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Saturday, September 3, 2016

“Are You “Surviving Or Thriving” In Your Tough Season?” (1)

Most of us in Jacksonville, Florida, enjoy having seasonal weather. We experience “Beautiful Springs,” “Hot Summers” that reach in the 100’s, “Awesome Falls” and “Mild Winters,” A couple months in North Florida we pull out the sweaters and jackets to stay warm when temperatures dive into a few days of freezing temperatures.

Now my two daughters live in South Florida where rarely is a heater turned on in the winter months. On the other hand, You wouldn’t want to live without a heater in Jacksonville.

God brings different seasons to all of our lives. Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.”

Let me ask you, “Are you just “Surviving or Thriving” in the tough seasons of your life? It’s a choice! You can either see the good in this season or you can complain about your pain. You can either smile and keep your joy or you can whine and belly ache through your difficulty. You can either have a clouded gloomy perspective or you can allow God to clear up the lens of your outlook to see the good, the gold, and even the glory of God.

I don’t know anybody that says, I just love my pain in life. “NO”, none of us do, but we can say, “God sees something good coming out of this setback in my life.” God not only sees the setback but has a “Comeback in mind for me.”

What if Joseph had become bitter in his pain? What if he had planned a day of revenge for his brothers who sold him for 20 pieces of silver, equal to 200.00 today? What if he had planned a day to get back at a lying woman who lied about his relationship with her?

“NO”, Joseph chose to “TRUST” in his God and knew that God had a plan that was bigger than the difficult painful season of his life. In the end, God came through with His plan and called Joseph to be the Prime minister of Egypt who would save thousands in a famine.

Friend, regardless of the pain in your health, your marriage, your job, your dream, your money, the struggle with your kids. In this season, Look for “the good,” “the gold” of God trying your faith, and God getting “the glory” at the end of your painful season.

Seasons don’t last forever, HOLD ON, God will prove Himself Faithful, because that’s just who He is. God will never fail to show Himself Strong in the End for you if you will believe, “Better is the end than the beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Eccl 7:8 Don't just survive in your difficult season but decide to THRIVE  through it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What’s Keeps Blowing Up in Your Face? (3)

A few days ago I was cooking steaks on the grill for our family. I have had a challenge with this grill in the past to get the fire started. I turned on the gas, but it struggled to light up. Suddenly with my lighter, it blew up with one big explosion of fire. It singed part of my eyebrows, part of my hair, heated up my face with sunburn like I had been in Hatti for a week. ‘Wow”, I think it’s time to take action with a new grill.

I am so thankful that God says, “You are not alone.” How many times has God proven to you that “He Is There!” In so many ways He sends reminders that He is “ALWAYS THERE.”

In your deep waters, He’s there. Who ever said that once you come to Christ that there would not be any storms, winds, and adversity. Jesus declares just the opposite!  “In the world, you shall have tribulation but be of good cheer.” John 16:33 “When you walk through the waters I will be with you.” Ish 43:2 “Dear brothers and sisters when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2 “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” Psalms 23:4

Instead of allowing the fire to make you doubt, become discouraged or disheartened, allow it to become an “OPPORTUNITY” to Grow, to Press, to Persevere, to Learn, to Advance, to Push and Prod ahead.

Refuse to get bitter, get better. Say, “What the enemy meant for evil, God will turn it for good.” When Joseph was falsely accused and sent to prison for a crime he didn’t do, he could have said, “God why are you allowing this? Do you still love me; do you still know where I am? What happened to the dream you gave me?”

God is still in control when things seem to be out of control. Remember, God will always bring about His plans in His timing! Joseph waited nearly 13 years before he would be promoted to become the prime minister of the land of Egypt and administrate a harvest through a famine that would save thousands in the land. All because Joseph was “Patient” watching God develop “His plan of action.”

It’s all about trusting in the fact that “You are not alone.” God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:8, Remember God says, “ Looking unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith.”

Let Kari Jobe song be a reminder to you, “I am not alone.”

Sunday, August 28, 2016

What Keeps “Blowing Up” In Your Face? (2)

Years ago I bought a Sea-Doo jet-ski from a private individual that mistakenly put the “wrong fuel mixture” of gas in the tank. Gas only,  “NO OIL.” When I drove the ski down the St. Johns River, the engine began to smoke and burned up. It left me stranded and floating towards the Atlantic Ocean. Ahh, just a bit Scary!

There are times things blow up in your face because you fail to put the right mixture of “God’s Word and Faith” in your heart to overcome your faults and failures in life.

