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Showing posts from October, 2018

Remove the Doubt

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Matthew 28:16-20 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The disciples in this story went where Jesus told them to go. They saw him. Some worshiped. Some doubted. Not much has changed in the past 2000 years has it? Everyday, followers of Jesus go to the places and the people that He leads them to. And each week in places all over the world, people worship Him. Still, many still doubt Him. Perhaps that is why the verse does not end with the doubt. It goes on to command us to go out...to move into the world and make more disciples that believ…

Anxious Thoughts

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Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.  For the past few days I have been thinking about this scripture continuously. This weekend, my pastor also shared it in his message and reminded us that one of the marks of maturity in Christ is to recognize the need to ask God to search our hearts and point out to us anything that may need to be adjusted in our lives. As we get ready to enter the last two months of the year, I always look at the things that have transpired in and around my life for the year and make the changes necessary to continue knowing Him and growing in Him more. It seems that every year I have a variety of anxious thoughts. And in 2018, my list of anxious thoughts has been plenty!

How do you know when you have completed this process of letting the Lord investigate your life, search your heart and reveal things to you? Honestly, I’m not certain. Wh…

Is It Time to Leave?

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The other day I was in a discussion with someone who
was trying to determine how to move into the next
season of their career. It was time for them to make
a transition and they were dealing with it like most folks.
The hardest part of this type of change is the decision to
 leave and move on leaving.
Today I want to give you a short excerpt from my story
when I left the Christian music business to transition
into becoming the pastor of a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"When God tells you that its time to change
jobs and you stay longer than you were supposed to,
things may get very difficult before you leave. The longer you stay where you are not
supposed to be the harder it will be to leave. I
often wonder why He seems to move us when
things are somewhat comfortable and going quite
well right where we are. I don’t like to move. But I
never want to stay anywhere longer than I am
supposed to. I realized that when I first became rest-
less in my job in the Christian music industry. If I
were hon…

Control Thyself!

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Proverbs 25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. When you lack self-control you lose your temper. When you lose your temper your mind goes crazy. When your mind goes crazy your mouth runs wild. When your mouth runs wild, feelings get hurt. When feelings get hurt, walls go up. When walls go up, someone comes to break them down. Don't be like a city whose walls are broken down. Control thyself:)

How Should You Behave?

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Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 
Sometimes I like to take a scripture and look at every piece of it...slowly. Doing so with this verse from Romans 12, you can see some incredible things. These verses are part of a section that describes how a gospel-centered believer should behave. That's very important these days. What could happen in our lives if you adopted these ideas as a lifestyle? Contribute to the needs of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Seek to show some hospitality. Bless people that hurt you. Be sympathetic to what others …

Overlooking Offenses

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Proverbs 19 teaches us that "a person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense." There is a significant difference in "overlooking" a mishap and looking over it. Too many folks tend to get into other peoples troubles and analyze them in search of more details and dirt. They may even help those troubles become larger than life. They become consumed with looking over what went wrong and what happened. According to scripture it would be better to let God bring a resolve: to allow ourselves to overlook it.  Every day we are challenged by people and things that are trying to slow us down and get us off track. The simple lesson of this scripture is that there are times when it is better to not say anything. Remember what mama said, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!" You don't have to engage in every trouble that shows up to face you. Wisdom helps you yield patience. Patience to "ov…

We Expected to Die

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We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.  In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety. 2 Cor 1:8-11
Each one of us can probably relate to the idea that we have faced something that absolutely overwhelmed us beyond our ability to endure. You've probably said, "I can't take this anymore!" Paul is describing some pretty dark times when hope was gone and so was the belief that they could survive. He said "we even expecte…

Does God Want You to be Happy?

