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Showing posts from August, 2018

Busyness vs. Business

These days it's so easy to fall into the trap of busyness. Often we tend to confuse activity for achievement. We are busy but we aren't really accomplishing anything beneficial. I once heard someone define the difference in effectiveness and efficiency. They said efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things. And let me add that excellence is doing the right things right. And those who know Christ and are filled with His spirit, will do the right things right and do them 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 active. She was busy doing "stuff". It was probably good stuff! But Mary sat at the feet of Jesus. Jesus looked at Martha, the busy one, and said, “Martha, you are careful and troubled about many thin

Make It Count!

God created you so that the days of your life could count:  not so you could count the days of your lives .  So how do you spend your time? Are the things you are getting ready to do today meaningful? How will your life affect the life of someone else today? Will it really matter? I am trying to be more diligent in planning my days so that I don't waste time. Like the country song said, "this killing time is killing me!" I want to make a difference in each day, not just for me and those closest to me, but also for those that will come in contact with me. I want every interaction that I have to make some positive difference. Sometimes its as easy as casual conversation at the coffee shop. Perhaps a phone call of encouragement or an email that says I'm thinking about you and praying for your success. Today I am praying for you and hoping you will make this day count. May you have a positive impact on someone that comes across your path this weekend. Enjoy it..

Once Upon a Time

" Once upon a time " is a staple of story beginnings. There are only a few movies that begin with this phrase in the title and for the most part they are filled with quality and length. Imagine today that we were able to write our own story. We would begin with this popular opening..."once upon a time" and then the story begins.  I bet that our stories would be adventurous, dangerous and at times exhilarating. There would be incredible high times of joy and happiness and there would also be overwhelming times of pain and sorrow. Every good story has some wonderful characters and ours would be no different. Heroes and villains, stable and unstable, loyal and not so loyal. And when the story is finished, we would most likely live forever and be incredibly happy! The reality of our lives is this: God has a plan. He has the pen and we provide the canvas on which He can write. Through every situation He will write a way out of difficulty and script the best poss

Living in a Tent

2 Corinthians 5:1  For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Sometimes life can seem so living in a tent. I have to admit that I am a city boy and my idea of camping includes electricity, safety and a laptop or television! I think these days they call this glamping:) I can go camping and stay in a tent for a short period of time but I always look forward to my home and my furnishings. I think that maybe the Lord had those feelings in mind when he talked to us about not worrying so much about the stuff we have or the places we live.  Life is like a tent.  It's up and it's down. It's not always stable and sometimes its easy to cave it in. But we have an eternal place in heaven that has been prepared for us.  You don't have to worry about human error in the construction of it for it was made by God! You may feel at times like your body is wasting aw

A Unique Glazing

In the Book of Jeremiah and Chapter 18, we learn about the potters shop and how our success is contingent on being molded and shaped by our Maker. We are the clay and there is the perfect mixture in us to become all that the potter(God) desires us to be. After the clay has been shaped and purified by the fire, there is one more step that seals the deal. It's time for the "glazing". Some final preparations on the pot are done by using sandpaper or a pairing knife to smooth any rough patches and scrape off lumps. But the glazing is unique.   Every potter has his or her own formulation for glazes. Many of these are a closely guarded secret as the unique properties imparted by a particular glaze. When the glaze is fired on a particular clay body, combined with the characteristics of the design of the piece, it  identifies the pot as belonging to a certain potter . In other words, you can tell who made the pot by the glaze...the shine that is on it. As followers of Ch

Getting Your Feet Wet

Joshua shows us a great picture on how to live a courageous life. Part of his journey included the incredible crossing of the Jordan River. The Jordan River was an obstacle that stood between where Joshua was and where God wanted him to be. You may have something right now that is a big hindrance to your doing what God intended you to do. The Jordan River was usual only 100 feet across but at this particular time because it was flood stage, it was almost one mile across! How in the world can you get across that? There is a great lesson in Chapter 3 of Joshua. Simply stated it's this: " if you are willing to get your feet wet, God can keep your feet dry ". Most of us lack the courage to not just step out but to step in to what we should be doing. Not that it was when the priests stepped into the water, it dried up and the entire nation walked through without getting their feet wet! Let this be the day that you not only step out, you step in too. It's time to g

The Gospel According to the Wizard of Oz

" A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others. " Wizard of OZ Many years ago, I preached a series called The Gospel According to the Wizard of Oz. It was one of my most favorite and enjoyable messages. I am always amazed at how the Lord chooses to speak to me through art, music and the movies. I get ideas from so many of the things I see and hear. There are many quotes from this movie that spoke to me in a personal way. Can you learn something about God from the Wizard of Oz? Absolutely! Each character in this movie was in search of something...something that they possessed all along. It just hit you didn't it? Glinda tells Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, where the  Wizard of Oz  might be able to help her get back home. On her way, Dorothy meets and befriends the Scarecrow, who  wants  a brain, the Tin Woodman, who desires a heart, and the Cowardly Lion, who is in  need  of courage. And Dorothy

Choose Forgiveness!

