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Showing posts from February, 2015

Filled with Love

The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 1 Timothy 1:5 I love it when a plan comes together. The Bible tells me that Jesus had one for me. He wanted me to succeed and to find hope for an amazing future. He knew that my HOPE was connected to Him. Fortunately, life's storms and hard times seemed to carry my ship in His direction and every time I cried for help, I cried for Jesus. In communities of faith all over the world many things are taught. Many of those things seem to divide people, upset them and even cause them to walk away from their faith. In today's Word we can clearly see that His plan for teaching is that people would leave satisfied and filled with love. A love that shows up because the teaching does not condemn and is filled with faith. Our words as teachers must build people up and point them in the right direction. Our methods may be different but the Word i…

True Community

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This week I joined a few of my friends for a trip to the alley...the bowling alley! When I was much younger I used to bowl often. I even had my own bowling ball that I would bring with me and it had my initials on it! Not sure how good I was but I do know I looked pretty good:) As the others began to arrive, several of them came in with their own bowling balls in tow! Who would have thought I was connected to so many incredible bowlers. Well the lanes are much nicer than I remember. There were huge TV screens above them as well and all of the scoring was digital so my limited math skills were not an issue! There were so many sights and sounds happening around me that it truly felt like a party. What I experienced was a group of people gathering around something they love and enjoying the company of each other while they did it. It was a picture of true community. You and I were created for fellowship with others...to have relationships with Christ and in doing so, better relationship…

Stairway to Heaven

John 1:51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”  There is a way to live life on earth in such a way that your eternity is guaranteed. Jesus said "I am the way", in fact Jesus is the original and only stairway to heaven! Many folks don't like the stairs. They look for easier ways, like escalators and elevators. They move you upwards more quickly and with less effort. Spiritually speaking there are no fast-track ways into our eternity with God. No elevator ride to the pearly gates and no escalator to get you there by doing nothing. You and I must keep walking. Step by step, we find each one representing another part of the walk we are taking with Christ. Think of each step as one good decision after another. Escalators can fail to work(at our mall one of them is always broken!) and elevators can get stuck. But you can always take th…

Are You Worried?

Do you believe it is possible to live a life with “no worries”? Life really is too short to worry about things that we can’t change anyway. So I guess the question is, why do we worry?  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 comes 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 we really believe that God could take this BIG mess and untangle it so that we could enjoy life again? Can we live a good life though our business has folded? Is there life after divorce? Can God use someone like me that has been through things I would never want to talk about? The answer is yes, yes and absolutely …

Temper Like a Microwave

Proverbs 15:1 tells us that a "soft" answer can turn wrath away. Staying calm, cool and collected is a learned skill. It does not come naturally but super-naturally. A few years ago I bought my first Crock-Pot. I was looking for something that would cook for me and do it without very much attention and the Crock-Pot fit the bill. And then I found dinners pre-assembled that you just have to mix up in the morning, place in the pot and then in 8-10 hours my meal is waiting!  Now the interesting thing about this item is that it can be on all day and not burn up what is inside. The temperature that it cooks with is perfect!
It made me think about this scripture in Proverbs and I realized that many times I am a microwave of angst and emotion when God would rather I be more like my Crock-Pot. If I could just allow myself to remain at an even temperature there would be no sudden outbursts or explosions that leave messes. At the end of the day I could enjoy the grace of God that has…

Here's to Your Health

A cheerful disposition is good for your health;  gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. Proverbs 17:22
People are already showing some signs of wear and tear this year. Patience is wearing thin, exhaustion is invading our bodies and that means for many their countenance is changing too. Their disposition is taking them out of position to be blessed and highly favored. Life will wear you out. It's true that if you don't do something with life, life will do something with you! Maybe you have been stressing over getting everything on your to-do list completed. Now, you are just bone-tired.  A cheerful disposition is good for your health. A smile can add days to your life. A merry heart is like the perfect prescription. If you are discouraged, find some joy in remembering what God did for you by sending Jesus. Think of that miraculous day when Jesus came into this world. Meditate on all of the wonderful life lessons that He provided in His Word. That will help you get happy! And if you …

When People Can't...