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Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. (Psalm 115:3)

God is pleased. How about you? The other day I saw a post where folks were talking about being happy...some even saying God wants you to be happy. Others say God wants you to be wealthy. And some even go further to say He wants you healthy. God is in the heavens and he does what he wants to do. So I guess the real question is, "what does he want"? It's a bit difficult for me to imagine Jesus hanging on a cross, bleeding to death and being spat on simply so I could be happy. I know that scripture says he desires my health and prosperity. But prosperity to me and the way God sees it may be different. For instance I might think that prosperity is getting that new job with a promotion and God might be orchestrating another opportunity that gives me more time with my family. Perhaps we get too caught up in things like wealth, health and happiness that we miss the real purpose of God for our lives; he wants …

Restore My Joy

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Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Remember that day when you made Jesus the Lord of your life? Something good overwhelmed you and started growing inside of you. Your countenance changed. You began to see people differently, react differently and even the words coming out of your mouth were different. You found the JOY of the Lord! Now life has continued, challenges have come and some painful seasons have overshadowed that "joy-full" experience. You find yourself tired of trying, sometimes going so far as to isolate yourself from others. You may even feel like no one understands. David had moments just like that too. You can read about his in the psalms. In Psalm 51, out of the darkness of isolation and within the grip of fear and pain, he prayed a simple prayer: Lord, give me the joy back. Help me to continue being willing to trust you and follow you even when I feel like this. It was then that God delivered David. And the…

Patience Without Limits

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"But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life." God offers grace to those that need it most. He gives a chance to exercise faith and share His love. That love was displayed; it was shown by what He did on the cross. And that was the reason referred to in our verse today. Greater love has no one than this: that they give their life for another. He has UNLIMITED PATIENCE! When I read this verse I think of my life and how fortunate I am that God sent mercy my way. Mercy came running in my direction. Mercy offered me a clean white board, a second  chance and the opportunity to right wrongs and walk His walk. I was not doing a very good job on my own of making things work out. My patience was limited. Thankfully He had patience without limits! Remember today that God is for you. He is praying for you, gently nudging you to…

What Does Faith Look Like?

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Acts 14:8-10 In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
What does faith look like? Can you see it? Paul was sent out to minister by the Holy Spirit. Divine direction. I really love this miracle. One thing about Paul that I pray will also be in me is that ability; that divine ability to “see faith”. He was able to look upon a seemingly helpless and hopeless situation and see something that only God sees. He SAW that the man who had never walked had something that could be ignited, activated and bring about his deliverance. So he spoke to that faith…Stand UP! Not only did the man stand up, he jumped to his feet and began to do something that he had never done before. When we are delivered, saved and healed, we need this kind of response…t…

Rhythm.

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"He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ's followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ's body, the church, until we're all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God's Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ." God had a plan. Create mankind in His image and equip him with some unique talents so that he could accomplish incredible things. Gifts like apostles(messengers of God) and prophets(discerners of the future) to pastor, teachers and evangelists...all for a great purpose. To work with God's people...the church...so that the church could move rhythmically and easily with each other. Did you get that? We were designed to all work together! To dance together:) The last time I looked at the church in general, there was nothing rhythmical about it. Some folks were doing the twist, others the robot, and a…

Get Your Hopes Up

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Ephesians 1:11 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
What a great thing to remember...God has his eye on us and He has some design plans for our lives! At times I think to myself, "I know that there is a reason for everything but sometimes I wish I knew what the reason was!" He knows the best way to get all everything he placed in me out and into the world to glorify himself. So my role is simple: let him do what he desires with what he made...ME!  I love the line in this text about getting our hopes up. I used to be the type of person that always expected the worst so that when anything but the worst happened, it seemed good. All that caused me was a great deal of time expecting no good things. In Christ we find out who we are and why we are on the plan…

Be Strong and Courageous

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"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 Fear can take courage out of our lives. Fear is the opposite of faith and it paralyzes the person and keeps them from moving forward in faith. We need to rid our lives of fear. When fear rises up, faith must be initiated. Faith comes by hearing so its very important to hear words of hope and inspiration.  The way to be certain that divine power and intervention will always be close is to be strong and courageous. God commands it. This divine companionship chases away loneliness. Loneliness is not a loss of affection, its a loss of direction!  Strength comes when you use courage to face the danger of pain. That task you have been putting off because of the pending drama that could come from it...face it. That relationship that continues to drain life and joy from your very core...face it. God does not bring fear, He br…