Showing posts from October, 2018

It's Halloween

Halloween or All Hallows Eve (Hallows means holy) it the day before All Hallows Day or All Saints Day.  That is the day which the Catholic Church, and other honor all the saints, known and unknown. Now there is trick or treating, carving pumpkins and dressing up thing.  But then you might just buy the pumpkin and paint it.  Some people dress up like a mysterious character or Minnie Mouse or a Marvel character.  Go to the local mall.  You'll see more Iron Men than you can imagine.   For some people, this marks the beginning of the party season.  From here through New Years it's just one weekend after another.  Come January, the AA groups will be full of people who were caught driving drunk.   What can you do with Halloween?  Ephesians 5:16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Tonight our youth group is going to the peds unit of our local hospital.  They are taking some gifts and toys for them to have.   Later some of our people are goi


Woke up with a headache.  Took some Tylenol.  The headache got worse.  That's not good.  Maybe if I ate something.  Nope, didn't touch it.  We're going to Defcon 4.  Get to church and have to handle a phone call.  Again, not good.  Defcon 3.  Left eye doesn't want to open, and light hurts my eyes.  Took some Motrin.  Still nothing.  Defcon 2.  I'm in severe pain.  Go lay down, phone rings. (Why didn't I shut it off?  I don't know, I've got a headache.)  We are now at Defcon 1.  I've had kidney stones, and I was about to ask God to put me out of my misery. 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. Betty comes in and says, "I think you need food.  Let's go get lunch."  Whatever, I'd do just about anything to make this pain stop.  10 minutes into lunch.  Boom!  It stopped. I know that a headache

I'm Listening To Christmas Music

Before you think I have lost my mind, I am searching for any new music we might use in church this season.  Believe me, after hearing 27 versions of Silent Night, I've had it. But the signs of Christmas are emerging.  Pumpkin spice everything.  Christmas trees at Wal-Mart.  The hyper Christmas people are starting to talk.  Christmas is going to happen! I'm thinking about a December sermon series entitled:  Operation Scrooge.  I'm not committed to the title yet, but it's about going from Bah Humbug to Merry Christmas, or something like that.  (Let me know what you think about it?) Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. What would it take to make this holiday season the best ever?  You know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Is that why the holidays drive you crazy?  Here are a few things you need to do NOW if you're going to make this the bes

Mercies Are New Every Morning

Lamentations 3:22-23 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. It's Sunday, and you're going to church.  So what are you expecting from God tomorrow? If you are focused on the pastor, the sermon, the worship team, the temperature, the decor or whatever, then you will leave disappointed.  The works of men have never satisfied the hunger in our souls. If you are focused on why you are in trouble you are in, the crisis you are going through or the problems you are facing, most likely you'll leave with them too.  That will discourage you. If you are focused on Christ and how much He loves you.  When you aim to declare your love and faith to Him.  When you purpose to worship Him with ALL of your heart, soul, and spirit.  Then you will leave with a sense of renewal and hope. Think about it this way.  After it is all said and done and we're all sitting around a tab

The Blender - Again?

In a few minutes, I am going to go help my wife sell jewelry.  That's right she sells Paparazzi jewelry on Facebook live.  We will get home around midnight, then be back here at the church by 7:30 am.  Oh, I had better get some donuts and coffee for those I'm meeting.  There is a team of people going out to clean one of our communities streets.  Take Betty and Anneka to work.  Come back and check on things.  Pick them up and take them to our communities fall festival where Anneka is dancing.  Back to the church.  Put all that jewelry away.  Get everything ready for Sunday services and go home. I'm supposed to look well rested and chipper Sunday morning?  I better get a lot of sleep. Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let me put it another way.  For where your treasure is, there you will spend your time. Here are a few rules I use that tell me how to spend my time.   Prioritize.  Christ always comes first.  Being a husband

