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Showing posts from May, 2014

Two Catchers Mitts

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This week the world lost a precious jewel...Maya Angelou. A teacher, activist and artist, she was a warrior for equality and peace. And she had some amazing quotes. I have always been a big fan of one-liners and short little quips that provoke thought and emotion. One of my favorite ones of hers was reprinted in the USA Today this week.  "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands; you need to be able to                             throw something back." I love that! When we spend all of your time catching everything we become fat and lethargic. We were created to move, to flow in the stream of life and to reciprocate acts of kindness. You know "do unto others as you want them to do unto you". We are conduits of blessing and when we "don't throw back" everything gets plugged up. As you close out this week, don't walk around with two catchers mitts on. You weren't created to catch it all! Someone…

Don't Miss It!

Proverbs 29:18 If people can’t see what God is doing,they stumble all over themselves;But when they attend to what he reveals,they are most blessed. It's really not that hard to see what God is doing in this world. As I watched the sunrise today I saw His desire to light up the world once again. I hear His voice in every wind that passes and I see His love in the people that I hang out with. I hear His joy in the laughter of a tiny baby. I'm really quite blessed!
Don't be the type of person that misses what God is doing and stumbles all over themselves. Take some time today to just look around and notice the handiwork of God. Listen for that still small voice that often whispers encouragement to you in your challenges. God is up to something big! I hope you are ready for it:)

Be On Guard

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1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. What I love about this verse is the all encompassing attitude that it encourages. Alert, stable, courageous and strong: what a powerful 4-pack!
Stand your guard and stand your ground. Use the strength of the Lord to boldly move forward. And do ALL of this in love! My prayer for you today is that this posture and power would overwhelm you so that you can have influence for Jesus in this world. As a follower of Jesus you have a mission to make more followers. Just do it! And remember, do everything in love!

Great Commission

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Today a group of incredible people will leave Tulsa to go to Haiti to share the love of God in tangible ways. Jesus told us to go into all the world...to teach, share and make disciples. Our goal is to put Jesus in front of people so that they can respond to Him by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Please join me in praying for Team Haiti as they travel and minister as the Lord creates opportunities. Oh, and as you can see in the picture, my buddy Derik will need prayers too traveling with all of these women! God bless all of you and may the Lord do some amazing things through you and for you this week!

Memorial Day

It’s the day we remember all that you did
Using weapons and fighting, when still just a kid
You defended our honor, our freedom you bought
Sacrificial giving in every fight that you fought
We remember your faithfulness, a life that you gave
For the land of the free and the home of the brave!
God bless all of those who paid the ultimate price
for the freedom we enjoy! May God bless us all on this
Memorial Day

Remember...

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This weekend many people will visit places that remind them of something significant in their lives. Flowers will be placed on headstones and prayers will be prayed as we remember loved ones who have passed and soldiers who have given all for freedom. God bless those that fight for this freedom we enjoy!  In scripture memorials were erected to honor what transpired but also to teach others that followed. When Joshua made it through the Jordan on dry ground he piled up 12 stones, representing the priests who stepped into the water as it stopped. Each time someone comes to that place they will see the stones and remember the story.
This weekend may the Lord bring peace to you and cause you to remember the good moments and honor those that have meant so much to you. May those memories inspire you to become who you were created to be, to be happier and live more fully. God still has a plan for YOU and that plan will bring you everything you need to live a fulfilled life. 

Trust the plan an…

Waiting...

"Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised". Heb 6:15 Abraham was blessed by God and was told that he would be the beginning of an amazing lineage…a father of many nations. God made a promise to him. But it did not happen overnight. Abraham had to wait. Most of the things I find myself praying for seem to come after a period of waiting. How we wait is important. What we do in the waiting is as well. Abraham had tenacity when it came to waiting. He waited patiently and with unshakeable resolve. He held on to the promise and did not let go until it came. Most would have said that his window for starting a family was over…you must have missed God. But he didn’t. He received what God had promised. You may be "waiting" on your own personal promise from God today. It may have been some time since you prayed about it and all you do now is wait. Don't give up! Hold on to the hope you have and don’t waver. Stick to it until God brings you to it!

God is Able!

In the book of Matthew, Jesus began a picture story with these words.."the sower went out to sow". Not an unusually strange statement. It's what sowers do...they sow. Farmers understand this principle completely for they live it most of the time. They know that there will be no harvest unless you first plant a seed. They know that what you plant determines what you harvest. I think about this every time our nation starts spinning out of control. It seems everyone looks at the stocks and when they are up we are happy and when they are down we are sad. Retirement income is less than half of what it used to be worth and the news just keeps getting worse. But we are not supposed to focus on the worlds financial system. As Christians, we operate in a different system. Jesus was talking about us...the sowers, and we are to sow no matter what is happening around us. All of us have held back out time, our talents or our finances for fear of lack at some point in our lives. But …

Better than Michaels Hologram?

