I (heart) Jesus

I am at the 92nd Peninsular Florida District Council of the Assemblies of God.  This will be my 32nd council I have attended.  Now I have, to be honest with you, I've never counted before.  So when I thought about this today, it actually shocked me.

Over the last 32 years, I have seen so many lives changed because of a vote or a simple statement made at the opportune time.

I am reminded of Matthew 26:49, And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him.  In one moment, Judas' life pivoted.  It changed and it wasn't good.  

But I am also reminded what happened in Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

What's the difference?

When mankind makes important decisions without God's direction, disaster will follow.

When mankind makes a powerful decision with God's direction, His blessing will follow.

I cannot stress more now than ever, follow God's will and your heart will follow.  When you follow your heart, it will lead you astray.  Even with the best of intentions.

PRAY:  Lord, lead my heart today and I will follow AMEN.

There is Hope!

My head hit the pillow last night at midnight.  Wow!  Was I tired.

Yesterday (Sunday) was a great day with missionary Jeff Staudte.  I was so glad that he got the chance to share his heart for the youth of Europe with us.

After service yesterday the leadership team met to answer the question.  "What's Next?"  It was one of the best discussions I can remember having in quite some time.  There is a focus on vision and commitment of the heart.

That's why I love this church!  That's why I buy into its future.  Why you may ask?  Because the church is people.  When you buy into the vision of the church, you are actually buying into the people who make it all possible.

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

There is a hope that God gives us.  There is a hope that we receive from His Word.  There is a hope that we know through the Holy Spirit.  But have you ever thought about the hope that God gives us through each other.  That's right, you are a vessel of hope for someone today.  Allow God to fill you with hope for others then share it with them.  

- Speak an encouraging word into their life. 
- Let them know that you believe in them. 
- Share some bit of Godly wisdom that will help in some way. 
- Be creative!  You can think of something. 

But, and this is a big one, if you do not buy into the church - you're actually rejecting its people.  This also means that you are refusing a huge source of hope that God would like to give you.  I have seen people come and go over time.  Frustrated with the church.  Their problem was simple.  They didn't buy into its people.  Then the verse Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." kicks in.  The problem is, hope was offered - they just didn't like the packaging it came in.  

PRAY: Dear Jesus, allow me to be a source of hope to someone today.  Allow me to receive hope from someone today.  AMEN. 

Daffy Duck vs. Bugs Bunny

Who is your favorite character?  I know some of you may not know them very well.  Power Rangers, the Avengers and Star Wars characters are more your speed.  But anyone who knows anything about cartooning will tell you, the classic rivalry has been and always will be Daffy vs. Bugs.

Daffy was a kind of carefree, happy go lucky type of character.  He would be the life of the party and the one who would drive you crazy.  His main character flaw was his greed.  If he saw gold, look out. His impetuous personality would always defeat him, and Daffy would be his own worst enemy.

Bugs, on the other hand, was the smart, sarcastic, level headed one who always saved the day.  Whether it was Daffy or Elmer Fudd they couldn't get the best of ol'Bugs, usually.  His character flaw?  He always had to be in control.  He would manipulate physics if necessary, to get his way.

All of it was slapstick, sarcastic humor that would cause kids to chuckle every Saturday morning.

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:...

What is in your heart right now?  What are you putting into your heart right now?  Compassion?  Revenge?  Fear?  Faith?  Some people live in a cartoon.  They think they are like Bugs and Daffy.  They will never change.

My advice to you today is this.  If you don't want to keep having an anvil dropped on your head - LEAVE THE CARTOON!  You can change.  As Paul said, Philippians 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, guide my thoughts so that my life will honor You.  AMEN.

The Air You Breath Is Smarter Than You

A friend of mine said this to me a little while ago.  "I wonder how much data is flying through the air?"

Honestly, I don't know, but I bet it's more than either one of us know.  

Knowledge is valuable.  Without knowledge, you wouldn't be able to appreciate what you see or have.  You can apply this to marriage, family, God and life.  When you look up in the sky can you enjoy the billions of stars and galaxies that exist?  Do you appreciate the God who made them?  When you listen to a beautiful song, do you enjoy the nuances of the voices or the masterful presentation of the instruments?  

Stopping and learning is an important part of our lives.  

Proverbs 1:5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,

PRAY: Dear Jesus, I want to learn more about You.  Give me the wisdom to understand.  AMEN

Took A Wrong Turn

Today Betty had her semi-annual appointment with her pulmonary doctor.   She got an excellent report which is a testimony to God's miracle healing power.

Her doctor is in Tamarac Fl. which is 80 miles away.  After her doctor's appointment, we ran a few errands and ate lunch.  On the way out of town, we notice a couple of helicopters hovering overhead.  Wondering what this was all about I turned down a street in their general direction.  I completely misjudged their location because in a minute I was in the middle of a traffic jam.  A local high school was on lockdown, and every parent, policeman, fireman and news reporter was there.  Bad idea.

It made a quick turn and got out of that mess and headed to the nearest exit to the Sawgrass Expressway.  Only to find another police officer blocking the exit ramp.  There was an accident on the Expressway shutting it down.  So a quick U-Turn and back into town.

For the next 20 minutes, I am driving in the wrong direction.  Away from the congestion caused from a school lockdown and snarled traffic jams.  Where was I going?  What was I doing?  But I remembered.  I lived in Coral Springs 21 years ago.  While the town has changed and the buildings have changed the streets are still the same.  So I started taking back roads and short cuts to my desired destination.

Matthew 7:13-14 Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

So many people were just following the traffic in hopes that the mob of cars would lead them to their final destination.  So many people are living their lives that way.  They hope that everyone else knows how to get to heaven.  But that isn't true.  The easy way isn't the right way. 

You know the way to heaven.  It isn't easy, but you know it.  It is the road less traveled.  But you know the way.  It may look like you are headed in the wrong direction.  Some may even try to flag you down and give you "better" directions but don't' listen to them.  You know the way.  Follow God, he will lead you where He wants you to be every day.  

We Feel Before We Think

Isn't that the truth and while I knew this truth, it still hit me as if I had heard it for the first time.  

How many times have you hesitated from making the right decision? 
How many times have you missed out on a great opportunity? 
How many times have you been left behind? 

How long did it take?  Probably about five seconds.  

Feelings of self-doubt and fear of failure can flood our souls like a tsunami.  Before we know it, we are back peddling from something we've always wanted or desired.  All because of our feelings.  

Ephesians 5:15 - 18 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

As one writer put it, "Our emotions are a gauge, not a guide."  We are led by the Holy Spirit, not our feelings.  That doesn't mean that we are to be emotionless beings without compassion or mercy.  This means that our emotions, which God created, come under His influence and direction.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I submit my emotions and feelings to You today.  May they bring honor to You.  AMEN