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Showing posts from January, 2014

#loveXplosion

There seems to be an unusual amount of terrible activity happening right now all over the world. It's in the news, you hear about it on the radio and many of my friends are in battles they never thought they would face. It’s as if someone unlocked a door to evil that has always been shut and in that room is nothing but pain, hate and evil. Jesus told us that we should combat evil with good. So today I begin an initiative of goodness…a movement of kindness that I believe will personally energize me and make me want to get up each morning and get going. I'm going to overcome all of this evil with an abundance of good! I'm starting a loveXplosion! An explosion is defined as a sudden, loud and abrupt release of energy. So when LOVE is the focus, a loveXplosion is a sudden, loud and abrupt release of LOVE! It’s what the world needs now. It’s what my city needs now. It’s what I need right now! I am looking forward to the changes that will come in my life as I focus on bringing…

Just One Miracle

Acts 9:32 Meanwhile, Peter traveled from place to place, and he came down to visit the believers in the town of Lydda. 33 There he met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly. 35 Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord.It just takes one miracle. One act of God, one supernatural burst of power, one deliverance...one miracle. Peter went from city to city looking for people that needed Christ. Some needed to have their minds reprogrammed, some needed financial help, some healing in their bodies. When he met Aeneas it was clear what his condition was. He hadn't been able to move for eight years. Peter spoke with authority and said "Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, grab your sleeping bag and get moving!" Immediately the man was healed. One man, one miracle.But th…

The Daniel Fast

Today our church completes our Fast Forward season for 2014. For the last three weeks many of the people made personal changes to their lifestyle, their diet, and their approach to the Lord by doing the Daniel Fast. This year I have seen and heard so many incredible stories about the power of the Lord to heal and restore. But the thing I have enjoyed more than anything else are the faces and the attitudes that have changed.  Daniel had adopted a lifestyle that stood strong in the face of temptation. He did not defile himself by eating the Kings food. Instead he chose to live the way the Lord guided him and in ten days time, not only was he smarter than ever...he looked better too! I have seen with my own eyes the countenances change on so many of the faces I see each week! And the people feel better too! Tonight we will celebrate the end of a season but I hope and pray that it will not be the end of this life change. When we feel so much better and full of more energy by eating right…

Snap, Crackle...

The other day I built a fire in my fireplace. It was a cold and gloomy day outside and I was writing thoughts, journaling and putting my ideas on paper so that I don't forget them. As the wood began to burn and it got hotter, it started to crackle and pop. It was going all rice crispies on me! The only thing missing was the snap! The hotter it got, the more it popped. I thought about anger. The more angry that a person gets the more you may start to hear and feel the pop. It may be something that someone says, an action done in haste...whatever it is, the heat is rising and the possibility for popping is certain. As I sat there with my laptop and Chai Tea by the fire, I was caught up by other thoughts and articles I was writing. Forty minutes later I noticed that the fire had burned down, it was not as hot as it used to be and the popping... well it was gone.  Apply that to this spirit of anger and you can surmise that if we could just carry on and keep moving ahead we could elim…

Righteous Showers

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12Sow for you! Imagine that...the idea of planting something for YOUR life! YOU will reap fruit…however you may have to do some groundbreaking things! If you want something you have never had you are going to have to do something you have never done. Break up the ground that is unplowed. It’s the first thing we do before we build…groundbreaking. We are building something so we prepare the ground to accommodate what we are building. Break up the ground and get it ready for what is coming. God is getting ready to bless you and you want that blessing to find a nice open spot to land in.Some may ask how long do we seek the Lord? Hosea said it best…until He comes and showers righteousness on you. Seek until you find HIM. Until ALL these things are added unto you. Perhaps that is why we are always be…

Understand This

James 1:19-20 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. I'm usually speaking way before I should! And if I'm honest about listening, well I should have been given two mouths and one ear. Ecause I talk way more than I listen! And I don't even want to try and describe how I handle anger:)The bottom line is that we do much better when we choose to be slow to speak and even slower to get angry. Anger never produces anything godly. Listen before you speak and be still before your anger peaks!

Love Like Jesus Does

All the crazy in my dreams,
Both my broken wings,
Every single piece of everything I am,
Yeah, she knows the man I ain't,
She forgives me when I can't,
The devil, man, no, he don't stand a chance,
Cause she loves me like Jesus does. (Eric Church)

Chances are if you are a country music fan you have heard this song by Eric Church. It's a love song about a wayward guy that has too many problems to count but has thankfully found a woman who loves him just the way he is...she loves him like Jesus does. Loving people like Jesus does is sort of my mission for this year. So I'm stealing a lyric from Eric Church and bringing it to The Church! Every person that you and I come eyeball to eyeball with deserves forgiveness, some hope and that special kind of love. You see the love of Jesus can look beyond the brokenness. The love of Jesus can see through the facade. And the love of Jesus is so much stronger than anything the devil tries to throw at you! How about joining me thi…