Before you get the big head, remember, there is NOBODY perfect in life! Paul declares in Romans 3:23, “We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Thank God we have a “Good Good Father” like the songwriter Chris Tomlin wrote a song about, that loves us and forgives us for all of our hick-ups and hang-ups in life.

Finding paths for our failures is critical to moving forward in life. God does have a plan and a path for man’s guilt and remorse of sin. Is there a solution for our failures and faults?

Satan is the biggest liar and trickster that was ever created. Before Adam was created on earth, Satan rebelled in the heavens against Jehovah God. He also caused 1/3 of all of the angels in heaven to rebel along with him. Isaiah informs us that, God booted Satan and 1/3 of the angels out of heaven and today Satan and his demons create havoc throughout the earth, deceiving men with that same spirit of rebellion.

Sin is nothing more than rebelling against God’s ways. He says, “His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Jesus declares, “Come up higher to my thoughts and plans for you. “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11

God’s fresh Word will raise your faith to fight off hell’s thoughts in your head. Without The RIGHT mixture of His Word, and Faith in your heart, you are dead in the water.
One small simple Word from God can take you to safety to your Victory. Words like, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:8 Words like, “When you walk through the waters, I will be with you and through the rivers, they will not overflow you.” Ish 43:2

When my motor blew up in my jet-ski, I was floating out towards the ocean wondering what will I do now? Thank God a man in a little tiny boat came to my rescue. He pulled me all the way back to safety to my dock. I truly believe God has a Word for you everyday. Open up His Logos Word and let HIM fill your mind today. It’s what will lead you safely to your destiny.

Listen to Chris Tomlin song “Good Good Father” (8,617,176 views at this writing.)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

What Keeps "Blowing Up" In You Face?

On March 31st at 4:30 PM a young 17-year-old high school student in Richmond, Texas was killed by an airbag in her 2002 Honda Civic. What was “suppose to protect her killed her.”  This case is the 10th fatality tied to the defective Takata airbag inflators. Someone poorly designed the airbag with metal inside it. The design was flawed and horribly engineered.

Satan crafted SIN with the effects of guilt to explode and blow up in your memory bank to destroy your future.  But Christ the creator of the heavens and the earth came with His Love and Mercy to take the metal of sin and guilt away. Christ came so we might be Forgiven and Free.  It doesn’t get any better than that, “Being Forgiven and Free.”

How can one keep their past mistakes from blowing up in their face day after day? Can one really be forgiven and also forgive themselves? Without the power of Jesus Christ, the Cross-and the Resurrection, we’re all miserably lost in our sins. But Satan has placed metal in the airbag to defeat and destroy our peace and our mind. He looks for ways… to remind us of our past blunders and mistakes.

You must first believe that Christ went to the cross to forgive you of all of your sins. He didn’t bleed and die for just a “few” of your mistakes, but for “ALL” of your blunders and mistakes. Murder, lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, covetousness, and pride. Friend all of your worst grossest iniquities can be forgiven through the blood of Jesus.

The thief that hung next to Jesus on the cross was about to take his last breath and die, but he asks Jesus, “Would you remember me when you come into your Kingdom?” Jesus said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” In that nano second. he was forgiven.

Jesus paid it all as he hung and died for our sins. What can wash away sins, NOTHING but the blood of Jesus? He became the supreme sacrifice, the spotless and perfect lamb that would pay for every sin that we have ever committed.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus came to this earth with a mission. Through a virgin Mary, He would sacrifice His life and die on a wooden cross so that we might be forgiven and be free from all of our guilt and sin. Just to prove that He has the power to forgive men of their sins, three days later, on Sunday Morning he arose and came up out of the grave. Friend He is “ALIVE” and well and wants us to be “ALIVE” and well too, with His Peace and Joy in you.

Some 20 million-car owners have the Takata airbag, but many customers have NEVER been notified. The Hanif’s who lost their 17- year old daughter claim they were never notified with any notice of a recall or a solution. Friend, Christ came to “NOTIFY YOU” today, there is Healing, Mercy and Forgiveness of all of our past in The Name of Jesus.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Some Trust in Horses and Chariots…

As a young boy, I never thought about paying the light bill to keep the lights on or putting new tires on an older car. It never crossed my mind about paying for the house mortgage or how we’d buy food with soaring prices at the grocery store. I had an “earthly father” that “MADE” it happen, and it was no worry for me.

The word says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7) ESV Nobody said that life would not include provisional challenges, but God, the “Great Provider,” has all power and sufficiency to supply and meet all our needs according to His riches in glory.

