Showing posts from November, 2018

But It's Only 10 AM!?!

So I left the house this morning, and sure enough, the low gas light comes on the car.  So I stop by the gas station to fill it up. A car pulls up next to me, and a lady gets out of the car.  She walks up to the pump and says, "I don't believe this."  She then starts walking around the gas station looking for the attendant.  She finally finds him and asks him for assistance.  As he is offering help, she says. "I can't believe how this day is going, it is going to be a horrible day." I'm thinking, "It's only 10 am lady, you can still turn this around."  Then she goes on and on how she bought some cupcakes.  But they were not exactly what she wanted.  Then she put them in the car, and one of them turned over and on and on and on and on. I got in the car, closed the door and took a deep breath.  There was no way that this lady was going to ruin my day. Proverbs 10:17  Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rej

We love/hate Christmas

According to some statistics, 86% of are looking forward to spending time with your friends and family during the holidays.  33% of you dislike the commercialism of Christmas. Hey, I get it.  There are some things about Christmas time that are wonderful and something that just leaves me shaking my head. The question is, which one do you spend your time thinking about. I know people who as I write this blog that are saying, "Bah Humbug!"  They hate Christmas. I know many more people who are also saying at this time. "Wheeee!  This is the most wonderful time of the year!" Proverbs 17:22  A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. There is nothing in the rule book that says that you have to do everything that is offered to you during the holidays.  There is nothing there that says that you are obligated to run yourself to death.  There is nothing that says that you have to go broke during the holidays.  There is nothing that

Speak Up And Don't Look Down

I know that you would think that I was bullied in school.  But in my senior year, I was 6 foot tall and weighed a whopping 110 pounds.  If I stood sideways and stuck my tongue out, I looked like a zipper. Because I was so light, it was easy to get dumped into the trash cans.  I spent a lot of time in trash cans. Needless to say, I didn't like going to school.  No amount of protesting, kicking and screaming would deter these people.  Then one day in the youth group I heard this verse. Proverbs 15:1-4 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. I thought, "Why not, nothing else has worked."  So the next day, as I walked to class, I could hear the footsteps of my assailants approaching.  I quickly turned on my heels and looked at them square in the eye and said, "Really?"  It stopped them dead in their tracks.  They looked at each other and in unison said, "Really!" "Fine!"  I said.  "If we are going to do this

What Day Is It?

Yes, I missed blogging yesterday.  I really do miss it when life doesn't allow me the time to do this.  But if you're like me, that whole Thanksgiving thing really messed up my rhythm. This morning, as we are driving to work, we listen to a couple of podcasts and review a passage in the Bible.  One of the ones we listen to is John Maxwell's word of the day.  I highly recommend that you look to it, it is quite encouraging. Well, today's word was, "rhythm."  There is a natural rhythm to everything you and I do.  When that rhythm gets out of whack - we feel horrible, can't think straight and have trouble processing what we are supposed to be doing.  For example,  I woke up Sunday morning and I honestly couldn't remember what day it was.  I had to pull out my phone and look it up. Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. What does Psalm 119 have to do with the rhythm of my life?   God's Word tells me what I am

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

Today was a great day at FFWC.  Even though some people were out for various reason, still coming together to worship Jesus is worth it. This evening I watched as different people from youth, children, worship and AV teams came together to work together.  Christmas Sunday is coming, and they are preparing for everyone who attends an experience that will be encouraging and uplifting. Matthew 5:16  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Christmas is about giving.  No, not the gifts you bought on Black Friday.  Give what Christ has already given you.  Faith, hope, love, joy, and more.   Use the skills and talents that God has blessed you with to encourage others.  Help others to discover the old saying.  "Jesus is the reason for the season."   But don't wait until Christmas Day.  Start now.  Who can you bless, who can you encourage, whose life can you make a d

Why Do We Celebrate?

One of my favorite songs is "The Holidays Are Coming" by Melanie Thornton.  (It's where we get the Coca-Cola song).  I don't know why it is.  It's just a catchy toon to listen to.  But it does make me happy when I get to hear it. Nehemiah 8:10  Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” The Jews were grieved because they had just heard the Law of God (The Torah) read to them.  For some, this was the first time they had heard it.  After discovering their sins of omission and commission, they were grieved.   You and I would be too if we had just discovered that we have been offending God - a lot!  But Nehemiah's response was different.   Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. It isn't that N

Why Do We Have A Black Friday?

