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Showing posts from February, 2014

Are You Shorter?

One of the seven year old twins came to his father and said, “Dad, when we sin, we get smaller don’t we?” “No”, the dad replied, “why would you say that?” “Well, the bible says that “we all sin and fall short”.  Perhaps we do get a little bit shorter "spiritually" when we miss the mark. The Word actually says, “ For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins .” Romans 3:23-24 NLT  There is a plan that God has for each of us. Even though you and I may succumb to the power of sin and fall short, when we read on we see that God declares us righteous! In other words, He makes us right again! It all happened when Jesus died for the sin...past present and future! You did not deserve this kindness but praise the Lord, you get it anyway! So have you gotten a bit shorter? Let God make you right again! You have been

Be Rich

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good , to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.   In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. Take a moment and read this again a bit slower.   How do these words from 1 Timothy 6 speak to you? Personally I feel them commanding me to watch what I do not just with my time and talents, but to watch where I put my resources too. I have spent this entire month doing good deeds as part of a #loveXplosion outreach our church has been doing.   I have focused on being generous and willing to share. And with all of the amazing things that have occurred, I have also realized how far I still have to go. So I keep on moving…doi

Be Cheerful

1 John 3:17  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be that person ? This coming weekend I am preaching a series called Love One Another which begins in 1 John. To realize how much John relied and fastened upon the teachings of Jesus is inspiring to me. One lesson he talked about is this one in verse 17 of chapter 3. Have you ever seen someone in need and even though you had the means to meet the need you walked around it? I would guess we all have. At some time in our lives we have seen or heard about something that needed attention and turned a deaf ear. To have what you need, see a brother or sister in a desperate situation and then do nothing is a tragedy, but it also reveals a harmful heart condition. This is not the way that God set up His church. This is not the love of God. The love of God sees a need, feels the pain, and responds with hope AND help . We know that God loves cheerful givers

Just Go

The other day I was in a discussion with someone who was trying to determine how to move into the next season of their career. It was time for them to make a transition and they were like most folks...the hardest part of this type of change is the leaving. Today I want to give you a short excerpt from my story when I left the Christian music biz to transition into becoming a full time Senior Pastor, Founding a Non-Profit Ministry Organization and a Church. " When God tells you that its time to change jobs and you stay longer than you were supposed to, things may get very difficult before you leave. The longer you stay where you are not supposed to be the harder it will be to leave. I often wonder why He seems to move us when things are somewhat comfortable and going quite well right where we are. I don’t like to move. But I never want to stay anywhere longer than I am supposed to. I realized that when I first became rest- less in my job in the Christian music industry.

I Haven't Stopped

" I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may  know him better . " Ephesians 1:16-17 I wonder what could happen if we all adopted the thought in this verse and made a habit of giving thanks to God for our friends and family and those we associate with? Imagine every day having a thankful heart, thinking of others and remembering those people in our prayers! It's been my focus and them for this year so far and I am seeing a dramatic difference in how close I feel to the Lord. Paul was always thinking of other people which is why he was able to be happy in whatever situation he was in. He played the cards that were dealt to him and won every hand. His heart was that others would be given a Spirit of wisdom and revelation from God so that they would  know Him better . It was always all about Jesus.

Every Spiritual Blessing

OK, its Friday, so how about some good news? Listen to this... " Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ ". It's from Ephesians 1:3 and it confirms that we are BLESSED! Not just a little bit, not just a handful of blessings but blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ! Maybe your week has been challenging and you've arrived here on Friday not having received all you and hoped. I know that there are things I am praying about that are still on the way. Looking closer at this verse, I already have it and it may manifest today! This could be the day that all of those deals close...your house sells...that relationship get that needed check in the mail...can you imagine something fantastic coming right to YOU today? Lift up your voice and praise God for He has given to you EVERY spiritual blessing you need to conquer every challenge. Enjoy your

Broken Hearted

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.PS 34:18 If you have been on this planet any length of time, you have probably experienced a broken heart and a crushed spirit. We are unable to control what happens to us or what people may do that affects us. What we are able to control is our response. When our lives are centered in Christ we have some blessed assurance: the Lord will be close when our hearts are broken and he will save us when our hopes are crushed. When your heart is broken you have difficulty trusting anyone and you may tend to isolate yourself from others. When your spirit is crushed you may even go so far as to give up. The good news is that when everyone else walks out, Jesus will walk in. So keep your head up and your hope held high. People may let you down but Jesus can lift you up! You've got a friend!

