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Showing posts from November, 2011

A Dream Worth Going On

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Genesis 37:5 5 Joseph had a dream . . . Dreams, to us, are just that dreams. But what happens when a dream becomes an calling! A goal of life? Most people will look at a “dreamer” and call them “crazy”! “Good luck with that!!” As they walk away shaking their head in disbelief. Every once in a while, a dreamer makes good on what they promise. All the head shakers and disbelievers smile in surprise. Having a God given dream - a goal to achieve - a vision to fulfill is a wonderful and powerful thing. God leads and you follow. He provides as you need. But the fulfillment of the goal isn’t the grandest thing to experience, but pleasing God is. It is wonderful that He wants us to go on these adventures with Him. I have to wonder though. . . . Ever been on a flight where most of the plane was almost empty? I have. It is a different experience. The flight attendants are more relaxed. The captain is a little more chatty on the intercom. It’s a trip is actually fun. W

What's your dream?

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Genesis 37:5 5 Joseph had a dream . . . No doubt, dreamers have changed this world. They have brought peace and war. They brought good and bad. Dreamers have had a impact on your life and those of your family. Think about it. The power of one person is awesome and scary. Josephs brothers were angry about what their younger brother would dream. That one day he would rule over them. That wasn't’ the natural order of things. The oldest brother would be charged with the leadership of the family. The other brothers would follow his lead. Joseph wasn’t just a dreamer, he was a threat. What they didn’t realize was that his dreams were God given dreams. That Joseph wasn’t alone in this adventure. But that there was another dreaming along side with him - God. When your dreams are God given - they may seem impossible - improbable and out of this world. But a dream can become a reality when God is in it. So how does your dream become a reality in your life? #1 - Rea

Are You Spoiled?

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Take about getting closer to God the hard way! In Genesis 37 we read about a young man named Joseph. No matter how hard he tried to do everything right, he was treated as if he had done everything wrong. Ever feel like that? We pick up the story where as a 17 year old “young man” he was the favorite of his father Jacob. First of all, as any parent can tell you, favoritism will always cause BIG problems in the family. It causes other siblings to harbor jealously. It also stunts the “favored” child. They may be the favored, but their plan is to ride on the coat tails of their parents for the rest of their life. It’s a plan, but a very BAD one! God has something VERY important planned for Joseph. But he was never going to be able to achieve it where he was at. Dad wasn’t going to let him grow up (he spoils him) and his brothers were never going to accept him (because he is spoiled). What are you going through today. So many times we look at our circumstances and situati

Salvation is Messy

Fast forward to one year later. That’s how long Noah and his family lived on the ark. It had to be challenging to say the least. Tight quarters. Smelly animals. The rain!!! But remember, that all of this is a good thing. For to be on the outside of the ark - well . . . Sometimes we think more about our comfort than we do about our goal. A sense of entitlement that not only we deserve to be saved, but we deserve to be saved in style! The thing that we miss is, salvation is messy. It was messy for Noah - and it was messy for Jesus. Faith demands that we put God before our comfort or our need to “look good”. What are you going through right now? Is it messy? It isn’t comfortable? Yet is it taking you where you need to go. People everywhere make religions for the purpose of serving themselves (and I am not bashing denominations). You can do it in a Catholic church or a non- denominational church. It’s about your relationship with Jesus. Are you willing to do what t

Ark Building

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There had to some satisfaction in building the ark. It is a masterpiece after all. But I’m sure that Noah was also lamenting the loss of mankind. That he was going to be charged with the reboot of mankind. He was charged with the survival of God’s holy unit - the family. Then he, through his family, were to redirect the course of mankind. He did all these things and more. The question is, can you do the same? The ark you build is your faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. Are you building an ark that your family would like to be on? Are you instilling your faith in your children, so they will not act like the world? Are you offering safe passage to anyone who would like to be saved? Is your ark built the way God told you to build it? Good thing that Noah wasn’t a cheap contractor. Or none of us would be here today. Faith isn’t easy nor is it cheap. But it is worth it.

Building An Ark?