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Mark 9:2-4
It's hard to imagine what it might have felt like to be one of those inside the "circle of trust" Jesus had. Peter, James and John were part of the inner circle and got to be involved in things that no one else did. In this text Jesus took them up to the top of a mountain and he changed right before their eyes! Bright white light consumed them and then suddenly there appeared Elijah and Moses talking to Jesus! Unbelievable! Talk about a Kodak moment! Kind of makes Michael Jacksons hologram at the Billboard Music Awards seem lame:) The closer we get to Christ the more amazing life can become. This same trio went as support to the Garden before he wa…

Thank You Jesus!

Today I woke up and I have an overwhelming sense of thankfulness. I just feel thankful. Thankful to have my health. Thankful to have some wonderful children. Thankful for friendships. Thankful for an amazing group of friends called The Landing Community Church. It was Paul who told Timothy "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service". Paul realized that there was something else happening...outside force being exerted upon him that was moving in him and through him.  Today, I realize that I am being positioned to be overwhelmingly successful. No matter what happens, everything is going to be thoroughly mixed together so that I come out on top at the end of the day. That is the way my God wants me to live! He counted me faithful. He placed me in service for Him.  He died for my sins! Now I am honored to do the best I can with what has been entrusted into my care. So I just feel thankful right now. I&#…

A Disciplined Life

1 Timothy 4:6 You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the followers of Jesus there, and you’ll be a good servant of Jesus. Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers. In these verses Paul is providing some instruction to Timothy to help him lead his church. Seems that his church was much like today's, filled with spiritual flabbiness. They were undernourished and overfed. Daily workouts consisting of reading the Word of God and prayer is the best way to stay fit spiritually. And the way to stay the course is to live a disciplined life …

I'm With Stupid!

The other day I was doing some fixing up and cleaning up around the house. I was just going about the business at hand and suddenly I did something that was not very smart. To be honest it was stupid...so stupid that I actually ended up saying out loud, "joe, you are so stupid!" As soon as those words came out of my mouth I realized that what I had done was not very beneficial to my success. In fact, I used words to tear myself down. My own words! I heard myself say something about me that was simply not true. In Psalm 139:14 it reads, "Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it." One translation reminds me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I'm not stupid at all and I should be one of the first ones to confess that! What types of things do you say to yourself? Maybe you have done what I did to yourself before. Faith comes by hearing but so does doubt. It's time to change our language and speak bl…

Sun Stand Still

It takes "faith" to please God. Faith seems to come in all different sizes. Some people have great faith and believe for things that others think could never happen. For many faith is used only when necessary and extends only to the point of possibility in our own mind. And some never ever step out of their own power into a dimension of "God power" or faith in motion. I am so grateful that God puts all of us, wherever we are on the faith spectrum, in the midst of the Body of Christ to learn and grow together. I want that kind of faith that makes people notice the awesome power of God and give Him glory. Faith that makes history. Like Joshua. Joshua had courageous faith. Once when he was in battle the Lord told him to completely kill off the army: leave no one alive. The problem he had was that his battle was not over and the daylight was. He needed more time. Some folks would have given up and simply said they ran out of time. No one had ever thought of asking for…

One Degree

Can you remember the last time that God rocked your world in such a way that you saw everything differently? Our church is on a transformational journey that is going to change the way we do many of the daily ministry tasks. But the journey for the church is a collective gathering of individuals that have had a collision with God's grace and have experienced that humility that lands on you when you see yourself in light of God's amazing power. Suddenly things do not matter. All you want is to know more about Him and His plan for the world and how you can more fully engage in it. I read a statistic the other day that pointed out how subtle changes can lead to major troubles. Being one degree off course on the flight from San Francisco to LAX can cause you to miss the airport by 6 miles! Just one degree off! In the same way, making small positive adjustments can bring about amazing benefits for the kingdom of God and the mission He has given you. Take a moment today to ask your…

Attractive Conversations

"Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone." Colossians 4:6 NLT
Can you imagine having the right response at the right time for every person that you meet? It seems somewhat unattainable to me yet in reading this I see that by letting a little grace and beauty season my words, I become equipped and empowered to respond properly. That means I could have the right words at the right time to bring about the right result!  I thought about some of the conversations I have overheard others have in the coffee shop or in line at the grocery store. I have heard words with no grace and talk that was absolutely NOT attractive. Attractive conversation draws people to you. It creates an environment for growth, hope and encouragement. And that is what every one of us needs today. Imagine what would happen if followers of Christ starting talking differently than their Christ-less co-workers:) You and I should stand out! Beautifu…

Rolling Stones Philosophy?

