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Showing posts from December, 2014

The End of a Chapter

Here we are at the finish of one year and the threshold of another. In a matter of hours, you and I will walk out of all that was 2014. Maybe your year did not go as you thought it would. Don't worry, just say thank you and goodbye! Or maybe I should have said good riddance!
Regardless of how tough things may or may not have been for you, the fact of the matter is that here you are...standing tall on the last day! What you thought was going to stop you didn't. What you had to overcome you did. And now you are ready to shut one door and open the next.
My hope is that you will be able to look back upon all that was in 2014 and learn from it. That each lesson will be part of the incredible pages of your life that God is putting together. He has been writing a beautiful novel with your talents and personalities. And now He is closing this chapter and ready to write the next one.
Be safe, celebrate life and Happy New Year!

WHEN You Give

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 WHENYOU 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 a subtle giver...one who does…

3 to Go!

As we wind down another year on the planet, how are you closing the year? 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 this year before saying hello to the next. 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 st…

Unwrap it!

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 and 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, and 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 2014 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 what you were designed to be. The world is a better pl…

Merry Christmas!

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May you all enjoy your day! May the conversations be encouraging, the egg nog be cold,  the cookies be sweet and the fun never grow old! Merry Christmas and may your cup(of joe) always be filled to overflowing!

Christmas Mode!

Yes, I am in full on Christmas Mode! I read the Christmas story again: the story of how God named his baby...wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. Life is good. All because of Jesus. 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! No JOY to the World! Everything that has been encouraged and promoted by Christ would never have happened. Life would be so much different. We would not be free, we would be overwhelmed by our own selfishness and we would have no way out: 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! Grab a cup of joe, light a candle, and listen to a collection of great Christmas songs. That my friends is Christmas Mode!

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 wanted to get ahead of others, take care of myself and be certain that in this dog eat dog world, I would be the top 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 Lord and let …

A Christmas Miracle

It's very difficult to wrap words around the emotions and feelings that occur when God steps in and directs an event. As I mentioned in Friday's post about Carman's historic Texas Stadium event, when He showed up and took care of the provision it was absolutely awesome! But the end result of that provision being supplied was what he was really teaching all of us. That night in Texas, 6000 people made Jesus their Lord and Savior. People were released from guilt and shame, embraced by love and given a place in eternity with Christ. Yesterday at The Landing we received the 1st Annual Christmas Offering. This was not some usual Sunday service collection. This was our surrender to a bigger vision; God's plan to utilize our lives for His purposes. The closer we got to this special day at the church the more excited I was. I felt in my bones that God was in complete control and he had shown me through His Word many things leading up to yesterday to assure me that He was usin…

Would You Be Part of Something Historic?

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On October 22,1994 I was part of history...the largest Christian concert ever produced by a solo artist-Carman at the legendary Texas Stadium. That night 71,102 people heard a gospel message and saw the glory of God and 6000 became followers of Jesus! It was quite a feeling.
There were many challenges and emotions leading up to that event. Today I feel some of those same things. At The Landing Community Church we are about to do something historic. We will have our 1st Annual Christmas Offering this Sunday.
The Christmas Offering will reach into the world, our community and those closest to us in ways that can only be accomplished with God's help. It is intended to get us to look beyond the walls of our church and focus on making connections with people outside our church helping those that need it so desperately. There are 3 targets we are aiming at.
1.Finish fundraising for the Uganda Orphan House- $13,000 We have raised nearly $7000 this year towards the $20,000 it takes to comp…

Best Christmas Ever!

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The city streets are buzzing with the sights and sounds of Christmas already! You can feel it in the air...I believe this is going to be the best Christmas ever:)
I have to tell myself to settle down and relax many times during the month of December and to stay focused on keeping Christ up front and at the center of everything. In Luke Chapter 1 you can find some wonderful scriptures that take you through the set up for the birth of Christ in Luke 2. In the exchange that Mary has with the angel Gabriel, there are three things that she was told that you need to hear God telling you today. Hold them close this Christmas. Grab your cup of joe and write down these three things: 1-the Lord is with YOU! Many people become discouraged and sad during the holidays. Some experience these feelings because they think they are alone. Part of the revelation of Christmas is to remember that you are never alone. You will never be abandoned or rejected by the Lord. The Lord is with YOU! 2-You have fo…

What are YOU saying about YOU?

"Oh, not just one wish. A whole hatful. Mary, I know what I'm going to do tomorrow, and the next day, and next year, and the year after that. I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Coliseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things..." --George.

It’s a line out of the most popular Christmas movie of all time, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I like George’s enthusiasm. I think it’s because I like dreamers and builders. I like being in a room filled with joy and excitement. I prefer to hang out with people that see things others miss.  People today do not seem to get excited about much, especially things that are spiritual. In what is truly the most spiritual time of the year, we need to not curb our enthusiasm...we need to express it.  It starts with our outlook. When was the last morning that you got up and expect…

Spread Christmas Cheer

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This is one of my favorite lines from the movie "Elf".  Usually the person that makes the most noise is the one that is noticed. Today there are many people singing loudly but few that seem to be using their voices to spread cheer.
As we draw closer to Christmas, I encourage you to share some love and kindness and sprinkle in some positive and affirming comments too. Use your social networks to make people happy rather than cause them to become critical. This is the time of year to be cheerful!
So go ahead, jump into a chorus of your favorite carol and bake some Christmas Cookies! Call a friend just to say hi. Share a cup of joe and some memories with someone you haven't seen in a while. Sing loud for all to hear! Spread some Christmas cheer!

