If you have followed the ministry of Cup of Joe for any length of time, you may already be aware of the incredible journey that I have experienced. For two decades of my life I served the ministry of Carman, a Christian music icon of the 80's and 90's. It was such an unbelievable season being part of a music ministry that saw more than 1 million people receive Christ. Carman was an amazing friend and leader and together we accomplished so many miraculous things. In 2000 I left that organization to launch into a season of building something that the Lord was birthing in me: a church that would reach out to those that had been wounded and bruised by ministry and ministers. That church, The Landing Community Church, would do more in my 15 years there, than I ever imagined. We would help bring community to the church and the church to the community. I served with some of the best people in the world and my heart was overflowing. In 2014 something began churn in my heart and I
The Bible talks of casting down imaginations. It's what we are to do with any thoughts that rise up contradicting the Word of God. We are born with incredible minds that are filled with imagination. When imagination is used creatively it can unleash beautiful things. However, when it runs wild, watch out! Whenever images in your mind start showing up that don't fit in the context of a life lived for Christ, you and I cannot afford to let them develop. In our spiritual "dark room", as we see them beginning to develop, we must cast them down and hurl them away from our lives. We are supposed to take captive those thoughts...demolish them before they demolish you! I have an exercise that I do when an image is in my head that was not invited and does not belong. I say out loud "delete". In my mind I am pressing a button like the delete button on my computer and erasing that image. Then comes the important part. I immediately place a positive image in its
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. A masterpiece. You have been crafted and created by design. That design was set up before you were born so that you would accept Him as Lord, move towards His purposes, 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 truly 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
Romans 5:3-4 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment . It's hard to learn how to rejoice when we are in the midst of tough times. No one is naturally happy when things are not going well. To rejoice when we run into problems is a learned skill. Why is it so important to learn this? Its important because some crucial parts of your spiritual DNA are developed by rejoicing in trials: endurance, character and hope. People quit too easy these days. They have a lack of "stick-to-it-iveness". Staying joy-filled will help strengthen your ability to endure. The Bible tells us that our gift, our abilities will take us into great opportunities. Our character will determine how well we do those opportunities. Hope will fuel us with the energy and stamina we ne
2 Corinthians 10:12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise . One of the hardest things to do when you are unhappy, bored or disouraged is to not compare your life with someone else's. Some have called it a comparison trap. Oftentimes when we are idle or restless in our own lives, we seem to notice what is going on and into the lives of others. When this happens we lose our own identity. It's not wise to compare yourself to another person or your life to their life. Don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. You are exactly the way you are supposed to be. Don't let the weakness in you affect the greatness in you. You have been given all that you need to be the success that God desires for you. Settle down and settle in to that best version of you that we all want to see. You are amazing!
Ever had one of those depressing, negative, spirit declaring seasons ? I'm sure you have! We all go through times like this. When I gave times like these the adversity sends me back to Christ for some answers. Here is something simple that I have learned. Beautiful pictures are created from negatives in a dark room . In this world we will have trouble. Jesus said that it would get very dark. But He didn’t stop there. He said be of good cheer because He will take all of that adversity and make something beautiful! So when life gets very dark with people and things going negative, you just have to prepare yourself because some beautiful pictures are about to develop! Let that soak in a bit. Could you use a few beautiful pictures? Hang in there and let the negatives go through that darkroom. I think you're going to like what develops:)
Troubles? #saturdaysmiles : Some encouragement for you from 2 Corinthians 4:8,9,17. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
Alex Haley, the author of ROOTS, has a picture in his office, showing a turtle sitting atop a fence. The picture is there to remind him of a lesson he learned long ago: “If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know he had some help.” We are who we are and where we are because of the people that have been placed in our lives. Often we may think for a time that we rise to the top of the fence post by our works, our time invested and using all of the resources at our disposal but the fact is that we are where we are because of the help we have received. I am thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to take my thoughts and put them into words each day that can encourage people to dream BIG and go higher. In 2007 when I started this daily blog I had no idea that anyone would read it. It’s even become one of the best-selling books that I have had the privilege to write! Cup of Joe exists because the Lord put it inside my heart and it continues because YOU share it every day with me
Matthew 5:1, 3-6 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. What Jesus taught them I share with you today. Simple, encouraging and an awesome reminder: you're blessed! Of course Jesus defined that a bit more. He said you’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of Him. You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One who will always be most near to you. You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. Let me sum it all up for you...you're blessed!
Philippians 2:14-16 Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life ... I must confess that there are moments that I seem to give in to complaining. I don't like to argue much but I have to work at not complaining. I believe that one of the reasons we need to eliminate this is that complaining drains us of our strength. I get tired very quickly the more I complain. It also leads us to be critical of others which makes us targets for criticism. So how do you complain less? You learn how to shine more! You are the light of the world and you were designed to shine through all of the darkness that exists in this world today. You and I shine by holding tightly to the Word. We need to remember all of the good things God says about us. One simple way to be less of a complainer is to be more of
When I think of you, I give thanks to my God! When I am praying for you I make my requests with joy! Because I know that He (God) will be faithful to complete whet He began in you. PHIL 1:3-6 #saturdaysmiles Watch the VIDEO! Download the Cup of Joe app too!
Today I want you to take time to pray for YOU...that's right, pray for yourself! Many times you can get so wrapped up in the needs of your friends and your families, your co-workers and your church folks that you forget the greatest asset you have...YOU! You matter to God. And you ought to matter to you too! In John 17 Jesus showed us a formula for maintaining a healthy and effective prayer life. Read the chapter throughout the day...you can even break it down into breakfast, lunch and dinner sections. The first thing he did was to pray for himself. Praying for yourself is not selfish, it's crucial. If you are not steady and stable you will never be ready and able. Jesus showed you the process. He gave you and I permission to pray for ourselves. Secondly, Jesus prayed for believers. Pray for those in the faith that are connected to you. Pray for those believers that are not directly connected to you but impacted by your life and calling. Pray for those that make de
It's crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we've heard so that we don't drift off . Hebrews 2:1 MSG There are many things today that can try to derail us and take us off the course that the Lord has designed for our lives. Many people are blind-sided by financial woes. Others have relationship issues that send them off track. And some lose their grip by simply letting go. Whatever the situation, we must be careful to not get sidelined by difficult times and challenging people. Jesus told us that this world we live in would have trouble in it. And it does not take long to find it around you. And then He gave us the good news...He has overcome the world! It’s crucial to keep a firm grip on the Good News that we are hearing from the Word of God and the people God has chosen to speak into our lives. Drifting leads to shifting . People drift when they lose sight of the target. They no longer focus on what is right and they allow the winds of adversity to sway them t
ACTS 3: 1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them . Peter and John were going to church to pray. Everyday there was a certain man right by the gate who begged for money. He had been crippled from birth and was placed in the same spot at the same time every day. On this particular day as Peter and John walked by, the man asked them for money. The bible says that Peter looked right at him and said, "look at us". They were attempting to get this man to FOCUS on something other than his condition. So the man gave them his attention