When Opposition Comes At You With A Blender

So, I forgot to blog yesterday.  I went to my office to write, and my computer was off.  So I thought, "Well I go home and type on my iPad."  I got home and asked my daughter, "Where's my iPad?"  "What iPad?" she said.  Grrr. Get up this morning and remembered that I had a 9 a.m. appointment with our tax preparer.  I get to church to find out that my cat is sneezing its head off.  Not good.  1:30 p.m. appointment with the vet (because he had surgery recently, we wanted to know if this was something related to it).  Lunch is now messed up.  Had to stop by CVS because I have to give the cat Benerdryal. If hell knows anything, it's this.  If it can distract you, it can stop you. Recent studies show that it takes 25 minutes to get back on task after being interrupted.  Someone calculated that interruptions could cost us 588 billion dollars a year. What can distractions cost you? 1 Peter 5:8  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the d

Facing Opposition

Here is a principle you need to remember.  If you're doing it right, you'll face resistance. For some reason, the Holy Spirit wants me to blog about this.  I don't know why or to who?  But someone needs to know what I am going to blog on for the next few days. Psalm 20:7  Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Everyone knows that there is a struggle against good and evil.  Now before you go to the dark side on me, it isn't what you think.  The battle isn't between God and Satan.  Jesus said in Luke 10:18 that He saw Satan fall out of heaven like lightning.  I bet the sudden stop hurt!  Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.  In doing so, it says in Col. 2:14 - 15 that Jesus took all authority away from Satan.  Satan is defeated.  His doom is certain.  But he will not stop bullying the followers of Jesus.  He hates God so much that He is committed, to the bitter end, to destroy as much of His Creation

When God Messes Your Plans Up

What a day we experienced at FFWC yesterday.  The Holy Spirit moves in the hearts and lives of many people.  Some have already contacted me to say, "The Spirit really messed everything up!"  I have to chuckle because I have, "been there and done that." So often we pursue our plans and desires only to have God stop us and say, "Not so fast!"  Now I could write a book about this, but let' see if I can get you through this in less than five minutes. All the greats had their plans changed. Hey Abraham, move your family far away. Hey Moses, go back to Egypt. Hey David, run from King Saul until you are king. God changes your plans when you are headed in the wrong direction.  On occasion, we're just blundering along in life, not paying attention and get off track. God keeps you from making a mistake.  A little like the previous one, but here you have the right idea, you're just doing it at the wrong time. God pulls you out of your own sel

What Is God Going To Do Tomorrow?

Expectations are a funny thing.  When our expectations are met, we say life is good!  When expectations are not being met, we say life is terrible.  You can apply this principle to everything in life.  School, marriage, career and more.  We will be as happy as our expectations. I know some people, after being disappointed, just lower their expectations.  Now they are happy. I know some people whose expectations are so high, even Jesus couldn't make them happy. So what do you expect Jesus to do for you tomorrow in church? Proverbs 13:12   Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Here are a few thoughts on your expectations.   If you are focused on yourself, your expectations will be selfish and never met.  Frustration.  If you are focused on others, your expectations will be selfless, and God will meet your need.  PTL! If your goal is to be happy, you'll be disappointed.  Always. If your goal is to be content, you'll b

Give - Love - Lead - Humility - Authority

These are words that God is dropping into my heart right now.  What I mean is, He is talking to me about them - a lot! Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. First of all, God creates with words.  In Genesis, he spoke the heavens and universe into existence.  So when God speaks, things happen! Secondly, the writer of Psalm 119 understood the power of words.  God's word lighted the way for their future.   What words is God dropping into your heart right now?   Truth is, some words can be painful.  But any pain that God causes will always be better than the pain caused from doing nothing.  Some words bring questions.  God leads us to seek His knowledge and wisdom.  We find answers from searching the Bible.   Other words bring joy.  When God speaks life, hope, joy, love, grace, mercy, power, healing and any other word of blessing into your life, you rejoice.  Some words will challenge you.  God can speak into your life thing

The Soverignty of God

Have you ever thought about the fact that God is above His creation?  That there are no limits to His rule?  That there is nothing that will ever leave Him helpless or frustrated? In Genesis 3: 12 - 13 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Now think about this.  After God had created the earth, He called it, "good."  Believe me, if God says something is good, it probably is.  But after Adam and Eve sinned, His creation was corrupted.  It wasn't good anymore.   God could have said, "Enough!" and started over.  But He didn't.  Rather he promises in Gen 3:15  I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” God's sovereignty chose to redeem mankind rather t

