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Showing posts from September, 2014

Follow the Evidence

Hebrews 11:1-2  The fundamental fact of existence is that this  trust in God , this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors,  set them above the crowd. One translation calls faith the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. This is what faith is…evidence of what you cannot see…it’s the substance of all of the things you are believing for. Chapter 11 is filled with men who had learned how to use FAITH…how to activate that substance and present that evidence. "Evidence" refers to the clues left at the scene of the crime that lead you to the one who committed the crime. Faith is what God leaves out there for you and I that if we follow it, will lead us back to Him. Always follow the evidence! This TRUST in God is what pleases Him. It IS the foundation that we should use to build the life that He intended for us

Do You Need a Facelift?

I have been looking at many of the faces that I pass during my day and I have to tell you, I'm not seeing much joy! People seem to be stressed out and filled with anxiety. Life is taking its toll. Their faces are wrinkled by the frowns and there certainly aren't many smiles.  The Bible says "the joy of the Lord is our strength." So you can probably deduce from these looks that many people have not yet connected to the Lord personally. Perhaps a better translation of that would be the joy that you need is found in the Lord. Anxiety not only wears us out emotionally, it wears out our faces! I once heard someone say that it takes many more muscles to frown and only a few to smile. People spend lots of money and time trying to lift up their faces and tighten up those wrinkles that the frowns are causing. Let me suggest something today:  maybe you don't need a facelift, you need a FAITH lift ! Faith is the substance of ALL things hoped for ac

Don't Be a Lone Ranger

Sometimes I am guilty of going off by myself to try and figure things out. Especially when I was younger I would alienate myself from other people in hopes that just being by myself could produce the answers that I was seeking. Often what happened was that I stayed confused about the answer and grew lonely in the process. God does not need Lone Rangers! In fact, things will always go better when you team up with others. When Jesus sent out the disciples to do the work of the ministry he sent them in two's. Why? Look at this verse in Ecclesiastes... 4:9   Two people are better off than one , for they can help each other succeed. 10  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12  A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.  Three are even better, for a triple-

It's Too Soon to Quit

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."  Thomas Edison  I often wonder about "timing" and why most of the things I pray for don't show up until that final hour. Have your ever experienced that? Let me keep it real simple today... it's always too soon to quit. If you are thinking about giving up on a dream or idea take a moment today to ask yourself this question: if the blessing you were waiting on was coming later today, would you still stop moving forward? If you are like most folks, you would say absolutely not!  Don't give up! Trust in the Lord and don't lean on what you know. Hold up your head and hold out your hope! You could be soooo close! Don't it!

Give Me My Joy Back!

Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you . Remember that day when you made Jesus the Lord of your life? Something good overwhelmed you and started growing inside of you. Your countenance changed. You began to see people differently, react differently and even the words coming out of your mouth were different. You found the JOY of the Lord! Now life has continued, challenges have come and some painful seasons have overshadowed that "joy-full" experience. You find yourself tired of trying, sometimes going so far as to isolate yourself from others. You may even feel like no one understands. David had moments just like that too. You can read about his in the psalms. In Psalm 51, out of the darkness of isolation and within the grip of fear and pain, he prayed a simple prayer: Lord, give me the joy back . Help me to continue being willing to trust you and follow you even when I feel like this. It was then that God delivered David.

Enjoy It!

“Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal. ”  I ran across this quote today and it made me think about many things.  First of all, I don't really 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 its always painful to go through all of that for a "practice" session.  Secondly, could you imagine what it would be like if we did get a second chance because this was only practice? A "do-over"? Made a mistake! Said something I would like to take! 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. We should enjoy every minute of it. Once it's spent, it's gone. We don't get to "dress up" and run through a practice. This is real and its one time. This IS it! There are no do-overs. Trust in the Lord, acknowledge Him and He will direct

Serve Here!

Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her.  So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them . Luke 4:38-39 Jesus was all about helping others. Everywhere he went he healed sickness and disease. Even at the home of Peters mother-in-law! She had a fever and Jesus spoke not to her but to the fever and it left. He was teaching us how to get beyond pain and hurt and to a healthy place. Speak to the root of the trouble. Kill it. But don't miss what happens next. The whole and healed, completely well mother-in-law got up and took care of everyone at THAT house. Right there, right away! In my years as the lead pastor at The Landing, the trend I have seen more often than not is people getting well and then moving on. It's been the hardest part of being a pastor to watch people get better inside the ministry, touched

True Christianity

Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  For the last month or so I have had Romans 12 in front of me...taking it apart verse by verse and allowing the power of this text to strengthen my spiritual core. These verses are part of a section that describes how a gospel-centered believer should behave.  What could happen in your life if you adopted these ideas as a lifestyle? Contribute to the needs of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Seek to show some hospitality.Bless people that hurt you. Be sympathetic to what others are

Is Your Kitchen Preaching to You?

