Showing posts from April, 2018

What Do You See?

I've pastored long enough to hear a few things that make me shudder. Once, while on a church trip, an older follower of Jesus said, "You know, our church would be so much better if we didn't have so many broken people in it.  We need some healthy people." I've had people call to "inform" me how someone, who attends church but isn't a follower of Jesus, is living.  I"ll ask, "You do know that they are someone who hasn't repented of their sins and isn't following Jesus?"  To which their answer is, "So?" There have been those who have given me an ear full about someone who attends church and is a follower of Jesus.  They want me to, "do something" about it.  I'll ask, "Are you offended?" "Yes" is their usual response which at that time I'll inform them how Jesus taught us to go to those who offend us and work it out.  Rarely do they ever. Mark 6:34  When he went ashore he sa

God Notices

Hebrews 6:10   For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. Recognition is a beautiful thing.  We love it when someone notices our hard work and effort.   In fact, stats show that we would appreciate honest praise from our boss over a pay raise.   But much of our work for Jesus goes unnoticed.  Even the gifts of helping and giving in Romans 12 I liken to the work of ninjas.  You know it's been done, but you never see it done.   But God notices.  He notices the work and love you show to others for His name's sake.   He notices when your witness about Him draws those people closer.   He notices the effort that you make when no one else is watching.   With that said, what is God going to notice about you today?  How will you honor Him with your life?  How are you going to show His love to someone else?   In the comments below give me your idea what you can d

Dream Big And Keep Your Mouth Shut

Ecc. 5:3 If you keep thinking about something, you will dream about it. If you talk too much, you will say the wrong thing Wow, did Solomon know what he was talking about. What are you dreaming about? Dream about what God is dreaming about for you. Have a dream that gives itself to others. Dream about something great, positive and purposeful. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Dreams are big and scary (if they are from God).  Don’t allow your fear or doubts to talk you out of  the best days of your life. Tomorrow I will watch my daughter dance.  I’ve seen her dance and dance and dance.  But to watch her perform is a dream come true.  It is a dream that is slowly becoming a reality.  It costs pain, practice and patience. But out of all of that the big key to her success isn’t talent, but to help her learn how not to let her emotions highjack her brain.  We’ve all been there.  Fear, passion, love and a host of other emotions can take control and ruin our dreams.  

What A Friend

Tonight the worship team practiced the song, "What A Friend" by Matt Maher. Pleasant, upbeat and joyful song. Some of the lyrics say, Everybody has trials and temptations Everybody knows heartbreak, isolation But we can lay our burdens down (our burdens down) Lay our burdens down What a friend we have in Jesus East to west my sins are gone I see grace on every horizon And forever and ever His heart is my home Matthew 11:28  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Jesus is your friend.  I know that it is hard to think of Him that way, but He is.  He is a close friend who cares, who will invest Himself into your life.  He will never stop being your friend, even when you fail, stumble and fall.  He will pick you up at your lowest moment, He will celebrate with you in your most significant achievement.   He is the friend you've always wanted, always needed and always appreciated.   Jesus is your friend.  PRAY:  Dear Jes

For A Moment I Was A Superhero

When I was 12 years old our family went on a trip to Washington DC.  It was one of those vacations you would never forget.  But on the way there we made a pit stop. Of corse in those days you didn’t have cell phones or gps.  As a 12 year old you only had one thing to read, the Atlas.  I would study that thing for hours.  Somewhere in Tennessee I observed a place called Oak Ridge.  If you don’t know it was called the Secret City.  It was originally built by the Manhattan Project.  That’s right, they made Atomic Bombs there. In Oak Ridge there Is The Museum of Science and Energy..  I wanted to go, mostly because I was tired of riding in that car and I loved to study science.  In there they had a electrostatic generator.  You know, one of the silver orbs you put your hand on that makes your hair stand on end? They had a demonstration of this generator and I was picked to help.  There on a wood box I stood with my hand on the generator.  They flipped the switch and every hair on my h

I Lost My Wallet

I lost my wallet.  I had it yesterday.  I had it when I got home.  I went to leave this morning and . . . . I asked my wife, Betty.  Have you seen my wallet?  "Yes, I saw it last night.  The cat was playing with it."  I don't know what the look was on my face, but it motivated everyone to find that wallet fast.  But still Nothing.   Betty had a 10 am appointment she could not miss so we had to leave.  All the time I am thinking, "Where is that wallet?  Where is that wallet?  Where is that wallet?" I didn't have a panic attack, but I knew that wallet was somewhere.  This was starting to stress me out?   When we got to church, I headed straight for my desk.  Nothing.  No wallet.  So after Betty's appointment.  Back to the house.   Upon our arrival, I asked her, "Where did you see it last?"  "The bedroom" she answers.  So away we go.  We looked under the bed (for the 100th time).  We looked under the couch, again.  We lo