I stopped by a local restaurant this morning to get a cup of coffee.   This establishment was very quiet and business was slow.  Everyone was out shopping. The cashier looked at me and says, "I don't get it.  If we just celebrated a day of thanks, then why can't we be content with what we have?  Why do we have to go out and shop ourselves to death?  This doesn't make any sense?"  At first, I thought she was joking when I quickly realized that she was honestly struggling with this. We do seem to be sending a mixed message though.  If we were happy on Thursday, what happened during the night to change our mind?  I know that we have to buy certain gifts for Christmas and there are some deals that are truly money saving options for us to take advantage of.  But that got me to thinking?  Do we do this more often than we think? We say we serve a God that provides for our needs, but we complain about the size of our house? We say we serve a God of peace but blow u

And The Holidays Have Begun!

Cooking isn't my wife's thing.  Apparently, she would rather offer burnt sacrifices to God.  Don't get angry with me, she knows this.  So rather than burning a Thanksgiving Turkey, we opted to get Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrel.  We've done it before and it works out great.   You order online a couple of weeks ahead of time, drive up to the back door the day of, someone magically pops out of the back of the store with a big box of hot food, puts it in your car and Viola!  Thanksgiving dinner.   Instead this time we used a different store.  We drove up to the back and no Viola!  It was more #$$@%^*( instead.  We were to pick up our food at 12 noon.  At 1:30 pm we finally had our lovely, kind of hot Thanksgiving dinner.   After spending time at my moms and enjoying a carb coma nap in the easy chair, we went home.  After getting there, we discover we needed something before morning.  So off to Wal-Mart we go.  Wow!  That's a lot of cars.  But we dec

Happy Thanksgiving

As I write this, it is Thanksgiving Eve.  Many people are busy cooking and cleaning for tomorrows event.  You may have relatives coming to visit, or you may be traveling this holiday weekend. Colossians 3:17 A nd whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. I know that there will be turkey and football.  I know that some of us will pass out on the couch in a carb coma.  But before we enjoy the traditions of the day, give thanks.   If you are reading this in the morning, stop and think of all the good things that God has done for you.  Don't focus on the negative, those things will always be there.  Choose to look up.  If you are reading this in the middle of the day.  Take a few moments to tell someone that you are thankful they are a part of your life.  Maybe you need to say it across the dinner table or across the country with a phone.   If you are reading this late in the day.  Giv

Happy Birthday To The Pastors Wife.

Today is my wife's birthday.  She is 55. (I suppose it's ok for me to say that.  She posted it on Facebook.)  She has been married to me for 34 years as my wife and as a pastors wife. In my opinion, being a Pastors Wives is a stressful calling that is severely underappreciated.  Most people have a stereotype of who a Pastor's wife is and what she does.  While there are some that fit that bill to a, "T."  There are others who don't even come close.  That would be my wife. The old joke in Bible college was that a good pastors wife could sing Alto, play the piano, and look good at conventions.  I got a Soprano, who use to play the Clarinet and still looks good at conventions. Betty is a fighter.  I don't mean that she is a brawler (someone who is looking for a fight).  But anything that we have in life we have had to fight for.  Nothing has come easy.  I'm sure that most of you can say the same thing.  When you live in a world that is stingy to

Speak Life, Not Death

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. I know that I have blogged about this passage before, but even I need to be reminded of the power of the tongue.  James said, James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. Yikes! I have watched people talk themselves out of a blessing, a good marriage, a good job, a good church, and a better life.  I have listened as people complain about others and then wonder why they are alone.  I have witnessed people ruin their future through the power of their words.  I have also watched people talk themselves through the toughest times of their life.  I have listened to people choose to encourage others who didn't really deserve it.  I have witnessed people build a better future through the power of their words.  No

Church Was Awesome!

Today is Thanksgiving Sunday at FFWC.  Traditionally we have a big service followed by a Thanksgiving dinner.  It's our way of kicking off the holiday season together. But today was more than that.  Renee Rowan Basel was here in concert.  (Pastors take note.  She has an awesome ministry!  You can get her latest album on iTunes.  You should book her!) As I stood in the back the auditorium I watched as the Holy Spirit moved on certain peoples lives.  I watched as some who had no idea of who Jesus was, witnessed the passion and love a church has for their Savior.  I witnessed some who just rested in the words of songs and took a moment to take a collective breath and rest. This was followed by one of the most wonderful fellowship dinners I can recall in recent memory.  People finished eating, but just hung around and took time to share their lives with each other.  It was so worth it. Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the

Get A Life

Colossians 3: 1 - 4 You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your heart on what is in heaven, where Christ rules at God’s right side. 2 Think about what is up there, not about what is here on earth. 3 You died, which means that your life is hidden with Christ, who sits beside God. 4 Christ gives meaning to your life, and when he appears, you will also appear with him in glory. If I had to retitle the Book of Colossians it would be, "How to get a life."  In this book Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, teaches the church in Colosse principles for living.   I love Chapter 3 where he says that you have been raised to life with Christ.   If there is something that we humans cannot do is recreate life.  Once something is dead, it's dead.  I know that this is sad news, but that's just the way that it is.   Yet you and I live in a world that believes it can create and recreate anything in their image.  In fact, the world thinks they can make

