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Showing posts from January, 2018

What Do You Mean I Can't Go To The Bathroom!!!

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So this afternoon I am working at my desk, and someone knocked at the door.  One of the construction workers from the drainage project in front of the church asks me, "Do you have a bathroom?"  I said, "Sure do you need to use it?"  "No" was his reply, "but I need you to show me where it is?"  After walking outside,  I discovered that FPL had moved it. Then after figuring out how deep it was, he declared, "Well, you're not going to able to go to the bathroom for a while, we have to change all of this." I drink water and coffee.  The thought of not being able to go to the bathroom isn't a pleasant one.  So how would you react to such a statement? Some who would just fly off the handle.  Yelling and going on about how unfair this was. Others who would just complain about this.  Years later, if you mention the project, they would recount how they waited an hour. What did I do?  "No problem.  Do whatever you have to d

Oh Dear

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Probably the most famous facepalm ever is a picture of the Captian of the USS Enterprise (Star Trek) Jean Luc Picard reacting to something someone has done. This isn't a sci-fi blog.  But I have to ask.  Have you ever experienced one of those moments when the words seem to fail you and the only thing you can do is . . . well. We all have. Have you ever experienced one of those moments when you were the reason for relying on the facepalm?  I have because I just don't want to explain how in a moment I went from being such a smart person to a total idiot.  Well, idiot may be a strong word but I have felt that way. This story happened over 25 years ago.  But I remember it vividly.  I was a youth pastor at a church in central Florida.  I walked out of my office to see the Senior Pastor.  My route always took me by the soda machine.  As I turned the corner, I caught the pastor's son shoulder deep in the machine.  He figured out how to get a soda on the house!  I underst

1 Month Down

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Well, the first month of 2018 is about gone.  What did you do, blink?  How are those new years promises you make to yourself going?  Do you have your goals for this year written down?  Have you started new habits to help you achieve those goals?  What so spiritual about this?  The world we live in treats time as abstract.  Much like you or I would treat a brick or a stone.  But time isn't abstract, it is a valuable gift given to us by God. We talk about being good managers of our finances but have you ever considered being a good manager of your time? John 11:9-10 “Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” Jesus is telling his disciples that He still has some time left before His mission is accomplished. That He was going to make good use of this time and complete what He was sent

What Kind Or World Are you Creating?

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I have to tell you, this week was a tough one.  We've all experienced lousy days.  Much to do and to little time to do it in.  It isn't so much as lousy time management as it was just a bunch of little things coverage on me all at once.  But it showed up in my sermon this morning.  Today was Communion Sunday.  I ensured that it was prepared.  Then I forgot.  Can you imagine my shock when one of my staff looked at me with horror on her face and whispered the word, "communion."   I apologized and led the people in communion.  It was soooo well worth it.   James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? The whole month of January I've been talking about our church core values.  Core values build our culture.  Culture creates the tone that you operate in.  When you work in an area of hope and life - you will realize hope and life.  When you operate in a world of complaining and cyni

The Power Of One

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A few days ago I was priveleged to meet the General Overseer for the the Chruch of God of Cleveland Tenn.  Turns out we have a lot in common. He handed me a book entitled, "The Power of One".  He wrote it.   It's about pursuing unity and purpose in the Body of Christ.  The next day I previewed an article about the power of one.  This was after I wrote the intro to my sermon tomorrow which includes a line about the power of one.  Seems God is trying to tell me something. Today I watched as a group of people worked together as a team.  They worked as one.  Together they accomplished more than they expected.  That's the power teamwork.  When you work with one purpose and together in unity - anything AND I MEAN ANYTHING is possible. John 17:20-21  20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may

Risky Business

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It's 11:14 pm and I am blogging.  Yes, I know that it is late but what a day! Got here as early as I could, did A LOT of work.  Then I went to lunch, dropped Anneka and Betty off at the dance academy, came back to work, then again to pick Anneka up, drove to Boca where she had a try out for a summer intensive, then back to church, helped Betty pack up her jewelry show and finally sat down. I'm burning the candle at both ends you say?  I think you're right. Taking risks is all a part of life. The family and I recently watched the movie The Greatest Showman.  Excellent movie and I don't go around recommending movies as a general rule.  It's a musical and an excellent one at that.  In it, there is a song entitled Tightrope.  I listened to the lyrics, and in the first verse it says, Some people long for a life that is simple and planned Tied with a ribbon Some people won't sail the sea 'cause they're safer on land To follow what's written It

Are You A Juggler?

