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Showing posts from December, 2015

Goodbye, Hello!

We are so close to the finish line of 2015. At this time every year I am sometimes thinking about what did not happen and goals that I had set for myself that were unrealized. I have to remind myself constantly that I did the best that I could do, I trusted the Lord and every step that I took this year(good and bad) was somehow mixed into the best outcome for me by God. As a follower of Christ that is MY promise. He will take all the stuff and when it is all over, His anointing will mix it together into something that brings Him glory and works out good for me.(Rom 8:28) After the year that I have walked through, I've had the door open for several days, ready to say goodbye to 2015! I am so incredibly grateful for all of those steps that the Lord has orchestrated; and the stops too. And I am thankful for you, the cup of joe readers and prayer warriors that wondered what was going on in the heart and mind of this guy as he set out to pursue a new season. Let me tell you a littl

3 Days Left

Just 3 more days. That's all remaining in this year 2015. As we conclude 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. I know that it's hard to forget things that happen to us that hurt. We usually like to keep replaying bad things 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. My strategy in the midst of bad seasons is to keep moving. Traumatic events have a way of defining the inner strength that is in each one of us. Y ou 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

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  WHEN   YOU  GIVE. Giving is a lifestyle, not an action or task. You and I should 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

Forgetting what is behind...

It’s hard to believe that by this time next week we will be finished with 2015. I’d like to say that this year just flew by but in light of everything that went on around me, this year had no flying in it! It did have lots of driving though! Living in Texas has taken a bit of adjustment. Adjusting to life in an apartment has had its ups and downs. I really was spoiled all those years by being able to drive into a garage and unload my groceries into the kitchen! Now, without a garage and parking close to my car it takes a little planning and ingenuity…well it really just takes several trips! Another adjustment has been dealing with being in a city where there is no family. Last time that happened, big hair bands were all the rage. Grapevine has called itself the Christmas capital of Texas and it was very special this year. Main Street was always hopping with people and if you had the patience to wait in line, you could get an amazing breakfast or lunch at the popular bakery and b

Merry Christmas!

May ya'll 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!  I pray that your cup(of joe) always be filled to overflowing!

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

God Can't

I believe this was in a devotional I read some time ago and today I thank whomever passed it on to me to share with you. We know that nothing is impossible with God. Did you realize that there are some things that God can't do? Here's 10 of them:)

A Change is in Your Future!

Look at these definitions:  to change in composition or structure, to change the outward form or appearance of, to change in character or condition . This is how the dictionary defines the word  TRANSFORM . Romans 12:2 says, “ Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God  transform  you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect .” Each one of us is being changed each and every day. The things we see and hear are shaping our thoughts and our actions are following through on what we think about.    The challenge is to not allow things that are bad for you to shape you. We are not to copy the world’s behavior: we are to provide the world a great example of how to live. We do that by living as Christ did. By letting God transform you into the person He designed you to be. His way is good and pleasing and perfect! It all starts with control. Why not let the Lord begin to di

Why Are You Treating Me Like This?

Luke 2:41-48 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you . I have always loved this episode of A Day in the Life of the Boy Jesus. All of the powerful emotions of life

Happy Birthday Jordan!

On this day at 11:06am in 1996, Jordan Nicole Jones came into this world in Nashville Tennessee and my life was forever changed:) To that point we had two boys, Brandon and Justin, and they were a handful to say the least!  I cannot put into words just how much a little girl can rock your world but that is just what this bundle of joy did. She held her own with the boys and they always watched out for her. Her long, curly hair has always been the envy of the other kids, and some adults:), and her smile will make you forget about any of the bad days you are having. We spent a lot of time together, especially from 2005 until I moved to Dallas this fall and I'm so grateful that every time she would get in my car she would take a picture of us together. I must have 50 pictures of the two of us in the car on my phone!! She is honest, trustworthy and such a loyal person which makes her an amazing friend to have on your side. She changed my world in so many ways, and still does,

The Nativity

Throughout the country you see them, manger scenes with different figures placed in position around a baby. Some of them even have “live” people! We call this the Nativity. It’s supposed to be a snapshot of that miraculous moment when Mary and Joseph gathered around the “promise” of God and welcomed in the Savior of the world. Each time I gaze upon a nativity scene I think about this humble and simple entry into the world and how interesting God’s plan was to rescue mankind from sin. I love looking at the generosity of the wise men as they offered their gifts. They were moved to give their best because they felt something greater than themselves coming forth. This beautiful scene captures the wonderful moment when life changed for all of us. The plan was set into motion and all we had to do was hear it and adopt it.   Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the arguments over language and phrases this year. One of the greatest tragedies we face is losing the awe and wonder of this

Entertaining Angels

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 Have you ever 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?  Maybe it was helping someone to cross a busy intersection? Or picked up something that someone had dropped? Imagine 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.  Just be aware that this is always a possibility. 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. Keep on loving!

Live Your Life in Him

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,  continue to live  your lives in him,  rooted  and  built up  in him,  strengthened  in the faith as you were taught, and  overflowing  with thankfulness.   Colossians 2:6-7 I pray that you are a fully devoted follower of Christ. If so, you should always do your best to live as one. LIVE YOUR LIFE in Him. What does that mean, to live your life IN HIM? Look at the scripture closely and we can see some amazing benefits. You must be  rooted  in Him. The deeper the roots, the stronger the life. You deepen your roots through developing a relationship with Him. That relationship grows through prayer. Prayer is conversation. You nourish the roots by reading His Word. Try taking a few moments at the start of each day to read the Bible.  By becoming more deeply rooted in Him, two things will happen. You will be  built up  and  strengthened . He will lift you up when your down and help you out when you feel helpless. His power will b

Are You a Gazer or a Praiser?

This is the season of hope. Hope is defined as a cherished expectation that something good is going to happen. I had a difficult  time separating myself from His mission as I often feel unworthy to  deliver inspiring, life changing messages. There are so many folks struggling with the holidays because of fragmented families and a depleted bank account. When I reach my most challenging times, God whispers words into my ear... Joe,  stop gazing at what has left you and start praising Me for what is about to come . Are you a gazer or a praiser? The season of advent is about hope, expectation and the arrival of Christ. It's what advent means: the coming and arrival of Christ. The first advent was as a baby. The second will be as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We can celebrate while we wait! Maybe you have struggled to hold on to hope. The bible tells us that HOPE does not disappoint...if we are hoping in CHRIST. Maybe together, you and Cup of Joe can look forward to what God

Make a Clean Break

Sometimes we attach ourselves  to things that we shouldn’t. Making a clean break requires letting go of some good things to be able to handle some better things. Think about it...if you can't release  properly, you can never receive properly. Dr George Sweeting was on a trip to Niagara Falls with his family. Being springtime they watched as ice rushed down the river. Frozen inside the ice he could see the outline of dead fish. They made for easy meals for the seagulls. They would land on a block of melting ice, chip away at it until they could get to the fish, eat it, and then fly off before the ice disappeared over the falls. One feasting gull was not so lucky. As it approached the falls and spread its wings to fly away, it had spent so much time on the block of ice that its claws had frozen on to it. It struggled and struggled until finally the ice when hurtling over the falls with the bird unable to break its hold. What's the lesson? Sometimes we spend so