Showing posts from June, 2019

What A Great Day!

BIBLE READING: Phil 1: 25 - 26 25 Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. 26 And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me. BLOG:  I can hear someone right now growling, "What's so great about it?" I admit.  If you look at the world, we live in; there is plenty to be anxious about.  That's why we don't look at our world through the eyes of newscasters, political pundits, or economic forecasters.  The world you and I live in is bent to see everything with criticism, doubt, and fear. Instead, we choose to see our day from a Biblical point of view.  No, it isn't rose-colored glasses or some pie-in-the-sky-name-it-claim-it-deny-reality kind of faith.  It's about submission. Whose in charge of your life? You?  If you are in charge, then you spend most of your time trying to

Stress is Stressful

BIBLE READING: Phil. 1:20 - 24 20 For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. 21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don't know which is better. 23 I'm torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. (NLT) BLOG:  Stress is stressful - Duh!   There is a mountain of research that proves stress is terrible for your health.   According to the American Institute of Stress here are some of the physical symptoms people experience: Fatigue 51 % - Headache 44 % - Upset stomach 34 % - Muscle tension 30 % Change in appetite 23 % - Teeth grinding 17 % - Feeling dizzy 13 %

What Is Your Theme?

BIBLE READING: Phil 1: 15 - 19 15 It's true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But that doesn't matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. 19 For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance. BLOG:  I want you to think about the last five days.  What has been the overall theme?  Sad?  Happy?  Frustrating?  Now think about the last couple of weeks?  Same answer?  Most likely - Yes.  Our mood or emotions tend to run in waves.  In other words, we're not ecstatic one day and d

Your Worth It.

BIBLE READING: Phil 1: 12 - 14 12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. BLOG: If there is anything that Satan wants to mess up it is your self worth.  If he can get you to doubt yourself, then you will doubt the One who created you.   Just to be clear, self worth isn’t arrogant pride.  Self worth is believing who God created you to be.   If Satan can get a mom to believe that she isn’t capable.  She will abandon her ability to raise her children.   If Satan can get a dad to believe he isn’t worth of being a dad, he can lead him to abandon in his children and his marriage.   Once your self worth is destroyed, you will look for acceptance anywhere

Satan Always Overplays His Hand

DAILY BIBLE READING: Phil 1: 7 - 11 7 So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. 8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. 9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. BLOG: Many years ago, I heard an old preacher say, "Satan will always overplay his hand."  It was intrigued hearing a preacher who didn't believe in playing cards use a poker analogy.   B

When Your In A Hole

Note:  Most people don't have time to read their Bible.  So I've decided to add a few verses to start your day.   If you already have a Bible reading plan, then, by all means, stick to it.  But if not, this is for you.   Philippians 1:1 - 6 (NLT) 1 This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus.  I am writing to all of God's holy people in Philippi who belong to Christ Jesus, including the church leaders and deacons.  2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.  3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Sometimes you find yourself behind the 8-ball.  Sometimes you have to dig out of a

It's Relationships, Stupid - Ver. 2.0

I wrote this blog a while back, and to this day, it is still one of my most read blogs.  So I would update it and expand on it a little.   In 1992 Bill Clinton's successful presidential campaign against President George H. W. Bush was summed up in the phrase, "The economy, stupid." That one phrase was credited with the Clintons election.  That's because it connected at a personal level with the people. Now I know some of you are shuddering at me using the "S" word.  But it has to be said.  Everything rises and falls on relationships.  Think about it.  We say, "It's not what you know; it's who you know."  How many times have you known someone to get a job because they knew someone in the company? In the presidential election, George H. W. Bush was perceived as someone who was out of touch with the people.  Relationships!!  John Maxwell says, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."  If your

On The Road Again

As you read this blog, I am on the road heading home.  After a week of family time, Anneka has been dropped off at her dance intensive, and Betty and I are coming back to rest. What's going to change? Psalm 32:8 The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you. People have been asking us for weeks, "What are you going to do while Anneka is gone?" Some have mentioned that we are going to feel lost or out of sorts in some way.  We will; there is no doubt about that.  Anytime you remove a close relationship by distance, there is change. But when you focus your reason for being on God, you discover that He never leaves and never changes.  I know that sounds like a super spiritual answer, but it's true.  Regardless of what is going on around you, God is always there. It is from that foundation that all questions are answered and needs are met.  So instead of asking, "What's Next?", bec

What Do You Pray For?