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Work, health, marriage, kids, friends, church, ministry, hobbies and the list goes on.  We all juggle a full day, every day. Colossians 3:23-24 23 " Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." If you drop the ball in one of the areas that you are juggling will it bounce back or shatter?  If you don't, you probably treat it as if it's glass.  Drop the ball at work, you will probably recover.  Drop the ball at home and maybe not.  So how do you juggle?  1 - Should you be juggling a particular area of your life?  Some answers to this question are no-brainers.  Marriage, family, and others.  But you may be putting a lot of time into something that really isn't going to reap a long-term benefit to you.   #2 - Are you doing it right?  Every watch a juggler throw an apple, an ax and a bowling ball in the air?  They can d

Frustrated

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Yes, I understand I haven't blogged in two days.  Why?  Many of you haven't been getting my blog posts, or you have been finding them in your SPAM/junk file.   Apparently, some email providers have recently changed their filters to include a new set of words.  Words which if used in the title above or even in the body of this post will be flagged and dealt with.  The reason for this new wave of security is due to a few people abusing their email accounts.  I can understand.  A few specific industries who if I even mention their name in this post will cause it to be flagged and tossed in the trash can.   Some of my blog posts didn't make it to your mailbox.  This is why I am frustrated.   Jesus said,  John 16:33  I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Jesus didn't have to send an email.  But I do believe He understands when communication becom

The Day I Bailed On A Sermon

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James 1: 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. I took a few moments to think about how many sermons I have preached so far in my life.  The number has to be around 4 - 5,000.  Some sermons were stellar and a few just plain stunk.   Some years ago I was preaching one morning and, well, it wasn't going well.  I was having a bad day, and the message was a mess.  I remember thinking to myself, I wish I could end this.  The something happened that really shocked me.  The Holy Spirit said, "You're right, you should end it."   I kept preaching, thinking the message might improve, but to no avail, I knew I was in trouble.  Finally, I just gave up. I looked at the congregation and said, "I'm sorry.  But this isn't w

The Power Of Creative People

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I love to watch creative people at work.  Artists, dancers, architects, engineers, inventors, handymen, singers, musicians and more.  The power to see a world differently is mighty.  Why? Genesis 1: 26 - 27 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. We were created in the image of our Creator.  Now think about this.  God has a very vivid imagination.  Read the first verses of the Bible.  He creates this world from nothing!  Now some might say, "Well, He is God after all!"  True.  But you're missing the point.  You're created in His image.  That means you're creative too!  There is nothing that hell would love more than to shut your cre

Believe In Yourself

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For some people, the phrase, "Believe In Yourself" causes them to break out in a rash.  As if it were a mortal sin to do so.   In your life, some people have spoken over you.  They have either declare that you will go on to do great things.  Or they have said that you will account for nothing.  My guess is, the latter really had a significant impact on you.   Proverbs 3:26 For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. On our own, we are a mess.  My 14-year-old daughter was sitting in the back seat of the car and said, "I read an article today that said girls mature by the age of 21, but boys don't mature until the age of 45."  I don't think that was a scientifically accurate statement.  But I can see some truth in it.  I can't tell you how many times I messed my life up just because I wasn't mature enough to believe in myself.  #1 - Confidence in yourself is misplaced.  You need Jesus' help to accomp

Which Side of The Sea Are You On?

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I heard a teaching today that was AWESOME! Exodus 14: 21 - 22 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Who was Moses on the west side of the Red Sea?  He was God's man of the hour who could speak to Pharaoh.  He had been raised in the Egyptian way of life.  He knew what to say and how to say it.  He was the only one qualified to be Israels deliver.   But who was he on the east side of the Red Sea?  He wasn't in Egypt anymore.  His leadership skills had to change and fast!  His father-in-law Jethro told him that if he didn't change his way, he was going to get into big trouble.   What Red Sea are you facing right now?  Your back is against the water, and your enemies are closing in.  If God

Can You Say It?

