly enjoying how you live you will stop worrying about when and how you will die. For those that know Christ, your time here is a transition to your time with Christ...eternity in heaven where there are no tears and no pains! I think I heard an AMEN! When


I heard a young person say this the other day. I had only recently become familiar with the YOLO which means "you only live once". I agreed with that one. I live once but with Christ I live forever!! They were using YOYO to say "you're on your own". I looked it up in the Urban Dictionary and here is what it said... Abbreviation for You're On Your Own. Something you say after a stupid person says YOLO, letting them know that you have no part in what stupid thing they're about to do. Guy 1: Hey, I'm gonna go bungee jump off a bridge, YOLO!  Guy 2: Uh, YOYO bro. Go be stupid by yourself. YOYO? Oh NONO! The great part of being a fully devoted follower of Christ is that I belong to the family of God. In fact, Jesus told me that He would never leave me or abandon me in any way. He would stay close, like a brother. He would be an ever-present help whenever I was in trouble. Though life may make me feel like a yo-yo, I am never on my own. Anot

Better Watch Out...

You better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why.... Cause if you keep talking negatively God might just take away your voice! Zechariah was listening to the angel of the Lord tell him about the child that he was about to be known as John the be born to his wife Elizabeth who was told she could never have kids. Listen to what the angel says in Luke 1... 17  He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the  coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, t  and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” And after that amazing news, this was Zech's response: 18  Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” 19  Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news!  Now I believe that this

I Am not Ashamed

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes. .. In the last few months I have seen and heard more stories about folks that claim to be atheists. There are even billboards promoting Jesus as a myth. I've always wondered why anyone would have to work so hard to reduce or diminish a God that don't even believe exists! In my personal (yet humble) opinion, I believe that these folks are simply believers in progress. At some point in our lives we all are faced with that reality. God created us for connection with others. He also wants a personal connection with each of us. We ARE His creation. The Bible tells us about His life and the life that we are destined to live. Today I can say that I am not ashamed of those words written about me. It's those words that led me to make Him my Savior. It's even brought that decision about to all of those that I have the privilege of introducing Him

This Little Light

On Friday morning, evil unleashed itself in a small town in Connecticut. In the blink of an eye twenty children were with Jesus and six of their teachers entered heaven with them. Since that moment every law enforcement official, psychologist, and parent has searched to understand why someone would be so evil and do such a thing. We will never understand why people would choose darkness over light but it happens every day. Speculation and opinion will never have the answer. What we turn to in the darkest of times is our faith. For me as a Christian, I know that there is darkness all around me and that I am called to be a light in that darkness. My light will help illuminate another's way if I am doing what I was designed to do. These children and teachers were also lights, shining brightly in a little city that has not seen much darkness until now. The promise we have in Christ is that when it is necessary, when the time is right, He calls us out of the darkness and into the m

A Savior

My personal Christmas celebration actually begins this weekend as our church prepares for its annual program. Im usually gone the following week so this is my opportunity to enjoy the people that God has placed around me. There has been so much to be thankful for and to rejoice in this year.   My daughter Jordan will turn 16 tomorrow, my youngest son, Justin, is about to celebrate his first Christmas with his new family and my oldest, Brandon, just wrapped up working on a movie in Oklahoma with Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and George Clooney. I am so proud of each of them and so grateful that the Lord has taken my best parts to pass on to my children and not my worst:) As you move through the next to last weekend before Christmas, think about those closest to you and the way that the Lord has connected you together. Pray for their continued success and for God's favor to surround them each and every day.  I pray that you may see miracles this year as you let Jesus come alive

Miraculous Moment

Throughout the country you see them, manger scenes with different figures placed in position around a baby. Some of them even have “live” people! We call this the Nativity. It’s supposed to be a snapshot of that miraculous moment when Mary and Joseph gathered around the “promise” of God and welcomed in the Savior of the world. Each time I gaze upon a nativity scene I think about this humble and simple entry into the world and how interesting God’s plan was to rescue mankind from sin. I love looking at the generosity of the wise men as they offered their gifts to the baby. They were moved to give their best because they felt something greater than themselves coming forth. This beautiful scene captures the wonderful moment when life changed for all of us. The plan was set into motion and all we had to do was hear it and adopt it. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the arguments over language and phrases this year. One of the greatest tragedies we face is losing the awe a