Everyone has a list that they are praying for.  As a general rule, I find that most peoples lists are excellent.  Pressing needs like healing or employment, unsaved friends, and loved ones are often on such lists. But I would like to share with you what I pray about.  No, this isn't a complete list, but I think you might find it helpful in your own prayer life. I pray for wisdom. (James 1:5) Of course, I must pursue His knowledge if He is going to inspire me with wisdom.  Therefore, I read His Word every day. I pray for God's authority. (Matt. 28:18)  I know that Jesus has all authority, and I know that all authority comes from God.  (Romans)  I cannot lead without His leadership in my life. I pray for unsaved. (Acts 26:18)  I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict them of their sins and that someone will show them the Good News about Jesus in a way that they will accept it.  I pray that if I am that person that the Holy Spirit will help me. I pray for my wife and dau

Rejection Hurts

I was listening to a podcast this morning that said, "Rejection hurts your ego! Be nicer to people, and they will not reject you." Umm, ok - but that doesn't work.  We know that the world we live in isn't fair.  Expecting them to treat you fairly just because you welcome them like a dog when it's owner comes home doesn't improve anything.   Jesus said in Matthew 10:22, a nd you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. If you are a follower of Jesus, you will be rejected.  Across this world, some people are being threatened and even eliminated because of their faith in Christ.  You have to choose whose praise you would rather have, theirs or Christ's?  Who you are isn't found in the opinion of others.  If you live to please people a) you will never and b) you'll go crazy trying.  Your purpose, the reason for being, is found in God.  He created you to worship Him, have a lovin

What Is Your Vision?

Vision is your current understanding of God's preferred future for you, your family, your church, your business - you get the picture.   Habakkuk 2:2 And the Lord answered me: "Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. First of all, there is a vision.  God will share with you the big picture or the right direction you should be going in.  Secondly, make it understandable - write it down.  Most people agree that God has given them a vision, and they know it.  But when challenged to write it down, things tend to get muddled.  Pray and ask God for clarity.   Thirdly, run with it.  The vision that God gives you is more significant than you and should outlast you.  It needs to be known by all and repeated after your gone.   I knew a family whose vision was to have fun.  When mom and dad weren't working, they were at the pool, the beach, on a trip, a cruise - whatever.   The dad passed away, and at his funeral, everyone talked

Dig Deeper

I'm from Arkansas, and when you live in the hills, there are a few things that you need to survive.  One is water.  Because there were no county utilities in the area, you had to dig your well.  That was a bit tricky. First of all, you had to dig hundreds of feet.  Then you would hit the water.  A lot of prayers went into it because you didn't want to strike a sulfur vein.  Think about drinking rotten eggs.  Yuch!  But wait it could get worse.  What if you hit a hot spring?  Couple that with sulfur and now you have hot rotten eggs. As a general rule, the deeper you dug, the more water you would get.  If you wanted to have hot water, a good shower, and enough to run the washer machine, you needed a reliable well. So the person digging the well would hit water.  But you would have to dig a little deeper.  "We're getting more water," they would say!  Dig a little deeper.  Then you would hit a lot of water!!  Ok - Stop there! Isa 12:3 With joy you will draw

Lord Have Mercy

I have on more than one occasion said, "I don't understand how I get out of bed in the morning and not hurt myself." It is a sarcastic comment designed to lead to this thought.  Without Jesus, I would get out of bed in the morning and injure myself. Humanity is so desperate to understand and solve everything.  But this same humanity says that everything isn't understandable or solvable.  We throw ourselves into a way of thinking that is flawed and unfilling.  But humanity insists on elevating itself to the level of a god.  As it turns out, we need mercy One writer defines mercy as a love that responds to human need in an unexpected or unmerited way.  And that at its core, mercy is forgiveness. We need God to respond to our needs every day.  We need His mercy to forgive us of our sins.  We need Him to keep His promises to us.  Without mercy, what hope would we have?  None. Now someone might as

Who is Praying For You?

1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, Who prayed for you today?  Is there anyone in your life that is talking to Jesus about you?  As a culture, we see asking for help as a sign of weakness.  So the thought that someone is praying for you leads one to believe that something must be wrong.  After all, the only time you pray for someone is when they are in some trouble.  Well, that's not true.  It isn't to say that in times of crisis, one doesn't want someone bending God's ear about their need.  But why do you need someone praying for you when all seems to be going well?  Temptation is coming.  It isn't a matter of when.  You need people praying that you will resist every temptation that Satan throws your way.   Rain is coming.  Jesus said that trouble wouldn't discriminate against His followers and others.  Life isn't fair, and when that happens.  You w

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

It's Sunday, and it's the Lord's Day.  Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday.  Because of that, the church set aside that day to worship Him corporately.  It's tradition, the Bible doesn't order us to do it, but we see that the New Testament church was practicing worship on Sunday. 1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. In a world that demands our every moment and attention, I admit it is hard to make it stop so you take time to go to church.  But if we can resist the temptation to stay home and mow the yard, I believe we can change our week. What isn't Sunday worship?  Well, it isn't the song service.  Some people think that wor