I'm The Problem

I was talking with someone the other day (someone smarter and wiser than myself) about a problem I'm facing.  He asked me.  "What do you think the problem is?"  I answered quickly.  I'm the problem.  His response was great.  "Well, that eliminated half the battle, and I have already reached first base." James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. You can accept humility or be humiliated.  They are not the same thing.   Accepting and embrace humility is to honestly embrace your life as is, faults and all.  It is to admit that you need God and that without Him you have no hope.  Humility makes to pretense about who you are.  Humility takes a servants approach to life (notice I didn't say, slave).  You want to help others from the goodness of your heart, not because you are better than them.  Being humiliated is the process of being exposed as a fraud in some way.  That isn't to say that every area of your life is

It's Time to Laugh

Psalm 126:2-3 Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with joyful songs. A man dies and is met by Peter at the pearly gates. Peter says, ‘You need 100 points to make it into Heaven. Tell me all of the good things you’ve done and I’ll give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in.’ ‘Okay,’ the man says, ‘I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.’ ‘That’s wonderful,’ says Peter, ‘that’s worth three points!’ ‘Three points?’ the man exclaims. ‘Well, I attended church all of my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service.’ ‘Terrific!’ says Peter, ‘that’s certainly worth a point.’ ‘One point? OK, well I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for the homeless.’ ‘Fantastic, that’s good for two more points,’ Peter says. ‘TWO POINTS!’ the man cries. ‘At this rate, the only way I’ll get into Heaven is by the Grace of God!’ ‘Come

Your Brain Is Stupid

I've said this over and over, "Your brain is stupid."  No, I didn't say that you have a low IQ.  It's just that your brain does things that in the end make you go, Hmmmmm! Think about it.  You need a watch to tell time.  Why?  Your brain has no idea what time it is. Your brain will randomly pick something to do, even though it's something that isn't that important. According to Parkinsons Law, if you have a 1-hour task to do, but give yourself all week to do it, your brain will figure out a way to take the whole week. However, your brain is absolutely brilliant at doing some very important things.  It keeps your heart beating, your lungs working and it protects you from danger. Recently, a friend of mine went through a very traumatic situation.  They are ok but shaken up nonetheless.  Later, they heard a noise that reminded them of that traumatic situation and they froze up in fear.  There was no reason for them to freeze up.  There was no reas

Notice The Little Things

Back at Christmas, my daughter got a new kitten.  We named him Loki.  The name fits him.  If I don't call him Loki I will usually call him Spaz.  He is a typical cat who on occasion will just explode and start running all over the house. This morning I noticed that he was on the hunt for something.  In Florida, God only knows what it could be.  I looked and didn't see anything.  Thought the cat was spazzing out again.  Then a few minutes later my daughter pointed it out.  So I looked back.  He had found a spider.  Not just any spider.  The smallest, tiniest spider imaginable.  He was just fascinated by it.  I thought, "How in the world did you see that?" Then the Holy Spirit whispered in my heart, "How many little details about life have you missed?"  WOW! Matthew 10:29 - 30 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do

Pressure, Stress and Frustration

All of us are familiar with pressure, stress, and frustration. For example. As you know, I've had problems getting this blog into your inbox. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Then today, I discover that there were "spambots" signing up on my website to be, "subscribers." I venture that once they receive an email from me, they would turn around and use it to send their spam out to their lists. Therefore, some servers were flagging my email address, not my emails, as spam. The solution seems to be getting a little more complicated than I desire for it to be. But I will keep you posted. Now in the grand scheme of things, this isn't life ending, career melting, all destroying situation that would cause pressure, stress, and frustration. But take into consideration Joseph who was abducted, sold into slavery, tossed into prison and forgotten. Maybe we should look at David who lived from cave to cave while King Saul hunted him like a wild animal. What

Broken Promises.