Groans of Glory

Romans 8:26-28 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.There have been many days that I began the day in prayer with absolutely no idea what to pray or who today for. My mind was in some other place, in fact if I were honest I would say that I wasn't really into praying at all! The good news is that His grip on me is not determined by my grasp of Him. When my mind is wandering, my spirit can still be groaning. Call them groans of glory that speak directly to the heart of God and exactly to what is necessary for that moment and that day. Things may not always wor…

You'll Know it When You See It

In Genesis 22 the Lord asked something "huge" of Abraham...to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Here is what the Bible says in verse 2...Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." He told him what to do but not exactly where to do it. He said to go to the mountainous region of Moriah and that he would recognize the place when he got there.As I think about future things and the vision of my life and the church I pastor, I remember the moments that I have felt like I was being asked to let go of something precious to me. Maybe you have been through that as well. To end the life of a business...a relationship...or a job path. Often we find ourselves in this dilemma between obedience and our own agenda and the hardest thing to do is to kill our agenda and let the obedient life live.In 2000 the Lord inspired me to come back …

This is the Essence

Matthew 7:12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Imagine a world where we all operated under this principle. You can't just stop reading after those first four words and be ok!! "Do to others whatever..." Can you picture an office space where people treat each other like they want to be treated? How about a church where the people actually honor each other and are praying for the success of their brothers and sisters in the Lord? It may seem a bit up unreachable but if we approached our time with others knowing that we were going to behave like we want others to behave around us things would change. It begins with one conversation, one meeting, one day. You want people to be kind to you, be kind. You want people to support you, support them. This IS the essence! Do it!

Stay in the Fairway

A few years ago I was filming a television show that did an episode at the beautiful Southern Hills Country Club. Some of the most beautiful holes in golf are found right here in Tulsa. While standing on the first tee box I looked out over an incredibly manicured fairway leading up to a freshly cut and watered green where my destination, the hole was located.
They say that when you play here 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 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 tough situations and seasons. Or we 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 on…

Enjoy Life!

“Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.” 
I ran across this quote today and it made me think about many things. Let me share a couple random thoughts. First of all, I don't like dress rehearsals. I would rather just do the performance once in costume and not have to go through all of the "dress up"! To me it always feel's painful to endure all of that for a "practice" session. Secondly, could you imagine what it would be like if we got a second chance because this was only practice? I love "do-overs"! Made a mistake today....do-over! Said something you wish you could take back...do-over! The point of this quote is that we should take seriously the seconds, minutes, hours and days of our lives and spend our time carefully. Once it's spent, it's gone. We don't get to "dress up" and run through this once and then the real thing. This IS it! There are no do-overs. I think that is why the Lord wants us to acknowledge Him so that…

Redeem the Time

As we complete the first half of the first month of 2014, I have been thinking a lot about how I use the minutes in the day that the Lord gives me. THIS IS the day that the Lord has made and I know that I am to rejoice and be glad as I live in it. Look at what it says in Ephesians 5:
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Making the most out of every opportunity requires each of us to "redeem the time". We need to cash in on every moment! Think of using your TIME like this...

Teach   Inspire   Motivate   Encourage
Teach others about the benefit of utilizing time wisely. Inspire them to live a life worthy of the calling of Jesus that is on them. Motivate them to keep moving and take steps, even if sits just a baby one. And encourage them to always keep their eyes fixed on Jesus and trusting in His plan. I have a feeling that if you and I would make it our mission to teach, inspire, motiv…

Lose the Weight

This year I am trying to simplify and streamline my life and ministry. Oftentimes after a season of doing things you realize that you have picked up a lot of things on the way. Having spent 33 years doing things and working with people that were tryng to help others find Jesus, I have picked up a plethora of ideas and "stuff". If I could see what the Lord sees I know that there would be things attached to me and stuck in corners of my life that are taking up space and haven't been used for years. Hebrews 12 encourages me in a few ways. It says in the first couple of verses that I am not alone. I am surrounded by others that have run the race I am running and have fought the good fight of faith. So I can take comfort in that. And then it says to "lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us." Weights and sins can bog all of us down and not only make life more difficult; this duo can keep us from fulfilling the purposes and plans of the Lord for…

Drop Your Nets

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Drop Your Nets!  It's our theme for this year at The Landing. A net is anything that you are doing that keeps you from following Jesus. In Mark 1:18 Jesus stopped by as Simon and Andrew were fishing. They were good at this and it provided what they needed to live. It was important to them. But they let it go. Jesus changed everything. Jesus asked for their commitment, their devotion. The Bible says that they didn't ask any questions. They simply dropped their nets and followed Him. They left it all and followed Him. As I thought about my life and our church I saw some things that keep us from being all that  we were designed to be...I saw NETS. Need for approval of others
Excuses
Trash Talk
Selfishness
These things get me all tangled up and hinder my progress as a fully devoted follower of Jesus. So will you join me this year and drop your nets? What are you holding on to, who are you hanging with that keeps you from becoming all that God had in mind for you when you were born? Je…

What a Week!