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Genesis 6: 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Some of you might be thinking, “Well what choice did he have? Build the boat or drown, hmmmm.” Not a tough choice is it? But I think that his motivation was a little bit more than just survival. Obeying God was more than just taking orders. It was an act of love and faith. For 100 years he practiced his faith in public. I am sure that people would come by and wonder what “crazy Noah” was up to. Building a ship in the middle of the desert. (I’ve included a picture of a actual sized replica someone built recently.,) Odd to say the least. But the ship was more than a ship. It was a memorial to Noah's faithfulness. While people thought that he was nuts! He did what God commanded him. What are you building as a memorial to your faith? You don’t have to go out and start building a ship in your backyard. But what ship are you building that tells the world of your faith in God? We will get into some faithf

God - You Want Me To Do What?

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Genesis 6: 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. You want me to do what? The whole idea of jumping off of a diving board into 12 foot of water actually terrified me. What if I would drown? What if I hit my head on the board? What if . . .? Well in a few minutes the whole ordeal was over as two life guards came and threw me in. Humiliating yes, but I didn’t drown. When God told Noah that He wanted him to build an ark. I’m sure that Noah had wonder if he heard everything correctly. You’re going to do what? You want me to do what? But Noah, who walked close to God - followed God’s directions to the letter. Following God isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. God will ask you to do things that you don’t understand or comprehend. Some of those things are going to make you look foolish to your friends. Some things are going challenge your faith, even your sanity! Think about it. Noah and the Ark. Mose

Don't Give Up!

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Genesis 6: 11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. So you don’t like the world the way that it is? Too violent? Too crazy? Too expensive? Too weird? Too, too, too . . . . . Well think about what it could have been like when Noah walked the earth. Corruption and violence we a way of life. That means that whatever you did, you cheated. That you had to take what you needed or wanted by force. There was no honesty - there was no kindness - it was miserable! Even worse! Nothing was going to change. Feeling like your Noah? Well it does say in Matthew 24:37 - As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. That’s right - we are living in the last days. Being a Christian in the last days has to be a lot like Noah. He would have been the “weird” guy in his community. He didn’t cheat. He didn’t take what he wanted. He prayed and was “religious”. His faith was probably ridiculed, minimized and rationalized away.

Are you a Noah?

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Blog Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Have you ever read a biography about a famous person? There are plenty out there about all different kinds of people. Some did a great deal of good for the world, some not so much. However, all of them did something that got your attention. There are some fascinating Christians you can read about like Smith Wigglesworth - John G Lake - David Wilkerson and others. But what you read about in Genesis 6 isn’t about what deserved the attention of people. It was what got the attention of God. A righteous man - he was in a right relationship with God. A blameless man - no one could successfully accuse him of ANY wrong doing. He walked with God - the only other time you see this phrase in the Bible is about a guy named Enoch. He got so close to God that one day he just went to heaven. Noah wasn’t just some average Joe, he pursued God with ALL

Sunday Afternoon Reflections

Today was AWESOME!! Praise and Worship was great. The Worship team really led worship today! Pastor Betty and her children's ministry did a great job with "O Lord You Are Beautiful." You can check it out on my FB page. Anson really is a good sport when I use him as illustrations in my sermons. Met a lot of new friends today! 8 asked Jesus into their life today! That never gets old! The dinner was delicious! The food was really, really good! Wow we have some great cooks here at FFWC. Oh, and if you don't know - the holidays have officially started! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Party Like It's 1999 . . . B.C.

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Exodus 14:28 - the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. THEN END! The Israelites partied like it was 1999 ... BC. Their enemy had been defeated and they were now free people. One would think that this would be a great place to end the story. But no. Even though the enemy had been defeated - the real enemy of their soul was still there. These slaves didn’t understand God’s plan for them. Not only were they not going to be slaves - they were going to be free. They thought that because Egypt had been defeated that they were. In the physical - yes. But spiritually they were still in bondage to their old ways of thinking. They were walking through a desert - and with each step they should have been getting closer and closer to God. But all they did was gripe, complain and whine about their situation. They drove Moses nuts! God at one point was ready to wipe them off the face of the earth and start over with Mose

This Sunday at FFWC

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Victory is the Lords!