There is a story in Luke 17 about ten people with leprosy. This illness prohibited them from human contact and personal interaction. They lived in a village with people like themselves and had no contact with anyone outside of the colony. One day Jesus passed by on his way to Jerusalem. As he passed by they lifted their voice and asked for pity. They cried "Jesus, Master" signifying that they were appealing to him as a teacher. But they did not ask to be healed, only to be pitied. Jesus gave them a task: "go and show yourselves to the priests". It was at that moment that we can see the ten experience something they have never felt before. They must have had something inside of them agree with the reliability of the one that spoke to them because they went at his command. And "as they went" they were healed! Know this today in the midst of your life and situations. When people can't REACH you, JESUS can. What people can't TEACH you, JESUS can. The…

Angels Unaware

Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Hebrews 13:1-2 Maybe you have never thought about the fact that your actions and words may have been done in the presence of divine helpers that God has surrounded you with. Imagine taking a few moments today to help that person that just happened to come across your path and finding out that God had sent an angel into your world to see how you would respond. We never really know whether we have been in the presence of angels but many people, myself included, can attest that they have “felt” angelic moments. The goal in this life is to let brotherly love continue and to watch what you are doing. Live life as if God’s special messengers were right there witnessing your devotion and faithfulness.

The Corner of Live Long and Prosper

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor
I can honestly say that my favorite places are those places that lift up my spirits and encourage my soul. There's no place quite like the corner of Live Long and Prosper. You can find it in the city of Wisdom located among many Proverbs that have become powerful landmarks. Too many people are searching for this corner by working more than they are home, traveling more than they rest and being consumed by a pursuit of things. It's always OK to have things just not to let the things have you! Today, ask God to show you how to get to Wisdom. I found it by taking Proverbs right into the heart of it. There you will find so many interesting sites that will make your life the best that it can be. And…

Presidents Day

Today we take time to honor all of our American Presidents and their service and loyalty to these United States of America. The course of our lives and direction of our country has been placed in the hands of these public servants whom we have placed in authority over us every time that we vote. You have a voice! As we move through 2015 we must prepare ourselves to once again, democratically choose someone to lead us into the future that has been mapped out for us by our divine Creator. Remember that the heart of the King(President) is always in the hands of the Lord and He will help guide whoever He chooses. Today, I say thank you to each of you who gave your time, sacrificed your family lives and allowed yourselves to do the best that you could do to move our country forward, united and prosperous and safe. God bless those whom you have chosen to help each of us build businesses, raise families and serve our Lord each and every day. We appreciate you and thank you for your devotion…

Valentines Day?

Match, eHarmony, Christianmingle, ourtime...these sites all try to bring people together. On this Valentines Day(not really a holiday), let me share this little story I received by email.
A Turkish man named Suleyman divorced his wife of 21 years after a bitter six-year court battle. In an effort to find the ideal woman, Suleyman turned to a computer dating service -- the kind that evaluates your written profile and suggests matches for you. Ironically, from a list of 2000 prospective brides, the computer selected his former wife, who (unbeknownst to Suleyman) had signed up for the same service.  Suleyman's response? He decided to marry his wife again, just nine months after their divorce.  He said, "I did not know that my ex-wife had been the ideal counterpart for a marriage. I decided to give it another try by being more tolerant toward her."

A Simple Thought

The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow. Eccl 1:18
Have you ever noticed that the more you know, the harder it is to accept even the simplest of things? It seems like the deeper you get into something the more it can weigh upon you. Perhaps that is why Jesus gave us a simple thought that could be a life changer. He said "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And to love your neighbor as yourself." He also said that this sums it all up. (Matt 22:37-40) For many people the more they know, the slower they go! I encourage you with this: 
"don't let what you know hinder how well you grow".  YOUR wisdom can lead to YOUR grief. But HIS wisdom will bring you true happiness. Seek first the kingdom of God and His way of doing things and ALL the rest will come your way.  Keep it simple.

You're Ready!

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Today, as you drink your cup of joe, let this sink into your heart and spirit. God sent His Word, the Bible says, and that Word brought healing. It restored relationships. It won battles. It calmed minds that could not find peace. His Word was preserved and protected for us so that we could be trained in righteousness. And according to verse 17, the Word is what helps us be "thoroughly equipped" for EVERY good work.
I will be the first to admit that I have gotten myself into things that I wasn't quite ready for. In fact each and every time that I entered something that God set up for me that I felt was "over my head", He allowed me to rise to the occasion and be a blessing...in spite of myself! I have learned that He has already given me all of the tools necessary to …

Complacency to Your Place to Be

One of the wonderful things about life as a follower of Jesus is that it is ever changing. It’s not static, its dynamic. In fact when we read about the power that Christ gave to us…what he referred to in Acts 1:8...what he said that the disciples should wait for…was POWER. The word for power was “dunamis” where we get the word dynamite…in other words, dynamic power! If we can get our eyes on Christ, replace our agenda with His, then we open ourselves up to unlimited potential and possibility. The power that we tap into is explosive and transforming. There are no boring days when we wake up each day to serve a God whose mercies are "new every morning." His guidance is a steady stream, living water flowing into our lives… constant and consistent. He’s the tour guide that never gets out ahead of you…. the tour guide that makes it possible to understand Him as He is giving directions. He knows the way and all we have to do is follow. Maybe today you are in a rut, bored, and lif…

Win a Brother Over!