Breathe, Breathe, Breathe

Have you ever been driving and you all of a sudden notice that everyone else has forgotten how to?  It was one of those days when I had to run some errands before going to church.  These errands took me on routes I rarely drive. As I am driving along someone cuts me off.  Yikes.  A few minutes later traffic comes to a complete stop in the middle of nowhere for no reason.  After a quick reroute I discovered some new road construction that had shut down 1/2 of one of the busiest intersections in the city.  Who thought that was a good idea? After driving for miles well under the speed limit.  No, I didn't do that on purpose.  Due to the fact, there was so much traffic on the road there was no way we could drive the speed limit.  I was cut off again. After running my errand, I plotted the most direct course to the church.  There in the middle of a two-lane road, someone mistakenly thinks that a 4-foot bike path is a parallel parking spot.  Then I witnessed two or three people r

You Did What?

So yesterday someone confesses something that they did which didn't leave them in the best light.  No, they didn't commit a crime nor did they confess to doing something so heinous that it would make you shutter.  Let's just say, it was stupid. Galatians 6:1  Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. At first, there was the, "You did what?'  You know, the statement you use when someone does something that you can't believe.   Next was the excuse.  "Well they . . . . " Did this justify their actions?  Nope!  Not in a million years.  Then the next question was.  "What are you going to do about it?'  To which the obligatory, "I don't know"  followed by some shoulder shrugs was offered.  Offered but rejected.  At this time, those who were spiritual had a stern, but gentle, word for him.  &q

When It All Goes Right!

Stories are such a great thing.  Life is made of stories.  When someone asks you about your life, what do you tell them?  Date of birth?  No that's for the DMV.  You tell them about life when . . . .  It is really cool when you hear a story that you had a hand in.   So today, someone comes into my office and shares with me a moment from their weekend.  They told a story of how they helped a family member with a problem.  What they shared with them was something that I taught them.   Now I am not patting myself on the back.  I am ecstatic that my friend was able to help.   So my question to you is.  What are you saying that others are repeating?  Matthew 10:32  So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, Speak positively.  Words of encouragement are always repeated when said often and passionately.  Speak with the purpose of investing.  When you speak, give something away.  Give wisdom.  Give love.

I Believe In Mircales

But first, let me define what a miracle isn't. It isn't something that "just happens." It isn't something that is unexplainable. It isn't something that happens because we tap into an unknown part of our minds or the universe. It isn't something that ghosts or aliens do. It is something that God does.  I've seen miracles, and while I cannot explain all of them, I do understand who did them.  God. The dictionary defines a miracle as, " a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency." But why do miracles take place? Psalm 77:14: “You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples” (NIV) Miracles reveal God.  There are a host of people who deny that miracles still take place today, but yet here we are.  Every day people are healed, delivered and provided for. Miracles reveal His love.  The "why"

Pastor Jones and the Christmas of Doom - Part 2

So, as I wrote yesterday, this email shows up in my inbox with this title. "Pastor Jones and the Christmas of Doom." This got me to thinking about giving, especially the heart of giving.  Giving has a powerful effect on your body, soul and spirit.  It encourages you, it lifts you up and gives you hope.  The more you give, the more you enjoy life.   But how should we give.  Here are a few thoughts. Sacifice with joy  2 Corinthians 9:6  The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. The principle is simple.  Whatever measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  Jesus talks about this when He says, Luke 6:38  give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” This isn’t Karma.  We don’t believe in that.  The principle is clear.  You choose what you want

Pastor Jones and the Christmas of Doom

So this email shows up in my inbox with this title.  "Pastor Jones and the Christmas of Doom."  I have to be honest.  It sent shivers up my spine.  Christmas and the holidays are like that quote from the Tale of Two Cities. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, . . . " The Christmas ads are playing, (Hey at least they aren't those political ads we've been inundated with here in Florida for the last few months.)  Christmas trees tents are up and ready to receive their pine scented evergreens.  Christmas lights are being tested and preparations for holidays traditions have begun.   Matthew 1:20-21 While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. 21 Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Hope and salvation have arrived!  The curse from the Garden

What are you looking at?