Sometimes when I preach I think of things that cause my mind taking a small detour:) I would love to say that every time this happens it is a good thing but I cannot tell I lie! Once as I was discussing something about Christ being an obstacle remover and a stain remover it hit mind began to see all of the products around me in my kitchen and my laundry room that take stains away and remove dirt. My house is preaching right back at me every day! It sounds like this: The bottle of SHOUT announced the DAWN of a brand new ERA...a new day! The SUNLIGHT begins to shine. I PLEDGE my allegiance to the Lord and the CASCADE of His love and peace begins. The TIDE starts to change. My guilty stains are coming out! JOY floods my soul and I lift up my eyes and thank Him in the midst of everything. I have so much to GAIN and no matter what happens I have within me the power to be of good CHEER! Nothing is going to make me a DOWNy for with God ALL things are possible. How we FINISH the r

Fight for It

1 Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare , 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. Paul encouraged Timothy to always hold dearly the memory of how he entered into ministry and to use those memories to fuel his passion to fight the good fight of faith. Being in ministry and using your talents and skills for the Lord is a battle! Many folks pray to be in full-time ministry and then once they get into it, realize that they should have prayed differently:) When was the last time you fought for something that was important to you? When was the last time you fought for someone else? Too often we give in to things that should not be allowed to have power over us. Your family is worth fighting fo

He Will

"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17 I spend most of my days each week making certain that I tell people that life is all about Jesus and not about themselves. That in the midst of anything, you can always call upon the Lord and He promises to be with you. Today, as I finished reading this verse I saw just how much He cares about you and me. Today, it is actually about YOU! Well, to be honest it's about how much He is in love with you! Three things that you can remember today, no matter what happens in your life. They are that: He will take great delight in you He will help settle you down He will rejoice over you with singing That makes for a pretty great day doesn't it? He is with you today and so am I.                                   Get out there and make a positive difference:)

If and Then

1  My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2 There are many promises in the word of God that have conditions attached to them. By conditions I mean that there are fulfilled by our obedience and there are consequences when we are disobedient to what God is saying. You can see this is in todays Proverb. Let's break it down into "ifs" and "thens". IF you accept and store accept what the Word of God says-it's His Word; pile it up within you: read, retain, read, retain IF you listen and apply it turn your ear in the direction of God's wisdom: holy reverence for Him is where you start(Proverbs 1:7) applying what we

God Will Not Deliver Him

PSALM 3:1   Lord , how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!  2  Many are saying of me, " God will not deliver him ." There have been many times in my life where I felt like the world was out to get me. Like the main reason other people existed was to torment me and bring difficulty into my life. Maybe you have had some seasons like that too. The old saying "when it rains it pours" can ring true many times. The good news is that God did not plan for you to live overwhelmed, frustrated and all stressed up with no place to go! John 10 tells us that Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly. That means your need will be met; your spiritual, physical, financial and emotions need will not go unfulfilled. You can and will be delivered ! David was facing great adversity. Enemies were coming out of the woodwork to harm him. Their taunts would be loud. "God will not deliver him" they would say.  Just remember today that  what THEY are say

Rejoice in Hope

We have been going through Romans 12 verse by verse at our church and understanding how a gospel-centered community should live. I so enjoyed it and wanted to share a bit of it with you today. Hope it resonates in your spirit too:) Rejoice in Hope, be patient in tribulation and be constant in prayer . Romans 12:12 Rejoice ?…really? How can I possibly rejoice, my job is changing and my income is being cut in half. How can I be full of joy…my doctor just said that I have this issue that is going to alter the course of my life. You must read the entire phrase… REJOICE IN HOPE …you would never be expected to be thrilled by disappointing news and behavior but when you lean into Christ…when you exchange your weakness and humanity for his strength and divinity…there will be a change: maybe not in your circumstances but there will be a change in YOU! Christ IN YOU is the HOPE of glory. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I frame my thinking with the

Check the Splitter

This morning as I went through my usual routine of pouring a cup of joe and then writing one, I was unable to connect to the internet. This happens occasionally and if I just power off everything and turn it back on it comes back. Today it didn't. I was offline...disconnected. NOOOOOO! I had no connection to the world wide web, the research, the information, my online way to update my Facebook and Twitter accounts! I was shut down! Though the internet did not work, my phone did and I called the cable company to report the problem. After five minutes of troubleshooting the modem was back online and so was I! The trouble...I had a splitter that connected the TV and the modem to the outlet and the splitter was bad. Bottom line; I had two sources feeding one outlet and when we took away the splitter, there was only one source and everything worked.  There are many days that I feel I have multiple splitters connected to me and if it just becomes too much, I go offline...