It's Fathers Day

This Sunday is Fathers Day.  If you read about its history, you will discover it wasn't easy to get this one on the books.  Mothers Day existed for 40 years before Fathers Day was ever accepted. Some would like to devalue men and even demote them in the name of equality.  I can understand this.  Men for generations have been accused of being pig-headed, stubborn, and egotistical. (Yes, that's the short list.)  And while I agree that there is more than enough evidence to support these claims, I purpose that isn't the big problem. Men have a problem that women have, too, sin.  The worst qualities about us come from either a lack of belief in God, or we don't care about Him.  (I think that it's more of the latter.)  When we live our lives untethered to any moral and ethical moorings, we are doomed to drift wherever life takes us.  We are the god of our lives (egotistical) and demand what we want when we want it (bullying). But not all men are that way, and none

Praying For A Breakthrough

Starting at 9 am today until 9 am tomorrow we as a church are praying for a breakthrough. Why do we pray?  Because we want to have the best relationship we can with Christ.  We know that prayer changes things.  We understand James when he said, "You have not because you ask not."  (James 4:2-3) Because prayer forces us to submit to the will of God. What are we praying for?  We are praying for God's will to be done.  That heaven will come down to earth and make its presence known in our lives.  (Matt. 6) We pray for healing.  We pray for a renewal of our hearts in the Holy Spirit.  We pray for a vision from God. What do we pray against?  Well, let me say that we don't pray against people.  The Bible is clear that our enemy isn't people.  (Eph 6:12) We are working against Satans plans to destroy our life and the lives of others.  But how do you do that?  Make Jesus bigger than your enemy.  Don't focus on the problem, praise the solution. 24 HOUR PRAYER Wh

Me Vs. The Holy Spirit

Last Sunday, in my message, I shared the following statements.   If you feel lonely, the Holy Spirit reminds you that God is with you.  If you feel insecure, the Holy Spirit reminds you that God is your confidence.  If you feel uncertain, the Holy Spirit reminds you that He is your Counselor.  If you feel depressed, the Holy Spirit reminds you that He is your Comforter.  Circumstances can skew your perspective.  But like David, you have to remind yourself.   Psalm 116:7–10 (GNT) "Be confident, my heart, because the LORD has been good to me. The LORD saved me from death; he stopped my tears and kept me from defeat. And so I walk in the presence of the LORD in the world of the living. I kept on believing, even when I said, 'I am completely crushed.'"  There is and will always be a tension that exists within our hearts.  Our flesh wants to run to our fears.  But the Holy Spirit will always lead us to faith.  Running to our fears is easy. We can se

Peddle Faster!!!!

As a kid, I loved to ride my bike.  My friends and I would ride around the neighborhood and schoolyard.  Often we would race each other to see who had the fastest bike.   In one such race, my friend and I raced down a long sidewalk.  At the end of that sidewalk was a footbridge over a deep ditch.  We raced neck and neck down the sidewalk.  I could hear my friend yelling, "Peddle faster, Peddle faster!"  It was at the end of the sidewalk that I ran out of steam, experience, wisdom, and common sense.  There was no way either one of us could go over the footbridge at the same time.  We were going to fast to stop, and there were no exits.  He peeled left on to an empty field, and I peeled right, into the ditch.  I went from 624 miles an hour to 0 in .0001 seconds.  My bike was fine. I, however, took it in the chest, shoulder, and chin.  To this day, I still don't know how I survived.  I was pretty sure I out ran my guardian angel.   Psalm 37:7 Be still before t

Where Are You Leading People?

John Maxwell says leadership is influence and influence is the power to change, or the ability to affect someone or something.  Everyone is an influencer.  Even if you're not trying, you influence people.   This morning I had to take a different route to work.  Therefore, I was running late.  As I was making a left-hand turn at a light, the SUV in front of me suddenly slowed down.  There seemed to be no reason for it, so I passed him on the left.  As I drove by I could see the driver glaring at me through his window then as I continued, I could see him losing his cool in my rear view mirror.  Honestly, I have no idea what I did.  But I influenced him somehow.   Our attitude, the look on our face, how we tip our waitress, how we respond to robocalls, are acts of influence on others.   1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. But I'm not "young"!  Then

I'm Back

Well, it all finally caught up with me.  Betty had to go to the doctor.  I had to preach Sunday.  Thank you, Jesus, for a worship team that took care of everything else.  But my job was to get Betty better.  Now, after being out of the office for a week - God, please have mercy on our souls. Who is the Holy Spirit, and what does He mean to you?  As a general rule, most Christian religions and denominations agree on who God the Father is and who Jesus the Son is.  But when it comes to the Holy Spirit, you can get a variety of answers.  Some people believe that He is the "presence" of God while others think that He is some impersonal force that we can have access to. So #1 who is the Holy Spirit?  First of all, the Holy Spirit is a person.  The Bible speaks of Him in that matter.  John 15:26, "But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.  Secondly, He is the third m