Col. 1 15 - 16  Christ is exactly like God,  who cannot be seen. He is the first-born Son, superior to all creation. 16 Everything was created by him, everything in heaven and on earth, everything seen and unseen, including all forces and powers, and all rulers and authorities. All things were created by God’s Son, and everything was made for him. Are you looking up or looking down?   I've heard people pontificate about this verse before.  They ask questions like. "If Christ was here then what do you mean He cannot be seen?  If He is first-born, therefore He must have been created, ergo He isn't God."  Really?  Christ is exactly like God because He is God.  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  He is King over the universe.  Paul is speaking to who Christ is in the present?  He is no longer human.  He is King of kings and Lord of lords.   He is the first born, not because He was born or created.  The firstborn, the oldest son of a

Your Chosen

Col 1:12 - 14 I pray that you will be grateful to God for letting you have part in what he has promised his people in the kingdom of light. 13 God rescued us from the dark power of Satan and brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who forgives our sins and sets us free. So I was talking to someone the other day, and the conversation went south on me in a hurry.  - "I just can't believe . . . " - "What were they thinking . . . " - "Why do I have to do this . . . " Gratefulness is a gift, but it's a habit also.  If you don't use it, you will not only lose it, you'll become grumpy and ungrateful.   Paul was praying for the church to be grateful.  He didn't wish that they would be, he wasn't hoping that they would be.  He was praying that they would be grateful that God included them in His Kingdom.   Do you realize that you are part of God's solution for this world?  God has chosen you to work with Hi

Pray, Then, And, Make, And

Colossians 1 9 We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. 10 Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. 11 His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy. (CEV) Little words can have a big impact.   PRAY We have not stopped praying for you I have to admit.  If I found out that the Apostle Paul was praying for me, I would probably ask, "What is he praying?"  There is no doubt to any of us that this guy had a hotline to heaven.  Paul might have known this, so he tells them. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives.

A Blast From The Past

So I am driving down the road, and the following song comes on the radio.  Always Something There To Remind Me by Naked Eyes. Boom!  It's 1983, and I am working as a carhop at Sonic.  I can remember the old speaker on the wall that played the radio.  I can remember the annoying sound you would hear when someone would place an order.  I can remember making onion rings by the hundreds.  I remember cleaning the ice cream machine thinking I may have spared a few people a bad case of food poisoning. It's it funny how a sound, a song or a smell can trigger a memory. 1 Cor 11:24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Once a month we celebrate Communion or the Lord's Supper.  It is time we set aside to remember what Jesus did for us on the cross. But I choose to remember a few other things also.  Specifically, what has happened to my life because of His sacrifice. The time I was healed of

Fear vs. Familarity

So I was listening to the radio the other day, and the announcer says that Steven Tyler, lead singer for Aerosmith,  is now an ordained minister.  That he will be officiating his son's wedding the near future and would be available at other weddings too. Well, welcome Steven to the high and holy calling of the ministry.  So I checked into his credentials and how he came to be ordained.  He had $80 and became a minister with the Universal Life Church. That's it. Now I am an ordained minister.  I can do weddings too.  But I attended Bible College for 4 years.  Received my first credential which required extensive testing and vetting.  After one year I applied for the second level which needed more testing and vetting.  Then after two years, I became an ordained minister.  Only after being tested and vetted again. Why did I put myself through all of this?  Because I was called by God to serve Him for the rest of my life as a pastor.  Something that I think Steven may be mi

Be Grateful - Tomorrow

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe. So gratefulness didn't go so well for you today huh?  I know.  Some days are easier than others.  But tomorrow you can hit a home run.   It's Sunday, and you have a chance to worship God.  You have many things to be grateful for.   Be grateful for His salvation.  Be grateful for His grace.  Be grateful for His Word.  Be grateful for the Holy Spirit's empowerment.  Be grateful for His presence. Be grateful for His love. Be grateful for His joy Hey, I can do this all day long.   So do this.   Start your day by telling yourself - I'm going to be grateful.   When your family irritates you because they are getting out of the house to slowly, be grateful, you have a family.  Are you grateful for that alarm that got you up this morning - excellent!  Don't be angry that it's an

Yes It's 11 PM

Every Friday night my wife sells jewelry online. Every Friday night I help her sell jewelry online. Why am I telling you this? Because I am grateful for a wife, who works hard to help her family.  The proceeds from her business help to support my daughters dancing habit.  (Hey, those dance shoes are about 90 dollars a pair.) Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord. I am grateful for a wife who is faithful.  Faithful to her God, faithful to me and faithful to her family.  She is a pastor, a leader, a manager of a dance studio and runs her own business.  I thank God for her every day and am blessed to call her my wife.  Today I want you to choose someone to be grateful to.  Take the time to tell them how much you love them and appreciate them.  Believe me, it will make a difference.  PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I am grateful now show me who to be grateful to today.  AMEN 

Be Grateful!

What are you grateful for today? 1 Thessalonians 5:18  Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. According to Psychology Today being grateful does the following. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Gratitude improves physical health. Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people sleep better. Gratitude improves self-esteem. Gratitude increases mental strength You would think that if we did anything, we would be grateful.  Yes?   But instead, I find that many people are just complaining and negative.   Do today stop what you are doing and choose one thing to be grateful for.  In fact, do it every day.   Then after you have done that, choose one person in your life to be grateful too.  Send them an email or a text.  Call them o