Pure in Heart

Purity is a choice . You have to choose to stay away from things that could defile you.  The farther you move from what defiles you the closer you move to what defines you . A farmer went to the market to sell among other things, the cottage cheese and apple butter he made on his farm. He carried them in two large tubs of which he ladled out each one into the smaller containers that he sold. One day when he got to the market, he realized that he had forgotten one of the ladles. He had no choice but to use one ladle for both products. Before long the two products had gotten so mixed up that you could hardly tell the difference. You see when the child of God loses their purity, they are no longer different and distinct from the world. You and I are created to be like Jesus. To be holy as He is holy. To be in the world but not of the world. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God . Matt 5:8 Once you have moved away from things that can taint and pollute your life, yo

Text Me!

Have you realized how our lives have changed since the addition of the cellphone? When we use the cellphone to connect we no longer ask people "how are you?", we ask "where are you?". With caller ID and text messaging, we no longer have to speak with anyone unless we want to. I listened to my daughter the other tray tell a friend , just text me. She got off the phone and I said did they have to go? She said no, I just didn't want to talk! Really? I miss the days when we could dial a number(ok I don't miss the rotary dial) and get a live person on the other end. Remember when we  didn ’t have to hear an answering machine tell you when you could speak and leave your message?  Aren ’t you glad God does not require a family plan or a data package to connect to Him? He's never too busy to connect with you. His network coverage has no gaps and there are no dropped calls! No need to worry about 3G or 4G when you're walking with the Big G! In Jeremiah

In the Ditch

The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track;  the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch . Proverbs 14:8 How many times in your life you have found yourself " in the ditch ". Maybe it was an actual ditch but I would venture to guess that many times you have been emotionally derailed or mentally side-swiped and found yourself "off road". Being off-road sometimes feels a bit exciting, sort of like a rogue agent, but I can assure you that it gets old quick. You were not designed to be Bond-like. You were made to have a bond with Christ! You were designed to stay on God's highway of favor. Imagine a road where your vehicle is not destroyed by potholes or a stretch of road where uneven lanes don't cause accidents. Life is full of obstacles in the road and God can help us to navigate our way through the difficulties and get back on track again. Wisdom is making the right choices at the right time. Wisdom is what keeps you and I on track. Isn't it t

Rest and Relaxation

" Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest ." Mat 11:28 Jesus asked us to move in His direction when we are feeling tired. I've talked to many people lately that just seem worn out. It seems we get so involved with stuff that we often hurt the stuff that really matters. In our busy-ness we damage our business. I think that Jesus' definition of rest is not to "cease activity" but rather to do  His  activity rather than yours. It's an exchange of that stuff. When you are involved in the right things, it does not feel laborious at all. Consider this: you may not need a vacation, you may need another job! If you are weary and overwhelmed, if you are tired and wrung out by life, move closer to the Lord. Your hope and help can be found in Christ. Just don't be looking for that rest He provides to always be a break. It may just be a breakout in a new direction!

God Wants You to Be Happy?

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. (Psalm 115:3) God is pleased. How about you? The other day I saw a post where folks were talking about being happy...some even say God wants you to be happy. Others tell us God wants you to be wealthy. And some will even go further to say He wants you healthy. God is in the heavens and he does what he wants to do. So hat does he want? It's a bit difficult for me to imagine Jesus hanging on a cross, bleeding to death and being spat on simply so I could be happy. I know that scripture tells me that he desires my health and prosperity. But prosperity to me and the way God sees it may be different. For instance I might think that prosperity if getting that new job with a promotion and God might be orchestrating another opportunity that gives me more time with my family. Perhaps we get too caught up in things like wealth, health and happiness that we miss the real purpose of God for our be holy. God wants us to hav

A Kodak Moment

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 a part of things that no one else witnessed. 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 ! And no need for a flash! The closer we get to Christ the more amazing life can become. This same trio went as support to the Garden before he was arrested and crucified. They also got to go inside J

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day! It seems kind of weird to have a holiday where many don't work that is called labor day! I guess the guy who thought Labor Day should be a day when all the employees come to work for free no longer has a job at the company!  Please be safe and have an amazing day off of work if you can! If you are working today, thank the Lord for your job, your boss and your paycheck!! God is so good to us! "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord  rather than for people. " Col 3:23 MSG Because you are!