This Is The Day

Had a lot of trouble going to sleep last night.  Then I woke up hours before I should have.  Then I dozed off again.  Woke up only to discover I overslept.  But if you didn't get enough sleep in the first place, is it oversleeping? Psalm 118:24  This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Then I get to the office and discover that most everything that I had planned to do today isn't going to happen. Psalm 118:24  This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Then I looked at my schedule for next week and wondered, "How?" Psalm 118:24  This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. God has given me this day to honor and worship Him.  Regardless of the circumstances, I can do this.  God makes my day, things, and people don't.  God blesses me and provides for my every need.  God is the one who made sure that the Sun came up this morning and He is the one who will take c


Update:  Well, instead of feeling like a Mac truck ran over me, I've upgraded myself to a small box truck.  This virus seems to be running its course.  Please keep Betty in prayer.  It takes longer for her to recover from these things.   What have I learned by being sick and out of commission for the last few days? Nothing matters except feeling better.  You know that you cannot do an excellent job if you feel bad. You appear rude, but you're just exhausted.  I didn't have the energy to respond to phone calls or texts.  Most people are understanding, but still, you feel like a jerk. You know that you're getting behind in your responsibilities, but there is something you can do about it? Proverbs 4:25 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. You and I often allow this world or other people to prioritize our feelings and actions.  God didn't create you to be a follower of everyone.  He created you to be a leader in your w

Still Sick. Yuch

Betty and I are still suffering from whatever plague of Egypt has descended into our sinuses.  Prayers would be appreciated.  In the mean time here is a blog I wrote that I think you would like today.   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

I've Got The Crud.

Betty and I got whatever is going around.  I suggest you stay away from it.  Nasty demon virus from the pits of hell.  So today, rather than ramble on and try to write something intelligent.  I choose to share with you a popular post I shared.  Enjoy.   During a conversation today someone quipped.  "I love to talk to you, you make me laugh.  I needed to laugh today."  To be honest, I do not get up in the morning thinking, "How am I going to be funny today."  Most stuff just comes to me. Pro 17:22  A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. The culture you and I live in today lives in fear.  Fear of active shooters, fear of offending, fear of living and so much more.  With all that fear in our hearts, it's hard to smile or laugh.  You and I need to laugh.  We need to laugh a lot and often.  So with that said, here we go.   Years ago, at another church I was pastoring, I asked for people to come forward to be prayed for.

Lawn Mowers

Last week was dance week.  Unload and set up on Wednesday.  Practice on Thursday and Friday.  2 performances on Saturday and Sunday.  I probably shot about 20,000 pictures of kids dancing ballet, hip hop, modern, contemporary, lyrical, jazz and tap.  (I feel like I forgot one.) But in the middle of it all, I had to remind myself of my "why."  Now, of course, my 15-year-old ballerina of a daughter does have a lot to do with it.  But there should be more.  Every parent wants their kids to do well.  But if we only focus on ourselves, then we are doomed to be lawnmower parents.  You know the type.  They will mow over anyone and anything. Now, this isn't a parenting blog but hang in there. I think you will get the point. When we make the world all about ourselves, our kids, our jobs, or whatever, we excluded everyone else.  People that will love us and even help us.  Worse yet, we teach our kids how to be selfish.  That they are the only person on the planet that matte

The Fundamentals

As I was driving in this morning, I heard a story about Jerry Rice. If you don't know, Jerry Rice is considered by some to be the greatest NFL player of all time. He played for the San Franciso 49ers and won 3 Super Bowls. He has scored more points than any other player, not a kicker, at 1,256 and holds over 100 NFL records. No one else even comes close. So what was the secret to his success? Was he naturally gifted? Was he just lucky? No - he practiced the fundamentals. At 6 am he would be out on the playing field, by himself, running slant routes again and again and again. He would do the stuff that high school players would consider boring and dull. This led me into a conversation to which I asked, "What are the fundamentals that we need to practice in our faith?" Philippians 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. What was Paul telling the church in Philippi to do? Pray -

It Is Sunday!

Psalm 118:24   This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Get up and go to church!  (I can feel the eyes rolling in the back of your head as some people read this.)  Here come the excuses.  You know what?   Nevermind those excuses.  Let's focus on the good stuff.  Worshipping God on Sunday blesses the rest of your week.  Give Him the first day and see what He does with the other 6 Coming to church allows you to be surrounded by people who love you, care about you, and will pray for you.  But you cannot be that long lost cousin of mine who my mom keeps bringing up to me time and time again.  I don't know this person, and I have no context as to who they are.  Don't be that cousin.  Worshipping God with others is like nothing else you will ever experience.  Corporate worship is unique and to be encountered frequently.  Sunday challenges you to change.  For - The - Better.  The Holy Spirit moves in our hearts and lives with a