James 1:3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. OK, so today I have a goal. That goal is to become a bit more enduring. Like this scripture says, I want my endurance to have a chance to grow. Why? Because only when it has developed will I be satisfied. Too many people have adopted a Rolling Stones philosophy and accepted the lie that they just "can't get no satisfaction". Today, I want to encourage you to hang on and hang in there because when the time is right, when your endurance has fully developed, YOU are going to be perfect, complete and you won't have a need that cannot be met!
So are you going to hang with the Stones, or come to the Rock of Ages? The choice is yours!
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May your day be filled with sweet joy and the precious memories that come from being the most amazing woman of God ever!

YOU are a true champion!

Happy Mothers Day!

No Shortfall

Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing
. PS 34:10
Imagine today that you could live life in such a way that there would be no shortfalls. No shortfalls emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. Sounds like a perfect way to move through the day doesn't it? Nothing missing, nothing lacking? Trusting in the Lord sets us up for the best possible life that we could live. When He is in control then we can know that the people we meet, the conversations we have and the places we end up are being divinely guided or inspired. When we please the Lord, the Lord pleases us. Therefore there is no lack because you have a new understanding that all things are eventually going to work out for your benefit because He is in control of ALL things and you have given Him control of you! So what are you thinking about today? Are you staying positive and trusting God? Have you fully surrendered the control to Him? Then you can know tha…

Seek the Lord

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Seek the Lord while He may be found,  Call upon Him while He is near. IS 55:7 SEEKING…I used to think that prayer was asking the Lord for something that He desired to give me and I would receive it. As I continue growing in in my understanding I can see that sometimes asking needs another level...sometimes I need to put some legs with the words. Jesus said ASK me and then He said SEEK me. Once you have you vocalized your petition, you can start to motorize it by moving in the direction of the answer. In Christ there is a 100% guarantee. JC said that those that would SEEK him would FIND him. There’s no frustration, no disappointment.  It reminds me of my kids when they were little. They loved to play hide and seek and my two boys were a bit older than my daughter Jordan so they would have a little edge. When Jordan played she would always go hide, and wait only for a short time and then she would say, "hey I’m over here!"…she wanted to be found!
I believe that is how the Lord …

Kittens in a Basket

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My daily devotional came up today with a story about how our coping with problems is like trying to put kittens in a basket: once you get one in another one pops out! Well I can honestly say that I have personally never tried that but I can see the lesson. After a while of trying to put one in while one jumps out you may feel despair and eventually give up. Remember that it's always to soon to quit. Be strong IN THE LORD, and in His mighty power. You have strength inside that you will come out through prayer and praise today. And rather than trying to keep putting your kittens in a basket, just get your ducks in a row...that may be a bit easier! Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matt. 6:33

Let's Go!

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Hebrews 6:1-3 So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding. I love these three little veers because they remind me to take a breath, grow up and get moving again. I meet lots of people that are stuck in neutral and complacent in their lives. They appear to be waiting for something. When we read the Word faith should increase. When faith grows, so should your vision and goals. You have everything you need to to live the life that God designed for you. It's time to let it out. Let's become mature and move forward. Rise up and face the day and allow Christ in you to come out…

Embrace This God-Life

Mark 11:22 Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.”
Here's a great way to start your day...embrace this God-life. Really embrace it and nothing will be too much for you! When you place your life in the hands of what God has designed you for, you will experience all of the things that He desired you to have. How about unfailing love and perfect peace? Or joy that is indescribable?Start your week assuming a posture of prayer and…

Finding the Answers

Proverbs 2:1-5 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.Finding the knowledge that God desires to get into your life and circumstances is a process of discovery. Read this scripture closely and you will see it.
Accept His Words and store them up...listen closely...apply them with your whole heart...pray for insight and intensify your prayers when times are tough. Look for understanding like fine silver. Then you will find all the answers that you need to make the decisions that need to be made!

Pleasing Words

Psalm 19:14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.I have a confession to make. Sometimes I think things and say things that I am quite sure would not be pleasing to the Lord. I can get caught up in making a living that I forget to live the life that Jesus died to make possible for me. It is true that out of the abundance of my heart my mouth speaks so I must always have something in my heart worth talking about. If we were all honest we would agree that there are many moments when our words and our thoughts could use a makeover. Many of us have heart trouble. We need to do something to heal it. So we do what David did...ask God to shape the things we say and think into things that make him smile. Let Him redeem those brainless moments and fruitless words. I have a feeling that this day will go so much better if you do.