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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.”

Monday, April 25, 2016

“Defeating the Whitecaps of Doubt”

Jesus didn’t say, “Let us go to the middle of the lake and drown.” Why did the disciples think they were going to go under in a storm? Did they not believe in the miracle working Lord who had fed 5000, opened blinded eyes, caused the lame to walk, and was moved with compassion to set people free? What was the disciple’s real issue? They didn’t believe Jesus when he said, “Let us go to the other side.” (Luke 8:22)

I love the lyrics Tim Shepherd wrote and the popular singing group, the Imperials, sang in the 70’s. "He didn’t bring us this far to leave us. He didn’t teach us to swim to let us drown. He didn’t build his home in us to move away, He didn’t lift us to let us down."

ALL of us struggle with the fierce “Whitecaps of Doubt” that resist our faith. In order to get where we're supposed to go, we must use our FAITH to get there. Think about what He said to Joshua. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For “then” you will make your way prosperous, and “then” you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8) ESV

This is the “only place” where the words prosperous and success are written in the bible together. God is saying; if you truly desire all that I have prepared for you, and if you really want to move forward to the other side, you “MUST” defeat the Whitecaps of Doubt. It is a fact, God does not lie, He never has and He never will. He ALWAYS brings to past what He has promised.

The word of God was written over 16 centuries by 40 authors with the same theme throughout the scriptures. Written by shepherds, soldiers, fishermen, physicians, tax collectors, kings, farmers and others. Written in three languages, in several different nations all with the same intensity to give us FAITH, to get us to the other side. That’s God’s promises for our lives.

Why would you allow some whitecaps to hinder, slow you down from God's intended purpose for your life?  Bibles have been burned by governments and banished from courtrooms, but God’s word still lives on today. This is the question before you today. Will you and I still allow His Word to LIVE inside of our spirit REGARDLESS of the Whitecaps of Doubt that fight our faith?

When you win in your faith, then you win with your vision, your purpose, and your destiny. Rise up today in faith and declare like Paul. “If God for me, who can be against me.” The Whitecaps are nothing for the power of our Master, our God. Jesus still speaks Peace to the Whitecaps of your situation today. Smile friend, God is still there, regardless of how rocky the boat gets. How is that?  Looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith! (Heb 12:2)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Turning Your Mess into Music

Max Lucado recently tells about some kids in Paraguay who are making music with their trash. They're turning washtubs in the kettledrums, drain pipes into trumpets. Playing Beethoven with their plastic buckets. Two men in that country became very creative with the trash in a landfill. They turned a paint can and a oven tray into a violin. Their next instrument was a cello. And these kids are making music of it.

But how is that possible? Somebody got creative and turned a mess into some music. Thousands of years ago, the creator of the universe, our supernatural God, created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. He spoke the moon and the stars into existence. He created man from the dust of the earth. When he spoke, the birds began to sing and the whales began to swim in the deepest oceans and the lions begin to roar in the jungles.

Today you may be despondent, discouraged and full of doubt about your future! If God can create a man from the dust of the earth, just what can he do with you and me. God’s word declares, "For we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God."  But when God gets a hold of you and me, He can transform an alcoholic and make him free.  He can take someone bound on heroin and cocaine and cause them to live a productive life. Is there anything too difficult for God to do in a human life?

There's never been anybody yet that God did not love. There's never been a creature yet that He could not change and transform. God specializes in creating miracles out of our lives.

Look at Peter, a fisherman who walked with him three years, but yet he denied Christ when he was being tried as a fake. He said, "I never knew him. " What could God possibly do for one like Peter? Fifty plus days later, The Lord restored and renewed him and caused him to preach on the day of Pentecost with 3000 people coming to Christ.

Look at Moses. The man who had a calling to see Israel delivered out of Egypt. One day he kills an Egyptian soldier who is beating on a Hebrew man. He then runs for his life, yet God is not finished with His plan. Whether you believe it or not, God can make some music out of your mess. After forty years on the backside of a desert in hiding, God produces a fire out of the bush in the desert. God speaks out of the bush and declares "take your shoes off, you’re on holy ground."

God was saying, I’m not finished with your life just yet. You just thought it was over with your dilemma, but I am about to make some music in Egypt like they've never seen or heard before. After 10 plagues and the drowning of the most powerful nation in the world, Israel is on the other side of the Red Sea singing, dancing to a song that no one would ever forget.