That's so SAD!

Here's an article that popped in my news feed... Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at a certain time of the year, usually in the winter. Symptoms can occur in the late autumn and winter months and then go into remission in the spring and summer. Not surprisingly, people who live in places with long winter nights are at greater risk of SAD. Some 5 percent of the U.S. population experiences SAD. And rates of SAD are even higher in northern states where there’s less daylight in the winter. That's just so SAD. In reality, the weather is just a small part of what can lead people to isolate and insulate themselves from others. Tough work conditions, financial struggles, and lots of critical and negative people can also make you sad. There is a way to help turn that frown upside down! Get outdoors and take a walk in the sun. Get up early and spend time with the Son. (Jesus) Light is one of the key treatments for depression and anxiety. Maybe that i

More Text, Less Talk

I read an article some time ago called More Text, Less Talk . It made me think about how we relate to each other and communicate. We have so many things in our lives that make it too easy for us to stop talking to each other. Now you can do all of your shopping online, order food online, and never even have an interaction with another human being! I've even heard my daughter talking to her friends on the phone and say, "I can't talk right now, text me." Then she continues to have instant messaging conversations over real ones. My favorite coffee shop was designed around personal connections and conversation and now each morning it is more than half filled with people on laptops and and tablets or phones oblivious to anyone else around them. The older I get the more important it is to me to have and nurture real, genuine relationships with actual people. We were made for fellowship and to connect to each other...not by text messages and phone calls but up close and

If You Can Take It...

Romans 5:4 And endurance(perseverance) develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. There is much to be said of an attitude that perseveres when everything around you yells at you to give up. Your adversaries, those not cheering for you will always call for you to throw in the towel. But you need to stay on track and stay in the game! Perseverance, aka patient endurance will always carry you to the next will always carry you through the next one too! We give up too soon. It's time to change the way you think and stop giving up...start living up! IF YOU CAN TAKE IT, YOU CAN MAKE IT!

Love is All You Need

My church considers me to be the king of the acronym...seems I have one for everything! So why not a special one for this wonderful day filled with things and thoughts of LOVE? L ifting  O thers  V alue  E veryday...its a simple reminder of what  love  really is. As we start this day it should be part of our mission to encourage other people and make their life better. Especially those that live in the same house! Let me ask you a very simple question: Are the people that you influence treated as though you value their friendship? Someone once said, " what you respect you will attract and what you don't respect will move away from you ." Valued people will create valuable things. When you make other people feel valued, they become even more valuable. You may be doing the cards and the chocolates today to say that you care. Some of you will step up and do flowers too. But it's not always about the stuff. Don't forget to let people know how much they mean to

A Time to Love

Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven . This is one of those chapters that gets more difficult the farther you go. I'm ok with the fact that everything has a season. But I only usually love time for things that feel good or make me happier. I don't like a time for bad things to occur, even if they do make me a stronger person. What I do love is that we live in a nation that celebrates freedom, diversity and for the most part, working and making a living while living a life. I need to be more grateful for my opportunities and for the people that have been placed in my life. Like all of you:) So today I am thinking about YOU and I thank you for your prayers and for encouraging me when I am going through my bad "times". I would be unfulfilled without your love extended towards me and without your emails and comments that keep my cup full. God bless every one of you!  Glad there is a time for that too!

Is God Big Enough?

I wonder if it is possible to live a life with “no worries”. Like the song said Hakuna Matata! Life really is too short to worry about things that we can’t change anyway. So I guess the question is, why then do we worry? Let me suggest a couple possible reasons. 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 come 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. 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 t

My Solitary Place

Waking up with yet another dusting of snow on the ground...I used to really enjoy the blanket of white. But this year in Tulsa has been a bit more than usual. At least it feels that way because of the long chain of freezing days that we have had. It reminds me of the scripture that says everything is permissible but not everything is constructive. I think I have finally arrived at that spot where I have had enough and I am ready for some 70 degree weather! As I was reading this morning I was reminded about how Jesus refueled for the mission that was ahead of him. In Mark 1:35 it tells us that he got up very early, while it was still dark and went to a solitary place to pray. Think about that. If Jesus took some time at the start of the day to silence the voices around him and pray, shouldn't we too? It's aways easiest to pray right at the start of the day. That's my favorite time and my solitary place if a quiet dimly-lit living room. It's in this place each day th