There Are Only 10 More Fridays Until Christmas

That's right.  The holidays are on us.  I know some of you are silently, maybe not so silently, shouting YES!  While others of you are saying, out loud,  "SHUT UP RUSS!"   For me, Christmas starts around August.  My daughter tries out for the Nutcracker, and I begin to hear the music over and over and over and over and over.  This year she is teaching a few classes for 3 and 4-year-olds.  So Michael Buble Christmas, The Polar Express and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas music are now my new friends.   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. I thought now would be a good time to review my survival guide to the Holidays.  So here goes.  Have an attitude of gratitude.  It is better to give than receive.  Traffic is a test of your patience.  Am

Wow Pastor!

Wow, Pastor, you were on fire this morning! Sometimes a sermon hit a certain point where it gets personal and today was one of those days. I really, really, really don't like Satan intimidating people.  His goal is to destroy you.  I mean completely destroyed.  I realize as I said this morning that facing Satan is like meeting the defensive line of a college football team. But I also said that it isn't impossible. James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Submit:  You word will never scare the Devil.  But when God speaks, he shivers.  When you submit to God, He speaks blessing over your life. Resist:  Satan will never just, "go away."  You have to resist.  TELL him to shut up.  STAY AWAY from his temptations.  SAY no to his lies.  SPEAK the truth.  As it said this morning.  When he reminds you of your past (and he will - frequently) remind him of his future. PRAY:  Dear Jesus, keep Satan and temptation as far

I've Had Enough

This is Latte.  He is our cat.  He is a lovable, sweet troublemaker. Latte has had some health issues as of recent, and we couldn't quite figure out what was going on.  But after some hard work, we found the source of the problem.  An infected tooth. This has required us to give him liquid antibiotics, Pepcid AC in pill form, exceptional food, and subcutaneous injections.  After fighting the infection back, we finally had the tooth pulled yesterday.  Now we have a new problem.  He's had enough!  Every time we try to pick him up, he runs.  He is finished with needles, doctors, pills, and liquids.  I kind of feel bad for the guy, he isn't a happy camper. He should recover fully over the next few days and hopefully return back to his usual self.  But this got me to thinking.  How many times has the solution to our problems actually been more difficult than the problem itself? Follow along. We get comfortable with uncomfortable.  It may hurt, but we can live with it.

Who Are Your Good Friends?

I didn't blog yesterday because I wasn't anywhere near my computer.  I just unplugged and went away for a few hours. The picture is me with a couple of guys from church. We took off for a day to race at the Andretti Indoor Karting & Games in Orlando, Fl.  (No this isn't a paid promotion, but I have to say it is the best go-kart track I've ever driven on.) Hebrews 10:24  A nd let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, The drive up and back, 4 races together, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, allowed us to learn more about each other.  It allowed us to share our lives with each other.  It allowed us to build our friendship and encourage each other.   Who do you hang out with?  Better yet, who do you share your life with?   Sharing is what relationship is all about.  Sharing our joys and victories as well as our burdens and needs.  With Christ as the foundation of the friendship, we can embrace that which is different from our cultur

Are You In Management?

Management and Leadership are two different things.  Leadership casts the vision, the idea, the cause.  Management figures out a way to make it happen. 1 Peter 4:10  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: Managers don't own what they are using, they just are the caretakers of it.  The manager of Wal-Mart doesn't own the store.  Sometimes you will see the title, owner/manager.  I see this quite often in restaurants.   When it comes to being a follower of Jesus, we understand that we are in management.  God gives us different gifts to use in accomplishing His mission to reach hurting people who need Him.   There are the Romans 12:6-8 gifts. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy , in proportion to our faith; 7 if service , in our serving; the one who teaches , in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts , in his exhortation; the one who contributes , in gene

When God Sends You A Memo

Being discouraged is a constant battle for all of us.  Even the most positive gurus out there will tell you that positive choices have to be made daily. But recently, I've been discouraged.  Not the kind of, "I want to quit my life and go live in a cave." kind of discouragement.  But the type that just irritates you like a mosquito buzzing your ear.  You keep trying to kill it, but all you do is end up smacking yourself. So out of the blue, in the last couple of days, a few people have gone out of their way to encourage me in some specific areas.  Areas that, to be quite honest, I was getting a little frustrated in. Jesus loved to give praise. Jesus said that his cousin John the Baptist was the greatest prophet. He commended Peter concerning his faith. He praised Martha for listening to him while he taught.   In the end, we want to hear Jesus say to us.  (Matthew 25:23)  ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Jesus rewarded with love.  He gave His w