Why not believe today that God can write a new song out of the hick up, hurt, and pain in your own life. Why not use your faith in Christ today? The greatest creator who ever walked the planet earth is about to write the greatest chapters of your life. Why not believe today that God can still make some music out of your mess. When He does, you won't be the first one nor the last that can sing, “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dealing with the “White Caps on your sea of life?”

Most of us would much rather deal with a calm sea than to face contrary winds and waves that threaten to sink our boat. Who wants to go boating when the waves and winds are ugly and mean? It sure makes for a bumpy, uncomfortable and challenging journey. Christ tells the disciples, “Let's go to the other side of the lake.” So they got in the boat and sailed. (Luke 8:22-25)

Jesus finds a place in the boat to take a nap. He’s already been working great miracles, seeing lives transformed, but now it's time for rest. But as they journeyed, a “Great Wind ” came down on the lake.

Where does this wind come from? Seemingly out of nowhere a force from hell is attempting to hinder their progress? Could God’s mission be derailed? Would his disciples faint and lose heart with the whitecaps on the sea? Would they learn something new about this Jesus who’s greater than any winds, waves or storms that show up in life? Now waves of water are coming in the boat. Now, what? Is this it? Is this the way our life is going to end?

The disciples wake Jesus up and say, “Master, we're going to drown, we're all going to die. Aren’t you going to do something about it?” Jesus rebukes the wind and says, "Quiet down!" And the sea becomes like glass. Then Jesus says to them, “Why can’t you trust in me?”

The whitecaps of the sea may come to drown your purpose in life, but God can use it to intensify and develop your courage, trust and faith in your God. David said, “So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do to me.” Just how are you going to boldly say the Lord is your helper if you’ve never seen the Lord “SPEAK PEACE” to your wind? What kind of boldness will you have unless you’ve watched God turn the whitecaps of life into a calm sea? Who will you become unless you've worked through the whitecap waves to the other side?

The word says, “The disciples were amazed that the winds obeyed his command. Is there anything to hard for the Lord to do in your life today? Has God lost his power and ability to move your mountains, defeat your giants, make a way where there seems to be no way in your finances, marriage, your blunder in life, your health or restore your kid back to God? Can God still open blinded eyes, cast demons out of one possessed? Just on the other side of the lake was such a person.

The Lord was on a mission to deliver one from demon possession. But even greater, He desired to coach and train his disciples to “NEVER BACK DOWN from the whitecaps of life.” Don’t be surprised, when Hell attempts to sink your ship.  Don’t ever forget, God has the final Word and Say over your life when you look to Him with faith and courage to get you through the whitecaps.

The disciples may have failed at that moment to believe they could survive through their storm, but Christ quickly calms the winds and moves them forward to “greater victories” than they had ever known before. Are you facing some whitecaps in your life today? Why not allow Him to do greater things in your life TODAY so you can complete the mission and journey that is awaiting you on the other side? "Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil 1:6)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

New Beginnings

Genesis 9:1-29

So many in life are overshadowed and are driven by their fears, their hurts, their blunders, their mistakes, their burdens and their hick-ups in life. Noah and his family are now back on dry ground. It's been a rough ride but now God has dried up the waters of the earth. God hangs a rainbow in the sky and says; " Never again will a flood destroy the Earth"

This is a sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and everything living around you and everyone living after you. I'm putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. (12)

Even God says it's time to move forward. Too many of us in life live in the past instead of our future. None of us can do anything about our mistakes, our failures, our shortcomings, the things we wish we could change in the past. It's time to move ahead.

"Twenty years from now, you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did do." Mark Twain

There is a reason that you are still on planet earth. God isn't finished with you. There are still more mountains to climb, valleys to cross, victories to win, storms to overcome, and challenges to conquer. God is taking you and me somewhere. Regardless of the past or the forecast, like Noah; "I have all intention of staying on the boat till I see the sun shine again, and I see the heavens open up over my life and fulfill the mandate and the promises of God in my life.

What are you dealing with today? What keeps lingering in your fuzzy thought life? Allow the Holy Spirit of God to overshadow you with fresh vision, fresh energy and fresh faith to go places you have never been, to do things that you have never done, to become someone that you have never been.

Through the spirit of God within you say; " No longer will I allow my past to overshadow my life, but I will be driven by Christ alone and the faith He has placed in my heart.  He will take the steering wheel of my life, and I will become all that He has created me to become for His honor and glory. In the days He has assigned my life on this earth, "I declare; today is a new day with new beginnings, yes new beginnings."