God Brings it Together

I want to encourage you to spread some cheer this week! We are closing in on the home stretch of this CHRISTmas season, so let me offer some other holiday tips.
Let me begin by asking you a question...what are you expecting this Christmas? Do you realize that it takes more out of you being negative than it does to be positive? This holiday is all about people...the people that God has surrounded you with. The first Christmas brought people from all backgrounds together for a wondrous event. People matter to God.  Invest in relationships rather than stores. Play games rather than buying them. When you invest in people you always get interest. Your return on investment will be great when you spend your time on the things that really matter. Don't let the hustle and bustle cause frustration and silence those silver bells. It's CHRISTmastime in your city! The announcement of the birth of our Savior drew people close that day in Bethlehem. Let's allow it to draw us close today …

10 Things God Can't Do

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Not sure where I got this from, I believe it was in a devotional some time ago. I thank whomever passed it on to me to share with you. It really spoke to me today. I just finished preaching this week about how to have a "Mary" Christmas and the fact that nothing is impossible with God. So when I read the title, I just laughed at the turn of phrase. Did you realize that there are some things that God can't do? 


Have a great weekend! Don't forget to get the Christmas Cookies book before its gone for the season! Use the links on the blog page for whichever format you need:)

How to Have a "Mary" Christmas

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Do you know how to have a “Mary” Christmas? Imagine hearing news that was simply unbelievable and physically impossible. We are put in positions every day where our limits are challenged and we are pushed beyond boundaries that we have set. To have a “Mary” Christmas requires first of all the acceptance of this statement: nothing is impossible with God. Our potential is tied to our source and that is not our job or the opinions of others-it should be the Lord’s Word and His plan for our lives. There’s no limit to what the Lord can accomplish through a willing heart that follows Him. Once you adopt that statement and stand in faith upon it, to have a “Mary” Christmas will take a couple other things. The first is to “treasure up” the things that you feel God speaking to you or lead…

Christmas Blend

I'm so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry. The only credentials I brought to it were invective and witch hunts and arrogance. But I was treated mercifully because I didn't know what I was doing—didn't know Who I was doing it against! Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me. And all because of Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:12-14 MSG) I'm sure all of us can relate to these words. We often feel inadequate or like we are in over our head. There's one recipe that can take all of your choices and behavior (good or bad) and bring something tasteful out of it. It's what I call a special Christmas blend of grace, faith and love.  Many times we become bitter and say things we don't really mean. We may even follow up the hurtful words with actions. When we hurt another person we hurt the Lord. He created us to lift up each other, to bring peace and joy to the circ…

You Can Find Favor!

Luke 1:29-30 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.
More and more these days I am unable to find anything! My keys, my shoes, why last weekend coming out of the grocery store I couldn't find my car! So you can imagine how excited I get when I hear about an opportunity that you and I get to have: the same one Mary did. She found favor! She got a divine impartation of exactly what was needed exactly when it had to happen. What happened for Mary can happen for you this Christmas! So don't be afraid or worried about anything this season. Favor, Gods divine intervention is out there and I believe that you are about to find it!
**You can download the new Christmas Cookies book today by using the links on the right side of this page. Available in Kindle and Nook and the paperback can be shipped by calling 918-321-2300! See, you found favor!!!

Tis the Season

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 critical 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 known as the Bible. God has a plan; to help you 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!

You 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! Well that probably won't happen to you but it did to Zechariah. He was listening to the angel of the Lord tell him about the child that he was about to have...a child who would be known as John the Baptist...to 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 se…

A Pearl of Great Value

Matt 13: 45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. 46When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!
This scripture comes alive to me today as I think about a special event I attended this week about The Pearl House in Ghana, Africa. Twenty young women are housed there…twenty that would be vulnerable and hopeless in the culture they are growing up in. The Pearl House is a refuge where girls are loved unconditionally, educated, trained and spiritually prepared to re-enter society as skilled, Ghanaian women. It is currently home to 20 girls from the Northern, Eastern and Volta Regions. They are cared for by two Ghanaian housemothers, a director and some interns. They are enrolled in a private Christian school and are learning about becoming Godly women through their daily lives. Listening to their stories and seeing a room full of people engage in the project of building the ministry and changing these lives …

YANA

"YOLO"! I heard a young person say this the other day. It means "you only live once". I agreed with that one... I do only live once but thank God 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. Jesus told me that He would never leave me or abandon me in any way. He would stay close, closer than a brother. Jesus said 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.
Another meaning of YOYO…

It's time for Christmas Cookies!

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The excitement is building...its time for Christmas Cookies! Every year at our church we have some of the greatest cookie bakers making cookies for a special service where we all enjoy freshly baked Christmas Cookies along with some tasty truths from the Word of God. To celebrate we have put together a dozen of our favorite scriptures and teachings along with a dozen delicious cookie recipes just in time for the holidays. YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR STOCKING! Christmas Cookies: Edible Treats for Your Body and Soulis available now! Send us an email with your order to thelandingtv@gmail.com. We will get back to you with a confirmation and fill your order immediately. Each copy is $10 or you can buy 3 for $25 and get a free t-shirt from The Landing! That's four gifts for $25 plus shipping and handling! And I will write a personal note in it just for you!

Tis the season to be jolly and eat cookies:) Thank you for sharing a cup of joe and some Christmas cookies too! If you are close to Tulsa…