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Showing posts from July, 2015

Three Things I Learned from a Box of Crayons

It’s easy to see the hand of God in many things if you are looking for it. The other day I came across a container that was filled with crayons…lots of crayons. What could God possibly say through a box of crayons? I’m so glad you asked! Let me give you three things: 1- broken crayons still color You’ve probably heard this saying before. A broken crayon does not lose its purpose…it can still color. In fact it doesn't matter what part of it you break…it still works. You may need to strip back a layer of its skin but it will work. People are the same. You never lose your value and no matter how much life tries to break you, you still have value. You were made to color! 2- diversity is beautiful So many colors and shapes makes for a beautiful picture of the diversity of the human race and how we all look the best when we come together to bring color to the world.  3- crayons can color from both ends Too often we think that we are too young or too old to be usefu

Hallway Season

There is nothing quite like what I call a "hallway season". Thats the space in between where you close a door and the new one opens up. A hallway was never designed for you to live in, just to pass through. And when you are in that hallway, it can seem long and lonely at times. And it can be dimly lit and quiet too. The time it takes from God's promise to its actual arrival often does not line up with our timetable. As I am seeking a new organization/church to serve in for the next season of my life, I wanted the time that I waited to be short. I prayed that the Lord would open up the next door quickly so that I didn't have to stand out in the hallway! Patience is not only having her perfect work, she is having her  way every day! A friend of mine reminded me that oftentimes as we "actively wait" it is for two reasons. 1-you aren't ready for where you are about to go 2-where you are about to go is not ready for you. Maybe you are also walking u

Romans 12:12

Choose today to exercise confident hope in God's plan. Be patient no matter what happens. And by all means, keep on praying! #cupofjoetv

Classic Italian

Have you ever had a season that was just so difficult that everything felt heavy and burdensome? I have felt that way for a few weeks as I have been doing a great deal of re-organizing in preparation for whatever the Lord wants me to do next in my career. As I was deep inside one of my vortex's of discouragement, praying for a new job and my incredible kids, my unemployed daughter called me. We talk all the time and I have been praying hard for her to get a new job so she can take care of the things that she needs to. I said "Hello Jordan" and she said "Dad, I have the greatest news of my life!" The excitement was so intense I think the phone vibrated on my ear and all I could think about was that she won the lottery or maybe she got that great job! I could not wait to hear the answer! She wanted me to guess but I just didn't want to disappoint in any way so I said, "I give up, tell me!" And then Jordan said, "The Classic Italian is back at

Close to the Brokenhearted

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted  and saves those who are crushed in spirit . PS 34:18 If you have been on this planet any length of time, you have probably experienced a broken heart and a crushed spirit. We are unable to control what happens to us or what people may do that hurts us. What we are able to control is our response. When our lives are centered in Christ we have some blessed assurance that the psalmist reminds us about today: the Lord will be close when our hearts are broken and he will save us when our hopes are crushed. When your heart is broken you have difficulty trusting anyone and you may tend to isolate yourself from others. When your spirit is crushed you may even go so far as to give up. The good news is that when everyone else walks out, Jesus will walk in! So keep your head up and your hope held high. Don't stare at your circumstances or you might just miss your rescue. People may let you down but Jesus is always there! You've got a friend!

Time for a Game Changer

This past weekend I was inspired. Something that I thought had diminished or even faded inside of me was ignited and lit up. It was simple really, I was in an environment that was filled with love. It was completely saturated with love for God and a love for each other. I could see it on faces. I could hear it in songs. It was a Sunday church service! And when the preacher spoke you could feel love in the Word. When that kind of love grabs ahold of you, it becomes a game changer. I started to think about how many times we may miss what the Lord has for us because we let love fade and burn away. We lose our faith. We become overwhelmed by our troubles. We abandon dreams and stop seeking the One we were created to worship. Let me encourage you today to find yourself a personal place of faith. A place where God’s Word is spoken so that your faith can be enlarged. We need to be rooted and grounded in His love. Jesus loved us as much as He ever could when He gave His life for our sins o

You Have Been Prepared

F or we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,  which God prepared in advance for us to do . Eph 2:10 Can you wrap your head around this verse?  You  were made in the image of God, His workmanship. You have been crafted and created by design. That design was set up before you were born so that you would move towards the Lords purposes, accept Him as Lord and start doing good things that put a smile on His face. You've had other options. All of us have. But at some point we all realize that someone has their eye on us. Someone is watching over us. Your life has purpose: to bring His glory into the lives of those that you are in fellowship with. As you build your relationship with Him, you will begin to see that design and enjoy all that comes with walking it out. Blessings will overtake you! Favor will surround you! So many times we are bombarded by bad news, ambushed by difficulties and adverse circumstances. That is part of life. But when we

From the corner of a newsletter to a nationwide non-profit...