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Exodus 14: 23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. I have to say - Pharaoh’s pride was over the top. If you were commanding an army and a pillar of fire came down out of heaven and stopped you from pursing your goal. If you saw the sea open and your enemy was getting away because of this awesome miracle. If you had already been subjected to 10 plagues that had devastated your country. Do you think it’s a good idea to follow your enemy into the Red Sea? The answer is - NO! But Pharaoh did just exactly that. Remember that Satan will ALWAYS overplay his hand against you and your family. He will always go one step to far, do one to many things, he will always push it just a little to far. He can’t stop himself. As I write this for Satan and all the demons to read, it still doesn’t change anything. Satan is so bloodthirsty and so greedy, it’s his Achilles heel. When Pharaoh should have just retreated and

Crossing Your Red Sea

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Exdous 14:22 - and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That had to be an interesting walk. “Well what are we going to do today?” “I think we will walk through a sea.” Our imagination is limitless here. Did they see the fish as they walked through? Could they touch the water? Here is a question. Were there some who missed the whole point of the trip? All they wanted to do was get to the other side, because the Egyptians were behind them? Fear is a powerful manipulator and while God is leading you through your miracle - you might just miss it, because you were afraid. Don’t miss out on your Red Sea adventure. If God got you this far, do you actually think that He is going to fail now? If He went to this much trouble to open your Red Sea for you - do you think He can fail now? Enjoy the sights of things you have never seen - touch the walls of water with your hands and remember what God is going for y

Give God The Glory

Exdous 14: 18 - The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” I don’t think that most people really understand this. Egypt is the most powerful country in the world. They have the most powerful army - the most powerful ruler - the most powerful economy. They are the picture of success for that day and time. Now 10 plagues have brought this great nation to it’s knees. They are economically devastated. Humiliated isn’t the word for it. Egypt is now the laughing stock of the world. They couldn’t even control their own slaves. Pride and arrogance grab ahold of Pharaohs heart and we are off to the races again. If it is save face or to fulfill some need for revenge (personally I think it’s both) Pharaoh gives the order to pursue. God is willing to let the enemy do what they want to do - up to a point. Why? So when your enemy (remember yesterdays blog, they are God’s enemy too) comes crashing down - God (not you)

Stand Still And Know!!!

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Exodus 14:14 - The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Here is the “be still” stuff again. But I want to focus on “The Lord will fight for you...” Why? You might ask. IF you have entrusted Jesus with your life and IF you have asked Him to forgive you of your sins and IF you are trying your best to live a life that’s all about Him and not so much about you - THEN that means you take the contract that God has entered into you with VERY seriously. What am I talking about? Well I don’t have enough space in this blog to explain everything. But here are the highlights. God has entered into a eternal contract with you. In that contract is states that your enemies are God’s enemies and God’s enemies are your enemies. Fortunately you have the same enemy. Satan. But when you entrusted Jesus with your life - God became a active part of your defense - defending you against Satans schemes and plans. The reason why you can stand still is simple. Just like a big

Are you close enough to God?

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Exodus 14 verse 13 - “ Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD ... So here’s the deal. Rea Sea to our backs. No exit to either side. Pharaoh’s army barreling down quickly. “Ok God, what do you want me to do!! And the answers is!! “Stand still!” Huh? Ummm God? Did you get that right? You just want me to stand here? We see this principle in the New Testament when Paul writes in Ephesians 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. That’s right! To Stand. Standing still seems to make you an easy target doesn’t it? By nature, we don’t like being targets for anything! #1 - We like to be in a safe place. #2 - We like the ability to defend ourselves. So God’s strategy here really runs against everything we know. But here is the deal. God is our safe place. We think that we are exposed out in the open. Not at all.

