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Showing posts from January, 2015

Busyness vs. Business

Many people today tend to confuse activity for achievement. Think about it...they are busy but they aren't really achieving anything. I heard someone talk the difference in effectiveness and efficiency. Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things. Let me add to that and say that excellence is doing the right things right. And finally, those who know Christ and are filled with His spirit, spirit-led people do the right things right at the right time.  Too often we spend so much energy in doing things that we fail to achieve the results that we aimed for. Remember Martha when Jesus went to her house and Mary was there. Martha was running around totally "service" motivated. She was very, very busy. She was busy doing "stuff". It was all good stuff. Mary just sat at the feet of Jesus. Jesus looked at Martha, the busy one, and said, “Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things”. What he was telling her is that there is a di

The Most Honest Prayer You'll Hear

Listen while I build my case, God, the most honest prayer you’ll ever hear . Show the world I’m innocent—in your heart you know I am. Go ahead, examine me from inside out, surprise me in the middle of the night— You’ll find I’m just what I say I am. My words don’t run loose. I’m not trying to get my way in the world’s way. I’m trying to get your way, your Word’s way. I’m staying on your trail; I’m putting one foot In front of the other. I’m not giving up. This prayer of David in Psalm 17 starts off a bit presumptuous. He calls it the “most honest prayer” God would ever hear! In fact he claims to be right in his own eyes and even goes so far as to presume God knows it too. And then comes the kicker…”go ahead, examine me” he says. I hate to admit it but I have prayed like this many times too. Asking God to “smite” my enemies and cause me to rise up like a superstar. As I grow older, I realize that I don’t even have to ask Him to examine me because I take a good look

What Do You Have?

In 2 Kings 4 you can find an interesting story of a widow with two boys. She was scrapping to get by and the creditors were coming after her to take her children away because of the debt. She takes her problem to the man of God, Elisha. Elisha asks her, " what do you have in your house?" And then she gives an interesting answer. She says "nothing at all, except this little jar of oil."  She was overwhelmed, challenged by life circumstances and dealing with the responsibility for her kids. You may feel like this today.  You  want help. You're tired of answering questions and people wanting things from you and you are looking for real answers for yourself. The trouble with each one of us is the same as the woman in the house. She was unaware of what she had. The way we get through the pain of what we lost is to look at what we have . We need to take inventory of all that we have and put it in the hands of the Lord. What you have combined with who God is...we

What are You Expecting?

While typing out some notes the other day I was captivated by the word on one simple key:  shift . By its very definition a shift is " to move or cause to move from one place to another ". What could happen in your life today if the Lord decided to "shift" your finances in an upward direction? Or if the boss comes in this week and just decides to "shift" your position in the company into one that has more responsibility and comes with more benefits? You would be smiling and shouting wouldn't you? Of course you would! Shifts are happening all the time. God is in the habit of turning things in a favorable direction for the people that love Him and have surrendered control of their lives to Him. In just a moment your entire day could "shift". This week your relationships could "shift". So let's ask a couple of questions: 1- Are you expecting things to shift in your favor?  2- What will you do when they shift? Why not g

Grace of Giving

In 2 Corinthians 8 Paul tells the church to excel in the grace of giving . Most of us want to find the key to success...he way to have things flow more smoothly into our lives so that it isn't always full of tension. He provides two elements that should be adopted into our lifestyle if we want this special grace: 1-give ourselves to God  2-give ourselves to others A life given to God will have generosity flowing out of it. It will be obvious to others in the way you speak and in the things you do. So why do we not see more generosity? Why does it seem that people are working harder and harder and still coming up short? Perhaps its because we are trying in our power and not unreservedly giving ourselves to God. His power is unlimited. His resources are unlimited. If you are getting tired, try giving control to Him! So you choose today. Do you want to keep your conduit of blessing clogged up or are you ready for giving to simply flow in and out of your life? See that you excel i