Love Covers All

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict,but love covers over all wrongs . Right here in the middle of a month long #loveXplosion I run into this verse me take some time to think about what it means to me. I know that God is love and that His love is unconditional and powerful. But today I ponder this idea of love covering covers all wrongs. People have a tendency to run off with few facts and full of emotion when it comes to gossip and/or slander. Church folks are some of the best when running to the phone instead of Gods throne. Pray before you say! I think what God was hoping we would understand was that we have the power to love folks through a hard choose to restore rather than exposing them in their period of weakness. Trust me, we will all need this type of mercy at some point in our lives. Maybe you know someone who is going through it right now. Don't throw a log on the fire...stop and use love to snuff out the flame. Love does indeed cover all w

What Did YOU Say?

A careless word may kindle strife. A cruel word may wreck a life. A timely word may level stress. A loving word may heal and bless. I was in a conversation the other day with a couple of other folks. Two of them started to speak and as they spoke the tone began to elevate and before you know it, they weren't talking, they were yelling! Suddenly, they must have tired out because they looked to me for an opinion. It was in that moment that I realized the power of the words we speak. As they were discussing in an amplified way, I wanted so bad to jump in and join them. (It was like sitting at Chili's for dinner and getting a dessert with three’s hard to sit there and let two spoons get all the cake!) But I was practicing my "swift to listen, slow to speak" lifestyle. When I finally did speak, not only did I have something to say but also I was able to completely turn down the volume of the entire exchange with words.  What comes out of our mouths

A New Kind of Bondage

Ephesians 5:1  Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Freedom is a good thing. It's even a God thing. Christ HAS set us free so that we can live a free life. To do so will require us to make adjustments. Why? Because freedom doesn't always mean liberty. Think about it. When the children of Israel were liberated out of Egypt, they were set free of the bondage of Pharaoh. But it wasn't long until they could be heard grumbling about the way it was over where they were. They had to learn to adjust to the new found liberty and take a stand IN freedom. As Moses began to lead them and God began to orchestrate a plan to bring them to a land of promise, they had to deal with this new life and the "rules" that God was setting up for them so that they could live the free life. They began to look at this freedom as a new kind of bondage . They were seeing this as a harness of slavery rather t

Courageous and Strong

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go .”- Joshua 1:9 These are the words of the Lord to Joshua right after the loss of his mentor, Moses. When life changes abruptly before us it can have a negative impact on us. We can begin to feel that things can never be good again. Then, somewhere after the pity-party and self-doubt we get the Word from God and things are made right once again. Joshua was told two things: don't be scared and don't be discouraged . When we dis-courage we open ourselves up to high levels of doubt and a spirit of unbelief. To inspire Joshua the Lord gave him a reason to not be discouraged: the Lord said I will be with you wherever you go! It's easy to TAKE COURAGE when you know that the Lord is with you all the way. So whatever you are in the middle of right now, don't allow fear to rise within you. Be strong and TAKE COURAGE. Stand in the midst of the storm w

Are You Happy?

Happiness...ahh, everyone is in search of it. It was Abe Lincoln that said, " most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be ." Fact is,  true happiness depends on you . I want to give you three quick ways to get back on the happy train and start living in the joy that God intended you to have. First,  Act  like what you desire to see happen is happening . When you were a child you probably used to play make-believe when you were alone or when you wanted to put yourself in another place. You became the person that you wanted to be. Some of you may actually be doing the things you acted out as a child. Before I became the founding pastor of The Landing, I prepared teachings and studied out ideas that I thought could help people. I committed to use my skill set for any size group of folks that God placed in my path. I acted as if I was already the preacher of a church that had not yet been founded! Another form of this comes in visualizing the end result t

SuperBowl Believers

An excerpt from yesterday SuperBowl message at The Landing... You know what makes up a Super Bowl type of believer ? Let me give you three things that you will always find in a champion…a Super Bowl believer. Desire …they sincerely want to be the best that they can be and make Coach Jesus proud. Making the coach happy is more important than hearing the cheer of the fans! Bible teacher J. Vernon McGee once said, “ the highest desire that can possess any heart is a longing to see God ”. That desire for God to show up in a big way fuels our passion for everything we engage in. Discipline …is the fuel of success. A muscle needs to be stretched, torn, mended and fueled. We do too. Paul talked about us going through strict training…beating our body…feeling the burn. When you feel the burn, things are about to turn ! Desire and Discipline are nothing without the last…a Destination . Every player on the Broncos and the Seahawks had a destination to be in Jersey at this ti