Most of us would say that we would never knowingly tether ourselves to anything that can kill us or diminish our quality of life. Yet when we do not forgive those that have wronged us, this is in fact what we do. We may a connection to a conduit filled with poison that can contaminate and annihilate anything its attached to. In Matthew 6 we are reminded this in the words, "But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins." If you ever need forgiveness, you are going to have to have some forgiveness in your tank. Forgiving another does not take away their responsibility for the action. It has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you! When you choose to forgive, you in no way change the past but you certainly do change your future. When you extend forgiveness you sever the connection to the poison thoughts, actions and words that often go with an unforgiving spirit. So the only thing you must decide today is whether you want the bes

Break Camp and Move On

“When we were at Mount Sinai, the L ord  our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough.  It is time to break camp and move on . Deut. 1:6-7 Sometimes we get stuck. Like the TinMan in the Wizard of Oz, life rains upon us and before long we can become rusted immobile.Those that were following Moses out of Egypt to the land that God promised them also saw moments of idleness and seasons that were unproductive. Maybe that happens when you take forty years to go a journey that should have taken 2 weeks!   Moses often had to remind the people what God had said. What he told them, let me tell you today. You have been in the rut long enough. It's time to stop circling the mountain, break camp and move on. It's time your get up and go, got up and went! This is the day that everything begins to change. It's time for the blessings to fall upon your life and those that you love. It's time for your finances to increase and your giving to double. It'

Fire that Cannot be Tamed

Every God-begotten person conquers the world's ways.  The conquering power  that brings the world to its knees  is our faith . The person who wins out over the world's ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God . 1 John 5:4-5 MSG There’s a strong force that comes against people that stand up for Christ and try to live the life of a fully devoted follower. Righteousness will exalt a nation and we have an enemy that does not want this nation, or us to become better and stronger. Sometimes our challenges are so trying and long-lasting that we even start to think that we won't ever get the upper hand. Daily struggles and circumstances that overwhelm us attempt to keep our faith pushed down and inactive. Let me remind you that you are not just a conqueror; you are more than a conqueror in Christ! Your conquering power is FAITH. Stepping out in faith means to trust that God will take care of you and bring you through anything that comes against you. You c

As They Went...

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 up their voices and asked for pity. They cried "Jesus, Master" signifying that they were appealing to him as a teacher. 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. Something inside of them must have agreed 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.

Beating a Path

Seek the Lord while He may be found,   Call upon Him while He is near. IS 55:6 I used to think that prayer was simply asking the Lord for something that He desired to give me and I would receive it. As I continue growing in in my understanding of his Word, I can see that sometimes asking needs another level...sometimes I need to put some legs with the words. Jesus said ask me and then He said SEEK me. Once you have you vocalized your petition, you can start to motorize it by moving in the direction of the answer. In Christ there is a 100% guarantee. Jesus said that those that would SEEK him would FIND him. There’s no frustration, no disappointment.  It reminds me of my kids when they were little. They loved to play hide and seek and my two boys were a bit older than my daughter Jordan so they would have a little edge. When Jordan played she would always go hide, and wait only for a short time and then she would call out, "I’m over here!"… she wanted to be found !

Every Single Day

Last night I had the great joy of being the MC at our churches Singles Game Night. When you put great BBQ, games, and ice cream in a room with nearly 100 people, it's a party! What made this so much fun was that every one of us happened to be in a "single" season of our lives.  I had been reading earlier in the day and came across an article whose title jumped right off the page at me. It read, " Choose Happiness Every Single Day of Your Life ". For some reason when I read it I heard choose happiness every day your single! The thought is simply this; we can choose whether or not we are going to be happy. It's not tied to our performance nor our circumstances. It's a heart and soul issue. We need to talk to ourselves positively and use scriptures to feed our faith and strengthen our spirit. You take the Word of God and meditate upon it. In other words, you think about the things that matter to the Lord. Here are a couple of good scriptures: For

What Would God Find in You?

" The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.  The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them ."  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD ." Imagine being the only man alive that God was pleased with.  God was grieved over the wicked lifestyle of every being that He breathed life into except for this one man Noah and his family. When God was looking for a person on which to place His favor and blessing he only found one that was prepared…Noah. I have had some seasons in my life where I just felt like I was in the Lord's "sweet spot". My prayers were effective, my spirit was in tune and