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Jesus was known for asking this question in one form or another.  Mark 10:36   And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” Even when a blind man came to him, in verse 51, And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” Now there could be some people standing around thinking, "Hey Jesus!  The dudes blind!  What do you think He wants!!"  But Jesus didn't assume anything.  But I think that there was something more significant going on here.   Jesus asks the blind man, as He did other, to verbalize what they wanted.  Say it out loud for everyone to hear.  How many people asked Jesus for the impossible.  A miracle!  Many people did.  But it wasn't until their faith took action on their need.   I've heard some people say, "Well Jesus knows what my need is."  That is true.  But can your faith say it?  Can your faith declare it for the whole world to hear

Are You Limiting Your Beliefs

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I am currently reading a book where the author says, "Your Beliefs Shape Your Reality." He goes on to say that we can have limiting beliefs or liberating truths.  A limiting belief is something that you believe, but it keeps you from reaching your goals.   A liberating truth is what replaces that limiting belief when you either reject it or reframe it.  If you have done an honest review of 2017 and said to yourself, "Well that was a waste of time"don't feel bad.  Lots of people are saying that.  The question is, what are you going to do about it?   Proverbs 28:26 Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. #1 - Determine that you do not want to waste another minute of God's time.  Everything belongs to God.  Even the ticks on the clock as they pass by.  God has given you the time that you have, what are going to do with them?  #2 - Ask the Holy Spirit to give you an honest assessment of yourself.

God Does Answer Prayer

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God answered a prayer for me this weekend.  One that I have been praying about for around 7 years.  You read that right, 7 years.   If we let it, our desire for instant gratification can overwhelm our faith and discourage us.   Waiting and having patience just isn't a part of our DNA.   Ps 27: 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! I've seen some followers of Christ roll their eyes when you talk about patience, thinking it is a bad thing.  But think about this.   When your marriage is going through a tough time, have patience.  It will change.  When your career seems to be in a drought, have patience.  It will change.  When you're going through a tough time, have patience.  It will change.  Patience is a process that forces us to wait on God for His will and wisdom in our lives.   Patience is time set aside for you to mature into your solution.  The key to having patience is who or what you focus o

Jesus Loves Me This I Know!

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Do any of you remember this children's song?    Jesus loves me this I know For the Bible tells me so Little ones to him belong They are weak, but he is strong Yes Jesus loves me Yes Jesus loves me Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so As a kid growing up in a church, I can't tell you how many times we sang this song. Like all songs in church, we would sing because we could. It was fun. But it wasn't until later in life that I discover the power of the lyrics.  Did you know that it was a hymn? According to Wikipedia, Anna Bartlett Warner (1827–1915) wrote the lyrics that first appeared as a poem. It appeared in an 1860 novel written by her older sister. In 1862 William Batchelder Bradbury wrote the tune and added his own chorus "Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus Loves me..." After publication, it became one of the most popular Christian hymns in churches around the world. Hear the message of the song.  Jesus loves me.  How do you know this?  The Word of God

My Big Change In 2017

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For the last couple of weeks, I have been reviewing 2017 and planning for 2018.  After all my reviews, I say was my most significant change (in myself) in 2017 was . . . ?  I pray for wisdom. James 1:5  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. It isn't that I didn't pray for or seek wisdom before.  It's just that I discovered a new depth and need for it.  Life isn't getting any easier for any of us.  The world isn't a nice place and becoming more complicated all the time.   Then this morning my devotions took me to James 1:5.  What a great reminder.  In my notes, I wrote the following. WISDOM IS THE KEY. Ask for it. Wait for it. Seek it all the time. Don’t rely on your wisdom. It is foolishness compared to His. God will always give you wisdom. I appreciate all the knowledge that I have.  I enjoy every bit of wisdom God gives me.  But in the end, I must depend on Him for everythi

I Just Had To Laugh

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I was listening to a podcast this morning as I do most mornings.  But there was something about this one that made me laugh. The speaker made a short and pointed remark to those who are facing obstacles in their life.  "GET A GRIP!  So is everyone else."  Every person who has ever done anything worthwhile faced obstacles. For some followers of Christ, this is a problem.  Let me break it down for you. Some followers believe that they are privileged in some way because of their faith.  That every time they wake up in the morning there is an angelic choir singing "Ahhhhh" in melodious tones and a halo appears at the crown of their head.  Nothing bad could happen to them, they are too, "good" for that.  So when obstacles appear before them, they must have done something wrong. Some followers believe that because they are, "chosen", therefore they are to be immune to the effects of sin and life.  When obstacles are thrown into the mix, they

Who or What Inspires You?