A Highway Called Favor

Well its been one of those weeks that feels a bit like a month! And we are only starting!! I'm not sure what a highway to favor looks like but I'm thinking that somehow I got off that old dead end road and found the entrance ramp this year:) Psalm 5:12 talks about favor surrounding you like a shield. I think favor feels like a yes when everyone's been saying no. It's a tip when the last three customers left nothing. It's someone calling to say they are praying for you when you didn't even ask them too. God's favor is something good and the perfect time and in the perfect way. What have you been praying about? I've taking a more intense attitude towards prayer so far this year and I am standing on the promises that Jesus gave us. Words can heal. Acts of love can bring hope. And jesus, well he can make that long week feel like a drive on a highway called favor! Buckle in...its about to get exciting! **If you have a special prayer request that we ca

Give Me a Supreme!

Our local pizza place has all types of pizza's-pepperoni, sausage, greek and the ultimate supreme. The supreme has every ingredient in the shop on it all mixed together. As I was reading a proverb the other day I came across the words: "wisdom is supreme". In Proverbs 4 we are instructed to lay ahold of God's Word, keep the commands and get wisdom and understanding. Don't forsake wisdom for  wisdom is supreme . Of course I immediately thought about that supreme pizza. What makes it different from all the rest is that it has everything. That's what separates wisdom from knowledge and understanding: wisdom has got every ingredient and it all blends together to make something delicious: a great life and a great pizza. Why do we need the supreme? Because without God's wisdom we look pretty silly. I was reading some famous people quotes the other day which illustrate my point. Let me share a few... "Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost

Be a Good Example!

1 Timothy 4:12  Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity .  There have been many times in my life when I felt inferior and out of place because I felt young and inexperienced. At lest that is how I saw myself. This scripture reminds us that age and wisdom do not necessarily go hand in hand. Often, our youth and innocence can be refreshing. Like a child that comes to God without reservation and all of the distractions that more years and responsibilities can bring.  Don't discount yourself. Be the example. In what you say and do. Let your words and your actions be clear and up-lifting. Share your affection and your faith. Be genuine, authentic and pure: undefiled.  Sometimes the more miles you have on your life the more cynical you get. While you are young(and you are!)  embrace your youth . Stay close to the Lord and live right. Be a good example...better yet be a God

Who Matters to God?

Yesterday we launched a vision for the year at The Landing which can only be effective with the divine touch of God and His favor. While reading Psalm 10, it was clear that our vision is in sync with people that the Lord cares about. Here is a piece of it... 12  Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.     Do not forget the helpless. 13  Why does the wicked man revile God?     Why does he say to himself,     “He won’t call me to account”? 14  But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;     you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you;     you are the helper of the fatherless. 15  Break the arm of the wicked man;     call the evildoer to account for his wickedness     that would not otherwise be found out. 16  The Lord is King for ever and ever;     the nations will perish from his land. 17  You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;     you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, 18  defendi

Living the Dream

"All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality ."  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King is remembered today for so many things and the common thread seems to be the idea of all types of people coming together. Why? Because we are all  connected . We live in a time where people look out for themselves and decide that if they can take care of #1, nothing else really matters. That could not be farther from the truth. Perhaps my future is connected to yours. My hopes to yours. My dream may not be realized until you see you have one too. The Creator made us all to function together. An inescapa

Joy in the Journey

As we continue pressing into the new year I've been thinking alot about my life and the things in it. This word,  SIMPLIFY , keeps rising to the surface and begging me to hear it. To "simplify" is to reduce back to the basics, eliminate stresses and anxieties, to streamline. We have no guarantee of another day so the hours and minutes we use should be meaningful for us and for those that God has connected us to. As part of this personal inventory, I am looking at the work that I do, the people that I talk to and the way I spend my time and my money. So many people today spend all of their time and energy in an acquisition mode and never get to enjoy the fruits of the work that they have engaged in. The work and the money should never be the objective. The joy is in the journey . The excitement is often in the risk.  For many years of my life I never asked myself what I enjoyed or why I was doing what I was doing. So this exercise is bringing great enjoyment. Why

Now That's Refreshing!