Live FREE! Not in a cave

Exodus 14 verse 12 ... It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”  Typical! 10 plagues - God’s blessings - Pillar of clouds and pillars of fire and so much more. Yet these guys are still thinking like . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . SLAVES! They were slaves in Egypt. Even in the face of their miraculous deliverance. Even though they were walking in the desert - FREE! They were still thinking like slaves. In the face of battle we discover what the Israelites were made of. Fear! You can probably figure out at this point that these guys are never going to get into the promise land. When they discover that they have to face the giants and people occupying the land God had promised them - they say. Number 14:2 - 4 “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! 3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go bac

Sunday Night Reflections from FFWC

This morning was awesome!! God really moved in peoples lives. Didn't get to preach this morning. Lives were changed and some futures too! God really did tear down some spiritual strongholds in peoples lives. Some were released from abuse - some were delivered from intimidation. Others were delivered from fear. The church, as a whole I feel, really turned an important corner today. When the Holy Spirit has the freedom to move like He did - then something good is happening! Satan isn't going to win - he has already lost. Some people might want to go to church to hear what they want to hear - but I prefer to go to a church where God gets to do what He wants to do. The youth came back FIRED UP from the Fusion Conference. They want to raise $5,000 for Speed the Light next year. Cool!!!

When you up against your Red Sea

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Exodus 14 tells us of the events that happened at the Red Sea. Israel had just been freed from Egypt - but Pharaoh, who had a change of heart, sent his army to go get them. Verse 2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth.." Have you ever thought that life isn’t fair? Or course we all have at one time or another. We all have said, “God wouldn’t do this to me!” “He loves me to much to do that!” Really! When we start to understand God’s plans and His work in our life, then we too - like the Israelites - might be put into a situation that is “unfair”. Read Exodus 14:1 - 4 1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. 3 Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ 4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for m
Ezekiel 37:1-14  Verse 12 ... This is what the Sovereign LORD says - part 2 These days when someone gives you good news - you wonder what is wrong with them. Pessimism and depression run rampant through our culture. It is a way of life. In fact if you are not pessimistic and depressed, people wonder what is wrong with you!! Really! So when God begins to speak positive things into your life - don’t be surprised if you have some doubts. We are not wired to receive good news. But here are a few things that you need to know. #1 God has something great planned for you! #2 God wants to bless your life. #3 God wants to do miracles in and through your life. #4 God wants to restore what this world has either stolen or destroyed. #5 God loves you very much! Ok - that might be all the good news your cynicism can take today. But it’s all true. If you are going to hang around God and His church - then you better prepare yourself for the inevitable. Good News!! See you tomorrow in

Follow Don't Lead

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Ezekiel 37:1-14 verse 12 ... ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says Taking orders is tough. Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair - sometimes it requires personal sacrifice. But it is necessary. We wonder - what gives that person the right to do that? Other times we think - what do they know? They can’t make a decent decision! Rebellion is a nasty thing. The Bible says that rebellion is witchcraft. Ouch! Why? Well, what does it take to turn ones back on God? Rebellion. Satan rebelled - he got thrown out of heaven for it. All through the Bible there are people who rebelled against God and His will - the results were pretty much the same - BAD!! Here are a few things you need to know about God. #1 - You can trust Him. God isn’t out to get you! #2 - He loves you very, very much. After all, He did send His Son to die on the cross for you. #3 - He knows everything, you don’t. He knows what is going to happen tomorrow and you probably don’t know what you are going to eat for

Are You Listening?

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Ezekiel 37:1-14  verse 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me “Now be good!” I use to hear my mom tell me that all the time. It meant a number of things. Practice good manners. Don’t be disrespectful. Do as your told. Be nice. If you break any of these rules, you will get a beating when you get home. I remember this last one - vividly! So when God asks you to do something - what do you do? Ezekiel did what he was told. Preach to dry bones. I know - seems silly. But what seems silly to us - matters greatly to God. That which doesn’t make any sense to us - matters to God. Obedience is a BIG deal! You see, Ezekiel loved God with all of his heart. That love demands that we do whatever God asks of us. One day my dad told me not to move. Don’t move a muscle. Then I heard the whack of a shovel as it hit the ground. It turned around and discovered a copper head snake behind me. If I had moved, it would have struck - but because I loved and trusted my dad - I did exact

