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Showing posts from December, 2019

Finishing Strong

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 may try to make life difficult, perhaps even unbearable,

Too Much Joy?

Is it possible to drink in too much joy and happiness? Are the sounds of laughter and the noise of celebration sending you over the edge? Sometimes we get so caught up in the consumerism and celebration that immediately afterwards we have one of the lowest lows of the season. I realize this may not resonate with everyone but some folks out there may just get too much at one time and the body, mind and spirit start to shut down. So how do you beat the Christmas hangover? Take a few moments for YOU and settle down with what else, a fresh cup of joe and relax! That's right, it's YOU time. Don't think about the presents, the food, the parties left or anything that is coming. Just chill. You are stronger than you think and you will rise up out of this little break to join back in the holiday festivities and use that gift of hospitality you so amazingly show! Jesus brings Joy and when you stop to catch your breath you will reboot your body and refresh your spirit. Besi

Merry Christmas!

Wishing each and every one of you a Merry Christmas! I am praying for you and your families and friends, that the joy of this season will continue beyond the holidays and that His peace will invade every area of your lives. Thank you for your support and prayers through the year and for always sharing a cup of Joe with me and your friends. Merry Christmas!  #cupofjoe 

Good News: Great Joy

Luke 2:8-10 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people." Good tidings of great joy for all people! That includes you and me! The Good news was the birth of the Savior of the world. This news would cause great joy to come to all that allowed it into their lives. As you continue through this holiday, don't forget that the JOY of the Lord is your strength and the strength of the Lord is your JOY! This is YOUR time. Don't be afraid.  #cupofjoe 

Mix Thoroughly

A few years ago, I tried to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies at the same time that I was teaching a little Bible lesson at our church. It was the start of our annual Christmas Cookies series and the objective was to bring out four points in baking that also apply to living the life of a Christ follower: Follow the Recipe * Use all of the ingredients *  Mix thoroughly     * Let the heat “shape” you As I was using ALL of the ingredients and placing them in the bowl, I ran into a problem: the brown sugar had solidified and was as hard as a rock because it had been prepared days earlier. We had been snowed out on Sunday so this event was rescheduled for Wednesday night. I could not do a thing with the brown sugar and I was right in the middle of the lesson! At that moment I realized the terror of improvisation and the power of Jesus at the same time!   Eventually we got some useable brown sugar and continued with the illustration. We got through it all but it got really &quo

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; 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

Away With the Manger?

A controversy in Boston developed several years over what to call their city’s 48 ft spruce tree in their December ceremony. The city’s website called it a “holiday tree” instead of a Christmas tree and it set off an angry backlash. The righteous indignation became the voice of the people and the city officials relented. Bostons longest serving Mayor Thomas Menino told the reporters that he would keep calling it a Christmas Tree. He explained, “I grew up with a Christmas Tree: I’m going to stay with a Christmas Tree.”  The next year in Plano TX an independent school district banned students from wearing red and green at their winter break parties because they were considered Christmas colors. In Wisconsin students were asked to change the religious words in Christmas carols for their upcoming concert.  You remember it was an atheistic movement that tried to eliminate the phrase “in God we trust” from the currency and “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance So why all the f

How to Have a Mary Christmas

Luke 2:8-20  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to men on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 

Fill the Gaps

How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence. Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill the gaps in your faith.           (1 Thessalonians 3:9, 10 NLT) As I read this verse I started to think about the gaps in my faith. Each of us strives to walk by faith and to use that faith to live lives worthy of our calling. Gaps in our faith could develop from things like double-mindedness or negativity. It's hard to remain faith-full if you find yourself using negative words all the time. Gaps could also be caused our limited knowledge or understanding in dealing with life circumstances. The bottom line is that we need to fill the gaps. You fill gaps with things like prayer, praise and teaching from the Word of God. Reading the Bible on a consistent basis and speaking it out loud is a great way to start closing those gaps in our faith. It's also a great way to encourage yourself! The Bible says fait

Flip the Switch

"I'm at my wits end." "I've come to the end of my rope." "I just can't do this anymore." "I've done everything that I can do!" These are just a few phrases that seem to be spoken when we feel that we have exhausted all of our resources. The good news is that you have available power that may be untapped in your life. When Jesus has been allowed into your daily routine, suddenly there is an abundance of strength and power that may have never been utilized before. Call it a reserve, just waiting for you to activate it. I remember driving a borrowed pickup to Texas one time. The drive was quite a distance and I was frustrated because I had to stop several times for gas. When I arrived at my destination, the owner asked me how the trip went and I shared my sob story. Then he said, "did you use the reserve gas tank?" Say what? The truck I had driven had a second tank that could be activated with a simple switch! Knowing

Great Joy:Indescribable Peace

A little Word of encouragement from Psalm 112. If you’re dealing with the hustle and bustle of the season and you feel a little bit overwhelmed, hopefully this will bring you some great joy and indescribable peace. Click the link to watch the video😁☕️ Great Joy!

'Tis the Season

What an incredible way to start the month of December! Tuesday was Giving Tuesday around the world and many people released their generosity in tangible ways to bless ministries and non-profits everywhere. Generosity always begets generosity and it makes me smile whenever I see it in operation. And thanks to many of you, our Giving Tuesday campaign was able to add more resources to complete some pending projects for Cup of Joe. Resources like the e-book version of my latest book CH8NGE? which you can already download on Amazon . I'm also putting together a study guide to go along with this book! You can donate to this campaign until December 13th. In addition to the success of Giving Tuesday, I had the privilege of being the emcee the Gateway Single Adults Christmas party. I already gave you a sample of some of the cheesy jokes I incorporated into the night. We had several games, my favorite being one where there are 10 items in a Christmas stocking and you have to gues

Christmas Jokes

Last night I had the wonderful privilege of being the emcee of our churches Singles Christmas Party. In preparation for the party I searched for fun things to say that stayed in the Christmas theme. I was surprised that there really wasn't much humor to choose from and most of it was either inappropriate or cheesy. I thought today I would brighten your day with a few of the less cheesy ones that I ended up brining into our special evening. Enjoy!😀 What’s the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary alphabet? The Christmas alphabet has Noel. I asked my daughter what she wanted for Christmas. She told me “Nothing would make her happier than a diamond necklace” So I bought her nothing. What did Adam say to his wife on the day before Christmas? It’s Christmas, Eve! How does Darth Vader like his Christmas turkey? On the dark side. What do you call a naughty child who doesn’t believe in Santa? A rebel without a Claus. What do you call a bu

How Can I Get it Together?

How do we put our lives back together after an unexpected package of surprises? First of all,  you  can’t really put it back together, but God can:) You will only frustrate yourself like all the kings horses and all the kings men. Remember what happened to Humpty Dumpty? Let me give you 3 ways to help "get it together": 1-  read the instructions …why do we always want a shortcut? I often look at the picture on the box of the puzzle or item and simply try to imitate that. When pieces are left over and it looks slightly different than that picture, well that’s when I go to the English translation of those directions. There are so many translations and none of them help except the one I understand. The bible is life's blueprint. Find one that you can read! Then read it…don’t look for a crib note version to get by! Forget about the seminars and how to get rich quick with little or no work. It just doesn't happen that way.  Podcasts are good...God blasts are bet