God taught me valuable lessons when my wife and I were newly married and headed off to Southeastern University for our college years. How would we make it? How would we put gas in the car and pay for a one-bedroom apartment? How would we stay in school and pay the school bill by working 2 and 3 part-time jobs and my wife waitress-serving tables at a restaurant? Could we make it, could we press ahead with many challenges?

You and I will never experience “SUCCESS” if we’re always looking to the hand of our parents, a friend, a neighbor or some other system of provision to sustain our lives. When Israel gained their freedom and left Egypt, they saw their past provision, the Egyptians, and their chariots drown in the Red Sea. They were no more. Now, what?

NOW, they had to look to their Jehovah God to bring fresh water in the desert, which God miraculously brought out of a rock, and made the bitter waters of Marah sweet. God rained down manna from heaven. He caused quail to fall from the sky. God caused their shoes and clothes to “NOT” wear out for 40 years. God was their source and provider. My friend, that is called “TOTAL Focus and Dependence” on Jehovah God.

Are you looking and depending on God today to supply and provide all your needs? Satan will tempt you to look to another source. God is the one who opens doors for employment. He places dreams in our hearts like starting your own business. He gives us connections with people in our difficult experiences. Don’t fall for trusting in horses and chariots. Friend, you have a “Heavenly Father” that can ‘MAKE” it happen, and it should be no worry for you and me.

Say today, “I will put my trust in the Name Of The Lord.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Pain of the Sting!

Have you been stung lately with life? Maybe your marriage is going through some bumps and pain. Maybe you got hit hard in your business. Your doctor recently said, “ The test results weren't what we'd hoped for. ”

We know that the honeybee has a stinger? But we also realize the same bee produces “Sweet Honey.” That’s a lot like this journey in life. From time to time, we get stung by difficulties, setbacks and even our own dumb blunders in life. But the apostle Paul declares, 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

He didn’t say that everything would work out because we always get it right. That’s not reality. He remembers that we are dust. Confess like Paul who experienced his own bumps in the road and vicissitudes in life.

38 And I am convinced that “nothing” can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. ( Romans 8:38-39)

Go ahead friend, “SMILE TODAY.” Don’t wait for the pain to end to enjoy the journey. God is for you and is working out your future in ways that you can’t even imagine. “And we know that all things work together for the good to them who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

So what's the takeaway? Focus on the honey. Focus on “the good today” and what God has on the way. “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. (Eccl 7:8)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

“Attitude” It’s Up To You

Paul declares, “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say Rejoice.”(Phil 4:4) Is that possible when one is facing the riptides of difficulty? Someone once said, “Attitude is like a flat tire, if you don’t change it you’ll never get anywhere.” All of us have been around people that we couldn’t get away from fast enough. The truth is, people with bad attitudes are everywhere. They’re at work, politics, in the media, the ministry, our family, even neighbors.

Chuck Swindoll said; “Life is made up of 10% of what happened to you and 90% of how you react to what has happened to you.” John Maxwell says, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” So have you determined to fly in a healthy zone with your attitude, or will you end up crashing because you chose to burn and crash, navigating your life with a bad attitude?

God says, “For all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Even after one comes to Christ, we have to deal with our hiccups, blunders and mistakes. It’s a choice to either fall into the tides of guilt or into the arms of God’s grace. (Max Lucado)

But what is your response? Your attitude will determine the path you choose in life. Yes, life will always have its bumps and bruises along the way. We’ll all face chaos, curves and many challenges that will come, but what attitude you take is up to you.

WHY DO CUSTOMERS QUIT? 1% die, 3% move away, 5% other friendships, 9% competitive reasons, (price) 14% product dissatisfaction, BUT...68% quit because of an attitude of indifference toward them by some employee!!!

Friend, life will always have its twist, turns and troubles but we can choose to, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say Rejoice.” People lose their jobs not because they don’t have the gifts, talents and abilities to do their job, but because they don’t know how to get along with people. So today, here’s the takeaway. Paul states from a dark, musky prison cell, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13)

Can you change how you think about your situation, your dilemma? YES, because as a child of God we can declare, “And we know that all things work together for the good who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Maybe you received a bad report from your doctor, your kid was busted for drug possession, you lost your job, or you just got burned with an identity thief. Possibly your car engine burned up, you were in a car accident, hit from behind or you rolled your four-wheeler and broke your collarbone. Smile friend, “If God be for you, who can be against you.”