Getting Closer to God

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Ezekiel 37:1-14 verse 5 ... Then you will know that I am the LORD.’” Everyone wants credit where credit is due. When I was young it use to really irritate me when someone took credit for what I did. As I got older, I got over it - but not before I understood this truth. I cannot do anything that God doesn’t first empower me to do. In other words, God is the one who gets the credit - not I. God wants you to praise Him for what He has done in your life. There is nothing selfish or rude about this. Think about it! When a child goes to a parent and tells them thank you for fixing their toy or helping them with their homework - they are praising them for their action in their life. (In fact, I think that children should be taught to be as grateful as possible about everything they have and do - this would seriously impact their entitlement mentality.) God wants you to know that - HE DID IT! Why? So that you not go around and tell everyone, I DID IT. Taking credit for wh

Talking To Yourself

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In Ezekiel 37:1-14 we read in verse 4  .... “Prophesy to these bones... Weird isn’t it. Preaching to a bunch of dead bones. Actually, the preaching isn’t what is weird, it’s expecting them to do something. That’s what’s weird. I have preached in a lot of graveyards. Graveside services are more common now than ever. I can’t help but think every time that I go to a cemetery that there are people buried there that wished they had listen to some good preaching about God and His plan of salvation. You cannot assume that everyone who dies goes to heaven. But have you said anything to your dry bones? Those spiritually dead qualities about your life that you wished were alive? You know what they are, love, patience, joy, peace, contentment, hope and more? Many people come to church in search of these things and find them - but when they leave the building - it’s as if they walked right back into their desert. Why is that? While they were at church, the pastor or minister for th

You're Alive - Really!

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(I know that it's Sunday night - but I probably will not be near internet access tomorrow, so I am going to go ahead and post Monday now.) From Ezekiel 37:1-14 we read in verse 3 .... “Son of man, can these bones live?” For all time, mankind has never thought that they could be all that they could be. (my apologies to the U.S. Army). But when Jesus sums up all of the commandments in Mark 12:30 
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. ’ (NIV) We think - wounded heart, broken soul, weak mind and little strength. God asks Ezekiel, in this vision, if these dry bones can live? Ezekiel responds very wisely by saying, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.” It isn’t whether if God can do it - I believe Ezekiel was saying, “If you want them to live, they can - but I don’t know if you want them to live?” Now fast forward to today. Does God want you to live? Be honest, your life might look like a valley o

Getting Closer to God

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I know that we have all thought this at one time or another. God are you there? I don’t blame you for feeling this way - it’s in our nature to think that God isn’t there. Sin separates us from God - but Jesus reconciles us back to Him. Past that though - is God’s hand on you? Well the short answer is, yes! But how can this happen? #1 - Ask God to be the most important part of your life. It isn’t that you are throwing your family or future under the bus. But you are asking Him to lead you, your family and your future in His will. #2 - Submit to His leadership in your life. God leads through His Word - the Bible. He leads through those He calls and empowers to lead through His church - pastors, teaches and more. He leads through the Holy Spirit - who will speak directly into your life. He leads through the Godly relationships that you have in your life. Real Christians really talk to each other. God’s hand is on you. If you think that it isn’t, ask Him to show Himsel

Powerful Sunday's

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Ever wonder what God is up to? Have you ever wondered if He is still doing miracles? Have you given up on hope? That's what I love about Teen Challenge. After a few hours with them - it is VERY apparent that God is still doing what He did 2,000 years ago in the New Testament. Tomorrow - Teen Challenge will be here at FFWC. Ricky Fernandez and the women of TC Davie will touch your heart and life. If you or a family member, or friend struggle with addictions and life controlling problems - know that you have hope. Experience the power of God for yourself tomorrow. You will be blessed!

The Power of Relationships

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Dr. Mark Rutland once said, “The greatest idol in the American church is our relationships. We will not correct or rebuke or keep accountable those we are in relationship with even if they are wrong or in sin. We allow them to destroy or gossip about pastors and ministries. We even leave the house of worship because we would rather be loyal to the relationship." I'm not surprised about the power of relationships. God made us to be relational with each other and with Him. What I do see is a trend that Dr. Rutland emphasizes in his quote. Putting others before Him. I have seen husbands refuse to correct their immediate family members because they would rather, "keep the peace". I have seen whole families turn on a pastor or church - defending the sin of another family member or friend. I have seen gossip go unchecked and when confronted used to punish church leadership for it. I have seen associate pastors start churches and take members from their previous ch