In 1997, Cup of Joe began as an article in a national newsletter for a large ministry organization. We just had a small corner of it but it was OUR corner. And we used the space to encourage, inspire and ignite people all over the world. When Joe changed careers and left that organization, he continued Cup of Joe as a devotional resource and wrote articles for newspapers and magazines. It became a wonderful outlet for expressing personal feelings and sharing hope. It was like therapy at times.  In 2007 it launched a blog...writing an article every day...a cup of joe...a rich blend of inspiration for your daily grind. It was tough at first writing every day but it was exhilarating too. And it continued to blossom. More countries were following the blog because it was now in a digital format that could be shared and read on mobile phones and tablets. And in 2011 we were approached with the idea of gathering some of our favorite articles and doing a book called, what else, Cup of Jo

Liquid Ministry

One of the things that I have always loved about ministry is that it is fluid…like a liquid…it’s ever-changing and always moving. At least it should be. I love being around people that are constantly sharing ideas and innovating new and better ways to do their jobs. I like it when things are changing because it means they are alive! The Bible tells us that the Word is living and active. A living thing will move. A living thing is designed to grow and mature. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. HEB 4:12 The other day I dropped a cup of water in the kitchen and when it hit the floor, it went everywhere! It was free from the cup and it could roll anywhere it wanted. And roll it did…all over the kitchen floor! It didn't seem like much in that cup but when it hit the ground running, it went everywhere! Like

You WILL Overcome!

You may feel like the world is caving in all around you today. Maybe the struggle has completely stolen your joy and strength. Let me encourage you with these words from 2 Corinthians 4... Just click here for some encouragement for YOU! Chin up!

Rejoice Always!

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Today I want to encourage anyone that is facing a difficult season or stuck in a rut. It’s so easy these days to get discouraged and disconnect from the pack. Depression is at an all-time high and people try anything they can just to feel a little bit better. I love to get up each morning and begin the day by thanking the Lord for breath in my lungs and divine health in my body. I ask Him to bless my conversations, the meetings I may have and all the steps of my day. I choose to look for the best as I start the day. This scripture says REJOICE: always and in ALL WAYS. Stay happy as you move through your day

Are YOU Happy?

Are you happy where you are?" 1 Timothy 1:12 says,"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service." When we are fully invested in the Lord and living for Him, we can believe that our steps are being divinely ordered by Him. We give, we pray, we fast and then we can expect that God will help guide us to the places we should be and to meet the people we should meet. Being in the right place at the right time and for the right reasons will always produce the right results. So maybe then, we should be happy with where we are. I've met so many people recently that seem unhappy. I've had seasons of sadness as well. Times like that can take all of us back to the place we ask that question, "am I happy where I am?" Personally I don't think you can be truly happy with where you are unless you know where you are going.If you will decide that you are going to live for Him, I can assure you

Slow Down

Life can interrupt you sometimes and throw things in your path that you did not expect. It also moves so quickly that we miss a lot of the things happening and get caught away with the motion of living. What is these challenges we face were God's way of dramatically altering the pace of life? Slow motion changes everything. When you slow everything down, you begin to see with more clarity and you see every detail. The seams on a baseball pitch, the dimples in the golf ball, the water droplets leaving the wave. No matter what it is, slowing it down allows you to get a better look at it and make adjustments. For most of us, its another chance to evaluate our decisions, our relationships and our future. Today, rather than running into the week at full speed, grab a cup of joe and allow God to slow down the speed of your life events and give you a better look at whats happening and how it affects you and those connected to you. You may be surprised by all that you begin to see and

God Bless America!

God bless America! Be safe and celebrate FREEDOM!

I Can Hardly Bear It!

It seems to me that there have been an unusual amount of bear sightings among the people in public places recently. And because I like to find a spiritual meaning in so many things, even bears, I thought about people that are facing unBEARable conditions in their life right now. Oh no, he did not just do that? I'm sorry but I just did! "Bear"with me for just a moment:) In Matthew 23 Jesus was talking to the people about the laws and how to live right and then instructed the people to follow the law and not the people the made them. He said... 2  “ The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. 3  So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach.  4  They crush people with  unbearable  religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden . Remember that you have an ally when life piles on you more than you can "bear". Cast ALL