Now that's a first week of the year!!! The first time I stayed up till midnight to usher in the year followed by my 55th birthday. A trip to the Orange Bowl and time with my family including a chance to speak at my brothers church. Then it was home to a successful launch of this years small group ministry (CONNECT) at The Landing as well as a 21 day season of fasting and prayer. After that it was the 25th birthday of my oldest son and more preparations for this coming weekend at our church where I get to reveal the KeyWord for 2014! I'm exhausted just typing it! I have really begun to understand a bit more about the purposes and plans that the Lord has for me. I believe that it is to stop focusing on what I am doing for Him and start being more like Him. When I begin to do what Jesus did, everything I do will be led by His presence and spirit. How has your first week of 2014 gone? Are you pressing into this year with enthusiasm and power and trusting Him for all that is neces…

How's Your Heart?

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. Pro 15:13-15
What shape is YOUR heart in? In today’s scripture we find a happy, discerning and cheerful heart that actually changes the course and direction of our lives. A happy one should brighten up your countenance.The discerning heart pursues more godly wisdom and knowledge. And the cheerful heart always has what it needs to be satisfied.

Do your own evaluation today and check your heart!

Fast Forward 2014

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." romans 12:1 Each year in January I start a process that I call "fast forward". Fasting is not just a beneficial thing to do physically, it's also an amazing thing to do for your spirit! For me fasting is never about food but rather about becoming more and more sensitive to the things that the Lord wishes to do through me and to me. So for the next 21 days I will be tuning in to God in a much deeper way than normal. And it all begins with presenting my body to the Lord to be prepared for the purposes that He designed me for.  I will be taking extra time each day for prayer and helping others. I will a…

It's Guaranteed!

The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him. EPH 1:14
There aren't many "true" guarantees these days. A "guarantee" is a formal promise or assurance (typically in writing) that certain conditions will be fulfilled. I know we hear that phrase many times on infomercials and in local retail shops. But when you really try to cash in those guarantees, many times there is a great amount of "small print" that makes it frustrating and irritating. You and I have some divine guarantees that we will inherit heaven by living for Christ. He promised this to us and God can be trusted to keep His promise. HEB 10:23  But just so you will know that He means business, He gives to you life in the Spirit so that you always are aware of His hand upon you and His voice speaking through you. You know those "inclinations" you have to do …

The Plan

I was reading some words from Galatians 1 this week where it talks about a plan...a plan that God has for everyone. It says in chapter 1 and verse 4 that the purpose and plan of God was that we would all come to the realization that we need saving. We need a Savior!Paul was surprised and astonished that people could walk away from faith so easily and start to chase other belief systems. He could not wrap his head around the fact that anyone could desert Christ and pursue something else.Once you have had a taste of grace, once you have digested it and learned to live off of its power, you can never abandon the God that gives grace. Grace is "unmerited favor". Unfortunately in our culture the unmerited favor of God often gives way to the instant gratifying of self. You can't earn grace; it is a gift. A gift from God. And because of that gift you have the reassurance that everything that happens in your life will somehow be utilized in making you stronger, more loving and m…

Just Say No

Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ...Here we are at the end of the first week of a new year and just like the Bible says, I'm thankful for the grace to say NO to many things. Right now I'm trying to say no to the candies, cookies and cakes! This year will be all about our choices. Saying no to harmful things will help usher in the right ones. Saying no to the enemies plan to disrupt your progress in Christ will build sel-control. And we can all use more of that! Today thank God for His grace and for giving you the power to stand firm when challenges come and just say NO! God's glory is on the way!

Double the Grace

Today I've completed another year on the planet...today I turn 55! Double 5's!! When I think of 5 being the biblical number for grace, I'm pretty excited about this year at what lies ahead for me. Double the grace, Lord!In the Bible the number 5 is significant. Redemption. Israel came out of Egypt 5 in rank (Ex 13:18). David picked up 5 smooth stones to fight Goliath (1 Sam. 17:40). The Holy Anointing Oil was pure and composed of 5 parts (Ex. 30:23-25). So the fact that I will be sporting two 5's side by side is a bit special don't you think?His grace is sufficient and I'm taking hold of a double portion right now! Thank you for your prayers and for reading and sharing a cup of joe with me every day!

Happy New Year!

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May the grace and the power of the Lord be with you as you launch into a new season full of hope, joy and love! This is YOUR year! You can do anything that the Lord says you can do! You can be all that the Lord says you can be! The Lord bless you and keep you, and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace! Happy New Year!