Have you ever had to wait for a promise?  We've all had to wait for something in our life.   Have you ever had to remind someone of their promise?  We've all had to do that too.  The results of which may or may not have worked to your favor.   Promises will be broken. Imperfect people do imperfect things.  We shouldn't be surprised by that.  Broken promises will lead us to feel rejected and hurt.  These feelings can lead us to become jaded and cynical.  These are qualities that a follower of Jesus shouldn't embrace.   So what can you do?  Know who God is.  Number 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? God is perfect.  He never has nor will ever make a mistake.  If He makes a promise, He will keep it. Remember what God has promised you. 45 years prior God had promised to Caleb a place of his own in the promise land.  H

Little Is Much

I've heard sermons entitled, "Little is much in the hands of God" and "What is that in your hand?" Encouraging messages about how God can take the little of what we have and turn it into something great.   Exodus 4, Moses is at the burning bush and 2 The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.”  God tells him to throw it down, Moses complies, and it turns into a snake.  God instructs Moses to pick it up, he does, and it turns back into a staff.   God will take the little bit of faith that you have and turn it into a calling that will change the world. In Judges 15 we read about Samson. 15 And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it, he struck 1,000 men.  God can take your faith and even the playing field.  Even though we now live under grace, not the law, God fights our battles for us now. (Somebody say, AMEN!) Elijah meets a widow who is about to cook her last meal and die.  Inst

No Good Deed . . .

In Acts 3 we read about how Peter and John, in the name of Jesus, healed the lame man. Acts 3:9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. After this, Peter preaches a short sermon to the people explaining what had happened.  This is then followed by Peter and John get promptly arrested.  ?????   That doesn't seem right.   The Bible tells us how our enemy Satan prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat.  The Bible also says he is the father of all lies.  The Bible also tells us that he hates us.  The Bible tells us . . . You get the point.   One of Satans tricks is so familiar we don't even notice it.  Punish anything good.  Make it look like a bad thing.  Discourage people from doing the right thing.  This is probably why we sometimes say, "No good deed goes

You Were Suppose To Go Get Him

Note to my subscribers.  The last couple of days I’ve had some serious trouble with my email service. I’ve been writing but it hasn’t been emailing you.  I really didn’t know what was wrong.  I’ve been trying to fix it but to no avail.  So today I just started punching all the buttons and voila everything worked.  Go figure. I’ve been reading Clear The Stage by Scott Wilson.  Very good read!   In Luke 15  Jesus tells three parables.  The first two are about losing something of great value and doing all you can to find it.  Then he tells the parable of the prodigal son.  You know the story.  The younger brother gets stupid and blows his inheritance.  After finding himself eating pig slop he goes home in hopes of being one of his fathers hired hands.  The father wouldn’t hear of it.  Instead he welcomes him as his son and throws a party because what was lost is now found.  The older brother throws a fit because he was faithful all this time and he doesn’t get rewarded. Wilson points

Take The Bull By The Horns

We've all heard that phrase before. Some of us might say it. But what does it mean? It means to deal with a problem with clear, confident action. But have you ever underestimated the bull? As a kid growing up on the farm, once a year we would go to the rodeo.  It was always on the 4th of July weekend.  The sun was hot, and the crowds were ready to watch some ropin, racin, and bull riding. I remember one year, as I watched a bull being loaded into a gate, that the announcer said that this particular bull had not been successfully ridden by a bull rider.  Now all you have to do is hang on for 8 seconds.  How bad could it be?  Well, the time came, the rider nodded his head, the gate was opened, and the bull kicked his way out.  The rider?  He looked like Michael Jordan going for a slam dunk.  He had some impressive hang time.  In less than a second, that bull had kicked the rider off and sent him flying across the arena. I've had days like that, how about you? Philippia

Everything Works Better Together

Acts 2:44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. Luke gives us a description of what the early church looked like.  One of the things that jump out at me is their desire to be together.   Before you think, well that's nice, follow along.  Luke is showing us what made the church successful in the first century.  One of the things that he emphasizes is fellowship.  No, I'm not talking about a fried chicken dinner (even though I have nothing against that).  I'm talking about a community of believers who took care of each other.   Some have taken this passage to mean that the early church practiced some kind of spiritual communism.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  No one was coerced to give.  They gave of their time, their talents and treasures freely from their hearts.  But I digress.   Think about what happens when you hang out with fellow believers.  You worship together.  You pray together.  You learn about Christ together.  

Trusting God

Some people have control issues.  If they can't control you, they have an issue.   Some people have a standards issue.  If you don't measure up to their standards, they have an issue.  Some people have a perception issue.  If you meet their perceptions, they have an issue.  Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Some people try to control what they can't or shouldn't.  Some people set standards that are neither moral or achievable.  Some peoples perceptions just lead you to wonder what fantasy world they are living in? All of this has led us as a society to develop a science to understand what is going on inside our heads, a multi-billion dollar business to know how to navigate through this emotional minefield and a cultural norm that is reaching all new lows to accommodate every kind of belief and philosophy.   What s