First and Ten

That's the theme of my Sunday AM messages for October.  It's all about putting God first.  Now I am no commentator, and I don't have a Ph.D. in Theology.  But I do want to observe a few things from my text this morning.   2 Cor 8: 1 - 7 1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and

When In Conflict

I once met a pastor who said, "I hate conflict!"  I not only understood the words, I understood the pain.   Conflict isn't fun.  If it were, it would be a ride at Disney World.  Conflict is so predominant in our culture today, there are conflict resolutors professionals who make a good living at sorting out other peoples conflicts.  When I think about "conflict" I can testify that there is:  Spiritual Conflict - When your life doesn't line up with God's will you will feel it.  God isn't rejecting you, He isn't involved in your life.  Why?  Because you're not letting Him in.  The cure for this kind of conflict is repentance.   Internal Conflict - Ethics and integrity are significant in our culture.  A culture that also says, "The ends justify the means."  You can see why this conflict exists.  The cure for this is to default to what God would have you do.  If you don't know, see wise Biblical counsel.   Exter

Are You Hungry?

I watch my diet as a general rule.  But once a week I treat myself to Chick-Fil-A.  Years ago I actually got lost in Atlanta and ended up at the original restaurant that started it all.  I have to say, it is still the best Chick-Fli-A sandwich I have ever had. Years ago I ate food for the experience.  Now, I eat food to keep fat off my waste and energy in my body.  I'll burn off many of these carbs and calories in the next few hours as I assist my wife with her Paparazzi Jewelry broadcast. Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. People are hungry for a lot of things.  Money, power, love and some much more.   But Jesus said that if we hunger for the "right" things.  (A right relationship with Him.) He promises we will be fed.  Now there is a thing about this being, "fed" thing.  It's a lot like my Mom when I would say, "Hey, mom, I'm hungry."  She would say, "You k

Sleepy Passivity

So I was reading an article yesterday by a professional ready.  The first thing I thought was, "You get paid to read?"  I want that job.  Then the second thing I noticed was, he was a professor who taught college/university students how to read.  The next thing I thought was, "How did they get into school?"  Then he said that the #1 reason, in his opinion, why people couldn't read well was, "sleep passivity".  They simply were not engaged. 1 Peter 5:7-9 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. I referenced this scripture yesterday with good reason.  In order to stop intimidation/fear from taking over your life, you have to be willing to resist it. I've heard all s

That's Intimidating

Fear is a horrible taskmaster.  I believe each of us knows that already.  But what you may not know is that intimidation is a form of fear. It's objective is to stop you from doing something or force you into following its will.  Either way, you'll be doing something that is unproductive and self-defeating. From: John Bevere. “Breaking Intimidation.”  “An intimidating spirit unleashes confusion, discouragement and frustration. Its goal is to cause you to lose your proper perspective.  Everything will seem overwhelming, difficult or even impossible.  The stronger the intimidation, the greater the discouragement and hopelessness.  If intimidation is not dealt with immediately, it will cause you to do things you never would do if you were not under its influence. This is exactly the goal of intimidation.” Being the smallest kid in school, significantly smaller, I was easy prey for bullies.  I knew them, and they knew me.  It was the stuff of nightmares.  As each school ye

We Fight

Sunday was such a fantastic day.  I love my church, and I am glad, so many other people do too. My sermon title was, "We Fight."  You may have never thought about this, but churches fight.  I don't mean with each other. I mean for each other. We work so hard to be "nice" and "polite" we forget that sometimes we need to have a spine. No, I'm not ranting, but I do want to make a point. No is a word in our vocabulary that needs to be honored and used. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12). God has empowered us to say no to a host of things in our life that if given a chance would destroy our families and us.  But how do we fight our battles? How do we say NO to Satans plans against us? By faith.  Our struggle is one of faith.  Sure it reveals itself in the natural, b