" A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25 There are many things in the Bible that seem strange...things like the first shall be last. Or to be the greatest of all you must be a servant of all. Often it reads as if up were down and left was right. Reading closer in the context of these words, you begin to see what Jesus was wanting to teach us. This scripture out of Proverbs is a bit more straightforward but with a little twist. A generous man will prosper. If you give your life away then you really can live your life today. Giving your time, money and talent opens up an amazing conduit between you and all that the Lord wants to keep sending your direction. Resources flow freely. And when you spend time refreshing others, you soon realize that you were also being refreshed along the way! Choose to bless a colleague or friend today and unclog your conduit of good things. Be generous. Not because you have it. But b

Don't Worry, Don't Stew

Often I get a bit anxious about things going on in my life and at work. In those times when I feel unsettled, I reach out for the good Dr's words of comfort... “ If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too. ”  Dr. Seuss Well I don't think he's a real doctor but I don't just want to be happening...I want to be what's going on! You may feel like I do and want things to start happening right now! Jesus gave us a short bit of counsel in the book of Matthew 6 to let us know where we stand when it comes to provision and guidance. If you feel a bit overwhelmed, anxious or just seem to be worrying about everything maybe this 2 minutes of encouragement will help today. 

College Football Playoff Life Lessons

If you have followed Cup of Joe for any period of time you are well aware of the fact that I am a huge Ohio State Buckeye fan. So this year has been quite interesting for me to say the least. And of course last night was perhaps one of the highlights of the last 12 months of my life as the Buckeyes became the first Champions of the National College Football Playoffs. I’ve never been so proud to be a Buckeye, born and bred! This year college football gave us a few life lessons. The first is, just because you lose a game doesn’t mean you are done for the season . It’s always too soon to quit. If you keep on playing the best you can you just never know what can happen. Secondly, it does not matter what people say about you . The Buckeyes had 40-1 odds against them to win the National Championship after they lost their starting quarterback before the year started. But you silence the critics when give your all and leave it on the field. And lastly, it takes teamwork to

Having Authority is not Enough

I was reading this weekend where Jesus sent out the twelve to do ministry. Matthew 10 tells us how he sent them, where he sent them and what they were to do. He gave them authority to do some incredible things. They were to take that authority to those that were without hope and health and become turnaround specialists: help others turn around their lives. As followers of Christ today we have that same authority to drive out evil, heal sickness and help change the quality of life for those we are connected to. The problem: its not enough to be given authority...its power only fully arrives when it is utilized. And to use it we need Jesus working through us and in us.We have authority to use the name of Jesus to combat evil, eliminate sickness and become turnaround specialists right here in 2015. For that to happen we need to go to places where it is needed...where we can utilize these divine giftings.  Let's make this the year where we don't just talk about the power He ga

Are You a Wiseguy?

This week, while listening to one of my favorite guys(Andy Stanley), I heard him say something thats too good not to share. He was talking about one question that can be a game changer as you and I make decisions in our lives. Curious yet? Here it is... " In light of our past experiences, our current circumstances and our future hopes and dreams, is this the wise thing to do ?" Boom! What I think this does is makes us stop reacting and begin responding. Impulse is replaced by intellect. Recklessness is replaced with thoughtfulness. Ephesians 5:15 tells us to "be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise, but as wise..." What great counsel this is for each of us, especially at the start of a new year. Your past brought you here. Your future lies ahead. And today, you are deep into the present. Is what you are thinking about the "wise" thing to do? Is that relationship the "wise" one to begin...or perhaps end! Be careful how you live. It&

Imitate God

Imitate God , therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭1-2‬ NLT) As I read these verse today I laughed a little bit. I thought about my youngest son and how much he reminds me of myself. He's 23 now but the one incident I remember was when he was just a little guy. It was a Sunday morning, I was getting ready to preach and he was with me in the kitchen. He wanted a waffle so I did what most other men would do. I got the frozen Eggo waffles out to toast him his breakfast! I was all dressed and ready to go and he was watching me bounce around the kitchen getting his food ready. As I reached into the pantry for the syrup it slipped out of my hand and fell to the floor. The impact caused the cap to pop open and a single stream of syrup rifled out that drew a line straight down my body from the to

Stop Shouting at Me!