Put on a Santa Hat

How about a little more Christmas spirit? There is a reason that we sing and share this month...we are celebrating the birth of Christ! Have your ever wondered what life would be like if Jesus had not been born? There would be no Christian churches or hospitals, no New Testament and no reason or cause for Charles Darwin to fight against! Everything that has been encouraged and promoted by Christ would not ever have happened. Life would be so much different. We would not be free, we would be overwhelmed by our carnality and have no way out so all hope would be gone. Fact is, our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness! Why don't you join me and get into Christmas Mode today! Hang some lights, put on your Santa hat, get a cup of joe, light a candle, and listen to a collection of great Christmas songs. And most importantly, thank Jesus for coming and living through you so that others could be saved an find true joy, peace and love. That my friends is Chri

Pray Away

I am a believer I the power of prayer. In my life I have witnessed too many divine interventions to ever doubt the power we connect to when we pray. When I read about prayer in scripture I see many places where the simple guidelines are given to us as to how to prepare to pray. As I was reading today I could see them again in Mark 11... Mark 11:22-25 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “ Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” I had no problem seeing the first part: have faith in God and have no doubt in your heart. It was the last one in verse 25 that I think most of us

Honor God

Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain,and your vats will overflow with good wine. There is one sure way to always have what you need: to honor the Lord with your wealth . For much of my life I honored what I needed. My wants, desires and bills would be first. Then if there was anything left, the Lord would get a share. Living this way never seemed to provide an increase in any area. Then I learned about giving and becoming generous. I learned how to honor God with my wealth, at least with what little wealth I had. He no longer would get leftovers. God would come first! He would get the best part of everything I produced. For some time I was religiously stuck with ten percent of my income. As I grew older, and wiser I could see that I could not overdo it when it came to giving to The Lord. That percentage began to grow: I gave more time, more energy and ability and more money. You a

Tis' the Season

Photo: Doris Knudson Tis' the season to be _______________: you can fill in the blank! Today you have the choice to get out there and be happy. To let others see JOY in all that you do and say. You can worry about all of the things that are going wrong or you can move forward towards all the things that will go right. Sounds a bit cliche' doesn't it? Perhaps we have all been so oppressed by negative circumstances and negative people that we simply cannot believe that good news still happens. Today, try staying away from all of the bad news outlets and tune in to the Good News, also know as the Bible. God has a plan for you and that plan is to experience the wonder of this season, the peace that He died to give you and the JOY that He desires for you to live in. Tis' the season to be JOLLY so get out there and spread some joy! Would you consider passing on some encouragement to those you know by purchasing the Cup of Joe book or one of the others we are offering

How Do I Value Others?

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, (Philippians 2:3)  It took many years for me to realize one of the most amazing principles in the Word of God. It seems to me that we are programmed within to be successful and that this desire to win often takes us in the wrong direction. For many years I tried to get ahead of others, take care of myself and be certain that in this dog eat dog world, I would be the lead dog. Then one day, after receiving Christ, I began to see that He offered another way to succeed.  The simple principle was that if I would value others first , the Lord would value me and exalt me in the process. Humility always brought me right to where I needed to be! When I humbled myself, God would lift me up. Selfish ambition will wear you out. It will bring you nothing but anger, bitterness and envy. Always trying(in our own power) to be at the top is exhausting.  It's time to give way to the

Live Long and Prosper

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.16  Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor .  Proverbs 3:13-16 In my life I feel like I've been around the block a time or two and I can honestly say that my favorite places are those places that lift up my spirits and encourage my soul. There's no place quite like the corner of Live Long and Prosper. You can find it in the city of Wisdom located among many Proverbs that have become powerful landmarks. Too many people are searching for this corner by working more than they are home, traveling more than they rest and being consumed by a pursuit of things. It's always OK to have things just not to let the things have you! Today, ask God to show you how to get to Wisdom. I found it by taking Proverbs right

Have You Been Praying?

Been praying for something as you get ready to finish this year? The other day I came across a little image that can be a great reminder to you as you seek the Lord. We need to keep things like this in front of us so we never forget them. Print it out and put a copy some place where you will be sure to notice it. God's answer is always the best one for you and your situation. You can trust Him. One of these answers is coming your way:)

True Light

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. (John 1:9 NIV) The other day I came across this image while reading some blogs and it triggered so many thoughts in my heart about this season. My favorite part of Christmas has to be the lights. Seeing trees and buildings trimmed with lights and all of the wonderful stars, nativity's and seasonal images illuminated always makes me smile. Unfortunately, there are many folks that have never  began a relationship with Jesus, the light of the world. They walk beside us like the lights on a strand of tree lights. Some lit up, others burned out or completely dimmed. Maybe you have felt your light go out. You see all of the light around you but feel as though you have lost power or joy. There is no better season than this one to plug yourself into the One that will light you up and use your gifts to bring great joy to those around you. See yourself shining brightly and bringing a smile to the world around y