"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.”- Matthew 18:15 One of the things that most of us could do better in is “conflict resolution”. Why is that so important? Because you are going to experience conflict in life. Jesus said we would have trouble. If we can learn how to resolve the trouble quickly we can ease the stress in our lives. If someone wrongs you, chances are you call someone you can trust and explain what they did and try to find someone to sympathize with what happened to you. But this is not the biblical way to resolve conflict. You should go directly to the one that has committed the sin against you and “show them their fault”. That simply means you must explain how the things that they did affected you. I think that many times people hurt our feelings or make us angry and they aren’t even aware of what they did! That is why we should go to the person. As a past…

I Will Say...

I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,  my God, in whom I trust."
You find these words of David in the 91st Psalm. David says that God is a refuge and a fortress. Have you ever wanted to get away? Have you ever needed to find a place that was away from the drama of life and the troubles that always seem to chase you? David found such a place in God.  When life got overwhelming he would say to himself this profession of faith: God is my hiding place and my protected space. God is my shelter away from danger. Not only is God a shelter, He also surrounds us with protection like a fortress that is not able to be penetrated. David made it personal-He is MY God. David knew that you cannot always count on people but that he could always trust in God. Faith comes by hearing. Today, you can say it out loud like David did...I will say of the Lord-He IS my refuge and my fortress! His favor will surround you like a shield and you will be able to regroup, refresh and r…

Enjoy It!

“Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.”  I ran across this quote the other day and it made me think about many things. First of all, I don't 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 it always painful to go through all of that for a "practice" session. Secondly, a dress rehearsal is just that...a rehearsal. You get to do it again! Could you imagine what it would be like if we got a second chance because this was only practice? I love "do-overs"! Made a mistake today....do-over! Said something you wish you could take back...do-over! 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. Once it's spent, it's gone. We don't get to "dress up" and run through this once and then the real thing. This IS it! There are no do-overs. I think that is why the Lord wan…

It's Time for You to Glow!

The way of right living people glow with light...that is what Proverbs 4:18 tells us.

It says that the longer they live the brighter they shine. There is a unique light that shines on and through people that trust in the Lord. Many times life can bring some unwelcome "cloud cover" that can try and keep us from glowing. There are days when things seem so bad that darkness permeates everywhere. The good news today is that no matter how dark it gets, you can always let YOUR light shine. Light not only dispels darkness, it can also chase away depression and counteract discouragement.  So today, make the choice to trust the Lord with all you say and do. It's time for you to "glow"!

Angel Posse

"For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways." Psalm 91:11
Billy Graham once said that he thought based on this scripture, that you and I had at least two angels assigned to help us. To picture in my mind that there are two divine presences surrounding me every day, guarding me when necessary and watching over me is quite a comfort. It helps me to remember that I am never alone and that God is always looking out for me. The Bible says they will lift us up, they will keep us from stumbling. Why even if I make an innocent mistake and brush up against something that is harmful, because of this "posse" I will be safe!
Remember today that you too have a spiritual angel posse. Your divine entourage is walking into every meeting and conversation with you and they have one responsibility: to guard you in ALL your ways. Feels good doesn't it!

Keep on Walking!

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me… I've been focused on speaking two words each and every time I face uncertain or impending danger…”fear not”. Since most of us face some seasons of drought and difficulty, we must find a way to survive the “valley” experiences.  In the KJV version of Psalm 23 it starts this verse by saying "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death".  I take comfort in noticing that you and I are walking THROUGH the valleys! These tough seasons will pass and we will come out better for the wear on the other side because God is with us! So be of good cheer today, you may be walking in the valley right now but it wont be long till you start to see the Son shining in your life! Just keep on walking!

Shadow or No Shadow

Happy Groundhog Day! I would imagine that nearly every person in America has seen the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. Every time this day arrives I wonder what it would be like if I could keep living the day over until I got everything right. I think of that movie whenever I hear the song "I Got You Babe" on the radio! Unfortunately I always come back to reality and realize that even if I repeated the day over and over again, the chances of me getting it all just right are probably very slim! Today I am praying for the best day ever! I am going to do my part to live life to its fullest...to seize the day and get the most out of every minute! I choose to not be disappointed by anything! So whether "Phil" sees a shadow or not, whether there is more winter or early spring...it really doesn't matter!  How about you? What will you make of your day? If God were to give you this one over and over again, would it be the kind of day that you could live with for the …