Does not wisdom call out?  Does not understanding raise her voice? 2  At the highest point along the way,  where the paths meet, she takes her stand; 3  beside the gate leading into the city,  at the entrance, she cries aloud: Proverbs 8 starts out declaring this truth- wisdom is shouting at you! From the mountaintops, along the paths, even at the gates of the city! I've talked to several folks that have resolved to be more wise this year. Some of them think that if they do certain things it will show up or if they act a certain way it will magically pour out of them.   There have been times I was so determined to accomplish something with my own intelligence that I simply shut out the voice of wisdom. You can get so used to functioning in your power that you grow deaf to the help that God is trying to send to you. I've been in rooms where there have been very loud children and I have found a way to silence those voices.(in my head) The voices were there but I had

God Hates These Things!

In todays Proverb, there is a short list of things that God hates. I say short list because it is my opinion that He hates many more things than these! Take a quick look at these 7 things: haughty eyes- a lying tongue-hands that shed innocent blood-a heart that devises wicked schemes-feet that run to evil-a false witness-a person that causes dissension. Well, none of those are very good.  I would imagine that none of these are beneficial because they all lead to worse things and hurt other people.  You were not created  to stir the pot or act arrogant. You were not designed to conjure up terrible ideas and then do them. God did not make you in His image so that you could lie and make up stuff. You are smart enough to know that. Let's try to steer clear of this list in 2015. If you give control of your life to the Lord I believe that it will be easier to treat others with kindness and bring help and not hurt. Oh, and you want to know one thing that God really, really loves? Y

What's God Want From Us?

Ok so you and I have come through the first weekend of the new year. Perhaps we made statements of resolution last week, maybe even set a few goals and looked forward with anticipation to a brand new start. How are you today?  I read a story a few days ago about a gym that brings in new equipment at the start of the year for all of their enthusiastic clients. Three weeks later they take out the new items and return to normal. They said that is the average time folks stick with their resolutions for fitness. Really? Three weeks!  What's God want from us? It seems nearly impossible to make it sometimes.  We have the best of intentions! Yet we often fall short of these things we conjure up in our head. Let me set you mind at ease today and give you a simple list straight for the word of God. You can find it in Micah 6:8... Do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. I love that! We were created in the image of God with instincts slanted in His direction. And

Are Your Goals Too Lofty?

When we set lofty goals its so easy to abandon them at the first sign of struggle. It's hard to imagine that anyone would give up on something they set their heart on just yesterday. Fact is, what they were set on may have only in their head and never got into their heart. Whatever you do, with your actions or your words, do it with all your heart. If the goal you set were easy, everyone would be after it. It may not be easy but it will be worth it. The best way to stay on course and keep moving towards your goal is to share it with someone else. That way they can ask you how you are doing, pray for you to have strength and help you in whatever way is possible.  Challenge yourself this year to grow have more meaningful relationships, more impacting activities and a more uplifting attitude. Build your buddy list today and keep going!

Happy New Year!

A fresh start to the best part! And one day before MY BIRTHDAY! That’s what new years day is to me! I've never been a fan of black eyed peas(the food or the band) but there are some New Years traditions I believe I would enjoy. For instance, the Dutch eat a ring-shaped treat symbolizing “coming full circle” and good fortune. Sounds like its time for a donut!!! In Spain they eat 12 grapes at midnight. And those Swiss(thanks for the chocolate!), well they take dollops of whipped cream, symbolizing the richness of the year to come, and drop them on the floor…and leave it there!!  One of the things on my bucket list is to be in a hotel room on Time Square, high above all the festivities and people on New Years Eve, where I could stand on the balcony and feel the energy of all those people below and watch the ball drop. Doing that with a donut and a dollop of whipped cream on it would really be a party! The best part about today is that it’s the beginning a something new.