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in·spire inˈspī(ə)r/   verb 1. fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Who doesn't like to be inspired?  It is one thing to have a dream.  It is another to believe that you can achieve that vision.  But how?  Many organizational/motivational gurus will advise you to find someone who is doing what you want to do - then model yourselves after them.  There is some wisdom to that theory, but it isn't the best idea to take it literally.   I've seen people who modeled themselves after their favorite millionaire or rock star.  They walked like them.  They talked like them.  They even dressed like them.  Now, most people would stop me here and say, "What's the problem if it gets them what they want?"  Nothing - except.  God created them to be unique.   Matthew 10:30  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. The point of this verse isn't that God knows how many hairs you have on th

Facebook Made Me A Mess

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I was doing something today that required me to go through every friendship I have on facebook.  Wow, was that an emotional rollercoaster. I've been on Facebook since the beginning.  I have as of this time, 1,595 friends.  Do I know all these people?  Nope.  Facebook has evolved over the years from being a social platform to being a social/commerce platform.  That's fine with me.  Everyone once in a while I want to sell something too. But when I reviewed the names on my list, I was a bit overwhelmed.  I wasn't prepared for it. There were names on there that, to be honest, don't like me.  With some, I have no clue what I did.  Others I do.  Some situations were my fault.  Others, not so much.  Seeing their names again brought back some painful memories. I saw names of people whose lives have been shattered.  Some recovered, others didn't. Some names brought me joy.  Their friendship is beyond facebook.  They add value to my life as I hope mine does to the

Yuck!

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This weather is wreaking havoc on my sinuses.  It's hard to function when you don't feel well. Being a father, husband, pastor, leader, friend and follower of Jesus really makes my day.  I enjoy what I do and love every minute of it.  But when I feel yucky I just want to crawl into a hole and stay there.  I'm sure that there are many of you out there that feel the same way too. Isaiah 53:5   But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Before the original sin (Adam and Eve) there was no sickness or disease.  It was only after the introduction of sin that things like death and hard work were introduced to humanity.  That means these things were not in God's original plan.  We were not created to be sick or die.  But if there is anything you and I can count on its taxes, the flu (or some other nasty bug), and death.  Now, this isn't to say

I Lost My iPhone

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I have an iPhone 6s Plus.  I loved it when it first came out.  I was wondering how I even functioned with a little itty bitty screen I had before.  To say that it is a workhorse is putting it mildly. It disappeared.  I had it, then I didn't. I dropped Betty off at work then ran a few errands.  I went to Home Depot and remember checking my phone when I get back in the car.  I drove over to Staples and purchased a notebook.  Then I went to Dunkin Donuts and ordered a black coffee in a latte cup.  (I do not like coffee in a styrofoam cup.) On my drive to church, I reached over to pick up my phone and,  AHHHH!  Where is it? I pulled over and looked on top of my car.  Nope.  I retraced my steps back up the road I had just driven to see if it was in the middle of the road.  Nope.  I went into Staples and asked if someone had turned in an iPhone.  Nope.  I went to Dunkin Donuts to see if I had left it there.  Nope.  I drove around the parking lot looking for an iPhone in the middle

Teamwork and Patience

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It takes teamwork to make the dream work.  John Maxwell Progress takes patience. (Saw that on a t-shirt) Both are true. 1 Corinthians 12:14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. Working with people, problems and processes can be a little taxing.  But trying to do everything on your own will burn you out.  What can you do?  If you want your life to run more smoothly, more productively and more prosperously.  It will take teamwork.    #1 - Acknowledge that it is God's will for you to be on a team.  Your family, your co-workers and your church qualify.   #2 - Recognize the fact that your combined talents within the team will always trump the sum total of yours.  #3 - Embrace it - you need their help.  But remember they need yours too.  Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, The processes of teams can try one's patience.   #1 - While you can make a decision quicker, a team can ma

These Are The Days . . .