I Just Want To Feel

My daughter is watching the movie, The Greatest Showman, again.  I've lost count how many times she has seen it.  Why does she watch it?  It makes her feel good.  It is a good movie.  Have you ever said to yourself, "I just want to feel again?"  We've all been there.  Emotionally drained and tired of having to get out of bed again. Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Life has a way of just sucking all the joy of it.  I get it.  But what do you do to replace what is lost?  Find a bottomless well of hope.  God has promised to refill our hearts.  If we will embrace Him as our provider, He promises to meet our needs.  Even our emotional needs.   Rest.  Many times we don't take the time we need to let our bodies rest.  You will be surprised how a day off or a good nights sleep will help you see your world differently.  Stop.  In the business of it all, stop and look around.  See t

Doubt Jesus? Try This

I was reading in my devotions this morning Acts 2: 42 - 43  42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. Now there is no doubt in my mind that I think that Jesus puts the "awe" in awesome.   But there are others who doubt my enthusiasm.  That's ok.  I'm not going offended.  Every journey to discovering Christ isn't the same.  But if you think what I am saying is rubbish, then I offer this challenge to you.  Tell God what you really think.  Don't worry.  He's got big shoulders, He can take it.  You're not going to offend Him, He is really interested in what you have to say.   Ask God to reveal Himself to you in a meaningful way.  This will require for you to pay attention to what is happening in your life.  But don't worry.  God loves a challenge.  Read

When Hell Comes To Pay You A Visit

Yesterday, while I was writing a blog, something happened that scared the daylights out of me.  A friend of mines life was in danger.  Serious danger.  Now I cannot go into details for the obvious reasons.  Just know that they are ok now. Somebody praise God.  We all know and understand the situation.  Something bad happens.  It isn't usually something of your own making, but it makes a mess.  A mess you have to live through and clean up.  (Have you ever noticed that Satan never cleans up his messes?)  The repercussions of this mess could have a horrible impact on your life.  Crime can leave you frozen in fear.  Terminal Illness can lock you up in depression.  Divorce can leave you bitter.  You get the picture. So what can you do that will help you through these messy and painful events of life?   Ephesians 6:11 - 12  11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against

A Balanced Life - Yea, Right!

I've heard people say it over and over again.  "I don't have enough, 'me' time.  I don't have enough family time.  I am always tired.  I can't seem to catch up."  Then there is the big one,  "My life is out of balance." So, let's get a reality check.  You're probably right.  Some part of your life isn't getting all the attention that it needs.  But ask yourself this question.  Would you know what a "balanced life" actually was if it happened to you? Some people would say, "Sure, I know what it looks like.  I wouldn't have any stress.  Everything would get done on time.  Everyone around me would be happy, and I would get a good nights sleep all the time."  Sounds great, if it was real.  But it isn't. Certain things in our life will at times demand more attention than others.  But when we run out of time and energy, we feel like a failure.  What do you do? Keep priorities in mind at all time.  In

Be A Witness

Acts 2:32 All of us can tell you that God has raised Jesus to life! If you're Pentecostal you've read Acts chapter 2 more than once.  I know I have.  But this verse jumped out at me today.   Peter is delivering his sermon after the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.  You know, the one where 3,000 people gave their heart and life to Jesus?  What was the theme of His message?  Jesus is dead?  You're all going to die and go to hell?  You need to speak in tongues too?  No.  His message was simple.  Jesus is alive.   Now I am sure that there were people who were thinking.  "What proof do you have?'  Peter, anticipating their question answers them.  All of us (the 120 in the upper room) can tell you that God has raised Him from the dead.  Ok then!  Paul, in 1 Cor. challenges the believers in the church to go to Jerusalem and meet the 500 people who saw Jesus after His resurrection.   That's the big secret that so many followers of Jesus miss.  Their persona

When God Comes Through For You

Now I didn't blog yesterday and here is the reason why. 3 AM Easter Sunday morning.  I wake up all miserable. 4 AM Easter Sunday morning.  My stomach is really giving me fits. 5 AM Easter Sunday morning.  I know something is wrong, but what is it? 6 AM Easter Sunday morning.  I am before the white throne (not the Great One) relieving myself of dinner from the night before. 6:30 AM Easter Sunday morning.  Montezuma's revenge. 7 AM Easter Sunday morning.  I want to die.  I have food poisoning. Of all Sunday's to get food poisoning.  I arrive at the church, late, and exhausted. My wife messaged everyone on the staff.  PRAY! When I got to church people PRAYED! As I sit in my office, I PRAYED!  "Oh God, get me through this service!" 10:30 AM Easter Sunday morning.  The first video plays and I feel ill. 10:35 AM Easter Sunday morning.  The second video plays, and it's time to go to the platform. 10:40 AM Easter Sunday morning.  We sing the first son