As I sit here in my office, I can hear the lyrics to the song, These Are The Days of Elijah. These are the days of Elijah, d eclaring the word of the Lord, And these are the days of Your servant, Moses, r ighteousness being restored These are the days of great trials, o f famine and darkness and sword Still we are the voice in the desert crying, p repare ye the way of the Lord! And these are the days of Ezekiel, the dry bones becoming as flesh And these are the days of Your servant, David, Rebuilding the temple of praise And these are the days of the harvest, t he fields are all white in the world And we are the laborers that are in Your vineyard Declaring the Word of the Lord 1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. As a kid, I remember the pastor of my church, Pastor Jech, saying the first Sunday of every year.  This is the year that Jesus will return.  Part of that phrase would scare me.  "Wow!  Will I be r

This Too Shall Pass

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It is cold.  There was frost on the back windshield of my car this morning.  The low last night was 34 degrees.  Now before all you, "northerners" start poking fun at me and posting your negative degree numbers.  Let me remind you, this too shall pass. Now the words, "This too shall pass" are not found anywhere in the Bible. But 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. Whatever you are going through right now, in the grand scheme of things, will never compare to the eternal reward you will receive in heaven. Let me illustrate.  The high today is going to be 60 degrees.  Not that bad.  But one week from today the high is forecast to be 80 degrees.  Hey!  I live in South Florida.  That's normal.

Don't Quit!

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Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Luke 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Ok, do you get it?  Don't give up!  Don't quit!  You're not alone.   We are only 4 days into the new year, and some have already starting to give up on their unique challenges.  So I am going to share with you 5 steps to success.  Do these, and you will make it.   1. Work hard.  Change isn't easy.  Be willing to work harder at

SERVE in 2018

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"If you want to make a difference, find a need and fill it." The first time I ever heard those words uttered, it was at some kind of Pastors event, and Tommy Barnett was speaking. If you don't know Tommy, he is an author, the senior pastor of Dream City Church (formerly Phoenix First Assembly of God), and chancellor of Southeastern University. Tommy Barnett started his ministry at age sixteen. He pastored Westside Assembly of God in Davenport, Iowa. It grew from 76 people to more than 4,000 members. In 1979, he went to Phoenix First Assembly. As of 2011, it was the second largest Assembly of God church in the U.S. with an average Sunday attendance of 10,000.  When a guy takes a church from a few to a lot!  You pay attention to what he says. Serve each other and Serve the world you live in.  #1 - Each other Acts 4:32-37 32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but

GROW in 2018

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So here is part two of my Sunday message (which I didn't get to share with you.)  In 2018 what are you going to do differently?  I listened to a podcast this morning which helps me understand myself a little better.  Let me share a bit of the story I heard.  Michael Jordan was playing for the Chicago Bulls.  They have just won their 4th NBA title.  But this one was particularly difficult for him.  His dad, his #1 supporter, and encourager had passed away that year.  In fact, the Bulls won the title on Fathers Day.  That had to be tough.  But Michael pushed through.  Now he could have gone home and taken a couple of weeks off after winning the series.  But as he was leaving the court to go to the locker room he sees his personal trainer and says.  "I'll see you in the morning!" Wow!  On to the next thing.  No hesitation.  No question.  No stopping.  If you want to experience a year like none other - ask yourself - What's Next! GROW - Here are another t

CONNECT in 2018

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Last Sunday was awesome!  Testimonies of God doing miracles in peoples lives.  One lady has been recently healed of cancer. I only had enough time to share the first point in my message.  My text was found in Acts 11:19-21 19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The church in Antioch was remarkable.  They, like the other churches mention in the New Testament, were very successful?  How do you ask?  Well, let's understand what a church is.   The church isn't an organization.  Even though it is organized.  The church isn't a building.  But many churches do meet in one.  The church is people.  The w